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Old 28 Aug 2002, 07:52 (Ref:469508)   #16
Groupc
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Thank you all for the time you have spent sending replies and images. I am delighted to have practically quadrupled my knowledge of John Woolfe in such a short time.

One last favour, if anyone has any images of him at Le Mans in either the Chevron or the Porsche (am I correct in thinking he was at Le Mans in 68 & 69 only?) I would very much like to see some.

Thanks again.
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Old 28 Aug 2002, 08:10 (Ref:469500)   #17
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Groupc, about two-thirds the way down this page there is a set of 4 photos of John Woolfe getting into his 917 at the start of the 1969 Le Mans. They are fascinating photos but awful as well; one lap later he and the car were gone.

http://www.porsche917.com.ar/historia1969_3.htm#LeMans
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Old 28 Aug 2002, 08:32 (Ref:469520)   #18
Andrew Kitson
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AllonFS, never seen those pics before. How terribly sad - Unbelievable when I think back to seeing the news of this tragedy that it was 33 years ago. Thanks for the link.
I notice John had what looks like his usual blue and yellow stripes along the centre of the white car.
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Old 28 Aug 2002, 10:18 (Ref:469501)   #19
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I agree with you about how sad they are, it seems daft but I almost want to cry out to stop him. It is awful because the photos capture the drama and excitement of the start, but also have the pathos of what is about to happen.

As for the colour scheme, I have never seen a picture of the car in colour. The other 2 917s had coloured noses on them, but not sure of John Woolfe's colour scheme. Maybe an old post by Dr Austin in the Sportscar/GT forum may have a picture of a model of that car?

I am hoping to get the video 'La Ronde Infernale' soon. It is the 1969 Le Mans race and concentrates on the Porsche 908/Ford GT40 battle. However I read somewhere that there is footage from the start of the race and of the aftermath of the crash. Maybe someone out there already has the video and can confirm this?

Finally, has anyone found out how he got his hands on one of the first 917s? Those early cars were meant to be truly horrible to drive, plus in 1969 it was very new. I know John was a respected driver, but it still seems odd they offered such a new car (and one they were pinning future hopes on) to a privateer.
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Old 28 Aug 2002, 11:04 (Ref:469521)   #20
Andrew Kitson
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I have that video and excellent it is too.
However, there is only a brief shot of John at Mulsanne corner on the first lap and the aftermath of the accident,
thankfully from a distance.
What an excellent race though and it confirms why I still think the 60s/70s sportscars were the best ever period in long distance racing - great engine sounds and incredible speeds for the day. I don't think much of Le Mans today I'm afraid - boring cars to watch because they corner on rails and apart from a few, too quiet!
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Old 28 Aug 2002, 11:46 (Ref:469510)   #21
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I remember reading that John Woolfe insisted in starting the race himself, against the advice of Porsche and co-driver, and Porsche test driver, Herbert Linge.......
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Old 28 Aug 2002, 11:53 (Ref:469502)   #22
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Originally posted by Andrew Kitson
I don't think much of Le Mans today I'm afraid - boring cars to watch because they corner on rails and apart from a few, too quiet!
Have to disagree on that one. Le Mans is the only race I attend and it has become an annual pilgrimage for me. The Audi R8s are quiet, but most of the rest are still loud, you get a range of V8s and V12s and with all the different classes there are always thrills and spills. It also has more atmosphere than a season of F1, and more overtaking.

Just being at Le Sarthe is special, although I wish I had been around to see the earlier races. Still cursing that I can't make the Classic race in September, it would have been great to see 917s at full chat round the circuit.
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Old 28 Aug 2002, 14:15 (Ref:469504)   #23
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[I am hoping to get the video 'La Ronde Infernale' soon. It is the 1969 Le Mans race and concentrates on the Porsche 908/Ford GT40 battle. However I read somewhere that there is footage from the start of the race and of the aftermath of the crash. Maybe someone out there already has the video and can confirm this?

My brother has this Video and it is really very good, John Woolfe's car is seen and talked about briefly.
You will also see the smoke from the tragic crash rising over the trees telling its own terrible story.
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Old 7 Jan 2003, 20:36 (Ref:469522)   #24
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I thought I would dig this thread out again as yesterday I saw the actual McLaren M6B that John Woolfe raced back in 1968. A friend ( Dave Finnegan ) has the car in his workshops near to Sandy in Bedfordshire and intends to rebuild it one day. The tub is suspended from the ceiling with various parts including original block, long trumpet inlet manifold and gearbox scattered around. Dave was mechanic for John Jordan who last raced it in the 70s. He also tended the F5000 Lola T332 successfully campaigned by Tony Trimmer in Libre events in recent years - now driven by Frank Lyons and also kept in Dave's shop. While there, he was in the process of rebuilding a DFV for Frank's Surtees TS9. He has also just restored a BRM P207 and - got it to run reliably having found the problems that caused it to fail so many times in it's day. It will be on show for the first time at the NEC this weekend. He can then start restoring the sister car as he bought the pair from John Jordan.
I was there to help with identification of some of the old Rotary watches logos etc. from my photo archives for the car to be correctly stickered up. It looks glorious. A lot of history there in that small workshop!
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Old 9 Jan 2003, 08:10 (Ref:469509)   #25
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Andrew Kitson
A friend ( Dave Finnegan ) has the car in his workshops near to Sandy in Bedfordshire

In Potton? Many years ago when I was very much on the perifery of motor racing I was introduced to Dave Finnegan by a mutual friend Humphrey Corbett. I managed to join Dave, John Jordan and Tony Trimmer (and others of course) at Brands, as apprentice 2nd gopher, for the Easter round of the Formula Libre Championship. (We all drove down in 'Shunter's' horsebox!). They they were running the F5000 Lola.

Foolishly (and to my constant regret)I wasted the opportunity by swanning around the paddock rather than working. However I'll always remember helping to push the Lola, which couldn't make the start, up the pit lane trying to bump start it, it was incredibly heavy for a single seater. If I recall Tony set fastest lap and subsequently retired. Alo Lawler won in an ex John Watson McLaren - I think.

Happy days and squandered opportunites !
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Old 9 Jan 2003, 19:12 (Ref:469523)   #26
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GroupC - Dave's workshop is in Gamlingay. Talking to Frank Lyons at the NEC show today, we were trying to work out if that F5000 Lola T332 is the most successful Lola single seater ever! With the wins it had in its day, Tony in F.Libre and lately many wins with Frank driving it - it must be close. We need to find a more affected 'anorack' than myself to check this out!
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Old 10 Dec 2009, 13:00 (Ref:2597308)   #27
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Did you know, that a frenchman wrote a book about John Woolfe.... and there is an interesting topic about this book on autodiva....

Did you know that John Woolfe had some relation with the Burton family ?

http://www.autodiva.fr/forum/viewtop...p=85508#p85508
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Old 1 Apr 2019, 05:21 (Ref:3894591)   #28
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M6B 50-16

Does anyone out there have any information on johns old M6B 50-16 car ??
I would appreciate any archive pictures, time sheets etc
Also i under stand that David Finnigan owned the car from 1994 to 2003 ?
is that correct and is there any info on what happened to the car
Any info would be greatly appreciated
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Old 20 May 2019, 12:46 (Ref:3904869)   #29
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Originally Posted by Python View Post
Does anyone out there have any information on johns old M6B 50-16 car ??
I would appreciate any archive pictures, time sheets etc
Also i under stand that David Finnigan owned the car from 1994 to 2003 ?
is that correct and is there any info on what happened to the car
Any info would be greatly appreciated
David still owns the car.
And is in the process of restoring it.
I have some of the old bodywork for it in my garden!!
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