Jimmy Ebdon

Jimmy Ebdon

Jimmy Ebdon was born in Cheltenham on the 16th February 1922. He was educated at Cheltenham College. He volunteered for the army in 1940, and was awarded the military medal. On return from army service, he joined the family motor business and worked there until his retirement. His great passion for motor sport started before the war when spending the summer in Weybridge in Surrey where he attended race meetings at Brooklands. He bought the original Buzzie from Jim Bosisto in the winter of 1947.

In 1948, He drove Buzzie still in its original Douglas Engine form at Prescott in May where he took eighth and September, ninth, sprints at Weston Super Mare and Brighton. Over the winter of 1948, Buzzie was rebuilt with Jap Engine and new body work, and renamed the Halldon Jap. The Don of Ebdon and the Hall from Archie Hall, Jimmy’s friend and foreman from the family garage.

In 1949 in this form the car was hillclimbed at May Prescott where he finished twelfth, in June he was up to ninth and July brought sixth and finally September, eleventh. The times improved over the season, finishing with a time of 51.37 seconds at September Prescott but by now the production Coopers were beginning to dominate. The highlight of the year was a seventh at Weston Speed Trials in October beating a young Peter Collins.

For 1950 the Halldon Jap stayed in the same form apart from new body work fitted sometime in the season, the car and driver got quicker again. Being driven at Prescott and just failing to break the 50 seconds barrier and finishing fifth in the 750cc class in June and again in July then sixth in September. Two circuit race meetings were taken in at Lulsgate in April finishing a credible fifth and racing at the first ever meeting at Castle Combe.

At the end of 1950, the Halldon Jap was sold and Iota was purchased from Mr Underwood. The JAP engine was installed from the Halldon. 1951 was a learning year in the new car but he still achieved a second at Prescott in May followed by a fourth in the 750cc class in June and running at Shelsley Walsh for the first time. 1952 saw Jimmy really getting to grips with the Iota, class win at the May Prescott, second in class at the June Prescott and 3rd in class at the International Prescott in September. 1952 also saw action at Shelsley Walsh, Castle Combe, Silverstone in June and Thruxton. 1953 saw another full season but not with quite the success of 1952, the Iota by now being outclassed by the Cooper Kieft and JBS cars.

The Iota was sold at the end of 1953. 1954 saw Jimmy doing a few Hillclimbs and circuit races in an early Lotus 6 owned by a young Michael MacDowal who was to go on to be a works Cooper driver and hillclimb champion. Jimmy also owned a Cooper 1100 for a while but a time of poor health and a young family eventually curtailed his racing but he never lost his love of his 500 racing days. Jimmy lived out his life with his beloved wife Cara till she died in 2003. Jimmy died on November 6th 2005 at the age of 83.