View Poll Results: What Next

Voters
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  • Leave the fiberglass panels where they lie?

    0 0%
  • Another search party with metal detectors & leave the parts as found?

    1 11.11%
  • If the parts are found, attempt to have a new rear clip built around the remains?

    8 88.89%
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Thread: Bjorn Waldegaard Stratos, The 1975 Lombard RAC Rally & David Hanman.

  1. #1
    SEC Member Guy Mayers's Avatar
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    Bjorn Waldegaard Stratos, The 1975 Lombard RAC Rally & David Hanman.

    Some of us know the story so far of David's acquisition and restoration of the car Bjorn Waldegaard & Hasse Thorzelius drove on many rallies culminating in the 1976 Safari. For us here in the UK the car is most famous for the 1975 Lombard RAC where it won more stages than anyone else but was over time limit after a couple of issues and was eventually disqualified. It's the rally where it lost it's rear clip on Langdale, had it replaced at service with a spare, damaged that and finished the rally without a rear body clip and lights taped to the rear chassis.

    David completed the restoration and it was filmed by Patina for a new Youtube channel and in that video David mentions that the rear body panel & number plate are "out there somewhere", probably in someone's private collection, never to be seen again. The video is here, well with 15 minutes viewing if you haven't seen it yet.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-7pyFLK0yQ

    Shortly before the video was released a post appeared on the SEC forum with a link to an eBay sale. The subject of that sale was the number plate from that very car. David was in Thailand at the time and, initially, not best pleased to be woken at 3am by a call from me to tell him to check it out. Within 24 hours we'd contacted the seller, Bob Lucas, and persuaded him to pull the eBay listing and Ian Ford kindly took the original thread down. The seller wasn't aware that the car was now in the UK and fortunately felt, like us, that the plate needed to be re-united with the car and once we'd convinced him that David did own the car in question, I ended up dashing up to Scotland to collect the plate on behalf of David.

    So, how did Bob come to acquire this plate? Well, we got the story and it's great! Back in 1975 Bob was marshalling on the RAC and saw Waldegaard come through without the rear bodywork. The following week Bob saw an article in Motoring News and realised the special stage where the bodywork came off was a closed stage and decided to go back to the stage the following weekend to see if there was anything left after cleanup. After parking up and walking the stage Bob came back with the number plate in it's frame that had been torn off the back of the car when the panel opened mid stage. Plus a lot of the parts of the rear clip that was ripped to bits as Waldegaard dragged it through the stage. He took all this home and stored it in his garage.

    Roll on 10 years and Bob had to move from Yorkshire up to Scotland for work. Lack of space meant that not everything could be taken. The number plate & frame went with him but he had to dispose of the fibreglass panel remnants. Rather than sell them or destroy them Bob loaded them into the back of his car and, along with his son, wife & mother, returned to the stage where he'd picked the pieces up from and wandered into the forest, found a suitable spot and covered the pile with leaves and branches.

    At the Stoneleigh show a fortnight ago I passed the number plate back to David and the following day he re-united it with the car 43 years after it was ripped off on that special stage. This weekend a lot of stars aligned at very short notice. David didn't have to rush back to Thailand as expected, the Patina film crew were travelling from Scotland (Saturday filming) to Mid Wales (Monday filming) and Bob and his son just happened to be in Yorkshire. So, we all met up just outside Scarborough to see if we could find the spot where Bob had left the remains. It had been 36 years since that day but Bob went back to the spot and confirmed it was the right area because he brought an Ordnance Survey map of the area. With an X marking the spot. So, we spent 90 minutes poking around to see what we could find and, at the end of the day, found nothing. The concensus is that we are looking at the right area but that 36 years of growth have covered the parts in anything up to half a meter of dead leaves and branches all slowly rotting down.

    So, we've left it with David to decide what he wants to do next. It may be appropriate to leave the parts where they are, nicely interred, or return at a later date with a metal detector and some digging tools and see if we have any more luck. Bob described the parts as having some metal on them (over centre catch clips, one steel tether cable with steel washer & bolt plus some bracketry that supported the roof spoiler) so there is a chance we can recover what's left.

    So, what do you think we should do?

  2. #2
    SEC Member ChrisCar6's Avatar
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    Re: Bjorn Waldegaard Stratos, The 1975 Lombard RAC Rally & David Hanman.

    Recover it if you can find it. No archeologist of the future is going to find it and work out what it is and do anything useful with it. Better be part of the car's heritage where it can be appreciated.

  3. #3
    SEC Member tomsredstratos's Avatar
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    Re: Bjorn Waldegaard Stratos, The 1975 Lombard RAC Rally & David Hanman.

    If it can be arranged keep looking for the parts.

    Guy - How remote is the area? What are the chances of it already being found in a 'woodland clear up'?

    My late father was in the Woodland Trust and as a child we would go on work party's clearing any rubbish we came across.

    At least David has the number plate

  4. #4
    SEC Member Guy Mayers's Avatar
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    Re: Bjorn Waldegaard Stratos, The 1975 Lombard RAC Rally & David Hanman.

    It's off the beaten track Tom, I'm not saying where it is but I know I can find the spot/area again pretty easily. We only have Bob's description of the interment of the remains, he said that he found a furrow in the ground, laid the various pieces on top of each other and covered them up with branches and leaves. Since then the area has been harvested but the growth that's there now looks wild rather than planted. There is no evidence of mechanical harvesting in the immediate area. Whilst we were on site we saw a group of off road motorcycles go past, a couple of mountain bikes and one forestry commission vehicle out fixing potholes. What it was like 36 years ago I have no idea though! So, yes, it's possible that someone found it on a clean up and it's gone but how far do clean up crews go into the forest off the track? Our gut feeling is that the parts are still buried there but the only way we stand a chance of recovering them will be autumn when things start to die back and with the use of metal detectors that can penetrate half a meter of ground for small objects. I doubt there's much else metallic in the ground round there. Watch this space!

  5. #5
    SEC Member Guy Mayers's Avatar
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    Re: Bjorn Waldegaard Stratos, The 1975 Lombard RAC Rally & David Hanman.

    Well it looks like David has decided that sleeping dogs won't be left to lie. Well, maybe for a little while longer. Next time he's back I think we're out searching with one of these!

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/312101076957

    Wonder if it'll work?
    Last edited by Guy Mayers; 21-05-2018 at 19:43.

  6. #6
    SEC Member Fingers's Avatar
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    Re: Bjorn Waldegaard Stratos, The 1975 Lombard RAC Rally & David Hanman.

    Looks like there's an article on this car in the latest Octane magazine.
    Paul.

    Sat in a real one, may never wash again!

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