Tag Archives: Bruce

Triple London Championship Night – Wimbledon Stadium

Thanks to a recent fb friendship struck up by Ray Miles in Florida and Rob Hughes in Liverpool I was alerted to the Triple London Championship Night which ran at Wimbledon Stadium couple of weeks ago.

Ford Escort Mk2, Andy Steward, Classic Hot Rods, London Championship, Wimbledon,

Thanks to a soccer match in Chelsea I got snarled up in traffic and missed the first heats for the Junior Micra Stock Cars, Superstox and 2.0 Hot Rods, but made it just in time to catch the first heat for the beautifully turned out Pinto powered Classic Hot Rods which featured a great battle for the lead between the #198 Mk2 Ford Escort driven by Andy Steward and the #45 Austin A40 Countryman driven by Craig Boyd which went Andy’s way.

Superstox, London Championship, Wimbledon,

The Superstox action featured a bit more bumping and boring for which the cars are better equipped, unfortunately I arrived too late to get a programme and the only thing I can tell you is that the race was won by John Saunders, who also won the first heat and that the green #454 seen above finished 5th in heat to having finished 4th in Heat 1, if you know who the driver of the #454 is please do not hesitate to chip in below.

Nissan Micra,  Samuel Dobbs, Junior Micra Stock Cars, Wimbledon

Samuel Dobbs is seen above on his way to a win in the 2nd heat of the Junior Micra Stock Cars which with all their additional safety equipment and what appeared to be standard suspension have some interesting handling characteristics.

Vauxhall Tigra, Robert Gamble, 2.0 Hot Rod, London Championship, Wimbledon

Robert Gamble seen in his #133 Vauxhall Tigra above held on to win the 2nd Heat for the 2.0 Hot Rod’s from the #71 Citroën Saxo driven by Gordan Alexander.

Barry Lee, Kenny Ireland, Wimbledon Stadium

Four time Hot Road World Champion Barry “#351 Leapy” Lee, and Scottish Saloon Stocks, Superstox & Hot Rods champion Kenny Ireland are seen on a lap of honour above they were joined as guests of honour by 1976 World Champion George Polley and 1980 World Champion Mick ‘Duffy’ Collard.

Ford Anglia, John Bowring,  Classic Hot Rods, London Championship, Wimbledon,

Craig Boyd retired his Austin early in the 2nd Classic Hot Rods heat, leaving Andy Steward to an easy win once he had battled his way into the lead, the race featured a fantastic race long scrap between the Ford Anglia’s driven by #101 John Bowring, #924 Stuart Wright and #911, seen on the outside, driven by Harry Steward who crossed the finish in 6th, 7th and 8th places respectively.

Nissan Micra, Robbie Bruce, Junior Micra Stock Cars, Wimbledon

Repeating his heat one Junior Micra Stock Cars win in the final was Robbie Bruce seen above three wheeling his way around turn 2 aided by second place finisher #340 Will Blazer.

Citroén Saxo, Gordan Alexander, 2.0 Hot Rod, London Championship, Wimbledon

Gordan Alexander fought his way to the front to claim the 2.0 Hot Rod Final in his #71 Citroën Saxo the #565 driven by Dan Smith and the #39 driven by Rick Parnell who were both also pedaling Citroën Saxo’s.

Ford Escort RS2000 Mk2, Lee Wood, Wimbledon Stadium,

Lee Wood is seen above leading Mick ‘Duffy’ Collard during a demonstration run for the fans in their immaculate replica World Championship winning cars.

Ford Escort Mk2, Andy Steward, Classic Hot Rods, London Championship, Wimbledon,

Andy Steward retained his Classic Hot Rods London Championship title despite the best efforts of Craig Boyd in his repaired #45 Austin seen lifting an inside wheel above.

Jason Cooper, Superstox, London Championship, Wimbledon,

Jason Cooper is seen above taking the flag in the Superstox final at the end of an entertaining evening at Wimbledon Stadium which I hope to visit again before it is scheduled to be swallowed up by dreaded property developers.

My thanks to Ray Miles and Rob Hughes for giving me the heads up also to Rob for event programme details, to keep up with news on Classic Hot Rods follow Rob Hughes dedicated fb page linked here, news on Spedeworth events at Wimbledon and their other venues can be found on this link.

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


Airship Powered Belgian – Métallurgique 60/80 Maybach

In 1898 the Belgian manufacturer of railway locomotives and rolling stock Métallurgique in an effort to diversify unveiled it’s first prototype car that resembled the contemporary German two cylinder Daimlers.

Encouraged by the public’s enthusiastic response Métallurgique built a factory for car manufacture in 1900 and launched it’s first 2 cylinder model for sale in 1901 before expanding it’s range to include four cylinder models with pressed-steel chassis, swing axles, high-tension ignition and with a novel for the period electric dynamo option to facilitate electric lighting.

Métallurgique 60/80 hp Maybach, Brian Moore, Chateau Impney

The companies pre 1914/18 range was topped by the 60/80 model that was powered by a 4 cylinder 10 litre / 610 cui motor that could reach speeds of 62.5 mph.

Métallurgique 60/80 hp Maybach, Brian Moore, Chateau Impney

The engine today’s featured 60/80 car is said to have been swapped for it’s current 6 cylinder 21 litre / 1281 cui Maybach airship motor in 1910 when the motor was new, one source suggests this was allegedly done to satisfy run away school boy turned racer David Loney Bruce Brown’s requirement that the Métallurgique should have a 100mph capability, but I have not seen any independent corroborating evidence backing the allegation.

Métallurgique 60/80 hp Maybach, Brian Moore, Chateau Impney

MM 1907 was first registered for use on British roads on 17th of May 1950, thanks to the “YoungManGoneWest” blog published in August 2011 we know that Douglas Fitzpatrick, believed to be Douglas Bader’s flying instructor, appears to have owned this Métallurgique from at least 1957 as evidenced by a Pathé newsreel that show’s him polishing the car at Beaulieu and that he drove it in the Brighton Speed Trials in 1959, ’61 and ’64, Douglas reckoned his Métallurgique was capable of 120 mph in one report on Bizarre Cars in 1966.

Métallurgique 60/80 hp Maybach, Brian Moore, Chateau Impney

A Dutchman Ad Schuring who visited Douglas Fitzpatrick at Sheringham Hall in Norfolk and was taken for rides in the Métallurgique seems to recall that the 60/80 appeared in non staring rolls in the films Around the World in 80 Days 1956 and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 1968.

Douglas Fitzpatrick had a German called Gerry, who lived above the garages at Sheringham Hall, look after the Métallurgique along with his other cars that included an Achilles, a Wolseley Siddley, a brace of Rolls Royces and a supercharged Singer Gazelle.

Brian Moore is seen at the wheel of the Métallurgique 60/80 Maybach in these photograph’s at Chateau Impney Hillclimb last year, if you happen to know anything about the veracity of the story about David Loney Bruce Brown’s involvement with the fitting of the Maybach engine to this Métallurgique in 1910 please do not hesitate to chime in below.

Thanks for joining me on this “Airship Powered Belgian” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for another visit to Aust Services. Don’t forget to come back now !


Testing The Beat – McLaren F1 GTR #10R

For several years before his untimely death Bruce McLaren toyed with the idea of building a road car once his racing operations had become firmly established. In 1970 he had a Can Am McLaren M6 fitted with a GT body that both he and Gordon Coppock had worked on to perfect. After Bruces death the directors of McLaren decided to shelve the road car project although to further copies of the M6GT were built by Trojan who were responsible for building McLaren’s customer racing cars.

Twenty years later McLaren designer Gordon Murray convinced Ron Dennis to back his concept for the ultimate road car which Peter Stevens was engaged to complete the exterior styling. The McLaren F1 road car was launched in 1992 and in 1998 it set road car speed records of 231 mph with the rev limiter switched on and 243 with the limiter switched off.

At around the same time as the launch of the F1 a movement for racing GT cars was gathering pace and for the 1995 Season McLaren built 9 F1 GTR variants the first of which #01R, modified road car chassis #019 was loaned to Lanzante Motorsport who entered Yannick Dalmas, Masanori Sekiya and JJ Lehto into the 1995 Le Mans 24 hours under the Kokusai Kaihatsu Racing banner and improbably won as a result of superior reliability over the much faster Courage Porsche C34 prototype driven by “Brilliant” Bob Wolleck, Eric Hélary and Mario Andretti. The race winners covered just 298 laps the last time a Le Mans 24 hours had been won with less than 300 laps completed was 1952 to when Hermann Lang and Fritz Reiss drove their Mercedes Benz 300SL to victory with 277 laps completed.

McLaren F1 GTR, Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham

For the 1996 season Mclaren built a further batch of nine cars with extended front and rear bodywork which was easier to remove than on the original ’95 F1 GTR, magnesium gearbox housing with stronger internals which resulted in a lighter car. Two of the ’95 Spec F1 GTR’s were similarly upgraded.

Today’s featured vehicle is the first of the ’96 F1 GTR’s chassis #10R which was used as a test development vehicle to replace the Le Mans winning #01R which had immediately been retired from competition for publicity purposes.

David Brabham used the car for a test session at Le Mans in 1996 where he recorded the 20th fastest time, but the car has never been raced.

When pop drummer Nick Mason bought #10R he had McLaren convert the car for road use as were several F1 GTR’s once their competition careers were over.

Mark Hales tested the 600hp BMW V12 powered #10R for Evo magazine and recorded a 0-60mph time of 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 240.1 mph.

In 1997 a further development of the F1 GTR featuring an even longer body, 10 examples of which were built. An over view of the racing results of the F1 GTR from 1995 to 2007 can be seen on this link.

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


The Kiwi Bear Corrections – McLaren Offy M15

Firstly a big thanks to racer Jerry Entin who kindly corrected a blog I posted a couple of years ago about Denis Hulme’s participation in the 1970 Indy 500 and has kindly sent some additional photo’s from the IMS Archive to complete the story.

McLaren Offy M15, Indy 500

Photo Courtesy Jerry Entin and IMS Archive 1970

For 1970 Bruce McLaren had Gordon Coppock design the first McLaren Indy 500 challenger, above the #73 McLaren Offy M15 is seen in the Indy pit lane with Denny at the wheel, Tyler Alexander crouched beside him and Teddy Mayer with clip board on the pit wall. Jerry tells me the little guy in the back ground is Chickie Hirashima a well known crew chief and Offy engine builder.

McLaren Offy M15, Indy 500

Photo Courtesy Jerry Entin and IMS Archive 1970

The turbocharged Offenhauser’s that McLaren used were prepared by George Bolthoff (R) with help from the legendary Herb “Herbie Horsepower” Porter (L) of Speedway Engines.

McLaren Offy M15, Indy 500

Photo Courtesy Steve Arnaudin Copyright Ed Arnaudin 1970

Ed Arnaudin’s photo above show’s New Zealander Denny taking part in practice,

McLaren Offy M15, Indy 500

Photo Courtesy Jerry Entin and IMS Archive 1970

his team mate in the #75 McLaren Offy M15 was to have been fellow New Zealander Chris Amon with whom team owner Bruce McLaren had won the 1966 Le Mans 24 Hours driving a Ford GT40.

McLaren Offy M15, Indy 500

Photo Courtesy Jerry Entin and IMS Archive 1970

Team owner Bruce McLaren, seen above squatting next to Denny, had tested the #79 M15 making a big impression driving in convoy with his #73 and #75 entries on the opening day of practice for the 1970 Indy 500 and Denny was to shake down the #79 back up car to cover all eventualities.

McLaren Offy M15, Indy 500

Photo Courtesy Jerry Entin and IMS Archive 1970

However the #79 developed a methanol fuel leak,

McLaren Offy M15, Indy 500

Photo Courtesy Jerry Entin and IMS Archive 1970

which caught fire, the only evidence of the fire in the photo above is the clearly visible heat haze above the far front wheel as Denny prepares to jump and roll away from his car which was still traveling at 70 mph.

McLaren Offy M15, Indy 500

Photo Courtesy Jerry Entin and IMS Archive 1970

Denny received severe burns to his hands which forced him to miss the Indy 500 and the next two Grand Prix however within a month he was back behind of the wheel of his McLaren Chevrolet M8D Can Am car winning the series with six race victories, a string of three third place finishes also helped Denny secure 4th place in the world drivers championship all while his hands were still healing.

McLaren Offy M15, Indy 500

Photo Courtesy Jerry Entin and IMS Archive 1970

Teddy Mayer engaged Peter Revson to replace Denny in the #73 for the Indy 500, Peter qualified 16th but retired and was classified 22nd.

McLaren Offy M15, Donington Park Museum

On seeing the extent of his countryman Denny’s injuries Chris Amon was not impressed with the Indy safety facilities and withdrew from the race.

McLaren Offy M15, Donington Park Museum

Chris’s place in the #75 was taken by Carl Williams who qualified 19th and brought the car home 8th to record McLaren’s first finish in the Indy 500. The teams next design the M16 would become the class of the field in early 1970’s taking wins with Mark Donohue driving in 1972 and Johnny Rutherford in 1974 and 1976.

McLaren Offy M15, Donington Park Museum

However team owner Bruce McLaren would not see any of these success he was killed a couple of days after the 1970 Indy 500 testing a McLaren Chevrolet M8D Can Am car at Goodwood. Team manager Teddy Mayer took over the running of the Bruce’s legacy which is now the second oldest team in Grand Prix racing behind Ferrari.

My thanks to Jerry Entin, IMS Archive, Ed and Steve Arnaudin who made today’s blog possible and apologies for any confusion caused by getting the car Denny was driving when he got injured wrong in the original post.

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


Pete Aron’s Yamura – McLaren Ford M2B

With the decline in fortunes of the Cooper Car Companies Grand Prix program, for which he had been driving since his arrival in Formula One in 1958, Bruce McLaren decided that with the success of his McLaren M1 sports cars he could follow his former mentor Jack Brabham, who left Cooper to build his own Formula One cars in 1962, and start his own Grand Prix team in time for the new 3 litre / 183 cui regulations which came into effect in 1966.

Through 1965 McLaren built and extensively tested the M2A which was designed by Robin Herd and fitted with a 4.5 litre / 274.5 Oldsmobile V8 from the McLaren M1 program.

McLaren Ford M2B, Donington Park Museum

The monococoque of the McLaren M2A made extensive use of compressed balsa wood sandwiched between thin sheets of aluminium called Malite which made the monocoque much stiffer than a conventional monocoque as had been successfully used in the Lotus 25 and it’s successor the Lotus 33.

However Malite proved to be difficult to work with and repair and so for the McLaren M2B the use of Malite was restricted to the inner skins and upper surfaces of the monocoque which still offered significant advantages to the stiffness of the structure.

McLaren Ford M2B, Donington Park Museum

Originally the M2B was powered by a V8 motor derived from Ford’s Indy programme, but this proved way to heavy allegedly when connected to the gearbox the whole power train weighed as much as some rivals entire cars, while later on a much lighter and less powerful Serenissima motor was also tried.

The two engines are easily distinguished the Indy derived Ford has exhausts between the Vee formed by the eight cylinders as seen here and the Serenissima had more conventional side exhausts.

McLaren Ford M2B, Donington Park Museum

Bruce McLaren made 4 starts in the M2B, after retiring at Monaco he realised the Ford based motor needed less weight and more power so he secured the use of the Serenissima’s as an interim measure. At the British Grand Prix Bruce scored his first World Championship point in a car bearing his own name. By the US Grand Prix improved Ford based motors were back from Traco and Bruce came in 5th, before retiring at the Mexican Grand Prix which closed the season.

Although the season was a failure the team learned from their mistakes and made do with BRM 2 litre / 122 cui V8 motors for 1967 before becoming one of the three teams using the Ford Cosworth DFV, alongside Lotus and Tyrrell in 1968.

The white and green colour scheme of the M2B is said to have been mandated by a deal between Bruce and the producers of the John Frankenheimer’s film “Grand Prix” which required the McLaren M2B to look like the fictional Japanese “Yamura” which James Garners character Pete Aron drove to a championship win in the film.

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


The Kiwi Bear – McLaren Offy M15

This is the only photo to have so far surfaced by Ed Arnaudin at Indianapolis from 1970.

Indy70 001s

The car is a McLaren M15, based loosely on the Can Am dominating M8 chassis, Gordon Coppuck incorporated numerous parts from the M8 Can Am car into the design of the M15. The stressed aluminium monocoque chassis was held together with 3 steel bulkheads with the 4 cylinder Offy turbocharged engine bolted directly to the rear most and supported by two a frame running form the bulkhead to the bell housing.

The drivers of the cars were originally scheduled to be 1967 world champion Denny Hulme known as ‘The Bear’ in the #73 and Chris Amon in the #75, though team founder, Bruce McLaren also turned a few laps in the #79 spare car on the first day of practice running in a three car line astern McLaren train with fellow New Zealanders Denny and Chris. Bruce however never had any intention of taking the start.

The #73 of Denny caught fire during practice as a result of a fuel leak from a quick release breather cap that had not been properly secured. As Denny slowed the car down the intensity of the largely unseen methanol flames increased forcing him to jump from his car while it was still moving at an estimated 70 mph !

Denny was to miss the 500 due to the burns his hands received, meanwhile Chris Amon was not happy about the Indianapolis track set up, his speed was 3 mph slower than Bobby Unser who tested the #75 and the extent of the injuries received by Denny convinced him to withdraw from the race.

Teddy Meyer team manager drafted Carl Williams into the #75, he qualified 19th and finished 8th, while Peter Revson was drafted into the #73 qualifying 16th he retired from the race with a broken magneto classified 22nd.

2 days after the 1970 Indy 500 McLaren founder Bruce McLaren was killed testing the latest incarnation of the McLaren M8 Can Am car leaving Denny Hulme and Peter Revson to become the back bone of the McLaren team in Formula One, USAC and Can Am series until 1974.

Thank you for joining me on this Team Kiwi edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil psycho on tyres’ I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !

07 12 12 PS Jerry Entin has kindly informed me that the original plan was for Denny Hulme to drive the #73 but that he burned his hands shaking down the #79 McLaren. As a consequence Peter Revson was drafted in to drive the #73. I’ll be writing a full follow up blog with some interesting new photographs during the month of May.


It’s a lot of car ! – Lola T310

1972 proved to be the year that the Penske turbo Panzer dominated Can Am in much the same way as the hitherto mercurial McLarens.

Lola Chevrolet T310, Race Retro

The original 1966 Can Am series champion constructors Lola had started with fresh from scratch designs in 1970, ’71 & ’72, the vehicle seen here is the Lola T310 from 1972.

Lola Chevrolet T310, Race Retro

To overcome the under steering (push) characteristics Jackie Stewart had complained of driving the stubby L&M; Lola T260 during 1971, Eric Broadley & Specialised Mouldings developed this body work, measuring 4.527 meters / 180″ long by 2.172 m / 85.5 ” wide, in a wind tunnel to hug one of the largest Can Am monocoques ever built.

Lola Chevrolet T310, Race Retro

The monocoque was full width and unusually full length so that the engine could be mounted without the need of a separate steel sub frame.

David Hobbs was given the responsibility of driving the T310 for Carl Haas during the 1972 season but the car was completely outclassed, David managed just one season high 4th place and came in 7th in the final ’72 Can Am standings.

The car was sold at the end of 1972 and Jerry Hansen managed to win a minor race at Atlanta, the car ended its competition days in the 1977 5 litre/ 305.5 cui Can Am series in the hands of Bruce Langson.

Lola Chevrolet T310, Race Retro

Power for the T310 came from the mighty 8.1 litre / 494 aluminium Chevrolet V8, according to World Champion and twice Can Am champion Denny Hulme the motor was good for a maximum of 760 hp, regrettably this top estimated performance was completely outclassed by the conservative estimated 1000 hp plus the turbocharged flat 12 cylinder Porsche’s were kicking out at the time.

You can see and hear the T310 driven by Bobby Rahal in 2008 in this splendid little youtube clip.

Hope you have enjoyed today’s Can Am edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres and that you’ll join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !