Donington Motor Racing

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Sir,

Thanks for D.S.J.’s article on Donington. Arising therefrom I might make two points:

(1) The engine from Reg Parnell’s K3 was not purchased in toto by Harry Crown, of Burbank, California, merely the twin-cam head, a McEvoy/Pomeroy inspiration if I remember correctly. Harry Crown had three K3s at the time, some twenty years ago—an early Milk Miglia-type, 1(3008, and two later long-tailed cars one of which was 1(3022—and the head went on one of these.

(2) Norman Wilson went home to South Africa on the outbreak of war, joined the SAAF, became an air gunner and lost his life in the desert.

Reverting to Donington, I well remember the early days of the Ford Specials of Cuth Harrison and Stancer-Beaumont, and the little Austins of Stephenson and Turner_ In those days it was fun.

The most awesome memory I have of motor racing is of the Auto-Union of Nuvolari hurtling out of Holly Wood, thundering through the curves down the hill to the socalled Hairpin Bend, front wheels seldom pointing in the direction he wanted to go, nearside wheels on the grass shortly before the Hairpin to pass an ERA thrown off his line by the camber at Hairpin, blasting under the Stone Bridge and into Coppice Wood and out of sight.

The sound of a well-driven Type 51 Bugatti ascending Prescott is a virtuoso rendering of sheer music: a close formation of 51s through Holly Wood was a symphony. The sound of Bill Everitt’s Q-type accelerating away from the Hairpin always seemed unique. Today, it would be worth travelling far to hear a V16 BRM going around the circuit.

I look forward to seeing the cars of yesteryear go motor-racing at Donington; but certainly never again shall we see the Donington spectacle of 1937 and 1938.

Deene Park ARTHUR RUSLING