Reader's Letters, December 1995

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In Camera

Sir,
For the improvement in general of the current fiasco called Formula One, I suggest that Schumacher and Hill are locked in a room at some remote location and left to attack each other, verbally or otherwise, whilst the rest of us try to enjoy some motor racing again.
Ian Bolton,
Aylesbury, Bucks.

Man Mis-management

Sir,
The article A Sore Loser on Damon Hill made some very pertinent points.
What it did not pursue was just why Messrs Williams and Head have been so consistently unsupportive to their driver over the year. There is no doubt at all that Williams’ man-management has done almost as much to help Schumacher win the title again, as have Benetton themselves. They have in fact wrecked Hill’s confidence for no good reason at all.
Finally of course there is the matter of persistently wrong race tactics and strategies, messed up pitstops, wheels coming off and so on stretching back years and years. What a pity Hill did not go to Ferrari or even Benetton, where they actually appreciate their drivers winning. As for Renault they must be really happy that for the third time since 1992, they will have no reigning world champion driving for them next season.
Congratulations Frank and Patrick, your best effort yet!
Paul Parker,
Bishops Stortford, Herts.

Rally Round-up

Sir,
While I enjoyed the article by ASDC on the Angoulème weekend, I was surprised that you failed to mention the result of the rally event. This was quite a significant run of some 82 miles and, although not of a very technical nature, it required persistence and a little acumen to complete correctly.
The winner was Tim Stiles, better known as a tuner of modern VW and Audi cars, in his 1930 Austin Seven Special.
Hugh Mackey,
Weston-Super-Mare, Avon.

Thank you, John Day

Sir,
I was most interested to read your article on John Day.
I started making and collecting model racing cars a little over 15 years ago and whilst there have been many improvements in that time in the detail and accuracy of models, I still find that ID kits, which are increasingly difficult to find, give me the greatest satisfaction. Yes, you’ve guessed it, I’m the sort that goes to swap meets and frequently returns empty-handed, but someday…
Perhaps I am not a typical collector; I don’t really care that 25 years of progress, improved tooling and modelling techniques have resulted in more accurately sized or even additional bonnet louvres; to me it is the overall effect of a model that is important. I will however admit to cheating occasionally as a modern set of wheels certainly enhances many of the models that I have.
Many of my ID models have not been surpassed, and those that have are frequently very expensive limited editions. Yes, with a microscope you can see a few more rivets, and the radiator grille is real mesh, but then we’re talking of a significant cost difference (from around £10 to £150) and none of the pleasure of making it yourself.
I was not aware of the reasons why John Day stopped manufacturing, or indeed what had happened to him and even whether he was still alive, and my purpose in writing is to say a big “thank you” to John, on behalf of myself and probably many others like me, as it was his kits which originally encouraged me into the world of modelling all those years ago.
D B Smith,
Surrey.

2 + 2 Cams

Sir,
As a satisfied subscriber to Motor Sport since the early 1950s, I have long learned to respect the accuracy of your reporting and to take for granted the almost pedantic attention to even the most minute detail you have always admirably displayed.
I must, therefore, respectfully draw your attention to a misleading comment made by M L C in the September issue Classic Quartet Supplement. He refers to the Dino 246GT coming of age in 1973 with the advent of the all-new V8 engine when the first production run of the GT4 “indicating a four seater” was produced.
Wrong. In 1973 the Bertone-bodied Dino 308 GT4 2 +2 was first available, the 3-0 indicating 3-litres 12926ca the 8 for the number of cylinders, the GT for Gran Turismo, but the 4 is for the number of camshafts (two x twin-cam banks), with the 2 + 2 signifying the seating arrangement, albeit two-plus-two halves would be a shade more accurate. The prefix Dino was subsequently dropped in 1977; the car was then titled Ferrari 308 GT4 2 + 2 and remained in production as such until 1980.
Having raced, sprinted and hilIclimbed one of these wonderful cars for some six years in the 1980s I can confirm the best pounds spent-to-pleasure gained ratio of any car I have had the privilege of owning. I graduated to a 512BB some eight years ago; now that’s a car and an experience, if you please, but a different pleasure and an entirely different expense.
Frank Batt (Vice-Pres FOC),
Gerrards Cross, Bucks.

Hotel History

Sir,
I am currently researching the history of the Glenridding Hotel at Ullswater and would like to request the help of your readers in tracing information, memorabilia and photographs from its past.
I am particularly interested in two episodes in the hotel’s past. First, Donald Campbell used the hotel as his base for his first water speed record on Ullswater in 1955.
Unfortunately Coniston is most commonly linked with Campbell, but it was in fact at Ullswater that Campbell became the first man to exceed 200mph on water. Memories, old photographs, letters etc relating to the Campbell family during their time at Ullswater and the hotel would be gratefully received. The Glenridding Hotel also used to have one of Donald Campbell’s steering wheels from Bluebird on display, and I would love to trace the wheel’s present whereabouts.
Lorna Dobson (Mrs),
Penrith

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