In January 2017 you published a letter from Charles Wells, about his father Martin’s Alfa Romeo 1750 GS Zagato, BGO 242, with which he had competed at Madresfield and Syston Park in the 1936. He concluded that he thought the car was now in Northern Ireland.
I can confirm that this is the case, my grandfather Dermot having bought the car in 1939. It was sold in 1950, but brought back into the family in the 1970s. In July I drove the car over for Chateau Impney Hill Climb, where my son Patrick raced – presumably the youngest competitor, at 17. He is the fourth generation of the family to compete in the car. The previous month my brother Andy took the car on holiday and replicated a photograph taken at the top of the Tim Healey pass in Killarney by our grandfather on the ’47 Circuit of Ireland Rally, where he finished seventh. Dermot Johnson
Holywood, Northern Ireland complained about being overtaken by Capris, considering that something was wrong with their cars. Both works protested to the Technische Überwachungsverein (TÜV) in Stuttgart, which had certified Michael’s cars.
The TÜV solved the problem by declaring May’s workshop to be the smallest car factory in Germany, and the complaining customers were informed that the Capris were indeed faster and that their cars were in proper order.
May introduced the first wing to a race car (to a Porsche at the 1956 Nürburgring 1000km). He was the first European FJ Champion, drove a Lotus in a few F1 races and, prior to his work on turbocharging, was a consultant to Ferrari. Michael now lives in Switzerland and dedicates his time to cancer research.
If you want to read more, I have written two books – Macnamara Racing and Turbo-may.
Prof Dr Peter Schroeder
Glorious Alfa captured on the 1947 Circuit of Ireland rally and, below, the same shot re-enacted by Andy Johnson, 70 years later
May and wife at his Hechingen workshops