C’est Ma Poisse ! – Ballot Racing Car

In 1905 former naval officer Gabriel Ernest Maurice Ballot, referred to down the ages as Ernest and or Maurice, with his brother Albert founded the company bearing their name in Paris to manufacture marine and industrial engines.

Six years later a group led by Adolphe Clément bought the company keeping Ernest as a senior employee with a small number of shares.

Ballot Racing Car, Goodwood Festival Of Speed,

Following the cessation of the 1914 – 18 global hostilities, on the 11th of November, the 1914 Indy 500 winner René Thomas set about reviving his racing career and the fortunes of the French automobile industry by trying unsuccessfully to find a manufacturer to build a team of new cars to compete in the 1919 Indy 500.

Six weeks after Armistice Day René presented his idea’s to Ernest, who up until then had only been engaged in the manufacture of engines, never complete cars, but he was so enthused that by the end of December 24th he had persuaded the board of Ballot to go ahead with the project and signed René as lead driver.

Ballot Racing Car, Goodwood Festival Of Speed,

With just 120 days in which to design, build and test the cars before being shipped to the United States on the 26th of April, Ernest spent the next two days finding new premises from which his racing team led by former Peugeot designer Ernst Henry and assistant Fernand Marie Vadier could work in secret.

On December 27th the Henry, Vadier and three draughtsmen began work which allegedly would see no man leave the building except to take meals for two months.

Ballot Racing Car, Goodwood Festival Of Speed,

Work started to fall behind schedule when the team could not secure a reliable supplier of crankshafts, leaving Ballot no option but to forge and heat treat it’s own, but on April 7th the first Ballot car ever built was complete with only the carburetor, magneto and wheels sourced from outside suppliers.

The French rail network was still so unreliable that the four crated racing cars left the Ballot factory on April 24th carried on the back of four trucks followed by a spare fifth truck with a couple of mechanics to ensure the team arrived at Le Havre on April 26th in time for the departure of the liner Savoie.

Ballot Racing Car, Goodwood Festival Of Speed,

Powered by 140hp straight eight engines with double over head cam shafts the Ballots were quick once the problem of over gearing had been sorted by fitting smaller diameter American sourced wheels.

René was the fastest qualifier with a speed of 104.700 mph and started from pole with the remaining team cars starting 6th driven by Paul Balbot, 9th driven by Albert Guyot and 13th driven by Louis Wagner.

Ballot Racing Car, Goodwood Festival Of Speed,

44 laps into the race a wheel broke on Louis Wagner’s car leading to a crash from which Louis emerged unscathed and sufficiently composed to take over from Albert Guyot whose hands were raw from blisters caused by the rough brick surface.

20 laps later Jean Chassagne who had taken over today’s featured chassis #1003 from Paul Balbot also crashed after a wheel collapsed again with out serious injury, but leaving the remaining two cars no choice but to pit for frequent wheel checks.

Louis eventually crossed the line in forth place with team leader René 11th, ironically the winning car driven by Howdy Wilcox was an older 1914 Peugeot another Ernst Henry design.

After receiving the telegram in Paris informing him of the teams misfortune Ernest sat in silence for a while before tossing them aside and growling “C’est ma poisse!” – It’s my bad luck.

After the race owners of #1003 included Centric Supercharger founder Christopher Shorrock and Anthony Heal in the UK, then D. Cameron Peck in Chicago, Briggs Cunningham and finally the Collier Collection.

Thanks for joining me on this “C’est Ma Poisse !” edition of “Gettin a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again for Mercedes Monday tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !

14/07/16 Thanks to Tim Murray and others at The Nostalgia Forum I have corrected the names Édouard and Maurice that originally appeared in this article to Gabriel Ernest Maurice and Albert.

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E Type – Healey Silverstone #E80

Following the production of 51 D Type Healey Silverstones up until 1950 production of the E Type’s commenced with the latest E specification Healey chassis slightly larger body and distinguishing intake in the bonnet/hood.

Healey Silverstone, VSCC Spring Start, Silverstone,

The earliest known owner for chassis #E80 featured today was M Reed in 1950.

Healey Silverstone, VSCC Spring Start, Silverstone,

Dudley Hely is known to have started racing the car in 1952 starting with an appearance at Goodwood in May that year in the BARC Handicap, result unknown.

In September 1952 Dudley drove #E80 to it and his only known victory at Silverstone on the National Circuit.

Healey Silverstone, VSCC Spring Start, Silverstone,

Dudley scored to 2nd place finishes in handicap events at Goodwood and Silverstone in 1953 and continued racing the car at both venues until 1956 when a bad crash with fatal consequences for the driver saw #E80 written off.

The wrecked car was subsequently broken up with the salvageable parts, that included; the chassis, front suspension, back axle and body, kept in storage for 40 years.

Healey Silverstone, VSCC Spring Start, Silverstone,

By 2006 restoration of #E80 was well underway and in 2008 current owner Neil Collins raced the car carrying it’s original registration number at the Goodwood Revival meeting.

#E80 is seen in these photo’s just after Mr Collins arrival at the recent VSCC Spring Start meeting at Silverstone where he was spectating.

Healey Silverstone, VSCC Spring Start, Silverstone,

Sharp eyed contributor Tim Murray pointed out to me some weeks ago that the Healey Silverstone #D6 which featured here some weeks ago is currently fitted with an E Type bonnet/hood with the distinctive air intake.

My thanks to Neil Collins and Tim Murray for their contribution to today’s “E Type” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I will be looking at a 1919 Indy Car. Don’t forget to come back now !

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Down Payment Protection – FIAT Dino Coupé 2000

In order to help Ferrari homologate, get competition type approval for, it’s 2 litre / 122 cui 65° V6 Enzo Ferrari concluded a deal with FIAT to manufacture the required number of units in March 1965.

FIAT Dino Coupé, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham

The engines would then be fitted to the Pininfarina bodied Ferrari 206 Dino and FIAT Dino Spyder 2000 and the Bertone bodied Dino Coupé, such as the one featured in these photographs, which was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro.

FIAT Dino Coupé, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham

The 2+2 Dino Coupé body, first seen in March 1967 sits on a slightly longer chassis that the 2+1 Dino Spyder first seen in October 1966, initially the Coupé also had superior internal trim which included a wood rimmed steering wheel unlike the plastic rimmed item in the Spyder.

FIAT Dino Coupé, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham

This particular 1967 Coupé was purchased in 2014 by it’s present owner in Lisbon, Portugal and is believed to have previously resided in Monaco.

FIAT Dino Coupé, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham

3,670 2.0-litre coupés, notably used by the Mafioso protecting a $4 million Chinese gold bullion down payment for a FIAT factory in The Italian Job staring Micheal Cane, were built up until 1969 when production of the larger 2.4 litre V6 Dino engines began for the Ferrari 246 Dino, Fiat Dino Spyder and Coupé plus the Lancia Stratos.

Thanks for joining me on this “Down Payment Protection” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I will be looking at another Healey. Don’t forget to come back now !

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Three Year Delivery – Packard 1107 Twelve Club Sedan

Today’s featured 1934 Packard 1107 Twelve Club Sedan is believed not to have been delivered to Earl C Anthonny’s dealership in San Fransisco until May 1937.

Packard 1107 12 Club Sedan, Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance

The Club Sedan was priced at $4060 new excluding the pair of side mounted spare tyres, heater and radio which cost $79.50.

Packard 1107 12 Club Sedan, Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance

The original owner of the car appears to be unknown but subsequent owners have included North California Packard owners club Projects Director John Kilkenny and been part of the Jack Passey collection of vintage vehicles.

Packard 1107 12 Club Sedan, Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance

Current owners Allen and Ana Nelson acquired this vehicle in 2004.

Packard 1107 12 Club Sedan, Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance

They had the engine rebuilt and exterior restored while the interior remains largely original.

Packard 1107 12 Club Sedan, Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance

This Twelve is believed to be one of 51 Club Sedans built in 1934 and one of just 12 remaining.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sharing these photographs taken at Hillsborough Concours d’Elegance in 2012.

Thanks for joining me on this “Three Year Delivery” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for FIAT Friday. Don’t forget to come back now !

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Coffee, Croissant & Cars 05/16 – Avenue Drivers Club

Last Sunday I popped along to the Avenue Drivers Club meeting just long enough to get today’s snaps before being called out for work before I had a chance to enjoy either a Coffee or Croissant.

Austin 12/4, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol,

Despite arriving shortly after 8 am the 1928 Austin 12/4 above was already leaving indicating the Square was already full.

Kenworth, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol,

Among the larger vehicles packing the Square was this 1999 Kenworth semi.

Honda Civic Type R, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol,

One of several Honda Civic Type Rs circulating was Spoonz, so new the registration is not yet on the DVLA data base.

Toyota Altezza, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol,

A personal import from Japan is the 1998 Toyota Altezza above, known in markets outside Japan as the entry level Lexus IS or GS.

Citroën Visa, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol,

It is amusing to think a couple of French chaps might have piled into the Citroën Visa above and driven all the way to Queen Square for an Avenue Drivers Club meeting, if highly unlikely.

Swallow Doretti , Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol,

Finally even rarer than the Italia 2000 GT which appeared at last month’s Avenue Drivers Club meeting is the Triumph powered Swallow Doretti seen above of which only 280 were built.

Thanks for joining me on this “Coffee, Croissant & Cars 05/16” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I will be looking at another Packard. Don’t forget to come back now !

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For Sale – Peugeot 206 GT #1335

For reasons that with hind sight defy any common sense while Peugeot was phasing out it’s extremely popular 205 in the early 1990’s Peugeot’s marketing department decided to abandon the 205 super mini market segment in the hope that it’s customers would opt either for the smaller 106 or larger 309.

Peugeot 206 GT, South Glouscestershire,

Needless to say the strategy did not have the desired effect on sales and so belatedly the Peugeot 206 model was launched in September 1998, in the UK with a catchy ad featuring a Hindustan Ambassador being crashed into various walls, sat on by an elephant and otherwise modified until it resembled a new 206.

Peugeot 206 GT, South Glouscestershire,

As with the 205 a WRC Rally version of the 206 was built with which Marcus Grönholm became World Rally Champion in 2000 and 2002.

Peugeot 206 GT, South Glouscestershire,

The 300hp all wheel drive 206 WRC car featured slightly different front and rear bumpers to the production 206’s which increased the length of the vehicle from 3.83m to 4m and to get these parts homologated, certified for competition, Peugeot had to build at least 2,500 copies of these parts for their customers.

Peugeot 206 GT, South Glouscestershire,

So in May 1999 Peugeot announced it would build 4,000 limited edition front wheel drive 206 Grand Tourisme models fitted with the longer bumpers, 137hp 2 litre, 16 valve petrol engines, 5 speed gearbox and 9 spoke alloy wheels available only for this model.

Peugeot 206 GT, South Glouscestershire,

Additional extra’s unique to the Grand Touriseme were numbered identification on the door pillars, body coloured wheel arch extensions, leather trimmed sports seats, a three spoke sports steering wheel, aluminium accelerator pedal and a unique metal finish instrument cluster.

Peugeot 206 GT, South Glouscestershire,

Acceleration times were quoted as 0-62mph in 8.9 seconds with a top speed of 129mph, at the time of writing only 114 of the 588 registered on the road in Britain remain on the road with another 87 being registered SORN, stored off road, with the authorities.

Today’s featured example #1335 first registered for the road on the 27th of September 1999 is for sale with less than 105500 miles on the clock, MOT due 4th May 2017, no advisories, recently rebuilt rear brakes and reconditioned alloy’s.

The owner says #1335, which carries a couple of minor scars on the bonnet and off side rear wheel arch, has fantastic handling and brutal acceleration and would make a great track day car.

If you are interested in purchasing it, through the third party that owns it, please do not hesitate to leave a message below.

Alternatively come and see it at the Avenue Drivers Club Meeting, Queen Square, Bristol on Sunday June 12th 8am sharp, usual disclaimers apply.

Thanks for joining me on this “For Sale” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !

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Maltese Heart Breaker – Mercedes Benz W121 B2 190 SL Roadster

The 1962 Sales Brochure for the Mercedes Benz 190 SL promoted the vehicle as “Sporty and comfortable: the car for two.”

Mercedes Benz 190 SL, Malta Classic Car Collection

The brochure went on to describe the 190 SL as “An exceptionally happy combination of experienced craftsmanship and undating beauty and driving comfort !

Mercedes Benz 190 SL, Malta Classic Car Collection

In addition…” continues the blurb, “it is one of the few cars which even the most critical test drivers parts with reluctantly and with profound admiration.”

Mercedes Benz 190 SL, Malta Classic Car Collection

In the second paragraph owners of 190 SL’s are described as having “… a mutual love of spirited driving, an ear for a powerful engine with a “masculine” tone, an appreciation of mechanical perfection –

Mercedes Benz 190 SL, Malta Classic Car Collection

and last but not least, the wish for maximum joy without sacrificing the joy of zestful driving.”

Mercedes Benz 190 SL, Malta Classic Car Collection

The 1962 190 SL seen in these photograph’s can be found at the excellent Malta Classic Car Collection in Qwara, well worth a visit if one is visiting the island.

Thanks for joining me on this “Maltese Heart Breaker” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a French homologation special. Don’t forget to come back now !

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