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Old 1 Aug 2002, 12:09 (Ref:469505)   #1
Groupc
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John Woolfe

I wonder if anyone has (or can lead me to) any information on the career of John Woolfe. All I know is that he was killed in his customer Porsche 917 at White House bend on the 1st lap of the 1969 Le Mans race. Of his earlier career I understand he drove Cobras and Chevrons - that's all I have.

I am interested as I am fascinated by Le Mans and all things Porsche, I was surprised to discover John Woolfe had family and business connections near to me in North Bedfordshire.

I was recently very pleased to be able to buy (on Ebay)2 photographs of him/his car taken in the build up to the race and his dreadful accident.

I'd be very grateful to hear anything you may know.

Thanks
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Old 1 Aug 2002, 20:20 (Ref:469511)   #2
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
I was very sad when I saw on the news that John had been killed. My father was a good friend of his and I remember seeing John testing the unique Chevron B12 which was a B8 but with Repco V8 3 litre F1 engine. I was very young at the time but still remember this well. Apart from the mentioned cars he also raced a McLaren M6B Can Am car, Lola T70 MkIIIB and I think a GT40 at some point. Whenever he was entered in an F.Libre event in one of these cars he was the guy to beat. Most of his cars were blue but with two parallel yellow stripes running down the centreline.
I lived in Cambridge at the time but moved in the early 70s to the Cambs/Beds border area. Here I met Mike Treutlein who lived in the same village and he was John's mechanic on all of his cars and built the unique Chevron. I still see Mike regularly now as he bacame a good family friend. He received his BRDC membership due to his spannering efforts with John. He still goes to most Silverstone meetings and we always end up chatting about John. Mike's daughters both got the racing bug, Louise works for the Bugatti owners club, Jayne is one of the Rollcentre TVR GTO team members. Great that someone has posted an interested in a great racer of the 60s. I'll post some pics of John when I get a chance to dig them out.
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Old 2 Aug 2002, 11:59 (Ref:469507)   #3
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Thank you very much for your reply, better than I dared to expect.
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Old 3 Aug 2002, 10:41 (Ref:469512)   #4
Andrew Kitson
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John Woolfe McLaren M6B - Silverstone sports GT race 1968.
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Old 3 Aug 2002, 10:46 (Ref:469513)   #5
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John Woolfe's 3 litre Repco engined Chevron B12 at Le Mans 1968.
Second driver was Digby Martland. The first Chevron to compete at Le Mans.Retired with blown head gasket after just 3 hours.
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Old 3 Aug 2002, 10:48 (Ref:469514)   #6
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John Woolfe's Shelby Cobra - mid 1960s.
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Old 6 Aug 2002, 21:35 (Ref:469524)   #7
Fred Scatley
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Is this John? Taken at Snett late 60s early 70s
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Old 6 Aug 2002, 21:46 (Ref:469499)   #8
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Just out of interest, where did John's money for these very expensive racing cars come from ?

I would guess from a garage of some sorts. There must have been some good contacts to get one of the first customer 917's plus the first Chevron etc etc.

Simon
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Old 6 Aug 2002, 21:47 (Ref:469515)   #9
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Fred, lovely pic. It is John Woolfe's Lola T70GT Mk3B but not him driving. Just looked in an old programme and the car no.58 entered by John Woolfe Racing was driven by Dickie Attwood in the Guards International group 4 sports race at Snett on Good Friday 4th April 1969. The race was won by Paul Hawkins who lost his life not long afterwards at Oulton.
Not really an anorack honest!
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Old 6 Aug 2002, 22:26 (Ref:469525)   #10
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Andrew, not part of the thread but I see you mention Mike Treutlin and that seems to ring a bell did he race at one time? or it might of been in the late 50s early 60s I did a few "sprints" with Cambridge 50 CC Near Ely, and somebody with a name like that raced a Special
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Old 6 Aug 2002, 23:28 (Ref:469516)   #11
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Fred, I'm not sure if he sprinted or raced himself but will ask him. I know he did some drag racing in the early 70s. Where did you sprint? Waterbeach?
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Old 7 Aug 2002, 07:10 (Ref:469517)   #12
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I have asked Mike Treutlein to take a look at this thread - I know he will be interested - hopefully he will add a few comments / memories.

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Old 10 Aug 2002, 11:04 (Ref:469518)   #13
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John Woolfe's mechanic Mike Treutlein pulls a wheelie off the startline at the Silverstone summer drag meeting in 1973. The car would do the standing quarter mile in the 9 second bracket.
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Old 27 Aug 2002, 11:53 (Ref:469526)   #14
Jayne Treutlein
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I have managed to get some information from my dad about John Woolfe - he would post it himself but he prefers to stick to mechanical stuff - not good on computers... Anyway.

Dad first went to work with John in late '67 to build the Chevron B12 at the Chevron works in Bolton, this was 7 inches longer in the chassis (to get the engin in!) and had 15 inch wheels instead of 13". The body was also longer to take a luggage conpartment to comply with the Le Mans rules of the time. At that time John's other cars were a road going Cobra in race trim and a Gordon Keeble.

John raced the Chevron in England, Watkins Glen and at Le Mans. He then bought the ex Sid Taylor Lola T70 MKIII and had it painted Blue with two yellow lines (the same paint job as all his other cars and crash helmet).

The next car was the Mclaren M6B CanAm with a Chevrolet 5ltr V8 that dad built in the garage/racing workshop in Eaton Socon, called Pitstop Motors, bought by John as a racing HQ.

A New Lola T70 MKIIIb was then built for John and Dad went to the USA to build the engine for it at Louis Unsers factory in California.

Dad was not at Le Mans when John was tragically killed at Le Mans as he had just returned from the USA.

Where did he get his money?? It was a very nice and VERY generous Jewish Taylor!!

John Woolfe racing continued for sometime, the Lola IIIb being driven by Richard Attwood and the other cars were sold off.

Before his death John has strated to import American Car Parts and this was the start of the business which still trades in Bedford today.

Some very nice pictures Andy, Fred's picture is apparently the mkIII as the MKIIIb has twin headlights.

Fred is quite right Dad did race at Whichford (and many other places) in a rear engine 1172 Special, and then a lotus 18 with a 5 litre Chevy. (Both were British racing green with a yellow stripe - before Chapman!!)

Dad was invited to join the BRDC in 1967 for his work in the early sixties on Mike Gartons Sprites.

Dad now passes his time restoring veteran and vintage cars - mostly 1920's Stutz'.

I hope this helps to fill a few gaps

Jayne
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Old 27 Aug 2002, 12:18 (Ref:469519)   #15
Andrew Kitson
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Hi Jayne!
Glad you joined in this thread. A lot of info here I did not know myself despite us having known each other so long!
Welcome to the forum anyway and if your Dad has some pics, perhaps we can post them on this thread?
Cheers
Andy.
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