John Sutton was adamant he was the first one to actually place an order with Jem, but for some reason shifted down the waiting list. John raced it to great success in 2 episodes, being divided by a crash and a major rebuild.
Initially registered 8853JH, John competed in hillclimbs and races and clinched the Autosport Championship in 1961. After rebuilding the car, he re-registered the car 80SNK and competed in it internationally. In the 1963 500km at the Nurburgring he drove to a memorable 5th place. The car was sold to Peter Arkins in July 1965 who used it for drag racing, driven by Ken Bunnage. It found its way to the USA and was advertised in Road & Track in 1971 by Rachael Mills in Torrance, California. Then disappeared for almost 40 years.
As 8853 JH: Snetterton 3 hours (1961) – Bodiam Hill Climb (1961) – With winners trophies
At the Nurburgring in 1963
John took part in the World Cup races at Zandvoort in Holland in 1961. The following pictures were kindly supplied by Rob Petersen. The odd wooden car is attracting serious attention from young bystanders!
John has put some wonderful footage on-line:
1961 Autosport championship final at Snetterton
1963 500km at the Nurburgring
1964 500km at the Nurburgring
As advertised in 1971, after which the car disappeared for three decades
As found in California by a Paul Steinbeck, who happened to be a carpenter and saw the car in his next door garden. He saved the wooden car from being scrapped without knowing its history. It is now owned again by its original owner John Sutton and restoration has started.