Tag Archives: Concours d’Elegance

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 !


Americana – Niello At Serrano Concours d’Elegance

A couple of weeks ago Geoffrey Horton wrapped up his Concours d’Elegance season with another award for his Jaguar XK140 at the Niello at Serrano Coucours d’Elegance and kindly shared these photographs of some of the other competitors.

Ford Speedster, Niello at Serrano Concours d'Elegance

Turning Ford Model T’s into speedsters evocative of those raced before the 1914 – 18 war and immediately thereafter seems to be a growing pastime, this one looks brand new and unusually does not feature a transverse leaf spring for the front suspension.

Packard 1104 Super Eight Dual Cowl Phaeton, Niello at Serrano,

Powered by a straight eight the 1934 Packard 1104 Super Eight Dual Cowl Phaeton above seats seven in style.

Packard 110 Convertible, Niello at Serrano,

Eight years later Packard were manufacturing six cylinder Packard One Ten’s like the convertible example above.

Kurtis 500M, Niello at Serrano Concours d'Elegance

Around the time Kurtis built machines were dominating the Indy 500 the glass fibre bodied 500M like the example above was built for the road, powered by what ever engine the customer chose, often Cadillac, these machines were capable of reaching nearly 100 miles an hour over a 1/4 mile and had a top speed of over 130 mph.

Dodge Dart, Niello at Serrano,

The 1964 Dodge Dart Convertible above, which in optional automatic form had push buttons to select the gears come straight out of the era of rocket inspired styling

AC Shelby Cobra, Niello at Serrano,

Finally above a 1965 Shelby Cobra Mk III the 31 detuned semi competition versions of which are worth well in excess of one and half million dollars.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sharing his photographs more of which will appear on Friday.

Thanks for joining me on this “Americana” 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 Plymouth. Don’t forget to come back now !


It Is A Free Camel – Ferrari 500 Superfast #8019SF

On the 14th of March 1900 a family from Romania with a six year old boy who would later become known as Judge Samuel Simon Leibowitz disembarked from the Kensington in New York City. While still an advocacy lawyer Samuel Leibowitz became one of the most unpopular men in Alabama during the 1930’s for showing the US Supreme Court in Washington that Alabama Courts were denying a defendant, one of the Scottsboro boys accused of rape, the the right to a fair trial which resulted in the eventual release of four of the nine accused and the pardoning of the remainder posthumously in 2013.

During the 1940’s Samuel Leibowitz served as a judge in New York City, who, although a Democrat, was known as a “hanging” judge in favour of capital punishment. Demonstrating his out of the box thinking he once gave a lecture and asked his audience if the man on the logo of a packet of Camel cigarettes was riding the camel or leading it by the halter, debate was heated and opinion was deeply divided, but no one mentioned the fact that there was no man on the Camel logo at all.

Ferrari 500 Supersast, Danville Concours d’Elegance

In 1960 US Ferrari dealer Luigi Chinetti sold the Judge what appears to be the first of at least five Ferrari’s, a 250 GT Cabriolet S2.

Five years later in 1965 the Judge appears to have gone on a Ferrari collecting spree buying a 250 GTS, a 275 GTB 6 carburetor Competizione and possibly the pre-owned 1964 6th Ferrari 500 Superfast chassis #5985SF.

Ferrari 500 Supersast, Danville Concours d’Elegance

The following year The Judge is believed to have sold both the 275 GTB/6C and 500 Superfast on, maybe to make way for today’s Ferrari 500 Superfast chassis #8019SF the 28th of 34 built and the 6th of the 12 series 2’s, which was completed in December 1965 and shown at the Brussels Motor Show in January 1966 before being shipped to Chinetti in the US who sold it to Judge Leibowitz.

It is not known exactly how long the Judge held onto his second 500 Superfast, but by 1976, a former Oklahoma Air National Guard Vietnam Vet who had subsequently worked as a missile analyst for the United States Navy Laboratory in Corona, California before returning to the family wholesale plant nursery in Talequah Oklahoma, evidently took a shine to #8019SF while attending oenology classes at the University of California Davis and bought it from Rick d’Onofrio in Palo Alto.

Ferrari 500 Supersast, Danville Concours d’Elegance

The Vietnam Vet turned wine student Gil Nickel bought the Far Niente Winery in Oakville in 1986, founded the Dolce Winery in 1992 before founding Nickel & Nickel Winery in 2000 with his son Jeremy.

Gil kept today’s featured car until his death aged 64 in 2003 during which time it sporadically appeared at Concours events at Pebble Beach, Monterey and Beverly Hills.

Ferrari 500 Supersast, Danville Concours d’Elegance

Phil White appears to have acquired #8019, apparently unrestored and still in it’s original colour, from the Nickel estate at an unknown date.

#8019SF is seen in these photographs at last years Danville Concours d’Elegance where it was awarded first in the 1961 – 1969 All Other Sports Cars class last year, more recently Geoffrey Horton also saw the 170 mph Ferrari with a five litre / 302 cui V12 at this years Hillsborough Concours d’Elegance.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton as ever for sharing his photographs.

Thanks for joining me on this “It Is A Free Camel” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at the first ever Chevron. Don’t forget to come back now !


Americana – Hillsborough Concours d’Elegance

Geoffrey Horton kindly sent me the images for the next three posts which were all taken at the Hillsborough Concours d’Elegance, today’s post will feature selected American cars, tomorrow selected Ferrari’s and Saturday’s more selections from Europe.

Phantom, Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance

When it comes to revolutionary one off designs few can match the 1938 (Nineteen Thirty Eight) Phantom Corsair which was the brain child of ketchup heir Rust Heinz and Maurice Schwartz that had the driver sit next to one passenger on the left and two more to the right with just two more in the back. The gull wing doors were push button operated as was the electrically operated four speed automatic transmission, the whole car being built on a Cord Front Wheel Drive chassis and powered by a 190 hp Lycoming V8.

Devin D, Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance

The 1959 Devin D was so successful on the race track that Porsche refused to sell Bill Devin motors forcing his customers to acquire their own Porsche motors and install them themselves.

Chrysler 300F, Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance

After the low sales volumes for the Chrysler 300D in 1958 and 300E in 1959 sales picked up again in 1960 for the Chrysler 300F which was powered by a new 413 cu in (6.8 L) Wedge V8 engine that produced 375 hp.

Pontiac GTO, Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance

If one wanted to hop up ones 1964 Pontiac Tempest for US$ 295 one could opt for the GTO options as seen on the example above that included a 325 hp 6 litre / 389 cui V8, dual exhausts, chromed valve covers and air cleaner, three speed Hurst floor shift manual transmission a raft of handling improvements, but standard Tempest steering and drum brakes.

Shelby Cobra, Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance

The #19 competition 427 Shelby Cobra chassis CSX 3010 appears to have been built in 1965, the only in period racing history I have been able to verify for it thus far pertains to the 1968 US Champions race at Riverside which was won by a Peter Consiglio for whom I have also been unable to establish any other results, if you know more about Peter please do not hesitate to chip in below.

Chevrolet Corvette, Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance

Finally I believe the 1967 Chevrolet Corvette above was judged the best in Corvette through to 1989 class.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sharing his photographs more of which can be seen on Ferrari Friday and on Saturday.

Thanks for joining me on this Americana edition of “Gettin’ a l’il psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for Ferrari Friday. 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 !


Paperboy’s Shooting Brake – Rolls Royce Twenty

A ‘brake’ is a large body-less carriage frame used for training horses, use of the term expanded to include any large wagon designed for country use.

With the advent of the motor car the term shooting brake was applied to any custom built body, often with only two front doors, fitted to a luxury car that was designed for use by hunters and sportsmen who required a large carrying area.

Rolls Royce Twenty, Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance,

In 1872 Frederick Henry Royce’s school day’s were over after just one year when his father died and he had to take a paper round and a job delivering telegrams aged just nine.

By 1929 the company founded by Frederick, better known as Henry, with Charles Rolls was winding up production of the Rolls Royce Twenty of the type featured today in anticipation of the 20/25 model launched later the same year.

Rolls Royce Twenty, Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance,

The Rolls Royce Twenty was the companies ‘small’ car designed for owner drivers, though inevitably plenty were sold to owners with chauffeurs.

The Twenties mono block 6 cylinder 3127cc / 190 cui motor on the early models was fitted to a three speed gearbox with central gear change while later models like the one featured today had a four speed gearbox with right hand gear stick.

Rolls Royce Twenty, Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance,

Four wheel brakes with a servo did not become available on the Twenty model until 1925, the radiator grill on early models were also fitted with horizontal slats.

At this time all Rolls Royces were supplied as powered chassis without bodywork which was fitted to the bespoke requirements of customers by independent coach builders, at the time of writing it is not known who built the Woody Shooting Brake body seen here.

Rolls Royce Twenty, Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance,

By 1967 today’s featured Rolls Royce Twenty Shooting Brake was the property of the Hopper family resident at 16 Caledonia Place in Clifton Village Bristol.

Every morning the Hopper’s son Edwin used to drive the Royce down the road to the newspaper agents, Bridge Stores, opposite the Avon Gorge Hotel where he would pick up the newspapers he was to deliver on the other side of Clifton Suspension to the residents of Abbots Leigh.

After finishing his paper round Edwin would drive back across the Clifton Suspension Bridge, designed by Ismbard Kingdom Brunel, and pick up his sister, who had delivered papers on her own round in Clifton Village by foot and drive the car one and a half miles to Ashton Park School which they were both attending.

Amazingly there is a silent black and white film documenting Edwin’s routine, seen above, the newspaper shop is now a branch of the Mayfair Residential Sales and Lettings agents and the bridge tolls are now collected by machines, but other wise the area shown in the film is remarkably unchanged.

Rolls Royce Twenty, Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance,

This Twenty known by it’s current owner as ‘Gen’ was acquired in 1978 with it’s original tool kit and owners manual and was ground up restored between 2000 and 2008.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sharing these photo’s taken at Hillsborough Concours d’Elegance a couple of years ago.

Thanks for joining me on this “Paperboy’s Shooting Brake” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a 350hp 1920 land speed record car. Don’t forget to come back now !


Short Nose – Ferrari 275 GTB

Between 1964 and 1967 Scaglietti built bodies for 448 Ferrari 275 GTB’s some from steel and others from aluminium.

Ferrari 275 GTB, Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance

Some of these cars, like today’s featured example have short noses with the front repeater below the head lights while others like the 275 GTB Competizione I looked at last summer have long noses with the repeater ahead of the front head light.

Ferrari 275 GTB, Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance

Looking through the photographs of all the 275 GTB’s I have featured to date I noticed, as might be expected from a hand built body, that they all look subtly different, linked here is a short nosed GTB/4 with a chrome arch linking the two corner bumpers, which highlights the fact that the front bumpers on today’s featured car look much lower than on either of the cars in the linked photographs.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sharing his photographs taken at the 2013 Hillsborough Concours d’Elegance.

Thanks for joining me on this “Short Nose” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow, when I’ll be looking at a nice car for a wedding, don’t forget to come back now !