Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Landar R6 in full Technicolor

While I am working on Maximum Mini 3, messages about cars that have been featured in the previous two books continue to come in, too. And the one I received today from Graham Nevill is a particularly great one. He writes: "Hi Jeroen, I have been a fan of your site for a long time now and especially enjoy any articles regarding Landar cars as my father campaigned an R6 in the early 70’s. At the time when I was about 16, I took some 8mm cine footage which I have finally had scanned and uploaded, I am sure you will enjoy it ! There is very little period amateur motor racing film around and none featuring Landars, so quite rare. Wish I had taken a lot more at the time!"

Graham's great video - 9 minutes no less, can be seen below here, but Graham adds some more information about the car, too: "My father, Gordon Nevill, started motor racing with his work colleague and friend Frank Aston, of whom mention has been made on your site, as his old R7 which he acquired new from Landars, has just resurfaced in Germany (click here). They were both directors of a metal recycling business in Ironbridge, Shropshire and started racing using increasing tuned minis, competing in local hillclimbs, sprints and then circuits such as Silverstone etc. After being introduced to the Radnall brothers, Frank bought his first Landar, an R6 in about 1971 and this was soon followed by the blue 1300cc R7. A dizzying selection of racing cars then passed through Franks hands including a Chevron B8, B16 and B19, McLaren M1a, Gropa (a coupe B8 with Ford power) and the Astra - which is the car in the footage. Finally he commissioned the one and only R8 new from Landars but only used it for a couple of events. He then gave up racing for the golf course in about 1975. My father had a Chevron B8 after the Mini but then bought the R6 in 1973, apparently it was the last R6 made by Radnalls. This R6 was fitted with the 1275 bored to 1300 and later in his ownership had the 8-port Arden cross flow head fitted which was quite exotic for the day. Due to their many dealings with Clive and Peter Radnall they became family friends and one time Clive treated us to a flight over the Birmingham area, taking us up in his private single engine plane. After he finished racing in 1975, meetings with Clive and Peter became less frequent but I did have the pleasure of seeing Peter about 5 years ago, in his 70’s now, compete at Loton Park hillclimb when he hurled a motor bike powered little rocket ship of a single seater up the hill with great skill. My father always loved the R6, finding it a beautifully handling little machine and I was quite involved as well changing wheels and simple mechanical work etc. I would of course love to know what has happened to it over the years and still think the R6 would make a lovely little road/track day car."

That is some fantastic footage Graham, thank you for sharing! I do not know about the current whereabouts of the car, but it could be one of the R6s that have ended up in Japan. I saw what was believed to be the ex-John Handley and Barry Pearson works car in the Maruyama collection, but I'm not sure about that. It was silver grey too. Perhaps another reader will know more?

Video courtesy Graham Nevill

This R6, in the Maruyama collection is believed to be the ex-John Handley car. I don't know
Picture Jeroen Booij

This good looking Landar R6 shows up in Japan every now and then, but I do not know more about it
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

Another mystery Landar R6 in Japan. an air dam has been added to the front at some point
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

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