DEL MONTE TROPHY RACE GROUP
70th Anniversary of the Pebble Beach Road Races
Race 2 report Saturday 14 August 2021
After our 24 sports racing cars from 1947-1955 had completed Race 1 in the morning of Saturday August 14 at Laguna Seca, there were only a few hours before they were out on track again for the weekend’s feature race for the Rolex Trophy, the Del Monte Trophy and other special awards. All was busy in the paddock, not least the Tazio Ottis Ferrari 750 Monza which had suffered overheating problems in Race 1.
Not everyone made the start of Race 2. The front runners were there except Don ”Slim” Pepperdene in the dark blue #77 Baldwin Special and towards the back there was no sign of #116 James Smith (1955 Rae Special), #58 James Cleary (1955 Crosley Cleary Special 1) and #55 Kaiden Marouf (1951 MG TD Special). The Race 2 grid order reflects the finishing order in Race 1, except Tazio Ottis who was rolling his superb Ferrari in 18th position not last, surely by special order of Il Commendatore Enzo himself.
Now the chips are down. Even before the start is given we can sense the urgency in some of the drivers like Rob Manson who positions his red Kurtis well to the left of the car ahead, the pole sitter Tatum, and Skip Streets looking for a gap too. Surely a more eclectic group of cars has never taken the start of a race. 19 pairs of eyes strain for the lights on the gantry. The four California specials, who ran so close together in race 1, surge off the line in grid order, gapping Hanssen, Magnussen and the battling Jaguar XK120s, of which more anon.
Buddenbaum positioned his Parkinson Jaguar to the outside of the Turn 2 hairpin, the Tatum on the tight line. Would he repeat his Race 1 Lap 1 overtake here? Nope… his mirrors were full of a yellow Manning and a red Kurtis, so defence was momentarily a priority. Skip Streets was looking alive (the technical term for rapid full-lock steering wheel movements as the rear axle answered back) in the Manning and had stolen round the outside of Rob’s Kurtis. The live stream Goodwood commentators (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0M40SjhDf74 at about 6 hours 22 minutes in) were also picking up on Skip Streets’ ambitions and within another 100 yards Streets he made a move to pick off Buddenbaum . No, warm but affirmative shutting of the door, and the nimble, talented and hands-busy Streets stays in third.
Throughout Lap 1, the battle for 2nd was on. Manson had a look up the inside of Streets approaching the last turn, the left-hander leading onto the main straight, but the order was maintained… Tatum, Buddenbaum, Streets and Manson. The man on the move was Tazio Ottis in the superb #2 white and blue 1955 Ferrari 750 Monza who started near the back because of his overheating. The ticker under the live stream images was already out of date at the end of lap 1 because Ottis had gained 10 places in the first lap, and was now witting in 8th behind Hanssen, Magnussen and the battling Jaguar XK120s of Mapstead and Rooklidge. By Turn 5 on Lap 2, the white and blue Ferrari was in front of the two Jags… what a performance. He has that Italian masterpiece flying and knocking off the laps in the 1’54s.
End of Lap 1:
1. #25 Blake Tatum, white and blue 1953 Tatum GMC Special
2. #3 John Buddenbaum, white Jaguar Parkinson Special
3. #15 Skip Streets, yellow Streets Manning Special
4. #9 Rob Manson, red Kurtis 500S Dodge
5. #51 Stuart Hanssen, alloy-silver Baldwin Special,
6. #183 Lars Mapstead (Jaguar XK120),
7. #13 William Rooklidge (Jaguar XK120) and
8. #60 Gregor Magnusson (Porsche 365 Coupe),
9. #63 John Mote (Allard K-2)
10. #33 James Alder 1952 Jaguar XK120 OTS)
11. #14 Robert Davis (1953 Siata 208S),
12. #29 David Nelson (1955 Triumph TR2),
13. #2D Tazio Ottis Ferrari 750 Monza
14. #71 Rick Cannon (Cannon Mark 1),
15. #44 Ben Wysard (1952 Porsche Glockler),
16. #1 Bernard Dervieux (1950 Allard J2)
17. #114 Jean Pierre Molerus (1954 Nichols Panhard Special)
18. #77 Don “Slim” Pepperdene (Baldwin Mercury Special)
19. #116 James Smith (1955 Rae Special)
20. #72 Leland Osborn (1955 Crosley Shannon Special),
If #55 Kaiden Marouf (1951 MG TD Special) or #58 James Cleary (1955 Crosley Cleary Special 1) were running, the moving pictures did not pick them up and I did not spot them.
By the end of Lap 2, Manson has the red Kurtis ahead of Streets’s yellow Manning. Early days though. Skip Streets is hustling that hot-rodder his dad John Streets helped build, hence the name Manning Streets Special to distinguish it from the other Mannings to the same design.
At the end of Lap 3, Ottis has the Ferrari in 5th place! Hanssen is on his own, then the two Jaguars, Mapstead and Rooklidge battling it out, elbows thrusting outside the cockpit, ahead of Magnusson’s #60 silver Porsche and Mote’s #63 “Riviera Blue” Allard, the four of them in quite a bunch. Now on the move behind them is Don “Slim” Pepperdene in Rob Manson’s dark blue #77 blue Baldwin Mercury Special, 10th on Lap 5 and 6th on lap 6. He had clutch problems in Race 1 and had to race in third gear (but, my friends and cognoscenti, surely the Baldwin only has three gears; Slim would be able to peddle it even faster by not bothering with second and first…). Now the car is running fine and Slim is running in the 1’52s against the leaders 1’50s and the Ferrari’s 1’54s.
On Lap 5 John Buddenbaum suddenly slows the white Parkinson Jaguar; a misfire, a sliding moment or a missed gear? Manson and Streets pounce on the hill up to the Corkscrew, then Buddenbaum gathers it up again in 4th position. We have just got our breath back when, out of the Corkscrew five seconds later, Blake Tatum is slow and pulls enough to the right to let the flying pair of Manson and Streets through. Wow. Action. Surprises. Tatum then pulls off left into the convenient pit lane entry – he had engine problems but your reporter had not been informed of the details on the day. Blake writes me August 21 to say “the engine started knocking; I suspect a rod bearing”. Fats Domino – I Hear You Knocking – was not released till 1961 so clearly the Tatum’s inline 6 cylinder engine, originally from a GMC truck, was the inspiration for this great tune.
Buddenbaum gets back on the pace and gives chase to the two leaders.
So at the beginning of lap 6, Streets is battling Manson for the lead. Right up his chuff (that’s “exhaust pipe” to you). The commentators have rightly mentioned that Manson owns both cars and is in the lead… are there team orders? Maybe not because as they approach Turn 2, negotiating the first tail-ender (#114 Jean Pierre Molerus, 1954 Nichols Panhard Special), Streets darts for a gap then thinks better of it entering the hairpin. Manson is under pressure and we can see his hands working the wheel to control the incipient oversteer on the Kurtis just like Streets; both drivers are really pushing.
Further back, all eyes are on Lars Mapstead and Bill Rooklidge, also known on social media as Cackhanded Wally (https://www.facebook.com/cackhanded.wally) in the majestic Jaguar XK120 road-legal sports cars. Our boys are having a fabulous battle at high speed, so much so that they are closing the gap to Stuart Hanssen in the alloy-silver Baldwin Special ahead. He would like to have been in 4th after the Tatum retired but the flying white Ferrari and Slim’s dark blue Baldwin have got past too. #63 John Mote (Allard K-2) has gotten ahead of #60 Gregor Magnusson (Porsche 365 Coupe) and they are both keen to join in the fun. John Mote is getting squirrelly down through the Rainey Curve after the Corkscrew on lap 8 as Magnusson applies the pressure in what the commentator call “The Bubble” of a Porsche. Magnusson stuffs his Porsche into the last corner sideways to get the straight-line acceleration going but Mote stokes the fire of his V8 and creams under the gantry at 100mph, just ahead.
So we are in the final lap. Pepperdene must be closing on Ottis but we don’t see them on camera. We see Hanssen looking in the mirrors at the two Jaguars closing from behind, so he puts the pedal to the metal to secure his 6th place. Rooklidge is nailed to Mapstead, partially alongside on the hill up to the Corkscrew, but he can’t find a way through; they are both looking forward to a clear cool drink and the co-competitors’ embrace in the paddock afterwards.
Would Skip Streets let the boss win? Oh no, this is Racing. The cameras missed the actual overtake but it was likely between Turns 4 and 5 on the last lap because we see Rob Manson’s impressively big red Kurtis V8 in an enormous tank-slapper of a left-right out-of-control moment coming out of turn 5. His guest in the Manning has done him over good and proper. Within seconds Rob is 10 car-lengths behind Skip; that’s what it looks like even though the official results show Manson finishing 0.001 seconds behind Streets… surely a gentlemanly Rolex Monterey way of saying well done chaps, we could not have put a cigarette paper between you two.
As they cross the line, John Buddenbaum is within sight behind them to take 3rd position. The Ottis Ferrari held off Slim’s Baldwin for 4th, then Hanssen and the two Jaguars, battling to the end. Lars wrote me shortly afterwards “Bill and I had an epic battle in each race; he was smelling my exhaust every lap of both races, kept me on my toes with no mistakes by either driver. At the end Bill had a trophy and the Phil Hill memorial award for the best-finishing Jaguar was presented to me by Rob. Yes Bill and I set new personal best times with our eye on the elusive sub 2 minute laps both of us got 2.00 flats, Bill nudged me with a slightly best lap time. What a thrill.”
Viewers and the commentators could tell how excited Skip was at the win, gesticulated and high-fiving to the corner workers and the spectators on the slow-down lap. I enjoyed the racing from my PC back in the UK; great coverage and even the roar and bubble of the Californian side-valve flat-head V8s carried perfectly over the interweb. My apologies that there is no reporting on cars outside the top ten but none of that action was shown on screen; isn’t that just the way…
All this action was being viewed by me on the live stream, at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0M40SjhDf74 at about 6 hours 19 minutes in from the start, which you can still access now to have a look yourself.
Here’s the finishing order of our Race 2, subject to official confirmation:
1. #15 Skip Streets, yellow Streets Manning Special
2. #9 Rob Manson, red Kurtis 500S Dodge
3. #3 John Buddenbaum, white Jaguar Parkinson Special
4. #2 Tazio Ottis (white and blue 1955 Ferrari 750 Monza)
5. #77 Don (‘Slim’) Pepperdene, dark blue blue Baldwin Mercury Special.
6. #51 Stuart Hanssen in his striking alloy-silver Baldwin Special,
7. #183 Lars Mapstead (Jaguar XK120),
8. #13 William Rooklidge (Jaguar XK120)
9. #63 John Mote (Allard K-2).
10. #60 Gregor Magnusson (Porsche 365 Coupe),
11. #33 James Alder 1952 Jaguar XK120 OTS)
12. #14 Robert Davis (1953 Siata 208S),
13. #44 Ben Wysard (1952 Porsche Glockler),
14. #29 David Nelson (1955 Triumph TR2),
15. #1 Bernard Dervieux (1950 Allard J2),
16. #114 Jean Pierre Molerus (1954 Nichols Panhard Special
17. #116 James Smith (1955 Rae Special)
DNF – did not finish
#25 Blake Tatum, white and blue 1953 Tatum GMC Special
#71 Rick Cannon (Cannon Mark 1),
#72 Leland Osborn (1955 Crosley Shannon Special),
DNS did not start
#58 James Cleary (1955 Crosley Cleary Special 1),
#55 Kaiden Marouf (1951 MG TD Special)
I will report soon on the winners of the various trophies awarded by the Del Monte Trophy Race Group for the weekend’s heroics.
For your publication or web-site you may download many period and modern images of these 1950s road-racers at https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1hz5SYuv48FF_2292kA0St2pd09EYkezx
Download the results in pdf Group 4A – Race 2 – Monterey Race Results
Download this report in pdf Race 2 report Saturday 14th August 2021