Classic Nostalgia welcomes the Durex-sponsored Surtees that caused an F1 TV boycott

Classic Nostalgia welcomes the Durex-sponsored Surtees that caused an F1 TV boycott

Durex-sponsored Surtees TS19 was deemed unacceptable by BBC and ITV
Infamous F1 car will join amazing array of race and rally machinery at Shelsley Walsh
Anniversary celebrations for BTCC, McLaren, Mini Cooper S and Railton 
Classic Nostalgia returns for its 12th edition on 22-23 July 2023
Full weekend of action and entertainment at Shelsley Walsh, both on and off the hill 

The latest entry for the Classic Nostalgia weekend at Shelsley Walsh is the Surtees TS19 that caused such a controversy when it first appeared in 1976 that it led to British television companies refusing to broadcast Formula 1 racing. 

Team boss John Surtees had done a sponsorship deal with the London Rubber Company that resulted in one of his cars wearing the logo of Durex condoms, which the BBC and ITV both considered to be unacceptable for daytime family viewing. 

The result was a moral panic among television executives and a complete blackout that became more difficult to sustain as the year went on. The 1976 season was one of the most exciting of all time and the battle between James Hunt and Niki Lauda captivated audiences around the world. By the time of the title showdown in Japan, both the BBC and ITV had relented and carried highlights of the race in which Hunt dramatically won the title. 

The Surtees TS19 that will be at Classic Nostalgia was raced by future World Champion Alan Jones in 1976 and finished second in that year’s Race of Champions. Brett Lunger and Conny Andersson also drove it during the course of the season and it raced on into 1977 and 1978. Stocky Italian Vittorio Brambilla drove it on a number of occasions, and in 1977 Patrick Tambay attempted to make his Grand Prix debut in it, but sadly he failed to qualify in France. The late Tambay went on to have a successful career with teams such as McLaren, Ferrari and Renault. 

The TS19’s final outing came during practice for the 1978 British Grand Prix, where it was driven by promising youngster Rupert Keegan. Forty-five years later – almost to the day – it will be back in action at Shelsley Walsh, where it will be joined by a spectacular entry that ranges from a thunderous Can-Am BRM P167 to a mouth-watering array of Group A, Group B and WRC rally cars from Ralli22.

Highlights will include a collection of cars celebrating 65 years of the British Touring Car Championship, 90 years of ERA and Railton, and 60 years of both McLaren and the legendary Mini Cooper S. Special guests will include famous racers such as Ian Flux, John Fitzpatrick, Warwick Banks and Mike Wilds, while the Classic & Sports Car Concours d’Elegance is set to return on Sunday 23 July.

Classic Nostalgia has become a popular fixture among car clubs, with more than 30 having already registered their attendance, and away from the hillclimb action, visitors will be able to browse the quality trade stands and enjoy non-stop live entertainment.

Discounted Early Bird tickets are available until the end of April. There are also a limited number of places left in the Startline VIP Club, which is a new addition to the event for 2023.

Date: 22-23 July 2023
Event address: Shelsley Walsh, Worcester, WR6 6RP
Ticket prices: Early bird admission ticket £20 (available until 30 April 2023)
Advanced ticket (beyond April) £25. On-the-gate price £30
Advance weekend ticket £40
Visiting car club entry £15, weekend £30 
Times: 8am each day, until approx 5pm

Please note: general admission includes access to the hill, race paddock, car club displays and all entertainment. Children under 16 free (no ticket required and to be accompanied by a full paying adult). Entry to this event is included in MAC membership. No dogs are permitted. 

The perfect venue
First used in 1905 and in continuous use ever since, Shelsley Walsh is the oldest motorsport venue in the world that still features its original course. Competitors will be following in the wheeltracks of motorsport greats such as Raymond Mays, Hans Stuck and the late Stirling Moss. As part of his long association with the venue, Moss was patron of the Shelsley Trust, which helped to secure the 99-year lease on the hillclimb during the mid-2000s.

Known throughout the motoring world for its unique atmosphere, Shelsley allows enthusiasts to get close to the action as well as the cars and drivers. 

Related Modus Vivendi Articles

1,125 articles