RE: PH Heroes: Baby Bertha

RE: PH Heroes: Baby Bertha

Author
Discussion

sprinter1050

11,537 posts

198 months

Saturday 9th July 2011
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Gregor Marshall said:
What a really tragic shame that..............








..................they don't do motorsport PR photos like that any more.

Maybe they're afraid of another James Hunt coming along? smile

Bakewelllard

3 posts

124 months

Saturday 9th July 2011
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I remember being at Thruxton in 76 at the age of 16 working for Vic Lee (of British Touring Car notoriety) when ha was racing a special saloon mini at the same meeting as Baby Bertha and Jerry. I will never forget Jerry and Baby Bertha all over the back of Vince Woodman in his Cosworth DFV powered Ford Capri and coming out of the last chicane before the start finish line and holding Bertha on a full power slide down the long curve that constituted the start finish straight. He was just playing with him until with one lap to go, overtook him on the outside on the start finish straight and beat Vince by 3 seconds! Absolutely awesome! Bertha was an extension of Jerry's personality. So sadly missed..

ScoobyBullet

7 posts

132 months

Saturday 9th July 2011
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Does anybody remember a red and white Mzda RX3 from this era? Driven by Geoff Clements and powered by an F5000 Chevy. Would have been 1975 and I helped a bit with it - just cleaning it and pushing really but at 17 I though it was heaven. We went to a couple of races (Brands and Lydden Hill where Geoff put it on the outside of the front row next to Nick Whiting and then spun off on his own water from a leaking radiator) but then it dropped a valve and lack of money ended up with it being sold...

Would love to know what happened to the car and driver.

Beardy10

20,838 posts

146 months

Saturday 9th July 2011
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Balls of steel! Some great footage in there. I'd love to go and see these in August.

Makes modern motorsport look so sanitised...mind it is obviously a lot,lot safer.

DaveWM

10 posts

133 months

Saturday 9th July 2011
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The VX490 Drivers Club www.vx490driversclub.co.uk had a feature on Big Bertha in the club magazine a while back.

There's a pdf available here if you want to take a look.

yappy

1 posts

124 months

Saturday 9th July 2011
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Will be great to see such a fantastic car again , i travelled the country watchin gerry and racing has never been the same after his death ..

graemel

6,645 posts

188 months

Sunday 10th July 2011
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An awesome machine with an equally awesome driver. I had the great honour to get to know Gerry when I raced in the intermarque championship back in 1998 and 1999. He was running the marsh plant aston in class 1 and I was running a 911 turbo in class 2. We often shared the podium together. In 1999 at donington park I had to do the treble to win the individual class and overall championship. I qualified on pole (class 2) remember. When we lined up on the grid I was behind win percy in the XJ220. Bloody nightmare as he could never get it of the line and I knew I'd be baulked. Anyway I got fastest lap and won my class so got the championship. Gerry came over, shook my hand and congratulated me. That has always meant an awful lot to me and always will.
I found this by accident just now on you tube. It's not great footage as it was taken from the stands.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kKjNt-ToDw
Mines the dark blue 911 with a red diagonal flash on its rear wings. You can pick it out more easily as there is an obvious mint green 911 with a big wing on the back. Out brakes me into redgate runs wide and I undertake him on the way out and I'm gone. From memory this was Sunday the 10th October. The 11th was my Birthday and by early afternoon I was in hospital having my apendicts removed.

Crazy Don

74 posts

180 months

Monday 11th July 2011
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As a schoolboy in the rather remote town of Barrow-in-Furness I never got to see Gerry and Baby Bertha live at a racetrack but between Grandstand and articles in CCC I often dreamed of them and they are probably part of the reason that so much of my income has been invested over the years in noisy sideways machinery such as my Cobra replica.

V8 Vette

95 posts

181 months

Monday 11th July 2011
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I followed the exploits of Gerry and DTV over the years in the vauxhall Viva, Magnum, Firenza and of course Bertha. I don't think one could convey the excitement of this type of racing to todays saloon and touring car fans.

I remember travelling from Kent to Thruxton with my brother in my road going Vauxhall which had a stage 2 Blydenstein conversion done at the Shepreth works by Gerry Johnson the team race wrench. To watch Gerry Marshall take part in a televised (Grandstand)race meeting. It rained very hard the whole weekend and was really cold.
Gerry arrived at the circuit late, missing practice as their van and trailer had stopped on the route from the Shepreth works to provide witness statements to a fatal RTA.

Gerry was made to start on the back row of the grid. ( championship points were at stake )
At the drop of the flag, Gerry's headlights blazed on and he set about the cars between him and the podium on a track running with water and blinded by plumes of spray. I forget which corner we stood on watching, but I do remember rain water was running out or our backsides the whole day . We got soaked, Gerry finished 2nd after what can only be described as a Purple Patch Drive. Apparently Murry Walkers commentry on the box was nearly unintelligable !! ( no change there, some would say )
I wrote to Bill Blydenstein at the Shepreth works to say I thought it was Gerry,s finest race.( well thats as well the as Crystal Palace one, which is on Youtube) I still have the letter reply to this day, Bill agreed and said at some stages he had to look away from the TV as Gerry took a thin layer of paint off most the cars he passed ( going sideways in the wet ) VERY SADLY MISSED.

Often asked why do'nt you stay at home in the dry and watch it on the box? " youll see all of it" ?

Nah ! you just have to be there , Phenumonia and all.. That's what motor race fans do !!

ALBA MELV

377 posts

127 months

Tuesday 12th July 2011
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Excellent read.

DJRC

23,563 posts

207 months

Tuesday 12th July 2011
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Not very sadly missed at all.
Very happily remembered instead. I dont think Jerry did sad...the bugger was too busy having fun!

Gregor, your old man did life just right.

DonkeyApple

42,360 posts

140 months

Tuesday 12th July 2011
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Hi Gregor.

Just edited that last one for accuracy. biggrin

terenceb

1,488 posts

142 months

Thursday 14th July 2011
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John_S4x4 said:
Baby Bertha - What a great car and a great article.

I have always had a soft spot for Baby Betha. Does anybody have any photo's of the other colours Baby Bertha ran and any photo's of Big Bertha ?

I was always quite facinated with the aerodynamics of Baby Bertha and reckon that alot of thought had gone into getting the airflow right, both over, through and under the car. Perhaps somebody more knowledgeble would like to comment about Baby Bertha's body design.

Was any of the suspension on Baby Bertha 'trick' (not normal) ? There seemed to be a lot of borrowing Formula 5000 components, back then.
In fact all of Berthas suspension was trick,it was all fabricated at Shepreth. Front end was by Rocker Type Coil overs. Rear was heavily 'linked' using C Os obviously.Very good article and great toknow that Joe will be racing it.During my 12odd years at Cambridge Motorsport,I was fortunate enough for Joe to entrust me with a little redesigning of the Cut out box above the Transmission tunnel and also making another panel for the rear of the engine bay [above the G box,interior] Apart from the many other tasks over the years we stored it for Joe,who has always been a perfect gentleman since i first met him back in the seventies.

phillipg

24 posts

197 months

Thursday 14th July 2011
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I was testing at Mallory same day as the Modsports and took these snaps. It will be a really great weekend racing.




















Edited by phillipg on Thursday 14th July 23:45


Edited by phillipg on Thursday 14th July 23:48


Edited by phillipg on Thursday 14th July 23:50

urquattro

755 posts

157 months

Saturday 16th July 2011
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Gregor Marshall said:
Yes it is:- http://www.haynes.co.uk/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/...

If you're after a copy of Only Here for the Beer then I have a few originals (1978).
Hi Gregor, do you remember the late John Burbidge (modsport champion in E Type) who was offered driving lessons by Gerry everytime we bumped into him, JB was a good mate and got the hump at the offer which amused Gerry even more. RIP x 2.

urquattro

755 posts

157 months

Saturday 16th July 2011
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lodgy said:
so its definately the monday that bertha is racing? my girlfriend text me this morning to ask if we could go bounce
Real motorsport again !!, hope everyone goes, supports it and it can grow into a carnival series around uk tracks, well done who ever put this plan into reality.;)

andy97

4,275 posts

193 months

Monday 18th July 2011
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lodgy said:
andy97 said:
You can see these cars in acton (Baby Bertha, the DAF V8, the ex Mick Hill Chevy V8 VW Beetle, the "Stars & Stripes" Manta, Vince Woodman in his Capri, Peter Stevens ex John Clelkand Thundersaloon Carlton, Peter baldwin in a re-creation of his Shell Oils mini and various Special Saloons imps, minis, escorts & Skodas etc etc) on Auguust Bank Holiday Monday at Mallory Park, where the CSCC are putting on 3 Revival races for these iconic cars, amongst a full programmes of the clubs normal racing ("Swinging Sixties" etc etc). There are already 40 cars interested.

It is hoped that there will be a series of 4 or 5 races for these ex Special Saloons, Modsports, Thundesaloons, & Donington GTs etc next year.
so its definately the monday that bertha is racing? my girlfriend text me this morning to ask if we could go bounce
Definately the Monday. I think there will be 3 combined Special Saloon/ Modspots/ Thundersaloons races in all, plus the normal CSCC race meeting content ("Swinging Sixties" etc).

I believe that "Octane" magazine will have a feature on Special Saloons in the issue due out on 23 July.

Edited by andy97 on Tuesday 19th July 12:12

richw_82

966 posts

157 months

Monday 18th July 2011
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britsportscars said:
Cool motor. The black Jag in the last pic looks even better tho!
http://www.xjs6000.cc/enola/home.html

Thought it looked familiar!

Gregor Marshall

944 posts

199 months

Monday 25th July 2011
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GC8 said:
I had a book writen by Gerry, called something along the lines of 'How to go Racing'. I had it for years without realising that he was a friend of my uncles, also a racer with a similar style.
Competition Driving...

XJSJohn

15,847 posts

190 months

Monday 25th July 2011
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Ahh the foundations of my motorsports upbringing, and the reason that my dad used to run a Vauxhall Magnum (2 door estate) back in the early 70's!