I got an email from Evan Gamblin from the Ottawa area of Ontario. Evan spent considerable time in the UK and is very knowledgeable about English cars. My recent post about the MG J2 that I saw at Thompson Speedway got Evan thinking about the day he attended the MG Car Club races at the Silverstone race track in England 50 years ago in 1964. He sent me some photographs that he took that day and I am pleased that Evan allowed me to share them with viewers of this site. I posted my initial story about the photos, but then I got a comment note from David Allison of the UK who had specific information and corrections to my post. As a result, I decided to edit the post with David Allison’s comments and corrections rather than have any readers of the post have to follow the comment trail. I’ll take the responsibility for the initial incorrect information.
Not only are the photos of the featured cars interesting, but it is also interesting to look at the cars and activities going on in the background. For example, in the picture of the MG M type special below there is an interesting transporter in the background.
The Late Stuart Milton’s MG M Special Now Owned By Clive Sheriff
The photo below shows a standard Type M MG Midget. The MG Midget M Special shown above is at the very least a re-bodied MG Midget. I assume that the owner also made some improvements to the engine.
Standard MG Type M Midget
The MG Midgets only had 847cc engines and produced 20 horsepower at 4,000 rpms. The car had a three-speed transmission. Not much power, but the car only had a 78-inch wheelbase and a 42-inch track, so it was a small car.
Peter Thornley’s MG Type M Midget
In an amazing coincidence, Evan pointed out that the gent in plimsolls/sneakers squatting near the front of the M-type is Peter Ross. Evan met him only about 20 years after this picture was taken in the 1980s at the Lime Rock race track in Connecticut, and said that Peter is now living in New England and is still racing the same MG-TC that he had that day at Silverstone in 1964. I pointed out to Evan that it is the same Peter Ross actually also owns the MG J2 that I photographed at the Thompson Speedway which had initially caught Evan’s attention. Small world!
Peter Ross In His MG TC Many Years Later
My initial story was about a MG J2 car at the Thompson Speedway and Evan forwarded some photos of MG J2s that were at Silverstone that day.
Mike Hawkes’ MG J2
In the picture above you can see a commonly used performance improvement of that era where the standard 19-inch wire wheels are exchanged for 16-inch wire wheels which permits bigger and better Dunlop racing tires to be used. I think that the holes in the brake drums were made to improve brake cooling. This car also has the small “Brooklands” windscreen.
Tony Miles’ MG PA (ex-Dorothy Stanley Turner LeMans car)
Note that in the MG PA shown above and in many of the cars shown in these photos that most of the cars have temporary racing numbers, but road registration numbers. I mentioned this to Evan and he said that most of the cars were driven to and from the race track.
As I noted in my previous post about the MG J2, the MG J2 was one model of a four model series:
J1 – Four-seat touring model with 36 horsepower 847cc engine
- J2 – Two-seat sports model with 36 horsepower 847cc engine
- J3 – Two-seat sports model with a supercharged 746cc destroked 847cc engine
- J4 – Two seat sports model with 72 horsepower 746cc destroked 847cc engine
Now, thanks to Evan, I can show an image of both the MG J3 and MG J4 cars in addition to the J2 cars.
An MG J4 Owned By Geoff Coles
Note that the MG J4 shown above also has the 16-inch wheels and the “Brooklands” windscreens.
A MG J2 Built And Run By Mel Jones
The MG J4 was really the racing version of the J-Series and a MG J4 finished 6th Overall in the 1934 LeMans race.
A MG J3 Special Run By Malcolm Beer
The MG J3 shown above is a special race prepared car as the original body has been removed and replaced with a single seater racing body. This is getting to be a very serious race car.
Also, note the cars in the background. The red car on the right looks like a Lotus Cortina, Car #20 is a Lotus Elite, but Car #118 is a WSM MGB which was a special car built by Tony Wilson-Spratt.
I appreciate Evan Gamblin sharing these photos. I am still astonished that a picture of a car would remind someone of an event 50 years ago and that one picture from that event 50 years ago in a country across the ocean happens to include a picture of the owner of the car that triggered the memory. I have no way of contacting Peter Ross, but if a reader of this website knows how to contact Peter Ross, please advise him of the photo of him at Silverstone 50 years ago.
I contacted Evan about David Allison’s comments. Evan noted that David Allison was likely the son of Mike Allison who also was at Silverstone that day in 1964 racing a single seat K3. The following is a picture that Evan took of Mike Allison’s car that day.
Mike Allison’s K3
I want to thank David Allison for his contributions to this post. I hope that I’ve got it correct.