Racing all its Life!
Current Owner Guy Harman tells me:
"585 MY was converted by John Sprinzel’s ‘Speedwell Tuning Conversions’ in 1961 on a 1960 car ordered new by Keith Grant, and at an early juncture was prepared for motor racing. I believe that Grant along with Grahame ‘El Bianco’ White (now Exec Director of HSCC) extensively raced the car throughout Europe over the next 6 years from Silverstone to the Nurburgring. Indeed it was alleged that 585 MY ‘reached 140 mph on the infamous switchback straight in the ’66 1000km Nurburgring.
Sometime during 1965/66 the car was modified with flared rear wheel arches and then (following a rear end shunt) with more dramatic aerodynamic bodywork and Kamn-style tail, rear wheel arch vents, and was re-painted - over a period it was a variety of colours from Healey Ice Blue to bright yellow!
One presumes that towards the late ‘60’s that the car was becoming uncompetitive on circuits and so began its career as an Autocross racer! In 1968, 585 MY took Tim Baker to a BTRDA Autocross Championship win.
From the 1970's the car disappeared from the racing scene, only to be discovered by Hardy Engineering in the proverbial ‘barn’ in Berkshire some 30 years later in 1997, still with its revised bodywork and covered in Autocross mud!
At this time Rae Davis Racing was commissioned to return the car to its original early racing configuration, with full FIA HTP papers for the then owner Antonio Bertini. The correct dimensions including aluminium roof were taken from one of the few remaining original cars, with the modified Kamm tail back-end removed. Bertini raced the car extensively in Europe including multiple outings in the Goodwood Revival, at Spa, Monza and the Vernasca Silver Fla Hill Climb, in Italy".
The car was purchased by Guy Harman in 2010 and prepared, once again by Rae Davis Racing, for HRDC events, and is currently fitted with a 1,298cc engine and believed to be one of only 3 or 4 original Speedwell GTs still in existance.
Some of it's Racing History:
1963 – Snetterton
1963 – Brands Hatch,
1965 – Brands Hatch - Guards 1000 mile
1966 - Brands Hatch – Ilford 500 mile – Grant/White – 17th
1966 – Nurburgring – ADAC 1000 km – Grant/White – (2nd in class)
1966 – GP Mugello - White/Hunter – 50th
1968 – BTRDA – Autocross – Baker – 1st
3 times at the Goodwood Revival – Fordwater Trophy