I have an apology to make. In my letter (published in the January issue) I cast doubt on the authenticity of the photo of the Elites in the December feature about Colin Chapman.
Tony Bancroft (whose AC Ace is lying third in the photo) has written to me pointing out — quite correctly — that the photo was of that memorable Boxing Day 1958 race at Brands Hatch, albeit misleadingly captioned: No57 is Chapman, ahead of Mike Costin and Tony — but Jim is sufficiently far ahead of ‘The Guv’nor’ to be out of the picture.
One indelible memory is of walking through the paddock and overhearing Colin and Mike having a right old argument as to who was to cross the line first, both claiming their respective wives had insisted it was to be their last race, and both wanting to be assured of that last win.
A few yards further on, I saw a row of bookies’ stands offering ‘Evens’ for Chapman, 3/1 for Costin and 10/1 for Clark. Knowing Jim as I did, and irrespective of the fact that it was his first race at Brands, and that we’d just picked up the car new from Colin Bennett (Lotus sales manager at the time) just three hours earlier at our Mayfair hotel, I popped half-a-crown on him. It was this which probably sealed his fate in that race, knowing my luck with bookies!
I am, Yours etc, Ian Scott Watson, Greenlaw, Berwickshire