After the war years in the UK, a certain Churchillian spirit prevailed, which left many with an upbeat feeling, believing there was no goal too great, no mountain too high to attempt. It was just a question of self-belief and tenacity. Indeed, in typical inspirational mode, Sir Winston Churchill once said, “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” This optimistic state of mind lasted for a couple or more generations, but sadly appears severely lacking today. Politically speaking, that mindset seems to have gotten lost in the 21st Century, the UK’s Brexit vote has left nearly half a nation deliberating on how Great Britain will manage without the crutch of the European Union, but enough about politics. Post-war motor racing teams and individuals—privateers to be correct—thought nothing of building their own competition car to compete in whatever series or formula they could, despite having very limited financial means. They were the “underdogs.” Motor racing finances during the late 1950s and early 1960s were very different too.
In European racing, there was very little sponsorship money about, although bigger teams would have fuel and tire company backing without the necessary on-car advertising—most cars raced in national colors in international races and team or individual colors in national events. At that time, motorsport was considered an entertainment, so just like any theatrical performance there was good “box office” money for the stars of the show on a sliding scale even down to the “also ran” at the back of the grid. Starting and prize money allowed some to make a meager living out of the sport, while others who had a reasonable pot in the first instance raced for the love of it. However, the adage “how do you make a small fortune out of motor racing? Start with a big one,” still applied.
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