Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Tales from the Bottom of my Magazine Vault which may interest readers

  1. #1

    Smile Tales from the Bottom of my Magazine Vault which may interest readers

    Tales from the Bottom of my Magazine Vault which may interest readers

    #1 in series

    I be posting unusual motor racing stories and commentary dug from my extensive indexing of car magazines in depth when i have been doing for the past 37 years!

    Iceland's Artic I million
    Before the Financial Crisis where likes of Spain ; Portugal; Ireland and particularly Iceland got themselves in stuck in the dodo and are looking like at any moment that they fall over financially and be declared bankcrupt

    Here a very funny you tube with New Zealands John Clarke (Formally Fred Dagg) explaining the European Financial Crisis

    Iceland got very close in 1972 to going bankcrupt then - Why
    Its because in order to boost tourism and revenue for the strugging nation during the Iceland Summer- the powers that be decided to organize car race that to this day there has being nothing like it since and on the scale - This was no holds bar race
    around iceland when any sort of vehicle could compete Example Nascar Stockcars ; Rallys Cars ; Motorcycles ; Trucks ; and one of two high performance saloon specials like the dropping in of full works V12 Le Mans Matra-Simca engine to a Chrysler

    180 sedan (Production 180 was Chryslers proposed Humber Sceptre replacement and later produced by Chrysler France and Spain in 1.8 and 2.0 versions from 1970 ; later in Australia these cars were called Chrysler Centuras fitted with 2.0, 215ci or

    245ci Hemi 6 engines) the Race was to sponsored by STP and prize money was $1,000,000 US would attract the top motor racers from al over the world . The promise of putting the event life on TV (which would be a major plus particularly the selling
    of TV rights around the globe)

    However the staging of this event was beset by problems
    1/ STP gained a lot of promotional miliage with regard to the event at last minute pulled the plug!
    2/ The Iceland Summer was shorter that year and Winter set it quicker then expected - those vehicles with 4wd capability to cope with surprise snow fall over days of the event were in a better advantage then those without - Despite these conditions the
    event was staged and the then Formula 1 champion Emerson Fittapardi in a Ferguson 4wd Capri V6 won the event
    3/ Televising the life - Iceland economy would gain by selling the rights but was this was 1972 and there were a number of technical problems in transmission (technology new and change of conditions did not help) and this could not be solved in time of event

    Iceland Finance Minister was left to find $1M dollars and associated costs and Iceland almost had to be baled out them consequently there very little information on this event

    The only article I have found from my database of documenting magazines for 37 years is the report written by Autocar UK magazine in 1972

    See: 21st December 1972 Autocar (GB) page 18-19 Volume 137 Issue # 3995
    "A Cool Million"; Emerson Fittipaldi the winner;Turbo Charged BMW CSL's against US Stock Cars against one another in trecherous winter conditions;The only event where you would find V12 Chrysler 180s;4x4 Capri etc

    A copy is for viewing is available from National Library Wellington in Victoria Street

    I used to photocopy this report as a lesson to my students, when i tutored at Victoria University in 2001-2002 in Marketing with regard to Event Management - an example of when things really go wrong!

    Cheers Julian
    Looking for car references then visit my site

    PS - I brought up this story around 5 years ago on the UK website F1 Atlas to which the story has being so buried and then admit I received few replies from the Brits - Maybe Kiwis might find this starting story more interesting

  2. #2
    Awesome story! Do you have any more info? Who else was in the race? The concept was actually pretty clever, especially with the prize money on offer, I guess the one thing you can't control is the weather. Don't suppose you have any photos of the cars?

  3. #3
    Hi Steve
    I used to have a scanned copy of the article (i documented the issue from sitting in National Library in Molesworth Street Wellington 1 wet Day in the School Holidays when i was a full time secondary teacher) - I don't have a copy of the magazine myself
    Back to Autocar article it was only really a 2 pages
    From memory there was only 1 photo a small bw photo of the winning Ferguson 4wD Ford Capri Mk1

    I myself have being looking for years for a photo of Matra V12 Chrysler 180 - I looked over the years in a fair chunk of the big race chat rooms to no avail
    Maybe a European Automotive publication (likely non English Speaking) has those photos we most want I am not aware if Iceland itself has a Automotive publication - maybe they covered it in 1972

    It would be great if a similar event would be housed today as i believe there would be world wide interest!

    Cheers Julian
    looking for automotive magazine references then visit my site at

  4. #4
    I seem to remember Richard Petty took part in this race driving a 1972 Dodge Charger as one of the Nasacar competitors!

  5. #5
    Semi-Pro Racer pallmall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Auckland. New Zealand
    Another story of total fiction published in a Christmas edition of a UK motoring magazine. Been a few good ones over the years, and of course they would do a road test of some unlikely vehicle.

  6. #6

    A voice from the past - Its being years since we talked - Are you still documenting Punch Magazines? Are you trying to be funny and having a laugh

    - I disagree No it was a Real race.

    Yes traditionally every Autocar i have documented since 1947 from cover to cover does include a Xmas test whether it be a tank, a bus even a Blackpool tram as in the 1956 issue but this was a REAL EVENT!!
    Go to the National Library here in Wellington in Molesworth Street and read the Autocar issue yourself - you see its geniune!

    Cheers Julian
    looking for magazine references then visit my site at

  7. #7
    Don't get me wrong it has often crossed my mind that after searching for over 20 years for other articles on the event I have found no substantial backup and the fact yes indeed it does not help that the event was 1/ on in the traditional 'Xmas Issues" of the UK weekly Autocar 2/ the writer of the report was clearly a made up name 'Rai Sportstorisson'

    However there is a number of factors in its favour that report appears geniune

    1/ The Writing itself is believe-able and sounds totally authentic - Over the years i have read all the other Autocar Spoof stories but these are all written in the style of Sir Peter Ustinov's 1958 spoof grand prix commentary' with made up names and vehicles - this one is NOT!

    2/ Real racing drivers of different race codes and vehicles are discussed - Emerson Fittipaldi was one of team drivers who did Saloon racing in a Capri 4wd (and later RS2600 etc) i found a you tube footage of 4x4 capri here driven by the later Roger Clark on a snow event in 1969 with similar colouring livery as the vehicle that took part in the Iceland event!

    http://[URL=""] [/URL](please note the unfornate Film reel noise in the background)

    3/ The event was highlighted as sub -billing on the cover of the Autocar Issue (you do not do that with spoofs)

    4/ A real Sponser STP - a American Additives oil company who got a shot in the arm in 1960s-1970s with its new Andy Granatelli as the CEO of STP who was known for taking calculated risks in supporting events outside traditional marketing ventures and making a success of it.(note - STP was the sponsor of stock-car drivers Richard Petty who was reported in the event) The fact here according to the report - that STP pulled out -shows the company in bad light and with knowledge and experience in working for large particularly US multi-national companies - they would sue any publisher that showed them in bad light.
    Interesting to note - No Oil Company was mentioned - personally I believe it was Shell? and they may have taken steps to produce a total media blackout.

    For example taking my own experience into account in 1990 I was an oil company rep for one of big 4 Petrol companies in NZ - my Territory was Wgtn City to the Manawatu to Raetihi . A particular situation comes to mind I was asked to oversea as the oil representive a change of ownership of a private business between 2 parties in a Service Station in Featherstone Street Palmerston North that won for 5 years running the 2XS Service Station of the year (Anybody here from Palmy?) in this particular case a pair of individuals not known for harmous exsistence and who owned a number of other businesses became a disruptive 3rd party on site (my intermediate boss a young very ambitious guy had negioated a seperate deal without telling me about it) the shit was about to hit the fan - they made it quite clear that they were the buyers not the then head Mechanic and his wife and the staff were told in no certain terms they if the 3rd party were the successful buyers (later to be the case) they would be sacked - one had been working there for over 10 years and he himself was a former oil company employee.

    What do you think happened - well at 5am i was awakened from my slumber staying at the local Hotel down the road to comfront a picket line and a union representive with a hostile public -However I was informed by one of the senior bosses of company after i alerted them and was in constant contact to come up with a solution (we paid them off) - The Oil companies response was a threat on Media TV!-TV3 did not cover the story ; The Newspapers were vetoed (You will not find the story in the Manawatu Standard) and even Radio with threat the company would withdrawal all advertising and sponsorship for 6 months and more and it worked - Only 2XS Radio station broadcast it (they afterall were the ones who ran the service station award)- showing the power of the Oil Company!

    Similar I believe a Similar deal may have happened here with Ice land - but a much bigger scale as I said STP were involved - there must have been an oil company and other sponsers involved and as for the winner Emerson Fittipaldi - He may have had to sigh a deal that he would not reveal the event with the threat of loss of sponsership..Food for thought...?

    And as for name -What freelancer would publish his real name in this situation (you only need to read the story behind the original writer for Readest Digest about his reported only Test of Tucker of 1948 for another publication (see 1971 FEB Mechanix Illustrated (US) Pages 88-91;131 Volume 67 Issue 513)
    to realise how he lost his job there and power of big US business to put the Klabosh on the company and media releases - Different sectors not just car industry colluded together!

    note : It is litle known -American Chamber of Commerce that used to meet regularly in CHCH in 1990s made up of majority of all the big US Mutinationals who meet and discuss things to their mutual advantage ..they never publise themselves...

  8. #8
    Semi-Pro Racer pallmall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Auckland. New Zealand
    I stand by my earlier posting. The event obviously wasn't supposed to have taken place in December, so what date did it take place?
    Why was it not reported in other parts of the motoring press? Cover-up, very hard in the motor racing world with a World Champion winning, how do you hush up all the mechanics, etc?
    Suggest you ask Eion Young.

  9. #9
    I did reply to this post but my post must have gone walk about ? Yep there is no year on this race .

    ..does put doubts on it as does lack of the story by mechanics but if it occured it may not have been 1972 it may have occured some years earlier but there are limits - the Fergusson 4wd Capri first saw the light of day in 1969 , The Chrysler 180 in 1970 - so if it occured somewhere between 1970-1972

    Eion Young is a good suggestion but he may have been away covering other stories - He did seem to have a good relationship with Ford over the years (Did he do some work in PR for Ford?) while writing his columns Fords were often his company cars he borrowed -on one of his columns there write up of him driving one of first Mercury Cougars in the UK - he may have some knowledge of Fergusson Ford Capri 4wd cars

    I surprised he is not on this board ...and do not have his email

    Personally I believe the one of the guys who had the knowledge to put this 'report together' was one of Autocars overseas correspondents and it would not surprise me if Jerry Sloniger wrote this!

    I guess we will never know the full story
    It will be believeable as Adminal Bird going to Antartica on a so called 'Science mission' with a aircraft carrier, several warships and 5000 men around 1946 ...that story has never being fully explained. What or who was down there?

    Well time to work on next find from my vault - Story #2

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts