Tag Archives: Cars

Christmas Window Shopping – Hall & Hall

Last week I got a phone call from Ted “Ferret Fotographics” Walker asking if I’d like to accompany him on a 300 mile round trip to Bourne, Lincs and back to visit Hall & Hall where he had some cars to inspect. I accepted on the basis that this might be an interesting window shopping trip, and as you shall see below it was close to the ultimate Christmas window shopping trip for petrol heads and race fans.

Mercedes 300SL, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

Among the cars I was kindly allowed to photograph was the Donington Collection’s 1952 Gullwing Mercedes 300 SL complete with experimental roof mounted wing that was around 15 years ahead of it’s time, this car was tried in practice, but not raced, for the 1952 Le Mans 24 Hours.

Delhaye 235 Chapron Coupé, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

Moving chronologically on this 1953 Delahaye 235 Coupé with a standardised Chapron body at a price when new of FF3,800,000 cost twice as much as the much faster contemporary Jaguar XK120.

Ferrari 250 GT SWB, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

Pierre Dumay and Jo Schlesser drove this Ferrari 250 GT SWB, chassis #2127, to a second place finish overall in the 1960 Tour de France, it’s last known in period race was in the 1964 6h Dakar race in which “Cicoira” drove it to a 3rd place finish.

Lotus 48, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

Unknown to all but a select few at Ford, Cosworth and Lotus the Lotus 48 was powered by a sign of things to come. The 48 was campaigned successfully in Formula Two and Jackie Oliver drove one to a fifth place finish in the 1967 German Grand Prix against cars with engines nearly twice the size and around a third more horsepower. The Cosworth FVA motor, which dominated Formula 2 from 1966 to 1972, has a four valve head, that was developed as part of Ford’s contract with Cosworth that would give birth to the Ford Cosworth DFV. The DFV in turn dominated the top tier of motor sport from 1969 until 1983 during which time the DFV motors powered 11 Drivers championship winners interrupted on three occasions only by Ferrari. This is one of several cars currently for sale on the Hall & Hall website linked here.

Alfa Romeo T33, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

The 1967 270 hp V8 powered Alfa Romeo T33 ‘Periscope’ was first used in competition by Belgian Teodro Zeccolini in his home country for a hill climb event at Fleron which he promptly won. By 1975 a flat 12 version of the T33 had been developed that won the Sports Car World Championships in 1975 and 1977.

Porsche 911T, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

German born Kenyan Edgar Hermann bought this Porsche 911T early in 1967 in preparation for an attempt on the 1968 East African Safari rally but when the 1968 London to Sydney Marathon was announced he returned it to the factory to be prepared for the longer event in which he finished 15th. Hermann sold the car to Australian Porsche importer Alan Hamilton who converted it to RHD and drove in Australian Rally events until 1970. In 1987 this 911 had a second wind and was driven to a Class C championship win in the Australian Porsche Cup.

Matra Ford MS80, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

From 1969 was one of Jackie Stewarts World Drivers and World Constructors Championship winning Matra MS 80s, powered by a Ford Cosworth DFV as heralded by the Cosworth FVA. Team owner Ken Tyrrell managed to do deals with Matra to use their chassis, and at Stewarts insistence Ford to use the Ford Cosworth DFV for the 1968 and 1969 seasons. These deals were remarkable because Matra were trying to develop their own V12 for Formula One at the time.

BRM P153, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

While I was window shopping two V12 powered cars from 1970 took my fancy the first was this BRM P153 chassis #3 according to the Hall & Hall website, these cars were the first of three race winning designs by Tony Southgate, Pedro Rodriguez drove a car like this to victory at the 1970 Belgian Grand Prix at Spa at an average speed of 149.9 mph. Chassis #03 was driven by George Eaton in 1970 who’s best performance was a 9th place finish in the Canadian Grand Prix, Howden Ganley drove the car in 1971, his seasons best result 4th in the non Championship Spring Trophy at Oulton Park . Sweden’s Reine Wisell and Spains Alex Soler-Roig both qualified the car for a race each in 1972 but neither finished which left Austria’s Dr Helmut Marko to drive for the last time in the 1972 Monaco Grand Prix where he finished 8th.

Matra MS650, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

According to the best sources I have the 1970 V12 Matra MS650 chassis #02 above has been used in just 6 events, unsurprisingly most of those who drove the car are French the three exceptions being Dan Gurney, who shared the it with Francois Cevert to record a 12th place finish in the 1970 Sebring 12 hours, Jack Brabham who shared the car with Cevert and retired from the 1970 Le Mans 24 hours and Algerian Bernard Fiorentino who shared the car with Maurice Grélin when it failed to finish the 1971 Tour de France. Chassis #02 was shared by Henri Pescarolo, Jean-Pierre Jabouille and Johnny Rives for the cars career best 2nd place finish, behind the sister car driven by Jean-Pierre Beltoise, Patrick Depailler and Jean Todt, on the 1970 Tour de France carrying the registration 197WS75 as seen above.

Ligier JS17, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

Finally there were two 1981 cars which grabbed my attention, first this Ligier JS17, powered by a fabulous sounding Matra V12, not sure which of the 5 JS 17’s built this is but Jacques Laffite drove the type to victory in the 1981 Austrian and Canadian Grand Prix which gave Laffite an outside chance of wining the title going into the final race of the season held in the car park at Caesers Palace. A 6th place finish meant Jacques secured his third consecutive career best 4th place in the championship.

Lotus Ford 81, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

I’ll be publishing a full blog about the Cosworth DFV powered Lotus 87 on 29th of December, the car seen here is chassis #87/R4, also currently offered for sale, was driven in 1981 by Nigel Mansell. Like many cars of this era it is probably more reliable now than it was in period .

I’ll save the best car in the building as a surprise, it was a prototype Friday car and it was a dream come true to see it in person. Don’t forget to tune in this Friday to find out what it was.

My thanks to Ted Walker for inviting me to join him on his trip to Hall & Hall and to Rick Hall for letting me take photographs of some of the vehicles in his care.

Wishing Abba Kogan, whom I believe owns some of the vehicles seen in these photographs, a swift recovery from his injuries, sustained in the Baku City Challenge, Azerbaijan recently.

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


Hi-Tech Perana – AC 378 GT Zagato

At the 2009 Geneva motor show a South African company Perana Performance Group showed it’s Zagato designed Z One on the Zagato stand and announced it’s intention to have the cars built by Hi-Tech Automotive in East London South Africa.

AC 378 Zagato, Classics at the Castle, Sherborne

In 2012 AC announced that the former Perana Z One was to be built under license with the AC 378 GT Zagato name at the same Hi Tech facility in South Africa.

AC 378 Zagato, Classics at the Castle, Sherborne

To date I appear to have seen this 2012 Geneva show car twice, once as seen in these images at last weekends Classics at the Castle and the first time at Auto Italia Brooklands a couple of years ago.

AC 378 Zagato, Classics at the Castle, Sherborne

I’m not sure if any further of these Chevy V8 powered machines have been built, but if I had £100K burning a hole in my pocket I might be tempted to offer AC Cars a substantial sum as a deposit as encouragement for them to build me one, the only problem I might have is choosing a colour, perhaps a moody dark metallic British Racing Green, or metallic Red would do the trick, what do you think ?

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


Ferrari Racing Treasures – Blackhawk Museum

Today’s Ferrari Friday’s looks at a few of the Ferrari Racing Treasures at the Blackhawk Museum captured by Geoffrey Horton.

Ferrari 212 Export Touring Barchetta, Blackhawk Museum, CA

This 1952 Ferrari 212 Export Barchetta features bodywork by Touring of Turin and was originally owned in 1952 by Baron Luigi Bordonaro di Chiaramonte of Palermo and as I posted last year the Baron raced the car successfully.

Ferrari 250MM Vignale, Blackhawk Museum, CA

Phil Hill’s 1953 Ferrari 250 MM Vignale #0260MM was featured on this blog a couple of years ago, it helped set up Phil’s career on the path to becoming a three time Le Mans winner and 1960 World Driver Champion all victories which were won driving Ferrari cars.

Ferrari 500 Mondial Spyder, Blackhawk Museum, CA

As I have found on many occasions in the past some Ferrari’s are a little more difficult to identify than others this particular 500 Mondial is one of those more difficult to identify as I found out last year.

Ferrari 750 Monza, Blackhawk Museum, CA

The Blackhawk Collections 1955 Ferrari 750 Monza with unique bodywork by Scaglietti has also featured on these pages before although it will be better remembered for appearing on the cover of Road & Track in December 1956 by many more. It is the car belonging to Tony Paravano that Carlyle Blackwell took a photo of.

 Ferrari 625 LM Spyder Touring, Blackhawk Museum, CA

In 1956 Ferrari built 3 625LM’s with Touring bodies and 2,5 litre 4 cylinder motor’s, the one seen here carries the #11 which suggests this is the car that crashed at the start of the 1956 Le Mans 24 hours after it had won the Supercortemaggiore at Monza, fitted with a 2 litre engine with Mike Hawthorn and Peter Collins at the wheel.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sharing his photographs, more on these cars will appear in the coming months.

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


Showboating – March Cosworth 2-4-0

The story of March racing cars presence in Formula One was one of a meteoric rise in a blaze of publicity and a slow decline, the company founded in October 1969 had built six of the 22 cars that started the 1970 British Grand Prix, thanks to Ken Tyrrell who bought three March cars for 1970, after his split with Matra, a March driven by reigning Driver Champion Jackie Stewart started on pole position at the first race of the 1970 season and won the Spanish Grand Prix, the second race of the season.

In 1971 Ronnie Peterson joined the works team and finished second in the drivers championship with no wins but 4 second place finishes. It was not until 1975 that the works March team won it’s first championship Grand Prix when Vittorio Brambilla crossed the line first at the prematurely concluded 1975 Austrian Grand Prix and promptly crashed into the crash barrier on the slowing down lap. For 1976 Ronnie Peterson rejoined the March team and won the Italian Grand Prix which proved to be the team and manufacturers final championship Grand Prix victory.

March Cosworth 2-4-0, Silverstone Classic

Looking forward to 1977 the team was short of cash when designer Robin Herd, who had designed the all wheel drive Cosworth in 1969 after he left McLaren, came up with the idea of building a six wheel car with four driven rear wheels as a way to improve on the mildly successful 6 wheel, 4 steering wheels at the front, Tyrrell P3/4. Team co-founder Max Moseley was instantly sold on the idea realising a six wheel March would be an excellent vehicle to generate some publicity and attract potential sponsors.

The shortage of cash meant the team focused on building the 4 wheel drive train and attendant suspension and attaching it to the back of a 1976 March 761, according to the best sources available to me this was chassis #761/1 which after several accidents was on it’s third monocoque tub and renumbered 761/10 for it’s press launch in early 1977 where a white prototype was shown. Turns out that only two of the rear wheels were driven at the press launch because not all of the internal components of the drive train had been finished in time to be installed.

March Cosworth 2-4-0, Silverstone Classic

When all the parts were ready they were attached to the back of chassis #761/2 and Howden Ganley was employed to test the car with a strange mix of old body panels including a nose clearly marked Doug Sherison Racing that probably came from a March 76A Formula 5000 car.

Howden commented on his experience “I tested the 6-wheeler three or four times. I think once at Goodwood and the other times at Silverstone. There were a few teething problems with the transmission – but eventually it all worked OK. I do not recall Max ever asking me to go easy on the power. In fact the last test in the pouring rain at Silverstone I used full acceleration without encountering any traction problems. Quite impressive.”

March Cosworth 2-4-0, Silverstone Classic

The concept did indeed attract a lot of attention and in March 1977 Rothmans held a press day at Silverstone at which they announced they would sponsor Ian Scheckter who tested the all wheel drive system now attached to a much older chassis, painted in Rothmans colours, that started life in 1974 as a March 741 #741/1 was renumbered to become #751/4 in 1975 and renumbered again to become #761/5 in 1976.

Regrettably after testing the concept the March team decided to revert to running a conventional 4 wheel 2 wheel drive layout for their 761’s which were updated to 761B spec for the start of the 1977 season. Around this time a well known picture began circulating of Alex Ribeiro sitting in his Hollywood sponsored car fitted with the 4 wheel drive transmission and a third set of rear wheels, as can be seen in this link young Brazilian F3 pilot Nelson Piquet can hardly keep a straight face in the prank photo.

At the end of the season March folded it’s F1 operation, although it was continuing to make good money on the 2-4-0 from the Scalextric model rights and from a show car for which there was much demand. Despite the fact that the 6 wheel March 2-4-0 was never raced, so far as I know Robin Herd remains the only man to have designed two four wheel drive formula one cars neither of which raced, in period, a couple of years later Roy Lane managed to acquire the 4 wheel drive axles and fitted them to his March 771 which he used in the 1979 British Hillclimb Championship.

Roy won a round of the championship at Wiscombe Park but found that the advantages of the system in wet conditions were out weighed by the performance of the lighter 2 wheel drive in the dry and ended up converting his car back to a conventional layout during the course of the season in which he failed in his attempt to recapture the British Hillclimb Championship.

The car featured today was built up by Anthony and Jeremy Smith with one of the two original 4 wheel drive transmissions built and a chassis who’s in period identity has not been established. Jeremy is seen at the wheel of the car at Silverstone top and Goodwood middle. By complete coincidence this March 2-4-0, there is another at the Louwman Museum, is currently for sale at Speedmaster Cars in Wetherby.

My thanks to James Hanson at Speedmaster Cars who kindly answered my questions about the chassis of today’s featured car and to members of The Nostalgia Forum, not least Tony “Giraffe” Gallagher, who posted pieces of the March 2-4-0 jigsaw puzzle seen on this linked thread.

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

PS Anyone planning on going to next weeks Silverstone Classic please remember this year will be advanced ticket only available on this link.


Balena Close, Poole, Dorset – Penske PC1 #001

After he had finished fabricating the Len Terry designed Eagle monocoques for All American Racers (AAR) in California, John Lambert returned to the Untied Kingdom and started a new business which was located on a small industrial estate outside Poole in Dorset where the rent was cheap. When Len Terry fell out with Frank Nichols they wound up Transatlantic Automotive Consultants based in Hastings where they had designed the AAR Eagle and Terry went to join Lambert, with whom he had worked at Lotus and AAR, in Poole starting a new business together called Design Auto.

In 1969 Len Terry started to design a series of stock block Formula 5000 open wheel cars called Leda’s, John Lambert looked after the construction of them in a facility off Balena Close on the Creekmore Industrial Estate on the outskirts of Poole, Dorset. When Leda Cars ran into financial difficulty they merged into the Malaya Garage Group in 1970. Three years later Malaya Garage Group did a deal with New Zealand racer Graham McRae selling the Leda Cars premises “lock, stock and barrel” with the cars manufactured now rebranded as McRae’s.

At around this time Roger “The Captain” Penske and Mark “Captain Nice” Donohue were experiencing many successes on the US racing scene which included three Trans Am championships, then only for manufacturers, driving the Captains Chevrolet Camaro in 1969 and AMC Javelins in 1970 and ’71.

In 1972 Mark won the Indy 500 in Roger Penske’s McLaren M16 and at the end of the year drove Penske’s McLaren M19 in the Canadian and US Grand Prix finishing a more than credible 3rd in his debut Grand Prix. The following year Mark and Roger won the Can Am championship with the “Turbo Panzer” Porsche 917/30. Having achieved pretty much everything in the US, including a NASCAR Winston Cup win at Riverside driving a Penske AMC Matador to become the last ‘road ringer’ to win a non oval race in that series back in 1973 Mark announced he would hang up his helmet at the end of the season.

Roger Penske made plans for a Formula One team in 1974 and sent Heinz Hofer to look at Graham McRae’s ‘low profile’ premises on the Creekmore Industrial Estate in Poole, Dorset UK as a possible base and concluded a deal for the premises. The Ford Cosworth DFV powered Penske PC1 was built to a design by Geoff Ferris and Mark Donohue was persuaded to come out of retirement to drive the car on it’s debut in the 1974 Canadian Grand Prix where he qualified 24th and finished 12th 2 laps down.

Penske Ford PC1, US Grand Prix, Watkins Glen

At the US Grand Prix, where Mark Donohue and Roger Penske fan, Brian Brown took today’s photograph of Mark in the PC1 at Watkins Glen the car started 14th on the grid, but retired after 27 laps with rear suspension problems. Brian recalls his first visit to a Grand Prix thus :-

“I was of course very excited to be seeing Mark race again, but being that it was my first live Formula One event, I was equally excited to be seeing Mario’s effort with Vel’s Parnelli Jones and the rest of the grid in person. We owned a Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona and a 246 GT Dino at the time, so were very supportive of the Ferrari effort too.

My brother, friends and I spent a great deal of down time in the Kendall Garage watching the teams go about their business of working on the cars. One thing that was apparent was the absolutely professional presentation of the Penske team. Everything was spotless, just like their successful Indy Car counterpart that I’d observed in person since 1969 at Indianapolis. I was then, as now, a huge fan of Mark Donohue and Team Penske, but that aside, I always felt that they had too many positive resources not to be successful in Formula One.

I knew racing well enough to understand how tall the task Mark and the Penske team had ahead of them, but I also had the highest faith in their collective talents that I felt, given time, they would come right. I look back now and remember how I’d call in to our local ABC news tv affiliate to get the results of the races in 1975, always asking about the top six finishers along with Mark and Mario’s results.

Then came Austria and it was over for Mark and eventually Penske stopped the project – I was always appreciative that they carried on to get the victory with John Watson in Austria a year after Mark’s accident, something of a vindication for the mighty challenges that Team Penske faced in their Formula One foray. Watkins Glen 1974 was the last I ever saw Mark in person and despite the nearly 40 years that have passed, it seems like yesterday.”

Penske ended up building 3 chassis to the PC1 design chassis #001 seen here achieved a best 5th place finish, from 16th on the grid in the 1975 Swedish Grand Prix. Three races later Penske ditched the PC1 in favour of a March 751 which was raced until a new challenger until the new Penske PC3 was ready. As Brian alluded to above Mark Donohue was killed during practice for the 1975 Austrian Grand Prix after a tyre deflated pitching him off the track in to an accident which killed a marshal. Although Mark initially survived the incident he died the next day from a cerebral hemorrhage.

The debut of the Penske PC3 was delayed until the 1975 US Grand Prix where John Watson drove it in practice. Due to a misfire with the motor in the new car the team elected to wheel out today’s featured chassis one more time, John qualified 12th, finishing the race in 9th.

The following season Penske entered John in the PC3 and later PC4 models. With the latter the team won the 1976 Austrian Grand Prix, despite this success The Captain closed the Formula One program down at the end of 1976, deciding his future lay in the US racing seen where he would become the dominant force in Indy Car racing, with many of his winning cars being built in Poole, Dorset. Penske maintained facilities in Poole Dorset up until 2006. When the factory was closed one employee, Ivor, remained who had been part of the story going back to the Leda days, through the McRae years and into the Penske era.

In 2012 Brad Keslowski won his first NASCAR Championship driving a Penske entered Dodge a hitherto elusive goal on ‘The Captains’ to do list.

My thanks to Brian ‘ B² ‘ Brown for kindly agreeing to share his photograph; to kayemod, Nigel Beresford, Tim Murray, Tony Matthews, Dogearred and Doug Nye at The Nostalgia Forum for their help in piecing together the story behind Roger Penske’s presence in Poole, Dorset and a tenuous connection in the form of Lambert & Terry and their Leda Cars premises between the AAR Eagle and Penske Formula One efforts.

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

PS Shortly before this blog was posted some confusion has come to light about which buildings in Poole Penske and McRae occupied and when, local resident kayemod and Nigel Beresford who worked for Penske have confirmed that Penske took over the Balena premises from McRae, while artist Tony Matthews is sure he visited a second facility a couple of miles away on Factory Road to do cutaway drawings for McRae and Penske is not so sure the Balena Close address is correct. If any further developments come forth I shall post them below, and if you know the answer to the riddle please do not hesitate to chime in.

PPS Nigel Beresford has kindly confirmed with another former Penske employee Nick Goozée that the Balena Close facility is the only one Penske purchased from Graham McRae. My thanks to Nigel and Nick for settling the matter so promptly.


Balena Close, Poole, Dorset

Kayemod Rob from the Nostalgia Forum has kindly sent me this photo showing “how that corner of Balena Close looks today, the small unit to the right is the original Penske UK base, formerly McRae Cars. The three parked cars more or less cover the width of the premises. The ‘Elegance’ unit to the left of Penske was once FKS Fibreglass, later Griffin Design. My ex-Specialised Mouldings chum stylist Jim Clark worked at FKS, and as well as Penske’s stuff, they also did almost everything for the Gulf GT40s and Mirages among others, their unit extended leftwards to fill the corner of the block. Penske later rented an identical unit to the right of the pic, which doubled their floor area, after some of the dividing wall was removed, they used to run their F1 operation out of that.”

Thanks Rob.


Coffee, Croissant & Cars #7 – Avenue Drivers Club

The festive spirit was gathering pace, at Queen Square, Bristol yesterday, no sooner had I arrived and I was being proffered charity mince pies ! Extremely delicious they were too !

MG NA Magnette, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

Among the many visitors to the Avenue Drivers Club meeting was what appears to be a 1934 MG K1 one of it’s club badges indicates that it may have spent some time in South Africa. 14 01 13 Further investigation has revealed this car is actually an NA Magnette.

Riley RMA, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

The difference between a 1952 Riley RMA and 1952 Riley RME is indicated externally by the larger rear window of the later model which leads me to conclude the model seen here is the RMA.

Ford Thunderbird, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

Appearing to have come past just for a cruise around the block was this 1958 Ford Thunderbird.

Austin Healey Sprite, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

These two Austin Healey Sprites were built in 1960 on the left and 1958 on the right.

Ford Consul 375, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

The owner of this Ford Consul has only had the car for a couple of weeks, he told me he had owned many Mini’s before buying the four cylinder Ford.

Morris 1800, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

This 1966 Morris 1800 has attended many of the same show’s I have this year, it was bought and prepared for a local classic Rally on a very small budget, running to hundreds rather than thousands of pounds.

Citroën DS19, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

One of the first cars to offer seeing round corner capability was the 1968 version of the Citroen DS that was first seen in 1955. This DS19 was built in 1972.

Hillman Avenger, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

Another classic from 1972 was this Hillman Avenger fitted with what appear to be period correct aftermarket Cosmic alloy wheels.

Crayford Ford Capri GT 3000, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

Car of the day was this 1972 Crayford Ford Capri GT 3000, built in a period when Ford did not have time to satisfy a demand for convertible versions of it’s cars. Crayford took on the job fitting it with a white interior and walnut veneer.

Toyota Supra, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

When production of the Ford Capri ended in 1986 Ford left the massed produced Coupé market to the likes of Toyota and their Supra models the vehicles above were manufactured in 1989 on the left and 1992 on the right.

Ford Thunderbird, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

In 1990 I went to Connecticut for a week to attend a friends wedding, while I was there I hired a Ford Thunderbird similar to this 1992 example, I could not believe how big it was for a two door, at one point I found the car could carry 4 adults and two small children with a modicum of comfort from one side of town to the other !

Morris Marina Estate, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

Above another reminder that the season of Goodwill is upon us took the form of this Morris Marina Estate which dates from circa 1973.

Finding out about the Avenue Drivers Club has been one of this years simple joys for me, what could be easier or more fun than rolling 5 mins down a steep hill and finding yourself having a couple of hours of fun looking at some of the huge variety of veteran, vintage and classic cars that come from your environs and enjoying a Coffee & Croissant with some of the owners ? My thanks and seasons greetings to everyone who has brought their cars along. Next meeting January 13th 2013 !

Thanks for joining me on this “Coffee, Croissant & Cars #7″ of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !

Above another reminder the


Specials & Restorations – Colin Cooper

A couple of months ago I set out to find who built an MG that will feature in tomorrow’s blog called the ‘Kayne Special’, see below. Thanks to some help from my friends paulg at the MG Car Club Forum, The Nostalgia Forum, Bob Allan and his friend Peter Croft in New Zealand I have learned that the Kayne Special was built by Colin Cooper and a couple of weeks ago Colin invited me to visit him and discuss his pursuit of speed.

Kayne Special Mk I, Loton Park

Colin Cooper hails from Bolton at 15 he and a school friend purchased an Austin Seven for £2 10s (£2.50) at auction. They drove the car home sans driving licence and between them they built up a special but could not afford to run it and sold it on.

MG VA Tourer,

Colin started driving legally when his Dad bought a 1955 Ford Popular in 1958 which was sold the following year. For his 20th Birthday Colins Mum bought him a £75 MG VA 4 seat tourer seen above around 1960 which seeded his affinity for MG’s.

MB PA, Kinmel Park,

Colin’s interest in cars was primarily a hobby, with a few deals to ease the financial pain, in 1972 he started racing a 1934 MG PA shared with his friend Trevor which is seen above at Kinmel Park near Rhyll in Wales.

Kayne Special Mk I & Mk II, Killeen KI

Having squirrelled various bits pieces away including an MG J2 chassis and MG PB motor Colin set about building the first, see to top photo, of what would be come three Kayne Specials built between 1973 and 1982. The name is derived from Kay, and Neil his children. Above on the left is the Kayne Special 3 in the middle the Kayne Special 2 and the Killeen K1 built by Tom Killeen in 1953 all 3 of these cars will be looked at in greater detail in the coming weeks Tuesday MG blogs.

Lotus Ford 18, Curbrough

In between building and racing his three specials and racing the Kileen K1 Colin acquired, restored, raced and sold numerous fascinating vehicles including a bevy of Lotus 18’s of which the one above, seen at Curborough in 1977 featured some radical bodywork a standard Ford 1500 cc motor with a 4 speed Renault Dauphine gearbox.

Daren Mk 2B, Longridge, Lancs

Some where around 1978 Colin acquired an Ex Targa Florio Daren Mk 2B one of only 8 Mk 2’s built, seen here at Longridge in Lancashire.

Mallock Mk III, Blackpool, 1985, Copyright Frank Hall

Photo Copyright Frank Hall 1985.

Frank Halls photo above taken in 1985 shows Colin competition career drawing to a close at Blackpool, where he drove a Mallock Mk III, one of many early Mallocks that Colin owned over the years.

Colin Cooper, Trophies

Above are some of the trophies Colin won over a span of 15 years in competitive driving, Colin is also a snooker champion, he still uses the same Joe Davis cue he was given on his 13th birthday.

Central England Sports Cars

When Colin retired from his professional career he started a Frogeye restoration business called Central England Sports Cars in 1993, soon after setting up a Mr Ogawa seen on the left signed the first of several deals for batches of six restored Frogeye’s to be exported to Japan paying 50% upfront and the balance when the cars were ready for dispatch to the docks. The business declined with the stagnation of the Japanese economy in 1998 and became the Frogeye Spares Company which was sold in 2000 and is still going strong.

Central England Sports Cars

Before I left, Colin he asked if I could help track down the black Midget seen in the corner of the CESC workshop above. The car registered WHP 94S is still thought to be on the road, it is a MG Midget identifiable by a Sprite grill 1500 cc motor, rear anti tramp bars Frogeye Windscreen and hood with 9 lift of fasteners. Colin sold the car to a policeman for approximately £2000 and he believes the PC bought it for his sister. Colin would like to get in touch with the current owner if you can help please leave a message below, on my fb page or e-mail me direct infoATpsychoontyres.co.uk please type MIDGET in the subject box.

My thanks to Colin for generously giving me the time to discuss his fascinating story and cars, to paulg at the MGCC Forum, to everyone at The Nostalgia Forum, Bob Allan and Peter Croft who helped me find Colin. Thanks also to Tony Gallagher for putting me in touch with Chris Winstanley who kindly granted permission to use Frank Halls photograph.

Thanks for joining me on this Specials & Restorations edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be taking a look at Colin’s first Kayne Special. Don’t forget to come back now !

24/04/12 Photo of Colin driving the Mallock at Blackpool added.