Another period race car picture
October 2nd, 2020
This is a special photograph for several reasons. It looks to have been taken at the late-March Bank Holiday Wills Trophy meeting at Silverstone in 1967 or, possibly, the Ovaltine meeting at the same circuit in April. The car is the celebrated polo red RHD early 911 GVB 911D – looking relatively standard and fresh from a factory repair after a successful, if damaging, rally cross debut. AFN ran the car in the British Saloon Car Championship – the FIA had recently ruled that the base 911 was a touring car – with Vic Elford driving. It DNF’d in the first of the two Silverstone rounds but finished second overall and first in class at the second. The same car and driver went on to take a class win across the season as a whole.

The keen-eyed will notice someone other than Elford is driving in the picture. It’s Dickie Stoop, presumably there to support the team while waiting to collect his new silver 911S from the factory. The still-more keen eyed will notice a couple more early 911s parked up beyond the paddock barrier. The slate grey car has the registration LJJ 10D. It was owned at the time by Michael Tee of Motorsport and is believed to have been the first Weber carburettor car to come to the UK. The magazine subsequently published a favourable 50,000-mile test on the car. The other early 911 – possibly in light ivory – is harder to identify. It was one of the more popular colours back then and the car could have been one of half a dozen or more RHD examples from the period. A possibility is ANW 104C - the first UK customer car - which was back with AFN as a general run-around at, or around, this time.
Thankfully, all of the cars identified above are still with us. GVB 911D was sold at the end of the 1967 season. It raced again in the same champioship in a more developed form in 1968 under the new ownership. This time it had the apparently fictitious registration BEM 911F. The car was more recently in long-term ownership and has appeared in historic racing from time to time, including the Aldington Trophy at the Goodwood Members' Meeting in 2015. The slate grey car, LJJ 10D, meanwhile, was auctioned a few years back with a different registration and in a different colour. It has more recently been comprehensively restored in its colour and to a competition specification. It’s possible it too will appear on track at some point. The light ivory car, ANW 104C, is rallied part of a collection of early RHD cars.

Robert Barrie E&OE