19/08/2011 Blue, red and gold at Chelsea AutoLegends 2011
The latest news from Chelsea AutoLegends, to be held on Sunday 4 September 2011 at the Royal Hospital Chelsea in London, is that two top racing teams are to be honoured with special displays: Ecurie Ecosse and Alan Mann Racing.
Ecurie Ecosse and its familiar Flag Metallic Blue livery, with a white band on the car’s nose, was Scotland’s own hugely successful race team that beat the works teams not once, but twice, to win Le Mans in 1956 and 1957. At Chelsea AutoLegends, the ex-Ecurie Ecosse cars on display will include a D-type that’s the sister car to the Le Mans winner, plus the Austin-Healey Sebring Sprite and Cooper T57 raced at the 24 Hours in 1961. There’ll also be the 1962 Tojeiro-Jaguar and, thanks to Hugh McCaig’s revival of the Ecurie Ecosse name in the 1980s, the 1982 Group 2 Ecosse-Ford.
Probably the most iconic Ecurie Ecosse vehicle of all, however, isn’t a car, but the original team’s three-car transporter. Fully restored, and in the correct Ecurie Ecosse livery, the transporter will also be at Chelsea AutoLegends.
From blue to red and gold. In the 1960s, Fords of all shapes and sizes – Escorts, Lotus-Cortinas, Falcons, GT40s – entered under the Alan Mann Racing banner were among the most successful Touring Cars and GTs around. Among the cars wearing the Alan Mann Racing colours of red and gold on display at Chelsea AutoLegends will be the Ford Lotus-Cortina used by Sir John Whitmore to win the 1965 European Touring Car Championship, as well as his 1965 Ford Mustang and a Mark 1 Escort from the 1968 British Saloon Car Championship.
Meanwhile, long-distance racers will include a GT40 and – it is hoped – the fascinating but ill-fated 1968 Ford F3L, also known as the P68, that failed to finish any race it was entered for, in spite of being driven by such stars as Bruce McLaren, Jochen Rindt, Richard Attwood, Denny Hulme and Frank Gardner. At every race it entered, the F3L achieved at least one of the following: pole position, race lead or fastest lap; yet it never finished. Alan Mann himself will also visit the show, despite ill health, to share memories with fellow enthusiasts.
These displays are just a few of the many highlights of this year’s Chelsea Autolegends. For more details, see the event’s website where you can also buy tickets (alternatively via the ticket hotline on 0844 581 0760). Advanced adult tickets are £17 (£20 on the gate) and £10 (£20 on the gate) for 12-16-year-olds. Accompanied children under 12 will be admitted free of charge.