I much enjoyed The Story of Diva (Motor Sport, April 1987) since Don Sim (and Yimkin) were responsible for the first Mini that I raced in 1961.
I well remember arriving outside Yimkin’s premises in Cadogan Lane, where Don was working, in the road, on a Mini which belonged, as I recall, to Marsh Midda. Don showed me the car as a come-on to doing business, and described Midda’s car as “in the nature of being a bit experimental”. By these words, redolent of “works backing” and “prototypes” to my youthful mind, I was completely convinced, among the likes of Jonathan Williams (with whom I was sharing a flat), John Aley, Jackie Oliver and Christabel Carlisle.
I think Don has got his dates a bit wrong, since I recall him being associated with Yimkin throughout most of 1961, while developing his links with Tunex, who built a not very successful Austin Healey Sprite for me in 1962. At that stage I got close to racing a Diva (before the Sprite was ready) but a couple of laps of the Brands Hatch Paddock convinced me that it would be all too easy for my size 10s to press all three pedals at the same time.
Don also fails to remind us of his Yimkin co-director, one Mrs Herbert, a lady of strong, even robust temperament, who always wore a hat that would not have been out of place at a Tory Party Conference.
Happy Days! Cheap too!
Sheridan Thynne, Williams GP Engineering, Didcot, Oxfordshire