Friday, November 12, 2010

Helen & Jackie Stewart 's first trip to Monaco


               On the way down to Monaco in Jackie Stewart’s jet I asked Helen Stewart why she'd hooked up with the scruffy kid who worked in his Dad's garage in Scotland,  "Oh," she said with a big smile, "I always fancied him."
             Then she told me the story of Jackie’s first win at Monaco.

        “We were just married and living in a flat in London, and we were going to drive down to Monaco for the Formula Three race.  But when we got to Dover, Jackie realized the last time he’d seen his passport and wallet they were on the top of the car.  So we hared back to London and his wallet and passport were in the drive.  But now it was too late to book another ferry and Jackie said he’d have to fly.  I said you’re not going without me.  I certainly  was not going to stay home while he went to Monaco.
           "Eventually we got a flight that stopped over in Geneva and Jackie got there just in time for the first practice.  This was 1964.  He was driving a Cooper for Ken Tyrell and this was the first time he’d ever driven round the course. 
           "I told him he had to win because we’d spent all our money on the plane and we didn’t have any money at all for the trip back.
            "And he did, he won the Formula Three race. Rob Walker lent us his car for the drive back.  By the time we got to Switzerland, Jackie was so tired he said, “I’ve got to stop. We'll  stop at the first hotel we see.”  So we did. And it looked pretty fancy but we didn’t care.  And we were both so tired I don’t think we noticed what we had for dinner.  In the morning when we checked out, Jackie said the room and dinner were so expensive we had to give them all the prize money.
               "But of course, after that first win, we never looked back."

Helen and Jackie Stewart a few years later with their sons Mark and Paul

No comments: