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David Seigle-Morris

The Ford Years 1963-1965

These pages would not be possible without the help and guidance of David's wife, Susan Seigle-Morris and David's son, Kevin Seigle-Morris.

In the winter of 1962 Syd Henson, the Competition Manager of Ford came to David's house in Gravesend in Kent, (a house that David had designed himself when he was still at architectural college) to offer him a contract to drive for Ford for the 1963 season.  David had invited Syd to dinner and had what was then a new gadget a Sparklet Corkmaster which uncorked bottles by using small compressed gas canisters.  Unfortunately, David applied a little too much gas, the cork flew out of the bottle showering Syd with wine and staining the wall paper.  It did not do too much harm to anybody and David was signed for the 1963 season.  Needless to say it was Red wine so you can imagine the state of the wallpaper.

The first Rally was the Monte Carlo in which David and Barry Hercock shared a Ford Anglia 105E.  They started from Paris. I am not sure where or if they finished this Rally but some of the press cuttings might shed some light.  At the end of this piece, I will list all the cars that he drove between 1963 & 1965 with registration numbers and Rally numbers.

In February many of the Works drivers were invited to Brands Hatch to compete on a snow covered track that also took in grass as well.  This was called mud plugging at the time and was a very early version of what is now Rally Cross. David finished 12th in the Anglia.

The next rally that I remember is the Alpine Rally in France, driving a Cortina GT with Barry Hercock.  They won a coveted Coupe Des Alpes for incurring no penalties.

For the Liege he and Barry again drove a Cortina GT, which they drove again on the RAC Rally that year.

David Seigle-Morris in the French Alpine Rally 1964David Seigle-Morris in the prototype Lotus Corsair being driven on the Spa - Vic Elford & David Seigle-Morris shake hands on a job well done in the 1964 VIC ELFORD & DAVID SEIGLE-MORRIS ON THE CIME DE LA BONETTE -, AT 9,190FT IS THE HIGHEST ROAD IN THE ALPES.

David used to spend a lot of time at Boreham, the Ford Motorsport centre before and after rallies and it was the input from him and the other Works drivers that resulted in modifications to subsequent production cars on sale to the general public.

A aerial view of Ford's Motorsport centre at Boreham Essex in 1963. Bill Barnett (centre) talking to works driver David Seigle-Morris.Inside the motorsport centre at Boreham preparing works Cortina GT's for Rallies and Races in 1964Jim Jones putting together one of the works Cortina's GT's for the 1964 season.

For example, he took (with me - Susan) a Lotus Corsair to Yugoslavia to see if he could break it!  After each rally David and the other drivers would have a debriefing session with Bill Barnett (Competitions Dept) and the rally mechanics to go through things that had happened during the rally and which could be of significance.  Rallying for Ford was really more about development than the glory of results - although of course that was important too for advertisement purposes.

Whilst at Ford all the Drivers were offered the position of Competition Manager but both David and Vic turned it down because they wanted to continue driving.  The position was eventually taken by Henry Taylor.

Walter Hayes wrote a book entitled A life of Henry Ford II and in our copy of it he wrote a lovely dedication to David, which I quote here "for David Seigle-Morris.....May it revive some of your own memories when you were one of my gladiators.."

Ford's competition department showing some of the different cars being prepared in the 6 bays for forth coming rallys including Four Cortina's & Two Anglia's A inside veiw of a Boreham built works Cortina showing the extra instruments needed for the rally. 1964 A rear veiw of the Boot on a works Cortina GT, showing the extra fuel tank  needed which comes from a Mk1 Ford Cortina estate car and the frame which is made up by the competition department.Some of the Ford's works team on the last lap at Chamonix, left to right, Tony Nash, David Seigle-Morris, Vic Elford & David Stone.

The Ford Years 1963-1965 Page 2

David Seigle-Morris - The Early Years 1956-1963
David Seigle-Morris - The Ford Years 1963-1965
David Seigle-Morris - The Later Years 1966-2005

Vic Elford The Cortina Years

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