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Old 29 May 2014, 20:08 (Ref:3412495)   #1
CLIP-Motorsport
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Looking for information from a photo.

Whilst working for a local garage, I noticed this picture on the wall of a race car sponsored by them I would guess early 1970's. I'd love to find out a little more about it.

The driver is Sir Nicholas Williamson who I gather was a national hill climb champion.

Does anyone know what the car is and if he had any links with the garage, or any other interesting information?
The garage is SGT (Station Garage Taplow) from Taplow, near Maidenhead, Berkshire.
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Old 29 May 2014, 22:33 (Ref:3412539)   #2
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off at a tangent (sorry) but SGT have been around since at least the 1970s and always sold 'interesting' cars (currently Alfa agents). Their sales slogan was (is?) 'We sell freedom' which certainly caught the eye of an impressionable lad from nearby Windsor....
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Old 29 May 2014, 23:09 (Ref:3412544)   #3
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The British Hill Climb Championship website http://britishhillclimb.co.uk/index.php/past-winners/ lists Sir Nicholas Williamson winning the Championship twice - in 1970 driving a McLaren M10A-Chevrolet and in 1972 in a March-Hart.
Presumably the photo shows one of these cars.
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Old 30 May 2014, 06:21 (Ref:3412594)   #4
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That's a March 712 chassis with a DFV engine. From memory it provided the inspiration for the March 721G cars when the 721X proved to be a flop.
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Old 30 May 2014, 07:56 (Ref:3412609)   #5
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That's a March 712 chassis with a DFV engine. From memory it provided the inspiration for the March 721G cars when the 721X proved to be a flop.
I'm not sure if there's a direct connection, Alan, although I'm quite open to being contradicted with the evidence! Williamson's 712S-DFV (S for sprint?) - aka the Marlyn - was built for him by Lyncar Engineering, whereas the 721G was built by March themselves - initially as a one-off to an order from Clarke-Mordaunt-Guthrie for Mike Beuttler to drive - and they later built more for their own use after the works 721 and 721X had proved to be - not putting too fine a point on it - dogs.

Searching Google for Williamson + Marlyn will bring up a number of hillclimb results between 1972 and 1974. IIRC Sir Nick then bought one of the March 741s.

The 'March-Hart' reference is obviously wrong, since the first actual Hart-badged engine was built for F2 in 1976. Presumably Sir Nick entrusted the care of his DFV to Brian Hart's establishment, which was at the time better known for tuning FVAs and BDAs. Brian was of course ex-Cosworth.
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Old 30 May 2014, 08:43 (Ref:3412629)   #6
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There seems to be very little information available about Sir Nick himself. He was born on October 26th 1937 and I believe he was 'independently wealthy'. He was an hereditary baronet: Sir Nicholas Frederick Hedworth Williamson 11th Baronet of East Markham, Nottinghamshire to be precise.

His Who's Who entry shows he lived at a house called Abbey Croft in Mortimer - which would almost certainly have been within earshot of the now-closed Great Auclum hillclimb. Not all that far from Taplow either. Other than that and his parentage, there is nothing else in his Who's Who entry! He apparently never married.

He died on December 31st 2000 and the title died with him.

This is his obituary from Motor Sport, February 2001:

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Of all the characters in off-track motorsport, none was more splendidly eccentric than twice RAC British Hillclimb champion Sir Nicholas Williamson, who died on New Year's Eve, aged 63.

The dashing Baronet, the honour bestowed upon his family in 1647, was fearless in battle. 'Sir Nick' won his titles in 1970 and '72, following an impressive three-year apprenticeship with a Brabham BT21. The first to unleash a Formula 5000 car 'up the garden paths' at the end of '69, Nick's McLaren M10A won at Prescott and Harewood out of the box. Five wins secured the coveted crown the following season,

But he duly bucked the V8 trend, returning to F2-based cars, and topped the pile again with a 2-litre BDA-powered March 712S despite rolling it mid-season at Bouley Bay.

With an Fl Cosworth DFV transplanted into the chassis (by Lyncar's Martin Slater) he scored a debut win in '73. This led to an influx of redundant grand prix cars. Like his first win in '68, his last came at Bouley in '76, driving a March 741.

Asked what he did for a living, Nick once memorably replied, "Not very much at all, actually." But the tweedjacketed nobleman enjoyed life to the full. Despite declining health, he remained omnipresent at Wiscombe Park, the Devon venue co-owned by his uncle, Major Charles Lambton, MP.
Note that this adds to the info in my previous post - which I apparently can't edit to correct it. The DFV wasn't installed until 1973, so the 'Hart' reference is presumably to a Hart-tuned BDA.
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Old 31 May 2014, 18:58 (Ref:3413299)   #7
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Thank you for your replies. From my digging about for info, I guessed it might of been the March 712S converted to DFV by Lyncar.

I wonder if it is just coincidence that Lyncar being on the trading estate at Slough were only a couple of miles away from the sponsors SGT.

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off at a tangent (sorry) but SGT have been around since at least the 1970s and always sold 'interesting' cars (currently Alfa agents). Their sales slogan was (is?) 'We sell freedom' which certainly caught the eye of an impressionable lad from nearby Windsor....
They are now no longer Alfa Romeo dealers and its a pity to say that their old location which was a very old petrol station is now being redeveloped. Shame, as you see the history in the building. They've moved into new premises nearby and mainly do servicing now although they still are Morgan dealers.
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Old 31 May 2017, 09:04 (Ref:3737593)   #8
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Drink Sir Nick Williamson memories

The car is definitely the Marlyn 712S (name is from MAR from March and LYN from Lyncar) run by Sir Nick at hill climbs in 1973. It was derived from his previous year's March 712 and putting a DFV in the back. Sir Nick was most spectacular with his "tail out" style and he was always my favourite hillclimber in 1973 and 1974 when I attended Prescott, Shelsley Walsh and Gurston Down as a spotty teenager with my parents. He stopped hillclimbing in 1975 and I remember some time around then meeting Sir Nick at the little wooden bar beside the start at Prescott. He was wonderful company and over a period of 2 hours or so we had far too many drinks together (and me only about 17 at the time!!) as I listened in awe about his often hilarious exploits. Happy days indeed and he made a real impression on me.
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Old 3 Jun 2017, 13:12 (Ref:3738315)   #9
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Good to see this thread resurrected. I've never heard anyone say anything bad about Sir Nick. I love his response to the "What do you do for a living?" question. It sounds as though he had that ability to make anyone in his company feel special - a skill I witnessed in person with James Hunt. I seem to remember hearing that he had quite a bad stammer - is that correct?

I have a feeling Delta (of this parish) also knew him.
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Old 8 Jun 2017, 12:12 (Ref:3739460)   #10
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He did indeed have a bad stammer. I recall him being asked to make a winner's speech at Wiscombe (AMOC Climb of Champions) which he clearly did not enjoy making.
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