The Jim Clark Museum

The trip to Duns has become an annual pilgrimage.  Last year in April, to commemorate fifty years since Jim Clark’s death at Hockenheim in 1968 and, this year, for the opening of the extended and much enhanced museum. Last year in the Elise, this year, 167 miles on the F850 GS on a perfect day for riding.

The displays include a new commemorative film, his trophies, a walk-around time-line of memorabilia and two of his iconic vehicles:  the Lotus 25 R6 on loan from the Tinguely Museum Switzerland and a Lotus Cortina on loan from Dario Franchitti – perfect choices.  Clark was stunning in any Lotus but for real entertainment, there was no better sight than Jim flying the Ford at ten tenths through the apex on three wheels.

The Power of One

The Lotus 25 R6

The Lotus Cortina “in flight”

The interior

Lotus Cortina – close up

Looking at the Cortina more closely, I was reminded that they were originally badged under the Consul brand. My parents belonged to the ‘Ford family’ owning three consecutive Consuls throughout the 1950s and early 1960s. They have appeared at various times in this blog, including the original MK1. Just at the time they might have gone down the Cortina road, they chose the Corsair – a big mistake, the first being so unreliable, it was quickly replaced by another. I can only assume at a significant discount.

The primary difference between the two Corsairs was that the first’s crunchy column-change was finally replaced with a standard floor-change in the second. Mother had learned with a column-change and in her usual determined fashion, she was sticking to it, long after it was a good idea. When they returned from working abroad in the mid 1970s they remained loyal to Ford, finally acquiring a Mk III Cortina. After that it was a Volvo 343 followed by a series of pedestrian Vauxhalls. As with many other aspects of their later years, automotively they had lost their way.


  1. Sue · July 16, 2019

    I was sad that Hamilton beat Clark’s British GP record on Sunday

    • northumbrianlight · July 16, 2019

      Me too, Sue – we should take some solace from the win rate against number of races entered.

      • Sue · July 16, 2019


  2. jelleybaby · July 16, 2019

    A friend of my Father bought a Corsair after having a Volvo Amazon 121 2 Door, I was upset for weeks. It took me until 1988 to get my first Volvo all because of the 121. I think we have mentioned Jim Clark before only saw him race once in the flesh so to speak, but they were a different breed in his day.

    • northumbrianlight · July 17, 2019

      The departure from Ford to Volvo was probably the most exciting thing they did in retirement – I bought a Ducati 🙂 … and a Yamaha, and a Triumph and BMW GS 🙂

      • jelleybaby · July 17, 2019

        You make me a little envious, i’ve only managed a Caravan a Porsche and a Motorhome, in that order. PS. Retirement is great though.

  3. J.D. Riso · July 16, 2019

    Beautiful vehicles. My family owns Fords, too, but mainly because my brother is a master mechanic at Ford. My own very humble 2001 Ford Focus is one of the best cars I’ve ever owned. It’s not nearly as slick as the Corsair, but it has always gotten me where I need to go. So good to see a post from you, Robin. Hope you are well.

    • northumbrianlight · July 17, 2019

      Funny how we get attached to brands – I am wondering if the US Focus and Corsair are actually the same cars as the UK vehicles of the same name. I have a suspicion they aren’t – once a boring pedantic geek, always a boring etc etc 🙂 All good here thanks Julie – too much to do as ever but all self-imposed. Enjoying your Instagram posts – you look very happy with your new life. All the best, R

  4. Aviationtrails · July 18, 2019

    I was up at Chirnside for the Jim Clark commemorations last year. A very enjoyable time it was too. I’m looking forward to visiting the museum at Duns, especially now it’s been extended.

    • northumbrianlight · July 18, 2019

      Worth the visit – much enhanced – I am assuming the two cars are on long-term loan. Now I have looked up the Tinguely Museum, I struggle to understand what the 25 was doing there. I was at Chirnside too, we could have been standing next to each other and never known 😉

      • Aviationtrails · July 18, 2019

        Indeed we might have! My partner’s family live there and once worked on the Clark farm. One of the uncles (I think it was) was a Pall bearer at his funeral.

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