Tag Archives: Fisher

Changing The Numbers Around Again – Chevrolet Camaro Z/28

In 1968 Roger Penske’s Trans Am team turned up at the Sebring 12 hours with two Trans Am spec Z/28 Camaro’s one a lightweight car that had been very successful in 1967, and the other a new car that had not had a weight saving acid bath.

Mark Donohue is reported as saying the Penske Team put the heavy #15 car through tech inspection first and then went back to their garage and swapped the #15 decals for #16 decals on the heavy car and put the car through tech inspection again.

Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Concours on the Avenue, Carmel By The Sea

Having successfully pulled off this stunt for tech inspection Mark says the process was successfully repeated again during qualifying so that both the Penske driving crews qualified using the single lightweight car, which allegedly never went through tech inspection.

I believe Mark and Canadian Craig Fisher then drove the lightweight #15 Penske Godsall Camaro to a third place finish from 13th on the grid 6 laps behind two works prototype Porsche 907’s while the heavy #16 Penske Hilton Camaro driven by Joe Welch and Bob Johnson with Craig also taking a stint behind the wheel finished 4th from 17th on the grid 10 laps down.

Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, RMMR, Laguna Seca

Penske pulled off a remarkable feat and the SCCA deserved their comeuppance because as can be clearly seen from this linked period photo showing the Penske team cars bore different logo’s on the front wing panels Penske Hilton Racing for the #15 and Penske Godsall Racing for the #16 as seen in this photo.

It should also be noted that the acid dipped lightweight car can be distinguished by the absence of side marker lights which were mandated for US road vehicles in 1968 as described in paragraph six of this linked article.

Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Concours on the Avenue, Carmel By The Sea

Evidence that the race numbers were swapped between the subtly different cars during the meeting is confirmed by this linked photograph from the Revs Institute showing the #15 running with Penske Godsall sponsorship on the front wing and without the side marker lights, and in this second linked photo from Car and Driver clearly showing a #16 during a pit stop with the ’68 side marker lights.

Today’s featured Camaro is believed by the owner to have been the 14th Z/28 to have been built, rolling off the assembly line on December 30th 1966 and into the Gorries Chevrolet-Olds, LTD dealership in Toronto where, the son of the GM-Euclid distributor for eastern Canada, Terry Godsall purchased it.

Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Concours on the Avenue, Carmel By The Sea

The owner believes this car was raced for Terry Godsall by Craig Fisher and followed Craig to the Penske Team mid way through 1967, he also believes this is the lightweight car Craig and Mark Donohue drove to 3rd place overall and a well deserved class win at Sebring in 1968.

After Sebring the car returned to Godsall in Canada is believed to have appeared in Trans Am events up until 1972, the current owner identified the car as the much raced lightweight Camaro by an obviously acid dipped wing / fender, an unusual rear axle housing which turned out to be one of only 22 and a one off brake master cylinder that had been shipped by GM to Penske for the Penske Godsall Racing Camaro.

Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Concours on the Avenue, Carmel By The Sea

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sharing his photo’s taken at Carmel by the Sea Concours on the Avenue and the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion a couple of years ago, note the engine shown is not in the same car as seen at Carmel by the Sea.

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

PS I hope you will join me in wishing Geoffrey Best Wishes and a Happy Birthday today !


Grand Finals – Castle Combe

On Saturday I popped along to Castle Combe for the Grand Finals meeting where the sun was trying in vain to dissipate the clouds, but the fine quality of the racing made up for it’s inadequacies.

Reynard/Fisher Spectrum/Moyers, FF1600, Castle Combe

The afternoons racing got off to a scintillating start with the Drive Soutwest and Empire EV Castle Combe Formula Ford 1600, Kent engines, Championship, in which Josh Fisher starting from third on the grid in his 1989 #81 Reynard engaged in a thrilling battle with pole sitter Michael Moyers driving the #125 Spectrum 11c that was twenty years younger than the Reynard.

Josh took the lead on lap six, relinquished it for the next two laps before grabbing it for good on lap 9, Josh is seen above exceeding track limits as he takes the flag after 15 thrilling laps by just 0.212 of a second from Michael, Roger Orgee clinched the championship, 41 years after his farther Roger Snr, won the same championship at he same track, with a third place finish.

BMW 320i, Swaffer, Wileman, Palmer, Davison, Castle Combe

The penultimate round of the Toyo Tyres Production BMW championship saw Gary Feakin and Harry Goodman storm away from the rest and leaving the #145 of Matthew Swaffer, #131 of Matthew Wileman, #8 of Mark Palmer and #17 driven by William Davison to squabble over the final place on the podium in another entertaining race.

When the dust settled William finished third behind Harry but ahead of Matthew Wileman, Rob Cooper and Mark while Matthew Saffer retired the #145, Gary’s win sealed the championship in his favour with one round, run later in the afternoon, to go.

Spire GT3, Tim Gray, Castle Combe

Nottingham’s Tim Gray drove his #96 Spire GT3 to set a pole time for the Castle Combe Sports Racing Series race over three and a half seconds ahead of fellow front row starter Robert Gillman in his #66 Radical Prosport.

It was hardly surprising there for that the closest anyone got to Tim was on the warm up lap when the race ended Robert was 53 seconds ahead of the #12 Radical SR4 driven by Darcey Smith who remained the only unlapped runner, hopefully next year Simon Tilling might bring his Radical out to play in what could be a competitive series.

Audi Hutchings, Volkswagen Scaramanga, Castle Combe

Dave Scaramanga, driving the #6 Volkswagen Scirocco from 9th on the grid, accepted some responsibility for killing Tony Hutchings opportunity to clinch the Class A title of the On Pole Castle Combe Saloon Car Championship after a coming together with the #33 Audi TT a couple of hundred yards after the photo above was taken, leaving Gary Prebble to win the class championship unchallenged in his SEAT Leon 20V T.

Earlier in the race Dave missed the same Bobbies chicane where he came together with Tony on the penultimate lap, after 19 years of trying Mark Wyatt secured his first championship with his class B Vauxhall Astra.

Brabham Thompson, March Armer, Castle Combe

Like Dave Scaramanga, Simon Armer also misjudged Bobbies chicane on the opening lap of the first of two HSCC Historic Formula 3 Races, Simon driving the #22 March 703 is seen making up time as he looks to deprive the #65 Brabham BT21 driven by Peter Thompson of the second place on lap 3 on his way to victory.

Legendary club motorsports journalist and racer Marcus Pye in the commentary box informed us that the Simon’s March belonged to Tom Walkinshaw, who went on to found Tom Walkinshaw Racing with which he won the 1984 European Touring Car Championship at the wheel of a TWR Jaguar before taking Jaguar back to Le Mans in 1986 which resulted in wins for the marque in 1988 and 1990.

Spectrum/Moyers, Reynard/Fisher, FF1600, Castle Combe

The Formula Ford boys made a second appearance at the meeting for the non championship Formula Ford Carnival which again saw a close battle between Michael Moyers and Josh Fisher, this time Michael did not give an inch and won the 15 lap adrenaline rush by less than a second, for his two entertaining drives in such an ancient machine Josh quite rightly won the man of the meeting award.

Ginetta Krayem, Mazda Putt, Castle Combe

Bristol’s Oliver Bull driving a Ford powered Vauxhall Tigra Silhouette in class B of the Avatar Sports Cars Castle Combe Sports and GT Championship managed to secure the overall title with an incident free drive to second overall from pole. Claimants for the win included Barry Squibb who took the lead on the opening lap only to retire his fire belching Mitsubishi Evo on lap 3 which handed the lead to the fearsome 7 litre / 427 cui V8 powered Zilla Killa Mazda RX7 driven by Steve Putt who started second on the grid.

4th place starter David Krayem, driving a 3.5 litre / 213 cui V8 powered Ginetta G50 is seen above at Quarry having just taken the lead, which he held until the end of the race, from Steve with three laps to go.

BMW 320i, Feakins, Goodman, Wileman, Davison, Castle Combe

Gary Feakin #2, Harry Goodman #4 and William Davison #17 again deprived Matthew Wileman of a podium as they finished the second Toyo Tyres Production BMW championship in the same order as the first, Matthew held third place in the #131 until lap 5 before giving way to the William in another event full of close racing through out the field.

March 703, Simon Armer, Castle Combe, Castle Combe

Simon Armer made no mistakes in the second HSCC Formula 3 race in which he smoked the field and led from start to finish to win by just over 3 seconds, although the finishing order with Peter Thompson and Michael Scott finishing second and third the battle was never certain until the checkered flag was shown.

Ginetta Kraymen, Audi Hall, Castle Combe

Finally the Castle Combe Sports and GT’s came out to play with the Castle Combe Saloons for a bit of end of term fun, Steve Hall in the #19 Audi TT starting from 5th on the grid made the move on David Kraymen seen above as they approach the The Esses stick and led the opening lap before relinquishing the lead back to David who won the race by 2.5 seconds from the Audi with Adam Prebbles steel bodied Rover Tomcat a highly entertaining 3rd ahead of the Audi TT driven by Tony Hutchings.

With another full day of motorsport planned in Wales for the following day I declined the kind invitation to all to attend a party at the Strawford Centre where no doubt a good time was had by all.

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


Gold Cup Stars – Oulton Park

For today’s post I thought it would be fun to revisit the Gold Cup meeting and see some of the stars who were not first to the checkered flag but nonetheless contributed significantly to the weekends entertainment.

AEC Reliance, Oulton Park, Gold Cup,

As Tim and I arrived at the circuit two AEC buses were being driven around the circuit with gusto, one even had Autosport club editor Marcus Pye entertaining passengers with a commentary, above a Devon General liveried 1963 AEC Reliance exits the Britten’s Chicane.

AC Greyhound, Oulton Park, Gold Cup,

Car of the day in the car park was this 1963 Ford Zephyr straight six powered AC Greyhound one of just 83 built.

Jaguar XJR9, Andy Wallace, Gold Cup, Oulton Park,

The day after our visit 1988 Le Mans winner Andy Wallace, on the right in the photo, gave a demonstration of the 1988 Le Mans winning #2 Jaguar XJR9 in front of him, this time completing his lap of honour unlike a previous visit in 2010.

de Tomaso Mangusta, Michael Eagles, Gold Cup, Oulton, Park

One of the cars that tempted me to visit on the Sunday rather than the usual Monday was Michael Eagles de Tomaso Mangusta, Michael started the Oni Plc Historic Road Sports race from 8th on the grid and got as high as 7th in the race before dropping back to finish 16th.

Sunbeam Alpine, Mike Foley, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

In the same race back marker Mike Foley produced the save of the day, after going into Old Lodge too fast and running wide his Sunbeam Alpine went into a nasty tank slapper upon regaining the track, just after this photo was taken, but some how Mike kept the car from spinning or hitting the barriers and continued to finish the race.

 Mallock Mk 20/21, Mark Charteris, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

The Giant Killer of the weekend award goes to Mark Charteris who qualified his Mallock U2 Mk20/21 Clubmans car for the first Derek Bell Trophy race fourth ahead an impressive collection of four more powerful Formula 5000 cars and was in third when the race was red flagged after Ian Ashley’s accident, the following day in damp conditions Mark beat both Neil Glover and Mark Dwyer aboard a Formula 5000 Chevron and Formula 2 March respectively that had finished ahead of him the day before.

Jaguar C-type, Ben Cussons, Gold Cup, Oulton Park,

Just finishing the Jaguar Challenge race proved a challenge too far for five of the 20 starters, smoke was seen issuing from beneath several cars including the #18 C-type driven by Ben Cussons who was classified 9th a lap down and the #15 E-type in the back ground driven by Paul Castaldini who managed to hang on to finish 2nd over 90 seconds down on the winning E-Type driven by Michael Wilkinson and John Bussel.

Ginetta G12, Chris Blewett, Gold Cup, Oulton Park,

Wheel lifter of the day went to back marker Chris Blewett driving the #44 Ginetta G12 in the Guards Trophy supported by Dunlop Tyres race whose car struggled to keep four wheels on the ground in the corners.

MG Arkley, Chris Fisher, Gold Cup, Oulton Park,

By 1970 there were loads of Austin Sprites and MG Midgets knocking about with seriously rusted bodies when John Britten in Barnet North London came up with the idea of recycling them with the aid of a retro look fibre glass front and rear ends that could easily be fitted to donor cars, thus the Arkley S with standard wheels and Arkley SS with wide wheels were born. Lawn Mower of the day award went to #27 Arkley SS driver Chris Fisher who during the 70’s Road Sports Bob Trotter Celebration race came out of the appropriately named Britten’s Chicane a tad wide and opted for the shortest route, with the least grip, before rejoining the track on the ascent to Hill Top.

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


Fritzpro Hullavington Sprint – Hullavington

Having left Castle Combe on Saturday the 21st of March swearing I would never marshall again thanks to the unrelenting bitter cold wind on Sunday the 22nd of March I once again got up at the crack of dawn to go and marshall at the Fritzpro Hullavington Sprint in Wiltshire not more than a stones throw from the venue where I nearly froze to death the day before.

Luckily the day was a fraction warmer and the unrelenting winds had died down as Hullavington is essentially like Castle Combe used to be, the site of an airfield. Craven Motor Club and the British Army Motorsports Association were organising the first motorsports event to be held here for many years. Due to my marshalling duties I only managed a few snaps early in the morning, during the lunch break and at the end of the day.

Nissan Micra, Matt and Suze Endean, Fritzpro Hullavington Sprint

Regular readers might remember meeting Murial the 1994 Nissan Micra at the Autosport International earlier this year here she is again with owners Matt and Suze Endean who finished 2nd and 4th in class A3 respectively.

Austin Healey 3000, Fritzpro Hullavington Sprint

Making all the right noises was Peter Walton’s 1964 Austin Healey, despite competing against far more modern and nimble machinery Peter managed to avoid the wooden spoon and finished 8th fastest in a class of nine A5 competitors.

Ford Cortina GT, Fritzpro Hullavington Sprint

Similarly aged but not so lucky in avoiding the class B9/10 wooden spoon was Callum Barnley in his pre cross flow Ford Cortina GT, which new would have produced just 78 hp.

Talbot Sunbeam, Fritzpro Hullavington Sprint

Runner up in the unofficial most entertaining drive of the day category easily went to Mike Smith in his Rally spec Talbot Sunbeam that suffered from a chronically loose rear end which saw him collect the class D15 wooden spoon.

Ralt RT3,Fritzpro Hullavington Sprint

2nd and 3rd fastest respectively in the same D15 class were John Opie and John Burton in their splendid 2 litre / 122 cui Ralt RT3 above.

Jedi Mk4, Fritzpro Hullavington Sprint

The most entertaining and fastest driver of the day was Bradley Hobday who danced rather than drove his Jedi Mk 4 a full 3.65 seconds round the course than 2nd placed Andy Porter in a similar 1 litre / 61 cui motor cycle engined Jedi Mk 4.

Austin Mini, Fritzpro Hullavington Sprint

During the course of the day I was stationed at the back of the circuit with Ian Fisher initially we parked our cars we thought well away from the circuit on another perimeter road however during the two practice runs an errant Mini Cooper S was headed straight for us when it left the track. Mercifully for all concerned the car came to rest on the grass and carried on unaided.

Suitably warned of the dangers of our position Ian and I immediately moved our cars another 30 meters away from the incident. Later in the morning novice Tom Russell was not so lucky as his car, seen above, left the track spun across the grass and on across the perimeter track, where we had been parked earlier, and as it broadsided the grass on the other side of the perimeter track the wheels dug in and flipped the car onto it’s roof.

Fortunately Tom unlike his car was completely unharmed, we soon had the car back on it’s wheels whose drivers side tyres had popped off the rim, the rear window had also popped out in one piece, Tom and friends in the paddock managed to patch up the Mini so that he could carefully drive home.

Finally the event raised £1584 for the Combat Stress Charity, among their fund raisers was a quality cake stand to absolutely die for !

If you are interested in competing in Sprints Bristol Pegasus Motor Club have one coming up at Llandow near Cardiff on Saturday 9th May and another at Hullavington on Monday May 25th more details can be found on the BPMC website here.

If you would like to Marshall at either of these events, I shall be at both, please leave a fb message below and I will get in touch about the arrangements.

Thanks for joining me on this “Fritzpro Hullavington Sprint” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a 1957 Imperial. Don’t forget to come back now !


Shiny Sundance Yellow For Sale – Hillman 998 Rally Imp

In 1964 allegedly unknown to the management of the Rootes Group Rootes Group competition manager Des O’Dell homologated a competition version of the Hillman Imp known as the Rally Imp by braking into the factory every Sunday.

Des then replaced the pistons and cylinder linings on 20 motors so that on the following Monday 20 Imps would be fitted with 998cc / 61 cui motors instead of the regular 875 cc / 60 cui motors.

Hillman Rally Imp,

Once sufficient numbers had been built Des submitted his list of modified cars to the sporting authorities who accepted that the larger engines had been built in sufficient numbers to be considered legible for competition.

Imps were subsequently used for track racing on behalf of Rootes by Alan Fraser racing who entered their cars for Rootes Mechanic Bernard Unett, Ray Calcutt, Nick Brittan and Tony Lanfranchi in a successful campaigns in 1966 and 1967 against numerous Mini’s.

Hillman Rally Imp,

In Rally events works Imps were regular class winners in the hands of numerous drivers including Rosemary Smith who along with Valerie Domleo scored the Imps biggest rally victory an outright win on the Tulip Rally in the Netherlands in April 1965.

The Imp also helped Rootes secure the team prize on the 1965 and ’66 RAC Rally in the UK.

Hillman Rally Imp,

A couple of weeks ago I spent the day marshalling with Ian Fisher of the Craven Motor Club at the Craven Hullavington Sprint.

During the day Ian told me that until this event Craven has primarily been a club for Rally enthusiasts and that his start in motorsport in the 1960’s had been with a Hillman Imp and that he had converted a second hand automatic transmission Rover SD1 to a manual Group A competition spec for Rallying in the UK, Belgium and Ireland during the 1980’s.

Hillman Rally Imp,

While we were talking Ian also mentioned that he had today’s featured Historic 998cc / 61 cui Rally Imp for sale and so I naturally asked him to send me these photographs and volunteered to write a blog about it.

This 1966 Sundance Yellow Imp was built up on a low mileage Imp Sport shell in 2011 and has HRVIF papers for historic rallying and the steel boot, bonnet and front bumper necessary for acquiring FIA papers if needed.

Hillman Rally Imp,

Safety equipment includes a full cage, plumbed in and hand held fire extinguishers and five point harness harnesses valid until 2015.

As seen here to keep the weight down the car has fibreglass bonnet and boot lids with the rear side and rear windows in perspex.

Hillman Rally Imp,

The Chesman 998 cc / 61 cui motor is fitted with twin carburetors, stainless steel manifold, big valve head and competition cam and clutch for the strengthened Dave Weedon close ratio transaxle that has raised first and lowered 3rd and 4th gear ratio’s.

Suspension with Koni shock absorbers front and rear is described as ‘almost like new’ the Vauxhall Viva brake discs are fitted with Mintex pads and the car comes with six Minilite lookalike wheels fitted with Kumho tyres.

If you would are interested in buying this car, all the usual disclaimers apply, please send a personal message to the facebook account linked to this site with your contact details and I will gladly forward them to Ian.

Thanks for joining me on this “Shiny Sundance Yellow For Sale” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I will be looking at a Cooper Formula One car. Don’t forget to come back now !


Made In Zambia – Costa Borthers ALFA Romeo Special

Season’s Greetings today’s post is only possible thanks to the wonders of the Internet being able to put people in touch who have never met, but have the briefest of shared experiences. Today’s featured car the Costa Brothers Alfa Romeo was built to compete in local races in Zambia at the end of the 1960’s.

 Costa ALFA Romeo Special

Inspired by Carlo Abarth, who had designed several successful racing cars with the engine behind the rear axle, the Costa Special was conceived as a single seater with the driver offset to the right, and with enclosed wheel body work and built in their shop in Ndola on what is known as the Copperbelt.

 Costa ALFA Romeo Special

The design was finalised by trial and error by brothers Remo and Alberto Costa, qualified structural and mechanical engineers from Borgo Val di Taro , Parma, Italy, Remo moved to Zambia as a technical supervisor for FIAT. By 1968 Remo and Alberto had settled into Ndola and having messed around with a FIAT 500 Abarth in Italy fell in with the Racing Club at Ndola Park.

 Costa ALFA Romeo Special

In it’s first incarnation the special appears to have used a crashed Fiat 850 as a donor car and had a 1570cc ALFA Romeo motor, taken from Remo’s Giulia Spyder hanging out behind the rear axle driven through a Volkswagen Beetle gearbox with bodywork covering the motor.

 Costa ALFA Romeo Special

The car was built in the brothers spare time, with the help from a considerable proprotion of the substantial expatriate Italian population in Ndola. They even had contacts that were able to secure some parts at short notice by Alitalia one of the few European Airlines operating scheduled flights out of Zambia. The all enclosing rear bodywork was replaced with a rear deck to improve engine cooling.

 Costa ALFA Romeo Special

Remo and Alberto shared the driving. Ken Lancashire who wrote many reports on local racing for the Zambian Press seems to have made a habit of mistakenly refering to Alberto as Alfredo, that “might” have had something to do with the consumption of a local brew called Castle.

 Costa ALFA Romeo Special

The car was classified as a Group 6 prototype sports car, although it was the only entry in the class, it was allowed to race against a potpourri of entries, above stalled Kevin Cameron raises his arm on the grid in his modified Elan, at Ndola Park as the Costa Special and an as yet unidentified driver in a modified Mk 1 Ford Cortina get away cleanly.

 Costa ALFA Romeo Special

Remo tells me he has no idea how many races the special won up until the car was sold in 1973 when Remo moved to Nigeria and Alberto to Botswana. Remo says “Alberto (was) faster but also more impulsive , or won or broke , I calmer and slower. Above the Costa Special takes another victory at Ndola Park ahead of a modified Ford Anglia driven by an as yet unidentified driver, note the rudimentary safety features there is a rudimentary bank and a fence between the spectators and and the cars,

Costa Alfa Romeo Special

this was not always the case as seen in the photo above at a track I believe to be the Lawrence Allen Circuit outside Chingola. Race meetings were run with practice in the morning a mid day scratch race with all the cars starting together followed by an afternoon handicap race with the cars starting individually according to handicap with the slowest away first.

Costa Alfa Romeo Special

When the Costa Brothers left Zambia in 1973 they sold the car by now fitted with a 1750 cc twin spark Alfa Romeo motor and Colotti 5 speed gearbox to Sergio Pavan. They do not know the ultimate fate of the car but do know that Sergio turned the engine and gearbox round to make it a mid engined racer.

Multo grazie to Remo Costa for sharing today’s photographs from his collection and telling me the details, after seeing a post I left on The Nostalgia Forum three years ago.

During my parents time in Zambia there were 4 or 5 motor racing meetings a year of which my parents and I would go to one or two during school holidays from England. These would draw several thousand paying spectators to the two road courses, Ndola Park and Lawrence Allen Circuit.

If you have information about one other road course Bennett’s also in the Copperbelt, possibly near Kitwe, which I have not been able locate on Google Earth and at least one street circuit that ran through the streets of Garneton a suburb north of Kitwe please get in touch.

I believe Garneton was the scene of the countries first motor sport events held on tarmac, though I am not sure exactly when that was.

If you have any further information and or photographs about motor sport in Zambia or the former Northern Rhodesia on two wheels or four, on road or offroad, please do not hesitate to get in contact. In particular if you are, or know of, journalists by the name of Fidelis Munsongo, Dan Fisher (also a kart racer), or Ken Lancashire all of whom I believe might have reported stories to the Times Of Zambia.

Finally if anyone knows of the wearabouts of Sergio Pavan the second owner of the Casta Brothers Special please get in touch.

Thanks for joining me on this “Made In Zambia” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a Ford GT40 MIII. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, don’t forget to come back now !

Brighton Speed Trials Under Threat of Permanent Cancellation !

In their infinite wisdom, Brighton & Hove City Council are seeking to ban the Brighton Speed Trials from 2014.

If you care about speed and or motorsport history, please sign this linked petition to save Brighton Speed Trials in 2014 and beyond.

It’s a faf to Register before signing, but relatively painless compared to loosing the event which has been run with few interruptions since 1905.

You do not need to be resident in Brighton or even the UK to sign.

Thanks and please spread the word through whatever social media you have at your disposal


The Chuck Parsons Myth – Lola Chevrolet T222 #T222 HU7

Today’s featured car is a 1971 Chevrolet powered Lola T222, it is seen being driven with by of Britain’s most accomplished club drivers never to sit in a contemporary Formula Car by the name of Gerry Marshall at Brands Hatch in 1982. In both the contemporary programme notes and post race press reports the car is described as being “ex Chuck Parsons” and owned by Noel Gibbs an apparent novice to the motor racing scene.

In 1970 Lola Cars moved from it Slough premises west of London to Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire north east of London. All Lola cars built in Slough were given an SL prefix in their chassis numbers all Lola cars built in Huntingdon received an HU prefix in their chassis numbers.

The Lola T222 was a development, built for customers, of the 1970 Lola T220 with which Peter Revson had competed for Carl Hass (later to become Newman/Hass Indy Car fame) Racing. The T222 differed from the earlier model primarily by having a 10″ lange wheel base than the 1970 model.

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It is thought that nine vehicles were issued with a T222 chassis number which ran HU2 through HU9. The exact history of all 8 cars is not known, T222 HU1 may never have been issued because that number was thought of as the prototype T222 namely T220 SL/1. Now it get’s complicated.

T220 SL/1, the car driven by Peter Revson in 1970, crashed at Road America after it suffered a puncture. Two weeks later a new car appeared for Peter Revson with the chassis number T220 SL/2, but T220 SL/1 differed in one crucial respect, the front axle of SL/2 was ten inches further forward of the rear bulkhead than on SL/1.

It is believed that one of the early T222 chassis originally built in Huntingdon was hastily built up to replace the damaged SL/1 and shipped to Donnybrooke for Revson to race with the Slough chassis number T220 SL/02. It is also believed SL/2 might have become either T222 HU02 or perversely T222 HU/09 had it not been unexpectedly pressed into service in 1970.

The 1971 T222 models all shared the same wheel base as T220 SL/2 but there are some minor variations in the bodywork.

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T222 HU7, today’s featured car, was delivered to Bob Nagel who drove the car with blue bodywork in the 1971 Can Am Challenge his season best qualifying and race performances came at Donnybrooke where he finished 10th from 16th on the grid. The rest of his races apart from an 11th at Mount Tremblant were dogged by mechanical unreliability.

In 1972 Bob campaigned the HU7 again swapping the 7 litre / 427 cui Chevrolet V8 for first a 7620cc / 465 cui and later an 8095 cc / 494 cui unit. The larger motors contributed to three 8th places finishes which along with 2 10th’s an 14th place in the final 1971 Challenge standings 4 spots behind Charlie Kemp in the Bobby Rinzler T222 HU8.

Bob topped his 1972 season with a third place finish from 2nd on the grid in an ASR race run at Road Atlanta at the seasons end.

Gene Fisher bought HU7 for the 1973 season and appears to have started just one event at Road Atlanta with a Chaparral built 427 motor. Gene retired in the 1st heat from 21st on the grid and did not start Heat 2.

Despite apparently having lost a wheel during the course of the opening meeting for the 1974 Can Am Challenge at Mosport Gene started 11th and finished a season high 6th driving HU7 now in it’s forth year of competition. Engine and gearbox failures accounted for the cars three remaining races.

In 1981 Chuck Haines sold HU7 to Noel Gibb and the following year Noel did a deal with Gerry Marshall to lend him the car free of charge while Gerry tried to sell the car on Noel’s behalf, the car was not to be sold before the British Grand Prix meeting where Gerry is seen at the wheel here.

The throttle on Gerry’s car broke before he set a qualifying time so he started the Atlantic Trophy Race from the back of the grid. He worked his way up to 4th before easing off when his door came undone. After passing through the hands of three further owners T222 HU7 was purchased by I believe the current owner David Edwards.

While reading up on the Lola T222 I learned that Chuck Parsons never drove a Lola T222 in period and that the widespread myth that HU7 was ever driven by him possibly originated in the Brands Hatch publicity office with some incorrect programme notes.

My thanks to everyone who contributed to the Lola T222 thread at the Ten Tenths Forum particularly Gregor Marshall who’s post confirmed the identity of today’s featured car, Jeremy Jackson and David Edwards who posted details of the believed chain of ownership of T222 HU7, along with Tim Murray who kindly furnished me with the contemporary race reports from Autosport.

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