GORDON SPICE PICKS OUT HIS FAVOURITE CARS
The former tin-top and sportscar ace picks out his favourites. By Kevin Turner
By 1969, Spice was an up-and-coming Mini ace, and was involved in testing the Escuderia Montjuich Mini for the Spanish Touring Car Championship. The team owner – and Spanish Cooper Cars concessionaire – was sportscar racer Jose Juncadella and Spice got to know him well. That helped when Juncadella needed a co-driver for his ex-paul Hawkins GT40.
“I did a lot of sorting out of their Mini and chatted up Juncadella, and he said would I like to drive the GT40 with him,” recalls Spice. “It was the first proper racing car I drove. I’d never driven anything bigger than a Morgan up until then.”
Spice nevertheless took to the 450bhp machine rapidly. Clutch problems put the GT40 out on the duo’s first outing, but in the second – at Jarama – the Ford took third overall and topped its class.
Further races didn’t bring success, but the performances earned Spice a Le Mans start in the team’s Ferrari 512S in 1970. Nevertheless, it was the Ford that left a lasting impression: “The GT40 was fantastic – so much easier to drive than a Mini. It was a very well-sorted car.”