Eoin Young's Collector's
Column no. 9
The recent column photograph on pitpass.com of my good self in my prime as
an All Black rugby player (with mild computer enhancement by Mr Editor
Balfe) has aroused worldwide comment, not least from Christopher
Arthur Amon, formerly Grand Prix works driver with Ferrari, Matra
and all points south. He writes: "Very impressed with
the photo of you in action on the field, a credit to you at your
age, which leads me to think that as a family we may be able to assist. Our
son James is doing a degree in sports management with a view to becoming
a personal fitness trainer and so it occurs to me that there could
be two positives were you to engage him as your personal trainer: I'm reasonably
confident that you could use all the help you can get. From
his point of view it would make any project he tackled in the future, seem
like an absolute doddle."
a time of crisis when the highest in the land have their heads together
and hands wringing, trying to come up with a recipe for getting F1
folk to switch on their TV sets again, Peter Renn has been canvassing
members of his Splendid Whizzer Association for ideas that might
be forwarded to Max and Bernie.
suggests that, from a feminine point of view, tyre changes should be effected
as real people have to do them.
changes should be performed by the drivers at the side of the track rather
than in the pits. They should be using a buckled jack, a specially-designed
collapsible jacking point, wheel nuts that have been tightened using an air
wrench set to maximum by some 12-year-old at Kwik-Fit, in the pouring rain;
and whilst wearing a short skirt and high heels. That should sort 'em
out" Quite, Cath.
Roberts goes on to suggest F1 ice racing as an alternative and
to gain all-year competition for the teams who, one assumes, are
leaning on their computerised hoes during the winter off-season
in Europe and would just love to have more work.
Silverstone over. Let's face it, it's been engulfed in torrential downpours
and/or assaulted by a wind that's come straight off the Ural Mountains (via
Snetterton) every time I've been there regardless of the time of year. Any
driver who completes two consecutive laps with an unchallenged lead has to
pull in and let Bernie drive the next five laps. That should make things
less of a Schumacher parade." Thanks, Cath. Bernie will be in touch,
Renn's personal contributions to the Great Debate include:
must be retained because we're told that they are valuable advertising
space for sponsors. OK, but run them the other way up/round,
so that the faster the car goes, the less downforce (and more upforce!)
it delivers. That should test the driver skill/ bravery a bit.
If we can't ban launch/traction control, etc., then OK, keep them,
but Bernie gets the master remote control device (sometimes I
suspect he already has).
Refuelling not outlawed but has to be done at the motorway filling
station nearest to the circuit and paid for by credit card before
To make it a true team sport, all F1 cars have to be two-seaters with
the controls divided between them, thus Schumacher steers while
Barrichello works the pedals (Jean Todt can continue to do everything
Get rid of the overbridge at Suzuka and make it a four-way junction
as in the centre of Bookham.
the British Grand Prix through the centre of Bookham."
readers at the further ends of the world, should know that Mr.
Renn and my good self are based in the Surrey village of Bookham,
and if his Point 6 is taken up by the FIA, I am now registering
my intention to take over the Royal Oak public house for the race
weekend; Gail thinks I already have most days, anyway. No
change there, then.
should know that the aforementioned Mr Renn is the accomplished architect of
this website catalogue as well as being a motoring enthusiast with an XJ6 Jaguar
as his daily driver and an MG Midget for when the sun shines in Surrey. He
is on the tallish side (known as, among other titles 'Two Metre Peter') so
entry to the MG is something of a fold-up operation. His Splendid
Whizzer Association is an international group of like-minded folk with a jealously
guarded membership list. - www.splendidwhizzers.com
had always heard tales of this cantankerous old Kiwi who made a vintage
Indian motorcycle perform amazing feats on the Bonneville salt flats
but I have now discovered the amazing stories of derring-do as Burt
Munro, in his high sixties, was persuading a 1920 Indian to flirt
with 200mph on the historic record making and breaking salt flats! George
Begg, himself a hands-on, can-do motor racing engineer and car-builder
from the southern end of New Zealand (as was Munro) has written a
fascinating biography: "Burt Munro: Indian Legend of Speed."
died in 1978, aged 78, but he is still remembered at Bonneville
as the amazing old guy who lived out of whatever car he had been
able to buy on arrival for $50 or so, and use as a tow car for
his streamlined motorcycle. You should know that Munro
didn't copy accepted aerodynamics; he scooped his shape from
a goldfish, fascinated at its smooth, swift passage around the
ancient Indian seems to have been like the proverbial Maori's axe, having had
several new heads and several new handles but basically he was attacking 1970s
records with a motorcycle that was half a century old. Burt Munro and
Denis Jenkinson would have hit it off well. Both were individualists,
both spoke their mind, and both lived with their machinery. Jenks had
his motorcycles and the odd vintage car chassis in the front room of his cottage
if he wanted to carry on working in the winter. Burt reversed the process
and lived in his double garage, renting out his house to fund his unusual lifestyle
and speed hobby! He did all his own major engine building and repairs,
using whatever came to hand; including a gutter down-pipe at a motel to cast
up a new cylinder for the Indian on one occasion! His blow-ups were almost
as spectacular as his rebuilds.
Sit in on a 1963 interview with Drag News in the U.S.: "First
time today was 183.667 mph. I was taching over 190 when
the rod busted. I was breaking traction and getting a little
valve float and she finally broke the front rod. This shattered
the cylinder and punched the two tappets and guides and push
rods out the front. The cam followed the tappets and guides
so hard that they riveted over and punched out the case. New
ones I'd just made too"
and his bikes didn't always stay together. In 1959 he was racing his
'other' bike, a much-modded Velocette and he challenged some mates to a sprint
around Teretonga circuit. The events were described by Ossie Bullman: There
was a mighty blast from the megaphone exhaust as Burt swept by going at least
20 mph faster than me. His old pudding basin helmet on a light tee shirt,
the old ex army trousers flapping in the wind and the sneakers he always wore
when sprinting. Then the bike veered to the side of the track and Burt,
no stranger to these situations, just bailed out as he knew it would only get
worse if he stayed on the bike. He was right. The bike bounded
30 ft in the air and when it got to the rough side of the circuit, proceeded
to demolish itself with the rear wheel going one way and the rest going the
other. Burt tumbled, skidded and rolled till he eventually came to a
halt with bits of the bike scattered around him. It looked a most horrific
smash. Burt was lying there unconscious, covered in blood, arm broken,
skin off his arms and body, tattered shreds of clothing, split crash helmet
and altogether a right mess. The front of his wrist-watch was even ground
off by the track. After a short time, much to the relief of his friends,
Burt came to, and his first words were "I beat you young buggers", then, "Gee,
my arm hurts. Where's my bike?" He was told "Scattered all over Teretonga
Park, Burt". Burt's reply was: "Well, you two gather up the bits, chuck
them in our truck and take them to your place and Duncan will take me to hospital".
This is a book that was an immediate sell-out at $NZ 50, mainly
because Begg had made it a self-publishing labour of love in
an edition of only 300 copies, a record of an amazing motorsport
person that he had taken upon himself to put between covers. Now
there is a reprint of another 100 copies available from Gavin
Bain at Fazazz, P.O. Box 22-642, Christchurch, NZ. Fax
+64 33 666 244. A recommended read if you can hang in there
until Burt gets to the States for the first time! Jenks
would have loved it. Burt was his sort of bloke.
To read previous
click on the links below:
SCRAPBOOKS and THE EDDIE HALL PHOTO ALBUM MYSTERY
GOODWOOD CIRCUIT REVIVAL 2001
SPRING RACING IN NEW ZEALAND
5. "CHASING THE TITLE"- A 'must-read' book...
HERMANN BEATS THE TRAIN
OLD CAR IMAGININGS
NEW BOOKS, PRESCOTT AND GOODWOOD 2002
FIXING FORMULA ONE
CLASSIC RACERS, FORZA AMON! and COLIN CHAPMAN
MY NEW BOOK... & BERNIE'S NEW BOOK
SELLING AT GOODWOOD AND BUYING AT BEAULIEU
TARGA NEW ZEALAND, BRABHAM ON SCHUMACHER, AMON ON CLARK
IT STILL BEATS WORKING!
PUSHING BUTTONS; F1 DRIVER SHUFFLES
STILL OPEN FOR BUSINESS
EXCITING COLLECTION OF PHOTOGRAPHS IN WARSAW
BERTIE WOOSTER'S SUNBEAM
MY NEW BRUCE McLAREN BOOK
"FORZA AMON" COLLECTOR'S EDITION
DURANT RECORD BREAKING RUN
BARLEY MOW DOWN UNDER
MAN - RELINED
FERRARI FIRST AND LAST
25. SCRIBE'S WALL OF FAME
26. STIRLING OR TAZIO TOPS?
27. LEW NORRIS
28. RARE FERRARI BROCHURES
29. FRANK GARDNER LIVE ON STAGE!
Eoin Young is a
who left a bank job to join Bruce McLaren and help set up his racing
More or less. He arrived in the UK in 1961 as a freelance journalist,
the Formula Junior season with Denny Hulme, joined McLaren in 1962.
director of team. Established Motormedia 1966. Started weekly "Autocar" diary
page in 1967 -- it ran until 1998. Covered CanAm, Indy and GP series.
In 1979 established as a dealer in rare motoring and motor racing books
and ephemera. Still trading with regular lists. Autobiography "It
Beats Working" published in 1996. with its sequel "It Still beats
in 2003. After more than three decades based in the UK he has now returned
to his native New Zealand.
The stock of
books and ephemera is constantly changing.
here to view the current catalogue.