Did Stirling Moss ever drive a midget??? - this will hopefully start a healthy debate. Ever since obtaining my copy of the Dastle Mk7 brochure and the excellent 1972 colour feature in the Motor magazine I was convinced that Stirling whilst maybe not racing midgets was heavily involved in the publicity for the formula and was indeed interviewed for a BBC Wheelbase programme. A couple of years ago talking to ovaltrack, Richard informed me that he had heard this was a lookalike (which if true was a very good one) and since then after a lot of effort whilst trying to trace some history on my ex-Dennis Jenkinson Dastle Mk3 I received a brief response from Sir Stirling saying he never raced midgets and did not believe Jenks did either. Now with Jenks I had photos verified by his friends and also picked the car up from the current owner of his property so I thing that was fairly conclusive but was it really Stirling in the photos - does anyone know more?
Post by haflinger121 on Dec 31, 2009 13:47:06 GMT 1
This is an interesting thread, Ez. Moss certainly drove 500cc circuit cars, which had a lot of links with midgets, driver-wise, so it is possible. And if this isn't him, I would be interested to know who it is. As you say, if it's a lookalike, it's a darn good one.
As for Jenks, I spoke to him in 1992 shortly before the closure of Aldershot, simply because somebody told me he was a frequent visitor to the track and was really into his oval racing. My conversation with him bore this out, although he never mentioned midgets. Jenks being Jenks though, that may be because I never asked the right question!
Do you know where and when he raced, or did he simply do some testing or practice perhaps?
Jenks did at least one meeting in a Mk 3 Dastle. Other people who drove them include Anthony "Bubbles" Horsley, who actually bought one. Stirling Moss, and Graham Hill both took part in a "Press day" I have photos of Hill driving on, and sitting in one without helmet, and Moss sitting in one. Of the two cars prepared for them, one broke, so only Hill got some proper track time in one. Moss's time was cut short, although I am told (by the owner of one of the cars,) he did do some driving. As the picture shows.
Post by haflinger121 on Dec 31, 2009 14:36:46 GMT 1
I am wondering if this Press Day took place at White City London, shortly before the start of the ill-fated 'Stadium Racing', organised by Tom Barnard. The first such event took place on April 16th 1971. The photo background of Moss certainly looks like White City, although the fence does not. However, in the programme notes it says: "The additional safety rail running around the track this evening was designed by Tom Barnard...and helps deflect cars past the solid uprights". The writer is referring to the normal stock car safety fence.
What's more, the Moss car appears to be bearing the number 2, which if it is would make it Tony Bostock's car, just the sort of person to lend his car out for a celebrity run at a press day.
There is another comment of interest in this programme relating to the use of a Skirrow in the modern era, which I will post in the appropriate thread.
I don't think Stirling Moss ever raced a Midget but I do think that he tested one at that press day rather than being a look-a-like. The MARC guys were all well connected within those circles. Incidentally Alf Boarer was at that test day and he once told me that Graham Hill was one the fastest that day! Whilst on the subject of Midget test days and Alf Boarer - when we did a test day at Arena 15 years or so back, Alf was still quicker than most of the then current drivers - I know that as I was timing them all. Mr Fransella also got the Mk4 Fireball which Ez is selling around pretty rapidly as well.
Incidentally here is a picture of Hill and Moss together with Hill in Cliff Davis's car.
...and now you must excuse me, I need to have my nap...
No Richard, it passed through three other owners before me, I vrefied the chain of ownership with the previous owners, and got visual confitmation from Mr Rumble himself. I have a number of photos from Brian when he owned it. The photo is or its first outing, not yet been raced
Post by haflinger121 on Jan 8, 2010 22:54:09 GMT 1
Pardon me for being a pedantic so-and-so, but I have a couple of observations about these photos. Firstly, do any of you know for sure that these photos were taken at the White City? Because I don't and I was only surmising in my earlier post about where and when it might have been. And was it (the Press Day) to do with Tom Barnard and Stadium Racing?
Also, are we sure that these pix of Hill were both taken on the same day? In the first one he's wearing a shirt and rather flamboyant spotty tie, but in the second he has his trademark polo neck sweater on. It's more than possible that he changed if he was going to drive, and looking at the belts (done up) and crash helmet (definitely Hill's with the Oxford rowing colours on it) hanging from the wing, he's either been driving or is about to.
Apologies for fussing about the details, but such things bother me!