Slot car memories with Shelby McLaren RSS

Shelby McLaren would often travel by steam train with his father from Edinburgh to the Aston Martin workshops in Feltham England. Shelby’s father had started on the workshop floor at Aston Martin but by the early 1950’s was designing racing cars, almost exclusively for Aston Martin. The pair travelled to the new Tickford workshop’s on a few occasions in the early part of 1955 as David Brown, the owner of AM, had a victory in his sights in a very particular race.  The Mille Miglia was a 1000 mile motor race held on a course made up entirely of public...

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Shelby McLaren’s father was a stoic man, yet he had an open mind and very much enjoyed innovation. It was frowned upon for women to be driving in the early part of the 20th century but Shelby’s father had always supported women in motorsport, he loved to see them race and he had often told Shelby women were absolutely fearless behind the wheel and had the reflexes of an alley cat!  Shelby’s father had introduced him to the Rallye Paris-St Raphael Feminin that held been held in the south of France since 1929. The rally was only open to female...

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Kristelle Schmidt, Le Mans 1964, Peter Brock, Shelby Cobra Daytona -

Shelby McLaren has been reflecting on life more than usual this week, or more significantly … the loss of life. He was mostly reminiscing about 1964, not least because of that moment in Stuttgart in the July of that year where he plucked up the courage to ask that tall blonde girl standing beside him in the cafe what her name was. Remembering that nervous 18 year old hearing a perfectly-clipped German accent utter the words, ‘Kristelle Schmidt’, still makes Shelby’s palms a little sweaty.  It proved to be a significant year in Shelbys’ life not least because he and...

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Shelby McLaren had travelled to Australia in March 2011 for work but as ‘chance would have it’ The Phillip Island Classic Festival of Motorsport was being held at the same time. Shelby had made sure he would be there as it was a very, very rare opportunity to see what he believed was one of the most beautiful Formula 1 cars of all time, the MkI Eagle Gurney-Weslake. Having recently thought about Dan Gurney’s win at Spa in ’67 he was eager to see how the car had faired some 44 years later. Another car at the Phillip Island event...

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Dan Gurney, Jim Clark, Plymouth, Riverside Raceway, Superbird -

Shelby McLaren’s most poignant memory of Dan Gurney was not at a race track, but at a small Churchyard in the Scottish Borders on the 10th of April 1968. Almost 7000 people had gathered for the funeral of one the greatest Formula One drivers of all time, Jim Clark. Shelby was chatting with Jackie Stewart and Dan Gurney when James Clark Sr took Dan aside to tell him that the only man his son had ever feared on a race track was Dan Gurney. It was an emotional and solemn moment that Shelby and Dan would reflect on for many...

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