Having just returned from a trip to Kyalami, I’ve only now picked up my copy of MOTOR SPORT, which I have been taking since 1958. Referring to your article on the Lotus Elite LX: Michael Taylor told me weeks after that terrible weekend that it took him three months and very accurate medication to get back on his feet. After which he sued Colin Chapman over the broken steering on the Lotus 18, won £10,000 damages, and when he received the money, threw a huge party in a hotel in Park Lane, to which Chapman was invited but did not attend!
The Le Mans Sieff accident a week later drew enormous publicity at the time, as the Sieff family were part of Marks & Spencer, and in one of the first Times colour supplements the next morning was a feature explaining in great detail how brilliant surgeons had battled for Sieff’s life in London, obviously with no expense spared. Even so, it was a miracle of the time that he lived.
As you say, Sieff went on to buy Cooper Cars in 1965. In 1967 I was on the Monday morning flight home after the Grand Prix at Monza which Surtees just won for Honda after a brilliant drive by Jim Clark whose car faltered on the last lap due to fuel starvation. Sitting behind me was Jonathan Sieff having a full go at Salvadori, who I think was his team manager at the time, on the performance, or lack of it, of their Cooper-Maserati. The converation lasted all the way to London.
I am, yours, etc. Shaun Perkins, Hove, East Sussex
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