Talk curve - Historic motorsport insight

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Treading his own path

With a passion for e-war cars and considerable bravado behind the wheel, Julian Majzub has become one of the VSCC’s outstanding racers

Best known in recent times for winning regularly in the Bentley Pacey-Hassan, Julian Majzub’s life is entwined with racing. Of Iranian nationality but resident in Britain, he is a long-serving VSCC director as well as owner of a period tyre manufacturing business.

His love of all things mechanical goes way back. “My dad built me a car when I was seven. I had a Dinky model of a 1912 Mercer Raceabout and he made me a petrol-engined one,” recalls Julian. “My dad was very hands-on and I was always helping him.”

Fuad Majzub was a successful businessman and car enthusiast, splitting his time between Tehran and England. In the early 1970s he sent his son to school in England. At about the same time he bought the Pacey-Hassan from Peter Morley, who wanted to trade up to the Napier-Bentley. The successful ex-Brooklands racer was a one-off built by Wally Hassan for EW Pacey. Created in 1936, it won the BRDC Gold Star and finished second in the 500 Mile race at Brooklands.

The car survived the war hidden with the earlier Barnato-Hassan racer. After buying it in 1974, Fuad got to know Hassan well and they worked together on the car.

Julian, meanwhile, started competing as soon as he had a driving licence: “I just took a car out of the garage and went!” Veteran VSCC official Tony Bird, a family friend, was detailed to keep an eye on Julian while his father was back in Iran.

Majzub Jnr has been racing ever since, frequently in pre-war single-seaters, but the family collection of cars is far wider. “I’ve raced a Porsche 906 and a Brabham BT30, but the 1920s era in a powerful car is the most exciting! Although I haven’t tried everything yet.” He expects to sample a post-war sportsracer this season, most likely a front-engined Chevy car: “I have always fancied a Lister-Chevrolet…”

Despite all the success he has enjoyed with the Pacey-Hassan, Majzub rates his Bugatti T35B as probably his all-time favourite, with a win at Monaco being a highlight.

With the Bugatti out of action following an accident, the Pacey-Hassan was pressed into service four years ago after being on loan to Tim Llewellyn, among others: “I borrowed it back and have won just about everything in the last three years. It’s back on 21-inch wheels, which is how it should be.”

Inevitably, the Pacey competes on the Blockley tyres that Majzub has created for period cars. It’s a topic close to Majzub’s heart, and he is proud of Blockley’s achievements in the past five years. “We’re making tyres up to C and D-type Jaguars now and we really start from the 1920s. I have an engineering background and wanted tyres that look absolutely right and work well.”

The Pacey-Hassan is currently being rebuilt for the new season and should be ready to challenge for a fourth consecutive Itala Trophy victory at the VSCC Silverstone opener. Meanwhile the Bugatti is nearing completion and should be in action at the Klausenrennen in Switzerland in May.

“The Bentley is a lot of fun. I can’t believe how well it handles. But the racing is only part of the whole thing. I like the heritage side, and it all really ends for me in the 1960s. My earliest car is from 1895.

“You only live once, so you’ve got to do the things you want to do!” Ill

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