I recently attended the memorial service for W E ‘ Wilkie’ Wilkinson in the village of Folkingharn, Lincolnshire.
I lived just across the road from him, and my father, who helped in the grounds of his house from time to time, told him that I was very interested in motorsport. Soon I was invited over for a chat Wilkie’s lovely wife Dorothy had kept everything printed about him in scrapbooks and he later used these in writing his autobiography. Wilkie was very good to a very ordinary chap like me.
I remember standing with him in a large outhouse/garage at his home surrounded by BRMs. (The end had come at BRM and the cars were to be sold.) He pointed out a packing case. “In here,” he said, “is a V16 in pieces.” BRM had asked him to take it to the USA and sell it. Thankfully, this didn’t happen and I believe it is now assembled and in the Donington Collection.
As we came to the very complicated H16, he said he did not think it was a good idea. His suggestion was to scale up the V8 1.5-litre to three litres. The result would have been an engine not unlike the Cosworth DFV.
Mr B Wylie was so right (Letters, October): ‘Wilkie’ was very much one of a rare breed.
I am, Yours etc,
Gordon Tyler ,Grantham,Lincolnshire