A Change of Heart

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The 1979 built Dino Ferrari, which caused such a rumpus at the Easter Monday round of the Lloyds and Scottish Championship, will have been seen again on the circuits by the time this issue of Motor Sport is published. In view of the large number of articles and letters generated by this car in particular, and the whole question of eligibility in general, we feel we should re-produce, in full, the ruling of the Historic Committee of the RAC British Motorsports Council which made it possible for the 1979 Dino to compete again.

We sympathise with the Historic Committee in being forced to take this decision through a combination of loosely worded rules and a powerful commercial interest. It is a great pity that what used to be a truly amateur sporting branch of motor racing has now become a battle ground where the spirit of the rules is crushed by the letter. Let us hope that those whose task it is to write the regulations will, one day, succeed in the apparently impossible job of making the letter accurately reflect the spirit of the rules. PHJW

Historic Commitee ruling

Following the exclusion of the JCB entered Ferrari Dino on Monday 7th April through non-representation of its FIA Vehicle Registration form, the RAC Historic Commitee was asked to consider its eligability in the light of the avilable FIA rules. At presant these sets of rules are under discussion. These are the 1979 rules, the 1980 rules were not published until February, and 1981 rules, one aspect of which the RAC Historic Committee were intending to introduce for 1980 “Under the rules of the International Sporting Code 1980, Chapter XV (stabilisation of the FISA’s decisions), Paragraph 3 states, “The FIA will announce any rules not coming within the scope of championships of Appendix J annually in June. These rules will become effective on a specified date which will not be before the following January 1st. Paragraph 4 states: “No FIA regulations will be issued at any times other than those specified”.

‘Therefore the RAC Historic Commitee reluctantly has to accept that the rules of 1979 were the only ones valid for 1980, and, also that the proposed earlier introduction of the 1981 ‘continuous history’ ruling would be equally over-ruled, the 1981 changes have been published in the FlA Bulletins.

The second JCB Dino was built to the 1979 rules in which the relevant paragraph under  Appendix K Title II, sub-section 2, (Determination of date and classified) is 2.1 which states, -The principle to be followed would be the assignation to a vehicle of the actual year of completion of manufacture of that vehicle . . . For post-war II cars, cars built after 1960 will be accepted for International racing provided that their specification is identical in all aspects concerning performance and allowed period changes to those built before 1961, ie engines, gearboxes, suspension. wheels must conform to the 1960 specifications for that model. (It is important that this is correctly described in the vehicle passport form) and any such cars should be double-dated, eg 1960/62 spec.

The purpose of such wording was to allow cars like he AC Ace which continued through 1960 to the same specification. The RAC Historic Commitee expressed concern that the wording allowed 1979/60 to compete but noted that the 1980 rules limited this to ‘one year of grace’.

Thus 1980 rules would allow a car to be built totally from scratch with everything new. Since the second JCB Dino incorporates a number of period parts, engine, transmission, steering box, calipers, dampers, prop-shaft, and it is in every way an exact copy of the 1960 specifications, it is nearer to the spirit of the rules than the letter of the rules would allow. According to Ferrari factory records a second 1960, 2.200 mm chassis Dino 0004 ran at Monaco in 1960, a car to which Mr Bamford has as much a claim since he possesses an engine 0004, although he chose to rebuild his car around engine 0006. Many cars competing today have undergone similar engine changes.

Bearing in mind the hipocrisy of such an invidious decision to exclude this car when other questionable reproductions are already racing, the Historic Commitee agreed that the second Bamford Dino should be accepted to run in 1980 events as a 1979/60 spec car, with a suffix to its chassis number (R1 or similar) and that it will continue to be called a 1979 car until further evidence is forthcoming as to the authenticity of its claim to embody sufficiant period parts, either in the car or as demonstrable spares that have required replacement. This decision to be effective from Monday 22nd June.

“The RAC Historic Commitee would further point out that all cars will require new FIA Identity forms from 1981, and that there is no guarantee that cars accepted before 1981 will contiue to be accepted.”