Tag Archives: Iso

The Little Car Show 2014 – City of Marina

Today’s post starts with an apology, a couple of years ago I posted a blog called “Continental Curiosities – Carmel By The Sea Concour’s d’Elegance” turns out it should have been called “Continental Curiosities – The Little Car Show City of Marina” or something similar and a little more snappy, I hope you will accept my unreserved apologies for any confusion.

Bantam Convertible Coupé, The Little Car Show, City Of Marina

Today’s post comes courtesy of Geoffrey Horton who kindly forwarded these photographs comes from the 2014 edition of The Little Car Show held last month in the City of Marina. Above a 1940 American Bantam Convertible Coupé also known as the Hollywood a body style apparently penned by Elanor Powell’s Custom Motors stylist Alex Tremulis.

Crosley 2 door Sedan, The Little Car Show, City Of Marina

Not sure of the exact age of this Crosley but the absence of chrome suggests it was built in 1946/7 with the original not terribly reliable copper brazed ‘CoBra’ 4 cylinder motor that was to be replaced by the Cast Iron Block Assenbley ‘CIBA’ in 1949.

BMW Isetta 600, The Little Car Show, City Of Marina

The Isetta was the ultimate version of the BMW 250 Isetta three wheel bubble car built under licence from Iso Rivolta. This 1958 example is powered by a two cylinder BMW motorcycle engine and can accommodate four passengers who enter through it’s single front door.

Enzmann 506, The Little Car Show, City Of Marina

I had not heard of Enzmann before Geoffrey sent me the photograph of the fibre glass bodied 506 model above. The Swiss company named it’s first, only (?) model, based on the floor pan and running gear of a VW Beetle, after the number of the stand it was allocated at the 1957 Frankfurt Motor Show at which the company made it’s first public appearance.

Michelotti Shellette, The Little Car Show, City Of Marina

For those with a private island or private yacht in the Mediterranean in need of occasional transport designer Giovanni Michelotti built the Shellette under his own name in limited numbers. It is believed around 100 of these vehicles with wicker seats and Fiat 850 running gear were built and around 10 are thought to exist today.

FIAT Vignale Garmine, The Little Car Show, City Of Marina

Based on the smaller FIAT 500 is the Viganle Garmine which was a pet project of designer Alfredo Vignale which bankrupted his coachworks business.

Thanks for joining me on this “The Little Car Show 2014″ edition of Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again for Americana Thursday tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


US Powered European GTs – Silverstone Classic

For today’s Americana Blog I thought it would be fun to look at some of the US powered pre 1966 GT cars that took part in the 50 minute Chopard International Trophy at Silverstone Classic a couple of weeks ago.

AC Cobra, Chopard International Trophy, Silverstone Classic

Fastest of the seven 289 cui Ford V8 powered AC Cobras in the race was the 1963 #94 example driven by Micheal Gans and Andy Wolfe which came home in 4th place.

Bizzarini, Jaguar,  Corvette, Chopard International Trophy, Silverstone Classic

One place further back at the finish was the blue 327 cui Chevrolet V8 powered 1965 #71 Bizzarini 5300 GT driven by Roger Wills, seen above heading an Jaguar Coupé and Craig Davies’s Corvette Stingray.

Iso, Aston Martin, Chopard International Trophy, Silverstone Classic

Jamie McIntyre drove the fastest of the two Chevrolet 327 cui Iso Griffo A3C’s in the race to a 12th place finish, he is seen lapping the 1963 #118 Aston Martin DP214 driven by Robert Rawe above.

Sunbeam Tiger, Chopard International Trophy, Silverstone Classic

Driving a genuine Le Mans bodied 259 cui Ford V8 powered Sunbeam Tiger to a 24th place finish were Chris Beighton and Tony Ekford, seen above ahead of an Jaguar E-Type and AC Cobra.

TVR Griffith, McInerney,Chopard International Trophy, Silverstone Classic

Winner of the Chopard International Trophy was Sean McInerney in the 289 cui Ford V8 powered 1964 #64 TVR Griffith seen above.

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


Stop Gap – Williams Cosworth FX3B #FX3/2

Sunday’s for November will feature a few more Formula One Cars from the 1973 season, the season during which my interest in Motor Sport became a passion.

Today’s featured car the Williams Cosworth FX3 was designed in 1971 by Len Bailey who after working for British Motor Corporation, Daimler and Rover emigrated to the USA where he worked for American Motors on their first V8 and Ford on the prototype Mustang. Len returned to the UK with Ford Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) and worked on the original Ford GT Le Mans contenders and after SVO was taken over by JW Automotive he worked on the design of several mostly Ford powered prototype sports cars including the Ford P68 and later Mirage M6 both of which were powered by the Cosworth designed, Ford financed DFV.

Williams Cosworth FX3/2, Donington Park Museum

Williams had intended for the Len Bailey designed car to be built and running in 1971 but a shortage of funds meant the car was not ready until the 1972 British Grand Prix by which time Williams had done a deal with Politoys to call the car the Politoys FX3.

Williams Cosworth FX3/2, Donington Park Museum

1972 Le Mans winner Henri Pescarolo qualified the Frank Williams Racing Cars entered Politoys 26th on it’s debut at the 1972 British Grand Prix but retired after 7 laps due to a suspension failure which caused an accident from which Henri emerged unscathed.

Williams Cosworth FX3/2, Donington Park Museum

The Politoys was repaired in time for Chris Amon to drive it in the non championship John Player Challenge Trophy for which he qualified 20th but retired after 33 laps with engine failure.

Williams Cosworth FX3/2, Donington Park Museum

For 1973 Frank Williams did deals with Iso Rivolta and Marlboro for the 1973 season and his cars became known as Iso Marlboro Fords. For the start of the 1973 season the 1972 Politoys FX3 was upgraded to B specification with a shovel like nose replacing the winged original and a second car, the one featured today, was built up to join it though both cars known as Iso Marlboro Ford FX3B’s would only remain legal until the 1973 Spanish Grand Prix when new rules concerning fuel tank safety would make them both obsolete.

Williams Cosworth FX3/2, Donington Park Museum

Howden Ganley drove today’s featured car, seen at the Donington Park Museum, in five races 2 of which were non championship events with a best result of 7th in the 1973 Brazilian Grand Prix. Tony Trimmer scored the models best in period result at Brands Hatch where he finished 4th in the non championship Race of Champions watched by a 14 year old who became the author of today’s piece.

For the 1973 Spanish Grand Prix Williams had 3 new cars built to meet the new safety requirements that were designed by John Clarke with IR model numbers.

Today’s featured car was next seen racing on two occasions in Formula Libre events at Mallory Park in 1983 powered by a Formula 5000 motor and driven by Alistair Thompson to 2nd place and 4th place finishes. Later still a Ford Cosworth DFV was refitted to #FX3/2 the car was raced by Richard Peacock.

After spending much of the 1990’s in Italy it would appear that #FX3/2 is currently being offered for sale by Hall & Hall in Bourne, Lincolnshire.

My thanks to everyone who contributed to the Williams FX3B thread at The Nostalgia Forum for additional information relating to today’s post.

Thanks for joining me on today’s “Stop Gap” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be returning to the Monday Pick Up feature. Don’t forget to come back now !

Errata, my thanks to Tim Murray for pointing out it was Len Bailey who designed the Williams FX3 not Len Terry as originally stated and subsequently corrected. Apologies for any confusion.


Parkinson’s Research And Care – 8th Danville Concours d’Elegance

The weekend before last saw the 8th Danville Concour’s d’Elegance take place, organised to raise funds for research into Parkinson’s desease. Thanks to photographs by Geoffrey Horton here are a few of the cars that took part.

Aston Martin DB2, Danville Concours d'Elegance

The USA’s first World Champion driver Phil Hill is said to have been the first owner of this Aston Martin DB2, in 1951 a decade before he won the World Championship driving for Ferrari.

Aston Martin DB 2/4, Danville Concours d'Elegance

One of the worlds rarer Aston Martins is the DB2/4 with Italian coachwork by Serafino Allemano. This 1953 chassis #LML/761 was ordered by a customer in Casablanca who used it in local races.

Aston Martin DB5, Danville Concours d'Elegance

Another mouth watering example of the Aston Martin marque was this DB5 1023 of these classic ‘James Bond’ models were manufactured between 1963 and 1965, most of them with out the swiveling number plates, bullet proof rear screen, ejector seat, machine guns smoke screen and oil slick that the handsome man with the Edinburgh brogue found useful until he crashed avoiding a mirror in Gold Finger.

Maserati GranTurismo MC, Danville Concours d'Elegance

Both yesterday and the day before saw the first ever Trofeo Maserati races taking place at Sanoma using racing versions of the Gran Turismo MC as seen above. Venezuelan debutant Alex Popow won Saturdays race with Grey’s Anatomy guest star Patrick Dempsey claiming 6th. Sunday’s results were unknown at the time of writing.

Fisker Karma, Danville Concours d'Elegance

Fisker Automotive was founded in 2007 in Anaheim California, but has the hybrid Fisker Karma vehicles it markets manufactured by Valmet Automotive in Uusikaupunki, Finland. Among the novel features are a solar panel roof which contributes to the climate control system.

McLaren MP4-12C, Danville Concours d'Elegance

The McLaren MP4-12 C is the racing car manufacturers third road car after the 1969 M6GT (3 possibly 4 built) and 1992/98 F1 (106 built), like all McLaren’s road car projects the MP4-12 C draws heavily on it’s racing technologies which in this case includes a second brake pedal which acts on the inside rear wheel to minimise understeer.

Mercedes Benz 300 SL, Danville Concours d'Elegance

From 1957 to 1963 Mercedes Benz manufactured 1,858 300 SL Roadsters, this one comes complete with the optional factory luggage cases and is one of less than 20 1957 vehicles fitted with Rudge wheels.

ALFA Romeo 2600 Spyder, Danville Concours d'Elegance

Since the 1920’s ALFA Romeo had offered straight six powered vehicles to it’s customers the 2600 or 106 series manufactured from 1961 to 1968 was the last of this line. Above is 1964 2600, one of 2,255 Spyders built, powered by a 145 hp twim overhead cam version of the straight 6.

Iso Griffo, Danville Concours d'Elegance

So far as I have been able to discern the Iso Grifo A3/L above ‘might be’ the 1963 prototype shown by Bertone at the 1963 Turin Auto Show. Clues are the given 1963 date of the car and it’s current location. Sales of the 395 hp Chevy V8 cars did not begin until 1965.

Chevrolet Streamliner, Danville Concours d'Elegance

Getting seriously psycho on tyres is Dennis Varni who on the 14th of September recorded a two way speed of 334.360 mph in this Chevrolet Streamliner powered by a turbocharged straight 6 motor at Bonneville.

Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato, Danville Concours d'Elegance

Geoffrey was fortunate to get to the Danville Gala Dinner where this 1961 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato was on display, it is the only one of the 19 original cars that still exist that has non faired-in headlights. The UK plate ’29 ALY’ has been reasigned to a 2002 Ford Ka.

Pegaso Typo Z Saoutchik Coupé, Danville Concours d'Elegance

Finally this 1955 Pegaso Tipo Z with a Saoutchik Coupé body is one of only two identical cars for international car exhibitions, at a cost of between US$15 to 35,000 they were amongst the most wildly expensive vehicles of their time.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sharing his photograph’s, there will be further blogs from Danville in the week ahead.

Thanks for joining me on this “Parkinson’s Research and Care” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I shall be looking at an MG. Don’t forget to come back now !


Bella Bella – Auto Italia Brooklands

Last Saturday I was privileged to find my self at Brooklands for the Auto Italia Italian Car Day where a substantial group of enthusiasts gathered to celebrate all things Italian except perhaps the weather and the food.

AC Zagato 378 GT, Auto Italia Brooklands

Focused under the new Chairmanship of former Deputy Supreme Allied Commander of NATO Europe General Sir Jeremy Mackenzie, GCB, OBE, DL, AC Cars launched the AC Zagato 378 GT at Geneva in March with plans to build the car in factory where Noble cars used to be built and for them to be sold initially in Europe. After the 1950’s AC Ace Bristol Zagato and 1960’s AC Fura the 434 hp Chevy powered 378 GT, seen above, becomes AC’s third collaboration with Zagato.

ALFA Romeo 8C Competizione, Auto Italia Brooklands

Despite having first been seen in Frankfurt a decade ago the ALFA Romeo 8C Competizione looks as fresh to day as it did then, this is only the second of the 500 Coupés built I have ever seen.

Ferrari 250 GT Lusso, Auto Italia Brooklands

I featured a Ferrari 250 GT Lusso a couple weeks ago seeing one in red on Saturday convinced me this is the colour to go for.

FIAT 128 Rallye, Auto Italia, Brooklands

There were many interesting FIAT’s on display the first of two to really grab my attention was this FIAT 128 Rallye, my first very first car was a slightly lesser FIAT 128 1100.

FIAT Coupé Pick Up, Auto Italia Brooklands

The second FIAT to really grab my attention was this FIAT Coupé Pickup, which the lads sitting in the back had spent all week converting just in time for the show ! While not the absolute fastest Pickup on the planet the 20V Turbo motor powering it should easily make this a 150 mph vehicle.

Iso Rivolta IR 300

Smoking it’s tyres, courtesy of it’s Chevy V8, all the way to the 1 in 4 gradient of the famous Brooklands Hill was this 1960’s Bertone designed Iso Rivolta IR 300. First time I recall seeing such a car.

Lamborghini Jarama S, Auto Italia Brooklands

Cool as cucumber I’d never seen a Lamborghini Jarama S before either given that only 152 of them had ever been built perhaps this was not surprising, what was surprising is that the covers that partially conceal the headlights do not pop up but fold down to reveal the head lights when required, the proud owner has just finished fixing the electric motors that make this possible.

Lancia Beta, Auto Italia Brooklands

During the course of the morning many of the cars present were driven at a moderate pace for demonstration laps on the adjacent Mercedes Benz world test track which was lined four or more deep along the accessible half of the circuit. Above a 40 year old Lancia Beta is put through it’s paces.

Maserati 50/T2/SS, Auto Italia Brooklands

A ‘you could have knocked me down with a feather’ moment came when I saw the badge on this 50cc mottoette, Maserati who the expletive puts Maserati badges on the petrol / gas tank of a moped I asked myself, Wiki informs me that the heir to part of the Orsi family fortune Ida Orsi who inherited the electrical components manufacturing division of Fabbrica Candele Accumulatori Maserati S.p.A. and promptly bought the Italmoto company of Bologna and moved it lock stock and barrel and began manufacturing motorcylces in 1956 the company which sold it’s motorcycles with the Maserati brand name and trident trade mark developed a 50 cc / 3 cui range of mopeds which included one aimed at the male market another at the female market and a third like the 1959 50/T2/SS seen above for sports enthusiasts. These 2.3 hp trident branded novelties sell for UK £ 5,000 at auction.

Monteverdi 375L, Auto Italia Brooklands

Above is probably only the second Montiverdi I have ever seen this 1972 High Speed 375L is powered by a 7.2 litre 440 cui 400 hp Chrysler Magnum motor much like the contemporary Jenson Interceptor and Bristol 412. The 375L was originally designed and the body manufactured by Fura but after a dispute in 1969 design and production of the bodies moved to Carozzeria Fissore in Italy with the chassis construction and final assembly taking place in Basel, Switzerland.

Nissan Autech Stelvio Zagato, Auto Italia Brooklands

I’d never heard of a Nissan Zagato Autech Stelvio much less the Nissan F31 Leopard upon which it is based, power comes from a twin turbo V6 which was found in the ZX300, this hand made car, the bulges in the bonnet / hood house the rear view mirrors. By all accounts 200 of these ¥ 18,000,000 (Japanese ¥en Eighteen Million) / £ 139,0000 / US$ 225,000 machines were built in 1989.

Thanks for joining me on this ‘Bella Bella’ edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow, when I’ll be reviewing last Sundays racing at Castle Combe. Don’t forget to come back now !


Big Block Pagoda – Iso Grifo Super 7 Litri Series I

Iso Rivolta was the brainchild of Italian Engineer Renzo Rivolta who had been responsible for Isothermos refrigeration units prior to World War 2.

Iso Griffo Super 7, Silverstone Classic

Wishing to move into motorised transport markets Rivolta developed a range of expensive but well built durable motorcycles from 1948 to 1961.

Iso Griffo Super 7, Silverstone Classic

In 1950’s Renzo developed his best known vehicle the Isetta Bubble Car that was manufactured by Iso in Italy and under licence by Velam in France, Romi in Brazil and most successfully by BMW in Germany.

Iso Griffo Super 7, Silverstone Classic

After leaving Ferrari in 1961, where he had been responsible for the fabled Ferrari 250 GTO, Giotto Bizzarrini set up his own design studio and in 1963 designed the mechanical architecture of the Iso Griffo A3/L. The Grifo,launched in 1963, featured a blueprinted, a process of disassembling a motor then rebuilding it with all the engine parts matching the exact original engine blueprint design specifications for optimal performance, 400 horsepower small block Chevrolet motor.

Iso Griffo Super 7, Silverstone Classic

In 1968 the Grifo was made available with a 435 hp Chevrolet 427 big block motor, requiring the pagoda like air scoop on the bonnet to accommodate the extra height of the larger engine,

Iso Griffo Super 7, Silverstone Classic

along with extra ventilation in the front wings to keep the motor cool, seen on this vehicle which was built in 1969.

Iso Griffo Super 7, Silverstone Classic

The Grifo 7 Litri was said to be capable of 186 mph.

Iso Griffo Super 7, Silverstone Classic

It would appear that just 67 of the 7 Litri Series I vehicles were produced from 1968 to 1970 when the rarer Series II Grifo’s with pop up head light covers were introduced.

Iso Griffo Super 7, Silverstone Classic

The combination of rarity, Bertone styled beauty and mechanical simplicity, a result of using many proprietary parts including the engine and gearbox, makes the Grifo a relatively easy to maintain collectible car.

Thanks for joining me on this 7 Litri edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil psycho on tyres, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t for get to come back now !