Motoring Collectables for the Enthusiast

A Corgi Major No. 16 Gift Set Ecurie Ecosse racing car transporter and three racing cars, boxed with instructions and packing pieces

The motoring enthusiasts who turned out in such numbers for the Goodwood GRRC Members’ motor racing weekend are also passionate about motoring collectables.

Enamel signs, Dinky and Corgi cars, car mascots, models, motoring postcards and photographs, early lights, picnic sets and all things related to motoring delight the enthusiast.

The 1965 Corgi Major no.16 boxed Ecurie Ecosse racing car gift set gives a window into motor racing in the 1950s and 60s and the sort of cars that would have raced at Goodwood.

Eccurie Ecosse were an Edinburgh based motor racing team founded by the businessman and racing driver, David Murray, and mechanic, Willie Wilkinson. Their famous double decked car transporter allowed the team to carry three cars complete with a mobile workshop to race weekends.

Alongside the cars from the British racing teams BRM and Vanwall the set included a Lotus XI. It was designed by Colin Chapman. The sleek, aerodynamic body was designed by Frank Costin and the Le Mans version, powered by an 1100cc Coventry Climax Engine, achieved 7th in the 1956 24 Hors Le Mans race.
Condition is so important to price with toy cars and although the set was in good overall condition there were signs of paint loss and creasing to the boxes. Although a little play worn it still sold at Toovey’s for £200.

A rare ‘North British Rapson The World’s Longest Mileage Tyres’ single-sided enamelled advertising wall sign, , height 92cm, width 91cm

In the 1920s Mr Frederick Lionel Rapson, an automotive designer and manufacture, released the Rapson unpuncturable tyre amidst much disbelief and controversy. It was used to equip some of the fastest racing cars, on both road and track. The rare enamel advertising sign makes the claim of the world’s longest mileage tyres beneath the Royal Arms of HM King George V and Edward Prince of Wales. £3200 was paid at Toovey’s marking condition and rarity.

A ‘Morris Distributor’ double-sided enamelled circular advertising sign, finished in blue, white and red, diameter 72.5cm

In the same sale was the Morris Distributor double-sided enamelled advertising sign which made £850. I hold the Morris marque in some affection. Like many of us my parents and grandparents had a succession of pale blue Morris Travellers when I was growing up. The interiors always had a wonderful smell and moss always seemed to grow in the sliding rear window panels held in the comforting wooden frames. We would venture out from Horsham on Sundays to the Sussex Downs or Goring-by-Sea for a walk, always followed by tea made on a picnic Gaz stove in the boot by my Grandpa’s Traveller and a slice of pink iced sponge cake.
With memories of motor racing and family outings no wonder motoring collectables remain so evocative and popular.

Goodwood 79th Member’s Motor Racing Meet

David Hart driving his yellow no. 8 1968 Ford GT40 in the Surtees Trophy at Goodwood
David Hart driving his yellow no. 8 1968 Ford GT40 in the Surtees Trophy at Goodwood

There was a nip in the wind at the 79th Goodwood Road Racing Club (GRRC) 2022 Member’s Meeting as motor racing enthusiasts gathered in number in the bright spring weather to enjoy the spectacle of the racing.

The weather matched the warm welcome of the Goodwood team and the enthusiasm of the members of the GRRC and GRRC Fellowship.

The Surtees Trophy is named after racing driver John Surtees, the inaugural Can-Am champion. It featured some of the fastest and loudest cars of the weekend with a mixture of Can-Am and Le Mans prototypes including V8-powered GT40s, Lolas and McLarens. Oliver Bryant took the win driving Julien L. McCall Jnr’s 1966 Lola-Chevrolet T70 Spyder.

I have always had a fascination with the Ford GT40 and it was fantastic to see them in action on the fast Goodwood circuit. The GT40 gets its name from its height measuring just 40 inches at the windscreen, the minimum height allowed at Le Mans.

The GT40 Mk II broke Ferrari’s winning streak at Le Mans in 1966, the first of Ford’s four consecutive wins at the Sarthe circuit. The rivalry was famously born out of Enzo Ferrari’s refusal to sell Henry Ford II his company after detailed and costly negotiations. The story was dramatized and told through the eyes of Carroll Shelby, an automotive designer, and racing driver, Ken Miles, played by Matt Damon and Christian Bale in the terrific 2019 movie Le Mans ’66.

A 1964 Porsche Carrera 904 GTS in the Paddocks at Goodwood
A 1964 Porsche Carrera 904 GTS in the Paddocks at Goodwood

It is always a treat to come alongside the drivers, mechanics and remarkable array of racing cars in the paddocks. The 1964 Porsche Carrera 904GTS with its small proportions, beautiful lines stood out against the spring sunshine and scudding clouds.

As the exuberant sound of the racing cars and bikes at Goodwood ended the cacophony of sound, the smell of racing oil and tyres and the spectacle of speed and colour faded to memory. The Duke of Richmond commented that the 79th Members Meeting had been “…another fitting celebration of the spirit of Goodwood.” And went on to thank everyone involved for “putting on another excellent race meeting”. I am already looking forward to this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed and Goodwood Revival which embrace the modern and the halcyon days of motor racing with the accompanying glamour of the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s.

The GRRC Spring Members’ Meeting is always an exciting celebration of motor racing which is exclusively for GRRC and GRRC Fellowship members here in the heart of Sussex To find out more about the benefits of membership, how to join, and to book tickets for this year’s Festival of Speed and Goodwood Revival go to

A Place of Easter Pilgrimage

The St Mary Magdalene Chapel, Chichester Cathedral, with Graham Sutherland’s ‘Noli me tangere’
The St Mary Magdalene Chapel, Chichester Cathedral, with Graham Sutherland’s ‘Noli me tangere’

As Easter approaches Chichester Cathedral will once again become a place of Easter pilgrimage.

In the St Mary Magdalene Chapel at Chichester Cathedral is Graham Sutherland’s vibrant oil on canvas ‘Noli me tangere’ of 1961. It was commissioned by The Very Revd Walter Hussey, famous as both a patron of the arts and as Dean of Chichester Cathedral. Reflecting on the first nine hundred years of the Cathedral’s history and tradition he claimed that new art work should be contemporary and not imitate the old.

Chichester Cathedral and the Bishop’s Palace
Chichester Cathedral and the Bishop’s Palace

The architect, Sir Basil Spence, who designed and oversaw the building of Coventry Cathedral after the Second World War, described Chichester Cathedral’s South Aisle as one of the most beautiful in Europe. Sutherland’s oil initially strikes the viewer with the quality of a distant enamel jewel. As we journey towards this work we are drawn into the intimate narrative described in chapter 20 of St John’s Gospel. Arriving at the chapel we become aware that the painting depicts the moment on that first Easter morning when Mary becomes aware that she is in the presence of her risen Lord who has just spoken her name. As she reaches out to touch him his gesture stops her. The painting holds in tension Mary’s joy and the pending separation of a different kind. The angular composition of the figures, plants and staircase allude to the Passion narratives which lead up to and include Jesus’ crucifixion. At the centre of the painting is Jesus Christ dressed in white symbolising his holiness and purity. Christ’s finger points towards God the Father symbolising His presence. Mary may not touch Jesus. This is the liminal moment where the artist invites us into the narrative so that we, like Mary, might acknowledge Jesus, our creator, teacher and friend, as advocate and redeemer of the whole world. Sutherland displays sensitivity and humility in the intimate scale of the painting which at once connects the viewer with the hope filled narrative in a very personal way and allows them rest in this sacred space. The painting is complimented by the altar designed by the then Cathedral Architect and Surveyor, Robert Potter, and sculptor Geoffrey Clarke’s candlesticks whose angular quality reflect the imagery in Sutherland’s work.

Pilgrimage spaces, whether sacred or not, can decipher or inform our perceptions of the world; they can gift us with an experience of the numinous. People are bound together by their shared experiences and there is much reflect on and to offer in prayer as we approach Easter. Chichester Cathedral is open daily – a perfect space for an Easter Pilgrimage with one of the finest collections of Modern British Art in the country. For more information about Holy Week and Easter services visit

Na na na na na na na na na Batman!

Batman is amongst the most iconic TV generation characters. I grew up with the 1960s Batman with its wonderfully camp ‘Kerpow’ aesthetic.

Batman formed part of the DC Comics stable with Batman receiving his own publication in 1940. The character developed a strong moral compass and sense of justice. Batman employs his intellect, fighting skills and wealth to defeat the criminals of Gotham City.

In the 1960s version the Caped Crusader, Bruce Wayne, alias Batman is played by Adam West who is accompanied by Burt Ward as the Boy Wonder, Robin, as well as his faithful butler Alfred and Commissioner Gordon.

Batman and Robin battle their arch enemies Joker, Riddler, Penguin and Cat Girl. Each episode featured a showdown. In the fantastically choreographed fight scenes each punch was wittily punctuated with a Kerpow, Biff or a Bam in jagged speech bubbles, just like a comic, as the duo defeated a procession of baddies. And the catch phrases were wonderful “Holy Hallucination Batman!”, “Good thinking Boy Wonder!” The whole cast seemed to be having such fun.

The Batcave was filled with technology and the extraordinary jet propelled Batmobile. The Batmobile was based on an Italian designed 1955 Lincoln Futura with rocket launchers, front blade, Batphone, Bat-Ray projector and automatic tyre inflating system.

The 1960s aesthetic appeals to today’s collectors as it did to us as boys. The first Corgi Batmobile was produced at their Swansea factory in 1966. The example illustrated here has just fetched £900 at Toovey’s.

The gloss black No. 267 Batmobile with Batman and Robin figures features bat logo on the doors and hubs, silver front blade and red exhaust flame which moves in and out as the car moves along-so exciting! Mint and boxed with diorama, yellow rockets, envelope, operation instructions, detail sheet, printed spare missile envelope and card insert for diorama it also came with a letter and newspaper cuttings announcing to the seller that he had won the prize of the Sun newspaper’s Batman Competition.

Part of a collection of A&BC Bubblegum Batman cards

In the same sale were a collection of A&BC Bubblegum Batman cards, with a shop box. Although they had tears and corner scuffs they realised £600.

The new Batman movie returns to the darker aesthetic of the original Batman comics. Batman, played by Robert Pattinson, battles Paul Dano as The Riddler, a sadistic serial killer, who begins murdering key political figures in Gotham City. Batman is forced to investigate the city’s hidden corruption and question his family’s involvement.

I am looking forward to seeing this latest incarnation of the Batman franchise but I have to own a real nostalgia for the 1960s joyful and rather camp aesthetic of Adam West’s Batman and those opening credits “Na na na na na na na na na Batman!”