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Thread: Photos: The Dean Lester Collection - Part 1

  1. #21
    Thanks guys, glad you're enjoying them.

    This is the Ford X1, a prototype GT40 built up by the McLaren team from one of two aluminium GT40 tubs. McLarens spent a lot of time getting as much weight out of the car as possible, eventually reducing weight by around 450 kg from a standard GT40. The X1 was fitted with a big block 427 and Hewland LG500, special long nose, different rear bodywork, and open top.

    It was raced in various Group 7 events throughout 1965, but failed to score a race win, and was taken back by Ford and given to Shelby American, who had Kar-Kraft rebuild it to a heavier endurance racing guise, fitted with MkII nose and tail, although it retained the open top. With this car Ken Miles and Lloyd Ruby won the 1966 Sebring 12 Hours. I believe it was eventually crushed.

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  2. #22

  3. #23
    Neat shot here from Riverside. I would guess probably 1965, judging by the Chaparral darting through the esses. This would likely be a USRRC event.

    The damaged car in the foreground is a bit of a head-scratcher. There were a large number of Specials built during the 1950s and early '60s for sports car racing. Some of them were successful, others weren't.

    It was the arrival of very good turn-key customer cars such as the McLarens and Lolas that changed all that. There were 34 cars on the grid for the very first Can-Am race in 1966; 15 were McLarens, 9 were Lolas. The highest non Lola or McLaren in qualifying was Bill Eve's Genie Mk10, down in 20th. It was clear from the outset if you wanted to have any chance in the Can-Am you needed a Lola or McLaren. These companies had the experience and resources to build very good cars, and it was hard to top that with something built in your own shed, unless you were someone like Jim Hall. Therefore, one-off and very low volume cars like the one in the foreground here were already dieing out.

    I think this car is a Hamill SR3. How many were built? Whose is this one? Ed Hamill raced one. Did he build others? Its really a very pretty car though, despite the damage. I hope it survived.

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  4. #24
    Riverside again. Look at that crowd!

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  5. #25
    I think.....this might be Laguna Seca.

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  6. #26
    Jim Hall, an utterly brilliant race car designer, and pretty damn good driver.

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  7. #27
    Stirling Moss, entertaining the ladies. When the Can-Am series was first announced, Moss was hired as Challenge Cup Commissioner, to give the new series some added clout.

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  8. #28
    Rolling out onto the grid at Riverside. The #15 is Brian O'Neal's Lola T160.

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  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Holmes View Post
    I think.....this might be Laguna Seca.

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    Yes Steve,
    That is Laguna Seca taken from up on "Corkscrew Hill" looking at the cars rounding the right hand turn # 8 heading toward Turn Number Nine which is a left hander leading onto the front straight past the pit area which was just a wide open space then compared to what is there today.(Interesting photo showing the crowds and parking etc.) SO enjoying these pics.


    Ken H
    Last edited by khyndart in CA; 04-02-2018 at 11:12 AM.

  10. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by khyndart in CA View Post
    Yes Steve,
    That is Laguna Seca taken from up on "Corkscrew Hill" looking at the cars rounding the right hand turn # 10 heading toward Turn Number Nine which is a left hander leading onto the front straight past the pit area which was just a wide open space then compared to what is there today.(Interesting photo showing the crowds and parking etc.) SO enjoying these pics.


    Ken H
    Thanks for confirming that Ken. When did you first go to Laguna Seca?

    Here are more photos from the same or similar vantage points.

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  11. #31
    This pretty machine is the Mirage-Oldsmobile. It was owned by Jack Nethercutt, while Pete Brock, who is famous for designing the Cobra Daytona Coupes, was responsible for the body design. It was driven by various people including Ken Miles, Richie Ginther, and Scooter Patrick, as well as Jack Nethercutt, in various USRRC events. It only contested one Can-Am race in 1966, driven by Patrick at Las Vegas. Patrick drove it again at Bridgehampton in 1967, as well as Riverside, but it didn't finish any of these events, and qualified well down the grid.

    It was obviously funded by J.B Nethercutt, Jack's father, because he was so disappointed with it, he ordered it be scrapped.

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  12. #32

  13. #33
    Lotus 40 arrives in style.

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  14. #34

  15. #35
    Steve, I wouldn't be so sure that the third of those crowd/parking shots is Laguna Seca...

    The hills look somewhat of a different style. Do you mind if I post it on TNF to see if anyone can confirm where it is?

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Holmes View Post
    Thanks for confirming that Ken. When did you first go to Laguna Seca?

    Here are more photos from the same or similar vantage points.

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    Steve,
    I first went to the track in 1987 before it was changed to the present configuration in 1988.
    Note in your photos that there were no pedestrian bridges and you came across the track between races. ( Top photo looking North toward San Francisco. The tracks over the hills were from tanks practicing maneuvers over the Fort Ord US Army Base and now used for parking instead of the area on the right by Turn 9 which would have been great and is now for overnight campers. )

    The middle photo shows the start/ finish straight that goes over the hill into what was a long sweeping # 2 corner. (Looking West toward Monterey Bay area) Before the lakes filled in.
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    Laguna Seca. 1987. Looking toward Corner 2 from a lower level.( Ken Hyndman photo.)

    The lower photo shows the short straight before climbing the hill to the "Corkscrew " area.
    (Looking South West toward the Big Sur area. All taken on the same hill area. )

    Laguna Seca circuit as in 1987
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    Laguna Seca circuit as it is today
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    (Ken H)
    Last edited by khyndart in CA; 04-02-2018 at 11:35 PM.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Holmes View Post
    Neat shot here from Riverside. I would guess probably 1965, judging by the Chaparral darting through the esses. This would likely be a USRRC event.

    The damaged car in the foreground is a bit of a head-scratcher. There were a large number of Specials built during the 1950s and early '60s for sports car racing. Some of them were successful, others weren't.

    Therefore, one-off and very low volume cars like the one in the foreground here were already dieing out.

    I think this car is a Hamill SR3. How many were built? Whose is this one? Ed Hamill raced one. Did he build others? Its really a very pretty car though, despite the damage. I hope it survived.

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    Steve,
    Yes that was a Hamill SR3 driven by Bob Johnson # 99.
    Not sure how many were built, probably about 3 or 4.
    They still can be found competing or for sale.

    http://www.fantasyjunction.com/cars/...R3%20Can-Am%20..


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    1965 Hamill-Chevrolet SR3. 2015 Goodwood Revival Meeting.
    (Tim Scott..Sportscar Digest photo )


    (Ken H )
    Last edited by khyndart in CA; 04-02-2018 at 06:51 PM.

  18. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Bell View Post
    Steve, I wouldn't be so sure that the third of those crowd/parking shots is Laguna Seca...

    The hills look somewhat of a different style. Do you mind if I post it on TNF to see if anyone can confirm where it is?
    Yes by all means Ray.

  19. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by khyndart in CA View Post
    Steve,
    Yes that was a Hamill SR3 driven by Bob Johnson # 99.
    Not sure how many were built, probably about 3 or 4.
    They still can be found competing or for sale.

    http://www.fantasyjunction.com/cars/...R3%20Can-Am%20..


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    1965 Hamill-Chevrolet SR3. 2015 Goodwood Revival Meeting.
    (Tim Scott..Sportscar Digest photo )


    (Ken H )
    Thanks for all your great additional info Ken.

  20. #40
    Coming down the hill at Laguna Seca. You probably wouldn't want to slide off here!

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