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Birds…and other Wildlife

Trevor Taylor, at the wheel of a Lotus 24-Climax, on his way to 2nd place in the 1962 Dutch Grand Prix. Photo: Paul Meis

It’s nice to be asked back! (Taylor was featured in an interview in VRJ in March 1999). Especially to talk about the old days and the people I found so interesting. I always considered that I was lucky to have been close to some of the real characters of the time – Jim Clark, of course, and Colin Chapman, and Innes Ireland. I’ve said before that Innes and I almost had it out in the streets of Reims! But Chapman was behind that. I see there’s a new book coming out on Chapman and it’s going to tell some stories people likely haven’t heard before.

Innes got the boot from Lotus because he was coming up to his third year and Colin didn’t want to pay the additional bonuses, except to Jimmy. So Innes got the push and I was in, but no one ever told me what was going on. I got my 25% of the prize and bonus money the first year and somehow I didn’t get told I was supposed to get 33% the second year. But to tell you the truth, the money didn’t matter very much then. Colin was always going on about how tight things were! I kind of agreed with everything he said to me, from the time I was doing some Formula 2 races in the old Lotus 18 at Crystal Palace, the car with the Colotti ‘straight-push’ gearbox, which we cleaned up with. Chapman more or less said at that time, “Trevor, you will be in Formula One,” and I believed him, and went along with what he said. That’s really why I went out to Africa for the non-championship races at the end of 1961. I had been doing a lot of other racing….saloon cars, sports cars…..things the F1 boys don’t know anything about these days.

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