Tag Archives: All

All Time Star – Mercedes Benz W198 300 SL

Firstly I will start with an apology for not being able to keep “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” going as a daily blog, unfortunately activities that are fun are rarely financially viable and in order to maintain some financial liquidity I took a job back in October.

Mercedes Benz 300 SL, Goodwood Festival of Speed

While I love the job, driving an ambulance for the transplant services and it is not particularly demanding of my time, it is all hours which means my body clock rarely knows if it is day or night, so for the foreseeable future the blog will carry on as and when.

Mercedes Benz 300 SL, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Today’s featured Fire Department Red Mercedes Benz 300 SL Roadster was first registered in January 1962.

Mercedes Benz 300 SL, Goodwood Festival of Speed

The car has covered just 75kms since it’s restoration and is now offered for sale by All Time Stars.

Mercedes Benz 300 SL, Goodwood Festival of Speed

All Time Stars is a commercial arm of the official Mercedes Benz museum in Stuttgart that offers classic Mercedes Benz models for sale.

Mercedes Benz 300 SL, Goodwood Festival of Speed

After a 160 point check the vehicles offered are divided into Drovers, Collectors and Concours categories, the 300 SL seen here at Goodwood Festival of Speed was being offered for €1.9 million, but has yet to appear on the All Time Stars website.

Thanks for joining me on toady’s edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me next time when I’ll be looking at a Delage. Don’t forget to come back now !


Classic Competition Cars – Classic Motor Show NEC Birmingham

Today’s blog is all about some of the classic competition vehicles at last weekends Classic Motor Show at the NEC in Birmingham.

Rosemary Smith,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

A couple of weeks ago I went to a talk at which Rosemary Smith, winner of the 1965 Tulip Rally driving the Hillamn Imp above, was to be the guest of honour, unfortunatley she had a fall and so could not make it so it was great to see her on her feet again at the Classic Motor Show despite the fact that some of her bones were still on the mend.

MG B Roadster,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

Rosemary drove a Ford Cortina Lotus on the 1968 London to Sydney Rally and finished 48th six places behind Jean Denton who drove the MGB GT Roadster seen above in need of some tlc, who finished 42nd.

Discovery Beetle,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

Among the taller vehicles at the show was the road legal Gulf liveried Discovery Beetle, above, built on a shortened 1996 Land Rover Discovery chassis and fitted with a 300 TDi which being lighter and more aerodynamic than a standard Discovey goes well on the road and is perfect for off road trials.

Cooper Daimler T87,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

Having acquired a 1966 Cooper T81 formula one car and fitted it with a 7.2 litre / 440 cui wedge engine for hill climbing Martin Brain acquired a 1967 Cooper T87 Formula 2 chassis and had it fitted with a 2.5 litre / 152 cui Daimler hemi V8, more commonly found in the SP250 and V8 250 Daimler models, for hill climbing on tracks with tighter corners. The car was rescued from a Swedish Museum in 2011 by Gillian Goldsmith better known as a successful equestrian and car racer Gillian Fortescue-Thomas who has since competed with the Cooper Daimler as has her daughter Samantha.

Gould NME GR61X,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

Powered by a 650 hp Nicholson McLaren Engines (NME) 3.5 litre / 213 cui development of the Cosworth HB Indy car engine the Gould NME GR61X is the most successful car ever to compete in British Hill Climbing with Scott Moran claiming 133 wins and Roger Moran claiming a further 16 and Alex Summers 8 since the cars first appearance in April 2005.

Empire Wraith,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

Successful Trike hill climber and Empire Racing Cars founder Bill Chaplin called Dutch born Formula One aerodynamicist Willem Toet, most recently at Sauber, to work on the Empire Wraith hill climb challenger which is powered by a 180hp Suzuki GSR K8 motor. This example built at the Empire factory in Stathe Somerset in 2013 is the first of three built to date and is driven by Clive Austin and Chris Aspinall.

Healey Westland,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

In 1948 Donald Healey and Geoffrey Healey drove the Healey Westland above to a ninth place finish on the Mille Miglia, the following year Tommy Wisdom and Geoffrey finished 10th in the same event in the same car.

Marcos Prototype,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

By 1959 former de Haviland aircraft engineer Frank Costin had a CV that included designing the Vanwall Grand Prix challenger that won the inaugural World Constructors Championship in 1958 and subsequent demand for his attention included that of Jem Marsh with whom he founded Marcos Engineering in Dolgellau, North Wales. The prototype Marcos, using the same plywood construction techniques de Haviland used to build the Mosquito fighter bomber the Vampire jet fighter, built in 1959 powered by a Ford 100E engine is seen above awaiting some well earned tlc having disappeared in Lincoln for many years.

Italia 2000GT,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

Only 329 Italia 2000 GT’s were built by Vignale and in 1996 Jorg Von Appen had #210, one of five Italia’s he owned converted to race spec to take part in the TR Race series, it survived four races and was recently purchased by the proprietor of Patterson’s Original Pickles.

Porsche 904 Carrera GTS,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

After withdrawing from Formula One at the end of 1962 Porsche built their first tube framed fiberglass bodied sports car which would culminate in the development of the 917 and later 936 models, originally known as the 904 Porsche badged the car Carrera GTS in deference to Peugeot’s ‘digit “0” digit’ numbering system. The GTS seen here was I believe used in competition by Claude Barbier and possibly later by Cyr Febbrairo.

BMW GTP,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

No doubt much to the annoyance of Formula Ring Meister Bernie Ecclestone the manufacturer who supplied the engines for his Formula One Brabham team split it’s efforts in 1986 between Formula One and the IMSA GTP series and invested in four March 86G chassis and fitted them with a 2 litre / 122 cui version of the BMW engine that had powered Nelson Piquet to the World Championship in 1983. A BMW GTP was driven to it’s only victory by Davy Jones and John Andretti in the Watkins Glen 500, while the Brabham BMW team scored on 2 championship points in the worst season for the team up to that time.

Eagle HF89,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

Dan Gurney’s All American Racers graduated to the IMSA GTP class in 1989, after claiming the driver’s and constructors’ championships in the GTO division Chris Cord in 1987, the teams all new HF89 was designed by Ron Hopkins and Hiro Fujimori and the following year Argentina’s Juan Manuel Fangio II drove HF89’s to three victories in the Topeka 300, Sears Point 300 with Rocky Moran and Del Mar Fairgrounds Road Circuit in November 1990.

Thanks for joining me on this “Classic Competition Cars” edition of Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a Carrera Panamericana challenger. Don’t forget to come back now !


Classic Acid – Dodge Challenger

I was reminded of today’s photograph by Geoffrey Horton at the 2008 Danville Concours d’Elegance yesterday by my response to a blog about movies beginning with the letter V by Chief 187. One of my all time favorite movies is “Vanishing Point” (1971) which features a white Dodge Challenger in the ‘maximum trip at maximum speed’.

Dodge Challenger

I believe the #77 Dodge ‘Classic Wax’ Challenger seen here is owned by Ken Epsman was originally prepared by Dan Gurney’s All American Racers for the 1970 Trans Am championship and driven by Sam Posey.

Back then teams would acid dip their cars to make them lighter and allegedly after this car had passed tech inspection at the first race of the season at Laguna Seca the team offered the Chief Technical Inspector a beer, who then relaxed, resting his elbow on the roof of this car which dimpled in as a result of having spent a little too much time in the acid bath.

The Technical Inspector promptly informed the team that they could no longer run until the roof had been replaced. Within an hour the roof of a brand new Challenger in a Monterey Dodge Dealers show room was being torched off before replacing the offending dimpled roof.

Sam drove the 3200 lb 460 hp car to 6th place in the race and claimed 4th place in the championship standings at the end of the season.

My thanks to Chief 187, Geoffrey Horton and to the Historic Trans Am website.

Thanks for joining me on today’s ‘Acid Bath’ edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’, I hope you’ll join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Rained Off – Eagle Offenhauser 7400

As I mentioned yesterday the 1975 Indianapolis was won by Bobby Unser and today thanks to photo’s by Ed Arnaudin we can have a look at the #48 Eagle Offy 7400 driven by Bobby Unser, seen starting on the outside of the front row with #20 Gordon Johncock and #14 AJ Foyt on pole, that was declared the winner after 174 of the scheduled 200 laps.

1975 Indy 500

All American Racers which manufactured Eagle racing cars was set up initially by Dan Gurney and Carroll Shelby to tackle the World Championship Grand Prix circuit and the US Champ Car and Sportscar circuits in 1964.

In 1967 Dan Gurney won the Belgian Grand Prix in an Eagle Weslake Mk 1, also known as T1G, run by the firms UK based satellite team known as Anglo American Racers. The following year Bobby Unser won the Indy 500 in an Eagle chassis.

Upon retiring from the cockpit Dan Gurney bought Shelby out and in 1973 Gordon Johncock in an Eagle run by Pat Patrick was declared winner of the tragic rain shortened race, in which his team mate Swede Savage suffered injuries from which he would later die and a member of his pit crew was fatally struck in pit road by a fire truck going the wrong way down pit road to attend to the Savage incident.

Eagle Offenhaser 7400, Indy 500

By 1975 McLaren also with two Indy 500 wins were regularly challenging Eagle for overall supremacy on the USAC Champcar Circuit and this would prove to be the third and final Indy 500 victory for the Eagle marque.

It transpires that the Eagle chassis type numbering system is worthy of a large dense volume all of it’s own, however to the best of my knowledge the winning car that Bobby Unser car drove is a type 7400, if a chassis number becomes known to me I’ll add it below.

Bobby Unser is part of one US Racing’s elite families, he and his younger brother Al Snr competed on the Champ Car circuit in the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s.

Bobby known as the ‘undisputed King of Pikes Peak’, counts among his many success 13 Pikes Peak hill climb victories, 8 of them in a ten year period, the ’68 and ’74 USAC Champ Car championships, along with his Indy 500 wins of ’68, ’75 and ’81.

In 1968 Bobby participated in two Grand Prix for BRM, after qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix he flew back to the United States and took part in the Hoosier 100 at Indianapolis, upon his return to Monza with fellow Italian GP qualifier Andretti, they were told that the rules forbade drivers to participate in 2 races less than 24 hours apart.

Eagle Offenhaser 7400, Indy 500

In 1975 Bobby also won the IROC championship to confirm his all round versatility.

Hope you have enjoyed today’s All American Racers edition of getting a lil’ psycho on tyres, and that you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !