4y ago

70s Road Sports remain true to Guy Griffiths original ethos that in order to preserve them ‘historic cars should not be modified inappropriately beyond their original specification’.

Born in 1916 Guy was a sickly child and his passion for cars and photography was kindled by his nurse. By the time he took his first self-portrait when he was just 5 years old, Guy already knew he wanted to be a racing driver.

Leaving school at 16 he started trading cars when he was just 18 and entered his first race at Donington in 1935. Working for Napier at Brooklands during the war Guy formed a life long friendship with Motor Sports Continental Correspondent Denis Jenkinson.

After the war Guy returned to the motor trade and rekindled his passion for photography attending virtually every race meeting held in the UK between 1946 to 1953.

Whilst continuing to compete in the occasional club event Guy’s business interests diversified and following the austerity of the war years he discovered a burgeoning market for glamorous lingerie.

In the early 60’s whilst struck down by a serious illness Guy devised an equalizing formula that would allow 50s sports cars to remain competitive with newer models and created the Griffiths Formula.

Guy found support for his idea from Betty Haig, a co-founder of the Frazer Nash Car Club and a pioneering female motorists having brought her first car when she was 16 with a gift of £50 received from a Great Aunt.

Betty Haig used Guy’s Formula as the basis of the Frazer Nash Car Club’s first event The Griffiths Formula race held at Castle Combe on 14 May 1966. The race was flagged away by Guy’s daughter Penny.

Betty was a prolific competitor taking part in many races, rallies and hill climbs over more than 30 years and used the Griffiths Formula races as the swansong to her career. The Griffiths Formula flourished and in 1969 evolved into the Historic Sports Car Club.

Penny had inherited Guy’s talent for racing and with some interesting cars at her disposal enjoyed success in speed trials and club meetings. With her mother’s support Penny established a car museum at the family home in Chipping Campden, with Guys collection of over 20 cars, made up of many interesting cars including 2 Bugatti’s, a Alfa Romeo 8 cylinder Le Mans and 6 Jaguars plus a racing C-Type driven by Stirling Moss and the prototype Jaguar ‘E2A’, said to be the missing link between the D-Type and E-Type.

Guy’s business interests continued to expand into the 1970s and one of his lingerie shops in Brighton was used as the cover shot for Ian Dury’s iconic 1977 album New Boots & Panties.

He maintained his passion for photograph and continued to attend motorsport events well into his 80’s whilst digitizing his archive of more than half a million images. Shortly before Guy’s death a collection of his favourite photographs were published in a book - 1946 AND ALL THAT – still available to order from Amazon.

Win Percy in the 1970s with his Datsun 240Z. The car still competes successfully in the 70s Championship.

Win Percy in the 1970s with his Datsun 240Z. The car still competes successfully in the 70s Championship.

In 1999 Penny entered Guy’s Jaguar D Type into the Goodwood Revival to be driven by Win Percy, this provided him with his introduction to Historic Motorsport and where he enjoyed a successful extension to his career.

Maintaining his connection with the grass roots, Win supports 70s Road Sports Novice Trophy encouraging more drivers to experience Historic Motorsport with the HSCC, continuining the link with Guy Griffiths, his daughter Penny and Betty Haig who were all there at the very beginning of the HSCC story.

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