Over the years there have been mutterings about newly-built cars in historic racing. As far as a Grand Prix car is concerned, the car should have started a GP to qualify as a GP car. Spare a thought then for Richard Parnell, who has an original car with genuine GP origins, but which never started a race.
The Walker Special was the idea of Rob Walker and Alf Francis, aiming to build a machine for Stirling Moss. Begun in 1959, the 2¼-litre Climax-engined car had a tubular frame built by Colotti in Modena, but was not completed until early ’61, the first year of the 1½-litre formula. Jack Fairman tested it at Silverstone, finding it solid but not rapid; even plans for 2½1 Inter-continental events soon faded. Report at the time said a lighter chassis had been built for a 1½-litre unit, but that never appeared.
Parnell bought the car at the end of last year, substantially complete less engine, thus saving it from being dismantled for its Cooper suspension parts. Surprisingly, Colotti still has all the drawings, so it will be easy to confirm the original spec. Parnell hopes to run it this season, if the authorities accept its GP credentials. But will this be the longest ever gap between testing and a debut race? GC