The Birth of the 500 Owners Association

With the demise of 500cc Formula 3 on the Circuits at the end of 1962, these cars became obsolete and almost worthless. Some of them found their way to the hillclimb and sprint scene. In 1962 Paul Schroeder and 6 other Stafford lads all in their late teens and early twenties purchased the ex Wally Ford Cooper Mk V JAP. This car was raced at the odd hillclimb and sprint during that year. 1963 saw more hills and sprints undertaken by Paul and one or two of the syndicate of seven until at the end of the season, another Cooper Mk V was acquired and several of the original seven dropped out and the group reformed with two cars and four drivers.

These included John Turner, Mike Murphy Phil Biggin and Paul Schroeder. The second Cooper bought was previously owned and raced extensively in Formula 3 races from 1954 to 1959 by John Parker (The John Parker Trophy is still awarded for the best hillclimb performance by a pre-'54 car) another Stafford man who was responsible for the interest in Formula 3 500’s with this group of young men.

The four, sharing the two cars were the nucleus of the 500 classes during the 1964 to 1966 seasons. At the end of 1966 the group of four broke up for various reasons and one of the cars was sold to Peter Kendal. At the same time John Turner bought the other car enabling them to compete independently. John and Peter competed in hill and sprints during the 1967 season we were also joined by another Stafford man Tony Griffin who had acquired a Cooper Mk IX Norton. However classes were declining and cars were being chopped up and four cylinder engines fitted.



Peter Kendall and John Turner



Peter and chums at Prescott 1969

In the foreground is John Turner's Mk IX, Peter is sitting at the rear of 71. Colin Myles and Gordon Davies shared 70A and at the rear, looking ready for a game of cricket, is Harvey Saunders.

Peter Kendall recognised the need to help preserve these cars and start a new club. In January of 1968, Peter wrote a four page letter to John Turner and to quote from the letter Peter writes “I would be interested in your views on the possibilities of forming a 500 Association of some sort”. After an enthusiastic reply to this letter by John, Peter single handed started to form the 500 Owners Association. The first newsletter was sent out by Peter in October 1968 to over 50 new club members. Through this newsletter Peter arranged for the first meeting of the club at his parents house at Newbold on Stour on Sunday November 24th 1968.

At a later date a number of members met and formed the first committee of the 500 Owners Association. Peter Kendall, Chairman and Secretary, Edie Silk as Editor, Tony Griffin as Treasurer and John Turner managing the membership - John Turner, January 2008.

Same smile. John in a Mk V at Morton in the Marsh, October 1968. Tony Griffin leans over No. 79.

Sadly, Peter Kendall passed away on the 27th October 2008.