Here is the well-known American driver Bob Bondurant (and now for many years having run his famous eponymous racing school) with a Cobra 427 in a driving rain wet race at Brands Hatch on May 8, 1966. “Bondo” shared the duties for this 500-mile six hour race with David Piper. Their car was entered by The Chequered Flag, a British dealer run by former Lotus Elite driver Graham Warner. Piper had loaned his familiar and successful Ferrari 250LM to Mike Salmon and David Hobbs for this race and they came home fourth. Actually, the race ran slightly less than 500 miles as the agreed 6-hour limit arrived first due in no small part to the difficult weather conditions.
Bondurant and Piper had considerable competition for the Ilford 500 from two GT40s, another Chequered Flag 427 Cobra and a quick Jaguar E-Type. Chris Amon and Innes Ireland had one of the GT40s but failed to finish as did Jackie Oliver and Ken Baker with the very fast E-Type after each had led for a time. Second place was taken by the other GT40 driven by Peter Sutcliffe and Eric Liddell. Only a lap down in third was an MGB which shows that the wet conditions did limit the powerful cars quite a lot!
The winning 427 Cobra. a full competition version, was CSX3006 and sold originally to an American who then resold it to an U.S. Air Force officer in France who in turn sold it to The Checkered Flag where it was then repainted in white with a black hood and converted to right hand drive as seen here. Piper would comment that as being his first taste of Ford 427 power it was quite an experience, especially in the wet.
Photo by Nigel Snowdon ©The Klemantaski Collection – http://www.klemcoll.com
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