For the none of you that need a reminder of why the Ecurie Ecosse team and it’s iconic transporter are so important, Bonhams assembled this marvelous video with some little-seen racing footage of the team in various years of competition.
Goodwood TV tagged along with (now former) Ecurie Ecosse collection owner Dick Skipworth as the 1959 Commer TS3 Ecurie Ecosse transporter made her farewell journey to the Bonhams auction in London from Buckinghamshire. Two days later the iconic transporter brought in a staggering £1.7 Million. I’m more interested in the passing of stewardship from one enthusiast to another than I am in the loot it brought in… And Dick is a true enthusiast. You can tell that this was a bittersweet moment for Dick and I love seeing this wistful interview with him.
I echo Dick’s sentiments when he expresses his hopes that the transporter, and the entire collection, goes to a new home and owner that will use them properly. He frequently describes the transporter as practical and useful. Just like classic racing cars should be used to race, classic racing car transporters should be used to transport racing cars. Only time will tell if Dick’s dreams for the future of the Ecurie Ecosse collection come to pass.
I haven’t seen any further confirmation of this, but Dick Skipworth seems to think that the transporter, C-Type, and D-Type all went to the same Stateside bidder—which is fantastic news (for those of us on this side of the pond). The fact that Dick’s son took home the Sprite is also a wonderful result!
Edit: Just this morning, Sports Car Market confirmed that the C-Type, D-Type, and transporter did indeed all go to the same U.S. buyer!
Bonhams upcoming December auction featuring the Dick Skipwworth Ecorie Ecosse Collection has no shortage of amazing racing cars included (and one Hell of a nice transporter too), and even though this Cooper-Monaco won’t draw in the top dollar bids the way that the D-Type or C-Type will, it might be my favorite of the bunch. The rear-engined Type 57 is surely one of the most beautiful sports-racing cars to come out of Cooper Car’s garages, if not the whole of the UK racing community. Those elegant curves wrapped around that miraculous little 2 1/2 liter Coventry Climax twin cam just make me smile.
Cooper delivered the cars to purchasers as a kit, and if I were to choose any single example I think I’d be most inclined to trust the one built by this legendary team. It won’t surprise you to learn that this little beauty has a magnificent race history with events on both sides of the Atlantic. Formula Libre events at Watkins, Riverside, and Laguna Seca (with Jack Brabham in the wheel for Laguna) wonderfully complement her European history at Goodwood, Oulton Park, Aintree, and LeMans. Arguably her best years, however, came when the car was entrusted to Ecurie Ecosse driver Jimmy Stewarts scrappy kid brother Jackie. He took to the machine wonderfully and racked up a series of victories right out the gate. Can you imagine owning a car that has been driven by both Jack Brabham and Jackie Stewart (and Roy Salvadori! And more!)?
Bonhams is offering this car alongside many of her Ecurie Ecosse stablemates at their December auction. I sincerely hope that a very well heeled buyer comes along and nabs them all. They really do deserve to remain together, don’t you think?
More information on Bonhams’ lot detail page.
The sleuths on the Autosport Nostalgia Forum have bitten into another mystery. Some early 60’s color photos from a handful of race meetings at Goodwood have surfaced from the collection of a former mechanic. Any other group of appreciators might be happy to just enjoy these excellent shots of an excellent track. But the Nostalgia Forum contributors are no mere appreciators, they are scholars and archivists of the highest order.
From this smattering of photos found by the granddaughter of Brit Pierce, the mechanic in question, the forum has sussed out that there are at least two and possibly three race meetings photographed here. Now they want to determine which race weekends they were. Every detail, from the obvious car makes and racing numbers, to the subtle magnified nameplates on transporters, offers a clue. They have already identified many of the cars and drivers, and even recognized bystanders in the pits, and another piece snaps into place. And just what does that transporter peeking out from behind the Ecurie Ecosse team transporter say along the top? It’s a wonderful puzzle. One that I’m happy to watch unfold.
Know your Goodwood? Check out all the photos and lend a hand. But hurry if you want to be involved. If I know The Nostalgia Forum, it won’t be long before the race weekends are known, the winning drivers identified, and an amusing story about post-race pints at the bar will be shared.