Car owner Noelle Durkerley says she’s coming ‘home’
A famous green-colored racing car, nicknamed “Kermit” after the frog character from the vintage children’s TV show The Muppet Show, will return to the island for the Manx Classic.
The 1951 Frazer Nash Le Mans Bristol 2-litre straight-6 engine will compete in the three-day event – with three hill climbs including The Sloc Hillclimb, Port Erin; Hillclimb from Creg Willey, Glen Helen; and Lhergy Frissell Hillclimb, Ramsey, from April 28.
With a checkered history, the car received 1st place in its class in the 1951 Alpine Trial, Coupe des Alpes and Autocar Cup, driven by British racing driver Eric Winterbottom.
At his next race – the 1951 RAC TT at Dundrod, Ireland – Winterbottom was tragically killed when the car rolled over.
The vehicle was inherited by new owner Noelle Dunkerley, from her late father Alan Dunkerley of Ballakilpheric, Colby, who purchased the car in 1997.
But it was Paul Flett, Ms Dunkerley’s business partner, who restored the car to its original pale green colour, matching the contemporary paintwork to the traces of the original color found under its dashboard.
The car was nicknamed Kermit when the owner‘s his daughter participated in the FNCC rally ‘Raiders of the Lost Park’ in 1998, with her grandfather.
The car is currently with Frazer Nash pundit Patrick Blakeney Edwards and the Blakeney Motorsport, UK team in preparation for the upcoming races.
After the Manx Classic, the Dunkerley family hope to be invited to the Goodwood Revival and possibly the Le Mans Classic.
1951 Silverstone 1 hour race, Eric Winterbottom 4th in series
1951 Le Mans, Winterbottom/Marshall 2nd in class 14th overall
1951 Alpine trial. Winterbottom/Duff 1st in his category, Coupe des Alpes and Autocar Cup
1951 RAC TT Dundrod, Ireland. Winterbottom crashed and sadly lost his life
1953 British Empire Trophy, Isle of Man. Black Race 5th in class 19th overall
1953 Silverstone 1 hour race. Black race 8th in class, 27th overall
1953 Wakefield Trophy. Black 1st in class, 6th overall
1953 Goodwood 9 Hour Race. Black and Fairman races – unranked
1956-7 Driven by Hamish Orr-Ewing, several hits
The car raced at Snetterton, Crystal Palace, Silverstone, Goodwood, Curragh, Stapleford, Shelsley and Ragley PK.
For more information on the Manx Classic event, see HERE.