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News 04 05 06
News archives 2004/05/06 . .
Bentley to Sprite
Pictorial file on almost everything bar WSM's that DW-S drove . .

Jim McManus . .

In November, after disembarking from a cruise ship with wife Peggy, Jim suffered a heart attack. After a lengthy period in intensive care, and following major heart surgery, Jim has made significant improvement but is still under close observation. Our thoughts and best wishes go to Jim, Peggy and their family.

Manx Classic 2008 . .

Entries are coming in for the three hill climbs on April 17th - 19th, and Morgan and Lotus are the most strongly represented groups so far. Contact Bill on 01624 670150 or click on for supplimentary regulations, membership application and entry forms

Full Circle . .

John Baggott is on a roll - a few days ago John contacted Michael Royde, the first owner of WSM 301 (see below) whom we had not been in touch with since 1967. Now John has found Peter Clinch, who bought the car from Dr Anthony Hodsman (see below) in 1972. Peter still lives in the Nottingham area, and when he bought the car the fibreglass bonnet had been destroyed by an engine fire and the windscreen cracked. Peter fashioned a bonnet, fitted a new wiring loom and re-sprayed the car Electric Blue with two orange stripes from nose to tail. However, he was unable to find a windscreen to fit, and the local police eventually advised Peter not to use the car with a cracked screen. It took several years before Peter traced Douglas Wilson-Spratt to the Isle of Man, whereupon a deal was done for the car to return to family hands in 1980.

Missing Link . .

The WSM 301 ownership chain has been updated today with contact from Dr Anthony Hodsman, a professor of medicine in Ontario, Canada. Anthony purchased the car from close friend Dr Churton Pauli when they were both in training at medicine school in 1971 in England. The car is pictured in Ochre Yellow as applied by first owner Michael Royde, and before an engine fire while Anthony's wife Sue was driving home from work that wrecked the fibreglass front and windscreen.

Anthony remembers - 'Churton had a standard Frogeye Sprite and when his brother-in-law Mike wanted to change cars, he jumped at the opportunity to buy the WSM. Churton then went on to work as a doctor in Malawi, and then in northern Saskatchewan, so he sold me the car. Neither of us ever used it as anything except a road car. Mike originally had the engine de-tuned, but it still overheated driving through London, and Churton de-tuned it furthur - I don't know the details.

It was a wonderful car, and we both loved it - I vividly remember how it cornered. There was an awful time when the government imposed a 50mph speed limit - even on motorways - and I got clocked at 120mph on my way home for Xmas ! I've never owned a sports car since, or driven a car that is anything but practical as I raised my family. I did return to motor-cycling in middle age, and currently ride a Triumph Bonneville, with something like the affection I held for the WSM.

You may be too young to remember, but that color of Ochre was almost unique in those days. Both Churton and I were used to guys and girls coming into a pub and calling out for the owner of "that yellow car", and both of us met one or other owner of one or other WSM's. Peter Clinch heard of the car as he knew the garage owner in Nottingham who had worked on the WSM, and offered to take it off my hands. The only other vehicle I parted with like that was a 1935 BSA M20 motor-cycle, which I gave to a complete stranger when I ran out of money to keep it on the road - still a medical student ! That was also a famous bike at Middlesex Hospital, going by the name of "God", since Churton drove an NSU called "Jesus" - fun times.'

Traced - first owner of WSM 301 . .

Entirely due to the sleuthing qualities of author John Baggott, (John is researching for a book on Austin Healey Sprite's due to be published in 2008) we are in touch with Michael Royde, who commissioned WSM 301 in 1965 with Delta Garage and (right) subsequently raced the car in 1967. He also drove the WSM to Greece for a holiday, pictured left, before painting the car yellow and selling it to Dr Churton Pauli to finance a Morgan in 1970.

Spa 6 Hour . .

'Equipe' GTS drivers and others enjoyed varied success in the Ardennes . . . see WSM Race News for results

Italian Marathon . .

See WSM Race News for the three race FISC EuroTour week-end at Monza.

God would . .

Returning to earth after a week-end spent at the spectacular Goodwood Revival usually ends with a bump, and this year was no exception - A quoted 116,000 saw the best Revival to date, and continued revision and improvement included grid girls, Art-Deco car showroom, faster spectator access, fancy dress awards and aircraft concours. Courtesy of tickets from Chichester Cup entrant Tim Bishop and his DKW team, we watched as the harsher nature of the Goodwood circuit revealed itself, and heaviest damage occured when Norman Grimshaw's Riley Elf wrapped itself around an uninjured Alec Poole in practice for the St Marys race, while Martin Stretton reshaped the Iso Bizzarini in the Tourist Trophy on Sunday, resulting in hospitalisation - Stretton will want to forget this week-end, as he lost the Fordwater Trophy in the Elan 26R to mechanical failure after leading comfortably - but thankfully he is home and recovering with a broken elbow. Further drama in the Fordwater centred around David Methley's exclusion from the results after first lap contact with Jamie Boot's TVR Griffith, which helped propel Aston racer Don Salvage from 8th place in practice to the top step of the podium in his TVR Griffith. The upside to Boot's day was to receive the Will Hoy Memorial Trophy for the best drive in a closed cockpit car after his recovery to 3rd place.

Awards were handed out throughout the weekend, with ten glamorous ladies going home with floral bouquetsand bottles of Veuve Clicquot champagne on Saturday for the best-dressed females at the event. Irishman Joe Dible was awarded the Freddie March Spirit of Aviation trophy for his Foster-Wikner ‘Wicko’ aircraft, flown in as one of 26 entrants in the inaugural pre-1966 aircraft concours d’elegance.

Desire Wilson received the Fastest Lap by a Lady Driver award for her drive in the Willment Cobra Coupe in the RAC TT Celebration. The Fastest Lap of the Meeting went to Frank Sytner (at 106.94mph) in the Lola T70 during Saturday’s Whitsun Trophy, and the Best Presented Team went to Chris Williams and Neil Turner for their interpretation of 40 years of the Beatles' Sergeant Pepper album at the Goodwood Ball on Saturday evening.

The Spirit of Goodwood award deservedly went to Bill Murray and Larry Miller for a monumental effort to sort their Shelby Daytona Cobra in time for the TT race. Having flown the car over from the US and then blown the engine, they located a replacement in London, commandeered a helicopter to retrieve it, assembled an engine hoist in the paddock, changed the V8 through the night on the eve of the race and then made the start.

Jean-Marc Gounon was Rolex Driver of the Meeting after some entertaining drives. The manifestly enthusiastic Frenchman, who only experienced historic racing for the first time at last year’s Revival, impressed in everything he drove. After putting on an epic display of car control in the St Mary’s Trophy and winning on the road in Saturday’s encounter, he came away with a spirited win in the Sussex Trophy with Sir Anthony Bamford’s Aston Martin DBR2 on Sunday.

Tim Bishop had a clutch release rod break after 3 laps of practice on Friday in the DKW Sauter, yet qualified 21st. With welding help from the on-site Goodwood workshop, a fix was fashioned and he achieved a very respectable 14th in Saturday's race.

Plans for next year’s Goodwood Revival, scheduled to take place during September 2008 (dates to be confirmed) are already underway, and will be celebrating the tenth anniversary of the first Revival meeting.

Pictures courtesy of Karen Bishop

Mallory Test . .

WSM 301 had a thorough shakedown in the hands of the Colmworth Classic Cars team in a successful effort to eliminate engine gremlins that blighted the last race. Others using the Wednesday morning test session included ex-WSM owner Tony Bianci, and a Lenham entry for the Goodwood Revival next week . .

Hit Series With Pye . .

Congratulations Paul and Velina - aka Mr & Mrs Freeman, with the boss as usual having a drink in hand . .

Hell, Seize Her . .

Forgot this picture had been lurking in the shadows - of Colmworth Classic Cars, Austin Healey Club, Swallow Doretti, WSM, Triumph and Innocenti Spyder connections, the Webb's still find time to indulge in their favourite nocturnal past time . . .

WSM North of the Border . .

The Scottish Classic Speedfair at Knockhill saw Clive Cocks and WSM 210 amongst the entries for the two 'Equipe' GTS races. The 1.3 mile circuit also hosted BRDC 50's Sports racing cars, historic single seaters and the Morgan Sportscar Club Championship, all returning after enjoying the inaugural event last year, along with 'Tin Tops' FIA Historic touring cars and a special grid of  60s/70s Sports racing cars. See 'Race News' for further detail . .

Pilbeam Breaks Duck . .

Goodwood Revival WSM driver David Gathercole got his first win of the year at the Croft circuit yesterday, and the first ever win for a Pilbeam FF2000. Under the patient and watchful eye of Lotus 18 driving wife Lorraine, David had lead a race this season when mechanical failure caused a DNF. Pictured at Donington in a previous round prior to receiving Mr Wheatcroft's invoice for bollard replacement . . .

The black flag is out for Equipe GTS racer Paul Freeman. After being cautioned on 27th May during practice, or becoming engaged as the extremely hot Velina Yoranova referred, marshalls reported regular transgression. Penalties in the form of grid place and ballast will be imposed on the 27th July in Dedham church. Race organiser Jim Lowry said that Mr Freeman's position on the 28th July would not be compromised, subject to appeal, and it was unlikely that further action would be necessary after that date . . .
The Mini Cooper S that DW-S and Allan Piggott took to a class win in the 1964 Acropolis Rally is being restored by Steven Goss, a member of the Australian Police Federation. Steve is also a member of the South Australia Sprite Club.

Home Again . .

WSM 301 returned home for the first time since summer 2006, having been fostered by Ian Hulett for the Goodwood Revival. She sports a yellow flash on the nose, courtesy of Murray Henderson who helped prepare 301 for the event, which is reminiscent of the red flash on WSM 206 in period. I'm sure WSM 301 bored her big brother garage companion WSM MGB about her temporary fourth place in the Fordwater race, and teased him about his last lap demise in the same race . . .

Race Retro . .

The show at Stoneleigh in Warwickshire was superb. Crammed with personalities, mouth watering exhibitions and positively buzzing with business, the fourth staging of the International Historic Motorsport Show looks to be on course for another success. The complete spectrum of motorsport interest ranged through artwork, auctions, bikes, books, karts, memorabilia, models, parts, racing cars, rally cars and demonstrations, and for some the gathering of diverse and distinguished motor sport characters in a relaxed atmosphere was proof of the event's appeal.

Ferret Photographic's Ted Walker summed up the nature of the show with a dismissive wave of the hand at the offered Mastercard to settle a bill for prints selected on the stall . . "Take all the pix and send me a cheque when you get home" . . .

Pictured left to right in period black & white photography - 'Whizzo' Williams, WSM 210 Clive Cocks, MGCC's Chris Parker & AHC's Paul Woolmer, auctioneer & historian Guy Loveridge & Chris (SLR's) Lawrence , 60's racer Jack Wheeler, Paul Woolmer & WSM owner John Pearson & Phillip Hester of Calbrook Coachworks, Sprite racers (blurred) James Willis, Nigel Adams, commentator Neville Hay, Paul & Yvette Webb of Colmworth Classics with Clive Cocks, WSM 207 owner Rae Davis, Simon Page (ringed) representing FISC, & motorsport guru Stuart Turner, ex-BMC competitions Manager.

Leafing through 1960's Autosport's and found a gridful of F1 mechanics pictured at the Mexican Grand Prix in 1966. Included was Parnell mechanic Ted de la Riviere (back row, far left), garage proprietor, engine builder and constructor of the B series engine in the WSM MGB. Ted is still in touch with many of his fellow mechanics, and is a regular visitor to the Goodwood Revival. MGB specialists Beech Hill Garage in Berkshire, now under son William's guidance, provided tlc prior to the Equipe GTS Snetterton race in April 2005 where the engine made a strong debut . . .

The Epstein surname also came to the fore and to Autosport's attention in January 1966 - click on for a Valiant story . .

WSM 202 SOLD . .

Having researched suitable owner and driver capability, Jim Lowry awarded custody of the 1963 WSM Midget 'XPP' to MGB racer John Pearson. Also a Jaguar fan, John has an unmolested 60,000 mile 3.8 E-Type coupe and an FIA prepared 3.8 E-Type nearing completion. The Surrey based racer has joined the 'Equipe' GTS grids for the last two seasons (pictured number 51 at Oulton last year) and plans to begin the step up from E-Types to WSM's with the MGCC Silverstone Equipe double-header in June 2007. .

Jim has not got rid of the Spridget bug however, and the pictured Ashley topped car was a Californian export which Jim began restoring 6 years ago with the intention of running in the FISC series. Best laid plans have finally come to fruition, and although not running in Pieter Bakker's grids, Jim plans to contest several 'Equipe' GTS races alongside the other Spridgets of Paul Freeman, John Palmer and Clive Cocks.

Read it and weep - a Healey Centre price list from November 1962 . .

Unearthed recently, Eric Carlsson pictured in his Saab circa 1959 at Prescott during the RAC - can anyone confirm ?

. . . . . Thanks to Jon Crosswell who confirmed the venue and date

The Colmworth Three . .

A reference not to three detainees at HM's pleasure, but three WSM's which went for a wander in Bedfordshire. WSM 202 leads WSM 301 and WSM 210 in the rarest queue of traffic you are likely to see.

Thanks to Stephen Skinner for new photos from Equipe GTS Barley Mow awards night - please do not view if you are of nervous disposition

Courtesy of Chas Medlen, a BRDC marshal & time keeper in the 1960's (including 1964 Le Mans with MG) and a Sprite driver too - WSM racer Mike White in recently discovered pictures with WSM 205 in 1963 at Silverstone. Can anyone identify the other people ?

Autosport Show 11th - 14th January 2007 . .

Sebring Sprite PMO 200 featured on Octane magazine's stand at the Birmingham NEC, continuing a run of high profile outings (see 2006 News archive) since owner Paul Woolmer completed a remarkable restoration last year. Look out for the Octane article - which includes the car's re-union with John Sprinzel and Stirling Moss at Goodwood in 2006 - on the shelves now.

Innocenti Abroad . .

Swallow Doretti collector and Colmworth Classic Cars operator Paul Webb branched out at the Autosport show in Birmingham at the week-end and now has a 1963 Innocenti 950 Spyder. Offered in the Coy’s auction without success on Saturday, Paul and wife Yvette noticed the car still on site the next day . . "When we arrived on Sunday, we wandered over to have a look and asked one of the Coy’s guy's how much it went for. He said it did'nt sell. Although it had been locked up for years without attention, the car seemed solid and the engine turned. There are supposed to be only four in the UK prior to this one arriving from Germany in December - it failed to sell at Coy's Nuremberg sale - so it’s a fairly rare beast. We did a deal. "

FISC Sprite racers and 2003 WSM pilot David and Lorraine Gathercole have new toys arriving for the New Year in the shape of the ex - Trevor Taylor Lotus 18 and a Lola L42 (F5000) . . .