Tag Archives: Gurney

Classic Competition Cars – Classic Motor Show NEC Birmingham

Today’s blog is all about some of the classic competition vehicles at last weekends Classic Motor Show at the NEC in Birmingham.

Rosemary Smith,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

A couple of weeks ago I went to a talk at which Rosemary Smith, winner of the 1965 Tulip Rally driving the Hillamn Imp above, was to be the guest of honour, unfortunatley she had a fall and so could not make it so it was great to see her on her feet again at the Classic Motor Show despite the fact that some of her bones were still on the mend.

MG B Roadster,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

Rosemary drove a Ford Cortina Lotus on the 1968 London to Sydney Rally and finished 48th six places behind Jean Denton who drove the MGB GT Roadster seen above in need of some tlc, who finished 42nd.

Discovery Beetle,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

Among the taller vehicles at the show was the road legal Gulf liveried Discovery Beetle, above, built on a shortened 1996 Land Rover Discovery chassis and fitted with a 300 TDi which being lighter and more aerodynamic than a standard Discovey goes well on the road and is perfect for off road trials.

Cooper Daimler T87,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

Having acquired a 1966 Cooper T81 formula one car and fitted it with a 7.2 litre / 440 cui wedge engine for hill climbing Martin Brain acquired a 1967 Cooper T87 Formula 2 chassis and had it fitted with a 2.5 litre / 152 cui Daimler hemi V8, more commonly found in the SP250 and V8 250 Daimler models, for hill climbing on tracks with tighter corners. The car was rescued from a Swedish Museum in 2011 by Gillian Goldsmith better known as a successful equestrian and car racer Gillian Fortescue-Thomas who has since competed with the Cooper Daimler as has her daughter Samantha.

Gould NME GR61X,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

Powered by a 650 hp Nicholson McLaren Engines (NME) 3.5 litre / 213 cui development of the Cosworth HB Indy car engine the Gould NME GR61X is the most successful car ever to compete in British Hill Climbing with Scott Moran claiming 133 wins and Roger Moran claiming a further 16 and Alex Summers 8 since the cars first appearance in April 2005.

Empire Wraith,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

Successful Trike hill climber and Empire Racing Cars founder Bill Chaplin called Dutch born Formula One aerodynamicist Willem Toet, most recently at Sauber, to work on the Empire Wraith hill climb challenger which is powered by a 180hp Suzuki GSR K8 motor. This example built at the Empire factory in Stathe Somerset in 2013 is the first of three built to date and is driven by Clive Austin and Chris Aspinall.

Healey Westland,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

In 1948 Donald Healey and Geoffrey Healey drove the Healey Westland above to a ninth place finish on the Mille Miglia, the following year Tommy Wisdom and Geoffrey finished 10th in the same event in the same car.

Marcos Prototype,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

By 1959 former de Haviland aircraft engineer Frank Costin had a CV that included designing the Vanwall Grand Prix challenger that won the inaugural World Constructors Championship in 1958 and subsequent demand for his attention included that of Jem Marsh with whom he founded Marcos Engineering in Dolgellau, North Wales. The prototype Marcos, using the same plywood construction techniques de Haviland used to build the Mosquito fighter bomber the Vampire jet fighter, built in 1959 powered by a Ford 100E engine is seen above awaiting some well earned tlc having disappeared in Lincoln for many years.

Italia 2000GT,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

Only 329 Italia 2000 GT’s were built by Vignale and in 1996 Jorg Von Appen had #210, one of five Italia’s he owned converted to race spec to take part in the TR Race series, it survived four races and was recently purchased by the proprietor of Patterson’s Original Pickles.

Porsche 904 Carrera GTS,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

After withdrawing from Formula One at the end of 1962 Porsche built their first tube framed fiberglass bodied sports car which would culminate in the development of the 917 and later 936 models, originally known as the 904 Porsche badged the car Carrera GTS in deference to Peugeot’s ‘digit “0” digit’ numbering system. The GTS seen here was I believe used in competition by Claude Barbier and possibly later by Cyr Febbrairo.

BMW GTP,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

No doubt much to the annoyance of Formula Ring Meister Bernie Ecclestone the manufacturer who supplied the engines for his Formula One Brabham team split it’s efforts in 1986 between Formula One and the IMSA GTP series and invested in four March 86G chassis and fitted them with a 2 litre / 122 cui version of the BMW engine that had powered Nelson Piquet to the World Championship in 1983. A BMW GTP was driven to it’s only victory by Davy Jones and John Andretti in the Watkins Glen 500, while the Brabham BMW team scored on 2 championship points in the worst season for the team up to that time.

Eagle HF89,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

Dan Gurney’s All American Racers graduated to the IMSA GTP class in 1989, after claiming the driver’s and constructors’ championships in the GTO division Chris Cord in 1987, the teams all new HF89 was designed by Ron Hopkins and Hiro Fujimori and the following year Argentina’s Juan Manuel Fangio II drove HF89’s to three victories in the Topeka 300, Sears Point 300 with Rocky Moran and Del Mar Fairgrounds Road Circuit in November 1990.

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


Five Classic Racing Ferraris – Silverstone Classic

The Silverstone Classic meeting usually offers the Ferrari fanatic a bonanza of Maranello’s finest road and racing cars and I am sure this year’s Silver Jubilee edition of the event will be no different.

Ferrari 500 TRC, David and James Cottingham, Silverstone Classic

Among the myriad of Ferrari racers seen in recent years have been the Cottinghams Ferrari 500 TRC which finished 7th both at the 1957 Le Mans 24 hours and on the 1958 Targa Florio.

Ferrari 246 Dino, Tony Smith, Silverstone Classic,

Another regular competitor is Tony Smith’s 1958 Ferrari 246 Dino which counts among it’s former occupants Wolfgang von Trips, Oliver Gendebien, Dan Gurney and Phil Hill the latter drove the car to the last win for a front engined Grand Prix at Monza in 1960.

Ferrari 166/206, Harry Leventis,  Gregor Fisken, Silverstone Classic,

Ing. Forghieri, responsible for the design of Harry Leventis’s Ferrari 166/206, above, was never the cars biggest fan, once likening the design, in conversation with desginer Gordon Murray, as to sticky brown smelly stuff, however that did not prevent Ludovico Scarfiotti driving the car in an earlier form to claim the 1965 European Hillclimb Championship.

Ferrari 512M, Nathan Kinch, Silverstone Classic

Ferrari 512’s are not an uncommon sight at Silverstone Classic weekends, #1030 seen above with Scotsman Nathan Kinch at the wheel, was raced in S form in 1970 and M form in 1971 under the Ecurie Francorchamps banner but found it’s greatest success under JC Bamford’s ownership for whom Peter Brown, Willie Green and Neil Corner all drove it on various occasions to seven straight wins in it’s last seven races during 1972 six victories were claimed in the Motoring News GT Championship and the other in the Interserie race held at Silverstone.

Ferrari F40 LM, Stefano Sebastiani, Silverstone Classic,

Finally the Silver Jubilee edition of the Silverstone Classic will see the first race for GT cars from the 1990’s, above Stefano Sebastiani is seen about to put his 1989 F40 LM, a converted road car, through it’s paces during last years popular GT demonstration run.

Tickets for this years advance ticket only Silver Jubilee Silverstone Classic are available from this linked website.

Thanks for joining me on this “Five Classic Racing Ferraris” 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 of a series of Formula Junior open wheelers. Don’t for get to come back now !


Implosion Fallout – Derrington Francis ATS

Following the success in 1961 sweeping the Formula One World Drivers, with Phil Hill, and Manufacturers championships along with the World Sports Car Championship which included winning all but one race including the prestigious Le Mans 24 Hours with Phil Hill and Olivier Gendebien Ferrari went into an equally disastrous melt down over the running of the company that saw key employees walk away from Maranello.

Among those who left were Chief Engineer Carlo Chiti and Development Engineer Giotto Bizzarrini who almost immediately founded ATS, Automobili Turismo Sport, to rival Ferrari in the production of racing cars and sports cars all funded by one of Ferrari’s preeminent customers Count Giovanni Volpi who ran the Scuderia Serenissima racing team.

Derrington Francis ATS, Goodwood Revival,

For 1963 ATS had built two ATS 100 Formula One cars powered by their own V8 motor and persuaded Ferrari drivers Phil Hill and Giancarlo Baghetti to defect from Maranello and drive for them.

The 1963 season yielded an unsustainable 8 retirements equally between the two ATS drivers with the teams only finishes being recorded at the Italian Grand Prix where Phil finished 11th and last placed starter Giancarlo finished 15th.

Derrington Francis ATS, Jason Wright, Goodwood Revival,

Undeterred by the lack of enthusiasm for his 1960 Walker Climax project, for 1964 former Stirling Moss and Rob Walker mechanic Alf Francis persuaded performance equipment magnate Vic Derrington to fund a new team.

Alf Francis built a new chassis six inches shorter than the ATS 100s driven by Phil Hill and Giancarlo Baghetti and fitted it with a Carlo Chiti designed ATS V8 motor and steering wheel boss from the now defunct ATS team.

Derrington Francis ATS, Goodwood Revival,

The Derrington Francis was ready for the 1964 Italian Grand Prix for Portuguese driver Mário de Araújo Cabral.

Mario coincidentally had been “encouraged to withdraw” from the grid at Monza in 1963 by the race organisers to make the last place on the grid available to failed qualifier but home boy ATS driver Giancarlo Baghetti.

Derrington Francis ATS, Goodwood Revival,

After qualifying 19th for the 1964 Italian Grand Prix Mário this time took the start, but retired after 24 laps with ignition problems.

The Derrington Francis Racing Team folded after Dan Gurney damaged the Derrington Francis while testing it.

Derrington Francis ATS, Jason Wright, Goodwood Revival,

Meanwhile Mário retired from the top level of the sport with his best result from four starts being 10th place in the 1959 Portuguese Grand Prix on his debut.

Jason Wright is seen at the wheel of the Derrington Francis ATS at Goodwood Revival events in 2011 and 2012.

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


Only Championship Grand Prix Winner – Porsche 804

In 1958 Porsche built their first open wheel racing cars, to compete in Formula 2, based on the successful Porsche RSK sports car.

After experiencing some success with these cars particularly with the likes of Stirling Moss, Jo Bonnier and Graham Hill driving Porsche took the decision to build Formula One car for the 1962 season.

Porsche 804, Goodwood Revival,

As per Porsche tradition at the time the 1.5 litre / 91.5 cui motor is aircooled with 8 cylinders in the classic Porsche two bank flat lay out.

With twin over head cams operating the 2 valves per cylinder and four twin choke carburetors the motor produced around 180 hp.

Porsche 804, Goodwood Revival,

After a disappointing start to the season Dan Gurney came through to win the 1962 French Grand Prix from 6th on the grid to claim to date Porsche’s only championship Grand Prix win as a chassis and engine constructor.

Dan’s 3rd place finish in the German Grand Prix and 5th in the US Grand Prix helped him secure 5th place in the 1962 Drivers Championship standings and Porsche 5th in the Manufacturers Championship standings.

The team withdrew from Formula One at the end of the season having finished 1-2 in the non championship Solitude Grand Prix with Dan finishing ahead of team mate Jo Bonnier.

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


Perfect Car For A Wedding #8 – Rolls Royce Phantom I Gurney Nutting #44KR

In 1925 Rolls Royce replaced the 40/50, retrospectively named as the Silver Ghost model that had been in production since 1906, with a model billed as the ‘New Phantom’.

Rolls Royce Phantom I Gurney Nutting Light Saloon, Rare Breeds, Haynes International Motor Museum

1926 saw production of the New Phantom commence at the Rolls Royce’s Springfield, Massachusetts works though the specification of the vehicles differed, the cars built in Derby all featured 4 wheel brakes with a servo assistance system built under license from Hispano Suiza.

Rolls Royce Phantom I Gurney Nutting Light Saloon, Rare Breeds, Haynes International Motor Museum

The New Phantom was powered by a 7668 cc / 467 cui straight six motor with a seven bearing crank shaft and with overhead valves that produced 100hp. Later models like this 1929 model were fitted with aluminium cylinder heads.

Rolls Royce Phantom I Gurney Nutting Light Saloon, Rare Breeds, Haynes International Motor Museum

The chassis of the New Phantom was similar to that of the 40/50 the UK models having up to 50 Enots Nipples requiring regular laborious lubrication from an Enots oil pressure gun, while US built New Phantoms had a Bijur centralized oiling system requiring a stroke from a single pump.

Rolls Royce Phantom I Gurney Nutting Light Saloon, Rare Breeds, Haynes International Motor Museum

Like all Rolls Royces of the time it was supplied as a rolling chassis sans body. The original owner of this car had the Gurney Nutting body from his existing Daimler moved to his New Phantom, apparently not an unusual practice at the time.

Rolls Royce Phantom I Gurney Nutting Light Saloon, Rare Breeds, Haynes International Motor Museum

Most UK built New Phantom chassis would have come with an exterior petrol gauge as can be seen inside the chassis rail here, US models mostly had their petrol gauges on the dash.

Rolls Royce Phantom I Gurney Nutting Light Saloon, Rare Breeds, Haynes International Motor Museum

The New Phantom was replaced in by the Phantom II in 1929, with the New Phantom being retrospectively renamed Phantom I. Chassis #44KR seen here at the Rare Breeds Show at Haynes International Motor Museum last year will have been one of the last Phanom I’s to be built, it belongs to special occasions hire specialists RRElite Ltd.

Thanks for joining me on this “Perfect Car For A Wedding #8” edition of “Gettin a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


For The Whole Family – Eagle 74A #74A004

After building Eagle Mk5 chassis, based on the ’67 Belgian Grand Prix winning Eagle Mk 1, for two consecutive Formula A champions Lou Sell (’68) and Tony ‘A-Z’ Adamowicz (’69) Dan Gurney’s All American racers refrained from building any more Formula A renamed Formula 5000 cars until 1974 while he focused on his Indy programme.

Eagle 74A, Michael Lyons, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

At the end of 1973 AAR built a Formula 5000 Eagle 74A show car which I believe has never been raced, three more 74A’s followed two for the Jorgensen Steel supported works team and one, today’s featured chassis #74A004, that was built for Francisco Mir Racing based in Santa Monica, California.

Eagle 74A, Michael Lyons, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

Francisco Mir Racing entered #74A004 for Nestor Garcia Veiga to drive in the second and third rounds of the 1974 SCCA/USAC Formula 5000 championship. Nestor came recorded a 6th place finish at Mosport but failed to qualify for the final at Watkins Glen.

Eagle 74A, Michael Lyons, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

With sponsorship from Mr Marty Italian Lella Lombardi was then employed to drive #74A004 at Ontario California where she finished 14t after finishing 5th in her heat ahead of her team mate James Hunt running in a Mr Marty Lola T332.

Eagle 74A, Frank Lyons, Silverstone Classic

Hitherto ’74 works driver Elliot Forbes-Robinson drove #74A004 at Laguna Seca where he retired and at the final round of the ’74 Championship John Morton drove the car to a seventh place finish.

Eagle 74A, Michael Lyons, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

Mike Koslowski bought #74A004 in 1975 the only result I have found for it in his owner ship was a did not start, DNS, when he entered Ron Dykes, who qualified 23rd, for the race that turned out to be the last ever SCCA USAC Formula 5000 event at Riverside in October 1976.

Eagle 74A, Frank Lyons, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

The ownership trail of #74A004 continued in the USA until 2002 when Ian Giles brought the car to the UK. Since 2005 the car has belonged to the Lyons family, son Michael Lyons with the black helmet is seen driving the car at this years (2014) Gold Cup meeting where he came second in the first race and won the second. Father Frank Lyons is seen driving the car at Silverstone in 2012 and Oulton Park in 2011, Mother Judy Lyons has also raced this car on occasion.

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


Under The Hood Details – Niello Concours at Serrano

On October 5th Geoffrey Horton took his Jaguar XK 140 to Niello Concours at Serrano where it was shown in the special display class.

Jaguar XK140, Niello Concours at Serrano

Any one interested in what is under the hood of Geffrey’s Jaguar can see it by following this link.

National, Niello Concours at Serrano

Today’s post will focus on what was lurking under the hood of some of the other vehicles on display, above the 1911 National Indy 500 car only had 4 cylinders but with a displacement of 7.5 litres / 460 cui they still packed a 100 hp punch.

Allard K2, Niello Concours at Serrano

I beleive this is the third appearance of this particular 1951 Allard K2 on this blog, but the first appearance of it’s 5.4 litre / 331 cui Cadillac overhead valve motor with three original Stromberg carburetors that produce around 160 hp.

Plymouth Fury, Niello Concours at Serrano

The 281st, off the production line, 1956 Plymouth Fury above boasts a 5 litre / 303 cui polyspherical head V8 with optional twin 4 barrel carburetors which combined to produce 270hp.

Chrysler 300F, Niello Concours at Serrano

For 1960 Chrysler introduced the 6.8 litre / 413 cui wedge motor for the 300F seen above. To maximise power in low to mid rpm range the motor was fitted with tuned 30 inch intake pipes which were fed by the carburetors from opposite sides.
The air resonances inside the air intake pipes helped to force air into the cylinders at low to mid range rpm and thus increase the power which topped out at 375hp.

Lotus 27, Niello Concours at Serrano

Not completely off topic I was reading some information about the early days of racing recently and discovered that while Voiturettes were generally restricted to 1.5 litre / 91.5 cui motors there was a smaller class known as Cycle Cars which were restricted to 1.1 litres / 67.1 cui which would make the much later 1963 Formula Junior Lotus 27 above the equivalent of a cycle car in Veteran times. The motor for this Lotus is clearly a Ford production block with a Cosworth head. Power for these motors has risen from 36hp in original side valve production form to 115 hp quoted by some tuners for a competitive Formula Junior with the Cosworth head.

Lotus 19, Niello Concours at Serrano

In late 1963 Lotus built the last Lotus 19 B chassis #966 uniquely powered with a 4 carburetor 4.7 litre / 289 Ford V8 motor for Dan Gurney. The car was quick, but unreliable and Dan never recorded a win with it although it’s next owner Steve Diulo managed a win at the SCCA Willow springs race in December 1965. The cars last appearance was at Texas International Speedway in November 1969 where Bruce Campbell was running but unclassified in chassis #966 by now rebranded as a BVC Mk 1 and with a Chevrolet motor installed.

Ford Mustang GT 350, Niello Concours at Serrano

Finally, for this week, above is another Ford V8 this time a 306hp 4.7 litre Shelby tuned Ford HiPo 289 inside one of the 252 “carry over” 1965 Shelby Mustang 350 GT’s which feature ’65 Ford VIN numbers and ’66 Shelby VIN numbers.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton once again for sharing his photographs from the California Concours d’Elegance scene through the year.

Thanks for joining me on this “Under The Hood Details” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psychoontyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a 3 ton pickup that gets up to 60mph from rest in just 5 seconds. Don’t forget to come back now !