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Old 12 Feb 2001, 23:21 (Ref:64457)   #1
White Knight
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I recently had an article handed to me regarding Charles (Chuck) Kelsey, an American who in either 1963 or 1964 took a US-built Chev Nova to England and raced against the touring cars there.
His opposition included the Jaguars of Graham Hill, Jack Sears and Roy Salvadori and he raced with success at such places as Crystal Palace, Snetterton and Aintree.
Would anyone have more information and/or pictures?

Old 13 Feb 2001, 08:56 (Ref:64509)   #2
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TimD should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridTimD should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridTimD should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
Hi White Knight,

I've had a look at what I've got on Chuck Kelsey. He did indeed bring a Chev to England, but I've only found references to it running in 1962, and it is described in the programmes as a '62 model Chevy II. Is that the same shape as a Nova? I'm a little shaky on my GM models...!

Bearing in mind that my records are not complete by any means, my first reference to the Chev is at the classic International Trophy meeting on May 14 1962 at Silverstone. This was a traditional F1 season opener, non championship, which attracted the big names. The Touring Car race was a regular support, and was fiercely contested.

The result

1 Graham Hill (Jaguar 3.8)
2 Michael Parkes (Jaguar 3.8)
3 Jack Sears (Jaguar 3.8)
4 David Hobbs (Jaguar 3.4)
5 Chuck Kelsey (Chevrolet)
6 Innes Ireland (Ford Zodiac Mk3)

Two weeks later, on May 27 1962, Kelsey did rather better. At Brands Hatch he beat Roy Salvadori's Jag into second place outright.

My only other reference to the car is at the August 6 1962 Molyslip Trophy race which supported the Guards International at Brands Hatch. The event was held in torrential rain, and this decimated the field.

On lap nine of the race, Graham Hill speared off the track, and hit South Bank so hard it pushed the front wheel of the Jaguar under the frame. Whether disconcerted by this or not, Kelsey passed the accident and pulled into the pits. Motor Sport magazine reported that he withdrew from the race "...saying he had the wrong tyres fitted."

And that is the grand total of everything I have on Chuck Kelsey's Chevy. By the fact that you mention Aintree, Snetterton and Crystal Palace too suggests that he made quite a season of it. I'd be fascinated to hear of anything more. Especially if he returned for 1963. By then, the American car of choice was proving to be Jack Sears' gargantuan Galaxie 500. I'd love to find out if the Chevy took that on.

The Chevrolet wasn't Kelsey's first effort at European racing, by the way. In the 1961 season, he ran a Lotus 20 in Formula Junior events. He seems not to have finished "in the results" as it were, as I can only find references to him in entry lists.

Anyone got anything more?
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Old 26 Oct 2018, 22:03 (Ref:3859357)   #3
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Good afternoon,

I am hoping I can revive this topic and discover a little more about it; hopefully enough to develop an article. I believe the article referred to earlier in this thread, may be the one found in the March 1963 issue of "Sports Car Graphic" magazine titled "Winner From Detroit". If there is a second article, would you please advise where it is.

In the article, Kelsey details competing in six of the eight rounds of the 1962 BTCC. He also says he won a race at Brands Hatch on May 27, 1962. I can find a record of a race meeting that weekend, but only results for sports and GT cars. Can anyone confirm his victory claim?

The car was prepared by Alexander Engineering Company Limited. Is that firm still in business? Are there any company archives?

As to his other racing activity, he raced a Morgan in the Northeast U.S. in the late 50's & early 60's. He did not return to the BTCC in 1963. Again the article says he was pursuing a factory ride with Ford, although I have been unable to find any record of this happening. As to the Lotus 20 FJ, he posted an ad in the March 1962 issue of "Sports Car" advertising the car for sale with a note that it had not been raced. Perhaps he entered the races but never actually competed. His family doesn't know much about his racing. They commented that he stopped racing and got into competitive shooting. There are records of him holding multiple patents on firearms.

Thanks and take care,

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Old 8 Nov 2018, 21:50 (Ref:3861884)   #4
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The late Frank de Jong's website touringcarracing.net is a good source for saloon car results . Go to touringcarracing.net/Pages/1962 BSCC.html for results from the 1962 British Saloon Car Championship season . According to both wsrp and racing sports car sites the sportscar and GT races took place on May 25th , while the F2 register site shows that a Formula Junior race took place on May 27th at Brands Hatch .

Chuck Kelsey's team-mate for the 1962 season was Peter Sachs and he has posted over on Autosport's The Nostalgia Forum . Of particular interest is a post he made ( post 25) in a thread entitled 'Gurney's 1961 Impala' where he seems to confirm that Kelsey won at Brands Hatch and that they both won at Crystal Palace although not in BSCC races . Sachs was certainly still active in motor racing until fairly recently as he won the Bob Akin Award in 2013 .
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Old 9 Nov 2018, 01:37 (Ref:3861905)   #5
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Wow. I'd be interested to know if the car had the 4 or 6 cylinder engine. (V8 engines were fitted in later models.)
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Old 9 Nov 2018, 05:39 (Ref:3861920)   #6
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According to Peter Sachs they were fitted with Corvette 327 motors , so a V8 .
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Old 10 Dec 2018, 15:19 (Ref:3869199)   #7
Basic GPa
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Basic GPa should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Good morning all,

Thanks for bouncing back to me, I appreciate the input. Attached is a summary of the race appearances made by Chevy II's driven by Sachs & Kelsey in 1962. In the last column are the information sources I have found to date. Does anyone know of others? Scans would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for the suggestion to check TouringCarRacing. In the past I have made use of this site quite frequently while working on various articles. Frank de Jong often helped by furnishing detailed information beyond what appeared on the site. I miss the dialogue we had.

Also thanks to Terry O'Neil for a great job filling in the blanks.

To date I have found photos of the cars on-track but nothing of a detailed nature (i.e. engine, interior, suspension, etc.) or of them in the paddock, on the grid or in the winners' circle. Has anyone else ever seen any?

Sachs & Kelsey's cars both had Corvette V8's. Sachs was carbureted and Kelsey's had Rochester FI. They were installed using a "kit" Chevrolet produced and documented in both "Hot Rod" and "Car Life" magazines. I believe this was listed in the Homologation Papers as a "Dealer Installed Option", although the Homologation Papers appeared to have ben revised in 1964 and this item dropped.

Please keep the information coming, it has proven most helpful.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours.

Take care,

Attached Files
File Type: xls Race Results - Chevy II - UK - 1962.xls (32.0 KB, 5 views)
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