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Jerry Mahony

Jerry Mahony Racing Pictures

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Hi Guys

As I have managed to finally master how to scan and load photos I thought I would start a separate thread for the pictures I am going to load. That way they will not get lost in the 'body' of the site. 

From being on this site from time to time over the last 2/3 years it is clear that most of the followers want to see pictures of the cars from back in the day. I have quite a large collection of pictures, most of which have not been seen before. I have started scanning these into my computer and it is my intention to start posting these on this site where I am sure they will be appreciated. I am not going to put them all on at once but will do it over a period of months as I load them, as there are an awful lot ! They are not all of my car(s) racing, but some are related pictures around the paddock etc that you all hopefully may find interesting. Where possible  I will try and give some background to the picture(s) if I can remember, as I know a lot of you like the stories that go with the pictures.

I have also over the last few months found the unseen footage of the 88 BTCC that did not make it on to the TV or the end of season season review , that was financed by Kaliber. It is my intention to get the footage taken off VHS and digitalised, from where I should be able to put it on You Tube and supply links. I have also found the original film that Firestone did, although this is not strictly RS500 it is Sierra Cosworth and was professionally made. As far as I am aware this may be the only copy left and there is certainly nothing anywhere on the net.

The first two pictures are of the 89 BTCC car, the first one taken at the chicane at Thruxton, I am being chased by Sean Walker and Chris Hodgetts. I don't really remember this race, unlike the 88 Thruxton races which were epic battles. The second picture is obviously at Silverstone on the GP circuit at the old Bridge corner. I don't think this is the Grand Prix meeting as there are not enough people in the background ! However in the other race I did have a battle with Karl Jones and at the end of the race with Smithy. You will note on the first picture I was running Dunlop tyres but on the second Pirelli, I switched mid-way through the season in a desperate bid to find more performance (which I did not). The car looks great in both these shots, the 89 livery was a lot more balanced. 

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RS 500 1 001.jpg

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Awesome Jerry, were really lucky to have you on board on this web site, my 5 year old little boy was watching the 88 & 89 btcc over the weekend, he loves it, great pic on him up at Brands last year.

 

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17 hours ago, Paul B said:

Awesome Jerry, were really lucky to have you on board on this web site, my 5 year old little boy was watching the 88 & 89 btcc over the weekend, he loves it, great pic on him up at Brands last year.

 

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There is nothing like starting them young Paul!

I have enclosed today a picture of the 88 car at Silverstone during it's initial 'shakedown' following its build by Roger Dowson Engineering. Most of you know already that this car was built from a bare shell with a Rouse kit of parts. The first shell although it was seam welded (by Dowson) it had a bolt in cage. This shell was changed during the winter of 88/89 to include various mods and upgrades.

The test took place during late February 1988. The car only ran for about 5 laps and then detonated it's engine. That was the first of about 18 engines that we used during the 88 season.It was a very cold day, although dry, we were the first of the 'new batch' of RS 500's to run.

We had the car out again at Silverstone week later and put some mileage on it, that was followed a few days later with a test at Oulton.

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Hi Jerry

 

Thanks so much for posting these fantastic pictures .

Pictures are great but with the stories to go with them makes them so much more special

we MUST find this car and get it back looking how it did back in the day

I never knew you reshelled the car , so this means there are 2 shells to look out for

 

Paul

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He has been brought up on rs500's Jerry, he plays for hours with hot wheels and matchbox cars, much rather that than him stuck in front of a tv or tablet/computer. He plays out full races, and he very excited, as we just recv'd our tickets for the speedfest at brand in june, and we have got grid passes.

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These next two pictures are from round 1 of the 1988 BTCC at Silverstone, which is the only BTCC race I ever won. The first picture is the car just pulling up on the grid following the slowing down lap for the presentations. There are a lot of people already on the grid, because I had to circulate really slowly to get the temperature of the turbo down before stopping.The guy behind the back of the car with the glasses was a chap called Spencer Hall, he was actually the guy who lobbied  the BBC, along with Steve Rider to take the first race as a taster. Spencer did a massive amount of work behind the scenes to promote the series and get it televised and in true motor racing fashion he was used, abused and then spat out and forgotten about. He is the man who should be credited for making what the BTCC is today, because without him it would never have got that first pilot show. Don't forget Mike Smith (RIP) in this regard either.. Bare in mind the BBC never filmed the series, it was filmed by BHP Sport ( a private production company) funded by myself, Arquati and Kaliber. The BBC only agreed to show one race initially. This was first aired on a program called Sport on Friday and was on at a really stupid time, I think 2-00pm on a Friday afternoon when most people were at work. None the less it did the trick, especially as there was a great story with me, an outsider and novice winning the race!

The second picture is of my old friend Frank Sytner who had one Class B in his M3, you can see the TV cameras are very much in our faces.

It is hard to explain to you guys what a big deal getting this series televised was then, remember no satellite TV yet, well there was but it was really expensive so very few people had it. Formula 1 just got 30 minutes at 9-30 on BBC 2 on a Sunday night and then not all the races. Motor sport was seen as elitist so was not really shown at all. There was just 4 channels to chose from to watch, nothing at all like today when absolutely everything is televised. That's why a few of us were catapulted into the limelight and became more or less household names overnight, more so when the series became a regular on BBC Grandstand from the second race onwards. This did cause quite a lot of jealousy and resentment within the motorsport world, but don't get me started on that one!

My friend Frank has now retired as a tax exile and lives in Monaco, the size of his (ex) BMW empire needs no introduction to most of you who will have heard of Sytner BMW. I haven't seen him for about 11 years, last time I saw him he was learning to fly helicopters, a little late in life for that I feel Frank!

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Funny how we all just take for granted the coverage they got back then , we dont think about anything you mention above Jerry , and have no idea how hard it was back then to get any tv coverage

I just said to Joanne as i read your posts to her how very respectful you always are to all the others around you at that time , Mike Smith is a name that comes up many times by you as a big credit to the sport

I obviously wasnt there but feel Mike got a hard time when really he didnt deserve it

I quess his fame at the time went against him in many ways

I cant tell you how proud i am that you have chosen to put these fantastic pictures on here for us all to see and read

Once the word gets out about your recent updates i feel the website will get much more trafic

Thanks again Jerry

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I used to listen to Mike Smith on a Monday morning on Radio 1 during the drive to work and he used to talk a lot about his 500 race the day before, that got me into the btcc, before then I had seen a few 3drs running around and had fallen in love, but did not know a great deal about the 500 version. Bought my first 3dr 18 months later, I was 21 years old and it took every penny I had, and then some, but oh boy did I find every excuse under the sun just to take it out for a spin, a year or so later and the arse fell out of the market for cosworths, could not give the bloody things away for a long time! how times change :-)

Your scheme was always my favourite one Jerry. Thanks for the photos and stories, looking forward to the rest.

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Paul you are right Mike did a lot more for the sport than he has ever been credited with, but motor sport is like that, there are a lot of takers and very little praise and appreciation given out, its all those egos! 

The next picture is one of my favourites with the RS 500 up on two wheels. We had a big problem with this during the early part of 88, if I went near a kerb the car would hump right up in the air.The problem was made worse by the Dunlop slicks we used which were crossplies! This was cured by re-engineering the suspension and changing the roll centres on the car. This actual picture was used by Dunlop for a series of adverts in magazines, which I have a copy of somewhere and will post. There is a piece of footage somewhere with the car way up on two wheels and Graham Goode driving underneath me!

The second picture is of my (Fords) RS500, as it was then, when it had just been delivered to the house, my son, now 27 is on the boot and my daughter, now 30, is standing behind. I was driving a Ferrari 328GTS as my daily transport at that time but started using the RS500 instead. I blew the engine up when it was 3 weeks old! The car was sent to Malden and Mountune built me a 'hot' road engine for it, I think about 360hp, which was a lot then. I used to get through a set of rear tyres in 9000 miles. This car is due to be restored soon and doubtless I will be talking to Mr. Linfoot about that particular issue!

The third picture was taken on the pit straight at Silverstone, Italian Mafia, Men in Black are comments that have been muted before ! These are actually the sales reps for Arquati who had just taken delivery of new black Sierra's and it was a shot that was used in Ford Fleet News I think. The keen eyed amongst you will see the discreet coach-lines with Arquati on the front wings. Arquati were very concerned with portraying a high profile Corporate image right across their company and everything that they were involved with. My team which was equipped like a Formula 1 team of the time fitted this profile well. Again this profile did not always endear me to my fellow competitors who felt the series had become to professional and up-market. In real terms if you want to attract large amounts of sponsorship you have to portray your team this way. It worked because we raised £250K sponsorship for 88 and slightly more for 89. From what I am told the current BTCC teams struggle to get this level of backing.

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I recall you saying before that your road RS500 has had a life and a bit of a brush with a deer!

Perfect donor for a full on replica of your race car ;) all the uprated parts are out there again.

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Hi Guys

Yes I did hit a deer in the road car in 88 which pretty much demolished the front of the car, it was close to being a write off. But there used to be a company in Camberley called R P Mc Gregor who specialised in restoring old Rolls Royces, their paint shop manager was a guy called John Major, who came to look at the car and reckoned he could repair it, which they did. When I got the car back 5 weeks later it was absolutely fantastic, they had replaced both inner wings and all the front and you really could not tell it had been repaired. The car now is in a sad state as I left it outside for more or less all the 90's, sorry, but it is complete and I will get it restored. I would not want to break it up to do a race replica.

When we changed the shell on the BTCC car at the end of 88, the bare (88) shell was sold to a guy called Simon who lived in Worcesteshire, it is this shell that I am trying to find and have made some progress with. The 89 car was sold complete to Japan and seems to be long gone. I thought I had a lead on it 6 months ago but it was not the right car as it did not have the chassis number on that was stamped in a particular place, that should still be there. There are some people out there who seem happy to try and mis-represent these cars as being something that they are not and charging big bucks for the privilege. I certainly wasted a lot of time and money on what turned out to be a wild goose chase 6 months ago. Likewise if I do manage to track down the 88 shell this also has a chassis number stamped in that should still be there. And before anyone asks, no I am not telling what the numbers are or where they are.

The problem with the 88 shell was that it was not stiff enough and used to twist ( it regularly used to crack the screen) so we built another shell at the end of 88 that was stiffer, all the suspension, engine, etc was transferred over from the 88 car. Obviously if your shell is twisting this effects the suspension geometry and we thought this may have been the problem we had as the car was not that good in the dry, but ok in the wet., which of course can 'mask' problems.Likewise it was quick round Birmingham, which again was very,very, bumpy at speed, which again bumps can mask/lessen chassis problems.

The chassis numbers came about because I was VAT registered and I used to claim all this VAT back when we were building the cars, but then the cars would be broken up or sold and HMRC were not happy, as they never got any VAT paid back on them afterwards!!!!  They did an inspection and saw all these different Cosworths at the workshop at Silverstone and said, 'how are we supposed to know which is which car'. Bare in mind you had the BTCC car, the show car, 2 Firestone Sierra's, Bristow's prod saloon Sierra and always two new motor sport shells in the workshop ready in case one or other was crashed.I told the VAT man that each car had a different livery, they were not happy as they said the livery was only stickers and could be moved around, as if we would dare do something like that!!!! The VAT man insisted that we put chassis numbers on the cars so they could tell them apart. I only know the numbers that were put on both BTCC shells, I am not sure what was put on the Firestone cars although I do know the shells were numbered.  

So I enclose some pictures of the different Cosworths that were at the workshop at any one time.The first picture is of the show car, the second of Marks Firestone car, next is a shell in part-build state not sure which one! Then you have the Group N Cosworth,note new Metro Turbo shell in build in background, next one is my Firestone car and finally the 88 BTCC car. I don't have a picture of the Bristow car which was also there.

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Thanks again for the pics and the info on the chassis numbers and both shells. Info on 500's that drove in Japan is hard to come by unfortunatly.

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I have a couple of pictures now that have not been on general release. The first one is a press shot from the 1988 Tourist Trophy at Silverstone, although we did not actually use this picture. You can see the car already has it's number 40 on and I am pictured with my co-driver, Mark Hales and our time keeper for that event Kevin Broadhurst. We were running a lower boost engine for that event because as far as I can remember it was about 4 hours long. From memory I think there were about 65 cars arrived, from all over the world, to try and qualify for maybe 43 grid slots, but remember this was to cover 4 classes, so not all the entered Class A runners would get to race, we did go quick enough to qualify. I remember an Alfa in qualifying trying to get round the old Abbey curve flat and failing. Abbey was a 155mph corner that really was a seat of the pants corner, if you got it wrong you were going to have a massive crash and this Alfa did, right in front of me, I remember driving over bits of Alfa at 150mph, hoping I was not going to hit the driver, but going to fast to do anything about it. When I pitted we had to fit a new front bumper/splitter as bits of Alfa had destroyed it. That was the race where I first met DJ, who blew everyone into the weeds with his qualifying time,he should have won the race, but he got a water leak. I know there has been a lot of discussion about DJ and this race on this forum before, you all know my views, I just think he did a better job, some thought he was cheating. Anyway it was a great race, we did finish, but I think we were 16th or something. It was my second TT, I had co-driven a Belgian entered Holden V8 in 1987, that car made a great noise. I always said it was worth a second a lap if the car sounded good!!

The second shot is the team shot taken at the end of the year, it was taken on the infield of Stowe corner at Silverstone. I had the picture printed and put on the front of the Christmas cards that we sent out to all the other teams, just for a wind-up, it worked, some of the comments I couldn't put on here. I spent a great deal of time winding up the other guys as a few of them took themselves to seriously, not mentioning any names Robb! Tim! & particularly O'Brien in the Commodore, he hasn't changed much even today! We also sent one to Bernie Ecclestones office as a wind-up, with a note asking him if he realised that some of the BTCC teams appeared to be more professional and have better equipment/vehicles than the F1 teams, not to mention better TV coverage.Needless to say we never got a reply.

Just found another shot from the TT this was my old friend Murray Walker interviewing Mark and I before the race, not sure which TV channel that went out on, not the BBC anyway.

The helicopter became my regular transport to the circuits for testing/races. I could get home from Oulton Park quicker than some of my pals could get out of the car park there. 4 hours driving home on a Sunday night, down the M6, or 55 minutes in the Jetranger.

 

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Jerry that must have been amazing to have been part of such a professional well backed financial team. I brought robb gravitt's road rs500 off him a couple of years ago, we had a long chat in his car waiting for the people to turn up to allow us into the storage where his car was, to think he struggled to get the money together just for fuel for the race....

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On 11/02/2016 at 0:29 PM, Jerry Mahony said:

Paul you are right Mike did a lot more for the sport than he has ever been credited with, but motor sport is like that, there are a lot of takers and very little praise and appreciation given out, its all those egos! 

The next picture is one of my favourites with the RS 500 up on two wheels. We had a big problem with this during the early part of 88, if I went near a kerb the car would hump right up in the air.The problem was made worse by the Dunlop slicks we used which were crossplies! This was cured by re-engineering the suspension and changing the roll centres on the car. This actual picture was used by Dunlop for a series of adverts in magazines, which I have a copy of somewhere and will post. There is a piece of footage somewhere with the car way up on two wheels and Graham Goode driving underneath me!

The second picture is of my (Fords) RS500, as it was then, when it had just been delivered to the house, my son, now 27 is on the boot and my daughter, now 30, is standing behind. I was driving a Ferrari 328GTS as my daily transport at that time but started using the RS500 instead. I blew the engine up when it was 3 weeks old! The car was sent to Malden and Mountune built me a 'hot' road engine for it, I think about 360hp, which was a lot then. I used to get through a set of rear tyres in 9000 miles. This car is due to be restored soon and doubtless I will be talking to Mr. Linfoot about that particular issue!

The third picture was taken on the pit straight at Silverstone, Italian Mafia, Men in Black are comments that have been muted before ! These are actually the sales reps for Arquati who had just taken delivery of new black Sierra's and it was a shot that was used in Ford Fleet News I think. The keen eyed amongst you will see the discreet coach-lines with Arquati on the front wings. Arquati were very concerned with portraying a high profile Corporate image right across their company and everything that they were involved with. My team which was equipped like a Formula 1 team of the time fitted this profile well. Again this profile did not always endear me to my fellow competitors who felt the series had become to professional and up-market. In real terms if you want to attract large amounts of sponsorship you have to portray your team this way. It worked because we raised £250K sponsorship for 88 and slightly more for 89. From what I am told the current BTCC teams struggle to get this level of backing.

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Hi Jerry,

What a very interesting and great bit of reading.

Do you still own the road going RS500 E198 APU? 

What a small world I own E197 APU.

Steve.

RS 500 Jan 06 001.jpg

RS 500 Jan 06 004.jpg

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Hi Steve

Yes, I still have her but not looking anything like yours. It is the next car I have to get restored. Your car has an interesting past as it is one of the 5 'works' cars  E195- E200, these were given to drivers of the day, one was a press car and I know E200 was the BRSCC pace car at Brands. The first owner of your car should be Ford Motor Company. Have you got the ownership details from DVLA. These 5 cars were on loan for a year and then taken back, except mine which I purchased from Ford.

Robb Gravetts old RS500 was restored twice once in about 1996 and once around 2005 I think. I went with Robb in about 1994 to Essex where he bought the car from Graham Hathaway. He then used it regularly for a year or so before like me leaving it out to rot! Sorry guys, but in the mid 90's these cars really got a bad reputation and were driven by some real idiots, plus they were always getting stolen. You really did not want to be seen in one in the 90's, that is why a few of us stopped using them and they were left to the elements, probably hard to understand now. I did see Robbs car when Ian Donaldson had it for sale, whom I guess you bought it off.

There's no secrets with these cars is there???? If I had been caught in a lay-by with a bird in mine I bet you would all know about it!

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Hi Jerry,

I was aware that my car was possibly a press car or "works" car as you suggest, not sure of the differences. I had noticed that a few cars featured in magazines back in the day seemed to start with anything from E199, 200, 201, 202, 203 APU. Thats interesting that the Brands pace car was E200 APU. 

What reg was Robb Gravetts old road car?

Mine only has 1 previous keeper on the log book and that was as you mentioned Ford Motor Company. The story goes with mine, it was leant by Fords to a Film Director so the car could be seen in all the right places. Then Fords either let him keep the car or he brought it for a reasonable figure. Then the car had very little if any use for many years until i brought it ten years ago. Since then i've only done about 3,000 miles. Its still on original D40 tyres and standard exhaust system.

They do attract a fair amount of attention, sometimes thats not always good ;-)

 

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6 hours ago, Jerry Mahony said:

Hi Steve

Yes, I still have her but not looking anything like yours. It is the next car I have to get restored. Your car has an interesting past as it is one of the 5 'works' cars  E195- E200, these were given to drivers of the day, one was a press car and I know E200 was the BRSCC pace car at Brands. The first owner of your car should be Ford Motor Company. Have you got the ownership details from DVLA. These 5 cars were on loan for a year and then taken back, except mine which I purchased from Ford.

Robb Gravetts old RS500 was restored twice once in about 1996 and once around 2005 I think. I went with Robb in about 1994 to Essex where he bought the car from Graham Hathaway. He then used it regularly for a year or so before like me leaving it out to rot! Sorry guys, but in the mid 90's these cars really got a bad reputation and were driven by some real idiots, plus they were always getting stolen. You really did not want to be seen in one in the 90's, that is why a few of us stopped using them and they were left to the elements, probably hard to understand now. I did see Robbs car when Ian Donaldson had it for sale, whom I guess you bought it off.

There's no secrets with these cars is there???? If I had been caught in a lay-by with a bird in mine I bet you would all know about it!

 

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Hi Steve

Your car was probably lent to Barry Hinchcliffe, his company was BHP Productions who filmed the series right up until 199-something, I am sure Barry had a black RS500, but I am sure I would have noticed if it was only 1 digit different to mine, so the plot thickens. I do know that E197 was not used by another racing driver.In years to come, way after I am gone, I would imagine that it will be these ex-Ford cars that become worth the 'real' money, if other cars from the past are anything to go by.

Today's pictures both come from  Thruxton 88. The first one is just before I punted Guy Edwards off in the chicane. Guy Edwards for those of you who don't know was the Formula 1 driver who dragged Nicky Lauda out of his burning car in 1976 at the Nurburgring, he received the Queens Gallantry Medal for that, he was also the man who the arranged the Silk Cut sponsorship on the Jaguar sports prototypes of that era. He also put the deal together with Kaliber to sponsor the two Rouse cars and fancied a go himself, once he got to grips with the cars he was pretty handy. The reason I punted him off was that he was blasting away from me on the fast bits and then I was all over him in the bends and I couldn't get past him, it was just sheer frustration on my part, not that that excuses such behaviour! Sorry just found another picture of the 'punt' itself. A good set I think!

The second picture shows the car a lap later on the same bend this time sporting the damage from my assault on Guy.

Jonny Dumphries who had just won the Le Mans 24 hour race in a Jaguar partnered Guy in the two driver race at Donington. I remember talking to Jonny after he had driven the Sierra for the first time and he could not believe how fast and difficult to handle they were.Many top F1 and Sportscar drivers who drove the Group A RS500's felt the same way, one got the feeling that they had a new respect for the drivers of these beasts after they had sampled the cars for themselves.

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