And now for something completely different … our video this week was only filmed a little over a week ago. What we have here is footage from the Walter Mitty Challenge by Classic Motorsports, April 23rd, 2016. Take ia ride in a Royale RP-4 with pro driver Elliot Forbes Robinson, around Road Atlanta’s 2.54 mile, 12 turn track.
The onboard camera was mounted on the Royale RP-4 owned by our friend Gordon King. This footage is from the Group 3 Feature Race. The black and red RP-4 is Cliff Berry of Team Mean and the blue Lotus 23b is piloted by Doc Bundy of Team Regogo. Great driving by all.
This on Royale and the car from Gordon …
Royale was a small race car builder in the 1960’s in England. Owned by Bill King. He built very successful Formula Fords and Sports Racers this at the same time Cooper, Lotus, Brabham and McLaren were fledglings in the race car biz. Here also inherited Coventry Climax engines from Lord Nuffield when BMC got out of the racing business. (Need a fact check on the players in that transaction).
The RP-4 was designed for an introductory series called F100. It was a stepping stone into Formula 3. There were several manufacturers building them but the Royale’s were top of the pick.
My RP-4 was presented at the Earl’s Court motor-show in 1970 in London. Ironically, I was there but don’t recall seeing the car. It was the last of nine built. Number 9/9. The F100 series only lasted 2 years. Formula Ford started to take over.
Hugh Kleinpeter bought the USA distribution rights for Royale and owned the company for many years, racing this Royale and doing very well in it. Andy Greene of Andy Greene Sports and Vintage Racing bought the company and also raced the car successfully. Even winning the SVRA Enduro series in the face of stiff competition from the Brumos team, with Hurley Hayward at the helm. No small feat for a little car company! Dave Bondon and I are the latest keepers of the marque!
Photos credit: Bill Schmitt, Hilton Head, SC.