5 Jan 2017

Legendary Jim Clark

The autographs in the race programme in the previous story are Jim Clark (front cover), Jackie Stewart, Dan Gurney, Denis Hulme, Graham Hill, John Surtees, Jack Brabham, Ray Parsons and Mike Spence.
 For most of us Ray Parsons in the odd one out but apparently he is/was an Australian who was a quick driver who drove in the Sebring 12 hours in a Lotus Cortina with Jim Clark and who was also a development engineer with Lotus and Clark's mechanic on the Tasman series.
Photo above from my archives -Brands Hatch rooftop. From left to right-Geoff Murdoch (from Esso), Mike Spence, Trevor Taylor, Jim Clark, Colin Chapman, Jack Brabham.

My brother sent me a link to this BBC programme on Jim Clark.JIM CLARK

If you were around when the legendary Jim Clark was driving you will enjoy it and if you were too young at that time-or weren't even born-and are wondering what all the fuss is about Jim Clark even after all the years since his death then I am sure you will find it very interesting. It is a long video and the quality of the race footage is not upto modern HD standards but it is really well worth watching and I found it very moving.
Many things come to mind after watching the video but what struck me most was the civility and humility of all the participants. Not a sign of vulgarity and the brashness and ego driven behaviour we see from most of today's F1 drivers and so many other people in public life.
For me Jim Clark was an absolute hero. I was so lucky to have seen him racing so many times. It is a measure of the man that he would win a Grand Prix at a European circuit on a Sunday and then turn out at the little Crystal Palace circuit in south London to race in a F2 car and a Lotus Cortina at a public holiday race meeting the next day.
I can still remember exactly what I was doing on the 7th April 1968 when I heard that he had been killed at Hockenheim. I should have been at Brands Hatch watching the sports car race - I seem to remember that my brother was there -but I was at home studying for my final university exams. I was listening to the Brands Hatch race on the radio when the news of Clark's accident came through.
 For a few years my parents lived in Bridge of Allen north of Edinburgh in Scotland and on one of my visits back to the UK to visit them in the 1980s I took them on this long drive -way down into Border country to visit the Jim Clark room and to see Jim Clark's grave in the cemetery at Chirnside. Fortunately it was beautiful day but I remember thinking at the time that this would be impossibly sad on a wet, cold winter's day.

1 comment:

  1. I've been to the Jim Clark Room at Duns twice now John.

    Small but very interesting.

    I hear there is a move afoot to build as bigger museum..... but it may just be talk.