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Re: [Marlboro_Raceway] Fairthorpe

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  • dgreimel@comcast.net
    Dave Sisson raced a black Electron a few times while working at BK Foreign Car Clinic in Bethesda.  It never did much but had a nice little Coventry engine.
    Message 1 of 22 , Oct 27, 2010
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      Dave Sisson raced a black Electron a few times while working at BK Foreign Car Clinic in Bethesda.  It never did much but had a nice little Coventry engine.


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Andrew S" <ajyes72@...>
      To: "Marlboro Raceway" <Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Tuesday, October 26, 2010 2:46:01 PM
      Subject: [Marlboro_Raceway] Fairthorpe

      For those of you as baffled as I was at the mention of a Fairthorpe Electron, here is an imformative link.

      http://www.fairthorpescc.com/fscc_fairthorpe_limited.html

      Somehow in all my years of following things automotive this one had escaped me.

      Regards,

      Andrew



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    • Bob
      I owned one in the late 60s when I had a bunch of Climax parts, and considered racing it, but SCCA classified it too high ... EP IRRC! Cheers, Bob
      Message 2 of 22 , Oct 27, 2010
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        I owned one in the late 60s when I had a bunch of Climax parts, and considered racing it, but SCCA classified it too high ... EP IRRC!

        Cheers, Bob

        On 10/27/2010 10:35 AM, dgreimel@... wrote:

        Dave Sisson raced a black Electron a few times while working at BK Foreign Car Clinic in Bethesda.  It never did much but had a nice little Coventry engine.


        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Andrew S" <ajyes72@...>
        To: "Marlboro Raceway" <Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Tuesday, October 26, 2010 2:46:01 PM
        Subject: [Marlboro_Raceway] Fairthorpe

        For those of you as baffled as I was at the mention of a Fairthorpe Electron, here is an imformative link.

        http://www.fairthorpescc.com/fscc_fairthorpe_limited.html

        Somehow in all my years of following things automotive this one had escaped me.

        Regards,

        Andrew


      • Erskine Kelly
        And, in 1957, in GP, it was unbeatable, IF it stayed together. Was the one you owned originally white - in case it had been repainted? Rick Kelly Oklahoma City
        Message 3 of 22 , Oct 27, 2010
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          And, in 1957, in GP, it was unbeatable, IF it stayed together.

          Was the one you owned originally white - in case it had been repainted?

          Rick Kelly
          Oklahoma City
          On Oct 27, 2010, at 11:27 AM, Bob wrote:

           

          I owned one in the late 60s when I had a bunch of Climax parts, and considered racing it, but SCCA classified it too high ... EP IRRC!

          Cheers, Bob

          On 10/27/2010 10:35 AM, dgreimel@... wrote:

          Dave Sisson raced a black Electron a few times while working at BK Foreign Car Clinic in Bethesda.  It never did much but had a nice little Coventry engine.


          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Andrew S" <ajyes72@...>
          To: "Marlboro Raceway" <Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Tuesday, October 26, 2010 2:46:01 PM
          Subject: [Marlboro_Raceway] Fairthorpe

          For those of you as baffled as I was at the mention of a Fairthorpe Electron, here is an imformative link.

          http://www.fairthorpescc.com/fscc_fairthorpe_limited.html

          Somehow in all my years of following things automotive this one had escaped me.

          Regards,

          Andrew




        • Bob
          I recall it being dark blue or black ... the glass body was in good shape but the paint was badly oxidized. Not origiinal color, and it had a couple roll bars
          Message 4 of 22 , Oct 27, 2010
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            I recall it being dark blue or black ... the glass body was in good shape but the paint was badly oxidized. Not origiinal color, and it had a couple roll bars installed and removed.

            I recall I'd be racing against TR3s and Porsches with a 3 speed Ford gearbox.

            Cheers, Bob

            On 10/27/2010 12:46 PM, Erskine Kelly wrote:
            And, in 1957, in GP, it was unbeatable, IF it stayed together.

            Was the one you owned originally white - in case it had been repainted?

            Rick Kelly
            Oklahoma City
            On Oct 27, 2010, at 11:27 AM, Bob wrote:

             

            I owned one in the late 60s when I had a bunch of Climax parts, and considered racing it, but SCCA classified it too high ... EP IRRC!

            Cheers, Bob

            On 10/27/2010 10:35 AM, dgreimel@... wrote:

            Dave Sisson raced a black Electron a few times while working at BK Foreign Car Clinic in Bethesda.  It never did much but had a nice little Coventry engine.


            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Andrew S" <ajyes72@...>
            To: "Marlboro Raceway" <Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Tuesday, October 26, 2010 2:46:01 PM
            Subject: [Marlboro_Raceway] Fairthorpe

            For those of you as baffled as I was at the mention of a Fairthorpe Electron, here is an imformative link.

            http://www.fairthorpescc.com/fscc_fairthorpe_limited.html

            Somehow in all my years of following things automotive this one had escaped me.

            Regards,

            Andrew




        • Erskine Kelly
          Aha! The original Fairthorpe gearbox was for Morris Motors small sedans of the early 50s. The sedans may have weighed more, but their engines were probably
          Message 5 of 22 , Oct 27, 2010
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            Aha!

            The original Fairthorpe gearbox was for Morris Motors' small sedans of the early '50s.  The sedans may have weighed more, but their engines were probably less than 1/4th the power of the Climax engine.  I don't remember how many gears the Morris box had - it might have been a four speed.

            I wondered how the later Fairthorpes did - and either the company changed gearboxes or the Ford box was not "production".

            The roll bar for my Fairthorpe was the early "plug-in" type.  The bar could be removed by pulling cotter pins.  It took no time at all for National to realize that reinforcement was needed for north-south forces as well as east-west forces.  I had a strap installed on the passenger side of all of my cars.  If I saw a rollover coming, I could hook my right arm through the strap.  That would keep my head from getting above and outside of the driver's window area.  In my win with the Fairthorpe at Marlboro, I spun out at the area north of the grandstands (a part of the new addition), and had "crawled into the basement" using the strap.  The car didn't roll over, and I was able to catch the three or four FP Alfas that passed me while I was hiding in the "basement", and fell in behind Art Tweedale's leading FP Alfa to the end of the race, so that we collected pots for FP and GP.  [No, I didn't need a pot while I was in the "basement".] 

            Rick Kelly
            Oklahoma City
            On Oct 27, 2010, at 1:37 PM, Bob wrote:

             

            I recall it being dark blue or black ... the glass body was in good shape but the paint was badly oxidized. Not origiinal color, and it had a couple roll bars installed and removed.

            I recall I'd be racing against TR3s and Porsches with a 3 speed Ford gearbox.

            Cheers, Bob

            On 10/27/2010 12:46 PM, Erskine Kelly wrote:

            And, in 1957, in GP, it was unbeatable, IF it stayed together.

            Was the one you owned originally white - in case it had been repainted?

            Rick Kelly
            Oklahoma City
            On Oct 27, 2010, at 11:27 AM, Bob wrote:

             

            I owned one in the late 60s when I had a bunch of Climax parts, and considered racing it, but SCCA classified it too high ... EP IRRC!

            Cheers, Bob

            On 10/27/2010 10:35 AM, dgreimel@... wrote:

            Dave Sisson raced a black Electron a few times while working at BK Foreign Car Clinic in Bethesda.  It never did much but had a nice little Coventry engine.


            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Andrew S" <ajyes72@...>
            To: "Marlboro Raceway" <Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Tuesday, October 26, 2010 2:46:01 PM
            Subject: [Marlboro_Raceway] Fairthorpe

            For those of you as baffled as I was at the mention of a Fairthorpe Electron, here is an imformative link.

            http://www.fairthorpescc.com/fscc_fairthorpe_limited.html

            Somehow in all my years of following things automotive this one had escaped me.

            Regards,

            Andrew






          • Bob
            The original Morris boxes were from A35s and were three speeds. I think the four speed came along with the A40 or later. I m pretty sure the GCR of the day
            Message 6 of 22 , Oct 27, 2010
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              The original Morris boxes were from A35s and were three speeds. I think the four speed came along with the A40 or later. I''m pretty sure the GCR of the day specified the 3 speed, and that's what my car had in it.

              For some reason, I recalled it as having a Ford box, but then again I recall winning a lot more races than my friends seem to give me credit for. I'm resolving that part by outliving many of them.

              While the FWA Climax had more power, it probably had about the same torque, so the box wasn't in too much danger.

              Cheers, Bob

              On 10/27/2010 2:41 PM, Erskine Kelly wrote:
              Aha!

              The original Fairthorpe gearbox was for Morris Motors' small sedans of the early '50s.  The sedans may have weighed more, but their engines were probably less than 1/4th the power of the Climax engine.  I don't remember how many gears the Morris box had - it might have been a four speed.

              I wondered how the later Fairthorpes did - and either the company changed gearboxes or the Ford box was not "production".

              The roll bar for my Fairthorpe was the early "plug-in" type.  The bar could be removed by pulling cotter pins.  It took no time at all for National to realize that reinforcement was needed for north-south forces as well as east-west forces.  I had a strap installed on the passenger side of all of my cars.  If I saw a rollover coming, I could hook my right arm through the strap.  That would keep my head from getting above and outside of the driver's window area.  In my win with the Fairthorpe at Marlboro, I spun out at the area north of the grandstands (a part of the new addition), and had "crawled into the basement" using the strap.  The car didn't roll over, and I was able to catch the three or four FP Alfas that passed me while I was hiding in the "basement", and fell in behind Art Tweedale's leading FP Alfa to the end of the race, so that we collected pots for FP and GP.  [No, I didn't need a pot while I was in the "basement".] 

              Rick Kelly
              Oklahoma City
              On Oct 27, 2010, at 1:37 PM, Bob wrote:

               

              I recall it being dark blue or black ... the glass body was in good shape but the paint was badly oxidized. Not origiinal color, and it had a couple roll bars installed and removed.

              I recall I'd be racing against TR3s and Porsches with a 3 speed Ford gearbox.

              Cheers, Bob

              On 10/27/2010 12:46 PM, Erskine Kelly wrote:

              And, in 1957, in GP, it was unbeatable, IF it stayed together.

              Was the one you owned originally white - in case it had been repainted?

              Rick Kelly
              Oklahoma City
              On Oct 27, 2010, at 11:27 AM, Bob wrote:

               

              I owned one in the late 60s when I had a bunch of Climax parts, and considered racing it, but SCCA classified it too high ... EP IRRC!

              Cheers, Bob

              On 10/27/2010 10:35 AM, dgreimel@... wrote:

              Dave Sisson raced a black Electron a few times while working at BK Foreign Car Clinic in Bethesda.  It never did much but had a nice little Coventry engine.


              ----- Original Message -----
              From: "Andrew S" <ajyes72@...>
              To: "Marlboro Raceway" <Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Tuesday, October 26, 2010 2:46:01 PM
              Subject: [Marlboro_Raceway] Fairthorpe

              For those of you as baffled as I was at the mention of a Fairthorpe Electron, here is an imformative link.

              http://www.fairthorpescc.com/fscc_fairthorpe_limited.html

              Somehow in all my years of following things automotive this one had escaped me.

              Regards,

              Andrew






            • Erskine Kelly
              The only memory I have about the mechanical end of the Fairthorpe was that the Climax was the same as what was in Frank Baptista s record breaking Lotus 11,
              Message 7 of 22 , Oct 27, 2010
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                The only memory I have about the mechanical end of the Fairthorpe was that the Climax was the same as what was in Frank Baptista's "record breaking" Lotus 11, Weber carbs and all.  I wasn't driving when the gear box blew, so I don't know if Art was the cause or the box couldn't handle the Climax horses.  I do recall that I could have passed Art on the straight, and Frank was miffed that I didn't.  

                At that time I think the Fairthorpe could beat anything in G or F production.  It seemed a little faster than my Morgan as I recall, but I doubt that it could have touched the AC Bristols, unless they were driven by a woman.  [Not being tacky - I did beat the women AC drivers . . . .].  

                The differences between the two are fairly obvious - The Fairthorpe had good roadholding qualities, but felt on the skittish side because of their lighter weight.  I think the spin was caused by dirt on the track from someone else's error.  I was at least fifty yards ahead of the second place car and wasn't being pressed into the spin.

                The Morgan was always predictable, and had better roadholding qualities than any of the Triumphs.  The A.C.s had much more speed on the straights, and only slightly lesser roadholding qualities than the Morgan.

                Later I owned a couple of XKE Jags, but never raced them.  Even on the street I had almost no confidence in the XKEs, compared to the Morgan.  

                One thing I can credit my experience as a sports car racer for - I learned enough to know what not to do on the highways, and what to do when I got caught in a potential accident.  I can think of at least a half-dozen times that my training and experience kept me out of what could have been serious, life-threatening accidents.

                - - - -

                For those of you who saw the 1965 Marlboro 12, did you notice that Trevor Taylor was in a yellow driving suit?

                When he and Jim Clark were at Indianapolis, the other drivers complained loudly about the all-green Lotus.  Chapman compromised by adding yellow trim to the car.  And stayed with that combination even after Trevor Taylor left the team until the tobacco dudes asked for black and gold.

                - - - -

                Rick Kelly
                Oklahoma City  
                On Oct 27, 2010, at 8:29 PM, Bob wrote:

                 

                The original Morris boxes were from A35s and were three speeds. I think the four speed came along with the A40 or later. I''m pretty sure the GCR of the day specified the 3 speed, and that's what my car had in it.

                For some reason, I recalled it as having a Ford box, but then again I recall winning a lot more races than my friends seem to give me credit for. I'm resolving that part by outliving many of them.

                While the FWA Climax had more power, it probably had about the same torque, so the box wasn't in too much danger.

                Cheers, Bob

                On 10/27/2010 2:41 PM, Erskine Kelly wrote:

                Aha!

                The original Fairthorpe gearbox was for Morris Motors' small sedans of the early '50s.  The sedans may have weighed more, but their engines were probably less than 1/4th the power of the Climax engine.  I don't remember how many gears the Morris box had - it might have been a four speed.

                I wondered how the later Fairthorpes did - and either the company changed gearboxes or the Ford box was not "production".

                The roll bar for my Fairthorpe was the early "plug-in" type.  The bar could be removed by pulling cotter pins.  It took no time at all for National to realize that reinforcement was needed for north-south forces as well as east-west forces.  I had a strap installed on the passenger side of all of my cars.  If I saw a rollover coming, I could hook my right arm through the strap.  That would keep my head from getting above and outside of the driver's window area.  In my win with the Fairthorpe at Marlboro, I spun out at the area north of the grandstands (a part of the new addition), and had "crawled into the basement" using the strap.  The car didn't roll over, and I was able to catch the three or four FP Alfas that passed me while I was hiding in the "basement", and fell in behind Art Tweedale's leading FP Alfa to the end of the race, so that we collected pots for FP and GP.  [No, I didn't need a pot while I was in the "basement".] 

                Rick Kelly
                Oklahoma City
                On Oct 27, 2010, at 1:37 PM, Bob wrote:

                 

                I recall it being dark blue or black ... the glass body was in good shape but the paint was badly oxidized. Not origiinal color, and it had a couple roll bars installed and removed.

                I recall I'd be racing against TR3s and Porsches with a 3 speed Ford gearbox.

                Cheers, Bob

                On 10/27/2010 12:46 PM, Erskine Kelly wrote:

                And, in 1957, in GP, it was unbeatable, IF it stayed together.

                Was the one you owned originally white - in case it had been repainted?

                Rick Kelly
                Oklahoma City
                On Oct 27, 2010, at 11:27 AM, Bob wrote:

                 

                I owned one in the late 60s when I had a bunch of Climax parts, and considered racing it, but SCCA classified it too high ... EP IRRC!

                Cheers, Bob

                On 10/27/2010 10:35 AM, dgreimel@... wrote:

                Dave Sisson raced a black Electron a few times while working at BK Foreign Car Clinic in Bethesda.  It never did much but had a nice little Coventry engine.


                ----- Original Message -----
                From: "Andrew S" <ajyes72@...>
                To: "Marlboro Raceway" <Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Tuesday, October 26, 2010 2:46:01 PM
                Subject: [Marlboro_Raceway] Fairthorpe

                For those of you as baffled as I was at the mention of a Fairthorpe Electron, here is an imformative link.

                http://www.fairthorpescc.com/fscc_fairthorpe_limited.html

                Somehow in all my years of following things automotive this one had escaped me.

                Regards,

                Andrew








              • Andrew Sturgess
                Your strap and basement story reminds me of one of the selling points of the Turner. Since it was rear engined, there was a large open area under the dash.
                Message 8 of 22 , Oct 28, 2010
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                  Your strap and "basement" story reminds me of one of the selling points of the Turner. Since it was rear engined, there was a large open area under the dash. If you saw that danger was imminent you could drop into the relative safe zone under the dash to avoid injury. Not sure why that idea never caught on.
                  Here's another line, from a Playboy story, I would love to try one of these days. Mort Sahl, the comedian, used to have a Cobra that had been "enhanced" under the hood. When he was pulled over by the local constabulary and asked if he knew how fast he was going he replied "No sir, I was busy in the engine room."


                  From: Bob <bstorck@...>
                  To: Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Wed, October 27, 2010 9:29:12 PM
                  Subject: Re: [Marlboro_Raceway] Fairthorpe

                   

                  The original Morris boxes were from A35s and were three speeds. I think the four speed came along with the A40 or later. I''m pretty sure the GCR of the day specified the 3 speed, and that's what my car had in it.

                  For some reason, I recalled it as having a Ford box, but then again I recall winning a lot more races than my friends seem to give me credit for. I'm resolving that part by outliving many of them.

                  While the FWA Climax had more power, it probably had about the same torque, so the box wasn't in too much danger.

                  Cheers, Bob

                  On 10/27/2010 2:41 PM, Erskine Kelly wrote:
                  Aha!

                  The original Fairthorpe gearbox was for Morris Motors' small sedans of the early '50s.  The sedans may have weighed more, but their engines were probably less than 1/4th the power of the Climax engine.  I don't remember how many gears the Morris box had - it might have been a four speed.

                  I wondered how the later Fairthorpes did - and either the company changed gearboxes or the Ford box was not "production".

                  The roll bar for my Fairthorpe was the early "plug-in" type.  The bar could be removed by pulling cotter pins.  It took no time at all for National to realize that reinforcement was needed for north-south forces as well as east-west forces.  I had a strap installed on the passenger side of all of my cars.  If I saw a rollover coming, I could hook my right arm through the strap.  That would keep my head from getting above and outside of the driver's window area.  In my win with the Fairthorpe at Marlboro, I spun out at the area north of the grandstands (a part of the new addition), and had "crawled into the basement" using the strap.  The car didn't roll over, and I was able to catch the three or four FP Alfas that passed me while I was hiding in the "basement", and fell in behind Art Tweedale's leading FP Alfa to the end of the race, so that we collected pots for FP and GP.  [No, I didn't need a pot while I was in the "basement".] 

                  Rick Kelly
                  Oklahoma City
                  On Oct 27, 2010, at 1:37 PM, Bob wrote:

                   

                  I recall it being dark blue or black ... the glass body was in good shape but the paint was badly oxidized. Not origiinal color, and it had a couple roll bars installed and removed.

                  I recall I'd be racing against TR3s and Porsches with a 3 speed Ford gearbox.

                  Cheers, Bob

                  On 10/27/2010 12:46 PM, Erskine Kelly wrote:

                  And, in 1957, in GP, it was unbeatable, IF it stayed together.

                  Was the one you owned originally white - in case it had been repainted?

                  Rick Kelly
                  Oklahoma City
                  On Oct 27, 2010, at 11:27 AM, Bob wrote:

                   

                  I owned one in the late 60s when I had a bunch of Climax parts, and considered racing it, but SCCA classified it too high ... EP IRRC!

                  Cheers, Bob

                  On 10/27/2010 10:35 AM, dgreimel@... wrote:

                  Dave Sisson raced a black Electron a few times while working at BK Foreign Car Clinic in Bethesda.  It never did much but had a nice little Coventry engine.


                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: "Andrew S" <ajyes72@...>
                  To: "Marlboro Raceway" <Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Tuesday, October 26, 2010 2:46:01 PM
                  Subject: [Marlboro_Raceway] Fairthorpe

                  For those of you as baffled as I was at the mention of a Fairthorpe Electron, here is an imformative link.

                  http://www.fairthorpescc.com/fscc_fairthorpe_limited.html

                  Somehow in all my years of following things automotive this one had escaped me.

                  Regards,

                  Andrew






                • Erskine Kelly
                  Loved Mort Sahl s humor. I forgot to mention why I had installed the strap in the passenger side. There had been several TR-2 or 3 drivers killed in one-car
                  Message 9 of 22 , Oct 28, 2010
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Loved Mort Sahl's humor.

                    I forgot to mention why I had installed the strap in the passenger side.

                    There had been several TR-2 or 3 drivers killed in one-car accidents within a few months of my getting into racing.  General descriptions of the accidents suggested that the drivers' upper bodies had been hanging over the low profile of the driver's door with head injuries inevitable.

                    On my first day at Marlboro a Jaguar had rolled at the chicane.  I was among a group of witnesses who helped to get the up-side-down car onto its side.  I was on the bottom side of the car when we got it onto its side.  I couldn't see the driver from my position, but I did see the expressions of the people on the top side of the car.  As they turned away from their view, and seemed to walk away, I reached the notion that there was something on the other side of the car that I didn't want to see.

                    Doc Murphy, a dentist, was the first fatality at the Marlboro road course.

                    His wife had died a year or so earlier while delivering their twin sons.

                    Doc's mother had to raise the twins.  

                    This was the time in which "instructors" would drive the course at speed with the "students" as passengers, and more than one instructor (at separate times) could also do the same .

                    According to former R.E. Jim Mc?, Jim was preparing to ride with Doc Murphy when he was pulled aside by Dick Thompson and advised not to ride with Murphy because he was "squirrelly".

                    One life lost - one life saved?

                    I learned at the expense of others that racing is dangerous.  I took every means available to avoid unnecessary risks, both on and off the track.

                    I am especially proud of being among the first in the DC Region to add a roll bar to my car.  Frank Baptista and I agreed that Motor Imports would not prepare any cars for racing unless they had a roll bar.  This was 1957, and roll bars were not yet required.  

                    If you have seen the photos of George Bull crawling out from under his rolled-over TR-3 at the first National Races at VIR in ~August, 1957, you saw one of the first SCCA racers whose life may have been saved by a roll bar.

                    I was there, without a car to race because I was packing to move to Oklahoma.  George's accident was at the end of the longest straight, and the amount of dust that was thrown up left everyone in the pits dreading the fate of the driver.

                    After seeing George alive in the pits, but obviously shaken, I grabbed a legal pad and pen and passed a petition that I sent to National which called on National to make roll bars mandatory no later than 01 January 1958.

                    I know that I had enough driver signatures to fill two pages of the legal pad.

                    Only one driver refused to sign the petition.

                    He died when his TR-3 rolled at Lime Rock the next year.  His seat belts had been mounted through the floor of his car instead of the frame.

                    My last "race" was as the "Chief Observer" at an event at Ponca City, Oklahoma, in the mid-1960s.

                    In my opinion the management of the event was enthusiastic and hard working, as is usual for most SCCA events, but poorly conceived for the needs of safety.  So many trees, so few hay bales.

                    The requirements of my store being open on weekends provided an excuse for me not to have any more involvement with SCCA racing in the area.  Too much "enthusiasm", too little experience and concern about safety.

                    That decision proved to be wise - a driver was killed when he hit a tree at the end of the main straight the next year.

                    There is more to that decision.  Something happened at my last race (as a a chief observer) at Ponca City.  That is a separate story, and this ms is longer than I had intended.

                    Rick Kelly
                    Oklahoma City

                    I grabbed   
                    On Oct 28, 2010, at 6:03 AM, Andrew Sturgess wrote:

                     

                    Your strap and "basement" story reminds me of one of the selling points of the Turner. Since it was rear engined, there was a large open area under the dash. If you saw that danger was imminent you could drop into the relative safe zone under the dash to avoid injury. Not sure why that idea never caught on.
                    Here's another line, from a Playboy story, I would love to try one of these days. Mort Sahl, the comedian, used to have a Cobra that had been "enhanced" under the hood. When he was pulled over by the local constabulary and asked if he knew how fast he was going he replied "No sir, I was busy in the engine room."


                    From: Bob <bstorck@...>
                    To: Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Wed, October 27, 2010 9:29:12 PM
                    Subject: Re: [Marlboro_Raceway] Fairthorpe

                     

                    The original Morris boxes were from A35s and were three speeds. I think the four speed came along with the A40 or later. I''m pretty sure the GCR of the day specified the 3 speed, and that's what my car had in it.

                    For some reason, I recalled it as having a Ford box, but then again I recall winning a lot more races than my friends seem to give me credit for. I'm resolving that part by outliving many of them.

                    While the FWA Climax had more power, it probably had about the same torque, so the box wasn't in too much danger.

                    Cheers, Bob

                    On 10/27/2010 2:41 PM, Erskine Kelly wrote:

                    Aha!

                    The original Fairthorpe gearbox was for Morris Motors' small sedans of the early '50s.  The sedans may have weighed more, but their engines were probably less than 1/4th the power of the Climax engine.  I don't remember how many gears the Morris box had - it might have been a four speed.

                    I wondered how the later Fairthorpes did - and either the company changed gearboxes or the Ford box was not "production".

                    The roll bar for my Fairthorpe was the early "plug-in" type.  The bar could be removed by pulling cotter pins.  It took no time at all for National to realize that reinforcement was needed for north-south forces as well as east-west forces.  I had a strap installed on the passenger side of all of my cars.  If I saw a rollover coming, I could hook my right arm through the strap.  That would keep my head from getting above and outside of the driver's window area.  In my win with the Fairthorpe at Marlboro, I spun out at the area north of the grandstands (a part of the new addition), and had "crawled into the basement" using the strap.  The car didn't roll over, and I was able to catch the three or four FP Alfas that passed me while I was hiding in the "basement", and fell in behind Art Tweedale's leading FP Alfa to the end of the race, so that we collected pots for FP and GP.  [No, I didn't need a pot while I was in the "basement".] 

                    Rick Kelly
                    Oklahoma City
                    On Oct 27, 2010, at 1:37 PM, Bob wrote:

                     

                    I recall it being dark blue or black ... the glass body was in good shape but the paint was badly oxidized. Not origiinal color, and it had a couple roll bars installed and removed.

                    I recall I'd be racing against TR3s and Porsches with a 3 speed Ford gearbox.

                    Cheers, Bob

                    On 10/27/2010 12:46 PM, Erskine Kelly wrote:

                    And, in 1957, in GP, it was unbeatable, IF it stayed together.

                    Was the one you owned originally white - in case it had been repainted?

                    Rick Kelly
                    Oklahoma City
                    On Oct 27, 2010, at 11:27 AM, Bob wrote:

                     

                    I owned one in the late 60s when I had a bunch of Climax parts, and considered racing it, but SCCA classified it too high ... EP IRRC!

                    Cheers, Bob

                    On 10/27/2010 10:35 AM, dgreimel@... wrote:

                    Dave Sisson raced a black Electron a few times while working at BK Foreign Car Clinic in Bethesda.  It never did much but had a nice little Coventry engine.


                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: "Andrew S" <ajyes72@...>
                    To: "Marlboro Raceway" <Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com>
                    Sent: Tuesday, October 26, 2010 2:46:01 PM
                    Subject: [Marlboro_Raceway] Fairthorpe

                    For those of you as baffled as I was at the mention of a Fairthorpe Electron, here is an imformative link.

                    http://www.fairthorpescc.com/fscc_fairthorpe_limited.html

                    Somehow in all my years of following things automotive this one had escaped me.

                    Regards,

                    Andrew








                  • Robert Hines
                    The Ponca driver shared a gas station that let us use their lift so we could replace the brass bearings on our Sunbeam Alpine and he was waiting until we were
                    Message 10 of 22 , Oct 28, 2010
                    • 0 Attachment
                      The Ponca driver shared a gas station that let us use their lift so we could replace the brass bearings on our Sunbeam Alpine and he was waiting until we were done so he could get his Lotus 7 on the lift.  We talked for at least two hours and his wife was making one of her few trips to the races.  I don't remember his name but I will never forget his face and sense of humor.  He hit that huge tree straight on. 
                       
                      Another Ponca tree caused the death of a triumph driver but I don't remember the year and maybe I wasn't even there when it happened, but I think he hit a large horizontal limb with his head with the expected results.  Erskine, were you at that accident?  Its amazing how many years it took for SCCA to make roll bars mandatory and even more years to make them tall enough to be above the helmet.  There was a Kansas City Volkswagen dealership owner name Art Bunker who rubbed his ear off racing a Porsche when he flipped it on its side.  He told me he was wearing a cloth helmet. 

                      From: Erskine Kelly <erkelly2@...>
                      To: Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Thu, October 28, 2010 10:41:53 AM
                      Subject: Re: [Marlboro_Raceway] Fairthorpe

                       

                      Loved Mort Sahl's humor.


                      I forgot to mention why I had installed the strap in the passenger side.

                      There had been several TR-2 or 3 drivers killed in one-car accidents within a few months of my getting into racing.  General descriptions of the accidents suggested that the drivers' upper bodies had been hanging over the low profile of the driver's door with head injuries inevitable.

                      On my first day at Marlboro a Jaguar had rolled at the chicane.  I was among a group of witnesses who helped to get the up-side-down car onto its side.  I was on the bottom side of the car when we got it onto its side.  I couldn't see the driver from my position, but I did see the expressions of the people on the top side of the car.  As they turned away from their view, and seemed to walk away, I reached the notion that there was something on the other side of the car that I didn't want to see.

                      Doc Murphy, a dentist, was the first fatality at the Marlboro road course.

                      His wife had died a year or so earlier while delivering their twin sons.

                      Doc's mother had to raise the twins.  

                      This was the time in which "instructors" would drive the course at speed with the "students" as passengers, and more than one instructor (at separate times) could also do the same .

                      According to former R.E. Jim Mc?, Jim was preparing to ride with Doc Murphy when he was pulled aside by Dick Thompson and advised not to ride with Murphy because he was "squirrelly".

                      One life lost - one life saved?

                      I learned at the expense of others that racing is dangerous.  I took every means available to avoid unnecessary risks, both on and off the track.

                      I am especially proud of being among the first in the DC Region to add a roll bar to my car.  Frank Baptista and I agreed that Motor Imports would not prepare any cars for racing unless they had a roll bar.  This was 1957, and roll bars were not yet required.  

                      If you have seen the photos of George Bull crawling out from under his rolled-over TR-3 at the first National Races at VIR in ~August, 1957, you saw one of the first SCCA racers whose life may have been saved by a roll bar.

                      I was there, without a car to race because I was packing to move to Oklahoma.  George's accident was at the end of the longest straight, and the amount of dust that was thrown up left everyone in the pits dreading the fate of the driver.

                      After seeing George alive in the pits, but obviously shaken, I grabbed a legal pad and pen and passed a petition that I sent to National which called on National to make roll bars mandatory no later than 01 January 1958.

                      I know that I had enough driver signatures to fill two pages of the legal pad.

                      Only one driver refused to sign the petition.

                      He died when his TR-3 rolled at Lime Rock the next year.  His seat belts had been mounted through the floor of his car instead of the frame.

                      My last "race" was as the "Chief Observer" at an event at Ponca City, Oklahoma, in the mid-1960s.

                      In my opinion the management of the event was enthusiastic and hard working, as is usual for most SCCA events, but poorly conceived for the needs of safety.  So many trees, so few hay bales.

                      The requirements of my store being open on weekends provided an excuse for me not to have any more involvement with SCCA racing in the area.  Too much "enthusiasm", too little experience and concern about safety.

                      That decision proved to be wise - a driver was killed when he hit a tree at the end of the main straight the next year.

                      There is more to that decision.  Something happened at my last race (as a a chief observer) at Ponca City.  That is a separate story, and this ms is longer than I had intended.

                      Rick Kelly
                      Oklahoma City

                      I grabbed   
                      On Oct 28, 2010, at 6:03 AM, Andrew Sturgess wrote:

                       

                      Your strap and "basement" story reminds me of one of the selling points of the Turner. Since it was rear engined, there was a large open area under the dash. If you saw that danger was imminent you could drop into the relative safe zone under the dash to avoid injury. Not sure why that idea never caught on.
                      Here's another line, from a Playboy story, I would love to try one of these days. Mort Sahl, the comedian, used to have a Cobra that had been "enhanced" under the hood. When he was pulled over by the local constabulary and asked if he knew how fast he was going he replied "No sir, I was busy in the engine room."


                      From: Bob <bstorck@...>
                      To: Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Wed, October 27, 2010 9:29:12 PM
                      Subject: Re: [Marlboro_Raceway] Fairthorpe

                       

                      The original Morris boxes were from A35s and were three speeds. I think the four speed came along with the A40 or later. I''m pretty sure the GCR of the day specified the 3 speed, and that's what my car had in it.

                      For some reason, I recalled it as having a Ford box, but then again I recall winning a lot more races than my friends seem to give me credit for. I'm resolving that part by outliving many of them.

                      While the FWA Climax had more power, it probably had about the same torque, so the box wasn't in too much danger.

                      Cheers, Bob

                      On 10/27/2010 2:41 PM, Erskine Kelly wrote:

                      Aha!

                      The original Fairthorpe gearbox was for Morris Motors' small sedans of the early '50s.  The sedans may have weighed more, but their engines were probably less than 1/4th the power of the Climax engine.  I don't remember how many gears the Morris box had - it might have been a four speed.

                      I wondered how the later Fairthorpes did - and either the company changed gearboxes or the Ford box was not "production".

                      The roll bar for my Fairthorpe was the early "plug-in" type.  The bar could be removed by pulling cotter pins.  It took no time at all for National to realize that reinforcement was needed for north-south forces as well as east-west forces.  I had a strap installed on the passenger side of all of my cars.  If I saw a rollover coming, I could hook my right arm through the strap.  That would keep my head from getting above and outside of the driver's window area.  In my win with the Fairthorpe at Marlboro, I spun out at the area north of the grandstands (a part of the new addition), and had "crawled into the basement" using the strap.  The car didn't roll over, and I was able to catch the three or four FP Alfas that passed me while I was hiding in the "basement", and fell in behind Art Tweedale's leading FP Alfa to the end of the race, so that we collected pots for FP and GP.  [No, I didn't need a pot while I was in the "basement".] 

                      Rick Kelly
                      Oklahoma City
                      On Oct 27, 2010, at 1:37 PM, Bob wrote:

                       

                      I recall it being dark blue or black ... the glass body was in good shape but the paint was badly oxidized. Not origiinal color, and it had a couple roll bars installed and removed.

                      I recall I'd be racing against TR3s and Porsches with a 3 speed Ford gearbox.

                      Cheers, Bob

                      On 10/27/2010 12:46 PM, Erskine Kelly wrote:

                      And, in 1957, in GP, it was unbeatable, IF it stayed together.

                      Was the one you owned originally white - in case it had been repainted?

                      Rick Kelly
                      Oklahoma City
                      On Oct 27, 2010, at 11:27 AM, Bob wrote:

                       

                      I owned one in the late 60s when I had a bunch of Climax parts, and considered racing it, but SCCA classified it too high ... EP IRRC!

                      Cheers, Bob

                      On 10/27/2010 10:35 AM, dgreimel@... wrote:

                      Dave Sisson raced a black Electron a few times while working at BK Foreign Car Clinic in Bethesda.  It never did much but had a nice little Coventry engine.


                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: "Andrew S" <ajyes72@...>
                      To: "Marlboro Raceway" <Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com>
                      Sent: Tuesday, October 26, 2010 2:46:01 PM
                      Subject: [Marlboro_Raceway] Fairthorpe

                      For those of you as baffled as I was at the mention of a Fairthorpe Electron, here is an imformative link.

                      http://www.fairthorpescc.com/fscc_fairthorpe_limited.html

                      Somehow in all my years of following things automotive this one had escaped me.

                      Regards,

                      Andrew









                    • Erskine Kelly
                      All you have to do is look at http://motorsportmemorial.org/query.php?db=ct&q=circuit_c&n=1114&p=y Obviously my last active involvement with SCCA racing was at
                      Message 11 of 22 , Oct 28, 2010
                      • 0 Attachment
                        All you have to do is look at


                        Obviously my last active involvement with SCCA racing was at the 1962 Ponca race.  I did a few days of photography for an OKC newspaper, I'm not sure when, except it was after my second marriage in 1970.  I got a great shot of a Cobra backing into a hay bale at speed.  The tree on the other side of the bales lost a lot of bark.  The driver was ok.  The Cobra did not fare well.
                           
                        Rick Kelly
                        Oklahoma City
                        On Oct 28, 2010, at 1:09 PM, Robert Hines wrote:

                         

                        The Ponca driver shared a gas station that let us use their lift so we could replace the brass bearings on our Sunbeam Alpine and he was waiting until we were done so he could get his Lotus 7 on the lift.  We talked for at least two hours and his wife was making one of her few trips to the races.  I don't remember his name but I will never forget his face and sense of humor.  He hit that huge tree straight on. 
                         
                        Another Ponca tree caused the death of a triumph driver but I don't remember the year and maybe I wasn't even there when it happened, but I think he hit a large horizontal limb with his head with the expected results.  Erskine, were you at that accident?  Its amazing how many years it took for SCCA to make roll bars mandatory and even more years to make them tall enough to be above the helmet.  There was a Kansas City Volkswagen dealership owner name Art Bunker who rubbed his ear off racing a Porsche when he flipped it on its side.  He told me he was wearing a cloth helmet. 

                        From: Erskine Kelly <erkelly2@...>
                        To: Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com
                        Sent: Thu, October 28, 2010 10:41:53 AM
                        Subject: Re: [Marlboro_Raceway] Fairthorpe

                         

                        Loved Mort Sahl's humor.


                        I forgot to mention why I had installed the strap in the passenger side.

                        There had been several TR-2 or 3 drivers killed in one-car accidents within a few months of my getting into racing.  General descriptions of the accidents suggested that the drivers' upper bodies had been hanging over the low profile of the driver's door with head injuries inevitable.

                        On my first day at Marlboro a Jaguar had rolled at the chicane.  I was among a group of witnesses who helped to get the up-side-down car onto its side.  I was on the bottom side of the car when we got it onto its side.  I couldn't see the driver from my position, but I did see the expressions of the people on the top side of the car.  As they turned away from their view, and seemed to walk away, I reached the notion that there was something on the other side of the car that I didn't want to see.

                        Doc Murphy, a dentist, was the first fatality at the Marlboro road course.

                        His wife had died a year or so earlier while delivering their twin sons.

                        Doc's mother had to raise the twins.  

                        This was the time in which "instructors" would drive the course at speed with the "students" as passengers, and more than one instructor (at separate times) could also do the same .

                        According to former R.E. Jim Mc?, Jim was preparing to ride with Doc Murphy when he was pulled aside by Dick Thompson and advised not to ride with Murphy because he was "squirrelly".

                        One life lost - one life saved?

                        I learned at the expense of others that racing is dangerous.  I took every means available to avoid unnecessary risks, both on and off the track.

                        I am especially proud of being among the first in the DC Region to add a roll bar to my car.  Frank Baptista and I agreed that Motor Imports would not prepare any cars for racing unless they had a roll bar.  This was 1957, and roll bars were not yet required.  

                        If you have seen the photos of George Bull crawling out from under his rolled-over TR-3 at the first National Races at VIR in ~August, 1957, you saw one of the first SCCA racers whose life may have been saved by a roll bar.

                        I was there, without a car to race because I was packing to move to Oklahoma.  George's accident was at the end of the longest straight, and the amount of dust that was thrown up left everyone in the pits dreading the fate of the driver.

                        After seeing George alive in the pits, but obviously shaken, I grabbed a legal pad and pen and passed a petition that I sent to National which called on National to make roll bars mandatory no later than 01 January 1958.

                        I know that I had enough driver signatures to fill two pages of the legal pad.

                        Only one driver refused to sign the petition.

                        He died when his TR-3 rolled at Lime Rock the next year.  His seat belts had been mounted through the floor of his car instead of the frame.

                        My last "race" was as the "Chief Observer" at an event at Ponca City, Oklahoma, in the mid-1960s.

                        In my opinion the management of the event was enthusiastic and hard working, as is usual for most SCCA events, but poorly conceived for the needs of safety.  So many trees, so few hay bales.

                        The requirements of my store being open on weekends provided an excuse for me not to have any more involvement with SCCA racing in the area.  Too much "enthusiasm", too little experience and concern about safety.

                        That decision proved to be wise - a driver was killed when he hit a tree at the end of the main straight the next year.

                        There is more to that decision.  Something happened at my last race (as a a chief observer) at Ponca City.  That is a separate story, and this ms is longer than I had intended.

                        Rick Kelly
                        Oklahoma City

                        I grabbed   
                        On Oct 28, 2010, at 6:03 AM, Andrew Sturgess wrote:

                         

                        Your strap and "basement" story reminds me of one of the selling points of the Turner. Since it was rear engined, there was a large open area under the dash. If you saw that danger was imminent you could drop into the relative safe zone under the dash to avoid injury. Not sure why that idea never caught on.
                        Here's another line, from a Playboy story, I would love to try one of these days. Mort Sahl, the comedian, used to have a Cobra that had been "enhanced" under the hood. When he was pulled over by the local constabulary and asked if he knew how fast he was going he replied "No sir, I was busy in the engine room."


                        From: Bob <bstorck@...>
                        To: Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com
                        Sent: Wed, October 27, 2010 9:29:12 PM
                        Subject: Re: [Marlboro_Raceway] Fairthorpe

                         

                        The original Morris boxes were from A35s and were three speeds. I think the four speed came along with the A40 or later. I''m pretty sure the GCR of the day specified the 3 speed, and that's what my car had in it.

                        For some reason, I recalled it as having a Ford box, but then again I recall winning a lot more races than my friends seem to give me credit for. I'm resolving that part by outliving many of them.

                        While the FWA Climax had more power, it probably had about the same torque, so the box wasn't in too much danger.

                        Cheers, Bob

                        On 10/27/2010 2:41 PM, Erskine Kelly wrote:

                        Aha!

                        The original Fairthorpe gearbox was for Morris Motors' small sedans of the early '50s.  The sedans may have weighed more, but their engines were probably less than 1/4th the power of the Climax engine.  I don't remember how many gears the Morris box had - it might have been a four speed.

                        I wondered how the later Fairthorpes did - and either the company changed gearboxes or the Ford box was not "production".

                        The roll bar for my Fairthorpe was the early "plug-in" type.  The bar could be removed by pulling cotter pins.  It took no time at all for National to realize that reinforcement was needed for north-south forces as well as east-west forces.  I had a strap installed on the passenger side of all of my cars.  If I saw a rollover coming, I could hook my right arm through the strap.  That would keep my head from getting above and outside of the driver's window area.  In my win with the Fairthorpe at Marlboro, I spun out at the area north of the grandstands (a part of the new addition), and had "crawled into the basement" using the strap.  The car didn't roll over, and I was able to catch the three or four FP Alfas that passed me while I was hiding in the "basement", and fell in behind Art Tweedale's leading FP Alfa to the end of the race, so that we collected pots for FP and GP.  [No, I didn't need a pot while I was in the "basement".] 

                        Rick Kelly
                        Oklahoma City
                        On Oct 27, 2010, at 1:37 PM, Bob wrote:

                         

                        I recall it being dark blue or black ... the glass body was in good shape but the paint was badly oxidized. Not origiinal color, and it had a couple roll bars installed and removed.

                        I recall I'd be racing against TR3s and Porsches with a 3 speed Ford gearbox.

                        Cheers, Bob

                        On 10/27/2010 12:46 PM, Erskine Kelly wrote:

                        And, in 1957, in GP, it was unbeatable, IF it stayed together.

                        Was the one you owned originally white - in case it had been repainted?

                        Rick Kelly
                        Oklahoma City
                        On Oct 27, 2010, at 11:27 AM, Bob wrote:

                         

                        I owned one in the late 60s when I had a bunch of Climax parts, and considered racing it, but SCCA classified it too high ... EP IRRC!

                        Cheers, Bob

                        On 10/27/2010 10:35 AM, dgreimel@... wrote:

                        Dave Sisson raced a black Electron a few times while working at BK Foreign Car Clinic in Bethesda.  It never did much but had a nice little Coventry engine.


                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: "Andrew S" <ajyes72@...>
                        To: "Marlboro Raceway" <Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com>
                        Sent: Tuesday, October 26, 2010 2:46:01 PM
                        Subject: [Marlboro_Raceway] Fairthorpe

                        For those of you as baffled as I was at the mention of a Fairthorpe Electron, here is an imformative link.

                        http://www.fairthorpescc.com/fscc_fairthorpe_limited.html

                        Somehow in all my years of following things automotive this one had escaped me.

                        Regards,

                        Andrew











                      • Robert Hines
                        Thanks for the information, it was Pearson in the Lotus.  You might be thinking of the Lake Garnett Race in Kansas when a guy named Grahah Tombsone Shaw
                        Message 12 of 22 , Oct 28, 2010
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Thanks for the information, it was Pearson in the Lotus.  You might be thinking of the Lake Garnett Race in Kansas when a guy named Grahah "Tombsone" Shaw lost it on a short straight, went into a ditch, get a little air born and hit the hay bale and then the tree with the back of his Cobra.  I remember he hurt his spine and they took him to the hospital.  The back half of the Cobra folded at a 90 degree angle.  I think he was out of South Carolina and came because this race was a national and he was traveling to win the national championship which meant you had to travel to specific races all over the country.  I was at the flag station right across where the accident happened because they were short of flagers and some crew guys had to help out for a couple of races. 
                          Bob


                          From: Erskine Kelly <erkelly2@...>
                          To: Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com
                          Sent: Thu, October 28, 2010 11:25:57 AM
                          Subject: Re: [Marlboro_Raceway] Fairthorpe

                           

                          All you have to do is look at


                          http://motorsportmemorial.org/query.php?db=ct&q=circuit_c&n=1114&p=y

                          Obviously my last active involvement with SCCA racing was at the 1962 Ponca race.  I did a few days of photography for an OKC newspaper, I'm not sure when, except it was after my second marriage in 1970.  I got a great shot of a Cobra backing into a hay bale at speed.  The tree on the other side of the bales lost a lot of bark.  The driver was ok.  The Cobra did not fare well.
                             
                          Rick Kelly
                          Oklahoma City
                          On Oct 28, 2010, at 1:09 PM, Robert Hines wrote:

                           

                          The Ponca driver shared a gas station that let us use their lift so we could replace the brass bearings on our Sunbeam Alpine and he was waiting until we were done so he could get his Lotus 7 on the lift.  We talked for at least two hours and his wife was making one of her few trips to the races.  I don't remember his name but I will never forget his face and sense of humor.  He hit that huge tree straight on. 
                           
                          Another Ponca tree caused the death of a triumph driver but I don't remember the year and maybe I wasn't even there when it happened, but I think he hit a large horizontal limb with his head with the expected results.  Erskine, were you at that accident?  Its amazing how many years it took for SCCA to make roll bars mandatory and even more years to make them tall enough to be above the helmet.  There was a Kansas City Volkswagen dealership owner name Art Bunker who rubbed his ear off racing a Porsche when he flipped it on its side.  He told me he was wearing a cloth helmet. 

                          From: Erskine Kelly <erkelly2@...>
                          To: Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com
                          Sent: Thu, October 28, 2010 10:41:53 AM
                          Subject: Re: [Marlboro_Raceway] Fairthorpe

                           

                          Loved Mort Sahl's humor.


                          I forgot to mention why I had installed the strap in the passenger side.

                          There had been several TR-2 or 3 drivers killed in one-car accidents within a few months of my getting into racing.  General descriptions of the accidents suggested that the drivers' upper bodies had been hanging over the low profile of the driver's door with head injuries inevitable.

                          On my first day at Marlboro a Jaguar had rolled at the chicane.  I was among a group of witnesses who helped to get the up-side-down car onto its side.  I was on the bottom side of the car when we got it onto its side.  I couldn't see the driver from my position, but I did see the expressions of the people on the top side of the car.  As they turned away from their view, and seemed to walk away, I reached the notion that there was something on the other side of the car that I didn't want to see.

                          Doc Murphy, a dentist, was the first fatality at the Marlboro road course.

                          His wife had died a year or so earlier while delivering their twin sons.

                          Doc's mother had to raise the twins.  

                          This was the time in which "instructors" would drive the course at speed with the "students" as passengers, and more than one instructor (at separate times) could also do the same .

                          According to former R.E. Jim Mc?, Jim was preparing to ride with Doc Murphy when he was pulled aside by Dick Thompson and advised not to ride with Murphy because he was "squirrelly".

                          One life lost - one life saved?

                          I learned at the expense of others that racing is dangerous.  I took every means available to avoid unnecessary risks, both on and off the track.

                          I am especially proud of being among the first in the DC Region to add a roll bar to my car.  Frank Baptista and I agreed that Motor Imports would not prepare any cars for racing unless they had a roll bar.  This was 1957, and roll bars were not yet required.  

                          If you have seen the photos of George Bull crawling out from under his rolled-over TR-3 at the first National Races at VIR in ~August, 1957, you saw one of the first SCCA racers whose life may have been saved by a roll bar.

                          I was there, without a car to race because I was packing to move to Oklahoma.  George's accident was at the end of the longest straight, and the amount of dust that was thrown up left everyone in the pits dreading the fate of the driver.

                          After seeing George alive in the pits, but obviously shaken, I grabbed a legal pad and pen and passed a petition that I sent to National which called on National to make roll bars mandatory no later than 01 January 1958.

                          I know that I had enough driver signatures to fill two pages of the legal pad.

                          Only one driver refused to sign the petition.

                          He died when his TR-3 rolled at Lime Rock the next year.  His seat belts had been mounted through the floor of his car instead of the frame.

                          My last "race" was as the "Chief Observer" at an event at Ponca City, Oklahoma, in the mid-1960s.

                          In my opinion the management of the event was enthusiastic and hard working, as is usual for most SCCA events, but poorly conceived for the needs of safety.  So many trees, so few hay bales.

                          The requirements of my store being open on weekends provided an excuse for me not to have any more involvement with SCCA racing in the area.  Too much "enthusiasm", too little experience and concern about safety.

                          That decision proved to be wise - a driver was killed when he hit a tree at the end of the main straight the next year.

                          There is more to that decision.  Something happened at my last race (as a a chief observer) at Ponca City.  That is a separate story, and this ms is longer than I had intended.

                          Rick Kelly
                          Oklahoma City

                          I grabbed   
                          On Oct 28, 2010, at 6:03 AM, Andrew Sturgess wrote:

                           

                          Your strap and "basement" story reminds me of one of the selling points of the Turner. Since it was rear engined, there was a large open area under the dash. If you saw that danger was imminent you could drop into the relative safe zone under the dash to avoid injury. Not sure why that idea never caught on.
                          Here's another line, from a Playboy story, I would love to try one of these days. Mort Sahl, the comedian, used to have a Cobra that had been "enhanced" under the hood. When he was pulled over by the local constabulary and asked if he knew how fast he was going he replied "No sir, I was busy in the engine room."


                          From: Bob <bstorck@...>
                          To: Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com
                          Sent: Wed, October 27, 2010 9:29:12 PM
                          Subject: Re: [Marlboro_Raceway] Fairthorpe

                           

                          The original Morris boxes were from A35s and were three speeds. I think the four speed came along with the A40 or later. I''m pretty sure the GCR of the day specified the 3 speed, and that's what my car had in it.

                          For some reason, I recalled it as having a Ford box, but then again I recall winning a lot more races than my friends seem to give me credit for. I'm resolving that part by outliving many of them.

                          While the FWA Climax had more power, it probably had about the same torque, so the box wasn't in too much danger.

                          Cheers, Bob

                          On 10/27/2010 2:41 PM, Erskine Kelly wrote:

                          Aha!

                          The original Fairthorpe gearbox was for Morris Motors' small sedans of the early '50s.  The sedans may have weighed more, but their engines were probably less than 1/4th the power of the Climax engine.  I don't remember how many gears the Morris box had - it might have been a four speed.

                          I wondered how the later Fairthorpes did - and either the company changed gearboxes or the Ford box was not "production".

                          The roll bar for my Fairthorpe was the early "plug-in" type.  The bar could be removed by pulling cotter pins.  It took no time at all for National to realize that reinforcement was needed for north-south forces as well as east-west forces.  I had a strap installed on the passenger side of all of my cars.  If I saw a rollover coming, I could hook my right arm through the strap.  That would keep my head from getting above and outside of the driver's window area.  In my win with the Fairthorpe at Marlboro, I spun out at the area north of the grandstands (a part of the new addition), and had "crawled into the basement" using the strap.  The car didn't roll over, and I was able to catch the three or four FP Alfas that passed me while I was hiding in the "basement", and fell in behind Art Tweedale's leading FP Alfa to the end of the race, so that we collected pots for FP and GP.  [No, I didn't need a pot while I was in the "basement".] 

                          Rick Kelly
                          Oklahoma City
                          On Oct 27, 2010, at 1:37 PM, Bob wrote:

                           

                          I recall it being dark blue or black ... the glass body was in good shape but the paint was badly oxidized. Not origiinal color, and it had a couple roll bars installed and removed.

                          I recall I'd be racing against TR3s and Porsches with a 3 speed Ford gearbox.

                          Cheers, Bob

                          On 10/27/2010 12:46 PM, Erskine Kelly wrote:

                          And, in 1957, in GP, it was unbeatable, IF it stayed together.

                          Was the one you owned originally white - in case it had been repainted?

                          Rick Kelly
                          Oklahoma City
                          On Oct 27, 2010, at 11:27 AM, Bob wrote:

                           

                          I owned one in the late 60s when I had a bunch of Climax parts, and considered racing it, but SCCA classified it too high ... EP IRRC!

                          Cheers, Bob

                          On 10/27/2010 10:35 AM, dgreimel@... wrote:

                          Dave Sisson raced a black Electron a few times while working at BK Foreign Car Clinic in Bethesda.  It never did much but had a nice little Coventry engine.


                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: "Andrew S" <ajyes72@...>
                          To: "Marlboro Raceway" <Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com>
                          Sent: Tuesday, October 26, 2010 2:46:01 PM
                          Subject: [Marlboro_Raceway] Fairthorpe

                          For those of you as baffled as I was at the mention of a Fairthorpe Electron, here is an imformative link.

                          http://www.fairthorpescc.com/fscc_fairthorpe_limited.html

                          Somehow in all my years of following things automotive this one had escaped me.

                          Regards,

                          Andrew












                        • Andrew Sturgess
                          I remember the little rollbar extenders that appeared on the open wheel cars that raised the height of the bar to be higher than the drivers head.   I was
                          Message 13 of 22 , Oct 28, 2010
                          • 0 Attachment
                            I remember the little rollbar extenders that appeared on the open wheel cars that raised the height of the bar to be higher than the drivers head.
                             
                            I was just at a sprint car race in which the vintage racers looked like death traps with short rollbars and TR3 like openings on the sides. Seen lots of pics of them with arms flailing out the sides as they flip, now they wear restraint straps.
                             
                            Remember there was a time when the prevalent thought was that it was better to be thrown clear of the wreck to avoid the incineration that was sure to follow.

                            We've come a long way baby, thanks to guys like you Rick.


                            From: Robert Hines <racerbob4@...>
                            To: Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com
                            Sent: Thu, October 28, 2010 2:09:59 PM
                            Subject: Re: [Marlboro_Raceway] Fairthorpe

                             

                            The Ponca driver shared a gas station that let us use their lift so we could replace the brass bearings on our Sunbeam Alpine and he was waiting until we were done so he could get his Lotus 7 on the lift.  We talked for at least two hours and his wife was making one of her few trips to the races.  I don't remember his name but I will never forget his face and sense of humor.  He hit that huge tree straight on. 
                             
                            Another Ponca tree caused the death of a triumph driver but I don't remember the year and maybe I wasn't even there when it happened, but I think he hit a large horizontal limb with his head with the expected results.  Erskine, were you at that accident?  Its amazing how many years it took for SCCA to make roll bars mandatory and even more years to make them tall enough to be above the helmet.  There was a Kansas City Volkswagen dealership owner name Art Bunker who rubbed his ear off racing a Porsche when he flipped it on its side.  He told me he was wearing a cloth helmet. 

                            From: Erskine Kelly <erkelly2@...>
                            To: Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com
                            Sent: Thu, October 28, 2010 10:41:53 AM
                            Subject: Re: [Marlboro_Raceway] Fairthorpe

                             

                            Loved Mort Sahl's humor.


                            I forgot to mention why I had installed the strap in the passenger side.

                            There had been several TR-2 or 3 drivers killed in one-car accidents within a few months of my getting into racing.  General descriptions of the accidents suggested that the drivers' upper bodies had been hanging over the low profile of the driver's door with head injuries inevitable.

                            On my first day at Marlboro a Jaguar had rolled at the chicane.  I was among a group of witnesses who helped to get the up-side-down car onto its side.  I was on the bottom side of the car when we got it onto its side.  I couldn't see the driver from my position, but I did see the expressions of the people on the top side of the car.  As they turned away from their view, and seemed to walk away, I reached the notion that there was something on the other side of the car that I didn't want to see.

                            Doc Murphy, a dentist, was the first fatality at the Marlboro road course.

                            His wife had died a year or so earlier while delivering their twin sons.

                            Doc's mother had to raise the twins.  

                            This was the time in which "instructors" would drive the course at speed with the "students" as passengers, and more than one instructor (at separate times) could also do the same .

                            According to former R.E. Jim Mc?, Jim was preparing to ride with Doc Murphy when he was pulled aside by Dick Thompson and advised not to ride with Murphy because he was "squirrelly".

                            One life lost - one life saved?

                            I learned at the expense of others that racing is dangerous.  I took every means available to avoid unnecessary risks, both on and off the track.

                            I am especially proud of being among the first in the DC Region to add a roll bar to my car.  Frank Baptista and I agreed that Motor Imports would not prepare any cars for racing unless they had a roll bar.  This was 1957, and roll bars were not yet required.  

                            If you have seen the photos of George Bull crawling out from under his rolled-over TR-3 at the first National Races at VIR in ~August, 1957, you saw one of the first SCCA racers whose life may have been saved by a roll bar.

                            I was there, without a car to race because I was packing to move to Oklahoma.  George's accident was at the end of the longest straight, and the amount of dust that was thrown up left everyone in the pits dreading the fate of the driver.

                            After seeing George alive in the pits, but obviously shaken, I grabbed a legal pad and pen and passed a petition that I sent to National which called on National to make roll bars mandatory no later than 01 January 1958.

                            I know that I had enough driver signatures to fill two pages of the legal pad.

                            Only one driver refused to sign the petition.

                            He died when his TR-3 rolled at Lime Rock the next year.  His seat belts had been mounted through the floor of his car instead of the frame.

                            My last "race" was as the "Chief Observer" at an event at Ponca City, Oklahoma, in the mid-1960s.

                            In my opinion the management of the event was enthusiastic and hard working, as is usual for most SCCA events, but poorly conceived for the needs of safety.  So many trees, so few hay bales.

                            The requirements of my store being open on weekends provided an excuse for me not to have any more involvement with SCCA racing in the area.  Too much "enthusiasm", too little experience and concern about safety.

                            That decision proved to be wise - a driver was killed when he hit a tree at the end of the main straight the next year.

                            There is more to that decision.  Something happened at my last race (as a a chief observer) at Ponca City.  That is a separate story, and this ms is longer than I had intended.

                            Rick Kelly
                            Oklahoma City

                            I grabbed   
                            On Oct 28, 2010, at 6:03 AM, Andrew Sturgess wrote:

                             

                            Your strap and "basement" story reminds me of one of the selling points of the Turner. Since it was rear engined, there was a large open area under the dash. If you saw that danger was imminent you could drop into the relative safe zone under the dash to avoid injury. Not sure why that idea never caught on.
                            Here's another line, from a Playboy story, I would love to try one of these days. Mort Sahl, the comedian, used to have a Cobra that had been "enhanced" under the hood. When he was pulled over by the local constabulary and asked if he knew how fast he was going he replied "No sir, I was busy in the engine room."


                            From: Bob <bstorck@...>
                            To: Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com
                            Sent: Wed, October 27, 2010 9:29:12 PM
                            Subject: Re: [Marlboro_Raceway] Fairthorpe

                             

                            The original Morris boxes were from A35s and were three speeds. I think the four speed came along with the A40 or later. I''m pretty sure the GCR of the day specified the 3 speed, and that's what my car had in it.

                            For some reason, I recalled it as having a Ford box, but then again I recall winning a lot more races than my friends seem to give me credit for. I'm resolving that part by outliving many of them.

                            While the FWA Climax had more power, it probably had about the same torque, so the box wasn't in too much danger.

                            Cheers, Bob

                            On 10/27/2010 2:41 PM, Erskine Kelly wrote:

                            Aha!

                            The original Fairthorpe gearbox was for Morris Motors' small sedans of the early '50s.  The sedans may have weighed more, but their engines were probably less than 1/4th the power of the Climax engine.  I don't remember how many gears the Morris box had - it might have been a four speed.

                            I wondered how the later Fairthorpes did - and either the company changed gearboxes or the Ford box was not "production".

                            The roll bar for my Fairthorpe was the early "plug-in" type.  The bar could be removed by pulling cotter pins.  It took no time at all for National to realize that reinforcement was needed for north-south forces as well as east-west forces.  I had a strap installed on the passenger side of all of my cars.  If I saw a rollover coming, I could hook my right arm through the strap.  That would keep my head from getting above and outside of the driver's window area.  In my win with the Fairthorpe at Marlboro, I spun out at the area north of the grandstands (a part of the new addition), and had "crawled into the basement" using the strap.  The car didn't roll over, and I was able to catch the three or four FP Alfas that passed me while I was hiding in the "basement", and fell in behind Art Tweedale's leading FP Alfa to the end of the race, so that we collected pots for FP and GP.  [No, I didn't need a pot while I was in the "basement".] 

                            Rick Kelly
                            Oklahoma City
                            On Oct 27, 2010, at 1:37 PM, Bob wrote:

                             

                            I recall it being dark blue or black ... the glass body was in good shape but the paint was badly oxidized. Not origiinal color, and it had a couple roll bars installed and removed.

                            I recall I'd be racing against TR3s and Porsches with a 3 speed Ford gearbox.

                            Cheers, Bob

                            On 10/27/2010 12:46 PM, Erskine Kelly wrote:

                            And, in 1957, in GP, it was unbeatable, IF it stayed together.

                            Was the one you owned originally white - in case it had been repainted?

                            Rick Kelly
                            Oklahoma City
                            On Oct 27, 2010, at 11:27 AM, Bob wrote:

                             

                            I owned one in the late 60s when I had a bunch of Climax parts, and considered racing it, but SCCA classified it too high ... EP IRRC!

                            Cheers, Bob

                            On 10/27/2010 10:35 AM, dgreimel@... wrote:

                            Dave Sisson raced a black Electron a few times while working at BK Foreign Car Clinic in Bethesda.  It never did much but had a nice little Coventry engine.


                            ----- Original Message -----
                            From: "Andrew S" <ajyes72@...>
                            To: "Marlboro Raceway" <Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com>
                            Sent: Tuesday, October 26, 2010 2:46:01 PM
                            Subject: [Marlboro_Raceway] Fairthorpe

                            For those of you as baffled as I was at the mention of a Fairthorpe Electron, here is an imformative link.

                            http://www.fairthorpescc.com/fscc_fairthorpe_limited.html

                            Somehow in all my years of following things automotive this one had escaped me.

                            Regards,

                            Andrew









                          • Erskine Kelly
                            My Cobra photos were at Ponca City. I went to Lake Garnett once, but I forget if I was there to race or help - my strongest memory of the place was that I
                            Message 14 of 22 , Oct 28, 2010
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                              My Cobra photos were at Ponca City.

                              I went to Lake Garnett once, but I forget if I was there to race or help - my strongest memory of the place was that I wouldn't consider driving there at all.  I think that the long straight came to a sharp right turn onto the road on top of a dam.  If you missed the turn there were no good options - other than high dollar hospital bills or drowning.

                              Do I have the right track?

                              Art Bunker I remember.  I think he had a Porsche at the 1956 Nassau Speed Weeks.  Liked the guy - as I recall, what he lacked in ears he made up for in balls.  He pitted with Mike Marshall, who had a bad accident a few months later in Florida - paralyzed from the chest down - pre-roll bar victim.

                              As for roll bars, the open-wheel midget, sprint and big car folks were in denial for decades.

                              At one race a driver showed up with a roll bar on his sprint car.  The promoter refused to allow him to race with a roll bar, in spite of the driver's argument that the weight of the roll bar was a handicap.  So the driver removed the roll bar.

                              You guessed it - he rolled and died in the race.  The law suits that followed were what brought (some) sanity to the open wheelers.  The promoters and organizations cared more for their bottom lines than the upper parts of their drivers.  Sometimes lawyers do good.

                              I have one pet peeve about the vocabulary of accidents.  There is no such thing as a "freak" accident.  Every one of them is a direct response to the laws of physics and human biology.  A better word would be "bizarre".

                              Rick Kelly
                              Oklahoma City 

                              On Oct 28, 2010, at 1:34 PM, Robert Hines wrote:

                               

                              Thanks for the information, it was Pearson in the Lotus.  You might be thinking of the Lake Garnett Race in Kansas when a guy named Grahah "Tombsone" Shaw lost it on a short straight, went into a ditch, get a little air born and hit the hay bale and then the tree with the back of his Cobra.  I remember he hurt his spine and they took him to the hospital.  The back half of the Cobra folded at a 90 degree angle.  I think he was out of South Carolina and came because this race was a national and he was traveling to win the national championship which meant you had to travel to specific races all over the country.  I was at the flag station right across where the accident happened because they were short of flagers and some crew guys had to help out for a couple of races. 
                              Bob


                              From: Erskine Kelly <erkelly2@...>
                              To: Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com
                              Sent: Thu, October 28, 2010 11:25:57 AM
                              Subject: Re: [Marlboro_Raceway] Fairthorpe

                               

                              All you have to do is look at



                              Obviously my last active involvement with SCCA racing was at the 1962 Ponca race.  I did a few days of photography for an OKC newspaper, I'm not sure when, except it was after my second marriage in 1970.  I got a great shot of a Cobra backing into a hay bale at speed.  The tree on the other side of the bales lost a lot of bark.  The driver was ok.  The Cobra did not fare well.
                                 
                              Rick Kelly
                              Oklahoma City
                              On Oct 28, 2010, at 1:09 PM, Robert Hines wrote:

                               

                              The Ponca driver shared a gas station that let us use their lift so we could replace the brass bearings on our Sunbeam Alpine and he was waiting until we were done so he could get his Lotus 7 on the lift.  We talked for at least two hours and his wife was making one of her few trips to the races.  I don't remember his name but I will never forget his face and sense of humor.  He hit that huge tree straight on. 
                               
                              Another Ponca tree caused the death of a triumph driver but I don't remember the year and maybe I wasn't even there when it happened, but I think he hit a large horizontal limb with his head with the expected results.  Erskine, were you at that accident?  Its amazing how many years it took for SCCA to make roll bars mandatory and even more years to make them tall enough to be above the helmet.  There was a Kansas City Volkswagen dealership owner name Art Bunker who rubbed his ear off racing a Porsche when he flipped it on its side.  He told me he was wearing a cloth helmet. 

                              From: Erskine Kelly <erkelly2@...>
                              To: Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com
                              Sent: Thu, October 28, 2010 10:41:53 AM
                              Subject: Re: [Marlboro_Raceway] Fairthorpe

                               

                              Loved Mort Sahl's humor.


                              I forgot to mention why I had installed the strap in the passenger side.

                              There had been several TR-2 or 3 drivers killed in one-car accidents within a few months of my getting into racing.  General descriptions of the accidents suggested that the drivers' upper bodies had been hanging over the low profile of the driver's door with head injuries inevitable.

                              On my first day at Marlboro a Jaguar had rolled at the chicane.  I was among a group of witnesses who helped to get the up-side-down car onto its side.  I was on the bottom side of the car when we got it onto its side.  I couldn't see the driver from my position, but I did see the expressions of the people on the top side of the car.  As they turned away from their view, and seemed to walk away, I reached the notion that there was something on the other side of the car that I didn't want to see.

                              Doc Murphy, a dentist, was the first fatality at the Marlboro road course.

                              His wife had died a year or so earlier while delivering their twin sons.

                              Doc's mother had to raise the twins.  

                              This was the time in which "instructors" would drive the course at speed with the "students" as passengers, and more than one instructor (at separate times) could also do the same .

                              According to former R.E. Jim Mc?, Jim was preparing to ride with Doc Murphy when he was pulled aside by Dick Thompson and advised not to ride with Murphy because he was "squirrelly".

                              One life lost - one life saved?

                              I learned at the expense of others that racing is dangerous.  I took every means available to avoid unnecessary risks, both on and off the track.

                              I am especially proud of being among the first in the DC Region to add a roll bar to my car.  Frank Baptista and I agreed that Motor Imports would not prepare any cars for racing unless they had a roll bar.  This was 1957, and roll bars were not yet required.  

                              If you have seen the photos of George Bull crawling out from under his rolled-over TR-3 at the first National Races at VIR in ~August, 1957, you saw one of the first SCCA racers whose life may have been saved by a roll bar.

                              I was there, without a car to race because I was packing to move to Oklahoma.  George's accident was at the end of the longest straight, and the amount of dust that was thrown up left everyone in the pits dreading the fate of the driver.

                              After seeing George alive in the pits, but obviously shaken, I grabbed a legal pad and pen and passed a petition that I sent to National which called on National to make roll bars mandatory no later than 01 January 1958.

                              I know that I had enough driver signatures to fill two pages of the legal pad.

                              Only one driver refused to sign the petition.

                              He died when his TR-3 rolled at Lime Rock the next year.  His seat belts had been mounted through the floor of his car instead of the frame.

                              My last "race" was as the "Chief Observer" at an event at Ponca City, Oklahoma, in the mid-1960s.

                              In my opinion the management of the event was enthusiastic and hard working, as is usual for most SCCA events, but poorly conceived for the needs of safety.  So many trees, so few hay bales.

                              The requirements of my store being open on weekends provided an excuse for me not to have any more involvement with SCCA racing in the area.  Too much "enthusiasm", too little experience and concern about safety.

                              That decision proved to be wise - a driver was killed when he hit a tree at the end of the main straight the next year.

                              There is more to that decision.  Something happened at my last race (as a a chief observer) at Ponca City.  That is a separate story, and this ms is longer than I had intended.

                              Rick Kelly
                              Oklahoma City

                              I grabbed   
                              On Oct 28, 2010, at 6:03 AM, Andrew Sturgess wrote:

                               

                              Your strap and "basement" story reminds me of one of the selling points of the Turner. Since it was rear engined, there was a large open area under the dash. If you saw that danger was imminent you could drop into the relative safe zone under the dash to avoid injury. Not sure why that idea never caught on.
                              Here's another line, from a Playboy story, I would love to try one of these days. Mort Sahl, the comedian, used to have a Cobra that had been "enhanced" under the hood. When he was pulled over by the local constabulary and asked if he knew how fast he was going he replied "No sir, I was busy in the engine room."


                              From: Bob <bstorck@...>
                              To: Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com
                              Sent: Wed, October 27, 2010 9:29:12 PM
                              Subject: Re: [Marlboro_Raceway] Fairthorpe

                               

                              The original Morris boxes were from A35s and were three speeds. I think the four speed came along with the A40 or later. I''m pretty sure the GCR of the day specified the 3 speed, and that's what my car had in it.

                              For some reason, I recalled it as having a Ford box, but then again I recall winning a lot more races than my friends seem to give me credit for. I'm resolving that part by outliving many of them.

                              While the FWA Climax had more power, it probably had about the same torque, so the box wasn't in too much danger.

                              Cheers, Bob

                              On 10/27/2010 2:41 PM, Erskine Kelly wrote:

                              Aha!

                              The original Fairthorpe gearbox was for Morris Motors' small sedans of the early '50s.  The sedans may have weighed more, but their engines were probably less than 1/4th the power of the Climax engine.  I don't remember how many gears the Morris box had - it might have been a four speed.

                              I wondered how the later Fairthorpes did - and either the company changed gearboxes or the Ford box was not "production".

                              The roll bar for my Fairthorpe was the early "plug-in" type.  The bar could be removed by pulling cotter pins.  It took no time at all for National to realize that reinforcement was needed for north-south forces as well as east-west forces.  I had a strap installed on the passenger side of all of my cars.  If I saw a rollover coming, I could hook my right arm through the strap.  That would keep my head from getting above and outside of the driver's window area.  In my win with the Fairthorpe at Marlboro, I spun out at the area north of the grandstands (a part of the new addition), and had "crawled into the basement" using the strap.  The car didn't roll over, and I was able to catch the three or four FP Alfas that passed me while I was hiding in the "basement", and fell in behind Art Tweedale's leading FP Alfa to the end of the race, so that we collected pots for FP and GP.  [No, I didn't need a pot while I was in the "basement".] 

                              Rick Kelly
                              Oklahoma City
                              On Oct 27, 2010, at 1:37 PM, Bob wrote:

                               

                              I recall it being dark blue or black ... the glass body was in good shape but the paint was badly oxidized. Not origiinal color, and it had a couple roll bars installed and removed.

                              I recall I'd be racing against TR3s and Porsches with a 3 speed Ford gearbox.

                              Cheers, Bob

                              On 10/27/2010 12:46 PM, Erskine Kelly wrote:

                              And, in 1957, in GP, it was unbeatable, IF it stayed together.

                              Was the one you owned originally white - in case it had been repainted?

                              Rick Kelly
                              Oklahoma City
                              On Oct 27, 2010, at 11:27 AM, Bob wrote:

                               

                              I owned one in the late 60s when I had a bunch of Climax parts, and considered racing it, but SCCA classified it too high ... EP IRRC!

                              Cheers, Bob

                              On 10/27/2010 10:35 AM, dgreimel@... wrote:

                              Dave Sisson raced a black Electron a few times while working at BK Foreign Car Clinic in Bethesda.  It never did much but had a nice little Coventry engine.


                              ----- Original Message -----
                              From: "Andrew S" <ajyes72@...>
                              To: "Marlboro Raceway" <Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com>
                              Sent: Tuesday, October 26, 2010 2:46:01 PM
                              Subject: [Marlboro_Raceway] Fairthorpe

                              For those of you as baffled as I was at the mention of a Fairthorpe Electron, here is an imformative link.

                              http://www.fairthorpescc.com/fscc_fairthorpe_limited.html

                              Somehow in all my years of following things automotive this one had escaped me.

                              Regards,

                              Andrew














                            • Robert Hines
                              The Lake Garnett straight was parallel with the railroad tracks and was very long indeed.  You remember right about the sharp right hand turn (about 20mph)
                              Message 15 of 22 , Oct 28, 2010
                              • 0 Attachment
                                The Lake Garnett straight was parallel with the railroad tracks and was very long indeed.  You remember right about the sharp right hand turn (about 20mph) with a 2 or 3 foot thick rock and concrete dam wall.  Then across the dam to the other end where there was a dip in the road and a spillway to let out the overflow water from the lake.  The first year they forgot to lower the water a week earlier and water was still flowing so the car went through the water and then up a fairly sharp right hand turn hill.  Lots of spins that year due to wet tires.  The following years they remembered to drain the lake down so that spillway was always dry. 
                                 
                                The first year the race claimed two or three young people in an American car that went onto the track after dark and didn't slow down for the turn at the dam.  Horrible wreck, the car was just nothing but twisted metal.
                                 
                                Art's car was silver of course and he kept it at the dealership and was always happy to do a show and tell.  I bought my first Volkswagen from him.

                                From: Erskine Kelly <erkelly2@...>
                                To: Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com
                                Sent: Thu, October 28, 2010 1:44:50 PM
                                Subject: Re: [Marlboro_Raceway] Fairthorpe

                                 

                                My Cobra photos were at Ponca City.


                                I went to Lake Garnett once, but I forget if I was there to race or help - my strongest memory of the place was that I wouldn't consider driving there at all.  I think that the long straight came to a sharp right turn onto the road on top of a dam.  If you missed the turn there were no good options - other than high dollar hospital bills or drowning.

                                Do I have the right track?

                                Art Bunker I remember.  I think he had a Porsche at the 1956 Nassau Speed Weeks.  Liked the guy - as I recall, what he lacked in ears he made up for in balls.  He pitted with Mike Marshall, who had a bad accident a few months later in Florida - paralyzed from the chest down - pre-roll bar victim.

                                As for roll bars, the open-wheel midget, sprint and big car folks were in denial for decades.

                                At one race a driver showed up with a roll bar on his sprint car.  The promoter refused to allow him to race with a roll bar, in spite of the driver's argument that the weight of the roll bar was a handicap.  So the driver removed the roll bar.

                                You guessed it - he rolled and died in the race.  The law suits that followed were what brought (some) sanity to the open wheelers.  The promoters and organizations cared more for their bottom lines than the upper parts of their drivers.  Sometimes lawyers do good.

                                I have one pet peeve about the vocabulary of accidents.  There is no such thing as a "freak" accident.  Every one of them is a direct response to the laws of physics and human biology.  A better word would be "bizarre".

                                Rick Kelly
                                Oklahoma City 

                                On Oct 28, 2010, at 1:34 PM, Robert Hines wrote:

                                 

                                Thanks for the information, it was Pearson in the Lotus.  You might be thinking of the Lake Garnett Race in Kansas when a guy named Grahah "Tombsone" Shaw lost it on a short straight, went into a ditch, get a little air born and hit the hay bale and then the tree with the back of his Cobra.  I remember he hurt his spine and they took him to the hospital.  The back half of the Cobra folded at a 90 degree angle.  I think he was out of South Carolina and came because this race was a national and he was traveling to win the national championship which meant you had to travel to specific races all over the country.  I was at the flag station right across where the accident happened because they were short of flagers and some crew guys had to help out for a couple of races. 
                                Bob


                                From: Erskine Kelly <erkelly2@...>
                                To: Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com
                                Sent: Thu, October 28, 2010 11:25:57 AM
                                Subject: Re: [Marlboro_Raceway] Fairthorpe

                                 

                                All you have to do is look at



                                Obviously my last active involvement with SCCA racing was at the 1962 Ponca race.  I did a few days of photography for an OKC newspaper, I'm not sure when, except it was after my second marriage in 1970.  I got a great shot of a Cobra backing into a hay bale at speed.  The tree on the other side of the bales lost a lot of bark.  The driver was ok.  The Cobra did not fare well.
                                   
                                Rick Kelly
                                Oklahoma City
                                On Oct 28, 2010, at 1:09 PM, Robert Hines wrote:

                                 

                                The Ponca driver shared a gas station that let us use their lift so we could replace the brass bearings on our Sunbeam Alpine and he was waiting until we were done so he could get his Lotus 7 on the lift.  We talked for at least two hours and his wife was making one of her few trips to the races.  I don't remember his name but I will never forget his face and sense of humor.  He hit that huge tree straight on. 
                                 
                                Another Ponca tree caused the death of a triumph driver but I don't remember the year and maybe I wasn't even there when it happened, but I think he hit a large horizontal limb with his head with the expected results.  Erskine, were you at that accident?  Its amazing how many years it took for SCCA to make roll bars mandatory and even more years to make them tall enough to be above the helmet.  There was a Kansas City Volkswagen dealership owner name Art Bunker who rubbed his ear off racing a Porsche when he flipped it on its side.  He told me he was wearing a cloth helmet. 

                                From: Erskine Kelly <erkelly2@...>
                                To: Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com
                                Sent: Thu, October 28, 2010 10:41:53 AM
                                Subject: Re: [Marlboro_Raceway] Fairthorpe

                                 

                                Loved Mort Sahl's humor.


                                I forgot to mention why I had installed the strap in the passenger side.

                                There had been several TR-2 or 3 drivers killed in one-car accidents within a few months of my getting into racing.  General descriptions of the accidents suggested that the drivers' upper bodies had been hanging over the low profile of the driver's door with head injuries inevitable.

                                On my first day at Marlboro a Jaguar had rolled at the chicane.  I was among a group of witnesses who helped to get the up-side-down car onto its side.  I was on the bottom side of the car when we got it onto its side.  I couldn't see the driver from my position, but I did see the expressions of the people on the top side of the car.  As they turned away from their view, and seemed to walk away, I reached the notion that there was something on the other side of the car that I didn't want to see.

                                Doc Murphy, a dentist, was the first fatality at the Marlboro road course.

                                His wife had died a year or so earlier while delivering their twin sons.

                                Doc's mother had to raise the twins.  

                                This was the time in which "instructors" would drive the course at speed with the "students" as passengers, and more than one instructor (at separate times) could also do the same .

                                According to former R.E. Jim Mc?, Jim was preparing to ride with Doc Murphy when he was pulled aside by Dick Thompson and advised not to ride with Murphy because he was "squirrelly".

                                One life lost - one life saved?

                                I learned at the expense of others that racing is dangerous.  I took every means available to avoid unnecessary risks, both on and off the track.

                                I am especially proud of being among the first in the DC Region to add a roll bar to my car.  Frank Baptista and I agreed that Motor Imports would not prepare any cars for racing unless they had a roll bar.  This was 1957, and roll bars were not yet required.  

                                If you have seen the photos of George Bull crawling out from under his rolled-over TR-3 at the first National Races at VIR in ~August, 1957, you saw one of the first SCCA racers whose life may have been saved by a roll bar.

                                I was there, without a car to race because I was packing to move to Oklahoma.  George's accident was at the end of the longest straight, and the amount of dust that was thrown up left everyone in the pits dreading the fate of the driver.

                                After seeing George alive in the pits, but obviously shaken, I grabbed a legal pad and pen and passed a petition that I sent to National which called on National to make roll bars mandatory no later than 01 January 1958.

                                I know that I had enough driver signatures to fill two pages of the legal pad.

                                Only one driver refused to sign the petition.

                                He died when his TR-3 rolled at Lime Rock the next year.  His seat belts had been mounted through the floor of his car instead of the frame.

                                My last "race" was as the "Chief Observer" at an event at Ponca City, Oklahoma, in the mid-1960s.

                                In my opinion the management of the event was enthusiastic and hard working, as is usual for most SCCA events, but poorly conceived for the needs of safety.  So many trees, so few hay bales.

                                The requirements of my store being open on weekends provided an excuse for me not to have any more involvement with SCCA racing in the area.  Too much "enthusiasm", too little experience and concern about safety.

                                That decision proved to be wise - a driver was killed when he hit a tree at the end of the main straight the next year.

                                There is more to that decision.  Something happened at my last race (as a a chief observer) at Ponca City.  That is a separate story, and this ms is longer than I had intended.

                                Rick Kelly
                                Oklahoma City

                                I grabbed   
                                On Oct 28, 2010, at 6:03 AM, Andrew Sturgess wrote:

                                 

                                Your strap and "basement" story reminds me of one of the selling points of the Turner. Since it was rear engined, there was a large open area under the dash. If you saw that danger was imminent you could drop into the relative safe zone under the dash to avoid injury. Not sure why that idea never caught on.
                                Here's another line, from a Playboy story, I would love to try one of these days. Mort Sahl, the comedian, used to have a Cobra that had been "enhanced" under the hood. When he was pulled over by the local constabulary and asked if he knew how fast he was going he replied "No sir, I was busy in the engine room."


                                From: Bob <bstorck@...>
                                To: Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com
                                Sent: Wed, October 27, 2010 9:29:12 PM
                                Subject: Re: [Marlboro_Raceway] Fairthorpe

                                 

                                The original Morris boxes were from A35s and were three speeds. I think the four speed came along with the A40 or later. I''m pretty sure the GCR of the day specified the 3 speed, and that's what my car had in it.

                                For some reason, I recalled it as having a Ford box, but then again I recall winning a lot more races than my friends seem to give me credit for. I'm resolving that part by outliving many of them.

                                While the FWA Climax had more power, it probably had about the same torque, so the box wasn't in too much danger.

                                Cheers, Bob

                                On 10/27/2010 2:41 PM, Erskine Kelly wrote:

                                Aha!

                                The original Fairthorpe gearbox was for Morris Motors' small sedans of the early '50s.  The sedans may have weighed more, but their engines were probably less than 1/4th the power of the Climax engine.  I don't remember how many gears the Morris box had - it might have been a four speed.

                                I wondered how the later Fairthorpes did - and either the company changed gearboxes or the Ford box was not "production".

                                The roll bar for my Fairthorpe was the early "plug-in" type.  The bar could be removed by pulling cotter pins.  It took no time at all for National to realize that reinforcement was needed for north-south forces as well as east-west forces.  I had a strap installed on the passenger side of all of my cars.  If I saw a rollover coming, I could hook my right arm through the strap.  That would keep my head from getting above and outside of the driver's window area.  In my win with the Fairthorpe at Marlboro, I spun out at the area north of the grandstands (a part of the new addition), and had "crawled into the basement" using the strap.  The car didn't roll over, and I was able to catch the three or four FP Alfas that passed me while I was hiding in the "basement", and fell in behind Art Tweedale's leading FP Alfa to the end of the race, so that we collected pots for FP and GP.  [No, I didn't need a pot while I was in the "basement".] 

                                Rick Kelly
                                Oklahoma City
                                On Oct 27, 2010, at 1:37 PM, Bob wrote:

                                 

                                I recall it being dark blue or black ... the glass body was in good shape but the paint was badly oxidized. Not origiinal color, and it had a couple roll bars installed and removed.

                                I recall I'd be racing against TR3s and Porsches with a 3 speed Ford gearbox.

                                Cheers, Bob

                                On 10/27/2010 12:46 PM, Erskine Kelly wrote:

                                And, in 1957, in GP, it was unbeatable, IF it stayed together.

                                Was the one you owned originally white - in case it had been repainted?

                                Rick Kelly
                                Oklahoma City
                                On Oct 27, 2010, at 11:27 AM, Bob wrote:

                                 

                                I owned one in the late 60s when I had a bunch of Climax parts, and considered racing it, but SCCA classified it too high ... EP IRRC!

                                Cheers, Bob

                                On 10/27/2010 10:35 AM, dgreimel@... wrote:

                                Dave Sisson raced a black Electron a few times while working at BK Foreign Car Clinic in Bethesda.  It never did much but had a nice little Coventry engine.


                                ----- Original Message -----
                                From: "Andrew S" <ajyes72@...>
                                To: "Marlboro Raceway" <Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com>
                                Sent: Tuesday, October 26, 2010 2:46:01 PM
                                Subject: [Marlboro_Raceway] Fairthorpe

                                For those of you as baffled as I was at the mention of a Fairthorpe Electron, here is an imformative link.

                                http://www.fairthorpescc.com/fscc_fairthorpe_limited.html

                                Somehow in all my years of following things automotive this one had escaped me.

                                Regards,

                                Andrew















                              • Andrew Sturgess
                                Doing a little surfing and I see that a Jack Brabban (read carefully) used to race a  Fairthorpe Electron for Fairthorpe Auto Racing Team.... which shortens
                                Message 16 of 22 , Oct 28, 2010
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  Doing a little surfing and I see that a Jack Brabban (read carefully) used to race a  Fairthorpe Electron for Fairthorpe Auto Racing Team.... which shortens conveniently to F.A.R.T.


                                  From: Erskine Kelly <erkelly2@...>
                                  To: Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com
                                  Sent: Thu, October 28, 2010 4:44:50 PM
                                  Subject: Re: [Marlboro_Raceway] Fairthorpe

                                   

                                  My Cobra photos were at Ponca City.


                                  I went to Lake Garnett once, but I forget if I was there to race or help - my strongest memory of the place was that I wouldn't consider driving there at all.  I think that the long straight came to a sharp right turn onto the road on top of a dam.  If you missed the turn there were no good options - other than high dollar hospital bills or drowning.

                                  Do I have the right track?

                                  Art Bunker I remember.  I think he had a Porsche at the 1956 Nassau Speed Weeks.  Liked the guy - as I recall, what he lacked in ears he made up for in balls.  He pitted with Mike Marshall, who had a bad accident a few months later in Florida - paralyzed from the chest down - pre-roll bar victim.

                                  As for roll bars, the open-wheel midget, sprint and big car folks were in denial for decades.

                                  At one race a driver showed up with a roll bar on his sprint car.  The promoter refused to allow him to race with a roll bar, in spite of the driver's argument that the weight of the roll bar was a handicap.  So the driver removed the roll bar.

                                  You guessed it - he rolled and died in the race.  The law suits that followed were what brought (some) sanity to the open wheelers.  The promoters and organizations cared more for their bottom lines than the upper parts of their drivers.  Sometimes lawyers do good.

                                  I have one pet peeve about the vocabulary of accidents.  There is no such thing as a "freak" accident.  Every one of them is a direct response to the laws of physics and human biology.  A better word would be "bizarre".

                                  Rick Kelly
                                  Oklahoma City 

                                  On Oct 28, 2010, at 1:34 PM, Robert Hines wrote:

                                   

                                  Thanks for the information, it was Pearson in the Lotus.  You might be thinking of the Lake Garnett Race in Kansas when a guy named Grahah "Tombsone" Shaw lost it on a short straight, went into a ditch, get a little air born and hit the hay bale and then the tree with the back of his Cobra.  I remember he hurt his spine and they took him to the hospital.  The back half of the Cobra folded at a 90 degree angle.  I think he was out of South Carolina and came because this race was a national and he was traveling to win the national championship which meant you had to travel to specific races all over the country.  I was at the flag station right across where the accident happened because they were short of flagers and some crew guys had to help out for a couple of races. 
                                  Bob


                                  From: Erskine Kelly <erkelly2@...>
                                  To: Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com
                                  Sent: Thu, October 28, 2010 11:25:57 AM
                                  Subject: Re: [Marlboro_Raceway] Fairthorpe

                                   

                                  All you have to do is look at


                                  http://motorsportmemorial.org/query.php?db=ct&q=circuit_c&n=1114&p=y

                                  Obviously my last active involvement with SCCA racing was at the 1962 Ponca race.  I did a few days of photography for an OKC newspaper, I'm not sure when, except it was after my second marriage in 1970.  I got a great shot of a Cobra backing into a hay bale at speed.  The tree on the other side of the bales lost a lot of bark.  The driver was ok.  The Cobra did not fare well.
                                     
                                  Rick Kelly
                                  Oklahoma City
                                  On Oct 28, 2010, at 1:09 PM, Robert Hines wrote:

                                   

                                  The Ponca driver shared a gas station that let us use their lift so we could replace the brass bearings on our Sunbeam Alpine and he was waiting until we were done so he could get his Lotus 7 on the lift.  We talked for at least two hours and his wife was making one of her few trips to the races.  I don't remember his name but I will never forget his face and sense of humor.  He hit that huge tree straight on. 
                                   
                                  Another Ponca tree caused the death of a triumph driver but I don't remember the year and maybe I wasn't even there when it happened, but I think he hit a large horizontal limb with his head with the expected results.  Erskine, were you at that accident?  Its amazing how many years it took for SCCA to make roll bars mandatory and even more years to make them tall enough to be above the helmet.  There was a Kansas City Volkswagen dealership owner name Art Bunker who rubbed his ear off racing a Porsche when he flipped it on its side.  He told me he was wearing a cloth helmet. 

                                  From: Erskine Kelly <erkelly2@...>
                                  To: Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com
                                  Sent: Thu, October 28, 2010 10:41:53 AM
                                  Subject: Re: [Marlboro_Raceway] Fairthorpe

                                   

                                  Loved Mort Sahl's humor.


                                  I forgot to mention why I had installed the strap in the passenger side.

                                  There had been several TR-2 or 3 drivers killed in one-car accidents within a few months of my getting into racing.  General descriptions of the accidents suggested that the drivers' upper bodies had been hanging over the low profile of the driver's door with head injuries inevitable.

                                  On my first day at Marlboro a Jaguar had rolled at the chicane.  I was among a group of witnesses who helped to get the up-side-down car onto its side.  I was on the bottom side of the car when we got it onto its side.  I couldn't see the driver from my position, but I did see the expressions of the people on the top side of the car.  As they turned away from their view, and seemed to walk away, I reached the notion that there was something on the other side of the car that I didn't want to see.

                                  Doc Murphy, a dentist, was the first fatality at the Marlboro road course.

                                  His wife had died a year or so earlier while delivering their twin sons.

                                  Doc's mother had to raise the twins.  

                                  This was the time in which "instructors" would drive the course at speed with the "students" as passengers, and more than one instructor (at separate times) could also do the same .

                                  According to former R.E. Jim Mc?, Jim was preparing to ride with Doc Murphy when he was pulled aside by Dick Thompson and advised not to ride with Murphy because he was "squirrelly".

                                  One life lost - one life saved?

                                  I learned at the expense of others that racing is dangerous.  I took every means available to avoid unnecessary risks, both on and off the track.

                                  I am especially proud of being among the first in the DC Region to add a roll bar to my car.  Frank Baptista and I agreed that Motor Imports would not prepare any cars for racing unless they had a roll bar.  This was 1957, and roll bars were not yet required.  

                                  If you have seen the photos of George Bull crawling out from under his rolled-over TR-3 at the first National Races at VIR in ~August, 1957, you saw one of the first SCCA racers whose life may have been saved by a roll bar.

                                  I was there, without a car to race because I was packing to move to Oklahoma.  George's accident was at the end of the longest straight, and the amount of dust that was thrown up left everyone in the pits dreading the fate of the driver.

                                  After seeing George alive in the pits, but obviously shaken, I grabbed a legal pad and pen and passed a petition that I sent to National which called on National to make roll bars mandatory no later than 01 January 1958.

                                  I know that I had enough driver signatures to fill two pages of the legal pad.

                                  Only one driver refused to sign the petition.

                                  He died when his TR-3 rolled at Lime Rock the next year.  His seat belts had been mounted through the floor of his car instead of the frame.

                                  My last "race" was as the "Chief Observer" at an event at Ponca City, Oklahoma, in the mid-1960s.

                                  In my opinion the management of the event was enthusiastic and hard working, as is usual for most SCCA events, but poorly conceived for the needs of safety.  So many trees, so few hay bales.

                                  The requirements of my store being open on weekends provided an excuse for me not to have any more involvement with SCCA racing in the area.  Too much "enthusiasm", too little experience and concern about safety.

                                  That decision proved to be wise - a driver was killed when he hit a tree at the end of the main straight the next year.

                                  There is more to that decision.  Something happened at my last race (as a a chief observer) at Ponca City.  That is a separate story, and this ms is longer than I had intended.

                                  Rick Kelly
                                  Oklahoma City

                                  I grabbed   
                                  On Oct 28, 2010, at 6:03 AM, Andrew Sturgess wrote:

                                   

                                  Your strap and "basement" story reminds me of one of the selling points of the Turner. Since it was rear engined, there was a large open area under the dash. If you saw that danger was imminent you could drop into the relative safe zone under the dash to avoid injury. Not sure why that idea never caught on.
                                  Here's another line, from a Playboy story, I would love to try one of these days. Mort Sahl, the comedian, used to have a Cobra that had been "enhanced" under the hood. When he was pulled over by the local constabulary and asked if he knew how fast he was going he replied "No sir, I was busy in the engine room."


                                  From: Bob <bstorck@...>
                                  To: Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com
                                  Sent: Wed, October 27, 2010 9:29:12 PM
                                  Subject: Re: [Marlboro_Raceway] Fairthorpe

                                   

                                  The original Morris boxes were from A35s and were three speeds. I think the four speed came along with the A40 or later. I''m pretty sure the GCR of the day specified the 3 speed, and that's what my car had in it.

                                  For some reason, I recalled it as having a Ford box, but then again I recall winning a lot more races than my friends seem to give me credit for. I'm resolving that part by outliving many of them.

                                  While the FWA Climax had more power, it probably had about the same torque, so the box wasn't in too much danger.

                                  Cheers, Bob

                                  On 10/27/2010 2:41 PM, Erskine Kelly wrote:

                                  Aha!

                                  The original Fairthorpe gearbox was for Morris Motors' small sedans of the early '50s.  The sedans may have weighed more, but their engines were probably less than 1/4th the power of the Climax engine.  I don't remember how many gears the Morris box had - it might have been a four speed.

                                  I wondered how the later Fairthorpes did - and either the company changed gearboxes or the Ford box was not "production".

                                  The roll bar for my Fairthorpe was the early "plug-in" type.  The bar could be removed by pulling cotter pins.  It took no time at all for National to realize that reinforcement was needed for north-south forces as well as east-west forces.  I had a strap installed on the passenger side of all of my cars.  If I saw a rollover coming, I could hook my right arm through the strap.  That would keep my head from getting above and outside of the driver's window area.  In my win with the Fairthorpe at Marlboro, I spun out at the area north of the grandstands (a part of the new addition), and had "crawled into the basement" using the strap.  The car didn't roll over, and I was able to catch the three or four FP Alfas that passed me while I was hiding in the "basement", and fell in behind Art Tweedale's leading FP Alfa to the end of the race, so that we collected pots for FP and GP.  [No, I didn't need a pot while I was in the "basement".] 

                                  Rick Kelly
                                  Oklahoma City
                                  On Oct 27, 2010, at 1:37 PM, Bob wrote:

                                   

                                  I recall it being dark blue or black ... the glass body was in good shape but the paint was badly oxidized. Not origiinal color, and it had a couple roll bars installed and removed.

                                  I recall I'd be racing against TR3s and Porsches with a 3 speed Ford gearbox.

                                  Cheers, Bob

                                  On 10/27/2010 12:46 PM, Erskine Kelly wrote:

                                  And, in 1957, in GP, it was unbeatable, IF it stayed together.

                                  Was the one you owned originally white - in case it had been repainted?

                                  Rick Kelly
                                  Oklahoma City
                                  On Oct 27, 2010, at 11:27 AM, Bob wrote:

                                   

                                  I owned one in the late 60s when I had a bunch of Climax parts, and considered racing it, but SCCA classified it too high ... EP IRRC!

                                  Cheers, Bob

                                  On 10/27/2010 10:35 AM, dgreimel@... wrote:

                                  Dave Sisson raced a black Electron a few times while working at BK Foreign Car Clinic in Bethesda.  It never did much but had a nice little Coventry engine.


                                  ----- Original Message -----
                                  From: "Andrew S" <ajyes72@...>
                                  To: "Marlboro Raceway" <Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com>
                                  Sent: Tuesday, October 26, 2010 2:46:01 PM
                                  Subject: [Marlboro_Raceway] Fairthorpe

                                  For those of you as baffled as I was at the mention of a Fairthorpe Electron, here is an imformative link.

                                  http://www.fairthorpescc.com/fscc_fairthorpe_limited.html

                                  Somehow in all my years of following things automotive this one had escaped me.

                                  Regards,

                                  Andrew














                                • Richard
                                  Was the one driver who wouldn t sign your petition Harold Hurtley? I saw him race a TR3 at VIR in 1957 and he was fast, but he had a very odd driving
                                  Message 17 of 22 , Oct 28, 2010
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    Was the one driver who wouldn't sign your petition Harold Hurtley? I saw him race a TR3 at VIR in 1957 and he was fast, but he had a very odd driving position. Seemed like he had the seat all the way up, sat sort of sideways like he was cruising a drive-in to check out the car hops, and almost wrapped his right arm over and around the steering wheel.

                                    The next year, I read he had been killed at Lime Rock on July 4, 1958 and that news didn't surprise me. From my observations at VIR, I would put him in your "squirrelly" category.

                                    As a DC native and a student at VPI (now Va Tech) I attended many races at Marlboro and VIR 1955 to 1961 and really enjoy reading all of these racing experiences related on this group.

                                    Thanx for the memories,
                                    Dick Miller

                                    --- In Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com, Erskine Kelly <erkelly2@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > Loved Mort Sahl's humor.
                                    >
                                    > I forgot to mention why I had installed the strap in the passenger side.
                                    >
                                    > There had been several TR-2 or 3 drivers killed in one-car accidents within a few months of my getting into racing. General descriptions of the accidents suggested that the drivers' upper bodies had been hanging over the low profile of the driver's door with head injuries inevitable.
                                    >
                                    > On my first day at Marlboro a Jaguar had rolled at the chicane. I was among a group of witnesses who helped to get the up-side-down car onto its side. I was on the bottom side of the car when we got it onto its side. I couldn't see the driver from my position, but I did see the expressions of the people on the top side of the car. As they turned away from their view, and seemed to walk away, I reached the notion that there was something on the other side of the car that I didn't want to see.
                                    >
                                    > Doc Murphy, a dentist, was the first fatality at the Marlboro road course.
                                    >
                                    > His wife had died a year or so earlier while delivering their twin sons.
                                    >
                                    > Doc's mother had to raise the twins.
                                    >
                                    > This was the time in which "instructors" would drive the course at speed with the "students" as passengers, and more than one instructor (at separate times) could also do the same .
                                    >
                                    > According to former R.E. Jim Mc?, Jim was preparing to ride with Doc Murphy when he was pulled aside by Dick Thompson and advised not to ride with Murphy because he was "squirrelly".
                                    >
                                    > One life lost - one life saved?
                                    >
                                    > I learned at the expense of others that racing is dangerous. I took every means available to avoid unnecessary risks, both on and off the track.
                                    >
                                    > I am especially proud of being among the first in the DC Region to add a roll bar to my car. Frank Baptista and I agreed that Motor Imports would not prepare any cars for racing unless they had a roll bar. This was 1957, and roll bars were not yet required.
                                    >
                                    > If you have seen the photos of George Bull crawling out from under his rolled-over TR-3 at the first National Races at VIR in ~August, 1957, you saw one of the first SCCA racers whose life may have been saved by a roll bar.
                                    >
                                    > I was there, without a car to race because I was packing to move to Oklahoma. George's accident was at the end of the longest straight, and the amount of dust that was thrown up left everyone in the pits dreading the fate of the driver.
                                    >
                                    > After seeing George alive in the pits, but obviously shaken, I grabbed a legal pad and pen and passed a petition that I sent to National which called on National to make roll bars mandatory no later than 01 January 1958.
                                    >
                                    > I know that I had enough driver signatures to fill two pages of the legal pad.
                                    >
                                    > Only one driver refused to sign the petition.
                                    >
                                    > He died when his TR-3 rolled at Lime Rock the next year. His seat belts had been mounted through the floor of his car instead of the frame.
                                    >
                                    > My last "race" was as the "Chief Observer" at an event at Ponca City, Oklahoma, in the mid-1960s.
                                    >
                                    > In my opinion the management of the event was enthusiastic and hard working, as is usual for most SCCA events, but poorly conceived for the needs of safety. So many trees, so few hay bales.
                                    >
                                    > The requirements of my store being open on weekends provided an excuse for me not to have any more involvement with SCCA racing in the area. Too much "enthusiasm", too little experience and concern about safety.
                                    >
                                    > That decision proved to be wise - a driver was killed when he hit a tree at the end of the main straight the next year.
                                    >
                                    > There is more to that decision. Something happened at my last race (as a a chief observer) at Ponca City. That is a separate story, and this ms is longer than I had intended.
                                    >
                                    > Rick Kelly
                                    > Oklahoma City
                                    >
                                    > I grabbed
                                    > On Oct 28, 2010, at 6:03 AM, Andrew Sturgess wrote:
                                    >
                                    > >
                                    > > Your strap and "basement" story reminds me of one of the selling points of the Turner. Since it was rear engined, there was a large open area under the dash. If you saw that danger was imminent you could drop into the relative safe zone under the dash to avoid injury. Not sure why that idea never caught on.
                                    > > Here's another line, from a Playboy story, I would love to try one of these days. Mort Sahl, the comedian, used to have a Cobra that had been "enhanced" under the hood. When he was pulled over by the local constabulary and asked if he knew how fast he was going he replied "No sir, I was busy in the engine room."
                                    > >
                                    > > From: Bob <bstorck@...>
                                    > > To: Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com
                                    > > Sent: Wed, October 27, 2010 9:29:12 PM
                                    > > Subject: Re: [Marlboro_Raceway] Fairthorpe
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > > The original Morris boxes were from A35s and were three speeds. I think the four speed came along with the A40 or later. I''m pretty sure the GCR of the day specified the 3 speed, and that's what my car had in it.
                                    > >
                                    > > For some reason, I recalled it as having a Ford box, but then again I recall winning a lot more races than my friends seem to give me credit for. I'm resolving that part by outliving many of them.
                                    > >
                                    > > While the FWA Climax had more power, it probably had about the same torque, so the box wasn't in too much danger.
                                    > >
                                    > > Cheers, Bob
                                    > >
                                    > > On 10/27/2010 2:41 PM, Erskine Kelly wrote:
                                    > >
                                    > >> Aha!
                                    > >>
                                    > >> The original Fairthorpe gearbox was for Morris Motors' small sedans of the early '50s. The sedans may have weighed more, but their engines were probably less than 1/4th the power of the Climax engine. I don't remember how many gears the Morris box had - it might have been a four speed.
                                    > >>
                                    > >> I wondered how the later Fairthorpes did - and either the company changed gearboxes or the Ford box was not "production".
                                    > >>
                                    > >> The roll bar for my Fairthorpe was the early "plug-in" type. The bar could be removed by pulling cotter pins. It took no time at all for National to realize that reinforcement was needed for north-south forces as well as east-west forces. I had a strap installed on the passenger side of all of my cars. If I saw a rollover coming, I could hook my right arm through the strap. That would keep my head from getting above and outside of the driver's window area. In my win with the Fairthorpe at Marlboro, I spun out at the area north of the grandstands (a part of the new addition), and had "crawled into the basement" using the strap. The car didn't roll over, and I was able to catch the three or four FP Alfas that passed me while I was hiding in the "basement", and fell in behind Art Tweedale's leading FP Alfa to the end of the race, so that we collected pots for FP and GP. [No, I didn't need a pot while I was in the "basement".]
                                    > >>
                                    > >> Rick Kelly
                                    > >> Oklahoma City
                                    > >> On Oct 27, 2010, at 1:37 PM, Bob wrote:
                                    > >>
                                    > >>>
                                    > >>> I recall it being dark blue or black ... the glass body was in good shape but the paint was badly oxidized. Not origiinal color, and it had a couple roll bars installed and removed.
                                    > >>>
                                    > >>> I recall I'd be racing against TR3s and Porsches with a 3 speed Ford gearbox.
                                    > >>>
                                    > >>> Cheers, Bob
                                    > >>>
                                    > >>> On 10/27/2010 12:46 PM, Erskine Kelly wrote:
                                    > >>>
                                    > >>>> And, in 1957, in GP, it was unbeatable, IF it stayed together.
                                    > >>>>
                                    > >>>> Was the one you owned originally white - in case it had been repainted?
                                    > >>>>
                                    > >>>> Rick Kelly
                                    > >>>> Oklahoma City
                                    > >>>> On Oct 27, 2010, at 11:27 AM, Bob wrote:
                                    > >>>>
                                    > >>>>>
                                    > >>>>> I owned one in the late 60s when I had a bunch of Climax parts, and considered racing it, but SCCA classified it too high ... EP IRRC!
                                    > >>>>>
                                    > >>>>> Cheers, Bob
                                    > >>>>>
                                    > >>>>> On 10/27/2010 10:35 AM, dgreimel@... wrote:
                                    > >>>>>
                                    > >>>>>> Dave Sisson raced a black Electron a few times while working at BK Foreign Car Clinic in Bethesda. It never did much but had a nice little Coventry engine.
                                    > >>>>>>
                                    > >>>>>>
                                    > >>>>>> ----- Original Message -----
                                    > >>>>>> From: "Andrew S" <ajyes72@...>
                                    > >>>>>> To: "Marlboro Raceway" <Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com>
                                    > >>>>>> Sent: Tuesday, October 26, 2010 2:46:01 PM
                                    > >>>>>> Subject: [Marlboro_Raceway] Fairthorpe
                                    > >>>>>>
                                    > >>>>>> For those of you as baffled as I was at the mention of a Fairthorpe Electron, here is an imformative link.
                                    > >>>>>>
                                    > >>>>>> http://www.fairthorpescc.com/fscc_fairthorpe_limited.html
                                    > >>>>>>
                                    > >>>>>> Somehow in all my years of following things automotive this one had escaped me.
                                    > >>>>>>
                                    > >>>>>> Regards,
                                    > >>>>>>
                                    > >>>>>> Andrew
                                    > >>>>>>
                                    > >>>>>>
                                    > >>>>>
                                    > >>>>
                                    > >>>
                                    > >>
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    >
                                  • Terry Oneil
                                    Hello Richard, Having attended a number of the Marlboro races during the 1950 s would you by any chance have saved any of the entry lists from those meetings?
                                    Message 18 of 22 , Oct 29, 2010
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      Hello Richard,
                                      Having attended a number of the Marlboro races during the 1950's would you by any chance have saved any of the entry lists from those meetings?
                                      I'm keen to add pieces to my jigsaw of entries and results from that era.
                                      Kindest regards from England
                                      Terry
                                      ----- Original Message -----
                                      From: Richard
                                      Sent: Thursday, October 28, 2010 11:08 PM
                                      Subject: [Marlboro_Raceway] Re: Fairthorpe

                                       

                                      Was the one driver who wouldn't sign your petition Harold Hurtley? I saw him race a TR3 at VIR in 1957 and he was fast, but he had a very odd driving position. Seemed like he had the seat all the way up, sat sort of sideways like he was cruising a drive-in to check out the car hops, and almost wrapped his right arm over and around the steering wheel.

                                      The next year, I read he had been killed at Lime Rock on July 4, 1958 and that news didn't surprise me. From my observations at VIR, I would put him in your "squirrelly" category.

                                      As a DC native and a student at VPI (now Va Tech) I attended many races at Marlboro and VIR 1955 to 1961 and really enjoy reading all of these racing experiences related on this group.

                                      Thanx for the memories,
                                      Dick Miller

                                      --- In Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com, Erskine Kelly <erkelly2@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > Loved Mort Sahl's humor.
                                      >
                                      > I forgot to mention why I had installed the strap in the passenger side.
                                      >
                                      > There had been several TR-2 or 3 drivers killed in one-car accidents within a few months of my getting into racing. General descriptions of the accidents suggested that the drivers' upper bodies had been hanging over the low profile of the driver's door with head injuries inevitable.
                                      >
                                      > On my first day at Marlboro a Jaguar had rolled at the chicane. I was among a group of witnesses who helped to get the up-side-down car onto its side. I was on the bottom side of the car when we got it onto its side. I couldn't see the driver from my position, but I did see the expressions of the people on the top side of the car. As they turned away from their view, and seemed to walk away, I reached the notion that there was something on the other side of the car that I didn't want to see.
                                      >
                                      > Doc Murphy, a dentist, was the first fatality at the Marlboro road course.
                                      >
                                      > His wife had died a year or so earlier while delivering their twin sons.
                                      >
                                      > Doc's mother had to raise the twins.
                                      >
                                      > This was the time in which "instructors" would drive the course at speed with the "students" as passengers, and more than one instructor (at separate times) could also do the same .
                                      >
                                      > According to former R.E. Jim Mc?, Jim was preparing to ride with Doc Murphy when he was pulled aside by Dick Thompson and advised not to ride with Murphy because he was "squirrelly".
                                      >
                                      > One life lost - one life saved?
                                      >
                                      > I learned at the expense of others that racing is dangerous. I took every means available to avoid unnecessary risks, both on and off the track.
                                      >
                                      > I am especially proud of being among the first in the DC Region to add a roll bar to my car. Frank Baptista and I agreed that Motor Imports would not prepare any cars for racing unless they had a roll bar. This was 1957, and roll bars were not yet required.
                                      >
                                      > If you have seen the photos of George Bull crawling out from under his rolled-over TR-3 at the first National Races at VIR in ~August, 1957, you saw one of the first SCCA racers whose life may have been saved by a roll bar.
                                      >
                                      > I was there, without a car to race because I was packing to move to Oklahoma. George's accident was at the end of the longest straight, and the amount of dust that was thrown up left everyone in the pits dreading the fate of the driver.
                                      >
                                      > After seeing George alive in the pits, but obviously shaken, I grabbed a legal pad and pen and passed a petition that I sent to National which called on National to make roll bars mandatory no later than 01 January 1958.
                                      >
                                      > I know that I had enough driver signatures to fill two pages of the legal pad.
                                      >
                                      > Only one driver refused to sign the petition.
                                      >
                                      > He died when his TR-3 rolled at Lime Rock the next year. His seat belts had been mounted through the floor of his car instead of the frame.
                                      >
                                      > My last "race" was as the "Chief Observer" at an event at Ponca City, Oklahoma, in the mid-1960s.
                                      >
                                      > In my opinion the management of the event was enthusiastic and hard working, as is usual for most SCCA events, but poorly conceived for the needs of safety. So many trees, so few hay bales.
                                      >
                                      > The requirements of my store being open on weekends provided an excuse for me not to have any more involvement with SCCA racing in the area. Too much "enthusiasm", too little experience and concern about safety.
                                      >
                                      > That decision proved to be wise - a driver was killed when he hit a tree at the end of the main straight the next year.
                                      >
                                      > There is more to that decision. Something happened at my last race (as a a chief observer) at Ponca City. That is a separate story, and this ms is longer than I had intended.
                                      >
                                      > Rick Kelly
                                      > Oklahoma City
                                      >
                                      > I grabbed
                                      > On Oct 28, 2010, at 6:03 AM, Andrew Sturgess wrote:
                                      >
                                      > >
                                      > > Your strap and "basement" story reminds me of one of the selling points of the Turner. Since it was rear engined, there was a large open area under the dash. If you saw that danger was imminent you could drop into the relative safe zone under the dash to avoid injury. Not sure why that idea never caught on.
                                      > > Here's another line, from a Playboy story, I would love to try one of these days. Mort Sahl, the comedian, used to have a Cobra that had been "enhanced" under the hood. When he was pulled over by the local constabulary and asked if he knew how fast he was going he replied "No sir, I was busy in the engine room."
                                      > >
                                      > > From: Bob <bstorck@...>
                                      > > To: Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com
                                      > > Sent: Wed, October 27, 2010 9:29:12 PM
                                      > > Subject: Re: [Marlboro_Raceway] Fairthorpe
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > > The original Morris boxes were from A35s and were three speeds. I think the four speed came along with the A40 or later. I''m pretty sure the GCR of the day specified the 3 speed, and that's what my car had in it.
                                      > >
                                      > > For some reason, I recalled it as having a Ford box, but then again I recall winning a lot more races than my friends seem to give me credit for. I'm resolving that part by outliving many of them.
                                      > >
                                      > > While the FWA Climax had more power, it probably had about the same torque, so the box wasn't in too much danger.
                                      > >
                                      > > Cheers, Bob
                                      > >
                                      > > On 10/27/2010 2:41 PM, Erskine Kelly wrote:
                                      > >
                                      > >> Aha!
                                      > >>
                                      > >> The original Fairthorpe gearbox was for Morris Motors' small sedans of the early '50s. The sedans may have weighed more, but their engines were probably less than 1/4th the power of the Climax engine. I don't remember how many gears the Morris box had - it might have been a four speed.
                                      > >>
                                      > >> I wondered how the later Fairthorpes did - and either the company changed gearboxes or the Ford box was not "production".
                                      > >>
                                      > >> The roll bar for my Fairthorpe was the early "plug-in" type. The bar could be removed by pulling cotter pins. It took no time at all for National to realize that reinforcement was needed for north-south forces as well as east-west forces. I had a strap installed on the passenger side of all of my cars. If I saw a rollover coming, I could hook my right arm through the strap. That would keep my head from getting above and outside of the driver's window area. In my win with the Fairthorpe at Marlboro, I spun out at the area north of the grandstands (a part of the new addition), and had "crawled into the basement" using the strap. The car didn't roll over, and I was able to catch the three or four FP Alfas that passed me while I was hiding in the "basement", and fell in behind Art Tweedale's leading FP Alfa to the end of the race, so that we collected pots for FP and GP. [No, I didn't need a pot while I was in the "basement".]
                                      > >>
                                      > >> Rick Kelly
                                      > >> Oklahoma City
                                      > >> On Oct 27, 2010, at 1:37 PM, Bob wrote:
                                      > >>
                                      > >>>
                                      > >>> I recall it being dark blue or black ... the glass body was in good shape but the paint was badly oxidized. Not origiinal color, and it had a couple roll bars installed and removed.
                                      > >>>
                                      > >>> I recall I'd be racing against TR3s and Porsches with a 3 speed Ford gearbox.
                                      > >>>
                                      > >>> Cheers, Bob
                                      > >>>
                                      > >>> On 10/27/2010 12:46 PM, Erskine Kelly wrote:
                                      > >>>
                                      > >>>> And, in 1957, in GP, it was unbeatable, IF it stayed together.
                                      > >>>>
                                      > >>>> Was the one you owned originally white - in case it had been repainted?
                                      > >>>>
                                      > >>>> Rick Kelly
                                      > >>>> Oklahoma City
                                      > >>>> On Oct 27, 2010, at 11:27 AM, Bob wrote:
                                      > >>>>
                                      > >>>>>
                                      > >>>>> I owned one in the late 60s when I had a bunch of Climax parts, and considered racing it, but SCCA classified it too high ... EP IRRC!
                                      > >>>>>
                                      > >>>>> Cheers, Bob
                                      > >>>>>
                                      > >>>>> On 10/27/2010 10:35 AM, dgreimel@... wrote:
                                      > >>>>>
                                      > >>>>>> Dave Sisson raced a black Electron a few times while working at BK Foreign Car Clinic in Bethesda. It never did much but had a nice little Coventry engine.
                                      > >>>>>>
                                      > >>>>>>
                                      > >>>>>> ----- Original Message -----
                                      > >>>>>> From: "Andrew S" <ajyes72@...>
                                      > >>>>>> To: "Marlboro Raceway" <Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com>
                                      > >>>>>> Sent: Tuesday, October 26, 2010 2:46:01 PM
                                      > >>>>>> Subject: [Marlboro_Raceway] Fairthorpe
                                      > >>>>>>
                                      > >>>>>> For those of you as baffled as I was at the mention of a Fairthorpe Electron, here is an imformative link.
                                      > >>>>>>
                                      > >>>>>> http://www.fairthorpescc.com/fscc_fairthorpe_limited.html
                                      > >>>>>>
                                      > >>>>>> Somehow in all my years of following things automotive this one had escaped me.
                                      > >>>>>>
                                      > >>>>>> Regards,
                                      > >>>>>>
                                      > >>>>>> Andrew
                                      > >>>>>>
                                      > >>>>>>
                                      > >>>>>
                                      > >>>>
                                      > >>>
                                      > >>
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      >

                                    • Erskine Kelly
                                      You are correct. His page in MM is at http://www.motorsportmemorial.org/focus.php?db=ct&n=1163 I stayed away from any comments on this page (all the entries
                                      Message 19 of 22 , Oct 29, 2010
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        You are correct.

                                        His page in MM is at


                                        I stayed away from any comments on this page (all the entries were done by an Itaiian, a Brazilian and a smarmy Roman).

                                        The last e-mail entry was Harold's daughter.

                                        Some interesting comments, that are NOT to be passed on because all of my witnesses are dead -

                                        Harold was regularly beating AC Bristols and Morgans in 1958.  This is not logical because the TRs did not have the power or the roadholding qualities of the other two makes.

                                        If he beat a Morgan driver from Massachusetts, then he had to be cheating.

                                        While I was still competing with my Morgan, Frank Baptista promised me that the Bay Stater would never beat me.

                                        Frank had put a magnet to the body of the very fast Morgan, and it refused to stick.  Frank said a protest would win without touching the engine.  Morgan was making aluminium bodies on special order at that time. 

                                        The Bay Stater switched to a different class in 1958.

                                        As for Harold, his daughter claimed that no Morgans ever beat Harold.  

                                        I do not recall ever driving against Harold, or even seeing him race - I was focused on the GP class, not EP, in 1957.

                                        My only success against AC Bristols was a woman driver, Ev Mull.

                                        I did make a brilliant pass on an AC Bristol at Cumberland.  The last turn before the start/finish line was a double apex hairpin.  I passed an AC on the outside doing a perfect four wheel drift thru the turn, hitting both apexes perfectly without ever lifting on the throttle in third gear.  The AC was treating the hairpin as two separate turns, braking for each apex.  Unfortunately he passed me on the main straight and I wasn't able to do the hairpin drift again because of other traffic.  I think I was as surprised as the AC driver when I passed him.

                                        Rick Kelly
                                        Oklahoma City




                                        On Oct 28, 2010, at 5:08 PM, Richard wrote:

                                         

                                        Was the one driver who wouldn't sign your petition Harold Hurtley? I saw him race a TR3 at VIR in 1957 and he was fast, but he had a very odd driving position. Seemed like he had the seat all the way up, sat sort of sideways like he was cruising a drive-in to check out the car hops, and almost wrapped his right arm over and around the steering wheel.

                                        The next year, I read he had been killed at Lime Rock on July 4, 1958 and that news didn't surprise me. From my observations at VIR, I would put him in your "squirrelly" category.

                                        As a DC native and a student at VPI (now Va Tech) I attended many races at Marlboro and VIR 1955 to 1961 and really enjoy reading all of these racing experiences related on this group.

                                        Thanx for the memories,
                                        Dick Miller

                                        --- In Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com, Erskine Kelly <erkelly2@...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        > Loved Mort Sahl's humor.
                                        >
                                        > I forgot to mention why I had installed the strap in the passenger side.
                                        >
                                        > There had been several TR-2 or 3 drivers killed in one-car accidents within a few months of my getting into racing. General descriptions of the accidents suggested that the drivers' upper bodies had been hanging over the low profile of the driver's door with head injuries inevitable.
                                        >
                                        > On my first day at Marlboro a Jaguar had rolled at the chicane. I was among a group of witnesses who helped to get the up-side-down car onto its side. I was on the bottom side of the car when we got it onto its side. I couldn't see the driver from my position, but I did see the expressions of the people on the top side of the car. As they turned away from their view, and seemed to walk away, I reached the notion that there was something on the other side of the car that I didn't want to see.
                                        >
                                        > Doc Murphy, a dentist, was the first fatality at the Marlboro road course.
                                        >
                                        > His wife had died a year or so earlier while delivering their twin sons.
                                        >
                                        > Doc's mother had to raise the twins.
                                        >
                                        > This was the time in which "instructors" would drive the course at speed with the "students" as passengers, and more than one instructor (at separate times) could also do the same .
                                        >
                                        > According to former R.E. Jim Mc?, Jim was preparing to ride with Doc Murphy when he was pulled aside by Dick Thompson and advised not to ride with Murphy because he was "squirrelly".
                                        >
                                        > One life lost - one life saved?
                                        >
                                        > I learned at the expense of others that racing is dangerous. I took every means available to avoid unnecessary risks, both on and off the track.
                                        >
                                        > I am especially proud of being among the first in the DC Region to add a roll bar to my car. Frank Baptista and I agreed that Motor Imports would not prepare any cars for racing unless they had a roll bar. This was 1957, and roll bars were not yet required.
                                        >
                                        > If you have seen the photos of George Bull crawling out from under his rolled-over TR-3 at the first National Races at VIR in ~August, 1957, you saw one of the first SCCA racers whose life may have been saved by a roll bar.
                                        >
                                        > I was there, without a car to race because I was packing to move to Oklahoma. George's accident was at the end of the longest straight, and the amount of dust that was thrown up left everyone in the pits dreading the fate of the driver.
                                        >
                                        > After seeing George alive in the pits, but obviously shaken, I grabbed a legal pad and pen and passed a petition that I sent to National which called on National to make roll bars mandatory no later than 01 January 1958.
                                        >
                                        > I know that I had enough driver signatures to fill two pages of the legal pad.
                                        >
                                        > Only one driver refused to sign the petition.
                                        >
                                        > He died when his TR-3 rolled at Lime Rock the next year. His seat belts had been mounted through the floor of his car instead of the frame.
                                        >
                                        > My last "race" was as the "Chief Observer" at an event at Ponca City, Oklahoma, in the mid-1960s.
                                        >
                                        > In my opinion the management of the event was enthusiastic and hard working, as is usual for most SCCA events, but poorly conceived for the needs of safety. So many trees, so few hay bales.
                                        >
                                        > The requirements of my store being open on weekends provided an excuse for me not to have any more involvement with SCCA racing in the area. Too much "enthusiasm", too little experience and concern about safety.
                                        >
                                        > That decision proved to be wise - a driver was killed when he hit a tree at the end of the main straight the next year.
                                        >
                                        > There is more to that decision. Something happened at my last race (as a a chief observer) at Ponca City. That is a separate story, and this ms is longer than I had intended.
                                        >
                                        > Rick Kelly
                                        > Oklahoma City
                                        >
                                        > I grabbed
                                        > On Oct 28, 2010, at 6:03 AM, Andrew Sturgess wrote:
                                        >
                                        > >
                                        > > Your strap and "basement" story reminds me of one of the selling points of the Turner. Since it was rear engined, there was a large open area under the dash. If you saw that danger was imminent you could drop into the relative safe zone under the dash to avoid injury. Not sure why that idea never caught on.
                                        > > Here's another line, from a Playboy story, I would love to try one of these days. Mort Sahl, the comedian, used to have a Cobra that had been "enhanced" under the hood. When he was pulled over by the local constabulary and asked if he knew how fast he was going he replied "No sir, I was busy in the engine room."
                                        > >
                                        > > From: Bob <bstorck@...>
                                        > > To: Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com
                                        > > Sent: Wed, October 27, 2010 9:29:12 PM
                                        > > Subject: Re: [Marlboro_Raceway] Fairthorpe
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > > The original Morris boxes were from A35s and were three speeds. I think the four speed came along with the A40 or later. I''m pretty sure the GCR of the day specified the 3 speed, and that's what my car had in it.
                                        > >
                                        > > For some reason, I recalled it as having a Ford box, but then again I recall winning a lot more races than my friends seem to give me credit for. I'm resolving that part by outliving many of them.
                                        > >
                                        > > While the FWA Climax had more power, it probably had about the same torque, so the box wasn't in too much danger.
                                        > >
                                        > > Cheers, Bob
                                        > >
                                        > > On 10/27/2010 2:41 PM, Erskine Kelly wrote:
                                        > >
                                        > >> Aha!
                                        > >>
                                        > >> The original Fairthorpe gearbox was for Morris Motors' small sedans of the early '50s. The sedans may have weighed more, but their engines were probably less than 1/4th the power of the Climax engine. I don't remember how many gears the Morris box had - it might have been a four speed.
                                        > >>
                                        > >> I wondered how the later Fairthorpes did - and either the company changed gearboxes or the Ford box was not "production".
                                        > >>
                                        > >> The roll bar for my Fairthorpe was the early "plug-in" type. The bar could be removed by pulling cotter pins. It took no time at all for National to realize that reinforcement was needed for north-south forces as well as east-west forces. I had a strap installed on the passenger side of all of my cars. If I saw a rollover coming, I could hook my right arm through the strap. That would keep my head from getting above and outside of the driver's window area. In my win with the Fairthorpe at Marlboro, I spun out at the area north of the grandstands (a part of the new addition), and had "crawled into the basement" using the strap. The car didn't roll over, and I was able to catch the three or four FP Alfas that passed me while I was hiding in the "basement", and fell in behind Art Tweedale's leading FP Alfa to the end of the race, so that we collected pots for FP and GP. [No, I didn't need a pot while I was in the "basement".]
                                        > >>
                                        > >> Rick Kelly
                                        > >> Oklahoma City
                                        > >> On Oct 27, 2010, at 1:37 PM, Bob wrote:
                                        > >>
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>> I recall it being dark blue or black ... the glass body was in good shape but the paint was badly oxidized. Not origiinal color, and it had a couple roll bars installed and removed.
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>> I recall I'd be racing against TR3s and Porsches with a 3 speed Ford gearbox.
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>> Cheers, Bob
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>> On 10/27/2010 12:46 PM, Erskine Kelly wrote:
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>> And, in 1957, in GP, it was unbeatable, IF it stayed together.
                                        > >>>>
                                        > >>>> Was the one you owned originally white - in case it had been repainted?
                                        > >>>>
                                        > >>>> Rick Kelly
                                        > >>>> Oklahoma City
                                        > >>>> On Oct 27, 2010, at 11:27 AM, Bob wrote:
                                        > >>>>
                                        > >>>>>
                                        > >>>>> I owned one in the late 60s when I had a bunch of Climax parts, and considered racing it, but SCCA classified it too high ... EP IRRC!
                                        > >>>>>
                                        > >>>>> Cheers, Bob
                                        > >>>>>
                                        > >>>>> On 10/27/2010 10:35 AM, dgreimel@... wrote:
                                        > >>>>>
                                        > >>>>>> Dave Sisson raced a black Electron a few times while working at BK Foreign Car Clinic in Bethesda. It never did much but had a nice little Coventry engine.
                                        > >>>>>>
                                        > >>>>>>
                                        > >>>>>> ----- Original Message -----
                                        > >>>>>> From: "Andrew S" <ajyes72@...>
                                        > >>>>>> To: "Marlboro Raceway" <Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com>
                                        > >>>>>> Sent: Tuesday, October 26, 2010 2:46:01 PM
                                        > >>>>>> Subject: [Marlboro_Raceway] Fairthorpe
                                        > >>>>>>
                                        > >>>>>> For those of you as baffled as I was at the mention of a Fairthorpe Electron, here is an imformative link.
                                        > >>>>>>
                                        > >>>>>> http://www.fairthorpescc.com/fscc_fairthorpe_limited.html
                                        > >>>>>>
                                        > >>>>>> Somehow in all my years of following things automotive this one had escaped me.
                                        > >>>>>>
                                        > >>>>>> Regards,
                                        > >>>>>>
                                        > >>>>>> Andrew
                                        > >>>>>>
                                        > >>>>>>
                                        > >>>>>
                                        > >>>>
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        >


                                      • Andrew Sturgess
                                        Off Topic: I stand corrected. In one of my earlier anecdotes I mentioned Wayne Rutherford, he is Johnny s brother, not his son.
                                        Message 20 of 22 , Oct 29, 2010
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          Off Topic:
                                          I stand corrected. In one of my earlier anecdotes I mentioned Wayne Rutherford, he is Johnny's brother, not his son.


                                          From: Erskine Kelly <erkelly2@...>
                                          To: Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com
                                          Sent: Fri, October 29, 2010 4:50:07 AM
                                          Subject: Re: [Marlboro_Raceway] Re: Fairthorpe

                                           

                                          You are correct.


                                          His page in MM is at

                                          http://www.motorsportmemorial.org/focus.php?db=ct&n=1163

                                          I stayed away from any comments on this page (all the entries were done by an Itaiian, a Brazilian and a smarmy Roman).

                                          The last e-mail entry was Harold's daughter.

                                          Some interesting comments, that are NOT to be passed on because all of my witnesses are dead -

                                          Harold was regularly beating AC Bristols and Morgans in 1958.  This is not logical because the TRs did not have the power or the roadholding qualities of the other two makes.

                                          If he beat a Morgan driver from Massachusetts, then he had to be cheating.

                                          While I was still competing with my Morgan, Frank Baptista promised me that the Bay Stater would never beat me.

                                          Frank had put a magnet to the body of the very fast Morgan, and it refused to stick.  Frank said a protest would win without touching the engine.  Morgan was making aluminium bodies on special order at that time. 

                                          The Bay Stater switched to a different class in 1958.

                                          As for Harold, his daughter claimed that no Morgans ever beat Harold.  

                                          I do not recall ever driving against Harold, or even seeing him race - I was focused on the GP class, not EP, in 1957.

                                          My only success against AC Bristols was a woman driver, Ev Mull.

                                          I did make a brilliant pass on an AC Bristol at Cumberland.  The last turn before the start/finish line was a double apex hairpin.  I passed an AC on the outside doing a perfect four wheel drift thru the turn, hitting both apexes perfectly without ever lifting on the throttle in third gear.  The AC was treating the hairpin as two separate turns, braking for each apex.  Unfortunately he passed me on the main straight and I wasn't able to do the hairpin drift again because of other traffic.  I think I was as surprised as the AC driver when I passed him.

                                          Rick Kelly
                                          Oklahoma City




                                          On Oct 28, 2010, at 5:08 PM, Richard wrote:

                                           

                                          Was the one driver who wouldn't sign your petition Harold Hurtley? I saw him race a TR3 at VIR in 1957 and he was fast, but he had a very odd driving position. Seemed like he had the seat all the way up, sat sort of sideways like he was cruising a drive-in to check out the car hops, and almost wrapped his right arm over and around the steering wheel.

                                          The next year, I read he had been killed at Lime Rock on July 4, 1958 and that news didn't surprise me. From my observations at VIR, I would put him in your "squirrelly" category.

                                          As a DC native and a student at VPI (now Va Tech) I attended many races at Marlboro and VIR 1955 to 1961 and really enjoy reading all of these racing experiences related on this group.

                                          Thanx for the memories,
                                          Dick Miller

                                          --- In Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com, Erskine Kelly <erkelly2@...> wrote:
                                          >
                                          > Loved Mort Sahl's humor.
                                          >
                                          > I forgot to mention why I had installed the strap in the passenger side.
                                          >
                                          > There had been several TR-2 or 3 drivers killed in one-car accidents within a few months of my getting into racing. General descriptions of the accidents suggested that the drivers' upper bodies had been hanging over the low profile of the driver's door with head injuries inevitable.
                                          >
                                          > On my first day at Marlboro a Jaguar had rolled at the chicane. I was among a group of witnesses who helped to get the up-side-down car onto its side. I was on the bottom side of the car when we got it onto its side. I couldn't see the driver from my position, but I did see the expressions of the people on the top side of the car. As they turned away from their view, and seemed to walk away, I reached the notion that there was something on the other side of the car that I didn't want to see.
                                          >
                                          > Doc Murphy, a dentist, was the first fatality at the Marlboro road course.
                                          >
                                          > His wife had died a year or so earlier while delivering their twin sons.
                                          >
                                          > Doc's mother had to raise the twins.
                                          >
                                          > This was the time in which "instructors" would drive the course at speed with the "students" as passengers, and more than one instructor (at separate times) could also do the same .
                                          >
                                          > According to former R.E. Jim Mc?, Jim was preparing to ride with Doc Murphy when he was pulled aside by Dick Thompson and advised not to ride with Murphy because he was "squirrelly".
                                          >
                                          > One life lost - one life saved?
                                          >
                                          > I learned at the expense of others that racing is dangerous. I took every means available to avoid unnecessary risks, both on and off the track.
                                          >
                                          > I am especially proud of being among the first in the DC Region to add a roll bar to my car. Frank Baptista and I agreed that Motor Imports would not prepare any cars for racing unless they had a roll bar. This was 1957, and roll bars were not yet required.
                                          >
                                          > If you have seen the photos of George Bull crawling out from under his rolled-over TR-3 at the first National Races at VIR in ~August, 1957, you saw one of the first SCCA racers whose life may have been saved by a roll bar.
                                          >
                                          > I was there, without a car to race because I was packing to move to Oklahoma. George's accident was at the end of the longest straight, and the amount of dust that was thrown up left everyone in the pits dreading the fate of the driver.
                                          >
                                          > After seeing George alive in the pits, but obviously shaken, I grabbed a legal pad and pen and passed a petition that I sent to National which called on National to make roll bars mandatory no later than 01 January 1958.
                                          >
                                          > I know that I had enough driver signatures to fill two pages of the legal pad.
                                          >
                                          > Only one driver refused to sign the petition.
                                          >
                                          > He died when his TR-3 rolled at Lime Rock the next year. His seat belts had been mounted through the floor of his car instead of the frame.
                                          >
                                          > My last "race" was as the "Chief Observer" at an event at Ponca City, Oklahoma, in the mid-1960s.
                                          >
                                          > In my opinion the management of the event was enthusiastic and hard working, as is usual for most SCCA events, but poorly conceived for the needs of safety. So many trees, so few hay bales.
                                          >
                                          > The requirements of my store being open on weekends provided an excuse for me not to have any more involvement with SCCA racing in the area. Too much "enthusiasm", too little experience and concern about safety.
                                          >
                                          > That decision proved to be wise - a driver was killed when he hit a tree at the end of the main straight the next year.
                                          >
                                          > There is more to that decision. Something happened at my last race (as a a chief observer) at Ponca City. That is a separate story, and this ms is longer than I had intended.
                                          >
                                          > Rick Kelly
                                          > Oklahoma City
                                          >
                                          > I grabbed
                                          > On Oct 28, 2010, at 6:03 AM, Andrew Sturgess wrote:
                                          >
                                          > >
                                          > > Your strap and "basement" story reminds me of one of the selling points of the Turner. Since it was rear engined, there was a large open area under the dash. If you saw that danger was imminent you could drop into the relative safe zone under the dash to avoid injury. Not sure why that idea never caught on.
                                          > > Here's another line, from a Playboy story, I would love to try one of these days. Mort Sahl, the comedian, used to have a Cobra that had been "enhanced" under the hood. When he was pulled over by the local constabulary and asked if he knew how fast he was going he replied "No sir, I was busy in the engine room."
                                          > >
                                          > > From: Bob <bstorck@...>
                                          > > To: Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com
                                          > > Sent: Wed, October 27, 2010 9:29:12 PM
                                          > > Subject: Re: [Marlboro_Raceway] Fairthorpe
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > > The original Morris boxes were from A35s and were three speeds. I think the four speed came along with the A40 or later. I''m pretty sure the GCR of the day specified the 3 speed, and that's what my car had in it.
                                          > >
                                          > > For some reason, I recalled it as having a Ford box, but then again I recall winning a lot more races than my friends seem to give me credit for. I'm resolving that part by outliving many of them.
                                          > >
                                          > > While the FWA Climax had more power, it probably had about the same torque, so the box wasn't in too much danger.
                                          > >
                                          > > Cheers, Bob
                                          > >
                                          > > On 10/27/2010 2:41 PM, Erskine Kelly wrote:
                                          > >
                                          > >> Aha!
                                          > >>
                                          > >> The original Fairthorpe gearbox was for Morris Motors' small sedans of the early '50s. The sedans may have weighed more, but their engines were probably less than 1/4th the power of the Climax engine. I don't remember how many gears the Morris box had - it might have been a four speed.
                                          > >>
                                          > >> I wondered how the later Fairthorpes did - and either the company changed gearboxes or the Ford box was not "production".
                                          > >>
                                          > >> The roll bar for my Fairthorpe was the early "plug-in" type. The bar could be removed by pulling cotter pins. It took no time at all for National to realize that reinforcement was needed for north-south forces as well as east-west forces. I had a strap installed on the passenger side of all of my cars. If I saw a rollover coming, I could hook my right arm through the strap. That would keep my head from getting above and outside of the driver's window area. In my win with the Fairthorpe at Marlboro, I spun out at the area north of the grandstands (a part of the new addition), and had "crawled into the basement" using the strap. The car didn't roll over, and I was able to catch the three or four FP Alfas that passed me while I was hiding in the "basement", and fell in behind Art Tweedale's leading FP Alfa to the end of the race, so that we collected pots for FP and GP. [No, I didn't need a pot while I was in the "basement".]
                                          > >>
                                          > >> Rick Kelly
                                          > >> Oklahoma City
                                          > >> On Oct 27, 2010, at 1:37 PM, Bob wrote:
                                          > >>
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>> I recall it being dark blue or black ... the glass body was in good shape but the paint was badly oxidized. Not origiinal color, and it had a couple roll bars installed and removed.
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>> I recall I'd be racing against TR3s and Porsches with a 3 speed Ford gearbox.
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>> Cheers, Bob
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>> On 10/27/2010 12:46 PM, Erskine Kelly wrote:
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>> And, in 1957, in GP, it was unbeatable, IF it stayed together.
                                          > >>>>
                                          > >>>> Was the one you owned originally white - in case it had been repainted?
                                          > >>>>
                                          > >>>> Rick Kelly
                                          > >>>> Oklahoma City
                                          > >>>> On Oct 27, 2010, at 11:27 AM, Bob wrote:
                                          > >>>>
                                          > >>>>>
                                          > >>>>> I owned one in the late 60s when I had a bunch of Climax parts, and considered racing it, but SCCA classified it too high ... EP IRRC!
                                          > >>>>>
                                          > >>>>> Cheers, Bob
                                          > >>>>>
                                          > >>>>> On 10/27/2010 10:35 AM, dgreimel@... wrote:
                                          > >>>>>
                                          > >>>>>> Dave Sisson raced a black Electron a few times while working at BK Foreign Car Clinic in Bethesda. It never did much but had a nice little Coventry engine.
                                          > >>>>>>
                                          > >>>>>>
                                          > >>>>>> ----- Original Message -----
                                          > >>>>>> From: "Andrew S" <ajyes72@...>
                                          > >>>>>> To: "Marlboro Raceway" <Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com>
                                          > >>>>>> Sent: Tuesday, October 26, 2010 2:46:01 PM
                                          > >>>>>> Subject: [Marlboro_Raceway] Fairthorpe
                                          > >>>>>>
                                          > >>>>>> For those of you as baffled as I was at the mention of a Fairthorpe Electron, here is an imformative link.
                                          > >>>>>>
                                          > >>>>>> http://www.fairthorpescc.com/fscc_fairthorpe_limited.html
                                          > >>>>>>
                                          > >>>>>> Somehow in all my years of following things automotive this one had escaped me.
                                          > >>>>>>
                                          > >>>>>> Regards,
                                          > >>>>>>
                                          > >>>>>> Andrew
                                          > >>>>>>
                                          > >>>>>>
                                          > >>>>>
                                          > >>>>
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          >


                                        • Richard
                                          Sorry Terry, I do not have any entry lists from Marlboro. I was 15 when I first went to a Marlboro sports car race and don t even recall seeing an entry list.
                                          Message 21 of 22 , Oct 29, 2010
                                          • 0 Attachment
                                            Sorry Terry, I do not have any entry lists from Marlboro. I was 15 when I first went to a Marlboro sports car race and don't even recall seeing an entry list. The track announcer did a good job of talking about cars and drivers and I just enjoyed watching the cars race.

                                            I was so enthused about SCCA racing, I even went to a Cumberland National in May 1957 in lieu of my high school senior prom. There I saw Carroll Shelby win in a Maserati 3000, and other drivers I had only read about in Road & Track: Paul O'Shea, John Fitch, Briggs Cunningham, and Walt Hansgen, in addition to some of the Marlboro regulars Charlie Wallace, Dick Thompson, Duncan Black, and Frank Baptista.

                                            Looking at the results, I see Rick Kelly finished 8th in EP in his Morgan ahead of three AC Bristols! If you have an interest in other than Marlboro races, results for Cumberland National races can be found at this link: http://www.cbenatls.com/archive/index.html

                                            Dick Miller

                                            --- In Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com, "Terry Oneil" <pact.terryoneil@...> wrote:
                                            >
                                            > Hello Richard,
                                            > Having attended a number of the Marlboro races during the 1950's would you by any chance have saved any of the entry lists from those meetings?
                                            > I'm keen to add pieces to my jigsaw of entries and results from that era.
                                            > Kindest regards from England
                                            > Terry
                                            > ----- Original Message -----
                                            > From: Richard
                                            > To: Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com
                                            > Sent: Thursday, October 28, 2010 11:08 PM
                                            > Subject: [Marlboro_Raceway] Re: Fairthorpe
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > Was the one driver who wouldn't sign your petition Harold Hurtley? I saw him race a TR3 at VIR in 1957 and he was fast, but he had a very odd driving position. Seemed like he had the seat all the way up, sat sort of sideways like he was cruising a drive-in to check out the car hops, and almost wrapped his right arm over and around the steering wheel.
                                            >
                                            > The next year, I read he had been killed at Lime Rock on July 4, 1958 and that news didn't surprise me. From my observations at VIR, I would put him in your "squirrelly" category.
                                            >
                                            > As a DC native and a student at VPI (now Va Tech) I attended many races at Marlboro and VIR 1955 to 1961 and really enjoy reading all of these racing experiences related on this group.
                                            >
                                            > Thanx for the memories,
                                            > Dick Miller
                                            >
                                            > --- In Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com, Erskine Kelly <erkelly2@> wrote:
                                            > >
                                            > > Loved Mort Sahl's humor.
                                            > >
                                            > > I forgot to mention why I had installed the strap in the passenger side.
                                            > >
                                            > > There had been several TR-2 or 3 drivers killed in one-car accidents within a few months of my getting into racing. General descriptions of the accidents suggested that the drivers' upper bodies had been hanging over the low profile of the driver's door with head injuries inevitable.
                                            > >
                                            > > On my first day at Marlboro a Jaguar had rolled at the chicane. I was among a group of witnesses who helped to get the up-side-down car onto its side. I was on the bottom side of the car when we got it onto its side. I couldn't see the driver from my position, but I did see the expressions of the people on the top side of the car. As they turned away from their view, and seemed to walk away, I reached the notion that there was something on the other side of the car that I didn't want to see.
                                            > >
                                            > > Doc Murphy, a dentist, was the first fatality at the Marlboro road course.
                                            > >
                                            > > His wife had died a year or so earlier while delivering their twin sons.
                                            > >
                                            > > Doc's mother had to raise the twins.
                                            > >
                                            > > This was the time in which "instructors" would drive the course at speed with the "students" as passengers, and more than one instructor (at separate times) could also do the same .
                                            > >
                                            > > According to former R.E. Jim Mc?, Jim was preparing to ride with Doc Murphy when he was pulled aside by Dick Thompson and advised not to ride with Murphy because he was "squirrelly".
                                            > >
                                            > > One life lost - one life saved?
                                            > >
                                            > > I learned at the expense of others that racing is dangerous. I took every means available to avoid unnecessary risks, both on and off the track.
                                            > >
                                            > > I am especially proud of being among the first in the DC Region to add a roll bar to my car. Frank Baptista and I agreed that Motor Imports would not prepare any cars for racing unless they had a roll bar. This was 1957, and roll bars were not yet required.
                                            > >
                                            > > If you have seen the photos of George Bull crawling out from under his rolled-over TR-3 at the first National Races at VIR in ~August, 1957, you saw one of the first SCCA racers whose life may have been saved by a roll bar.
                                            > >
                                            > > I was there, without a car to race because I was packing to move to Oklahoma. George's accident was at the end of the longest straight, and the amount of dust that was thrown up left everyone in the pits dreading the fate of the driver.
                                            > >
                                            > > After seeing George alive in the pits, but obviously shaken, I grabbed a legal pad and pen and passed a petition that I sent to National which called on National to make roll bars mandatory no later than 01 January 1958.
                                            > >
                                            > > I know that I had enough driver signatures to fill two pages of the legal pad.
                                            > >
                                            > > Only one driver refused to sign the petition.
                                            > >
                                            > > He died when his TR-3 rolled at Lime Rock the next year. His seat belts had been mounted through the floor of his car instead of the frame.
                                            > >
                                            > > My last "race" was as the "Chief Observer" at an event at Ponca City, Oklahoma, in the mid-1960s.
                                            > >
                                            > > In my opinion the management of the event was enthusiastic and hard working, as is usual for most SCCA events, but poorly conceived for the needs of safety. So many trees, so few hay bales.
                                            > >
                                            > > The requirements of my store being open on weekends provided an excuse for me not to have any more involvement with SCCA racing in the area. Too much "enthusiasm", too little experience and concern about safety.
                                            > >
                                            > > That decision proved to be wise - a driver was killed when he hit a tree at the end of the main straight the next year.
                                            > >
                                            > > There is more to that decision. Something happened at my last race (as a a chief observer) at Ponca City. That is a separate story, and this ms is longer than I had intended.
                                            > >
                                            > > Rick Kelly
                                            > > Oklahoma City
                                            > >
                                            > > I grabbed
                                            > > On Oct 28, 2010, at 6:03 AM, Andrew Sturgess wrote:
                                            > >
                                            > > >
                                            > > > Your strap and "basement" story reminds me of one of the selling points of the Turner. Since it was rear engined, there was a large open area under the dash. If you saw that danger was imminent you could drop into the relative safe zone under the dash to avoid injury. Not sure why that idea never caught on.
                                            > > > Here's another line, from a Playboy story, I would love to try one of these days. Mort Sahl, the comedian, used to have a Cobra that had been "enhanced" under the hood. When he was pulled over by the local constabulary and asked if he knew how fast he was going he replied "No sir, I was busy in the engine room."
                                            > > >
                                            > > > From: Bob <bstorck@>
                                            > > > To: Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com
                                            > > > Sent: Wed, October 27, 2010 9:29:12 PM
                                            > > > Subject: Re: [Marlboro_Raceway] Fairthorpe
                                            > > >
                                            > > >
                                            > > > The original Morris boxes were from A35s and were three speeds. I think the four speed came along with the A40 or later. I''m pretty sure the GCR of the day specified the 3 speed, and that's what my car had in it.
                                            > > >
                                            > > > For some reason, I recalled it as having a Ford box, but then again I recall winning a lot more races than my friends seem to give me credit for. I'm resolving that part by outliving many of them.
                                            > > >
                                            > > > While the FWA Climax had more power, it probably had about the same torque, so the box wasn't in too much danger.
                                            > > >
                                            > > > Cheers, Bob
                                            > > >
                                            > > > On 10/27/2010 2:41 PM, Erskine Kelly wrote:
                                            > > >
                                            > > >> Aha!
                                            > > >>
                                            > > >> The original Fairthorpe gearbox was for Morris Motors' small sedans of the early '50s. The sedans may have weighed more, but their engines were probably less than 1/4th the power of the Climax engine. I don't remember how many gears the Morris box had - it might have been a four speed.
                                            > > >>
                                            > > >> I wondered how the later Fairthorpes did - and either the company changed gearboxes or the Ford box was not "production".
                                            > > >>
                                            > > >> The roll bar for my Fairthorpe was the early "plug-in" type. The bar could be removed by pulling cotter pins. It took no time at all for National to realize that reinforcement was needed for north-south forces as well as east-west forces. I had a strap installed on the passenger side of all of my cars. If I saw a rollover coming, I could hook my right arm through the strap. That would keep my head from getting above and outside of the driver's window area. In my win with the Fairthorpe at Marlboro, I spun out at the area north of the grandstands (a part of the new addition), and had "crawled into the basement" using the strap. The car didn't roll over, and I was able to catch the three or four FP Alfas that passed me while I was hiding in the "basement", and fell in behind Art Tweedale's leading FP Alfa to the end of the race, so that we collected pots for FP and GP. [No, I didn't need a pot while I was in the "basement".]
                                            > > >>
                                            > > >> Rick Kelly
                                            > > >> Oklahoma City
                                            > > >> On Oct 27, 2010, at 1:37 PM, Bob wrote:
                                            > > >>
                                            > > >>>
                                            > > >>> I recall it being dark blue or black ... the glass body was in good shape but the paint was badly oxidized. Not origiinal color, and it had a couple roll bars installed and removed.
                                            > > >>>
                                            > > >>> I recall I'd be racing against TR3s and Porsches with a 3 speed Ford gearbox.
                                            > > >>>
                                            > > >>> Cheers, Bob
                                            > > >>>
                                            > > >>> On 10/27/2010 12:46 PM, Erskine Kelly wrote:
                                            > > >>>
                                            > > >>>> And, in 1957, in GP, it was unbeatable, IF it stayed together.
                                            > > >>>>
                                            > > >>>> Was the one you owned originally white - in case it had been repainted?
                                            > > >>>>
                                            > > >>>> Rick Kelly
                                            > > >>>> Oklahoma City
                                            > > >>>> On Oct 27, 2010, at 11:27 AM, Bob wrote:
                                            > > >>>>
                                            > > >>>>>
                                            > > >>>>> I owned one in the late 60s when I had a bunch of Climax parts, and considered racing it, but SCCA classified it too high ... EP IRRC!
                                            > > >>>>>
                                            > > >>>>> Cheers, Bob
                                            > > >>>>>
                                            > > >>>>> On 10/27/2010 10:35 AM, dgreimel@ wrote:
                                            > > >>>>>
                                            > > >>>>>> Dave Sisson raced a black Electron a few times while working at BK Foreign Car Clinic in Bethesda. It never did much but had a nice little Coventry engine.
                                            > > >>>>>>
                                            > > >>>>>>
                                            > > >>>>>> ----- Original Message -----
                                            > > >>>>>> From: "Andrew S" <ajyes72@>
                                            > > >>>>>> To: "Marlboro Raceway" <Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com>
                                            > > >>>>>> Sent: Tuesday, October 26, 2010 2:46:01 PM
                                            > > >>>>>> Subject: [Marlboro_Raceway] Fairthorpe
                                            > > >>>>>>
                                            > > >>>>>> For those of you as baffled as I was at the mention of a Fairthorpe Electron, here is an imformative link.
                                            > > >>>>>>
                                            > > >>>>>> http://www.fairthorpescc.com/fscc_fairthorpe_limited.html
                                            > > >>>>>>
                                            > > >>>>>> Somehow in all my years of following things automotive this one had escaped me.
                                            > > >>>>>>
                                            > > >>>>>> Regards,
                                            > > >>>>>>
                                            > > >>>>>> Andrew
                                            > > >>>>>>
                                            > > >>>>>>
                                            > > >>>>>
                                            > > >>>>
                                            > > >>>
                                            > > >>
                                            > > >
                                            > > >
                                            > > >
                                            > >
                                            >
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