OBL 45F on TV (11 replies)
OBL 45F on TV
Apologies if this has already been posted but here goes....
I am a bit of a TV geek for car programs...I tend to watch most of them! I was settled down watching an episode of Car SOS this morning, it was one about a Sebring Sprite they were restoring. They had apparently tracked down the original engine it used in the race in '63, I think it was, an A series 995cc.
Anyway, the presenter went to have a look and try to persuade the owner to part with it 'Ron' i think he was called (no doubt someone knows him on here), as he went into Ron's workshop there was a familiar looking reg on one of the minis. There was also a nice looking mk1 on tressels aswell.
Thought it may have been of interest on here, and by the look of the place it may not have been seen for some time.
I managed to find a YouTube clip of the entire program......but if you fastforward to 20 minutes and 50 secs you will see the moment he enters Ron's workshop.......I will post a link below....
Thanks for that link.
That is Ronnie White who loves motorsport with a passion. Ronnie was a top class Mini driver who dominated Auto-cross, Rally-cross, Sprints and Hill-climbs here in Northern Ireland throughout the sixties and seventies. Ronnie has a wonderful collection of competition and works cars. That is the real deal you see in the workshop.
I would love to know the full story of OBL 45F. We know it left the works following a career in rallying, racing and the one in between the Tour de France Auto. It was reshelled and had a different engine fitted (I think, correct me if I am wrong) and had a second career in privateer rallying. The rebuild by Ron looked to me to be turning it back into the TdF car. I can remember seeing it once when owned by Tom Seale and it was painted blue. Gentlemen your knowledge please! Cheers Brian
My apologies for this late reply reference your question. I have little knowledge of this car and so far I note nothing other has been posted.
The programme Car SOS with Mr Shaw has hurt the genuine enthusiast. OBL 45F is one of Ronnie's many works cars. The sub-titles gave me second thoughts about this programme. What was that about?
Like Ronnie White I raced BMC cars and have worked on them for over 45 years or more. Why belittle a man who is a devotee of BMC vehicles and who is a motorsport legend in his own right?
Mr Shaw did little homework for this programme rest assured?
Sorry to say that the Santa Claus Syndrome is much in place on this thread / site.
A good friend has sent me a text stating this:-
OBL 45F is a September 1967 built Abingdon Works Car. Hopkirk / Nash used it on the Tour De France Rally.
I'm sure he is correct.
Hope that helps you
The registration number OBL 45F was put on at least three or four cars. It started life as a Mk1 Austin Cooper S, then a Mk2, then another Mk2 after the first works Mk2 shell was damaged beyond repair in private hands, then...? Quite hard to talk about these cars as one entity really , though I find myself doing it all the time!
[quote="Pete F":1wcaruqc]The registration number OBL 45F was put on at least three or four cars. It started life as a Mk1 Austin Cooper S, then a Mk2, then another Mk2 after the first works Mk2 shell was damaged beyond repair in private hands, then...? Quite hard to talk about these cars as one entity really , though I find myself doing it all the time! [/quote:1wcaruqc]
Of course there are hardly any original works cars left in the world. The large percentage of them have had a chequered past, replacement engines, re-shells, smashed up or rebuilt and a long way from being the car that first carried the original registration number years ago. Then again some rebuilds are 40 plus years old and been around a life time. We have a 1973 1275 GT that was re-shelled in 1975 and we count it as very original today.
If you want to ask Roger Platt, he posts as "rog4941" on British Rally Forum, mostly in the Historic Rallying section:
The later Mk2 rally car I think was also used by Tony Fall/Mike Wood on the '68 Gulf London even though it's missing from the Bill Price book, there's grainy footage of the car at Oulton Park on Youtube.[/quote:23blnlz9]
I think we agreed somewhere else that the Gulf 68 car carried the OBL45F number. It is difficult to make out in the film but I think the best chance is when it comes to a halt in the paddock after coming off the stage (and Clerk of the Course David Seigle-Morris can be seen approaching it).
It passed me when waiting at a roadside service point after Stage 2, Dyfnant, running very late. Reports that it retired in Dyfnant with a failed diff were not therefore accurate. It appeared to be running fine (but may of course have been in one wheel drive by then!). A member of our team, Tony Blackburn (no, not that one), told me he had been speaking to the works mechanics earlier who claimed it had 105bhp at the wheels. No idea what the inlet arrangement was (and most works entries were in the Group5/6 category so were free).
One reason the 68 Gulf entry goes unrecorded by Bill Price etc. is that the 68 (and last) Gulf had still not been recognised by the SMMT as an event for which UK works teams could publicise results. That meant that technically this was a works car loaned to the driver, not a works entry. Unlike some earlier Gulfs, there was full works service.
(Of course B.Price also omitted the 1000 Lakes entry for Makinen in 68 and stated that the 68 Acropolis was TM's last drive for BMC so he shouldn't be let off too lightly!)
I know OBL 45F was used twice for the works, firstly as a racer at Brands where it was crashed by John Rhodes and secondly on the 1969 Tour de France driven by Paddy Hopkirk. I don't know what the car was used for as a Mk1. As per Robert Youngs article in Cooper OBL was sold by the works to Phil Cooper who rolled it on the 1970 Circuit of Ireland. The car was subsequently sold to George Paxton and then on to Tom Seale who painted it blue and renewed the engine. We know Roger Platt owned/drove OBL damaging it quite badly on the Welsh Rally. Perhaps this is not only a Triggers Broom car but more accurately a Rizla car having been rolled so many times! Philip Young and the Warburton family apparently owned the car after this. H and H sold the car at their 2008 Auction reportedly for Â£40,000.
I have seen photos of the car with split Webers, fuel injection and Amal carburettors at different times. It would be great if someone could post a more accurate and comprehensive history of the car filling in the gaps and correcting my errors. The restoration going on in the film looked to be reverting it to its Tour de France and I hope we can see the car in the future.