Beach Mk4B s/n 100 - 1969-70 history

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Richard Elphick
Victoria, Australia

    Sorry to take so long getting these JPEG's to you, quality is a little suspect too, I apologise but then it is some 33 years ago. Congratulations on your site certainly brought back some memories for me, especially Walter Mays car.
My recollection of this car was that it was so quick for what it was (1275cc and when it didn't break something.). Will try and find some other photo's where it tangled lap after lap at Green Valley with a SC427 Cobra, Cobra would surge ahead on the straight, the little toy car would pull right up on the snake under brakes, then nip at its heels all the way around the back of the circuit. This to repeated again lap after lap. Sadly my recollection of events was that it made a hasty retreat after braking a suspension component in this event (Did that a couple of times I think!)
    The "Rivet Body" that you refer to was the work of a young Texan by the name of Gary Brizandine of the Fort Worth Sports Car Club. The reason for it was that towing the car to Mexico and back, backward in the bed of a Chevy pick up truck resulted in a lot of damage to the glass body shell. There was a race coming up, and I think it was about Wednesday, we looked at the shell and decided that there was just too much damage, plus we had lost the screen on the way home. So not to be beaten, Gary concocted or is that conjured up this body shell from flat sheet glass, and thousands of pop rivets. Needless to say the car made scrutineering on amazing effort really.... Not everybody was complimentary through! Still think it was a great effort in the time frame though!
In those days races in the south west were few and far between, so it was important not to miss one.

Just a few notes about the JPEG's

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Taken at Green Valley at the 69 Polar Prix, Number 67 Lola T70 was Brad Dunn and it was behind the little "Toy Car" I think this was Walter's first drive in the car.

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"Rivett Car" at the San Marcos Airport Course in South West Texas, May5th-6th 1970 
Walter was to swap the car for the Latham MGB (as noted within your site), which had a Huffaker engine in it. .

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(left) On the road to Mexico. (right) Mexico at a sleepy little town called Valle de Bravo. Moises Solana the F1 BRM diver was killed here in a sports M3 McLaren during a hill climb. There is also or was a road circuit that would equal Australia's Bathurst... the Mexican counterpart being an incredibly dangerous place. The race we had travelled down for was cancelled because of a Federal Election, crowd control at the race was to have been by the Mexican Army..... they were busy elsewhere! Still the trip led to practice at the old formula 1 circuit, a guest appearance on Formula Uno (Mexican Motorsport TV show) and lasting friendships that resulted in some of the Mexican drivers coming up to Texas to race. Yes your site has brought back many fond memories....

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In Mexico City at the Ricardo Rodriguez Autodrome ( Brothers Rodriguez now I believe). Gentleman in the car was Pepe Bosini, sure hope I have spelt his name correctly, he drove a beautiful Stanguellini formula junior, did a few laps in the Beach and was very impressed! Another interesting thing about this car was that it was driven on public roads to the circuit, we had asked Fred Van Burren (a SCCA B/P Champion if I remember correctly) if we could borrow a trailer....the answer " we just drive our cars there!" So we did! I can assure you that it is very cramped in the passenger seat with toolbox, you also get a lizards view of the armed Mexican Police shouting Carrera! Carrera! and urging you and the rest of the field on! Walter was in his element!  In Texas I think we would have been shot!
Walter almost exchanged the Beach for a road going Maserati Mistral but common sense did prevail in the end

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Texas International Speedway, Bryant, Texas July 11 /12th 1970
Mr Lathams first run in the car I think, Walter ran the ex Latham MGB, with Huffaker engine. We managed to coat the main banked tri oval straight? (a contradiction in terminology I think) with "Castrol R". From memory the conrods were travelling down the straight faster than the "B". The Beach also DNF'd I think, with suspension failure, could be mistaken was a long time ago!

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