Harvey Postlethwaite was in jokey mood after his Hesketh 308’s first race win
It’s 40 years since Dr Harvey Postlethwaite created the first Hesketh 308 Formula 1 car for James Hunt. It was built in the stable block workshop at Lord Hesketh’s then stately home – now lost to the family – at Easton Neston near Towcester. At the BRDC International Trophy meeting at Silverstone on April 7 that year, James overcame a slipping clutch to score the car’s first win, beating Jochen Mass’s Surtees and ‘Jumper’ Jarier’s Shadow DN3.
Ronnie Peterson (right, with James pursuing) had retired in the latest Lotus 76, the intended replacement for the 72 that so disappointed Team’s race engineers. ‘Doc’ Postlethwaite was pleased as punch with the new Hesketh’s performance in James’s hands and I believe it was after that race meeting that he told me Hunt’s story about Ronnie Peterson, going into a local chemist’s and asking the assistant if they stocked deodorant.
“Certainly sir”, responded the assistant, “Ball or aerosol?”
In his sing-song Swedish accent, laid-back Ronnie replied, “Yust for my armpits…”