I feel I must respond to the item on page 91 of the July issue of Motor Sport headed ‘Not Every Seed Flowered’. The part relating to JBS may not be correct, as it differs from the information given to me by my father, who made all the body panels for the JBS cars.
I have a photograph of JBS number 1 taken in front of the body repair workshop of Ward & Co in Manfred Road, Putney, in 1949. You may be correct in stating that ‘a new model was created in 1950’, as I do not know exactly which month the photograph was taken in.
I remember my father telling me that Alf Bottoms had been killed in practice for the Luxembourg Grand Prix in 1951 when a spectator ran across the track. His father wound up the workshop at Feltham and very little further work was carried out on JBS cars.
At a 500 Club meeting at Brands Hatch I spoke to the owner of one of the cars. He told me he still had all its original panels, and that the club knew the whereabouts of 11 of the 13 JBS cars.
Perhaps in the future you could do an article giving more details of the pioneering ‘special’ builders who played a major part in the post-war years of motor racing. Who knows, if Alf had lived, Cooper might have had a worthy rival.
Colin J F Portsmouth, Cardigan
For the common good
Contrary to your article ‘Venturi Capitalists’ in July, the Brabham BT46B ‘fan car’ was not banned after the 1978 Swedish GP, and Gordon Murray has a letter from the FIA stating that it was in fact legal.
Instead, Bernie Ecclestone, team manager and owner of Brabham, decided that it was better to sacrifice the short-term advantage of the ‘fan car’ than to compromise the Formula One Constructors’ Association of which he was president, and withdrew the car from active service. This was a wise move in light of the FOCA/FISA wars of 1980-81.
Darren Galpin, Bristol
A flying Scot
Prompted by your Jackie Stewart In The Hot Seat feature last month, I found myself recalling 1961 when I used to take photographs at Charterhall’s Lodge Corner. In those days I didn’t have a pass, and on the slowing-down lap I used to thumb a lift back to the paddock with Jackie and his Marcos.
At Queensferry sprint, a couple of Lotus drivers were complaining that the Marcos must have an oversize engine, but I advised them to watch Jackie through the Farm complex. After that they knew why his times were so fast!
Jackie appeared at a meeting at RAF Ouston in Northumberland, driving an E-type. I think it was 1963. During his 10-lap race he had to pit with an ignition problem, yet still won
Charlie Harrison, Northumbria
Point and squirt
Your report on the Mille Miglia Retrospective (Around the Tracks, June 2004) makes the event sound like a real regularity run. Since the entrants are told to the second what their arrival time at each checkpoint is, the real contest is who can accelerate over a very short distance and hit the line at exactly their designated arrival time. By comparison to a real regularity run, this is positively Mickey Mouse.
Steve Snyder, Santa Rosa, California
Time for tea
I was at Aintree on the Friday of the British Grand Prix in 1961 and caught Wolfgang von Trips resting after setting the fastest time. I bought him a cup of tea and said, “Today tea, tomorrow champagne”. He signed my programme and, gracious as ever, said, “I have written my phone number for you — next time you’re in my country come and have tea.”
Sadly, it was not meant to be.
David Greeney, Auckland, New Zealand