MONOPOSTO AND FORMULA
JUNIOR RACING IN 1959 AND 1960
Former member David Taylor has sent us a few tales of the early
days of Monoposto and racing what was essentially a Monoposto car in Formula
Junior. Going up against the contemporary Lotuses, Coopers and other factory
teams would be a bit like running a home built car in F3 today - very
brave, and only for the skilled and committed.
David would love to hear from anybody who remembers his cars,
or knows anything of their subsequent history. To prevent spam, any emails
will be passed on if you email
here or you can leave a telephone message with Simon on the usual
contact number, or email Simon.
I designed and built the above Monoposto/ Formula junior car in
1959. I had a lock up garage off Ladbrook Road London where our
group gathered, and helped. Our group was Clive Pusey, Mike Wesson,
Mike Trackman, Twig Wood.
This photo was taken at Brands Hatch at the end of the racing
season. That is me in the car Clive Pusey in the white overalls,
and the Chap who I had sold the car to. The car complied with the
Monoposto Formula/ FJ as promoted by Frank Tiedeman.
I used a BMC engine mated to a VW gearbox which worked well. The
VW gearbox had a low first gear which helped getting off the line
fast. From memory I raced it at, Brands Hatch, Snetterton, Silverstone,
Mallory Park, and other venues.
It had quite good roadholding, and was reasonably competitive.
I can not remember my race results.
The photo above was taken at Silverstone on the grid. See Elva
FJ on right. This was the first factory built FJ car I had come
across at the time. I never saw the car after I sold it at the end
of 1959, and would be interested in any news on its fate.
|EVAD FJ 1960
I sold the rear engined Taylor Special I designed and built the
above FJ car seen with me driving it at the Nurburgring . The Maserati
250 F was a real racing car it looked and sounded right and was
successful. I designed the above car as a small version with wire
wheels big finned brakes etc. The name Is Dave spelt backwards hence
It was great fun to drive being controllable in a four wheel drift
on fast corners.
The engine was a105E Ford unit which we modified with help from
a friend John Young of Anglia racing fame. The engine was never
competitive against the Cosworth units but very reliable never failed
to finish a race including the above which from memory was 20 laps
of 7.7 km around the Eifel circuit.
I raced the car at Brands Hatch , Snetterton, Cadwell Park, Silverstone,
Goodwood, Regio- Calibria In Southern Italy, Salerno, and Nurburgring.
The Evad under construction early in 1960. I used the front
brakes off a Lotus 10. the space frame and suspension was
my design and construction. It took about three months to
build the car with help from Clive Pusey and Mike Wesson.
Racing the Evad at Cadwell Park.
1960, before the FJ race. L/R . Self, Clive Pusey, Liz, and Clives
Note on right Clive raced a Yimkin FJ , which was quite good but
not a front runner.
I sold the Evad FJ at the end of 1960 as a bare chassis / body unit,
as I used the engine /gearbox diff unit etc for my next car.
I wonder what happened to it!
SOME RACE RESULTS.
March 27th SNETTERTON. M.R.C. SPRING CUP. 15th
out of 28 entries fastest lap 2’05.4” 127.6 kph.
BRANDS HATCH EASTER TROPHY. 5th out of 12 entries
fastest lap 1’08.6” .120 kph. I remember Bernie Eccleston
was entered in this event.
April 30th SILVERSTONE 10th out of 14 entrants.
August 1st CADWELL PARK . 4th out of 10 entrants.
August 20th B.A..R.C. FJ CHAMPIONSHIP GOODWOOD.
18th out of 38 entrants. Fastest lap 1’46.4”. 133kph
August 28th REGGIO CALABRIA ITALY. 12th out of
26 entrants fastest lap 1,43.8”. 120 kph.
October 20th EIFELPOLKA-RENNEN NURBURING. 9th out
of 25 entrants fastest lap 3’48.3” 129.3 kph. Note:7.747
km per lap 20 laps 156 km.
RACING IN FORMULA JUNIOR IN 1960.
Formula Junior was previewed in 1959 and I built and raced the Taylor
special which complied with the initial guide lines as promoted by Frank
Tiedemann of the Monoposto register. He named his house Peak Revs and
was also involved with the 1172 cars and 750 Club.
In 1960 I designed and built the Evad Formula Junior FJ car which I
raced at many events in England and the Continent.(note: Evad is Dave
The RAC published their blue book listing all the race events for the
season. I would look through the list select events then submit my application
which was usually granted as the grids were rather sparse at most events.
On the continent most events paid good start money as they were mostly
held yearly with local authority support. I used to select the event then
send in my application with a photo of the Evad explaining it was a small
version of the 250F Maserati which seemed to do the trick. I would negotiate
my start money and only go to events which agreed a reasonable sum in
One event which I shall never forget was at ReggioCalibria in southern
Italy. I competed at the bank holiday Goodwood event, and Reggio Calibria
was the following week end. Mike Wesson and I set off on the Tuesday in
the Ford van with the Evad on a trailer and took turns driving. Coming
down the Simplon Pass in to Italy the brakes got very hot and smoked badly.
We had to drive in to the banking to help stop. Then we poured water on
the brakes which was rather silly as it could have cracked the brake drums,
but fortunately it did not. Then we found the brake pedal went to the
floor, so we had to bleed the hydraulics before we regained any brakes.
We arrived at Reggio on Thursday evening and set up our tent in a vineyard
on the outskirts of the town. Soon there was a crowd gathered around the
race car all chatting excitedly. We were taken to the local café
and had a good meal and too much wine ending up singing opera with our
hosts. It didn’t matter what language was spoken we seemed to all
understand each other. On the Friday we went to the Auto Club and registered
our entry and most importantly got confirmation they would pay the agreed
start money, which was so important. We met some of the other competitors
who were mainly Italians, but I remember David Latchford from Brighton
who raced a Dophin Fiat and some Americans with a Cooper.
David Latchford was a great chap and we got on well. He had made his
living for the previous few years racing on the continent, and only returned
home in the winter. During practice a steering bracket cracked on my car,
and using sign language and much waving of hands I asked the marshal to
point me in the direction of some gas welding equipment. One marshal conveyed
to me to follow him. He jumped in to an Alfa and stormed off through the
town with me following in the race car having a job to keep up.We arrived
at a blacksmith and the race official and blacksmith started to chatter
with waving of arms etc. They explained to me in sign language the blacksmith
would need to have the steering dismantled before he could weld the bracket.
I conveyed back that I would weld the bracket if they provided the welding
kit, as I had welded the whole frame during construction. By this time
a crowd had collected around the race car all chattering excitedly, and
when the welding bottles were wheeled out I had a job to clear the crowd
so I could get to the car. The race official stepped in and shouted at
the crowd, waving his arms, but they seemed to shout back and only moved
back slightly. While I was welding the race official roared off in his
Alfa leaving me to my fate. However the blacksmith refused any payment
and gave me a bear hug offering some wine, which I refused indicating
I needed to keep sober. I then set off back to the circuit driving very
carefully through the traffic, with cyclists pedestrians etc creating
chaos, it was fortunate I remembered the way.
The circuit from the start was along the sea front promenade for a fair
distance then a sharp left in to the market place, then left, left and
right back to the inner lane of the sea front, round a hair pin back to
the start. When the flag dropped for heat one we all stormed off down
the sea front, and when I braked for the sharp left a number of cars went
past me. I thought these guys are so quick. They all went straight on
in to the straw bales and the remaining cars emerged out of a cloud of
dust to continue.
The second heat had a sparse grid with some very patched up cars.
The flag fell and again we stormed off down the sea front but this time
they all braked early and made it around the first corner. About half
distance I came around the market place to find oil all over the road
with a Stanguilini ahead still running but leaving a trail of blue smoke
and oil. I spun and broke the rear suspension so that was that.
That evening the organizers held a reception in the town hall and laid
on drinks etc. It was all very jolly except for the endless speeches in
Italian given by the various dignitaries. The following day I went down
to the auto club to collect my start money.
The secretary indicated the boss was out so come back later. After the
third time I was fuming but met a English chap who lived in Italy and
spoke the language well. I think his name was Colin Davis. I explained
what the problem was. And he said this was normal in Italy and can remember
Gordini storming in with a gun to get his start money some years previous.
He said leave this to me and went in to the boss’s office thrusting
my letter of confirmation under his nose. There followed much shouting
and waving of arms. After about ten minutes Colin said come on lets get
the police and we stormed out, to be followed by the sectary indicating
we should go back. We returned and the boss was smiling indicating all
was now resolved, as he opened a large safe and paid out my start money
which was about £500; at the time a lot of money for us, considering
the Evad had cost about that to build. We all then went to the café
and had a few drinks and a meal before leaving for the next event.
This gives an idea of racing in 1960 all rather amateurish but also fun.
I was taken with the design of the Birdcage Masarati as being the
ultimate space frame. I designed the above with a birdcage space
frame and used the engine and running gear from Evad FJ. The body
design was a mistake as I should have had an open top . The enclosed
top with gull wing doors made it very noisy to drive. It handled
well and was good to drive. I raced it at Snetterton, Mallory Park,
Silverstone, and Brands Hatch. I sold it at the end of 1961 and
bought the Lotus 12 rolling chassis.
The front end of the Evad Sports showing the birdcage space frame
which was very rigid and light and never showed any sign of breaking.
I saw the car at Brands Hatch a few years after I sold it but not
since. I wonder if it still exists, It would be interesting to hear
from its current owner.