In Short Pants…

Posted: December 10, 2017 in F1, Fotos
Tags: , , , ,

(Advertiser)

Well, not quite! Vern Schuppan is 21 in this shot, he has just won a South Australian Kart title, its 1965…

The young South Aussie may have been a late starter, he hadn’t raced cars in Australia when he convinced his young wife they should ‘have a crack at motor racing in the UK’ for two years with $A5,000 in his pocket. His career trajectory once he arrived was meteoric though.

In 1969 he raced an Alexis and Macon Formula Fords. After some promising Merlyn performances in the five race, four circuit Brazilian Torneio Formula Ford series in 1970, he was picked up by Palliser for the rest of the year in the UK.

Other later F1 drivers on that 1970 Brazilian tour included Ian Ashley, Val Musetti and Tom Belso as well as the leaders of the Brazilian contingent Emerson and Wilson Fittipaldi. Emerson won the series from Ashley, Ray Allen and Wilson Fittipaldi.

Vern in the Mallory Park paddock on 6 November 1969, Macon MR7 Formula Ford (N Quicke)

Into Formula Atlantic with Palliser in 1971 he took the very first British ‘Yellow Pages’ championship with five wins aboard Palliser WDB3 and WDB4 chassis powered by BRM modified Lotus/Ford twin-cam engines rather than the new Ford BDA motor.

Via the BRM engine connection he came to the attention of Louis Stanley who gave him some BRM drives in 1972 aboard a P153 and P160. He also did some testing with Tyrrell.

He well and truly strutted his stuff in F5000, Indycars and Sportscars, a 1983 Le Mans Porsche 956 win together with Hurley Haywood and Al Holbert no less, but never really got his bum into a decent GP car.

A story for another time.

Vern on the cover of the Mallory 24 October ’71 meeting program. Perhaps the shot is on the day of his Brands win on 12 September. Palliser WDB4 Ford t/c F Atlantic

Credits…

Adelaide Advertiser, Norman Quicke/Getty

Tailpiece: An Oulton touch of the opposites…

Vern showing fine delicacy of throttle control aboard a two year old BRM P153 during his first F1 race, the 29 May 1972 Oulton Park Gold Cup. Q6 and 5th behind Hulme, Fittipaldi, Schenken and Redman. Not bad! (unattributed)

 

Comments
  1. graham64 says:

    A nice variety of cars in the background of the Mallory Park photo!

  2. How do we get in direct contact with Vern?

    • markbisset says:

      I’ve no idea Jonathon.
      There is a Vern Schuppan group on Facebook- that might be the go, he occasionally pops up on that.
      He is back living in South Australia I believe, maybe some basic name searches will yield his details.
      Mark

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