Run by Julian Balme
Owned since October 2015
Total mileage unknown
Miles since acquisition a day at Goodwood
Latest costs £12,000
GOING DUTCH ON A RACING CERT
My romance with Bob Pomeroy’s Marcos lasted for four races, two of which were at Cadwell Park over a wonderful weekend that exemplified the low-profile joy of British club racing. I hadn’t competed before at Lincolnshire’s answer to the Nordschleife, so it was all new to me, but, after four attempts at constructing some form of seat, at least I was comfy in my wood-and-glassfibre classroom. Not that it prevented me from using the kerbs once too often and subsequently flattening part of the exhaust.
Both races were fantastic, particularly the first one in which, after fluffing my debut standing start in the Marcos, I was engaged in a 10-lap battle with the two cars from the row behind. Although I won that particular encounter, I was closely chased to the chequer having eased my pace on account of the amount of oil on the track.
An oil-soaked surface was also a feature of my last outing in the Marcos at Brands Hatch. Following three tours of the Grand Prix circuit, the race was red-flagged after a Turner had emptied its sump all over Paddock Hill bend. The re-start was equally eventful with an unsighted 911 running into the rear of a stationary Elan prompting the end of the race, though not before I snapped the gearlever in half changing down for Druids.
Bob had always hinted that he would be open to offers if I liked it and, were it not for the Marcos being a 1600cc, ’67 model and thus ineligible for the more glamorous events, I would have bitten his hand off. It’s more than 10 years since I’ve enjoyed racing as much and the sheer novelty of piloting a car that was working with me, rather than against, was an absolute delight.
It was never going to end there, of course. James Mitchell at Pendine had mentioned how much he wanted to go racing and how he was thinking about an MGB. But the problem is that there are simply too many of them being raced. How about a TR4, I ventured? Same budget, less common. And that, dear readers, is how I ended up with a half share in a ’62 Triumph TR4.
I knew that my buddy Steve Francis in Connecticut was struggling to sell his bright yellow racer so I made a cheeky offer and, with our friendship still intact, it was accepted. He hadn’t competed with the car, but it had been run successfully by its previous owner since the early 1980s in American vintage racing. We sent the spec to competition TR guru Neil Howe, who confirmed that, although we would have to change a fair bit of the set-up, it represented outstanding value. As is always the way, an FIAspec example came to market the same week priced at in excess of £45,000. How could we possibly go wrong? Watch this space…
CCK Historics: 01825 733060
Neil Howe: 01767 677111
Jules puts TR through its paces at Goodwood; tall roll-hoop is due to go, but it’ll gain a full ’screen and hardtop. Below right: new toy looks tiddly by Wooly.
Deft-handling Marcos rekindled Balme’s love of racing, here at Brands.
‘An unsighted 911 running into an Elan prompted the red flag, though not before I’d snapped the gearlever‘