All this stuff about the Derek Bell Autavias at the moment (recent posts on OTD and there are a couple of 'NOS' Derek Bell Autavias for sale just now) brings back memories of 1987.
Here's the infamous MH bezel insert that distinguishes a 'Derek Bell' Autavia.
Yeah I know that's Jackie Stewart in the background!So, back to 1987...At the time I was sharing a huge house in a small village close to Silverstone.
The other guys there included a French racing driver, Aussie racing mechanic, a couple of hippies, an Aston Martin rep (who once or twice brought back a nice V8 Volante en-route for the German Autobahns to meet some lucky prospective buyer for a proper test-drive), Russian journalist, 2 or 3 civil servants and a Glaswegian couple just back from South Africa.
The car park consisted of, amongst others, a Fiat 126 (which could only be started after pushing it to the top of the local hill and letting go), Lancia Beta, Ford Cortina, Mini Clubman, Citroen Decapotable and my MGB which had a few electrical faults including the embarrassing problem of the horn going off by itself without warning! (not good when sitting in traffic with lots of pedestrians walking by)
Anyway being part of this mad bunch meant the occasional visit to Silverstone and some amazing unrestricted circuit access :-)
So what's all this got to do with Derek Bell?
I was fortunate enough to be there at the time of the 1987 1000km of Silverstone, (May 10th) and see him testing his Porsche.
You can see Derek Bell's name on one of the cars below and that could be him in one of the other shots...
Excuse the quality - this is pre-digital-AutoFocus magic :-)
I seem to remember this was the start of a resurgence from Jaguar.
Here are the stats -
1 C1 4 Silk Cut Jaguar/Eddie Cheever/Raul Boesel/Jaguar XJR-8
2 C1 5 Silk Cut Jaguar/Jan Lammers/John Watson/Jaguar XJR-8
3 C1 17 Porsche AG/Hans-Joachim Stuck/Derek Bell/Porsche 962C
4 C1 18 Porsche AG/Jochen Mass/Bob Wollek/Porsche 962C
Pole Position - #17 Porsche AG - 1:15.110
Fastest Lap - #4 Silk Cut Jaguar - 1:18.120
And get this - Average Speed - 198.627 km/h