Best Marque Name Ever? Deep Sanderson 301 Le Mans Coupe

Of all the minuscule British racers with awesome names (Clan Crusader, anyone?), I happen to think that the Deep Sanderson 301 has the field beat on absurdity alone.

Apparently, “Heep Sanderson” was a jazz tune popular in the UK at the time, although the internet bears no trace of it now. Chris Lawrence founded Lawrence Tune in the late ’50s, after a successful season that ended with him being crowned National Production Sports Cars champion in 1959. Deciding to delve into constructing special racecars, he set himself apart by attaching his mother’s maiden name, “Deep,” to the song title – thus, Deep Sanderson was born.
Their first effort was the 105, which was a open-wheeled, cigar-shaped Formula Junior car. Lawrence planted a Mini drivetrain behind the driver, and invented his own suspension for the car, called the “Lawrence Link” (which deserves to be the subject of its own post). It held its own with the Lotus 18, Lotus’ first mid-engine car, and Lawrence was thus rather encouraged by his endeavor. Lawrence decided to produce a two-seat road car to capitalize on his efficient drivetrain and novel suspension, and thus a sexy alloy body was stretched over the Mini drivetrain, and called the 301. It was to be sold in kit form, but Lawrence decided to campaign it first. The little Deep raced in ’63, ’64, and ’68 with a variety of engines, and although one source claims it won the 2 liter class at Le Mans in 1963, I can’t find any other confirmation of that. Unfortunately, Lawrence had sold the Lawrence Link design to Rover, which sat on the rights and refused to re-license them for his use, so Deep Sanderson’s potential glory was stillborn. But hey, it has a great name, right?
Images: Williams & Pritchard Registry; Information: Lawrence Tune

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 64 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here

29 responses to “Best Marque Name Ever? Deep Sanderson 301 Le Mans Coupe”

  1. LTDScott Avatar

    My preference is for the Blast Hardcheese GT-P or the Big McLargeHuge 403-LX.

    1. Rockford_Brodie Avatar

      Both of which went over much better than the Bob Johnson Turbo.

      1. Alff Avatar

        On the other hand, the Bob Johnson Supercharged was a massive success – everyone loves a blown Johnson.

      2. CptSevere Avatar

        Wasn't that campaigned by Richard Hardon?

        1. PFG Avatar

          Right. His co-driver was a Scot, Holden McGroin.

          1. Velocitré Avatar

            Yes, and he had a Brit and a Scot on his crew, Ben Dover and Phil McCracken

          2. soo΄pәr-bādd75 Avatar

            Didn't they run another car? I seem to remember the driver's name was Haywood Jablome.

          3. RWB Avatar

            that was campaigned on rally stages actually, co-driven by Hugh Jardon

          4. CptSevere Avatar

            And the Austrian crew chief was Stihl Wehner.

  2. Rockford_Brodie Avatar

    I don't know about Clan Crusader…sounds like 2/3rds of a hating brown people hat trick to me…

    1. Han_Solex Avatar

      It's a little touch and go with that, I agree … but a Hillman Imp based special? The concept is awesome.

    2. Smells_Homeless Avatar

      No no no. Clans with no "k" hate everyone equally!

      1. Han_Solex Avatar


  3. Tomsk Avatar

    Neat looking little car with a neat story.
    Also: No "Paging Charles Barrett" tag? You disappoint me, Solex…

    1. Han_Solex Avatar


  4. mdharrell Avatar

    <img src="; />
    Nice car and nice name, but I'll still have to give the edge in absurd miniscule British racer names to the Frisky Sprint.

  5. CptSevere Avatar

    The name Deep Sanderson associated with racing made me think of this. It looks to be as much good silly fun as drinking with accountants on Tax Day.

  6. soo΄pәr-bādd75 Avatar

    Was this car's mug the inspiration for the current Mazda MX5?

  7. nofrillls Avatar

    The body style of that car looks a good 5+ years ahead of its time.

  8. dculberson Avatar

    "Lawrence had sold the Lawrence Link design to Rover, which sat on the rights and refused to re-license them for his use"
    AH! So many bad decisions made by so many small business people. Never sell the rights to something then continue to work with / use it. I bet he could have inserted one tiny sentence in the agreement that made him able to use it and Rover wouldn't have cared. Sigh. What could have been.

  9. Ilene Zachmann Avatar

    Have you ever deemed adding additional movies to your blog posts to keep the audience additional entertained? I suggest I just study over the overall post of yours and it absolutely was really good but due to the fact I’m a lot more of the visual learner.

  10. Fantasy Avatar

    how can i subsribe to this site?

  11. tdiycvq Avatar

    2UphRU znmugjpkqpsn, [url=]rhsfdibdjxpn[/url], [link=]tafvkgyhcsxn[/link],

  12. Energy Star Dehumidifiers Avatar

    gives employ a excellent webpage decent Gives many thanks for the effort to help me personally

  13. Andy Downes Avatar
    Andy Downes

    I think the Le Mans 1962 2 litre Class win reference is a confusion with Chris Lawrence's exploits in his Morgan +4 TOK 258 – in which he did indeed win the 2 litre Class at Le Mans in 1962 sharing the driving with Richard Shepherd-Barron and averaging over 94 mph !
    Andy Downes