issue2 - Nottingham Classic



issue2 - Nottingham Classic
The Nottingham Classic Tour
Classic eNews
Volume 2 issue 2
this newsletter is only
available electronically
February 11th 2008
[email protected]
The entry list for the 10th
Nottingham Classic Tour has
opened with a flurry of entry
forms arriving shortly after the
last newsletter went out. The
dates for eligibility have changed,
cars from 1988 are now
acceptable and the earliest date
has been moved back one year to
1904 in order to accomodate an
entry from the City of Nottingham
Celer which we shall be very
pleased to
accept as our first
car. The
Wolseley 15/50 will
also be making it’s Nottingham
Classic debut this year.
Using PAYPAL you can now pay
your entry fee with any major
credit card on line by logging on
to the website online shop and
selecting the entry . You can of
course also pay by cheque/postal
order by mail. Download your
entry form from the website.
Dates for your
Diary :
IT’ DAY April 20th
2008, half day
run Wollaton
Pre-War Austin 7
Club - Half Day
Run Wollaton
31st May 2008
Heritage School
Tour of the Peak
15th June 2008
The 10th
Classic Tour
10th August 2008
Carlton & District Motor Club have accepted an invitation from Nottingham City
Council to participate in the National Sport Relief Day when all sports across the
country are being asked to run events that enable one mile to be covered, whether
it is athletics, swimming, moutaineering or motorsport. We shall be starting a
number of running races by driving the Celer in front with celebrity or dignitary
passengers (there is a fair chance that a sprinter may get to the mile first!).
The event will take place by the River Trent on Victoria Embankment, it should be
a fun day but at least everyone will have the opportunity to take the mickey out of
us, there is a rumour that a certain three will be dressed in Edwardian costume
in keeping with the car’s age.
Sherwood 42
21st September
Contact 01773
The Nottingham Classic
Tour is supported by
Millers Oils Ltd
A Lancia entering the Nottingham Classic Tour is a
rare event in itself, on the occasions when the Lancia
badge has been represented, it has often been in the
guise of a replica and usually the Stratos. Two
excellent vehicles spring to mind from Rob Sanderson
and Mick Worrall. A Lancia Appia was a 2005 entry
but we haven’t been graced with it since.
Lancia always seems to be one of those specialist
marques for enthusiasts looking for something
different and although regarded as a niche in the
classic car world, no one who has visited the Lancia
National Day can deny the following is large and
varied with models from all eras and quite a selection
of rally cars represented , in states of turn out that
credit their owners.
Having witnessed the Lancia Betas and Beta Coupes
in the seventies, my own take on the subject has
always been that of a stylish and quick GT car but
not one to own . Before anyone could covert such a
move, or say the same for the Alfa Sud of the same
period, you would have to consider the stress when
on a clear night you could lie awake in bed listening
to your beloved machine rusting away in the garage.
Wings and sills and front panels for Ford Escorts
were always plentiful and cheap! But each to his own
and the article by Richard English is just that, the
story of one enthusiasts desire to own one of Italy’s
finest small GT cars with a thoroughbred ancestory.
I have been a member for about a decade and in that
time have not owned a Lancia. In fact I have never
owned one. However I have spent the last three and a
half decades convinced that one day I would.
I passed my driving test in 1967 but didn’t have
enough money saved for my first car until 12 months
later. A nine year old Mini with a floor mounted starter
button was my pride and joy but it was shunted into a
bus shelter to write it off 13 weeks later. I went to
teacher training college and joined the motor club.
Here I met a number of new friends who had a motor
sport pedigree. Before long I had joined an RAC affiliated club and was competing on 12 car rallies and plot
and bash restricted events in Lincolnshire and Derbyshire. The learning curve was steep and success soon
came with numerous class awards. After 6 months
without a car I purchased my second car, a former reps
Why I wanted a Lancia
By Richard English
I read an article in the Lancia Club magazine where a
regular contributor threatened that it was probably
his last article as he would not be renewing his membership due to the fact he was about to be Lancialess. It had never struck me that you needed a Lancia Mini only 5 years old, but had been clocked who knows
to be a member. I can see advantages in members how many times.
owning one but never thought that every member
would be the proud owner of a car of the honoured
Richard’s Fulvia
National Drive it
day, Sunday 20th
April 2008. Start
& Finish Wollaton
Entry form is
available from
the website.
In November 1969 one of my college friends asked
me if I would like to accompany him to marshal in
Dalby Forest with De’Lacy Motor Club on the RAC
Rally of that year. This started a custom I would be
doing for nearly thirty years. We signed on at 8.00
p.m.on the Saturday evening in Thornton le Dale
and the first car was not until 1.00 a.m. the next
morning. What a night! The stars were out in all
their glory and the forest tracks were glistening just
as much with one of the sharpest frosts of the winter. As we manned our junction we ticked off the few
cars we could make out. But I was hooked. I held
the drivers in awe. It took us all our time to stay on
the track as we made our way out of the forest as
dawn broke the next morning.
Results did not come fast in those days but all the
newspapers were carrying the pictures of the winner
the following weekend and it was of course the Lancia Fulvia of Harry Kalstrom/Gunnar Haggborn.
I had seen pictures of earlier competitive Lancia
models as I had been interested in the Monte Carlo
Rally from an early age. When I saw a Fulvia on the
road I used to follow them for miles until they
parked and I could have a good look. I was hooked
on the clean lines which were as innovative as the
mechanics inside the bodywork..
In 1970 I was again invited up to the Yorkshire forests and the result was the same for Lancia. I don’t
know if these wins had any effects on sales in Britain but they should have. There were not that many
on the British roads. I know that in 1980 Toivenen
winning the event meant that the Sunbeam went
from having a large surplus to a 3 month waiting
list overnight. It was about this time that the Fulvia
came to the top of my wish list.
In the 70’s I went to the Rallysprints at Donington to
watch the Chequered flag Stratos in the hands of Dawson and Coleman and in 1975 was manning the passage check at Trowell on the RAC when the sight of
the works Stratos of Bjorn Waldegaard appeared minus its rear bodywork. On its way up to the Yorkshire
Forests he was persuaded to retire before being excluded.
In 1979 I had to throw my future wife into a ditch to
avoid us both being mowed down by Marku Alen in
the works Italia Fiat131 as he missed the flying finish
board on the Blidworth stage and nearly got to the
public road competitively before realizing his mistake.
As his Lancia days later demonstrated Marku went
everywhere fast. During the 1980’s I worked with a
team that often found themselves running the clocks
on the stop line on one of the local RAC stages, often
Donington Park.
In 1985 the RAC came to Nottingham. As chairman of
Carlton and District Motor Club I was involved in the
support provided by local clubs. I had on free loan
from Nattriss Garage the local Alfa/Lancia dealers an
Alfa GTV 6. WOW! ( we gave Richard the GTV as
potentially the most sensible driver in the team and
therefore less likely to kill himself than one of us.ed ).
What a great sound from the exhaust and what a great
petrol drinker. Perhaps it was the way I drove it.
The early 70’s saw the battles betweeen the Escorts
and Saabs and I spent my RAC’s in what was a very
muddy Donington Park as Tom Wheatcroft turned a
prewar racing track into something like the circuit
we know today.
In the mid 70’s I was invited to join the then renowned CSMA rally results team and I spent a
number of years working with the legendary Nobby
Clark and his team using manual methods and
pieces of card on washing lines to work out results
in back rooms of large hotels that were the rest
halts of the international events. I also spent hours
collecting time cards at remote passage controls in
the middle of forests and other isolated places and
phoning times through to rally HQ. We provided a
results service on many of the National and international events of the time. I was literally rubbing
shoulders with the cream of world motor sport.
In 1974 a friend told me about a 1970 1300 maroon
Fulvia for sale at the garage where he worked. I
drove the car and was set on having it. However
when I enquired about the insurance I was told to
come back when I was 25. Silly as it seemed, I settled for a 3yr old Vauxhall Firenza 1800 which I
could get insurance for.
Suppliers of enamel badges to the Nottingham Classic Tour
Henri Toivenen in full flight Lancia
Delta S4 1985 Lombard RAC
Picture courtesy of [email protected]
Erewash Blinds
have all of your window blind requirements.
Conservatory blinds, roller blinds ,
venetian blinds, don’t wait until it is too hot in
summer, contact them now on :
Everyone has a Lancia
............... Or at least those involved
with rallying do and my particular story is about just
that, rallying, with the particular rally being the
1985 Lombard RAC Rally. After seven years as club
Chief Marshal, this was the big break, the cup final
if you like , the culmination of some long hard slog
in taking the club forward as one of the key local
clubs involved in Marshalling. Such was the size of
our operation, I would regularly take up to eighty
marshals en masse to work on the Lombard RAC
through the Sunday stages where we would help
other clubs run various stages, but then on to the
nitty gritty of stage rallying, Kielder, The Lake District, Scotland, Wales in fact anywhere. By 1982 I
had got on to the Senior Officials list in the North
East ensuring the club got to run some aspect of the
event albeit service areas or regional headquarters.
Then 1985 came along , the rally chose Nottingham
to be the host city and as
A young Henri Toivenen being interviewed by a just
as young Richard Hudson Evans. Scrutineering
1985. Photo courtesy of [email protected]
Chief Marshal, I was asked by Jim Porter to put
Carlton’s expertise together and along with other
Local clubs to run the venues in the city.
The first Lancia connection came at Scrutineering in
the then, brand new Jesse Boot Centre where I was
the official in charge. The venue was used in a
theatre style with groups of cars being Scrutineered
before a paying audience. Such was the size of the
venue we had to run shifts and ensure that people
not entitled to be on the floor of Scrutineering
weren’t and that the paying public got a good view.
This got extremely difficult to manage and more than
gentle persuasion, indeed minor scuffles, ensued to
clear the floor at the given changeover times. The
biggest offenders were the Lancia Team whose
‘hangers on’ refused to budge, but we had our
instruction and we would do anything if Jim
instructed us . It was on one such scirmish , I had
one person by the arm and another in a headlock
when Jim tapped me on the shoulder and explained
that the one whose arm I had in vulcan death grip
was the Lancia ( soon to be the head of Ferrari F1,
Team Manager) and the other in the headlock was
Derek Ongarro, head of the RAC Technical
Commission and soon to be the official starter at every
F1 Grand Prix. Jim suggested that maybe I was
applying the rules a little strenuously, we agreed and
after an exchange of words with both men, we shook
hands and went about our business.
That was the Friday, by the Tuesday Lancia had got
me into trouble again!
In the build up years to 1985, the club marshals had
worked their butts off for other clubs and I pushed
every year to get our very own Special Stage to show
the organisers that Carlton could really cut the mustard on the World Championship arena. Sure enough
1985 finally gave us that chance, I had gained
International experience as a Stage Commander on the
old Mintex Rally in 83 and this was home turf, the
Lombard RAC working for Jim Porter by running SS29
Clipstone South. I had already run this stage many
times for national and restricted rallies but this was
the big one. But, and there is always a but. This was
Tuesday a working day and Rufford Colliery was still
churning out million tonne coal targets. All of this coal
was shipped through the forest to Bilsthorpe via a
railway line that dissected Clipstone South at exactly
half way so I had to devise a safety plan that would
cope with a stoppage part way through the rally
allowing the one level crossing gate to close and the
morning coal train through.
So me and my number two, good mate Bob Taylor,
split the stage between us and on my shout from the
start area, Bob would close the gate and we would
both circulate in course cars during the closure to
prevent the heaving masses from walking all over the
forest and thereby avoiding safety issues that may
prevent the stage reopening. Of course, this level
crossing also gave a spectacular photo opportunity
because the cars would be airborne as they hit the
ramp before the railway lines. In the interests of safety
and the fact that the National Coal Board had
forbidden trespass on the lines, I gave local motorsport
photographers MOTOFOTO, permission to set up a low
camera by the line to catch the shots !
The picture that got me into trouble because it
didn’t appear in the national press! An airborne
Toivenen at the Clipstone Rail Crossing.
Picture © MOTOFOTO Sports Photography
Cont’d.....Many dealers had rally forums in the run
up to the event. I got a job as Scrutineers Assistant
at Scrutineering and it was my digits that were
painted onto the engine blocks and chassis rails of
the Delta S4’s at that controversial scrutineering
session. You may remember that the Lancias were
nearly withdrawn over advertising. The award
presentation was the best one I have ever been to.
Trumpeters of the Household Cavalry, plenty of dry
ice and when it cleared, the roar of supposedly the
winning car being driven onto the stage. Steve Rider
was the MC ( the winning car was in pieces having
been stripped down at post event scrutineering over
at Cripps on Lenton Lane — ed.).
Perhaps that would have been the ideal time to buy
my Fulvia but unknown to me at the time I was
about to get involved in a decade of club rallying. In
Wollaton Park at the finish of the RAC I met an old
friend, Stuart Teather, and he invited me to sit in
the left seat of his immaculate Mk 2 Escort Having
won both East Midlands and North East Midlands
Championships in 1988 we tackled the BTRDA
Clubmans Championships in 89. The RAC returned
to Nottingham in November and we decided to enter
in a group N Toyota. Retirements on the last day in
both 1989 and 1990 meant we went back to club
rallying. In 1992 we gave the RAC another go and
got to the finish in a very uncompetitive Peugeot
205 Gti. The only reason we made it to the rest halt
on the third day was due to Didier Auriol crashing
his Lancia heavily in a snowy Kielder and the stage
being run non competitively enabling us to limp
round with no front suspension. Perhaps this
should have been the time I bought my Fulvia.
The last few years a family commitment has taken up
most of my free time. Now I suddenly find I have a lot
more time and I’m building my garage ready for my
Fulvia. I’ve been to look at a lot of cars, but most are
in a state beyond my means of returning them to the
road. Unfortunately they are probably beyond repair
of many of their current owners too.
In 2007 I got involved with a group of friends
organising classic tours. They have also persuaded
Nottingham City Council in returning their
Nottingham built 1904 Celer car back to the road
and have successfully completed the London to
Brighton run.
As I approach retirement my intention has been to
share my car, when I get one, with the people who
made my motorsport career possible. Unfortunately
Stuart Teather died tragically two years ago and
Richard Jackson who found the financial support for
the three RAC attempts has also recently died.
I can now write the last chapter of my story. On
returning from the NEC Classic Car Show in
November my Lancia Motor Club mag lay on the
doorstep. The Omicron advert on the back suggested
they may have a S1 Fulvia for sale. To stop a long
story being even longer. I collected it in the first week
of January. Not concours but a good useable classic
that I am already enjoying. See you on a few events
When Stuart retired I was tempted out for a few
years more in a very competitive Escort Cosworth.
Around my 50th birthday I realised that rallying was
a younger mans game and called it a day. I had no
garage at home and decided that if I was turning my
back on motor sport joining LMC would just keep
me in touch and possibly lead to me buying a
I’ve had a long interest in classic cars, lets face it,
like so many others, most of my old cars would be
classics today if I still had them. Back in the 80’s I
was lucky to do the first 3 Norwich Union events in
a friends 1930’s Riley Nine and have marshalled
and spectated on many others.
In 2004 and 2005 I was asked by Don Williamson to
help with the LMC National Rally Saturday run for
the Eastwood Hall AGM. I quickly realised that
there are not many Lancia Motor Club members in
the East Midlands and even fewer that wanted to
help put an event on. I was very lucky in meeting
Mike Costigan and we put on a fantastic route in
Derbyshire. Unfortunately most people were attracted to Chatsworth House and only eleven crews
did all of the enjoyable thrash to Crich. However it
did lead to me doing the Nottingham Classic Tour in
Mike’s Appia. I had at last done an event in a
Might be a replica but it is a damm good one!
Where is your Classic
Car article?
Write it now!
This means you!
This is the Lancia connection ( previous page) as one of the best shots was of the late Henri Toivenen, who on
the section prior to the crossing had just clocked 132mph! He attacked the crossing with the inevitability of lift
off, however, the national press especially one Martin Holmes well known author and photographer had
spotted my bias from his controlled position behind the fence. The resulting fallout was a lambasting for me in
the next edition of Motoring News, a feat of which I am quite proud actually, notoriety at last! Nice one Lancia,
brilliant shot MOTOFOTO.
The quest to find the origins of the Celer continues, this
intriguing picture was taken at 6.30am on the Morning
of August 5th 1905. If you know Nottingham, it is taken
in Theatre Square standing outside the Theatre Royal
and looking right to Wollaton Street. It shows the JB
Whitehall Factory burning following the discovery of a fire
in a chimney at 4.00am that morning. Being destroyed in
the fire is Charles Binks production line of 50 Leader
cars. No Celer cars were made in this factory, all of the
three vehicles had been produced between 1903-04
'Reproduced courtesy of Nottingham City Council and Picture the Past, a not-for-profit project that makes historic images from the library
and museum collections of Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, freely available at the click of a button to anyone with
access to the Internet, anywhere in the world. See thousands more pictures like this at'
The Raleigh Safety Seven
The next car in our sights to restore, from the collection
held by Nottingham City Council Museums and Galleries,
is the Raleigh Safety Seven. Just to keep your appetites
whetted, the finished article should look something like
this. This particular version is owned by Martin Strange of
Hinkley. It has been in his family since new and was
restored by him during the late nineties. It is an excellent
example and Martin has very kindly offered advice and
assistance when we get to the nitty gritty. Around 220
Raleigh Safety Sevens were made and when Raleigh decided not to continue it, the rights to the car eventually
ending up as the forerunner of the Reliant . More later.
The Nottingham Classic eNews and the Nottingham Classic Logo is copyright of and published by John Thornhill, 3 Meadow Close,
Eastwood, Nottingham .NG16 3DQ.