Don Barrow Autobiography 1974 - 2000 Special Stage 4
And so after a long rest I partnered 'Whizzo' on the RAC Golden Fifty Rally in his dear old Dad's immaculate Austin A35. I had managed to find my two old sets of Dunlop Rally overalls just to add to the atmosphere.
On the Claret & Classic's, Tony Mason navigated me in my TR3a in 1987. And in 1988 I Navigated a local Macclesfield funeral director (just the man for Regularity? well you would have thought so) also in my TR3a and John Hopwood navigated me again in 1989.
L to R - Ian Charnock, Brian Wood, Tony Mason the 'Barrow Boy', Mike Street, Phil Simister & John Hopwood.
In the accompanying photo we are about to Start at 22.58hrs the Plot & Bash night section using Map Refences on the Circuit of Ireland Retro rally. This was a damn good thrash and we only lost a single minute on the very last section, finishing at about 03.00hrs - Some of the sections were quite tight and at one point going down a long steep hill, 'Hoppy' was complaining about his brakes were not holding, I said, "well use your bloody gearbox then" "Oh right then" was the reply ! - We then had to make our way to our Hotel (Bones O'Conner's I think) which we then discovered was only 90 miles away !! And with an 09.00hrs re-Start we just about had time for breakfast - This event and our car was featured in Autosport - I also navigated Peter Banham in a Triumph 2000 but I cannot remember what year it was - Think it might have been 1999
A Facebook comment by Robert Holmes
I remember you and Peter Banham in a Triumph 2000. I think the year was 1998. I didn't compete that year but my wife and I manned the IN control at the supper halt on Friday night prior to the night navigation test. I can remember telling my wife that the legendary Don Barrow had just clocked IN.
Two Morecambe Illuminations 1990/1 with Bobby Parkes in a Riley 1.5, an Illuminations in Neil Wilson's Porsche 356.
In 1998 Peter Banham and I Rallied Henry Gastall's ex-works Triumph 2000 on the Circuit of Ireland Retro.
Sporting Eric's famous 'Cats Whiskers' Spot light covers. We have just given them all a good feed and they are all raring to go.
Unfortunately we were seeded number 1 and as such, sometimes you have to endure the perils of the game.
This happened on a mountain road due to the extreme wind chill factor blowing across a junction from the right, the road at this point became a glacier and we skated into an oncoming vehicle, it was the coldest place I have ever experienced. We were very lucky to have a lift to the overnight stop in Aix-le-Bains by a Swedish Television crew, whom I managed to flag down at the scene.
As you can see, the Cats luckily survived !
However you can always count on Whizzo to bring Home the bacon, even if it's a few years late ! He'd even brought the original tissue paper which it had been wrapped in and stuffed it in my top pocket.
We also won several 12 car events within our local 'Historic rally car Register' section and one of my original Motor Clubs, Knutsford & District MC.
Recently Nigel Raeburn of KDMC produced a nice little booklet promoting the Club and in there it showed a list of the past winners of 'The Navigator of the Year Awards' and low and behold in 1959 it was won by Don Barrow.
But what a pleasure to navigate and pressurise a skilled driver for more speed in such a powerful and agile car. A super 'Magic Carpet' indeed.
One year down in the West Country we were leading Paul Minassian in his Healey 3000, on a simple link up road section, David was driving on his own with one of my 'Glowlight' route card holders, needless to say both Co-drivers were resting. As we neared the crowded Time Control at a Village Inn, the two noisy Healey's overshot the junction into the Control and both the embarrassed Co-drivers were immediately put on 'Red Alert'. As I was alighting with my road book in the Control area, Paul Minassian shouted across to my driver, "you can't get the staff at any price these days" which caused great hilarity with the spectators. All good fun, providing you have time in hand. There's no way we would have dared to allow the drivers to navigate if the time schedules had been tighter, they are usually like boats without rudders !