FROM THE ARCHIVES

 

While doing some research as the recently appointed Archivist for the HRCA, I came across an
interesting piece of history involving a very famous name in the world of motor racing.
The story concerns Stirling Moss, who competed in the Classic Sports Car race at the Dundalk
Motor Races in 1989 among a grid of fifteen cars, all of which were regular HRCA competitors
other than Stirling Moss.

The official result of the race, which was held over 12 laps on 9 th July 1989, shows that Jackie
Cochrane was the winner, driving an MGB GT V8, with Stirling Moss driving a Widi in second
place. Jackie, described as driving “a glorious rumbling MGB GT V8” (nothing has changed),
immediately went into an unassailable lead with Stirling Moss, driving a Widi, coming home in
second place.

Who was the “very famous name” after that race?

This result is confirmed in a book I purchased, written by Robin McCullagh, and entitled “The
Ballyjamesduff, Dundalk and Dun Laoghaire Motor Races”.

I hope that I am not the only one who asked the question – what is a Widi? I did some research                  and came up with the following;

The Widi, a 1960’s sports racer, was conceived by a Belgian, Willy Widar, an enthusiast who
trained as a physiotherapist, but ended up as a specialist sports car manufacturer. He dearly
longed for a Lola Mk 1, but as he could not afford to buy one, he resorted to constructing one
himself.

The name of the car he got from his father’s sportswear shop, an obvious abbreviation of their
family name. In total, he churned out 11 cars in a decade. They comprised many specifications
and were referred to as MKI, MKII, MKIII, MKIV and MKV. The second MKII built is probably
the most famous one, since it was acquired by Stirling Moss, who competed with the car in
historic racing for many years and is the car that appeared at the Dundalk Motor Races with
Stirling Moss at the wheel.

Unfortunately, only two Widis are believed to have survived. One of these is the ex Stirling
Moss car which is currently painted yellow and has competed at the Goodwood Revival and the
Silverstone Classic.

Noel Kavanagh
Dated: 4 th April 2019

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