Adenau, Germany, May 27th.
THE A.D.A.C. 1,000-kilometre race, run over 44 laps of the famous Nurburgring, is fast developing a character of its own, in as much as it is becoming a super International Clubman’s event, or stepping-stone for the amateur driver of sports or G.T. cars to branch out into the world of serious motor racing. With its 22 kilometres to the lap the Nurburgring can easily absorb a vast entry of drivers, which this year ranged from World Champion Phil Hill to rank newcomers, and cars from the works Ferraris to Sunbeam Alpines. In the average sports car most of the corners are taken at comparatively low speeds, so that a mistake does not prove too disastrous, except to the bodywork of the car, and of the myriad places where one can spin off it is quite remarkable how many are protected by springy hedges that absorb the kinetic energy of the gyrating car and prevent serious injury. With rain as the main feature of this year’s event there were an incredible number of cars spinning off into the bushes, with very few injuries to record.
On paper this year’s race was a riot, the A.D.A.C. having so many classes and being so undecided about what features of a car decided its category, while the regulations allowed cars that had crashed or retired with mechanical trouble to be able to win their class. The whole affair was most confused and chaotic, but the actual 1,000-kilometre race was its usual self, with 67 cars lined up ready for the Le Mans-type start at 9 a.m. on Sunday morning in a light drizzling rain. There had been two and a half days of practice, during which time all the usual excitement had taken place, with engines being rebuilt, cars re-designed, theories proved or disproved, and few people being quite sure which of the pair of drivers to a car had actually made fastest lap. The A.D.A.C. sensibly line up the cars in order of practice times, sensibly that is except for obvious gaffs like crediting a very mundane B.M.C.-Midget with 10 min. 04.4 sec. which put it among the Ferraris and Porsches. The eleven different class divisions had got slightly out of hand, the Giuliettas with disc brakes on the front being ruled out of the G.T. class and a normal Tipo 61 Maserati, with new bodywork, being accepted as a “Prototype”‘; so, not taking the classes too seriously, it paid to concentrate on the 1,000-kilometre race as an open free-for-all event. The nonsensical situation arrived at regarding Sports cars, G.T. cars and Prototype cars is dealt with more fully in Continental Notes elsewhere in this issue. Apart from the M.G.-Midget the winner was obviously going to come from among the first thirty or so cars in the line-up, and at the head of the line was the 2.4-litre 4-camshaft Dino 246 Ferrari that had won the Targa Florio, being driven this time by Phil Hill/Gendebien, with next to it a 250GT Ferrari of 1962 type, but fitted with a 4-litre V12 engine with three double-choke carburetters that clearly came from a Super-America model. This very potent coupe was in the hands of Mairesse/Parkes, both these cars being factory entries. Next came another exciting coupe, the 2-litre 8-cylinder Porsche, that had run in Sicily and was now driven by Gurney/Bonnier, and this was followed by the 2.6-litre V8 2-camshaft Ferrari in the hands of P. Rodriguez/R. Rodriguez, in all cases the first-named driver being the one to start the race. Another 2-litre flat 8-cylinder Porsche followed, this being an open Spyder model, with G. Hill/Herrmann, and the old Aston Martin DBR1/300 of the Essex Racing Team with McLaren/ Maggs. Alongside this now vast, front-engined old sports car was a diminutive green car which had put in a practice lap at 9 min. 48.9 sec., which compared well with the Hill/Gendebien fastest practice lap of 9 min. 25.5 sec. Entered by the Essex Racing Team,. this little green car was a Lotus 23 rear-engined sports car with a special Lotus engine comprised of a 2 o.h.c. alloy cylinder head, with twin Weber carburetters, on a Ford block of 1.5-litres capacity. The camshafts were driven by rollerchain from the front of the crankshaft, and the inlet manifolds were east as part of the cylinder head, the engine being coupled to an inverted VW gearbox housing containing a Hewlan 5-speed gear cluster, as used on Lotus Juniors. This special Lotus-developed engine, which is intended for a production sports car later on this year, was giving 100 b.h.p. and being run as an endurance test of a production unit rather than a pure racing engine, but there was sufficient power to couple with the remarkable road-holding of the Lotus 23 for the two works drivers Clark/Taylor to surprise a lot of people in practice.
Next to the tiny Lotus was the first homologated G.T. car, to count for the 1962 F.I.A. Manufacturers’ Championship, this being the black-and-white 1962 Ferrari 250GT of Scarlatti/Ferraro, which had won the Championship round for Ferrari in the Targa Florio. Two Swiss drivers with a private and extremely well-driven RS61 Porsche were next, these being Walter/Muller, and then the fourth works Ferrari entry, the 2-litre V6 singlecamshaft rear-engined car with Bandini/Baghetti. The out-of-place “Spridget” was next, followed by the Abate/Vaccarella Ferrari V12 front-engined 3-litre sports car that won this year’s Sebring 12 Hours, and belongs to the Scuderia Venezia. Three G.T. Ferraris were next in line, the first a brand new production one for Maglioli/Kochert, then two old privately owned ones, Nocker/Seidel and Bergen/”Elde.”
For an apparently important International event the quality of the runners was now beginning to wear a bit thin, for many were obsolete cars, only placed so well because there was a shortage of new Sports and G.T. cars, many Porsche Carrera Abarths being almost as out-of-date as some Lotus models. However, mention can be made of the Hobbs/Attwood Lotus Elite with Hobbs transmission, which was well placed, and the two tiny bright yellow Lotus 23 cars of the Ian Walker team. These were standard production rear-engined cars, with Cosworth-Ford engines, both immaculately prepared and beautifully driven by Hawkins/Ryan and Ashdown/Johnston, having recorded practice times of 10 min. 35.1 sec. and 10 min. 36.1 sec., respectively, which put to shame many G.T. Ferraris, Porsche Carreras, E-type Jaguars and 2-litre Morgans. Although there was a shortage of new material in the overall picture, there was quite a bit in the smaller classes at the end of the line, such as the two factory Panhards, which were very honest prototype G.T. cars, one with steel body, the other with fibre-glass, and the very odd-looking twin-o.h.c. 704-c.c. Bonnet-Renault Le Mans car, with rear engine and most complex shaped body. There was the latest, and flattest, in rear-engined sports Elvas with Climax engine and inverted VW gearbox, two Abarth 1000 coupes and the rear-engined Deep Sanderson, with B.M.C.-Mini engine/gearbox unit.
With drizzling rain falling over the pits area the flag was dropped and McLaren led off in the old Aston Martin, soon to be passed by Clark with the 1.5-litre Lotus 23. Just before the start there had been a scrabble by some teams, notably Ferrari and Porsche, to change some of their cars to various types of tyre more suited to the wet, so that when some drivers ran across to their cars they found mechanics still changing wheels, Bandini getting into his car while it was still jacked up at the front. The V8 Ferrari was reluctant to fire, and due to the wheel-changing comedy some cars found themselves boxed in, but the first to move were able to get clear, these having been McLaren and Clark. The opening lap was a scream for Clark took the lead before the North Curve and had a clear run down to Adenau, while the rest of the field had the big Aston Martin in the way all down through the twisty bits.
Clark made full use of the situation and finished the opening lap 28 sec. ahead of the next car, which was Gurney in the 8-cylinder Porsche coupe, followed by the 4-litre G.T. Ferrari, the open 8-cylinder Porsche, the 2.4-litre Dino Ferrari, the Aston Martin, and the rest of the runners who never even saw which way the Lotus 23 had gone. Conditions on the opening taps were anything but suitable for a large powerful car, for it was raining on some parts of the circuit and dry on others, and Clark did not miss his opportunity, the little Lotus having just sufficient power for the conditions, and handling beautifully. To say that Clark ran away and hid from the rest of the field, with a clear road in front of him, would be an understatement, for his lead increased by as much as 16 sec. a lap until it was 101 sec. after seven laps. The other 66 runners were having an orderly and proper race, coming by at regular intervals or in groups and all running to form, Gurney still leading Mairesse in the big G.T. Ferrari, with Graham Hill in the open 8-cylinder Porsche holding off Pedro Rodriguez, Abate and Phil Hill in assorted Ferraris. Leading the F.I.A. part of the race, for homologated G.T. cars, was Maglioli with the red Ferrari coupe, ahead of Scarlatti and Nocker. The yellow Lotus 23 of Hawkins/Ryan was already in trouble with overheating, and on lap five, as the Sun shone for a brief moment, Pedro Rodriguez spun off into a ditch. On the next lap Scarlatti crashed the black-and-white G.T. Ferrari and Gregory brought Casner’s Maserati Tipo 61 into the pits boiling merrily. On the seventh lap Clark put in a lap at 9 mm. 46.3-sec. and had already lapped nearly half the field, but his lead had now stopped increasing, for with the road drying rapidly the more powerful cars were able to get into their stride. Phil Hill turned 9 min. 34.4 sec. and followed this with 9 min. 31.9 sec., so that he passed Abate and Graham Hill, took fourth place overall and was gobbling up Clark’s lead, as were Gurney and Mairesse now that conditions were better. Abate run into the back of a Giulietta with the big Venezia V12 Ferrari and both cars were badly bent, and some of the more elderly cars were falling by the wayside.
As well as no longer having weather conditions to help him, Clark was now being troubled by exhaust fumes, for the tail-pipe had broken off, and also the gear-lever kept jumping out of gear. Mairesse passed Gurney, using the sheer power of the 4-litre Ferrari engine, and Phil Hill was close behind them, all three being only 54 sec. behind the Lotus..on lap 10. On the next lap the lead was reduced to 42 sec. and it was now just a matter of time before the cheeky little Lotus was caught. Gurney camp in after it laps for fuel and to hand over to Bonnier, and shortly after starting his 12th lap Clark went off the road, so that when the others passed him he as lying on the grass recovering from the exhaust fumes. Once too often the Lotus had jumped out of gear on the over-run and, being somewhat dazed by the exhaust fumes, Clark was not quick enough in correcting the slide he got into and on full opposite lock he went over a small bank and into the shrubbery. Mairesse was now leading briefly but he stopped for fuel and to hand over to Parkes next time round, as did Graham Hill for Herrmann to take over, and Phil Hill went by into the lead. At the end of one lap in the lead Hill stopped at the pits, refuelled, and Gendebien was away before Parkes was in sight with the 4-litre G.T. Ferrari. Bandini brought the 2-litre Ferrari in for a routine stop while lying fourth and the car went no farther as it was found that the sump was cracked, so McLaren became fourth for a brief moment, until passed by Herrmann. While Bandini’s car was being investigated Maglioli stopped for fuel in the leading G.T. Ferrari, and a complete failure of the starter motor meant that Kochert did not get a drive and the car had to be abandoned, which let the Nocker/Seidel car take the Championship lead. Cars were retiring in all directions at this point, Berger crashing badly with the E.N. Beige G.T. Ferrari, the M.G.-Midget breaking a stub axle and crashing, and Porsche Carreras and Abarth 1000s dropping out with mechanical troubles.
As a race the whole affair was now virtually over for the 2.4-litre Ferrari was quite untouchable. no matter whether Phil Hill or Gendebien were at the wheel, and they toured round at their own speed, only losing the lead briefly to the 4-litre G.T. Ferrari when they stopped for fuel, tyres, or driver changes, regaining the lead as soon as it was the turn of the G.T. car to make a pit stop. Although both 8-cylinder 2-litre Porsches were running perfectly they were unable to catch the Ferraris, but were an ever-present menace and by half-distance, which was 22 laps, the old Aston Martin was the only car on the same lap as the works Ferraris and Porsches, but by lap 25 it too had been lapped. The open 8-cylinder Porsche was not keeping up with its team-mate or it had been fitted with SP rain tyres just before the start and had lost a lot of time having these changed for racing tyres when the track dried, only for rain to fall again and call for another change of tyres, whereupon the rain stopped again! On racing rain tyres the handling in the dry is unaffected but on normal SP tyres in the dry the car handled rather like a jelly, so that Porsches should have left both cars on racing rain tyres.
Amongst the remainder of the field it was becoming a question of the survival of the fittest and among the fittest was the Lotus 23 Cosworth-Ford of Peter Ashdown/Bruce Johnstone, for they were both driving very nicely and consistently, and were steadily working their way up the list, being 10th overall at half-distance. The second Ian Walker car had broken its head gasket, had a new one fitted, but the head had warped and this one went as well. The Hobbs/Attwood Elite which was just behind the Ashdown/Johnstone Lotus 23 also went out with overheating, this fast car having a new nose with smaller aperture than the normal Elite. The Lawrence-tuned Morgans were plagued with starter-motor troubles, their Mini-Special Deep Sanderson fell off the road, Lumsden’s E-type went out with rear suspension breakage, and the Elva ruined its engine. Of those that did not drop by the wayside some were going incredibly slowly and others were still racing, these being two German-driven Porsche Carreras that were only a few yards apart the whole time, including pit stops, in their dual for second place in their class.
In the closing stages of the race there was a brief moment of excitement when Parkes was in the 4-litre G.T. Ferrari in second place and Bonnier was in the 2-litre 8-cylinder coupe Porsche, and it was seen that Bonnier was closing up on the Ferrari, but it did not last for long; in spite of the rain Parkes opened out the big V12 Ferrari when his pit gave him the news and he just motored away and two laps later, on the 43rd lap with one to go poor Bonnier came to rest out on the circuit with a broken gearbox, so that team-mates Hill and Herrmann took over third position.
A rather dull race was made positively tedious by the A.D.A.C., when at the end they awarded a victory in the 2-litre sports-car class to the Ashmore/Carnegie Elva, as it was the last one in the class to retire; Bonnier/Gurney (Porsche’) were awarded second place in their class even though the car was derelict out on the circuit, and the organisers refused to publish an overall classification, saying that Hill/Gendebien won the 3-litre Sports Class, Mairesse/Parkes the 4-litre Prototype Class, Nocker/Seidel the Class III F.I.A. G.T. Class, Linge/Barth the Class II F.I.A. G.T. Class, and so on. From all this confusion I append my own interpretation of the results of the VIII 1,000-kilometre race on the Nurburgring believing as I do that a car must finish to be placed. Strangely enough it was only the second time Ferrari has won the race, the other occasion being in 1953 when Ascari / Farina won with a 4.5-litre Ferrari.-D.S.J.
1st: P. Hill / O. Gendebien (Ferrari Dino 246 V6) – 44 laps – 7 hr. 33 min. 27.7 sec. – 132.6 k.p.h.
2nd: W. Mairesse / M.Parkes (Ferrari G.T. exp. 4-litre) – 44 laps – 7 hr. 35 min. 49.2 sec.
3rd: G. Hill / H Herrmann (Porsche 8 cyl. RS62) – 44 laps – 7 hr. 42 min. 24.6 sec.
4th: B. McLaren / A. Maggs (Aston Martin DBR1/300) – 42 laps – 7 hr. 41 min. 38.0 sec.
5th: P. Nocker / W.Seidel (Ferrari 250GT) – 41 laps – 7 hr. 36 min. 05.5 sec.
6th: E. Barth / H. Linge (Porsche Carrera Abarth) – 41 laps – 7 hr. 37 min. 00.9 sec.
Exit the Elite
Most sizes of Dunlop’s Elite car tyres are to be withdrawn from car tyres are to the range.
Although the Elite was, in its time, far ahead of any other tyre on the market in its class, embodying the most advanced cling rubber available in a normal production tyre, and with many high quality features of design and construction, the rapid advances of the last few years, especially in synthetic rubber technology, have reduced its lead.
The introduction of the standard-priced Dunlop Gold Seal C41 tyre, with its high grip rubber, advanced tread pattern and safety shoulder, means that the Elite no longer offers a big enough advantage, for most cars, to justify its extra cost. It is therefore withdrawn from the range in all sizes except those for Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars (8.20-15 and 8.90-15) where it has been exceptionally successful and where the demand for it is likely to continue.
Corgi introduced last month an Oldsmobile Super 88 Sheriff’s car (No. 237, 4.5 in. long, 4s. 11d.), a fine Ford Thunderbird 4-seater hard-top (No. 214S, 4 in.. long, 4s.) and a Ford Thunderbird open sports car, with moulded detachable driver (No. 215S, 4 in. long, 4s. 4d.). Dinky Toys have brought out two realistic TV vehicles, an A.B.C. Mobile Control Room (Dinky Supertoy No. 987, 12s. 6d.) and an A.B.C. Transmitter Van (Dinky Supertoy No. 988, 7s. 6d.). These are provided, respectively, with detachable camera and scanning aerial. There is also a Leyland Atlantean rear-engined ‘bus for those who collect public service miniatures (Dinky Toy No. 292, 7s. 11d.).
Lesney Products’ most recent contributions to the enormous field of transport in miniature are ” Matchbox ” reproductions of a Muir-Hill rear dumper (Matchbox Series No. 2, 2 in. long, 1s. 9d.) and a Whitlock Dinkum Dumper (Matchbox Series Major Pack No. M-10 over 4 in. long, 3s. 3d.). The dump buckets are fully working and the Dinkum Dumper articulates; the scale is to 00-g. Finally, Lines Bros. Ltd. have a Jaguar E-type coupe to 1/42nd-scale in their “Spot-On” series, the bonnet of which opens to reveal a twin-cam engine, the price of which is 6s. 9d.-W.B.
Autobooks of Brighton can supply for 5s. post free copies of the programme of the Rolls-Royce and Bentley Blenheim Palace Rally. They also offer reproductions, indistinguishable from the original, of 1911 and 1931 Bugatti Sales Catalogues, for 30s. and 37s. 6d. each (the two for 60s.).
Recent A.B.C. publications include guides to Midland Red ‘buses and coaches, Yorkshire ‘bus fleets (2s. 6d. each), and David Kaye’s “Veteran and Vintage Public Service Vehicles,” which describes in rather general terms, and illustrates, existing ‘buses, trains and coaches (5s.). (Ian Allan Ltd., Hampton Court, Surrey.)
Alfa Romeo, Inc., of 233, Johnson Avenue, Newark, New Jersey, U.S.A., have issued an illustrated booklet of Alfa Romeo racing history, and Mercedes-Benz Sales, Inc., of South Bend 27, Indiana, have issued an exact copy of a brochure published in New York in 1906 on the 45-h.p. American Mercedes.
The Bugatti O.C. is planning an International Bugatti Rally for 1963.