Harry Lester – His Cars and The Monkey Stable

Price: £28.00

ISBN: #978-0993197901

Garage owner and expert tuner of MG cars, Harry Lester was one of the more successfulsports car competitors in the late 1940s and early 1950s. In 1949 he designed and built hisown car, with a rigid tubular chassis, lightweight aluminium body and utilising thefavoured engine of many club racers of the time, the XPAG unit from the MGTC. So successful was the car in his hands that a trio of wealthy young amateur racers decidedto form a team and commissioned him to build them a car each, plus a spare. They called themselves "The Monkey Stable" and enjoyed much success in their firstyear, 1952, a highlight being winning the team prize at the first 9 hours race at Goodwood.In subsequent years their fortunes changed, as did their cars, going to Kieft MGs in 1953,then back to Lesters in 1955. In the interim, the Monkey Stable drivers twice drove for theBristol team at Le Mans, and one of their number, Pat Griffith, briefly became a worksdriver for Aston Martin, partnering Peter Collins in a number of long-distance events. It all ended in tragedy, however, when team founder Jim Mayers was killed at Dundrod inthe 1955 TT race, only weeks after another team member, Mike Keen, had crashedfatally at Goodwood. Never before published in its entirety, this is the story of Harry Lester and his cars,together with the exploits of The Monkey Stableduring their brief but significant racing career.

The story is told by Stewart Penfound, MG enthusiast and owner of one of the last of theLester MGs made. Containing much previously unseen material from both Harry Lester'sand The Monkey Stable's archives it is a story as much about the characters as the cars andis a significant addition to the record of motor racing immediately after the end ofthe Second World War.

Published 2015

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