Auto NewsClassic Nostalgia welcomes the Surtees that caused an F1 TV boycott!

Classic Nostalgia welcomes the Surtees that caused an F1 TV boycott!

Infamous F1 car will join amazing array of race and rally machinery at Shelsley Walsh.

The latest entry for the Classic Nostalgia weekend at Shelsley Walsh is the Surtees TS19 that caused such a controversy when it first appeared in 1976 that it led to British television companies refusing to broadcast Formula 1 racing.

Team boss John Surtees had done a sponsorship deal with the London Rubber Company that resulted in one of his cars wearing the logo of Durex condoms, which the BBC and ITV both considered to be unacceptable for daytime family viewing.

The result was a moral panic among television executives and a complete blackout that became more difficult to sustain as the year went on. The 1976 season was one of the most exciting of all time and the battle between James Hunt and Niki Lauda captivated audiences around the world. By the time of the title showdown in Japan, both the BBC and ITV had relented and carried highlights of the race in which Hunt dramatically won the title.

Classic Nostalgia welcomes the Surtees that caused an F1 TV boycott!

The Surtees TS19 that will be at Classic Nostalgia was raced by future World Champion Alan Jones in 1976 and finished second in that year’s Race of Champions. Brett Lunger and Conny Andersson also drove it during the course of the season and it raced on into 1977 and 1978. Stocky Italian Vittorio Brambilla drove it on a number of occasions, and in 1977 Patrick Tambay attempted to make his Grand Prix debut in it, but sadly he failed to qualify in France. The late Tambay went on to have a successful career with teams such as McLaren, Ferrari and Renault.

The TS19’s final outing came during practice for the 1978 British Grand Prix, where it was driven by promising youngster Rupert Keegan. Forty-five years later – almost to the day – it will be back in action at Shelsley Walsh, where it will be joined by a spectacular entry that ranges from a thunderous Can-Am BRM P167 to a mouth-watering array of Group A, Group B and WRC rally cars from Ralli22.

Classic Nostalgia welcomes the Surtees that caused an F1 TV boycott!

Highlights of the weekend will include a collection of cars celebrating 65 years of the British Touring Car Championship, 90 years of ERA and Railton, and 60 years of both McLaren and the legendary Mini Cooper S. Special guests will include famous racers such as Ian Flux, John Fitzpatrick, Warwick Banks and Mike Wilds, while the Classic & Sports Car Concours d’Elegance is set to return on Sunday 23 July.

Classic Nostalgia has become a popular fixture among car clubs, with more than 30 having already registered their attendance, and away from the hillclimb action, visitors will be able to browse the quality trade stands and enjoy non-stop live entertainment.

Discounted Early Bird tickets are available until the end of April. There are also a limited number of places left in the Startline VIP Club, which is a new addition to the event for 2023.

Find more info:
Classic Nostalgia

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