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Swiss Double Header

In August 1958, a unique, double header event took place in Switzerland. On the first weekend in August the SMCC hosted the 7th FEMA European Championship at the Witterswill track, the third time it had been held in the country.

One week later, the inaugural World Championship was held at the Landikon track in Zurich. A team of four from GB made the long trip, Ken Procter, Jack Cook, Jim Dean and Les Williamson running ten cars between them. This would also be the first time that 3.5cc cars were seen in Europe with a team from the USA.

Each competitor was given a welcome pack that included this photo of the new Witterswill track that had been built two years previously. A very different view to what exists now without a house or building to be seen. The photo below from Otto Amrein shows the track under construction in 1956. Roland Salomon told us that the foundations were two metres deep in order to make the surface stable.

Roland Salomon, Arne Zetterstom and Kurt Zahnd dominated the podiums with something like 13 medals between them, the only other people to mount the steps were Cosetta in the 1.5cc Class and Ken Procter in the 2.5cc Class with a second place each.

Ken must have thought he was in with a shout at Zurich after a run that beat both Zetterstrom's and Salomon's speeds, but then Roland put in an amazing run some 12kph faster than his previous best to set a new World record, which in turn was 9kph faster than Ken in second place.

Jack, Jim and Les did not have the best of luck, being well outclassed in the 10cc Class and hovering around 6th/7th in the others.

Following the death of Les Williamson, a family friend was tasked with clearing out and disposing of all his model and toy steam items, only to find, Les' entire stable of tethered cars, spares and memorabilia, including all the material from the trip Les and his wife made to Switzerland. Thanks to Fred Crammond for contacting us in 2014 and sharing all this material with us.

Les' envelope, note incorrect spelling of his name. Name tag for World Championships
Commemorative medal by Huguenin DIY speedchart for every competitor

Programme for 7th European Championships

Gottlieb Weber, Otto & Erwin Amrein, Phillip Rochat, Paul Widmer,
 Walter Meier, Roland Salomon
Results sheet 1 Results sheet 2
 Les with Jack Cook pointing at Les's 2.5cc car The same car  on the Witterswill track in 2015

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