When we tested the Monoposto Genie of Peter Gillett earlier this year it aroused a fair bit of interest in the club’s activities. Now we can add a couple of snippets to cover progress since that test, including the fact that Gillett won the championship … And was then deprived of the title for taking commercial advertising!
Whatever the rights and wrongs of such a decision, and the writer who tested the car certainly never thought of the formula as anything more than enjoyable sport until this professional Formula One-style “stripping-ofhonours” was enacted, the proprietor of the business that originally supplied the car have an interesting story to tell. “Woody” Harris was the proprietor of ADA Engineering, and he sold Gillett the “winning” Car. He also showed us a fine new gadget called th. e corner-weight gauge, which simplified the important task of checking a car’s weight disposition, and spring rates. Since that test a few of the gauges have been sold, including one to the factory people who look after some of the numerous March Formula Three rent-a-drives.
Harris, having established reasonable trade in building engines and general competition preparation (mainly for his own activities) has now sold the business. He intends to return to his native America, though with the useful talent of German language as an additional talent it may be that we will see him back in Europe before long.
Meanwhile Chris Crawford (a team manager of some experience) and privateer sports car specialist Ian Harrower, together with former P & M preparations man Paul Vincent, have taken over the business of ADA Engineering at 58/76 Willow Vale, Shepherds Bush, London W12.
The corner-weight gauge has now been tidied up a little more for production in 20 strong batches at £75 each. However, there was the possibility of some discount being made as the new owners first advertise the ingenious gauge. Aside from this, the workshops are very well equipped on the machine tool side—turning, milling, grinding and a lathe are all part of the company—and there are lock-up garages that could presumably accommodate some formula racing cars next season.
The intention at present is to increase the amount of machining works (particularly cylinder heads) and take in some restoration business, rather like the Lola T70 (allegedly once fitted with a BRM V12!) resting in stripped-out form when we called.
The Things They Say, or Red-Face Department
When BMW GB, introduced their new 7-series saloons to the British motoring press in the South or France, the company announced these models were dearer than the equivalent Mercedes models. On the same day, in London, with exquisite timing, Mercedes increased their prices to more than those of the BMW models. “Although this happened four months ago, and we issued corrections immediately, many of the public still believe our cars arc the dearer,” ruefully confesses BMWs PR Manager, Raymond Playfoot.