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Thread: Lovely chat with F1 nobility

  1. #1
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    May 2012

    Lovely chat with F1 nobility

    Just has the pleasure to travel into London on public transport with Lord Hesketh. Just the two of us for a half hour trip after an event so it was great opportunity to chat about F1. Hesketh’s racing adventure in many ways came out of personal connections in flat in London inhabited characters such as: Charlie Lucas, Piers Courage, “Bubbles” Horsley and my former boss, Frank Williams.

    Of course owning one of the sister RS frim that small quota of 51…
    … I had to ask him about the real story of his /James Hunt’s 73 first series RHD Carrera RS Touring that factory records show was originally painted lilac. He corrected me saying that colour he received was known Royal Purple here in England. Not lilac. Which is true based on british adverts I’ve seen dating back to the day the factory colour lilac was usually called Royal Purple.

    His first RS was indeed one of the last of the small quota of first series RHD. Vin 498 was originally Hesketh’s personal car but was according to racing “folklore” taken after Monaco by James Hunt for a service but never returned. Suffice to say the tongue in cheek joke of it being taken that’s now part of Hunt legend isn’t totally accurate

    Incidentally Paul Michaels who in-part paid John Watson for his Hexagon F1 team drives with a black RHD first series touring ( a car that Watson still owns today) was our host tonight. Two former F1 team owners around 73/4 who both paid their British F1 drivers in part with a RHD 73 Carrera RS Touring (worth about £7k new) as the currency, rather than payments bing all cash — both gents present in the same room tonight! Quite remarkable being fifty years on from the commercial wheeling and dealing with the drivers .

    Car below when in original royal purple pain — monochrome image doesn’t show the hue it’s clearly not white at that point so presumably still the factory lilac paint aka royal purple. The impression from photo is that Hunt is seeing it for the first time and looking engine bay over — is that backdrop the German GP?
    Same car photographed later after being painted white with Hesketh livery
    Reportedly Hunt kept that 73 RS until 1980. Seven years as owner for a guy at top of his profession seems a long time so it’s reasonable to assume he liked the 73. Kept it even after moving to McLaren and becoming 76 F1 world champion which ought to have allowed him budget to change to new car if he wished?

    Hesketh NOT Hunt soon got a new yellow 74 RS (one of just six RHD) to replace the 73 example that had gone with Hunt following Monaco.
    He told me the tale whilst riding the train tonight how the 74 RS got a part from a tractor when it broke down in rural France (he pointed out it handy this happened in France so cannibalised part was metric not imperial!). We even discussed that the recommended oil back then was a straight mineral tractor oil — Shell Rotella. He wondered if that part was still on the car.

    Last edited by 911MRP; 06-07-2023 at 03:40 PM. Reason: Add picture taken this eve

  2. #2
    Moderator Chuck Miller's Avatar
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    Chuck Miller
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  3. #3
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    May 2012
    The spirit of Hesketh racing (literally) in 1974



  4. #4
    Nick D member #403 nickd's Avatar
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    Jul 2005
    Landenberg, PA
    Unfortunately cup holders were not invented then so pitstop required
    Nick D - Run Flat

    1973 RHD 911 Carrera RS #0358 - Fun Car
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    Still looking for 1st Edition Carrera RS book #358.

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  5. #5
    Senior Member StephenAcworth's Avatar
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    May 2011
    Chelsea, Québec
    What a great story!
    1966 911 Coupe - Slate Grey - 304598 - still in restoration!

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