Winfield and Charterhall

Jim heard that Ecurie Ecosse were testing the Jaguars at Winfield, so he cycled six miles, climbed through a fence to watch and hid when challenged but he did make contact with the team.

The first motor race he saw was at Charterhall near Duns, in October 1952. For a small Scottish meeting, it had a star-studded cast, with Giuseppe Farina from Italy driving the Thinwall Special. They did not impress Jim. It was the incredible sound of Farina’s 4.5 litre v12 that transfixed the schoolboy, who would go on to eclipse Farina, the cool Italian aristocrat.

Cloth cap, racing number in sticky tape. Amateur motor sport at its happiest - Jim Clark in Sunbeam © Graham Gauld

Cloth cap, racing number in sticky tape. Amateur
motor sport at its happiest – Jim Clark in Sunbeam
© Graham Gauld

Jim had taken his father’s Sunbeam Mark III on Young Farmers’ Rallies. It handled extremely well. As soon as he became a licensed driver, Jim took part in a Berwick and District Motor Club Autotest meeting at Winfield. Drivers were timed and judged on accuracy and precision rather than speed. Jim enjoyed flinging the Sunbeam round pylons and won but he was disqualified for not being a member of the B&DMC. He was not best pleased. As a result he refused to join the club. Later he took wry satisfaction in being awarded honorary life membership when he became world champion. Among friends there was little doubt about his potential, every step on the driving ladder was marked by distinction.

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