Posts Tagged ‘Aston Martin DBR1 300’

Jack Brabham’s first Le Mans 24 Hours was the 1957 running of the endurance classic during which he shared a Cooper T39 Climax with Englishman Ian Raby…

Whilst the Coventry Climax 1097cc FPF engined car was quick the duo finished fifteenth outright and third in their 1100cc class behind the similarly engined works Lotus 11 of the American duo Herbert Mackay-Fraser and Jay Chamberlain (ninth overall) and the Bob Walshaw/John Dalton Lotus 11 FPF (thirteenth overall).

Upfront it was a Jaguar D Type rout, the marvellous British six-cylinder beasts occupied the first four places with the Ron Flockhart/Ivor Bueb Ecurie Ecosse car at the head of the chasing pack- the new 3 litre short-stroke XK engine did the trick. Click here for an article in part about this race; https://primotipo.com/2015/01/17/le-mans-1957-d-type-jaguar-rout-ron-flockhart-racer-and-aviator/

Jack and Ian Raby with their Le Mans steed, what airport folks? (unattributed)

 

(Motorsport)

Jack has his hand up to his face, perhaps he is about to indicate to a low flying Jaguar or Ferrari that he wants the pass before the next corner.

The Cooper T39 ‘Bobtail’ was based on the Owen Maddocks’ contemporary 500cc design specifically to accept the new Coventry Climax FWA four cylinder, two valve, single overhead camshaft, twin SU fed 1100cc engine. Later the 1460cc Climax FWB was offered and still later sleeved down 1100cc versions of the 1.5 litre FPF twin-cam, two valve engine as used by Brabham and Raby here.

(Motorsport)

Here the eighth placed, first in 1500cc class, Ed Hugus/Carel de Beaufort Porsche 550A RS chases Brabham through the ever present sand banks awaiting the unwary or careless.

I’m cheating with this shot, it’s Le Mans but a year later- in 1958 Jack shared an Aston Martin DBR1/300 with Stirling Moss, never a good guy to share with at this event given his usual role as ‘the hare’.

The car, leading strongly at the time from the start was out after only 30 laps with a buggered conrod- Jack didn’t get a steer on raceday- Olivier Gendebien and Phil Hill won that year in a Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa 3 litre V12.

Shots of Jack actually in an Aston Martin DBR1/300 are thin on the ground- let’s make this one almost in…

Its Goodwood, the RAC Tourist Trophy in September 1958 in which he shared a car with Cooper teammmate Roy Salvadori to second place in the race won by Stirling Moss and Tony Brooks in a sister car with another DBR1 crewed by Carroll Shelby and Stuart Lewis-Evans in third place.

Winners are grinners, so too are finishers in this gruelling race- Ian Raby and Jack looking pretty happy and looking forward to a bath and a beer or a Beaujolais perhaps.

Etcetera…

(Motorsport)

Jack contemplates his Climax engine with plenty of support during practice whilst an artist sets to- the car passing is the #8 Lewis-Evans/Severi Ferrari 250 TR which swallowed a piston in practice and did not start. The pair raced a 315 Sport to fourth placed and as such were the best placed Ferrari and the only one of five Scuderia Ferrari entries to go the distance albeit 27 laps adrift of the winning Jag.

(Motorsport)

Brabham goes around the outside of one of the Lotus 11s early in the race. These ‘Bobtails’ started as central seat sportscars but as race organisers got a little antsy about that were also built with a seat either side of the centre of the car- as here.

(Motorsport)

Ian Raby…

Ian Raby on the hop, the Brighton garage owner/motor trader died after an accident in an F2 Brabham BT14 Ford Twin-cam at Zandvoort in 1967.

Raby is the type of bloke I admire- a racer to his core, he started in a Cooper Mk2 or Mk4 JAP as ‘chief cook and bottle washer’- driver, entrant, sponsor and mechanic of his little 500 and progressed to F1 as a privateer in exactly that manner. He used the moniker ‘Puddle Jumper’ on the side of some of his cars which reveals a good sense of humour and self- it is the way I described myself as a runner in my school cross-country days meaning I was an amateur compared to some of the more serious blokes.

After racing in sportscars, Formula Libre and Formula Junior he bought Keith Greene’s Grand Prix Gilby-BRM retiring from his World Championship debut race at Silverstone that year. He progressed to Brabham’s very first F1 car- BT3, by then BRM P56 V8 engined for 1964 finishing eleventh in the 1965 British GP at Brands- doubtless he was a proud man that day.

Raby, Cooper Mk8 Norton, Brands Hatch, Francis Beart Trophy, 4 September 1955- he won his heat but was unplaced in the final (500race.org)

 

The ‘Puddle Jumper’ Cooper T39 Climax in Denmark circa 1957, details appreciated (unattributed)

Formula 2 was a bit more cost-effective so Ian raced a Merlyn Mk9 Cosworth SCA sporadically in 1965 and a more competitive 1965 Brabham BT14 in 1966. Whilst not running right at the pointy end- it was a Brabham Honda year, and he was a regular Cosworth customer not up the front of the SCA queue- but he finished usually just behind the F1 pros and true ‘coming-men’- eighths at Oulton, eleventh at Goodwood and then a splendid fourth at the Nürburgring in April in front of Rindt, Peter Arundell and Kurt Ahrens- good company!

Rabu had an accident in the Brabham at Brands in October but repaired the car and fitted a Lotus-Ford Twin-cam for the first year of the 1.6 litre F2 in 1967 and slipped down the lists- sometimes he was the best of the twin-cams but they were giving away 20bhp or so at best to the dominant 210bhp FVAs.

Ian was eighth at Snetterton, thirteenth at Silverstone, sixteenth at the Nürburgring that year- far below his performance with a more competitive package the previous year. What shows in just skimming through the results is that he was a finished- he wasn’t the fastest bloke on track but he was consistent and brought the thing home- he could obviously prepare his cars well too.

Raby during the 1963 Silverstone British GP weekend, Gilby BRM, DNF gearbox from Q19- Clark won in a Lotus 25 Climax (unattributed)

 

Ian Raby, British GP, Brands Hatch 1964. Q17 and DNF undisclosed, Brabham BT3 BRM (unattributed)

In the Guards International Trophy meeting at Mallory he was sixth behind Surtees, Gardner, McLaren, Ickx and Allan Rollinson. Ninth in the Limborg GP in Belgium followed and then two appearances at Hockenheim for eighth in June and fifth in the F2 Championship round in July. At Tulln-Langenlebarn, Vienna he finished thirteenth and was a DNF at Jarama in late July.

After that weekend he towed his little Brabham to Holland for the 30 July Grand Prix of Zandvoort on 30 July. Whilst Jacky Ickx set about winning the race in Ken Tyrrell’s Matra MS5 FVA Ian left the road on lap 6 and went through the fence at the very fast Rob Slotemaker Esses, he was extracted from the badly damaged car with critical fractures to his head, back and legs and then seemed to be on the road to recovery before succumbing three months after the accident.

Ian Raby, born 22 September 1921, died on 7 November 1967 aged 46, a dedicated racer taken before his time.

Ian Raby, Brabham BT14 Ford twin-cam, Eiffelrennen, Nurburgring 1967

Credits…

Motorsport, F2 Index, Jornal Dos Classicos, 500 Owners Association, Harry Michelbach

Tailpiece…

(Motorsport)

Jack ranging up to pass the Monopole X88 Panhard Coupe- twentieth overall but not running at the finish- the little 750cc machine was crewed by two Pierres- Chancel and Flauhault.

Finito…

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The victorious Ron Flockhart/Ivor Bueb Ecurie Ecosse entered ‘D Type’ Jag during the 1957 Le Mans 24 Hours, it was the third and last win for the fabulous car which reigned supreme at la Sarthe from 1955-1957…

The winning car covered 4397 Km, an average speed of 183kmh, a record which remained unbroken for four years.

D Types also finished in second, third, fourth and sixth places, an unparalleled result to that time. Ninian Sanderson and John Lawrence were second, Jean Lucas/ Jean-Marie Brussin third, Paul Frere/’Freddy’ Rouselle fourth and Mike Hawthorn/Masten Gregory sixth. Flockhart also won the race in 1956 partnered with Ninian Sanderson.

The car on its back is the Tony Brooks/Noel Cunningham-Reid Aston Martin DBR1 300.

Brooks ran wide on the exit of Tertre Rouge, rolled and was hit by Umberto Magliolis’ Porsche, the cars running second and seventh respectively at the time. Both drivers escaped without serious harm. The incident happened in  the twelfth hour of the race.

Le Mans 1957 lap 1

‘XKD606’, Bueb up leading the Lewis-Evans/Marino/Martino Ferari 315S (5th), #4 behind the Ferrari is the Hamilton/Gregory D Type (6th)(unattributed)

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Undated unattributed shot of the ‘Browns lane’ factory, a ‘C’ being fettled as well as the ‘D’s. (unattributed)

Technical Specifications and ‘XKD606’…

The summary technical specifications of the ‘XKD’ were included in this earlier post on its close brother the ‘XKSS’.

https://primotipo.com/2014/05/30/72/

The winning car was ‘XKD606’ the last long nosed 1956 works car built, unraced that year as Desmond Titterington crashed it in Le Mans practice. Jag withdrew as a factory team from racing at the end of ’56, ‘606’ was delivered to Ecosse in November 1956 and was successful in ’57 with a 3.8 litre fuel injected engine at Le Mans with plenty of works support.

This engine gave circa 306bhp@5500rpm and 312lb ft of torque@4500rpm.

Flockhart and Bueb post 57 win

Flockhart in red alongside Ivor Bueb post victory with the Ecosse Team and ‘XKD606’. (unattributed)

The car was raced at Buenos Aires later in 1957 by Flockhart and Galvez, but crashed by Flockhart and rebuilt with a new chassis and bonnet.

‘606’ remained in Ecosse’ hands in 1958-1960, raced again at Le Mans by Flockhart and Bruce Halford in 196o, it failed to finish. The car raced on into 1961 in the hands of privateer Jack Wober and was split into two after a crash; the body and rear suspension, and front subframe and engine. Both halves were then completed with replica parts creating two ‘original’ cars.

The Louman Museum in The Hague acquired both cars in 1994, the ‘XKD606’ being recreated by repair and uniting its original components. It is used frequently in historic events.

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Le Mans 57 finish

Flockhart returns the car post finish, Le Mans 1957. (unattributed)

Ron Flockhart…

Ron Flockhart BRM Goodwood 1954

Ron Flockhart at the wheel of the awesome, wild but unsuccessful BRM Type 15, the 1.5 litre supercharged V16 racer by then running as a Formula Libre car in the UK. In essence the car was late and largely missed the Grand Prix formula for which it was designed. Goodwood, Easter Monday 1954. (John Ross Motor Racing Archive)

Flockhart began racing motor bikes in Italy and the Middle East after the War before being de-mobbed by the British Army, having served in WW2.

He began racing cars in the the ex-Raymond Mays ERA R4D in 1952, progressed to a Connaught and was picked up by the Owen Organisation where he was essentially their ‘third driver’, he raced in fourteen championship Grands Prix between 1954 and 1960, the last a Cooper T51 Climax in the US Grand Prix at Sebring.

He was very competitive in sports cars, including the two victories at Le Mans.

Daily Express Int Trophy Silverstone 1956

# 6,8,7 Jean Behra, Ron Flockhart and Harry Schell in BRM P25’s and #2 Masten Gregory Maserati 250F, #15 Horace Gould Maser 250F. Daily Express Trophy, Silverstone 1957. Behra won from Schell and Flockhart, Gregory was 5th. (John Ross Motor Racing Archive)

Ron Flockhart BRM P25 Monaco 1959

Flockhart in his BRM P25 Monaco GP 1959. He spun on lap 64 having qualified well in 10th. Jack Brabham won in a Cooper T51 Climax, his first Championship GP victory.(unattributed)

Like many drivers of the period Ron Flockhart was a pilot and flew to and from the circuits of Europe more quickly than commercial airline or car travel allowed.

He flew an Auster for a long time to places such as Folkingham, Snetterton and Silverstone whilst testing for BRM in the UK and introduced Jack Brabham to light aircraft.

His racing injuries restricted his activities somewhat, his love of flying and passion for speed lead him to decide to attempt the Sydney-London record for petrol powered planes. The attempt was backed by ‘United Dominions Trust ‘ who wanted publicity for their racing team ‘UDT Laystall’, a noted team of the period.

His first attempt in 1961 fell 1500 miles short of London when his Mustang suffered serious engine failure, rain having seeped into the engine whilst on the ground in Greece, Flockhart enjoying ‘Rock-star’ fame and attention in Australia before and during the attempts. The first plane was written off after suffering a cockpit fire before take-off.

Ron Flockhart Cooper Climax Ballarat

Ron Flockhart in his ‘Border Reivers’ Cooper T53 Climax, Ballarat Airfield, Victoria 1961. He raced well, 3rd behind the factory BRM P48’s of Dan Gurney and Graham Hill. He also raced in Australia the following summer in a Lotus 18. (autopics)

Ron competed in New Zealand and Australia that summer before setting off for London in a second ex-RAAF Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation built Mustang ‘G-ARUK’ on 12 April 1962.

He left Moorabbin Airport in Melbournes’ southern outer suburbs enroute to Sydney where he was heading to have additional fuel tanks fitted.

The Mustang had only been in the air 10 minutes, heading east over the Dandenong Ranges when he radioed in to report ‘I’ve got trouble. I’ve lost my compass, i’m at 3000ft and in heavy cloud’, immediately after this, contact with the plane was lost, the aircraft crashed into bush on the Monbulk hillside in thick cloud and light misty rain. Flockhart was still in the aircrafts debris which was spread around the crash site, strapped to the remains of his seat with his parachute attached.

Flockhart Mustang 1962

Ron Flockhart in the hours before his death. P51 Mustang CA-18 Mk21 frame # ‘A68-113’ was one of many built by the Australian ‘Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation’ in Melbourne during  WW2 (Geoff Goodall)

A Ministry of Aviation Report did not conclusively determine the cause of the accident but it was considered a possibility ‘that the pilot temporarily lost control of the aircraft whilst circling in cloud, and that it subsequently stalled during the recovery and turn to avoid the high terrain…’

Flockhart portrait

Lovely portrait of Ron Flockhart at the 1959 Silverstone ‘Daily Express International Trophy’ meeting in May. RF finished 3rd in his BRM P25, the race won by Brabhams’ Cooper T51 Climax. (John Ross Racing Archive)

Flockhart obit

Etcetera…

Flockhart Le Mans 57

Flockhart Le Mans 1957 (Automobile Year)

Flockhart Le Mans 1957

Nice shot of Flockhart cornering the D Type during the ’57 race. ‘XKD606’ works supported with factory 3.8 litre injected engine, last of the ‘long-noses built’. (unattributed)

Mintex 57 Le Mans ad

Flockhart Le Mans 1956

Ron Flockhart in the D Type he shared with Ninian Sanderson to win Le Mans in 1956.(Automobile Year)

Le Mans 1957 finish

Flockhart leads the second placed sister Ecurie Ecosse D Type of Sanderson/Lawrence over the line, record distance travelled which stood for the next 4 years .(unattributed)

Flockhart WF 1961

Flockhart 5th in his Cooper T51 Climax, ‘Warwick Farm 100’ January 1961. The race was won by Moss in a Lotus 18 Climax. (John Arkwright)

Photo Credits…

Motorsport Magazine, autopics, Geoff Goodall, John Ross Motor Racing Archive, John Arkwright

Finito…

 

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Starting Grid of the Le Mans 24 Hours 1959…

# 5 is the winning Carroll Shelby/Roy Salvadori Aston Martin DBR1/300, # 4 the Stirling Moss/Jack Fairman sister car, and # 3  the Innes Ireland/Masten Gregory Jaguar XK’D’ Type, both DNF.

1959 was the only Aston Martin Le Mans victory so far, Astons’ also won the World Sportscar Championship that year with wins in 3 of the 5 rounds; LeMans, Nurburgring 1000Km, and RAC Tourist Trophy at Goodwood. Ferrari and Porsche were second and third in the Championship respectively.

Aston DBR 1 Allington cutaway

The DBR1 was one of the greatest cars produced under the 3 litre sports car formula, in addition to its 1959 successes it also won the Nurburgring 1000Km and the Tourist Trophy at Goodwood in 1958.

Its essential elements are laid bare in this James Allington period cutaway drawing for Automobile Year.

The engine is an inline 6, all aluminium, the crankshaft supported by 7 main bearings. Two valves per cylinder were fitted at an included angle of 95 degrees operated by twin gear driven overhead camshafts. Fuel was provided by 3 Weber carburettors, the ignition fired by 2 Lucas distributors driven off the end of each camshaft, 2 plugs per cylinder.

The engine was ‘undersquare’, bore and stroke 83X90mm for a capacity of 2932cc, the engine produced circa 265bhp@6500rpm on a compression ratio of 9:1.

Aston DBR1 300 cockpit Le Mans 1959

Cockpit of the Moss/Fairman DBR Le Mans 1959. (unattributed)

A five speed gearbox was mounted transversely at the rear in unit with a ZF differential.

Front suspension was by twin trailing links springing by transverse torsion bars. At the rear a De Dion rear axle was used with twin trailing arms, a Watts linkage and again torsion bars were the springing medium.

Girling disc brakes were used and rack and pinion steering. The car had a wheelbase of 90 in, a track front and rear of 51.5 in, a width of 64 inches and a height to the top of the scuttle of 38.5 in…the whole lot weighing 1760lb.

Astons at Chateau 1959

The #4 Moss/Fairman and #5 Salvadori/Shelby Aston DBR/1’s at rest. Chez Aston, Le Mans 1959. (Unattributed)

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Carroll Shelby, AstonMartin DBR1/300 Le Mans 1959 (unattributed)

Shelby Salvadori post 59 win

Carroll Shelby driving, Roy Salvadori, David Brown the owner of Astons’ and Stirling Moss post victory. (unattributed)

Etcetera…

Le Mans grid 1959

Front of the Le Mans grid 1959. #8 Flockhart/Lawrence Tojeiro Jaguar, #1 Bueb/Halford Lister Jaguar, #2 Hansgen/Blond Lister Jaguar and #3 Ireland/Gregory Jaguar D Type…all DNF. Stirling Moss is talking to the photographers priod to the ‘start sprint’. (Unattributed)

Le Mans 1959 start

Le Mans start 1959. # 8 Flockhart Tojeiro Jag, # 1 Bueb Lister Jag, # 6 Trintignant Aston DBR/1, #2 Hansgen Lister Jag, # 5 Salvadori Aston DBR/1 and the rest. (Unattributed)

Aston refuelling Le Mans 1959

Trintignant/ Frere Aston post fuelling Le Mans 1959, the pair finished 2nd a lap behind the winning DBR/1. (Unattributed)

Aston BP ad

Le Mans poster 1959

Photo Credits…

Jesse Alexander, James Allington cutaway drawing

Finito…