Where to start... at the beginning I suppose. I'm one of the lucky ones to have grown up in the car industry. Sometimes I think I was born at the wrong time, I was born in 1958 at the tail end of what was one of the greatest periods of motorsports in history. My father had joined Marcus Chambers after the war, then did a stint at Wade Engineer (who supplied superchargers to road & race cars); Dad was at the 1950 British Grand Prix working on Dennis Poore's 8C Alfa that he's fitted Wade Blowers to. Wade would later lead to a long association with Aston Martin when he spent many hours there supercharging the DB3 race car... John Wyer offered him a job since he was there so much! My Mum joined Aston Martin in Feltham in 1949 as a secretary, where she worked for the drawing office, Prof Von Eberhorst and John Wyer.
By 1955 dad again joined Marcus Chambers, this time at Abington on the MG Team. After the Monte Carlo Rally, Dickie Green, as he was then known, immigrated to California and became Crew Chief for Tony Paravano. In late '57 he's become the Resident Engineer for David Brown - Aston Martin based in San Leandro, CA; then joined the Rover Motor Company of North America Limited in South San Francisco in February 1960. So as you can see, I've been up to my eyes in cars all my life! For more on this story see Aston Martin info.
My first race was the 1958 Los Angeles Times Grand Prix at Riverside. Aston Martin had sent Roy Salvardori & Eric Hind (mechanic) with the DBR1, and in 1959 sent Stirling Moss, John King (mech) in a DBR2. Dad was again working on Aston race cars.
Below, left-to-right: Bob Hammel, John King, Moss, Dickie Green, Riverside 1959
Below, left-to-right: race official, Roy Salvadori, Dickie Green, Ken Miles (who was dads sponsor to America),
Aston Martin DBR2 in the background, Riverside 1958. (Norm Milne collection).
Some great photos, great cars and great people from a great time in motorsports history!
In 1964 dad was involved with the Aston Martin Owners Club Virginia City Hill Climb in Nevada. One could say it was a modern club event, one could also say it was a historic car event by just looking at the entry list; a 1929 4-1/2L Bentley, 1934 1-1/2L Aston Martin, 1955 DB3S/117, etc. By the early 1970s steps were being taken to not only drive and showcase these wonderful cars, but to race them once again, hence the idea of "Historic Racing" came to be in America. One of, if not the first meeting, was at our dining room table one Saturday night to discuss and form historic racing in America. I won't bore you with details and names, but I was at the first CSRG event and at Laguna Seca in 1971 during the CanAm races when we had a whole 17 (if memory serves me correctly) historic cars on track during the lunch break. Before long Steve Earl would create the Monterey Historic Automobile Races, which became the premier event in North America. Thus my association, along with dads, with this grand event has been since day-one.
Historic Racing is still going strong, not only here, but around the globe, events such at GoodWood recreating a wonderful time in history. Over the past forty, yes forty years... I was a busy boy racing motorcycles and operating West Coast British since 1981. During that same time I helped create the CVRG (California Vintage Racing Group) in 1984 and later AHRMA (American Historic Motorcycle Racing Association) in 1989. During this time I was also at many historic car events, but in recent years I've been there to not only enjoy the cars and people, but to work on a number of historic cars, even some of which dad worked on back in their hay day!
Today... We at West Coast British have restored a fair number of classic and vintage vehicles, Land Rover's and racing motorcycles, each one is done to our exacting standards. The bikes have gone on to winning many, many races across North America, our Land Rover's are second to none and our recent 1965 WCBR-MGB project even won two "EP" races with the SCCA on the west coast. Now we've completed an MGB GT Fia type road racer, which will debut at CSRG in April 2015.
WCBR offers you the classic or vintage car owner a full range of services, from overhauls, complete restorations, race preparation and even track support. Please call us with your requirements. 925-606-8301.
Here are some photos of some great cars we've been involved with in one way or another.
2015; our latest creation, MGB GT Fia type racer/road car.