03 Nov Rear-view mirror: A Dunlop story
Some interesting historic images from FMM’s and the Mike & Wendy Monk photo archives, some with a story, others without. This month a Dunlop story, but nothing to do with tyres…
One of South Africa’s lesser-known motor sport personalities was Bill Dunlop. Born in Brakpan in 1922, both his parents had died by the time he was 13 and he was adopted by the parents of another racing legend, George Cannell. Bill proved to be an accomplished sportsman, but got hooked on motor racing when, with George; he attended the last race at the Lord Howe circuit in 1940. A year or so later, George bought the ex-Mario Massacurati/Nuvolari Maserati 6C Type 34 from Jack McNicol and Bill’s racing desire was really ignited from then on. Bill took part in his first race at the Alan Reeve circuit outside Pretoria just after the war. He drove a 3,5-litre 1938 Jaguar SS – with worn tyres! – in a handicap event , and finished second.
But Bill had a deeper interest in midget-car racing and raced these around the country, being particularly successful with his Miller-Chev No.5, setting lap records in the process. When midgets began to fade, he turned to racing 500cc single-seaters. In the late-1950s Bill worked overseas for Lotus before returning to SA and racing a variety of cars with ongoing success in club events.