HSCC50 GRIFFITHS DISPLAY AND PARADE
The Historic Sports Car Club celebrated the 50th anniversary of the race that started the club’s story with a special parade at Castle Combe. The inaugural Formula Griffiths event for 1950s sportscars was won by Neil Corner’s Jaguar D-type at Combe on May 16 1966.
Many of the original machines – or models to represent those on the 25-car 1966 entry – were on display and took to the circuit at lunchtime, along with some of the original drivers.
The grid made for an impressive sight and here we pick out four of the key cars.
Chris Drake took this Lotus to second place at Combe in 1966. A race winner in period, the Lotus-bristol then clinched the two-litre class title in the 1972 JCB Championship with Drake at the wheel. After some time in Belgium, the car came back to the UK in the 1990s. Current owner Malcolm Paul bought it in 2012 and, along with Rick Bourne, won the RAC Woodcote Trophy the following year.
FRAZER NASH LE MANS REPLICA
Experienced competitor Betty Haig, along with Guy Griffiths, was one of the key figures behind the Griffiths Formula. She raced this 1951 Frazer Nash Le Mans Replica, itself a regular rally entry in the 1950s, to sixth overall in that first Griffiths race at Combe. Brian Classic has owned the car since the 1970s.
FERRARI 166 MILLE MIGLIA
Bernard Worth drove his Ferrari to 11th at Combe in 1966 and, remarkably, still owns the two-litre machine. He raced it extensively, switching between three different engines, until 1982.
“It was just a second-hand car when I bought it from a small advert in Autocar in 1960,” recalled Worth. “I went to see it up in Cheshire where it was owned by the chief designer at Rolls-royce.
“I had a letter from Betty Haig inviting me to take part in the Griffiths Formula race at Castle Combe in 1966. I was then on the early committee with people like Betty and Rupert Glydon.
“At one stage I ran the Ferrari with a three-litre motor, which made it very quick and very exciting in the wet. I still use it on the road; I’m very fortunate!”
This car was entered in the 1500cc class for the May 1966 race, but didn’t make the start. Frank Mockridge dramatically rolled at Old Paddock (and was thrown clear) in a previous race so never got to start the Griffiths Formula encounter. Patrick Hello now owns the Jowett, which is back in road trim.
Haig Frazer Nash was also on show
Worth has owned Ferrari since 1960 and raced it many times
Lotus-bristol took second in 1966 race
Jowett crashed back in 1966