Tag Archives: Bizzarrini

Aqueous Friday – Silver Jubilee Silverstone Classic

Weather predictions have been pretty unreliable in this neck of the woods this year so when I was told that an aqueous qualifying day was predicted for the Silver Jubilee edition of the Silverstone Classic I paid little attention beyond checking my wellies and rain coat were packed.

Alexis HF1, Duncan Rabagliati, Silverstone Classic

Qualification started bearably moist as Duncan Rabagliati, driving his #7 Alexis Mk 1 and his fellow Formula Junior competitors hit the track.

Lister Chevrolet Knobbly, Roberto Giordanelli, Silverstone Classic,

As practice for the Stirling Moss Trophy came to an end I headed out to Brooklands where Roberto Giordanelli is seen kicking up a little spray aboard his Chevrolet powered Knobbly Lister.

Frazer Nash Supersports, Hall / Grant Peterkin, Silverstone Classic

As the Pre War Sports cars came out qualify for the Kidston Trophy the heavens opened up and I was caught in the wrong place in the wrong attire as Andrew Hall and Michael Grant Peterkin took turns in coming to terms with their severely under steering chain drive Frazer Nash Supersports on their way to fifth on the grid.

Jaguar E-Type, James Cottingham, Silverstone Classic,

Above James Cottingham drifts his #73 E-Type Jaguar through Club corner above on his way to second on the grid for the Tourist Trophy race.

Williams FW07C, Christophe d'Ansembourg, Silverstone Classic

Christophe d’Ansembourg entered Abbey curve backwards and is seen passing the apex at 90º to the track before recovering from the mother of all tank slappers without exceeding the track limits to qualify his Williams FW7C for the FIA Masters Historic Formula One Race 21st from 38 runners.

Audi 80 Quattro, Frank Wrathall, Silverstone Classic

With all wheel drive one might have expected Frank Wrathall to be a contender for pole in his Super Tourisieme Audi 80 Quattro however since the whole Super Touring Car qualifying session was run behind the safety car he was only awarded 13th place on the grid based on previous form.

Kurtis KK500C, Geriant Owen, Silverstone Classic

Conditions such as this would never be tolerated at Indianapolis but Geriant Owen put on a fine display of driving skill and qualified his 1954 Kurtis KK500C roadster a fine 12th for the Maserati Centenary Trophy race.

Nissan R90CK, Bob Berridge, Silverstone Classic,

Bob Berridge’s Japanese Group C spec Nissan R91CK will have been no stranger to monsoon conditions and so it was perhaps no surprise he qualified on pole for the Group C race, following in the US GTP spec #5 Spice SE90P is Steve Tandy who qualified 9th on the sadly depleted Group C grid.

Bizzarrini 5300 GT, Tim Harvey, Silverstone Classic

Roger Wills stepped down from driving his collection of cars this weekend and let Tim Harvey do the hard work, above Tim gets to grips with Rogers Bizzarini 5300GT which was awarded 7th on the grid for International Trophy for Classic GT Cars as once again the whole session had to be run behind the pace car.

Porsche 911 RSR, Mark Bates, Silverstone Classic

Mark Bates took full advantage of the tricky conditions to drift his Porsche 911 RSR to an unexpectedly high 4th on the grid amongst a gaggle of more powerful Lola T70’s and faster 2 litre / 122 cui Lola and Chevron sports racing cars on the FIA Masters Historic Sports Car grid.

Fortunately as we will see next week the rain eased off over night to make for an interesting day’s racing on Super Saturday.

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


Convertible Concours – La Jolla Concours d’Elegance

A couple of weeks ago Geoffrey Horton dusted off his Jaguar XK140 and took it down to the La Jolla Concours d’Elgance, and kindly sent today’s photographs for me to share.

Jaguar, XK 140, XK 120, La Jolla Concours d'Elegance,

Above Geoffrey’s immaculate white XK140 is seen parked up next to the Steven Card’s XK class winning 1954 Jaguar XK 12O Convertible.

Bianchi S8 Cabriolet, La Jolla Concours d'Elegance,

Edorado Bianchi began manufacturing motor cars at his Milan factory in 1900, the Swiss Garber bodied 1929 Bianchi S8 convertible above was shown at the 1929 Geneva Motor Show, it was given the Aubery Taylor Award of Excellence for Best Upholstery at La Jolla, Bianchi became Autobianchi with FIAT’s help in 1955 nearly a decade after founder Edorado perished in a car accident.

Bentley 4 1/4 litre Roadster, La Jolla Concours d'Elegance,

Staying with the open top theme Brooke and Gary D. Moore’s French looking 1936 Bentley 4 1/4 litre with modern Roadster coachwork by Chalmers and Gathings built as a homage to Georges Paulin, above, won the Peoples Choice Award.

Mercedes Benz 300SL Roadster, La Jolla Concours d'Elegance,

The purple Hjeltness Restoration Incs 1957 Mercedes Benz 300SL Roadster above did not win any awards despite it’s unusually appealing, to my eyes, colour.

Ford Thunderbird Convertible, La Jolla Concours d'Elegance,

Warren Reidel’s 1963 Ford Thunderbird Convertible above was not a prize winner either.

Bizzarrini 5300GT Strada Barchetta, La Jolla Concours d'Elegance,

Giotto Bizzarrini supervised the production of 1 5300 SI Spyder and two Targa tops by Turin’s Stile Italia, Geoffrey’s photograph is the first I have ever seen of a 5300 GT Strada Barchetta I suspect it is either a post factory conversion or a new creation from old stock for owner Gerhard Eckstein.

McLaren 650S Spider, La Jolla Concours d'Elegance,

Last year, 2014, McLaren started building the 650S similar to the MP4-12C but with 25% new parts. The 650S Spider will reach 60 mph from rest in 3 exciting seconds and has a top speed of 204 mph.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sharing his photographs.

Thanks for joining me on this Convertible Concours edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at an FIAT with a sting in it’s tail. Don’t forget to come back now !


Implosion Fallout – Derrington Francis ATS

Following the success in 1961 sweeping the Formula One World Drivers, with Phil Hill, and Manufacturers championships along with the World Sports Car Championship which included winning all but one race including the prestigious Le Mans 24 Hours with Phil Hill and Olivier Gendebien Ferrari went into an equally disastrous melt down over the running of the company that saw key employees walk away from Maranello.

Among those who left were Chief Engineer Carlo Chiti and Development Engineer Giotto Bizzarrini who almost immediately founded ATS, Automobili Turismo Sport, to rival Ferrari in the production of racing cars and sports cars all funded by one of Ferrari’s preeminent customers Count Giovanni Volpi who ran the Scuderia Serenissima racing team.

Derrington Francis ATS, Goodwood Revival,

For 1963 ATS had built two ATS 100 Formula One cars powered by their own V8 motor and persuaded Ferrari drivers Phil Hill and Giancarlo Baghetti to defect from Maranello and drive for them.

The 1963 season yielded an unsustainable 8 retirements equally between the two ATS drivers with the teams only finishes being recorded at the Italian Grand Prix where Phil finished 11th and last placed starter Giancarlo finished 15th.

Derrington Francis ATS, Jason Wright, Goodwood Revival,

Undeterred by the lack of enthusiasm for his 1960 Walker Climax project, for 1964 former Stirling Moss and Rob Walker mechanic Alf Francis persuaded performance equipment magnate Vic Derrington to fund a new team.

Alf Francis built a new chassis six inches shorter than the ATS 100s driven by Phil Hill and Giancarlo Baghetti and fitted it with a Carlo Chiti designed ATS V8 motor and steering wheel boss from the now defunct ATS team.

Derrington Francis ATS, Goodwood Revival,

The Derrington Francis was ready for the 1964 Italian Grand Prix for Portuguese driver Mário de Araújo Cabral.

Mario coincidentally had been “encouraged to withdraw” from the grid at Monza in 1963 by the race organisers to make the last place on the grid available to failed qualifier but home boy ATS driver Giancarlo Baghetti.

Derrington Francis ATS, Goodwood Revival,

After qualifying 19th for the 1964 Italian Grand Prix Mário this time took the start, but retired after 24 laps with ignition problems.

The Derrington Francis Racing Team folded after Dan Gurney damaged the Derrington Francis while testing it.

Derrington Francis ATS, Jason Wright, Goodwood Revival,

Meanwhile Mário retired from the top level of the sport with his best result from four starts being 10th place in the 1959 Portuguese Grand Prix on his debut.

Jason Wright is seen at the wheel of the Derrington Francis ATS at Goodwood Revival events in 2011 and 2012.

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


Arise Sir John ? Pt 1 – Ferrari 158 # 006

After the success of winning the 1961 World Drivers and Manufacturers Championships with Phil Hill driving the shark nose V6 powered Ferrari 156 model, the team experienced one of it periodic slumps.

Ferrari 158, Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham

The ensuing 12 months saw Enzo Ferrari fallout with a patential saviour Ford, a couple of customers Ferruccio Lamborghini and Count Giovanni Volpi di Misurata his engineers Carlo Chiti and Giotto Bizzarrini and star driver Phil Hill.

Ferrari 158, Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham

Despite these difficulties Enzo set Mauro ‘Fury’ Forghieri to work on a new V8 powered formula one challenger which was ready at the begining of 1964 for seven time world Motor Cycle Champion John Surtees to drive in his second season with the team.

Ferrari 158, Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham

John’s first season with Ferrari driving the old V6 powered shark nose had seen him finish four races in 4th, 3rd, 2nd and culminating with a win in the 1963 German Grand Prix which saw him finish 4th overall in the World Drivers Championship and Ferrari 4th overall in the constructors championship.

Ferrari 158, Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham

Unlike the 1963 championship wining monocoque chassis Lotus 25, the Ferrari 158 features a semi monocoque chassis which has aluminium sheets riveted to a steel structure.

Ferrari 158, Goodwood Revival

The 8 cylinder 1,489 cc / 90.9 cui type 205/B motor like the contemporaneous Coventry Climax V8 that powered the Lotus and BRM V8 has two banks of cylinders inclined at 90 degrees and produces around 210hp.

Ferrari 158, Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham

The motor mounted behind the driver was attached to a Ferrari 6 speed gear box and the whole car weighed in at 468 kg / 1,032 lb with water and oil.

Ferrari 158, Goodwood Revival

There were 10 races counting toward the 1964 World Championship and John qualified 4th for the first round at Monaco but retired after 15 laps with a broken gearbox in a race won by Graham Hill from team mate Richie Ginther driving for BRM.

Ferrari 158, Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham

John qualified 4th again for the Dutch Grand Prix and this time finished second to Jim Clark’s Lotus. At the Belgian and French Grand Prix John qualified 5th and 3rd respectively but retired from both with engine problems with less than half a dozen laps completed.

Ferrari 158, Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham

At the 1964 British Grand Prix John qualified fifth but managed to go the whole distance to finish third behind Jim Clark and Graham Hill, Clark who had won the Belgian Grand Prix was leading Hill by four points in the championship with Surtees outside the top five 20 points behind Clark.

Ferrari 158, Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham

John qualified, chassis #006 featured in these photographs, on pole for the German Grand Prix and went on to win the race from Graham Hill while Clark began a series of three consecutive retirements thanks to two engine and one half shaft failure.

Ferrari 158, Goodwood Revival

All three emergent championship contenders retired from the Austrian Grand Prix which was won by John’s team mate Lorenzo Bandini.

Ferrari 158, Goodwood Revival

Going into the Italian Grand Prix John was 13 points behind championship leader Graham Hill but a second win from pole, again in chassis #006, closed the gap to just four points as both Graham and Jim Clark failed to finish.

I’ll conclude the story of John’s championship Formula One season next week, but meantime there is a petition to get John Surtees the knighthood he so richly deserves for being the only man to win World Championships on two wheels and four, if you would like to sign FOLLOW THIS LINK.

Thanks for joining me on this “Arise Sir John ? Pt 1” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psychoontyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a Jaguar Special. Don’t forget to come back now !


Bow Tie Or Oval – ISO Grifo Series 2

Today’s featured car, seen at Silverstone Classic a couple of years ago, is a 1972 ISO Grifo Series 2 with the half hooded head lights that were first seen in 1970.

Iso Grifo, Silverstone Classic

1972 saw the Grifo offered with a 7.4 litre / 454 cui Chevrolet V8 known as the CAN Am, newly introduced 5.8 litre / 351 cui Ford Boss V8 known as the IR8, or the 5.4 litre / 327 cui small block Chevrolet V8. The records lodged with the licensing authorities for this car and the absence of a large pagoda intake on the bonnet show that this car has a Bow Tie (Chevrolet) under the bonnet.

Iso Grifo, Silverstone Classic

I don’t recall seeing any other car with a vented fuel cap cover before. By 1972 the oil crisis was beginning to emerge with the price of fuel rocketing tough trading conditions for manufacturers of large motorcars began to set in.

Iso Grifo, Silverstone Classic

But as we shall see in the coming weeks that did not stop ISO Rivolta introducing two updated models during the course of the year in which the production of the ISO Grifo CAN Am was halted.

Iso Grifo, Silverstone Classic

I am reasonably certain the rear lights of all Grifo models were sourced from the ALFA Romeo Junior / GTV parts bin, if you know this for a fact please do not hesitate to chip in below.

Iso Grifo, Silverstone Classic

By all accounts the French sourced electric windows could be a little temperamental and the factory being aware of this thoughtfully provided a little crank which when inserted into small hole in the door panel would allow one to crank open or close the window as required. If only manufacturers were so thoughtful today !

Iso Grifo, Silverstone Classic

The with a Giotto Bizzarrini designed chassis and Marcello Gandini, working for Bertone, body the Series I Grifos are considered classics, the 78 Series II cars with the half hidden headlights are considered timeless.

Thanks for joining me on this “Bow Tie or Oval” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a Morris Pickup. Don’t forget to come back now !


Out Of Disagreement – Lamborghini 350GT

With his back against the wall and desperate for cash to keep Ferrari afloat in 1962 Enzo Ferrari fell out with many who crossed his path including potential saviours Ford, which led directly to Ford initiating it’s GT40 competition program, Count Giovanni Volpi di Misurata who promptly employed Ferrari’s recently departed designer Giotto Bizzarrini to develop and build the legendary Ferrari 250 Breadvan, and agricultural machinery magnate Ferruccio Lamborghini, the latter who allegedly fell out over the shade of red his car was to be painted.

Lamborghini 350GT, Carmel Concours By The Sea

Ferruccio Lamborghini, undertook to build a GT car to compete with the best Ferrari could build and employed Giotto Bizzarrini to design the motor and chassis.

Bizzarrini moved on to ISO Rivolta before the design was ready for production and Gian Paolo Dallara working with Paolo Stanzani and Bob Wallace were employed to complete the task.

The first Lamborghini, GTV, appeared at the Turin Motor show in October 1963 and went into production the following year by which time the substantially redesigned for the road model was known as the 350 GT powered by the Bizzarrini inspired 4 cam V12 which could easily be tuned to give 400hp.

Lamborghini 350GT, Carmel Concours By The Sea

With just 270hp the 350 GT was capable of nearly 160 mph. The bodies were built by Touring of Turin, the chassis by Marchesi and the motors in Lamborghini’s own factory in Sant’Agata, Bolognese.

It is thought 135 350 GT’s, like the one seen here at Carmel Conours by The Sea, were built of which 85 are believed to have survived.

This particular car was found in France by the current owner and is in preserved original condition having only been serviced and cleaned.

I believe the 350GT would originally have been fitted with oblong headlights which may have been changed to the current quad round set up to meet US regulations.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sharing his photographs of today’s featured car.

Thanks for joining me on this ‘Out Of Disagreement’ edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at an extraordinary special built by the equally extraordinary John Bolster. Don’t forget to come back now !


The Breadvan – Ferrari 250 GT SWB #2819

Today’s unique vehicle came to be built after Count Giovanni Volpi di Misurata fell out with Enzo Ferrari for financing a rival Formula One team ATS which employed ex Ferrari personnel Carlo Chiti, Giotto Bizzarrini and World Champion driver the American Phil Hill.

#2819 started life as a regular Ferrari 250 GT SWB and was entered in the 1961 Tour de France by Ecurie Francochamps for Olivier Gendebien and Lucien Bianchi who finished 2nd. The car was then acquired by Count Giovanni Volpi di Misurata who’s Scuderia Serenissima di Venezia entered the 1961 Paris 1000 kms for Maurice Trintignant and Nino Vaccarella who finished 3rd.

Ferrari 250 GT SWB, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

Wanting a third vehicle to enter in his Le Mans team which included one 250 GTO, #3445 and a Ferrari TR/61, #0792TR which won at Sebring, but unable to secure a second 250 GTO from Ferrari, Count Volpi di Misurata had his 1961 250 GT SWB upgraded to 250 GTO spec by the very man responsible for conceiving the original 250 GT SWB and 250 GTO series Giotto Bizzarrini.

Allegedly in just 14 days Giotto Bizzarrini & Piero Drogo modified Count di Misurata’s 250 GT SWB by moving the dry sumped engine back 5 inches behind the front axle so that it could be mounted lower in the chassis. Piero Drogo came up with a staggeringly beautiful body with a cut off ‘Kamm’ tail which led to the name Breadvan. The finished car was 143 lbs lighter than the 250 GTO and 7 mph faster on the 4 mile Mulsanne straight at Le Mans.

Ferrari 250 GT SWB, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

The body of the 250 GT SWB Breadvan is so low that a plastic bubble was devised for the hood to cover the six Webber carburettors. The 276 horse power 2953 cc / 180 cui V12 engine weighed nearly half that of the contemporary XK straight six used by Jaguar in it’s D & E Type racers.

#2819 driven by Carlo Maria Abate and Colin Davis was leading the works 250 GTO’s in the 1962 Le Mans 24 Hours when it retired after four hours with drive shaft failure. After a 4th place finish at Brands Hatch for Abate, and 3rd place in Paris for Ludovico Scarfiotti and Davis the ‘Breadvan’ was used by Count di Misurata as a road car.

Ferrari 250 GT SWB, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

The original SWB body from #2819 was fitted to chassis #2439 by Scaglietti in 1962 after Gunnar Anderson had a couple of accidents at Falkenberg and Västkustloppet in Scandinavia.

Apparently Count Volpi di Misurata lent The Breadvan to Gianni Agnelli, then head of FIAT, who had the vehicle painted black by his butler because it reminded him of a hearse, it is not noted if this had anything to do with then delicate state of Ferrari finances at the time, the Ferrari road car division was eventually absorbed by FIAT in 1969.

Thanks for joining me on this “The Breadvan Edition” of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at Colin Chapmans 1968 turbo charged all wheel drive Indy challenger. Don’t forget to come back now !