Belts and braces

Kudos on your recent article about the 1967 Le Mans 24 Hours. Any article that celebrates an all-American triumph will resound in this household, especially when Messrs Gurney and Foyt are involved.

That said, I fear you missed an item that was crucial to their victory. As I understand it, when the KarKraft personnel unveiled the Ford Mk IV, the Carroll Shelby crew (which had marshalled the GT40 from failure to success) looked at the rear-opening engine cover and immediately questioned the design. It stayed that way, though, on a car good for 220mph on the Mulsanne Straight.

After the McLaren/Donohue car lost said cover at speed, I understand that Phil Remington and others of the Ford pit crew surrendered the belts from their pants and affixed them to the engine cover to ensure it stayed in the proper place — which it did. This mod might also have been performed on the McLaren/Donohue car after its incident. This would qualify the Mark IV as the last Le Mans winner with leather straps — or, in this case, belts — holding the bonnet closed. It also stands as a tribute to the late, great Phil Remington. Norman E Gaines Jr, New York, USA