Crimond: Jim Clark's First Race

After farm tractors and rallies with the family Sunbeam Jim Clark went on to race his friend Ian Scott Watson’s DKW Sonderklasse. Ecurie Agricole was a breezy name for a Young Farmers’ motoring team and in June 1956 the pair drove to Crimond on the north-east tip of Aberdeenshire for a club race on an old airfield.

Eric DymockJim Clark
Scottish Rally: Jim Clark's 100MPH

“We got moving well when suddenly another Healey overtook. That was too much. As we went faster I said for God’s sake canny Jim, steady. But within minutes I relaxed. All his ability was already there. He was an absolute natural.”

Eric DymockJim Clark
Jim Clark, Farmer

Jim Clark left Loretto in 1952 aged 16. He was needed back at the farm. He once said he left when his father realised he was not studious, but there was something apologetic about his assertion that: “Father had no qualms about taking me away from school. He thought I would learn more on the farm than I would from school books.”

Eric DymockJim Clark
Inspiration for Motor Racing

In 1965 Dessin de Boivent Duffar of Champion magazine depicted 15-year-old Jim Clark’s resolve to drive racing cars. In 1951 brother-in-law Alec Calder won races in Ireland with a Riley Nine, a car that set Mike Hawthorn on his way to becoming first British World Champion in 1958.

Eric DymockJim Clark
Jim Clark's Schooldays

Winter term 1949. The Clarks moved to Berwickshire in 1942 and for Winter Term 1949 sent the future world champion to exclusive boarding school Loretto. In 1965 Champion magazine’s Dessin de Boivent Duffar imagined a Dominie’s view: “As always top at running, winner at cricket and hockey but behind in English and Maths”. In the new edition of JIM CLARK, Eric Dymock quotes the late Bill Cormie, Jim’s room-mate at Loretto. “Jim was very self-sufficient. He had few close or special friends. He was quite taciturn but we shared an interest in cars. I was jealous when he came back after half-term and said he’d been driving at 90mph. We didn’t believe him. He was only 14.”

Eric DymockJim Clark