Two lots of royal horse power to choose from
The weekend was very busy, and as a treat the wife we went to Harrods in London for a meal. After parking the car we walked towards the store and group of people were looking in the window as they normally do. this was little different as it was men looking, I of course need to see what the fuss was all about. This could be a pretty woman in various states of attire, latest gadgets or cars. The fuss was justified because they had James Hunt’s McLaren F1 1976 World Championship car on display. The main reason for the commotion was down to the fact that the women trying to pry the men’s faces of the window while looking at this glorious car. In fact I did see one poor bloke being pulled by the sleeve away from the window, just like you would pull a dog away from your favourite plant when it’s about to cock its leg all over it! This was the original Championship winning car that has been left pretty much untouched since that wonderful era. Some of the photos were taken through the window, sorry for any reflection, and then a few more taken inside. I did have to lay it on a bit thick to the security guard who was keeping an eye on things as I wanted to get closer. To be fair he did let me get onto the stand as I said I was going to put this on my blog. This is a rare chance to see the car up close and in its full glory. The car is still a classic by todays standards with the very distinctive Marlboro livery in place before the advertising route for tobacco all got banned. What I am particularly pleased about is the stone chips on it – the side pods show that this car was indeed the real deal and not a mock up.
Why was the car here? It was a promotion for the new movie about to be released in September call “Rush” by Ron Howard. The film focuses on the rivalry between Lauda and Hunt. I dare say this will be a blue ray added to the collection when it’s released.
A little background:
James Hunt was born James Simon Wallis Hunt on August 29, 1947, Belmont, Sutton, Surrey, England, UK. Died June 15, 993, Wimbledon, London, England, UK. After a fatal heart attack. He was a British race-car driver who won the 1976 Formula One Grand Prix World Championship by one point over his Austrian arch-rival, Niki Lauda. Hunt began racing his own car in Formula Ford events in 1969. He quickly graduated to Formula Three races, his aggressive driving style and several accidents earned him the nickname “Hunt the Shunt.” In 1972 he joined Hesketh Racing, and in 1974 the team moved up to F1 competition. Hunt scored the team’s only F1 victory, in 1975, before Hesketh was shuttered later that year. He signed with the McLaren team in 1976, and in his first season with that team, he edged out Lauda for the F1 title when the Austrian refused to finish the Japan Grand Prix on a rain-soaked track that he considered unsafe.
Although many people considered Hunt’s title to be tarnished as Lauda had missed part of the season after being seriously injured in a fiery crash, his blond good looks, irreverent charm, and playboy personal life made him a popular favourite and brought a glamorous image to the sport. In his seven years on the F1 circuit, Hunt totalled 10 victories and 14 pole positions in 92 Grand Prix races. After a partial season with Wolf Racing, he retired from the sport in 1979, and he thereafter worked as a sportswriter and BBC commentator.
I have an article on James Hunt that I have cobbled together from various sources or click here.
Later that day we had tickets to the Queens Coronation exhibition at Buckingham Palace. I have been there so many times recently it feels like I live there. Anyway, we also had ticket to see the Royal Mews. Now the only horses I like are the virtual sort under the hood, the more the better. But, the mews was more interesting than I was expecting it to be. There were the Royal Ceremonial Coaches there as well as the Queens limo. I have seen these coaches and limo so many times on the telly I have lost count, but it’s not until you see these things close up you realise just how big they are and the amount of craftsmanship involved. I took a few pictures there as they really were interesting.
The Queens own ride has its own unique colour that “only the monarch has and is allowed to use.” I thought the car was black, but it’s a deepest of deep burgundy reds. As for the state coach all in gold it must be about fifteen foot tall and twenty-four foot long. The hand painted works of art on the coach is some serious paint job along with the huge wheels, they are some serious rims!