Posts Tagged ‘Peter Gethin’


















The big F3  field gets away on the first lap of of the 1967 ‘Coupes de Vitesse’ on 2 April. Pau such a spectacular race locale…

The race was won by Jean-Pierre Jaussaud from Roby Weber both in works Matra MS6 Ford Cosworth’s, Peter Gethin was third in a Brabham BT21 Cosworth. The field had plenty of talent including Derek Bell, Patrick Depailler and Tico Martini. Amongst the non-qualifiers were Patrick Depailler and Jean-Pierre Jabouille. Their speed would improve!


The shot above shows green helmeted Henri Pescarolo in another works Matra MS6 having a territorial dispute with Mauro Bianchi in a works Alpine A310 Renault. Henri won the French F3 Championship that season from Jaussaud.


Jean Tesseyre

Tailpiece: Frantic Pau…


Weber from Jausaud, Gethin, Chris Williams and the nose of Pescarolo. Matra MS6 x 2, Brabham BT21 x 2 and Matra MS6 (Tesseyre)



gethin 1


Peter Gethin subbing for Denny Hulme in the tragic 21 June 1970 Dutch Grand Prix, McLaren M14A Ford…

1970 was a tragic season for driver deaths, Piers Courage perished in a gruesome fiery accident in his De Tomaso 505 Ford in this race.

Peter was drafted in the McLaren team after Bruce’s death at Goodwood on 2 June. To make matters worse Denny Hulme burned his hands at Indianapolis so McLaren were represented at Zandvoort by Dan Gurney, Gethin with Andrea de Adamich in an Alfa Romeo V8 engined M14A, the other team cars Ford Cosworth DFV powered.

What draws the eye to this shot is the helmet, Gethins and Jackie Olivers designs were so similar to Jim Clark’s at the time.

McLaren’s weekend was poor; Andrea DNQ and both Dan and Peter retired with a mechanical problem and accident respectively. John Surtees M7C was the best placed McLaren in 6th, the race won by Jochen Rindt’s Lotus 72 Ford, the iconic car scoring its first win. Surtees drove the ex-works 1969 car until his own Surtees TS7 made its debut later in the season.


Rainer Schlegelmilch


 Gethin gently pursuades his beast to turn into Riversides’ turn 6; all 7.6 litres and 670 BHP of it, he is sitting so low spotting apexes must have been a challenge…

Denny Hulme won the 1970 series in the sister car, a fitting result for the team after Bruce McLaren was tragically killed in pre-season, M8D testing at Goodwood .

Gethin was recruited to fill Bruce’ F1 seat and later in the year scored the CanAm drive as well. Dan Gurney partnered Hulme initially until conflicting oil company sponsorships forced DG to relinquish the seat. Peter finished third in the championship despite missing the first three rounds.


Gethin thru the Laguna Seca chicane, M8D October 1970 DNF with failed battery. Difference in height between tall Dan Gurney, who used this chassis prior to Gethin apparent from the roll bar extension installed for Dan but redundant for Peter!  (The Enthusiast Network)

dan the man

Check out Dans set in the cockpit to illustrate the point made in the previous photo! Here Dan in chassis #M8D/3 at the season opening Mosport, Canada round, 12 days after Bruce’ Goodwood death. Tyler Alexander, Team manager/Crew Chief at right. Gurney put the car on pole and won the race, a fitting tribute to McLaren and demonstrating the crews determination and resilience (Bob Harmeyer)

Major opposition to the McLaren Team in 1970 came from teams running ex-works and customer Mclarens, the factory/Carl Haas LolaT220 driven by Peter Revson, Jackie Oliver in the Ti22, and of course, Jim Halls sensational, outrageous, revolutionary ground effect Chaparrall 2J. The latter banned at years end after representations from all and sundry, including McLaren.

The McLaren domination of the CanAm Series commenced with the M6 in 1967 and still had a year to run with the M8F. Porsche were looking for something to do with its 917 program rendered obsolete by changes in World Sportscar Championship rules at the end of ’71, the CanAm series was chosen place to use the cars…  The turbo-charged Porsche 917/10 rewriting the record books as the ‘orange McLarens’ had…


Chassis of riveted and bonded aluminium with fabricated steel bulkheads. Engine a stressed part of the chassis, also supported by tubular steel ‘A frames’ . Brakes Lockheed.(Profile Publications)


Suspension: single top link, inverted lower wishbone, twin radius rods and coil spring/shock unit. Gearbox: Hewland LG600. Engines prepared in-house, Chev ZL1 Aluminium block, mainly 7.6 litres or 465CID. 670 BHP @ 6000 RPM. Hulme used 430 CID engine when some overheating was experienced . Full monocoque but ‘rear sponsons’ non load-bearing the engine bolted directly to a magnesium plate at the rear bulkhead, also supported by a steel, tubular ‘A-frames’. (Autosport)



Wheelbase 239cm, track F/R 157/147cm, overall length 391cm, height to roll bar 91cm. Car christened ‘The Batmobile’ as a consequence of beautifully integrated rear wing, the high wing of the ’69 M8B outlawed along with all high wings by the FIA in all classes.(Profile Publications)


Shot of Dan Gurney with dave Friedman early in 1970 showing the cars essential elements ‘laid bare’. (Pinterest)


Peter Gethin was the son of a jockey, his compact dimensions a contrast to Tim Parnells’ whose father Reg was a farmer! Peter explains the handling of his BRM to team boss Tim at the 1972 British GP (Pinterest unattributed)

Bruce McLaren Trust…

Photo Credits…

Pinterest unattributed, Profile Publications, The Enthusiast Network/Getty Images

Tailpiece: Beast at rest, Gethin and M8D @ Laguna Seca…