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Old 18 Jun 2002, 11:05 (Ref:315948)   #1
Andrew Kitson
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Andrew Kitson should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridAndrew Kitson should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridAndrew Kitson should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridAndrew Kitson should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
Crystal Palace

Did anyone else out there ever go to Crystal Palace - London's very own race track that closed in 1972?
I went there for F2 & F3 meetings in it's last 3 years of use - incredibly dangerous with the wooden sleepers and bushes lining the track and no run-off. My main memory was the famous shunt at the end of the F3 race when James Hunt then punched Dave Morgan as he was getting out of his wheel-less car!
Anyone else got any memories of the place?
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Old 18 Jun 2002, 11:54 (Ref:315970)   #2
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Never went there for the racing but went there for a Mercedes Owners Club meeting in about 1970. (The largest collection of gullwings ever brought together in one place.) and I remember some superb TV coverage of F3 and Saloons during the late '60's. I wonder if any of that is available now on video? It would be well worth it.
Also, I have a superb book by Phillip Parfitt called Racing at Crystal Palace - published by Motor Racing Publications Ltd, 1991. Well worth a look for anyone who remembers it.
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Old 18 Jun 2002, 12:04 (Ref:315982)   #3
Andrew Kitson
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Yes, I have this book too. Superb.
Another good one with some great 60s/70s club racing shots is 'Motor Racing Circuits in England - Then & Now' by Peter Swinger. Also the new 'Nowhere to Hide' Royale Story book by Paul Lawrence. Not special saloons I know but great photos of 70s single seater / sports. Both these books were released last year. (P.S I'm a bit biased as I painted the picture for the front cover of the 'Royale' one!!)
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Old 18 Jun 2002, 13:27 (Ref:316053)   #4
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I was at both the last F2 meeting and the last ever (AMOC) meeting at the Palace. It was also the first circuit I ever went to - F2 International Easter 1970 - Rindt, Stewart etc.

For the 1972 F2 meeting I shelled out for a paddock pass and, armed with autograph book, sallied forth! Met Mike the Bike, Jody (who lived only a couple of miles from me in those days), Graham Hill, Brett Lunger and some chap called Lauda - wonder what happened to him? Great racing, great atmosphere - only wish I'd gone more often!
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Old 18 Jun 2002, 13:49 (Ref:316072)   #5
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Ahh!! the 'Palace was the first circuit I ever went to on Sept 19,1953.Thence almost every Whit Monday 1955 to 71. '58 I missed due to a bus strike,and the last one in '72 I had another commitment at Silverstone. If there were circuits like that now where you could lean over the fence a few feet from the action,I would be out every weekend,rather than at home watching the box as is nown more often the case.
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Old 18 Jun 2002, 20:08 (Ref:316358)   #6
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Re: Crystal Palace

Quote:
Originally posted by Andrew Kitson
Did anyone else out there ever go to Crystal Palace - London's very own race track that closed in 1972?
I was born, and lived until my early twenties, within earshot of the circuit. Started going there as a child, got hooked and the rest is history. I am 55, and still do 50 - 60 days motorsport marshalling a year (got back from Le Mans yesterday afternoon). The Palace has a lot to answer for.

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Old 18 Jun 2002, 22:43 (Ref:316537)   #7
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Bit before my time unfortunately.

I've missed out on so much, but I guess that only adds to the prestige and glamour of it all!
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Old 19 Jun 2002, 09:46 (Ref:316753)   #8
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Rob29 - In response to your comment, "If there were circuits like that now where you could lean over the fence a few feet from the action", Mallory Park comes pretty close.
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Old 19 Jun 2002, 12:36 (Ref:316873)   #9
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Last time I was there,David you could no longer stand at the hairpin. Donington is the worst offender.Maybe some changes are necessary in the interest of safety,but I wonder if Mr.Weatcroft has ever thought why his events are watched by almost no one,whereas when it opened in 1977 it was packed?
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Old 19 Jun 2002, 16:58 (Ref:316993)   #10
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Oh! That has not happened before.Has it anything to do with the fact that I seem to have been moved from the e-tracks discussion forum to the sarah kavanagh one? Pretty in pink?
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Old 20 Jun 2002, 14:04 (Ref:317599)   #11
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For those of you who are interested then have a look at http://gplea.racesimcentral.com/ for the Crystal Palace track.
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Old 25 Jun 2002, 07:30 (Ref:320967)   #12
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I first went in 1957 and continued to visit until the early seventies. I regret not going to the final meeting.

Since then I have been back a couple of times - (I worked for 3 years in Thornton Heath) but I think I would be sad to see that some of the old track no longer exists.
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Old 26 Jun 2002, 20:53 (Ref:322417)   #13
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Never went myself but wish I had. I recall once seeing a BBC film '100 Great Sporting Moments' of a Formula 3 race there.It looked terrific.
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Old 28 Jun 2002, 21:07 (Ref:323881)   #14
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Yes, Andrew, it was a wonderful circuit wasn't it? I was lucky enough to get to the last three Formula 2 meetings and I think my brother and I watched from the last corner each time, with a view from Ramp through the right hander and down to the startline. I remember being particularly impressed by the mellow terracing and coming across the odd dinosaur on the way to the track.
The F2s were great - good battle in 1972 between Scheckter's McLaren and Hailwood's Surtees - and the tight circuit used to even up the RAC saloons. I think people like Chris Craft, Vince Woodman and Dave Brodie in the Escorts used to give Frank Gardner and Brian Muir a real fight. Quite right Rutle, the Philip Parfitt book is excellent - wish I'd seen Ickx in the Ferrari and Rindt in 1964 and Bira and...........
Rob29, Rutle is right about Mallory; it's tremendous and has hardly changed at all. You can't stand at the apex of the hairpin but you can get pretty close at the entry and exit. I watch sometimes at the end of Stebbe straight as they turn into the esses - it's terrifying!
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Old 29 Jun 2002, 15:54 (Ref:324246)   #15
Andrew Kitson
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Talking of the Mallory Hairpin...here is the front cover of Autosport from March 1972. It shows the F2 international with the Brabham of Dave Morgan who beat Reutemann, Lauda, Depailler(all following in the photo) along with most big stars of the day ( Hailwood, Scheckter, Peterson, Hunt etc,.
The reason I have kept this is because I am in the crowd with my father as a 13year old lad!
Just shows how close you could get at the Hairpin in those days - you can still get very close at entry and exit but cannot stand where the crowd is in this pic.

Last edited by Andrew Kitson; 4 Jun 2009 at 13:24.
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