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Thread: 1971 Crystal Palace Saloon Car Race

  1. #1

    1971 Crystal Palace Saloon Car Race



    The small Crystal Palace venue, in London, is a track that has long held a fascination for me. Its not considered one of the 'greats', it boats no legendary corners, but this amazing winding little circuit is situated within one of the most densely populated cities on earth.


    This video features just one race, and its 16 minutes long, so get comfortable. But I promise you, time will fly. And the finish is worth the wait. This is not a British Saloon Car Championship race, but it is represented by several leading contenders of British saloon car racing of the period, including Gerry Marshall in a Vauxhall Viva GT, Martin Thomas in a Chev Camaro, and Mike Crabtree in a Ford Escort RS1600.


    The sound quality is superb, and a rare treat to hear these cars as they were, fully un-muffled, and the deep thunderous beat of the Camaro is off-set by the high pitched shriek of the Escort, and the flat boom of Marshalls Viva. And, of course, Murray Walkers unmistakable commentary sets the tone perfectly.

  2. #2

  3. #3
    Now, thats what i call a RACE!!!!

    Dale(NZL)

  4. #4
    But where's the Parity? And the aero packages?

    Cheers
    Lee

  5. #5
    Ha ha ha, yeah who would have thought you could have a close, exciting, unpredictable race in which all the cars are not identical! Go figure.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Holmes View Post
    Ha ha ha, yeah who would have thought you could have a close, exciting, unpredictable race in which all the cars are not identical! Go figure.
    This is just the kinda racing you will see with the Historic Muscle Cars(HMC) at the BMW Festival, Hampton Downs next year!!!

    Dale

  7. #7
    So for the sake of historical accuracy, you'll be spinning out of the lead on the last lap Dale?

  8. #8
    Semi-Pro Racer pallmall's Avatar
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    Crystal Palace was the first track I saw motor racing on in England. It was the May 1970 International F2 Trophy won by Jackie Stewart, and as an avid single seater fan the first chance I got to see cars like the Tecno's which were going well in F2 at that time. Great track, great viewing, and as I recall probably the first motor race that I jumped on a bus to get to!
    As a Kiwi, of course I had an interest in the saloon cars, and despite a top entry and lots of cars on a small track I considered their racing nowhere near as good as the kiwi drivers had been serving up through the 1969-70 NZ season.
    Great memories.

  9. #9
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    But as Steve says in his opening post, the Crystal Palace race was not a British Championship race. Perhaps it would more fairly be compared with a late-season Bay Park or Ruapuna meeting

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by pallmall View Post
    Crystal Palace was the first track I saw motor racing on in England. It was the May 1970 International F2 Trophy won by Jackie Stewart, and as an avid single seater fan the first chance I got to see cars like the Tecno's which were going well in F2 at that time. Great track, great viewing, and as I recall probably the first motor race that I jumped on a bus to get to!
    As a Kiwi, of course I had an interest in the saloon cars, and despite a top entry and lots of cars on a small track I considered their racing nowhere near as good as the kiwi drivers had been serving up through the 1969-70 NZ season.
    Great memories.
    Did you manage to get any photos while you were there?

  11. #11
    Here is a shot of the Martin Thomas Camaro as featured in the videos above. This is one of a number of Camaros Thomas raced during the period. The car still exists and still races, but sadly looks nothing like this anymore.

    Name:  martinthomas.jpg
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  12. #12
    Semi-Pro Racer pallmall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Holmes View Post
    Did you manage to get any photos while you were there?
    Yes lots, but sadly lost from storeage while I was living in the UK for 16 years along with all my pre 1980 negatives.

  13. #13
    The Crystal Palace circuit was closed down and around 60% of it exists but not in its full width and in recent years there have been demo sprint events taking place on the remaining art of the track
    Remember this circuit is smack bang in the town not 1 mile away form the shops and houses
    The original Crystal Palace steps are by the circuit and the athletic track is on the edge of the circuit
    http://www.cocgb.dircon.co.uk/cry_pal_racetrack.htm
    ttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Crystal_Palace
    Last edited by driftwood; 01-01-2012 at 05:12 PM.
    Yes I know Im behind you guys, i like warm beer and it rains a lot here too.

  14. #14
    Boy, you must have dug deep into the archives to find this thread! Fantastic race though don't you think? And what an amazing circuit, and amazing proximity.

  15. #15
    Well i thought i had better delve into the forum with guns blazing and educate myself !!
    My father lived half smile form Crystal Palace an din the mid 90's when i was working for him i was living there so one night i took my bike and rode up to the Palace and around the track as i recalled seeing this race on TV many years ago as part of BBC 100 great sporting moments programme.
    I was surprised at how much of the track existed but it is now narrower than in its heyday- I was too young to know abut motorpsort when it was still an active circuit.

    Monza is very similar in concept as it is set in a large park next to the houses so IF any of you guys travel to euroland and want to take in a GP make Monza in September the place- the atmosphere is electric
    next choices Silverstone for the motherland GP and Spa

    That race was wild !
    Gerry Marshall died few years ago but he was a great entertainer at the races with Baby Bertha
    He liked a drink or 3 and it was folk lore he was often pulled from the bar by the oily rag to go and race!!
    Yes I know Im behind you guys, i like warm beer and it rains a lot here too.

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