Sinclair Special

The Sinclair Special from the Persuaders

Blog Unraced 1960 -1969 Unraced 1970 - 1979

Did you know that in the Persuaders, a brilliant series from the early 1970s, Brett Sinclair is also a Grand Prix driver? There is even the Sinclair Special featured in the episode “Someone Waiting” an episode about bribing people out of the race at Silverstone, which Brett Sinclair eventually would win. So which car was used for the episode because it is not the March 701 as you would assume. Even better, it seems Team Sinclair or the Sinclair Special used to be a Lotus-Ford as well.

If you don’t know the Persuaders, its about Brett Sinclair (Roger Moore) an British aristocrat and Danny Wilde (Tony Curtis) a self-made American billionaire from the Bronx. They both fight the bad in favour for the good. However, it is more than that it’s most of all Champagne, fast cars, girls, 70s disco music and a good life. For more see the Wikipedia page.

At the intro of the Persuaders, there appears an article in some fictional paper stating that Brett Sinclair enters the Grand Prix world as the racing aristocrat. He won 100 bottles of Champagne because he was quicker than Bruce McLaren at Silverstone and eventually hit an 1,28.8. Below is the full “article” have to say I gave it a shot.

Brett Sinclair enters Grand Prix  Silverstone, next Saturday will see Brett Sinclair, the racing aristocrat (seen above in practice), who has entered his privately owned Lotus-Ford.
Brett Sinclair was fastest in the morning practice session his time of 1m. 29,5s being well below Bruce McLaren’s lap record of 1m.31s 104,35m.p.h. set up at the Race champions last March. Nobody head this in the afternoon session. But in the Friday morning session, Brett improved all further to 1m. 28.8s 107,31 m.p.h. so gaining himself 100 bottles of champagne from the evening news. Jack Oliver was a surprise second fastest 1m 29,4s and Amon completed the front row on the grid with a 1m 29,5s.”

While the article says, that Brett Sinclair entered the British Grand Prix at Silverstone with his privately owned Lotus-Ford. In the last episode of the series, he is at Silverstone with his Sinclair Special. The Sinclair Special looking similar to the March 701, the car Chris Amon and Jo Siffert drove around with in 1970. In fact it is a F5000 the Lola T190 powered by the Chrysler V8 engine. He is testing at Silverstone for the race that is to come next Saturday. The British Grand Prix held at Silverstone.

At the end of the episode, you see Brett Sinclair racing at Silverstone and eventually winning the race. Though the footage that is been used of the actually Grand Prix are form 1970. As well If you look at the begin of the episode when Brett is testing, his visor is loose. However, when they have the scene that the car is stolen the visor has been taped close! It is not sure who drove the car in between the scenes. The March 701 has been used as well in the episode. At least to use the footage.

Most interesting is that fact that Brett Sinclair and Danny Wilde invested in the new Sinclair Special. Eventually Danny Wilde does some round with the Sinclair Special before he stops as a mannequin is laying on the track. This is part of the episode when Wilde gets out of the Sinclair Special, someone steals the car. Drives around and tries to run over Brett Sinclair at start finish. Eventually when both Danny and Brett arrive at the Sinclair Special, a note is on the car. I’m not gonna tell the plot.

When you listen carefully to the episode, you will eventually come across Brett and journalist Carrie Bowman looking at dia’s of a crash that happened 5 years before. A driver named Jenkins spun over oil and crashed and almost burned alive (similar to Niki Lauda years later), while Brett raced behind him. This would mean that the Sinclair Special drove around for many years, and assumable every year with a brand new car. It would mean, considering the news article in the intro, that Brett Sinclair is some talented race driver that has been active for years already.

What does this mean for the Sinclair Special? Well I believe, if we take the Sinclair Special seriously, that the team drove several years in the Formula One with an aristocrat as Driver and some American as their team manager. They races on Silverstone, Brands-Hatch, and Monza and probably at some more tracks. As the Sinclair Special or Sinclair Grand Prix is fictional though is part of the Formula One in a series. Considering as well it is pure British, as well their busy lives, I dare to create the list below regarding the racing history of the Sinclair Special.

Team Manager: Danny Wilde
Driver: Brett Sinclair
Mechanic: Joe and Dwyer
Team’s headquarters: Some fancy flat in London, with a garage somewhere near Silverstone.

1963BRM P57125RET91
1964BRM P261167RET32
1965Lotus 33354111RET
1966Cooper T81112RETRETRET3
1967Lotus 49RETRETRET755
1968Lotus 491RET316RETRET
1969Lotus 639141212
1970Lotus 72133RET7RET
1971March 7011RET4459
1972March 721RET1141246
1973Tyrrell 0051RET1RETRETRET
1974McLaren M23563441
1975Hill GH155RETRET6RET
1976Shadow DN84RET59RETRET
1977March 76166RETRETRET9
Grand Prix results Sinclair Special

Trivia: Roger Moore played also in another amazing series, I’m a bit old-fashioned, named the Saint. In the episode The Checkered Flag that was aired in 1965, Roger Moore is as well racing in the Formula One. I believe it was also the British Grand Prix. It’s also why I based the “fictional” results overview on.