The "Romulus" Controversy


May I say that I am a little Surprised at the stand Motor Sport appears to be taking on the question of running Bira’s famous ERA “Romulus” in VSCC races? I refer to D.S.J.’s comments in his European letter in the August issue that “Romulus” should not have been “dragged into club racing” and “hacked round Silverstone in company with a lot of well-meaning amateurs.” I am too young to remember ERAs racing in anger so am grateful for the opportunity to witness the awesome spectacle of the next best thing—racing in enthusiasm. Surely this is better than gentle asthmatic demonstration laps for showing today’s spectators how the former great drivers appeared before their public?

My early memories of motor racing are of the Moss-Hawthorn-Collins era and occasionally I love to recall the sight, sound and even smell of Maserati 250Fs and the like driven in the manner which their designers intended. I do not find that this detracts from the respect and admiration I had for my boyhood heroes, even when viewed in context with today’s heroes and lap times. Certainly I would not wish to deny anyone of this experience just because I have been fortunate enough to see the “real thing”—that I feel would be snobbery in the extreme. Finally, as “Romulus” was part of the racing team privately owned and run by the wealthy Princes Bira and Chula, then strictly speaking were they not also “well-meaning amateurs”?

W. Ealing J. K. MARTIN