Walter Organ remembers the garage and Jim Fielding's cars

Memories of a Bugatti and a very special Ford

Walter Organ
Walter Organ
Walter remembers the sportscars Jim Fielding kept in the Works' garage
Walter Organ remembers the garage and Jim Fielding's cars

In this short clip, Walter Organ recalls how Jim Fielding “was mad on sports cars” and that he kept many of them in the garages at Fielding and Platt.

“He had a very rare Ford and that thing when it started up you could almost hear it in Cheltenham!”

Walter recalls that he “made an excuse once or twice” to visit the garages to look at Jim Fielding’s cars, including a Bugatti and a Rolls Royce.

Comments about this page

  • Pete Hales was indeed the mechanic and shared many fond memories with me of his time at F&P. Like when the GT40 broke down near Birmingham, Pete took another car so Jim could continue his onward journey leaving him to fix it on the side of the road and when fixed he drove it back to Jim’s house in Painswick. On another occasion Jim took him for a spin in it and accelerated so fast he said he could feel his feet lift away from the soles of his shoes!
    The Ferrari… needed new brake hoses so after cross-referencing the part numbers some were obtained from a local Fiat dealer. Much to Jim’s disgust new ones had to be ordered from Ferrari in London but when they were delivered they were identical even the part numbers printed on them were the same, nevertheless the Ferrari ones had to be fitted (and rightly so). Pete’s real passion though were the little Mini vans and pickups that Fielding’s had, so much so that during his time there he acquired a Mini Cooper that’s still in the family today. Perhaps someone remembers making some performance parts or machining the odd Mini engine or two?.
    A keen footballer who captained the Fieldings team and can been seen receiving the Sunday League Cup on the football page.
    Sadly dad passed away on the 9th of August 2018 aged 78.

    Ed: Daren – fascinating stories and many thanks for sharing them with us. I am sure that there are still many of us ‘of and age’ who also have fond memories of the GT40 burbling its way into the garage area. It made good viewing from the drawing Office! John B

    By Daren Hales (03/12/2018)
  • “Someone said they could not recall the name of the person who did the vehicle maintenance – well, when I started in 1969, it was Pete Haile who was the mechanic.”
    John Smurthwaite 31/03/2013

    By Paul Evans (21/02/2018)
  • In the early 1960’s there was also a very nice black pre-war Lancia Aprilia garaged with the GT40. I remember being told Jim used it for local journeys from the factory.

    I think there was also an Austin A125 or Sheerline there as well.

    By David Budrey (24/05/2015)
  • Thanks Douglas! I wonder what you and the other members of the Drawing Office used to say when you heard it start up and if you ever popped your head out of the window to see it go?

    The link that you include is really useful and I especially like this section:

    “This GT40 was initially purchased by James Fielding, of Gloucester, England, and was the very first GT40 production road coupe delivered to the United Kingdom. It was probably no coincidence that Mr. Fielding was the chairman of Heenan & Froude, the company that manufactured the dynamometers on which the GT40s were tested. Whether or not his stature within the company gave him preferential access to the GT40 is a matter of speculation, but there is no arguing with his taste, as 1034’s elegant color livery lent a more civilized façade to the powerful mid-engine racer.

    A young relative of one of Mr. Fielding’s neighbors, Paul Weldon, soon took notice of the GT40 and eventually made overtures to the owner about acquiring the Ford. In 1971, Mr. Fielding finally agreed, but only in a trade for a particular Rolls-Royce that he desired, which Mr. Weldon soon located. Thrilled to finally acquire the longtime subject of his pining, Mr. Weldon repainted 1034 in British Racing Green and set about some vintage racing, including the six-hour relay at Silverstone in 1973, as well as an exhibition at Le Mans and a GT40 concours at Brands Hatch, where the car took Best in Show. Like Mr. Fielding, Mr. Weldon also used 1034 as it was intended, as a road car.”

    I wonder if anyone at Fielding’s remembers manufacturing the dynamometers on which the GT40s were tested? Naturally, Douglas, please do share any further memories of your time at Fielding’s on the site.

    By Ollie Taylor (09/09/2013)
  • Managed to find Jim’s GT-40 so you can see what it is like now. It was in an Auction in Arizona in January 2013, price around $2,150,000. I don’t know if it actually sold.

    See auction details at:

    http://www.rmauctions.com/lots/lot.cfm?lot_id=1057442

    By Douglas Davis (29/08/2013)
  • I remember the Ford GT-40 well and would have liked a ride in it. I remember hearing it running when I worked in the Drawing Office – which was adjacent to the garage – very impressive! There was a piece I read in (I think) “The Motor” around 1968 about the car which said that it was the first GT-40 to be imported into the UK.

    A recent UK program on GT-40s said that very few were imported into the UK, so it would be interesting to see what happened to Jim Fielding’s car. The car was (of course) British Racing Green with a 4.7 litre engine.

    By Douglas Davis (27/08/2013)
  • Thanks Alistair. I heard a funny story about Jim and his GT-40 last month. Apparently, it only did about 8 miles to the gallon so he had the thing looked at in the Fielding’s garage. As the story goes, he was very chuffed when it was “suped-up” to do 12 miles to the gallon!

    By Ollie Taylor (13/12/2012)
  • Sorry to contradict Wally Organ, but the Ford was a GT-40. If you Google this, you will get the information about Le Mans etc. What always worried me, was that I heard the fuel tanks were in the doors!

    By ALISTAIR ADAMS (11/12/2012)

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