Tag Archives: Car

Fury’s Experiment – Ferrari 312 B3 #009 Spazzaneve

In the autumn of 1972 I was sitting in my dorm at school thumbing through a copy of Autocar when I came across a 4″ x 2″ photograph of today’s featured car the, there was only ever one, Ferrari 312 B3 nick named the Spazzaneve or snow plough. I reached for a pair of scissors and cut the photo out and stuck it to my bedside table where I could see it from my bed and would day dream of driving this compact vehicle to to dozens of Grand Prix victories.

Ferrari 312 B3 Spazzaneve, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

Being only 13 at the time and some months away from becoming fully mentally engaged with Formula One, I had no idea that it would be 40 years before I got to see this car in the flesh, partly because it was an experimental model and never raced in anger, partly because it’s designer Mauro ‘Fury’ Forghieri was to be moved to another job soon after #009 was built and tested and partly because Enzo Ferrari was ill which allowed FIAT management at helm of the good ship Ferrari and they wanted Franco Rocchi and Giacomo Caliri under the direction of FIAT’s Stefano Colombo to design Ferrari’s 1973 Grand Prix challenger.

Ferrari 312 B3 Spazzaneve, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

The 312 B3 Spazzaneve was a significant departure from Foghieri’s previous model the not entirely unsuccessful Ferrari 312 B2.

Ferrari 312 B3 Spazzaneve, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

Like many designers of the time, including Tyrrells designer Derek Gardner, Mauro was concerned with improving the handling of his cars by packaging all the heavy items, radiators, fuel, oil and water tanks and so forth as close to the centre of the cars gravity as possible.

Ferrari 312 B3 Spazzaneve, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

Interestingly this experimental vehicle did not feature inboard front brakes, as did both contemporary Lotus and Tyrrell designs which would have reduced the unsprung weight of the car to the benefit of the handling and brought these items closer to the cars centre of gravity further reducing the chassis ‘polar moment of inertia’ which has the benefit of reducing chassis stresses and improving handling.

Ferrari 312 B3 Spazzaneve, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

To improve front end grip radiators were mounted behind the front wheels and are fed fresh air by the large NACA ducts in the nose.

Ferrari 312 B3 Spazzaneve, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

The hot radiator air was then expelled through the ducts behind the mirror.

Ferrari 312 B3 Spazzaneve, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

Thanks to Regazzoni at The Nostalgia Forum I have been told that Mauro Fogheri’s dedication on the side of the car translates as “With this one [the car] I could understand many more things. With sympathy and a bit of envy Mauro Forghieri”

Ferrari 312 B3 Spazzaneve, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

Thanks to GD66 and domenico also at The Nostalgia Forum these signatures have been identified as those of Jacky Ickx, top, and Chief Mechanic Giulio Borsari bottom.

Ferrari 312 B3 Spazzaneve, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

I have not seen any photos of Ickx’s team mate Art Mezario driving the car in period, but there is no reason to suppose he didn’t, Art has demonstrated #009 since.

Ferrari 312 B3 Spazzaneve, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

The cockpit for anyone taller than an average horse jockey is incredibly cramped.

Ferrari 312 B3 Spazzaneve, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

Note the front support has three different anchor points, linked here is a photo of Jacky Ickx driving #009 with the wing mounted all the way forward on square shouldered Firestone tyres, and another of #009 with the rear wing mounted further back on round shouldered Goodyear tyres linked here. Jacky and Art can be seen chatting in the back ground in the latter.

Ferrari 312 B3 Spazzaneve, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

Like Derek Gardner’s Tyrrell 006 design the Spazzanave was found to be very nervous to drive, unlike Tyrrell Ferrari ditched the low polar momentum concept and built 3 freshly designed cars which resulted in Ferrari’s worst season to date, while Jackie Stewart drove the Tyrrell OO6 to his third World Drivers Championship in 1973.

Ferrari 312 B3 Spazzaneve, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

Soon after returning to work in 1973 Enzo Ferrari withdrew his team from the 1973 World Championship for a short sabbatical and recalled Mauro Fogierhi to his former position to rework the 1973 cars with his low polar momentum idea’s. The following season the 1974 version of the Ferrari 312 B3 was developed into a championship contender.

Ferrari 312 B3 Spazzaneve, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

Thanks to a touch of galvanic corrosion twixt wheel nut and wheel my school boy day dreams were partly realised while visiting Hall & Hall in Bourne when I was asked to apply the brake pedal in an effort to help free the wheel nuts of the car. Christmas certainly came a couple of weeks early this year.

I understand #009 is for sale, unfortunately I do not have the readies to relieve Hall & Hall of the responsibility of looking after Spazzaneve, if you do contact details can be found on this link.

My thanks to Ted Walker of Ferret Fotographics for taking me to visit Hall & Hall and to Rick Hall for permission to take these photographs.

Thanks for joining me on this “Fury’s Experiment” 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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Global Pony – Chevrolet Camaro RS

Four years after the last fourth Generation Camaro was built Chevrolet unveiled a new Camaro Concept designed by South Korean-born Sangyup Lee at the North American International Auto Show in January 2006.

Chevrolet Camaro RS, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol,

The car was built on a GM Zeta platform developed by Holden in Australia and when in August 2006 it was decided to put the fifth generation Camaro into production Holden were responsible for the final design, engineering, and development of the new model.

Chevrolet Camaro RS, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol,

Production of the fifth generation Camaro returned to Canada but now at the Oshawa Car Assembly plant in Ontario alongside the Chevrolet Impala and Impala Limited, Buick Regal, Cadillac XTS, and Chevrolet Equinox GM models.

Chevrolet Camaro RS, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol,

Fifth generation Camaro’s went back into production in 2009 with independent suspension and disc brakes all round, variable – rate power steering, StabiliTrak electronic stability/traction control system and six airbags on all models.

Chevrolet Camaro RS, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol,

The first fifth generation Camaro was sold, at Barratt and Jacksons Auction raising $350,000 for the American Heart Association, to Rick Hendrick CEO of Hendrick Motorsports.

Chevrolet Camaro RS, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol,

In 2012 updates included a power increase to 323hp up from 311hp in 2011 on the 3,564 cc / 217 cui V6 powered models such as the 2013 RS model featured today, other RS features include HID headlamps with integrated halo rings, spoiler, and RS-specific taillamps in 2012 the colour coded sharkfin aerial was included followed by 20 inch wheels in 2013.

Chevrolet Camaro RS, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol,

Today’s featured 2013 Camaro RS seen at an Avenue Drivers Club meeting in Bristol last year was registered in the UK on the 27th of March 2015.

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

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Oillife Monitoring System – Chevrolet Camaro V6

It’s seventh year the fourth generation Camaro’s upgrades were relatively minor the new for ’98 front light clusters were retained and Hugger Orange was added to the paint options.

Chevrolet Camaro V6, Bristol American Car Show, Yate Town FC

Beneath the car the 15.5 gallon metal fuel tanks were replaced with 16.8 gallon plastic items and traction control was now available on V6 models.

Chevrolet Camaro V6, Bristol American Car Show, Yate Town FC

Inside the only difference was the addition of GM’s oil-life monitoring system which manifested itself in the form of an oil change light in the instrument cluster.

Chevrolet Camaro V6, Bristol American Car Show, Yate Town FC

Today’s featured ’99 targa topped Chevrolet Camaro V6 with automatic transmission, seen at the Bristol American Car Show, Yate Town FC, was first registered in the UK on the 19th of January 1999.

Thanks for joining me on this “Oillife Monitoring System” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I will be looking at a FIAT built in Poland. Don’t forget to come back now !

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Around The World In Five Years – Mercedes Benz W180 220S

From 1954 to 1959 it’s second generation 220 models known as the 220a and 220S on the W180 chassis all powered by 2.2 litre / 134 cui six cylinder motors upgraded from the first generation W187 to produce 84hp and 99hp respectively.

The more powerful 220S was introduced in March 1956, a twin carb 105hp engine was introduced the following year, with 4 speed column shift and an optional highly expensive to maintain Hydrak clutch which used micro switches to disengage the clutch, other differences included simplified chrome work with a single piece front bumper.

Mercedes Benz W180 220S, The Little Car Show, Pacific Grove, CA

Today’s featured 220S photographed by Geoffrey Horton at the The Little Car Show, Pacific Grove, CA a couple of years ago was built in 1957 and registered in New Zealand on the 8th of November the same year.

Current owners Fred and Elisabeth Smits from the Netherlands now based in Wellington, New Zealand bought the car in 2003 and drove it over 24,000 miles before embarking on a thorough restoration in 2011.

Mercedes Benz W180 220S, The Little Car Show, Pacific Grove, CA

The body off restoration included replacing every bearing, bush and rubber component, rebuilding the engine which included replacing the complete cylinder head and all of it’s ancillaries along with the cam shaft, pistons, crankshaft, oil and water pumps.

The purpose of the restoration was to prepare the car for a 90,000 mile 5 year drive around the world crossing five continents, all except Antarctica.

Mercedes Benz W180 220S, The Little Car Show, Pacific Grove, CA

After much research the Smits chose to tow a light weight Zambezi Cross-Road tent trailer manufactured by Aart Kok of Heemstede, the Netherlands, to make themselves comfortable on route.

The 220S and the trailer were shipped to the USA in 2014 and at the time of writing they should be driving through South America before sailing to Europe having driven a loop around North America in 2015.

Mercedes Benz W180 220S, The Little Car Show, Pacific Grove, CA

The Smits have set up a website about there travels linked here www.classicstrider.com

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sharing today’s photographs.

Thanks for joining me on this “Around The World In Five Years” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I will be looking at a captivating concept car from Renault. Don’t forget to come back now !

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Unit Beat Policing Panda – Morris Minor 1000

In 1968 the City of Bristol Constabulary bought a fleet of Morris Minor 1000s to implement a new Unit Beat Policing Policy that was being rolled out by Constabularies across the country, where by a single officer in a Panda car was to cover an area previously covered by several “bobbies” on the beat.

Morris Minor, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham,

The withdrawal of foot patrols, to save man power, marked the end of Community Policing in Bristol until it was reintroduced by the renamed and merged Avon and Somerset Police decades later.

Morris Minor, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham,

Today’s featured “Moggie Thou”, registered on the 1st of February, served in Bristol for three years and is believed by the The Police Vehicle Enthusiasts Club, to be the only survivor of the batch bought in 1968.

Morris Minor, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham,

In 1971 a second batch of Minor 1000s was bought by the City of Bristol Constabulary to replace the first and it is believed only one of that batch also still exists, note cheaper two door Minor 1000s were used for the new unitary beat policing, presumably in the event of an arrest a Black Maria had to be called to haul arrested suspects away.

Thanks for joining me on this “Unit Beat Policing Panda” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for a Star Wars edition of Mercedes Monday. Don’t forget to come back now !

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Golden Lion – Chrysler Windsor Sedan

From it’s introduction in 1939 the Chrysler Windsor was one level up from the entry level Chrysler Royal until the demise of the latter in 1950 when the Windsor became the entry level model a position it held until the arrival of the Chrysler Newport in 1961 one year before the Windsor model name was retired.

Chrysler Windsor Sedan, Bristol Classic Car Show, Shepton Mallet

In 1957 the sixth generation Chrysler Windsor was launched with, distinctive Virgil Exner styled tail fins and torsion bar Air Ride suspension, the following year Windsors made up 42.36% of Chrysler’s sales.

Chrysler Windsor Sedan, Bristol Classic Car Show, Shepton Mallet

7th generation Windsors featured an interim face lift and upgrade on the 6th generation models and were only built during the 1959 model year.

Chrysler Windsor Sedan, Bristol Classic Car Show, Shepton Mallet

External style differences included an outward flare at the top of the front wing / fender panels even more chrome on the front grill and bumper and kinked chrome side trim running the length of the vehicle.

Chrysler Windsor Sedan, Bristol Classic Car Show, Shepton Mallet

Big news for US customers was the new wedge head RB385 V8, the twin barrel carb Golden Lion 385 cui / 6,309 cc motor produced 305 hp up from 290hp on the previous Spitfire powered model, Canadian customers had to make do with the 295hp R361 Low Block V8.

Chrysler Windsor Sedan, Bristol Classic Car Show, Shepton Mallet

The US Spec Golden Lion powered ’59 sedan seen in these photographs taken at Bristol Classic Car Show, Shepton Mallet was first registered in the UK on the 1st of May 2008.

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

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