WSM - News 2015

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WSM S2 WSM S2 introduction and price list . .

For Sale

Cars, motorhomes, wheels, windscreens and more . .
Home Page
Website front page . .
Race News
Updates on WSM's in competition in the current year . .
The History
The story from conception of WSM in 1961 to present day . .
In Competition
Pictorial file in three parts of WSM's in action from 1962 to date . .
04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14
News archives 2004/05/06/07/08/09/10/11/12/13/14/15 . .
Bentley to Sprite Pictorial file on almost everything bar WSM's that DW-S drove . .
Douglas Wilson-Spratt In Memorium . .


Austin-Healey USA . .

Thanks to editor Jeff Eakin and contributions from Bill Emerson, Lorraine Noble-Thompson and Martin Ingall, the monthly magazine features an 18-page spread covering the WSM story. The PDF may take a while to download, but click on here for the full article from the October edition.

Classic Motor Show . .

At the NEC last week-end, WSM 405 featured alongside famous Healey's in front of a record-breaking 69,000 visitors. Pictured with WCE personnel, owner Geoff Hill reported much interest in the Sanction 2 WSM. The Swallow Doretti team (right) with Paul and Yvette Webb were awarded Best Themed Club stand for their beach presentation . .

Mike Wylie . .

The genial Irishman with petrol in his blood and a sparkle in his eye has passed away. There will be many who remember Mike with great fondness for his contribution to all things Spritely and more.  I know my father always enjoyed his company, even at Goodwood while being gently ribbed by Mike and John Sprinzel as they watched the Fordwater Trophy in 2006 as son David beat 'those pesky WSM's' in the Speedwell. We valued his enthusiasm and kindness, and behind me hangs the latest calendar which Mike sent to the Isle of Man every year, usually with a picture of David for me to throw things at if he’d beaten any WSM's during the latest season.

The following was posted by David on the Sebring website courtesy of Martin Ingall -

 "Dad passed away peacefully at home with his family by his side early on Saturday (7th November) morning following a short illness.  No doubt he’s already at the great paddock bar talking opposite lock and other heroic deeds. The Speedwell allowed him access to such wonderful events and people – and with such a strong connection to our family too.  He spoke often of the Pirelli Marathons, the adventure, the competition and comparing stage times with Stirling Moss at the top of the Stelvio.  He awaited John Sprinzel’s Christmas cards and other missives especially keenly – a friendship struck up as team-mates on ‘the Marathon’.  He was especially happy when Sprinzel (we have always referred to him as Sprinzel) came to congratulate us at Goodwood in 2006 for being first Sprite home ahead of ‘those pesky Wissums’!
His encouragement to use and abuse the Speedwell has always made it easy for me to drive it hard – perhaps it would be hard for him to do anything else having inverted it on a British Hill Climb Championship event 500 yards from our front door in Belfast !  I hope that the Special Sprite community took as much pleasure from his interest in the cars as he took from yours. I’ll update with funeral arrangements once they are known. As Dad would have said… keep it between the ditches !

Robin Pinkerton . .

In the 1960's Delta Garage showroom there were always sports cars of different varieties, and to a curious 7-year-old, there was also an interesting, and very tall, man in charge of selling those same cars. Given his great height, the boy christened the very tall man 'Mr Tree'. Rather than simply put a flea in his ear and send him packing back upstairs, the 6' 5" Sales Manager would show the child around the Austin Healey's and MGB's, and tell him about the car's competition history, who drove them, how fast they were and all the necessary information a boy could want. And it did'nt happen just once . .

I was fortunate to spend time with Robin many years later, after his ownership of several WSM cars, and after Dad had bought Fiat's from Robin at Pinetree Motors. I came to know and appreciate again the qualities that endeared him to me as a boy, and fostered friendships including with my father. Lunch with Robin and Mardi outside their cottage in Abbots Ripton last year is now even more of a treasured memory given Robin passed away on October 18th after a short illness. Our heartfelt condolences to Mardi and family.

Goodwood Revival . .

Paul and Richard Woolmer were in action in the two-driver Freddie March Memorial Trophy on Friday evening. Paul and Mick Darcey qualified the Healey 100S in 22nd, while Richard and Matthew Collings put the HWM Cadillac recently returned to the UK in 18th. At the flag after 90 minutes racing, the 100S and HWM with father and son at the helm for the second stints were separated by less than a second . .

New Motorsport Recruit . .

Whether at static shows or race circuits, WSM's attract attention from younger generations as well as those who recall them in the 1960's. At the Oulton Park Gold Cup on August 30th, the WSM MGB caught the attention of a very young fan in the paddock, and there was little persuasion needed to install Daniel Edwards in the drivers seat for a photo. A chat with parents Paul and Cheryl ensued and I mentioned the pic would appear on our 'Race News' page amongst the 'Pit & Paddock' ramble -

'Hello Tony,

We've just seen the lovely picture of Daniel sat in the WSM during the Gold Cup weekend at Oulton and we can't thank you enough for allowing him in the car as it really made his day. He told just about everyone he'd sat in a very special racing car and had his picture taken. A confirmed motor racing fan indeed. We'll keep tabs on the WSM and make a point of coming to say hello should you race again at Oulton.

Paul, Cheryl and especially Dan

Mascaret Action . .

Thanks to John Mangan for the picture of an active Jodel Mascaret that DW-S got so close to completion. Now with Adrian Hall-Carpenter, G-LDWS was at the LAA Sywell meeting, the Northants venue for the Piston & Props event where we last saw the aircraft in 2013.

Goodwood Racer . .

Don't know why this re-surfaced again, but click on for a favourite pic at Goodwood Revival of WSM 210 resplendant in red . .

25th Silverstone Classic 24th-26th July . .

This event made the tropical 1995 Coys Historic, where 210, 301 and BXN began the WSM marque resurgence, feel a tad parochial. Celebrating 25 years since Stuart Graham and Meryn Garton instigated what has become the worlds largest historic race festival, reportedly 100,000+ spectators enjoyed some great racing and infield displays - personal favourites included the Porsche racers, the Breadvan (see below) and the huge historic Formula One grid. The weather did'nt play ball though, and four qualifying sessions on Friday were run entirely behind the safety car as monsoon conditions enveloped the circuit, although Saturday was dry and bright.

BRDC's Martin O'Connell took three race wins in Chevron B19, Chevron B8 and E-Type, and fellow members Simon Hadfield and Martin Stretton echoed their 1990 success with a win apiece.

The first 'Stuart Graham Award' for the most admirable car competing went to Martin Halusa's Ferrari 250 GT SWB 'Breadvan', raced by sons Niklas and Lucas in the TT Trophy - great minds think alike . .

Sunday's race schedule endured yet more rain, but the Woolmer Classic Engineering entries had trouble-free races . .

TT Travellers . .

Fellow 'Equipe' and Spridget racer Paul Freeman from Bedfordshire and pal Stuart Farlow from Kent experienced the Isle of Man at its best for five days, arriving Sunday morning and because of re-scheduling due to weather problems on Saturday, saw racing on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Beneath sunshine and blue skies they spectated from some great locations, including The Bungalow, Ballaugh Bridge, Creg-ny-baa and Braddan Bridge. James Hillier broke 200mph along Sulby straight on a supercharged 300bhp Kawasaki, and the 'Bingley Bullet' Ian Hutchinson racked up another three wins after 5 years absence.

WSM at HQ on GP circuit . .

WSM's 202, 210, 401, 402 and the MGB will be on display and racing with 'Equipe' GTS and Healey Drivers International at Silverstone on June 20th/21st. The MGLive event usually produces the largest grid of the 'Equipe' season where Clive Cocks in 210, Ian Hulett in 401 and the MGB have a 30 minute race on Saturday and another on Sunday. Richard Woolmer in BXN and Graham Robson in WSM 202 will contest the 50 minute Healeysport optional two-driver race on Sunday, and Lorraine Noble-Thompson is bringing WSM 402 to display alongside the racers. We hope it'll be a sunny opportunity to catch up with all WSM connections during the course of the week-end.

Museum Pieces . .

Father and son team Denis and Darren Cunningham have invested heavily in construction of a new automobile museum at Jurby (IoM), and in doing so have created a great new location to visit. An eclectic display includes something that knocks your socks off, and size certainly is not an issue - a Greyhound bus to jewel-like Fiat 500 caught the eye - and rarities such as Chris Lawrence's Monica and the gorgeous Citroen DS transporter are personal favourites alongside WSM 208. The motorbike display on the two mezzanines reflects Isle of Man influence over the developing motorbike world through the decades, especially in competition, and its a surprise how many of the four wheeled exhibits have come out of the Manx woodwork.

click on below for information

Hit With Henderson . .

Motorsport at the Palace returned last Bank holiday week-end and Graham Robson took WSM 202 for some exercise in the first return to the venue by a WSM since 1966. Accompanying him was Murray Henderson (right) who has contributed a great deal of work on WSM's over the years. Murray recalls spectating there at events in the 1960's with his father and was curious to see how much or how little remained of his trackside memories. He also has a programme from one of his visits which includes entry number 137 for Mike Lewis. As Mike had sold 202 by that stage, and the registration in the 1966 programme is noted as DWS 97, its likely to have been the lightweight WSM 206 (left) that DW-S lent his son-in-law on occasion. Thanks to Murray for the paddock pic . .

Two's Company . .

Donington Historic Festival had two WSM's arrive, albeit not trackside for a change. Lorraine Noble-Thompson and Geoff Hill with 402 and 405 attracted attention whilst supporting the WCE camp in the race paddock . .

Concours Stateside . .

Amongst some illustrious company, WSM 403 was in her element on display at the prestigeous Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance in Florida, USA. Owner Bill Emerson drove the 130 miles up to Jacksonville in 403 and enjoyed a week-end crammed with astonishing vehicles in value, appearance and rarity. The twentieth anniversary of the event showcased 315 cars and motorcycles for a record-breaking 32,000 visitors, with guest Stirling Moss and 25 of his racing steeds on display.

Cars That Rock 73MM . .

Andrew Craig highlighted WSM 202 amongst the glitterati at the Goodwood Members Meeting - authors licence is responsible for a gaff, but Adam Beresford's pictures are superb. WSM 402 owner Lorraine Noble-Thompson was also attending and we understand was vociferous in her support of the racing WSM's . .

click on for Cars That Rock

Engine Testing . .

WSM 202 is looking resplendant ahead of her Members meeting debut after having some TLC at the hands of Murray Henderson. The test day went well, and Graham reported that 208's spare engine is indeed a strong unit.

Goodwood 60 Years On . .

The Goodwood Members meeting on September 24th 1955 listed a race with seven TR's, Austin-Healey, MG, Lotus and Jaguar entries, including the TR2 of DW-S numbered 125. He recorded 7th place after a race long contest with the TR number 118 of R.White, and recalled Rod Longton in a Healey Silverstone on the same grid. Earlier Douglas watched Colin Chapman in the first of three Lotus IX beating future F1 driver Alan Stacey in a Lotus VI.

WSM's 202 and 207 will be there in 2015 with Graham Robson and Rae Davis (right) in the Les Leston Trophy on March 21st, echoing the Mike White WSM 205 entry pictured in 1963. They are the first WSM entries for 5 years in the Members or Revival meetings.

Show On . .

Planning for the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show on November 13th-15th at the NEC continues, and will have WSM featured on the Austin Healey Club stand. WSM 405, Geoff Hill's K-series powered Sanction 2 stunner is the fastest road going WSM to date, and catches the eye inside and out . .

F1 Champ In Town . .

Not a bad stand-in. Johnny Herbert was unavailable due to family illness and Damon Hill stepped in to fill the breach at the fundraising Sporting Dinner at the Palace Hotel in Douglas. Hill's role in leading the Williams team after Ayrton Senna's demise in 1994 was as tough as they come, and there are few more unassuming World Champions than the 1996 winner.

Anniversary Year . .

The WSM 3000 celebrates a half century on May 22nd 2015 and in due course we will publicise a much anticipated debut post-restoration. The renovation process has been meticulous since the car was auctioned in March 2011, and that first turn of the wheel since being laid up in the 1970's is going to be treasured.