As usual, I thoroughly enjoyed reading latest (December) issue of Motor Sport, I’d like to point out that the photograph of Elites in the feature about Colin driving is not that of Colin and Jim Clark the 1958 Boxing Day Brands Hatch Jim’s Elite (or, rather, mine) was white none of the pre-production Elites had so this was of a later year’s race. And apart a race at Sebring, they didn’t race against others in Elites on any other occasion.
However, it was Bill Boddy’s story Laurie Bond’s three-wheeler which me the most In the mid 1950s there was, course, a plethora of a three-wheeled cars, which were not exactly the most inspiring wheels to drive.
But there was a four-wheel microcar which really was a miniature three-box copy of a full-sized car — the Goggomobil.
I had the misfortune to demolish not only my DKVV Sonderklasse but, equally comprehensively, my right knee. I had my leg in plaster for four or five months and, because I lived on my own, needed something to get me about. I spotted the `Goggo’ and realised the seat was so nearly level with the floor that I could, with it right back, sit in with my leg straight out and move my whole body back and forward to operate the pedals.
It had a 360cc air-cooled two-stroke twin in the rear ‘box’, driving the rear wheels through a lovely unsynchronised four-speed crash gearbox without reverse. If you wanted to backup, you switched the engine off and turned the key the other way, which started the engine rotating the opposite way — giving you four gears in reverse. It was good for 60mph, handled remarkably well and — long before the Mini arrived — was a hoot to drive.
I leant it one day to Jim Clark for an MG Car Club driving test He cleaned up. He could handbrake turn in a box only inches wider than the car’s length, which was somewhat quicker than everyone else who had to change gear! And he was incredibly quick in reverse ‘top’.
On another occasion, I was at a Young Farmers’ Club meeting and — on my crutches — let everyone leave the hall before me. Imagine my chagrin when I got out to the car park to find it empty — except for the Goggo, hanging from the railings! Ever tried lifting a car off the top of railings with one leg in plaster? It’s not ezractly easy.
Jim and some of his friends had scarpered and were waiting up the road, with their lights out, to see what I would do. They must have been close enough to hear me swearing, because eventually they came back, roaring their heads off, to lift it off.
I’ve often thought it was a pity they stopped making this pocket rocket.
I am, Yours etc, Ian Scott Watson, Greenlaw, Berwickshire