Question 7: Hi Phil, I own the prototype SR3 SL ‘Daisy’ as it was known. It is now black rather than the white with the multi coloured stripes. There must be a few tales about this car….one pic I have noticed, is the registration plate looks to have been swapped for a photo shoot / test.  The first white SL has the reg AE60 BFA in some shots, which is the reg of my car. Cheers Gareth (@gareth747474)
Question 7: Hi Phil, I own the prototype SR3 SL ‘Daisy’ as it was known. It is now black rather than the white with the multi coloured stripes. There must be a few tales about this car….one pic I have noticed, is the registration plate looks to have been swapped for a photo shoot / test. The first white SL has the reg AE60 BFA in some shots, which is the reg of my car. Cheers Gareth (@gareth747474)

I think firstly we should address why a group of (relatively) intelligent adults would start calling race cars specific, mostly ladies names!? Where did ‘daisy’ come from?

It did happen in other places too. Famously McLaren’s two drivetrain test mules for the original road F1 ,two Ultima kit cars with V12 powered and I think Chevy V8, were known as Edward and Harry? I believe? And ‘The heavenly twins’! 

 

Almost by osmosis, I had managed to imbibe in the engineering staff the feeling and notion of peer competitiveness, almost family like.  From this we get group support, small acts where ever I could – it was always ‘us’.

E.g. Romain Rousseaux at that time about 2007 was a deceptively young and inexperienced Radical dealer for France, who was mainly used to track days, was at an early race meeting at Nürburgring with two track day customers running SR8’s.  The works team, about 8 young guys, had finished the prep on their cars for next day’s racing about 9 pm in evening.  Having started out from England that same day about 5am to travel to circuit they were looking forward to a hot meal and bed. 

As we all walked by an unlit dark awning, I looked in and could see figures working in the almost dark. Brief investigation, I recognized these guys were in trouble, way over their heads and ill equipped.  Two SR8s were sans gearboxes or similar, I quickly stopped the key Radical staff, and said, ‘we can’t leave them in a mess, we must help’, the rest of group could go back to hotel and relax.  Within a minute, the young guys were pulling lights out of our own awnings, bringing them over to illuminate the problem.

Within two minutes the lads had formed into two teams to assist our French friends, getting the majority of work done in 45 min., it would have taken the inexperienced team hours. 

But, our lads did it easily, enjoyed showing their joint power and skill, enjoyed helping others, still made the restaurant in time.  The more we did, the more capable we were. 

So what? 

In that environment work becomes fun! 

So, most days the guys were thinking “what can we achieve today “? “How can we show our support”? And what can we create! 

That was a major contributor to the astronomic growth of the company within its core business – pure passion.

 

Therefore, Naming cars, so they were part of the ‘Team’ was natural.  The prototype naming seemed to start with first ever SR3. It was yellow, and there were small underlying issues (handling traits) that were not immediately explanatory.  In such times, I would just walk around the car with the body off, and just look, measure, check, check again, talk to myself, eliminate the impossible, until the issue gave in and looked at me!  And sometimes the lads thought I was asking the car what was wrong! And then related my actions to the Australian TV series where a kangaroo was supposed to talk to bush men (skippy the bush kangaroo).

So, they were taking fun of me by saying “what’s that skip? You think the tyres are wrong size “? Etc. 

So, it became Skippy! 

However, as the fun heightened, and it needed by regulations to have a towing eye fitted. Initial one was attached to chassis corner with vertical loop through the ‘bonnet’.

I hated it, the look of it was horrible. 

I referred it was so unstylish that with its yellow colour and awful handling, it only needed 3 more tow eyes on each corner to look like a council waste skip! 

So, two ways of claiming the Skippy name. 

 

Incidentally, I found the horrible handling feel that bugged me almost by mistake sometime later.  I was unhappy with reliability of build quality, so I took all export cars to an airfield to shake all cars down before shipping, the added benefit was driving 6 different cars on same day.  The left drive cars were great! Right drive cars had an issue! It was the steering rack, left drive cars had fluted plastic bushes on outboard end of the rack, right drive cars had bronze bushes both about 3” long.

Bronze was sticky on release from lock out of corner, and we did not have enough caster to drive the release smoothly through drivers’ hands.

The fix was fit plastic fluted bushes to both! RHD and LHD. 

 

Chassis number 2 was a red car – ‘Rosey’ 

Chassis number 3 was a blue car – ‘Bluey’ 

Etc.

 

First SL 

At the Autosport show in 2011.

I needed the new SL to stand out as not just another SR3 at the show. 

I wanted to do an ‘art car, something that had not been done in our arena, so had a friend Rob Jones graphic designer take a look.

He did a black based version and a white based version design here’s the white base.

 

 

It was fairly easy to come up with the name Daisy with those colours! 

Daisy did a few shows and a lot of testing, eventually at about one year old, was sold to Andy Cummings for his track day drive and ride business 

We believed at one point the car had maybe done 40,000 km.

 

Kind Regards, 

Phil 

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