Targa tales




Paul Watson’s letter in the March issue mentions Jackie Epstein’s and my Targa Florio race. The Cooper Monaco was bought from a garage in Daventry; it had been fitted with a Buick engine, but Jackie and I rebuilt it to standard form for the Targa. The late Mike Eyre, then chairman of the 750MC, did all the administration, and after getting route advice from Jenks we three set off for the 1000-mile journey in a Bedford Dormobile with trailer. We then hired a Fiat 1100 for 10 laps practice just to find our way round the circuit.

In the race I started, and handed over to Jackie after two laps. He did the next two, handing back to me for laps five and six. On Jackie’s last stint, just before the finish, the car stopped. He traced the problem, fitted a spare ignition coil carried among the spares, and finished.

The crash Paul Watson mentioned happened in 1964 when we had a Brabham BT8. On Jackie’s practice lap the left rear suspension radius arm let go on the straight near the finish.

That time he did end up in hospital. Jackie and Paul Hawkins ran a Ferrari 250LM in the 1966 event, finishing 24th.

Bill Wilks, Bourton, North Dorset