The 2019 Award Winners

Royal Automobile Club Lifetime Achievement Award

Allan Winn

Allan Winn’s triumphs at Brooklands put him firmly on the front row for the Club’s Lifetime Achievement Award – he transformed Brooklands into what is now a remarkable destination with exhibits and attractions that could only be dreamt of 15 years ago.


A former motoring and aviation journalist, Allan has driven and competed in old cars for more than half a century, was a Director of the Vintage Sports Car Club for 17 years and, as Chairman of the Friends of Brooklands, was part of the team that helped to raise funds for the museum to buy the 1933 24-litre Napier-Railton endurance record and track racing car. 


From 2003-18 he was Director of Brooklands Museum, where his most notable legacies are the re-opening of the iconic Finishing Straight and the Brooklands Aircraft Factory in 2017.  Key to Allan’s success has been his firm belief that a museum must be a ‘living’ entity. He has a well-known dislike for what he calls ‘dead things in sheds’ - engines must fire up, things must move. His engineering background has given him the necessary awareness and sensitivity about the period buildings and track (which were never expected to last 110 years, having been built over a period of less than a year), but he doesn’t believe in wrapping them in cotton wool, once stating that “It’s like a Victorian swimming pool; it doesn’t mean anything unless you fill it with water and chuck people into it.”


Allan’s contributions to the world of historic motoring - he is an active race marshal and a regular judge at concours including Pebble Beach - and to Brooklands continue to this day, following his appointment as the Museum’s first Vice President in 2018. 


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Outstanding Journalism

Nick Trott - 'Helter Skelter', The Road Rat magazine

Nick's impeccably researched and beautifully-written feature on the Porsche Museum’s 917,  published in The Road Rat magazine made him a very worthy winner of this award. The judges said: "The combination of exhaustive research and fine writing in this detailed examination of a seminal racing car is simply breathtaking."


It took a long time to build trust with the Porsche Museum (Nick first visited as a journalist in 2005) but he is now fortunate to have access to both their cars and their archives for in-depth features – best demonstrated by the cover story in issue 2 of The Road Rat published in 2019.  


This 7,500-word feature took three months of research, plus interviews with key factory personnel and a deep dive into the Porsche archive. It was a deeply satisfying story to write, with emphasis on the human rather than technical story.


Rosaline (letter to The Road Rat)
My mood darkened as I turned the last page of the 917 story and my mind accepted that I’d come to the end of one of the best pieces of automotive journalism I’ve ever read. This from one who grew up with Car magazine in the 70s and 80s. Nichols, Cropley, Setright, Bishop, Bulgin and now Trott can be added to the roll call of the greats. It helped that the 917 story is a great one, but Trott made it above brilliant.


FINALISTS IN THIS CATEGORY: 

·  Mark Evans - Inside Jaguar: A Supercar is Reborn, broadcast documentary, Channel 4

·  Doug Nye - Enzo, The Man, Magneto magazine

·  Nick Trott - Porsche 917, The Road Rat magazine


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Competitive Event (supported by Brewin Dolphin)

Chateau Impney Hill Climb

The Chateau Impney Hill climb took top honours here, with the judges commending its winning combination of a classic venue, excellent organisation, ‘proper’ competition from a strong entry and great facilities and attractions for visitors.


The Chateau Impney Hill Climb encompasses the very best of classic motorsport, giving visitors access to a diverse array of classic cars and their drivers. The quality and variety of motorsport content at this year’s event took another leap forward, bringing hill climb racing to a new audience and inspiring a new generation of classic car and motorsport enthusiasts. Highlights of the 2019 event included Bentley 100th and Mini 60th anniversary celebration displays and crowd-pleasers such as BABS, ‘Beast of Turin’ and Mavis, entertaining the crowds with their fire-spitting engines - there was even a ‘flame off’ on the Friday.


Fiercely competitive driving saw over 200 pre-1967 cars and their drivers being tested to their limits. Rare cars taking part this year included the Barnato Hassan Special driven by Jorg Lemborg, Mclaren M12 driven by Rupert Marks, BRM P261, Parnell Challenger ERA, TVR prototype, the Jaguar D-type and the winning Lola T160 driven by Tom Walker, the Wasps and Gnat and Brabham BT8 driven by Jack Brabham’s grandson, David Brabham.  The National Hill Climb Association motorcycles competed in their own class, alongside the Ralli22 class which returned for a second year, while the Footman James Concours d’Elegance showed off exquisite marques of motoring luxury and sophistication ‘Through the Ages’, with the 1931 Alfa Romeo 1750 6C crowned Winner.


FINALISTS IN THIS CATEGORY:

·  Castle Combe Autumn Classic

·  Chateau Impney Hill Climb 

·  Le Mans Start Silverstone (VSCC Formula Vintage Festival)


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Race Series (supported by A. Lange & Söhne)

Historic Sports Car Club International Historic Formula 2

The HSCC's International Historic Formula 2 series has gone from strength-to-strength this year, including a spectacular showcase at the Silverstone Classic. The judges praised the “hard graft and inspired leadership which has seen this charismatic series finally fulfil its potential with sensational grids in 2019.”


The Silverstone Classic saw this series field a record-breaking grid of more than 50 Formula 2 and Formula Atlantic single-seaters from the late 1960s and 1970s, two tremendous races and unparalleled interest in the category. The pair of Historic F2 races delivered a glorious sight and sound and the opening race on Saturday was one of the best of the weekend, as Miles Griffiths, Martin O’Connell and Darwin Smith battled for victory. With fine contests all down the order and across the category’s five divisions, F2 was a real hit.


In the remarkable 56-car field were a number of fresh cars and new drivers. The entry included cars from 10 manufacturers and drivers from ten countries including Australia and America. For the first known time since their participation in the 1977 European F2 Championship, all three Team Opert Chevron B40s were together on track, driven by Martin O’Connell, Terry Fisher and Frazer Gibney. The ex-Bruno Giacomelli March 772 car raced for the first time in more than 20 years, in the hands of Frenchman Pascal Gerbout. He found chassis number 1 in a garage in France two years ago, where it had been stored for at least two decades and this was the car’s first race for over 20 years. There are a considerable number of cars in preparation to join the grid next season and drivers from other historic categories are looking to move into Formula 2. Cars are coming from all over the world and there is even a car being prepared in Botswana! 


FINALISTS IN THIS CATEGORY:

·  Classic Racing Motorcycle Club 

·  Equipe GTS & Classic Relay

·  HSCC International Historic Formula 2


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Motoring Spectacle (supported by Footman James)

The Concours of Elegance at Hampton Court Palace

All three of our finalists in this category fulfilled the criteria for a true motoring spectacle, but only one had the depth of content to continue to captivate long after the initial impact has been forgotten. The Concours of Elegance managed to gather an entry strong enough to live up to the breathtaking venue, boosted this year by some exceptional special displays.


The Concours of Elegance at Hampton Court Palace (6-8 September) was arguably a collection of motoring spectacles more than it was just one. A world-first gathering of every single Aston Martin Zagato model ever built (17 in total), a gathering of 166MM Ferraris, including the most significant Ferrari in the world, the first Bentley to race at Le Mans and the first Bentley to win back-to-back at Le Mans. All spectacular, and that’s without even mentioning what’s known as the ‘Main Concours’ event...


As one guest said: “Hampton Court Palace seems to have been designed for concours.” The carefully pruned ancient trees and the long, sweeping gravel paths fanning out from the Palace in all directions provide the perfect setting for a display of the world’s finest cars. Parked in the grounds of Henry VIII’s former home were the ‘world’s first minivan’, a one-of-nine Stout Scarab, the first car to ever win the Italian Grand Prix – a 1921 Ballot 3/8 LC - and a totally unique Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost that would eventually be crowned ‘Best in Show’. But these automotive pieces were designed to move. So more than ever, the Concours of Elegance makes a spectacle of its exhibits; each and every day a collection of concours entrants fired up their engines and carefully made their way through the crowds to the Concours Live Stage. 


FINALISTS IN THIS CATEGORY:

·  Bentley Drivers Club '1001 Bentleys at Blenheim' (in association with Salon Privé)

·  Bicester Heritage Super Scramble 

·  Concours of Elegance at Hampton Court Palace


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Personality (supported by HERO)

Paul & Andrew Wood

In a category for individual personal achievement, why have a ‘two-person’ winner? It’s simple; twin brothers Paul and Andrew Wood come as a pair! In 2019 the twins achieved their long-held dream: the 8 litre Bentley by Gurney Nutting, owned by Sir Michael Kadoorie, restored by Paul and Andrew and their team in 2009 and still maintained by them, became the first-ever British-restored car to win Best in Show at Pebble Beach. 


Paul and Andrew Wood started their own Rolls-Royce and Bentley restorations, service and sales company (P & A Wood) in 1967 and have worked tirelessly ever since to build a highly reputable business that means they now have customers from every continent. They are totally unique in that they are the only authorised company to maintain and sell every era of Rolls-Royce and Bentley motor car from 1904 to the present day.

At 22 the twins lived in a caravan behind very humble premises. Now, at 74, the  brothers still come to work every day and are very much involved in the day-to-day running of the business they worked so hard to build. 


The car placed best in show at Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2019 is one which was completely restored by the brothers and their team in 2009 and has been looked after by them ever since and paid them a final visit for fettling before heading out to California for the event this year.


FINALISTS IN THIS CATEGORY:

·  Ian Ferguson, VSCC 

·  Julius Thurgood, HRDC

·  Paul and Andrew Wood, P & A Wood


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Collection (supported by TOTAL)

The Jim Clark Motorsport Museum

The Jim Clark Motorsport Museum opened in June this year. The judges said: “The museum conveys a sense of place like few others, linking the stories of Jim Clark and the nearby towns, and encouraging visitors to explore those links through a trail that takes in his farm and grave, amongst others. It has done an extraordinary job in attracting over 1,000 visitors a month to Duns, which is not on the normal tourist trail and requires a committed journey to reach.”


Jim Clark helped to solidify Britain’s position as a leading nation in motorsport in the 1960s. His modest and engaging manner made him a well-known figure around the world and Edington Mains farmhouse a frequent port of call for the top echelon of racing drivers. Alongside Colin Chapman he revolutionised Indy Car racing by demonstrating that rear-engined cars were not just competitive but now the only way to win at Indianapolis.


The aim of the new museum is to inspire generations to come with a modern and vibrant celebration of his incredible career and impact on motorsport around the world. Jim Clark tragically died at a race in Hockenheim in Germany in 1968. Today he is remembered as one of the greatest racing drivers of all time, but the number of people who actually remember seeing him race is diminishing. One of the key aims of the project is to enthuse future generations with his exploits. Jim’s life story is told using key artefacts to illustrate his achievements combined with period film, photographs and modern reminiscences.  The museum displays two of the cars that Jim raced: a Lotus 25, R6 on loan from the Tinguely Museum and Dario Franchitti’s Lotus Cortina BJH 417B.


FINALISTS IN THIS CATEGORY:

·  British Commercial Vehicle Museum

·  Jim Clark Motorsport Museum

·  The Bugatti Trust


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Restoration (supported by Bicester Heritage)

1967 Jim Clark Lotus Type 38 Indy car - Nick Fennell and Classic Team Lotus

Judging for the Restoration category included a ‘head-to-head’ judging session at which all the finalists were gathered together at category partner Bicester Heritage. The judges commented: “The Lotus just pipped the other finalists to first place with the team's remarkable attention to detail and its quest to return 38/7 to 1967 Indy 500 specification – right down to having the correct spring made for an obscure fuel valve. The dedication to finding original parts to return the car to the correct asymmetric suspension, two-speed ZF transmission and accurate livery is truly inspirational.”


38/7 was constructed in 1966 by Team Lotus for the Indianapolis 500 race. It was to be driven by Al Unser. Whilst lying in 4th place he was hit by debris from a back-marker and retired. Team Lotus repaired the car to be next raced by Jim Clark at Fuji Speedway, Japan in October 1966. The car was then readied for Jim’s drive in the 1967 Indy 500, car #31. After 35 laps the engine failed and Clark retired.


Following Indy, the car was sold, and then sold again in the 1980s to a Japanese collector. In 2016, 38/7 was acquired by Nick Fennell, who has a significant collection of Lotus cars, including a number with Jim Clark heritage. 38/7 was outstandingly original but had ended up a long way from period spec., even further away from running and overall in a fairly poor condition. Nick Fennell has had the car restored to exactly 31st May 1967 specification with the objective of celebrating and preserving Jim Clark and Team Lotus history.


It is a restoration that demonstrates incredible skill and focus on originality and authenticity. The car was completed and run for the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed and will be displayed in the future at the Jim Clark Motorsport Museum in Duns, Scotland.


FINALISTS IN THIS CATEGORY:

·  1939 Corniche - Bentley Motors

·  1948 Amsterdam Motor Show Launch Land Rover - Land Rover Classic

·  1967 Jim Clark Lotus type 38 Indy car - Nick Fennell & Classic Team Lotus 


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