Tag Archives: Collins

E Type – Healey Silverstone #E80

Following the production of 51 D Type Healey Silverstones up until 1950 production of the E Type’s commenced with the latest E specification Healey chassis slightly larger body and distinguishing intake in the bonnet/hood.

Healey Silverstone, VSCC Spring Start, Silverstone,

The earliest known owner for chassis #E80 featured today was M Reed in 1950.

Healey Silverstone, VSCC Spring Start, Silverstone,

Dudley Hely is known to have started racing the car in 1952 starting with an appearance at Goodwood in May that year in the BARC Handicap, result unknown.

In September 1952 Dudley drove #E80 to it and his only known victory at Silverstone on the National Circuit.

Healey Silverstone, VSCC Spring Start, Silverstone,

Dudley scored to 2nd place finishes in handicap events at Goodwood and Silverstone in 1953 and continued racing the car at both venues until 1956 when a bad crash with fatal consequences for the driver saw #E80 written off.

The wrecked car was subsequently broken up with the salvageable parts, that included; the chassis, front suspension, back axle and body, kept in storage for 40 years.

Healey Silverstone, VSCC Spring Start, Silverstone,

By 2006 restoration of #E80 was well underway and in 2008 current owner Neil Collins raced the car carrying it’s original registration number at the Goodwood Revival meeting.

#E80 is seen in these photo’s just after Mr Collins arrival at the recent VSCC Spring Start meeting at Silverstone where he was spectating.

Healey Silverstone, VSCC Spring Start, Silverstone,

Sharp eyed contributor Tim Murray pointed out to me some weeks ago that the Healey Silverstone #D6 which featured here some weeks ago is currently fitted with an E Type bonnet/hood with the distinctive air intake.

My thanks to Neil Collins and Tim Murray for their contribution to today’s “E Type” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I will be looking at a 1919 Indy Car. Don’t forget to come back now !


Speedway To 500 F3 – JBS Norton Mk 1 #RAC/002/51/AC

In 1950 Alf Bottoms switched from being a two wheel Speedway star at Wembley to a racing driver with James Bottoms & Sons being responsible for modifying the 1947 Cowlan 500 Formula Three car, originally built by R.L. Coward and Geoff Lang, with help from Chris and Noel Shorrock into the first JBS.

JBS Norton Mk 1, Richard Utley, Silverstone,

Alf and brother shared the driving duties with Alf being the more successful scoring several out right wins as did Miss Elisabeth Store who drove the JBS to victory in the ladies race in October.

JBS Norton Mk 1, Richard Utley, Oulton Park,

For 1951 JBS not only updated it’s design to incorporate double wishbone front suspension and adonised aluminium body, but also put the design into production building somewhere between 13 and 20 cars.

JBS Norton Mk 1, Richard Utley, Castle Combe,

During the season JBS drivers included Alf, Ron “Curly” Dryden, Les Leston, Don Parker, Winco Frank Aikens, Dick Richards, Ron Frost, Jack Westcott, Ken McAlpine, Peter Collins, John Habin, Allan Moore, John Coombs and André Loens.

JBS Norton Mk 1, Richard Utley, Castle Combe,

Despite the deaths of Alf, in an accident at the Luxembourg Grand Prix, and Ron “Curly” Dryden in an accident at Castle Combe JBS scored 120 podiums during the year with Peter Collins and Don Parker finishing 3rd and 4th in the 1951 British F3 Championship behind Cooper drivers Eric Brandon and Alan Brown.

JBS Norton Mk 1, Richard Utley, Castle Combe,

Chassis #RAC/002/51/AC is seen in these photographs with Richard Utley at the wheel, Silverstone top, Oulton Park second and Castle Combe the remainder, Richard who raced a Frazer Nash Le Mans Replica, Tojeiro 1100 and Lotus XI between 1955 and 1962 also worked with John Tojeiro on the 1100 and later Bob Hicks on the MK1 Caravelle Formula Junior car.

Since returning to historic racing in 1987 Richard has also co founded C&R Engines with Charlie Banyard Smith to re-manufacture long stroke Manx engines of the type that powers his JBS.

Thanks for joining me on this “Speedway To 500 F3” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Cambrian Rally – Conwy County

Cambria is the Latinised form of the Welsh name Cymru from Old Welsh combrog and Proto-Brythonic word kom-brogos, meaning fellow countryman or compatriot, known to much of the rest of the world as Wales.

After studying Welsh rock strata in 1835 Adam Sedgwick named the first geological period of the Paleozoic Era the Cambrian period which characterised by the rapid diversification of lifeforms, known as the Cambrian explosion, some of which have been well preserved in the sedimentary rocks exposed in Wales.

Snowdon, County Conwy

500 million years after the Cambrian explosion 266 of the direct descendants of some of those lifeforms gathered in County Conwy to take part in the 61st running of the annual Cambrian Rally organised by the North Wales Car Club on Saturday February 13th.

The Cambrian Rally has moved from being the concluding round of the MSA Welsh Rally, Ravenol BTRDA Rally, FMP and ANWCC Forest Rally Championships last year to being the season opener for them this year.

 Mini John Cooper Works WRC, Conner McCloskey, Damien Duffin, Penmachno, Cambrian Rally,

With the intention of making a 4am departure from Bristol to see the opening stage of the Cambrian Rally I left home promptly at 5.30 after being unexpectedly invited out for tapas and sing a long the night before.

The delay was fortuitous as I ended up not far from Snowdon on the third Penmachno stage of the rally which sent the cars around the perimeter of the quarry where the #7 2012 McGeehan Motorsport Mini John Cooper Works WRC crewed by Conner McCloskey and Damien Duffin, who finished the event 4th overall, are seen above.

FIAT Abarth 131 Rally, Matthew Robinson, Sam Collins, Penmachno, Cambrian Rally,

Walter Rohrl, a hero in my youth drove a FIAT Abarth 131 Rally to claim his first World Rally Championship in 1980.

I believe the 1978 #30 FIAT Abarth 131 Rally seen above started as a more pedestrian brown model before being converted by RSD Rally Sport Development into a competition version, Matthew Robinson and Sam Collins retired the #30 from the event after exceeding the time limit before stage 6.

Hillman Avenger, Barry Jordan, James Gratton-Smith, Penmachno, Cambrian Rally,

In the 1970’s it would appear there were plans within the British product planning arm of the Chrysler Europe empire to produce an Avenger to compete with the Ford Mexico with a BRM developed 16 valve twin cam head.

It would appear a few heads got built and at least one was fitted to a car used by factory personnel but the project stumbled at this stage, I am not sure if the #64 1971 Hillman Avenger 1500 GL Luxe has one of the 16 valve twin cam BRM heads fitted but the BRM livery on the rear piqued my interest, the car driven by Barry Jordan and James Gratton-Smith unfortunately also retired, after Stage 3.

Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI, Jayne Auden-Rowe, David Auden, Penmachno, Cambrian Rally,

The #75 1998 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI seen above crewed by Jayne Auden-Rowe and David Auden was classified 50th overall.

Skoda Favorit, Paul Ellis, Simon Jones, Penmachno, Cambrian Rally,

I could not resist going back to the puddle in the quarry as the final competitors went through Paul Ellis and Simon Jones make a splash in their way to a 70th place finish overall in their #120 1992 Skoda Favorit.

Ford Fiesta R200, Glynne Jones, Glenn Mercer, Penmachno, Cambrian Rally,

Similarly Glynne Jones and Glenn Mercer go temporarily amphibious in their Ford Fiesta R200 on their way to a 77th place finish overall.

Ford Fiesta 2000, Stephen Simpson, Andrew Roughead, Great Orme, Cambrian Rally,

Andrew Roughead moved from co – driving Andrew Fenwicks 6th placed Proton S2000 the week before on the Legend Fires North West Stages to sit beside Stephen Simpson in his #12 2010 Ford Fiesta S2000 seen above lifting a rear wheel on the final Great Orme Stage on their way to 8th place overall.

Ford Escort L, John Rowlands, Glenn Latham, Great Orme, Cambrian Rally,

Lifting a front wheel in classic Mk2 style is the #20 1976 2 litre Ford Escort L crewed by John Rowlands and Glenn Latham which came home 15th overall.

Peugeot 309 GTi, Tim Cains, Richard May, Great Orme, Cambrian Rally,

The sun came out for a short while and is seen above illuminating the faces of 36th place finishers Tim Cains and Richard May in their #85 1988 Peugeot 309 GTi.

Nissan Micra Tropic, Niel Andrew, Dominic Adams, Great Orme, Cambrian Rally,

54th place finishers overall and 2nd in the 1400C class were Niel Andrew and Dominic Adams in the #86 1994 Nissan Micra Tropic seen above heading into the sunset sans rear bumper cover.

Ford Fiesta S2000, Charles Payne, Carl Williamson, Penmachno, Cambrian Rally,

After nearly 48 mins of competitive driving Charles Payne and Carl Williamson in their #3 2009 Ford Fiesta S2000 came home just 1 second behind the winners …

Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX, Luke Francis, John H Roberts, Penmachno, Cambrian Rally,

… Luke Francis and John H Roberts in their #6 2004 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX who also won this event in 2012.

Volkswagen Lupo E, Paul Barbet, Chris Sheriden, Great Orme, Cambrian Rally,

Paul Barbet and Chris Sheriden above are heading to an evening 81st place finish overall in their #127 2001 Volkswagen Polo E.

As darkness rapidly fell after the action was over I managed to stumble back across Great Orme back to the car park after another great days entertainment.

Thanks for joining me on this Cambrian Rally edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for a look at the last of this month’s featured Camaro’s. Don’t for get to come back now !


A Glimmer Of Hope – Ferrari 250 GT Pininfarina Cabriolet S2 #1865GT

Today’s featured Ferrari 250 GT Pininfarina Cabriolet S2, chassis #1865GT seen at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, was initially sent to Ferrari Representatives of California in 1960 before being bought by a former lab assistant, book salesman and piston ring salesman turned successful broadcaster of the Today show David Garroway.

Ferrari 250 GT Pininfarina Cabriolet S2, Goodwood, Festival of Speed,

“The Roving Announcer” Garroway was a pioneer of the informal conversational style and tone of television presentation, that had hitherto been more authoritative in the style of public oration, introducing one show thus :- “And how are you about the world today? Let’s see what kind of shape it’s in; there is a glimmer of hope.” in 1957.

Ferrari 250 GT Pininfarina Cabriolet S2, Goodwood, Festival of Speed,

David broadcast the Today show from a variety of locations including; Paris, Rome, car shows, technology expos, plays, movies and aboard a B-52 bomber for a practice bombing run, his catch phrase when signing off was “Peace”.

Ferrari 250 GT Pininfarina Cabriolet S2, Goodwood, Festival of Speed,

In the 1980’s this cars original engine stamped 326/F was installed in a Ferrari 250 GT Coupé chassis # 2027GT of similar vintage, while the engine from a 250 GTE chassis #2929GT had already been installed in today’s featured car a decade earlier.

Ferrari 250 GT Pininfarina Cabriolet S2, Goodwood, Festival of Speed,

#1865GT is the 29th of the 201 Ferrari 250 GT Series 2 Cabriolet’s to be built between 1959 and 1962, it was entered at Goodwood Festival of Speed by John Collins.

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


An Unbelievable Machine – Mercedes Benz 300 SLR # no.4

At 7:22 am on the morning of the 1st of May 1955 Stirling Moss and his co driver Denis Jenkinson sitting in today’s featured Mercedes Benz # no.4 registered W21-6170 were flagged away for the start of the Mille Miglia from Viale Venezia in Brescia with 525 cars ahead of them and just six more to start at one minute intervals behind them.

Mercedes Benz 300 SLR, Goodwood Festival of Speed

With the aid of course notes recorded on an 18ft roll of paper, edited from their six reconnaissance drives along the entire route, Denis used 15 hand signals to keep Stirling informed of what was coming up ahead over the 1000 mile course via Rome back to Brescia.

Mercedes Benz 300 SLR, Goodwood Festival of Speed

10 hours, 7 minutes and 48 seconds later Stirling and Denis crossed the finish line to record the all time fastest race average speed of 97.96mph / 157.65 kmh over the course which actually measured only 992 miles, and become only the second non Italians to win the event after Rudolf Caracciola and riding mechanic Wilhelm Sebastian won with their Mercedes-Benz SSKL in 1931.

Mercedes Benz 300 SLR, Stirling Moss, Goodwood Festival of Speed
Juan Manuel Fangia came home second in the 300 SLR # no.3 31 mins and 45 s behind the winners in one of the greatest solo drives of all time.

Stirling Moss then drove # no.4 to a second place finish behind Fangio in the non championship Eifelrennen at the Nurburgring before Karl Kling and André Simon were entrusted with the car at Le Mans where it was withdrawn by the board of directors at Mercedes Benz after the fatal accident that killed team mate Pierre Levegh and 84 spectators .

Mercedes Benz 300 SLR, Stirling Moss, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Stirling drove # no.4 to another second place finish in the non championship Swedish Grand Prix behind team leader Fangio to keep up the models remarkable 1-2 finishing record in all events completed.

Mercedes Benz 300SLR, TNF Herts Film Show, Ware

Amazingly Stirling then drove # no.4 to two more World Championship sports car victories in the RAC TT at Dundrod with John Fitch and in the Targa Florio with Peter Collins so that this car has the rare record of finishing 1st in every World Championship event which it completed.

Stirling Moss called this car which he is seen driving in these photographs at Goodwood Festival of Speed, “The greatest sports racing car ever built — really an unbelievable machine.” Which is why it is probably the most desirable Mercedes Benz ever built and possibly the most desirable car ever built.

Thanks for joining me on this “An Unbelievable Machine” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a hot French Simca. Don’t forget to come back now !


Unique Factory Rear Seats – Ferrari 500 Superfast #6659SF

Today’s featured 1965 Ferrari 500 Superfast chassis s/n 6659SF was invoiced to Maranello Concessionaires, GB on the 21st September 1965.

Ferrari 500 Superfast, Goodwood Festival of Speed

It was the 22nd of the 25 Series I Superfasts built and finished in the Argento exterior and Rosso interior colours still worn by the car today.

Ferrari 500 Superfast, Goodwood Festival of Speed

#6659SF appears to have been the very first Superfast to have been fitted with a five speed gearbox as were all 12 Series 2 Superfasts.

Ferrari 500 Superfast, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Uniquely amongst all 37 Superfasts this was the only one supplied with factory fitted rear seats, it was also supplied with the factory fit air conditioning option

Ferrari 500 Superfast, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Peachy Property Corp. tycoon, Fulham Football Club director and later treasurer of Socialist International Sir Eric Merton Miller bought #6659SF on the 9th of February 1966.

Ferrari 500 Superfast, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Even as he was being Knighted in 1976 rumours of financial impropriety at the Peachey Property Corp. were circulating and after being issued with four writs for the restitution of funds Sir Miller shot himself on the Jewish Day of Attonement 22nd of September 1977.

Since then #6659SF has had a succession of Australian and British owners and is seen in these photographs at Goodwood Festival of Speed where it was entered by John Collins of the classic Ferrari Specialists Talacrest.

Thanks for joining me on this “Unique Factory Rear Seats” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at the very first Chevron built by Derek Bennett. Don’t forget to come back now.


Almost Fully Loaded – Austin Mini Clubman Wood & Pickett Estate #XL2W2524450A

Soon after I bought my first car in 1978 I started regularly driving over from Harrow Road in Wembley to Victoria Road in the Tropic of Ruislip to visit an old school friend, the route used to take me past the Wood & Pickett works from which all manner of blinged out and often bomb proof Range Rovers used to appear for the rich and famous that brought into the UK valuable foreign exchange, most notably from the middle east.

Austin Mini Clubman Wood & Pickett Estate, Silverstone Classic,

Bill Wood and Les Pickett learned their coachbuilding skills at Hooper & Co and left to set up their own business operating from Bills front room in 1947.

Austin Mini Clubman Wood & Pickett Estate, Silverstone Classic,

By the 1960’s Wood & Pickett now operating in Abbey Road, Park Royal were vying with their former employers Hooper, Radford, Minisprint, Ridgeway and a long list of others for upgraded Mini’s which could involve anything from minor cosmetic variations to fully loaded cars which were particularly popular amongst royalty, entertainers and sports persons.

Austin Mini Clubman Wood & Pickett Estate, Silverstone Classic,

Focusing on the top end of the market and with a little help from former Radford managing director, Len Minshull, and head of marketing Eddie Collins, Wood & Pickett’s Mini clientele included Twiggy, Laurence Harvey, Brian Epstein, Mick Jagger, King Hussein of Jordan, Hayley Mills and Elton John.

Austin Mini Clubman Wood & Pickett Estate, Silverstone Classic,

Thanks to the leadership of Eddie Collins Wood and Pickett expanded into the production of the aforementioned Range Rovers and in the late ’70’s to new premises in Ruislip where today’s featured 1978 Austin Mini Clubman Estate was sent from Cleveland Garages Ltd, Mont A L’Abbe, St Helier, Jersey having been purchased there on 17th August 1978.

Austin Mini Clubman Wood & Pickett Estate, Silverstone Classic,

The list of upgrades carried out by Wood & Pickett included deseaming the front wings, flared wheels arches, fitting 5″x10″ tech Del Mini-lite wheels, twin automatic reversing lights mounted under the rear bumper, direction indicator lights and repeaters to front wings, twin headlights, air horn, high output alternator, electric windows, electrically adjustable door mirrors, chrome front bumper bars with WP logo, bonnet lock, extra secure door locks, stainless steel finish to the top of the doors, body painted Rolls Royce Caribbean Blue, leather trimmed Wood & Pickett 14″ steering wheel in dark blue leather, navy blue leather rear compartment roll-over cover, blue velour seats, deluxe soundproofing of the interior, FM Radio cassette, but strangely on the evidence of these photo’s no electric aerial.

The only Wood & Pickett upgraded Mini Clubman Estate was then delivered to it’s thus far unidentified owner in Jersey and registered on the 13 December 1978. Subsequently #XL2W2524450A was driven just over 29,000 miles by the owner prior to being sold at the Silverstone Classic auction a couple of month’s ago, where the car is seen in these photographs, for a modest £11,250.

Wood and Pickett has since undergone a couple of changes of ownership and now specialises in Mini’s from premises in Leatherhead.

Thanks for joining me on this “Almost Fully Loaded” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a Mercury Monterey. Don’t forget to come back now !