Tag Archives: Mercedes Benz

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 !


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 !


Elektron Desmodromic Fuel Injection – Mercedes Benz W196 #000 08/54

While making plans for Mercedes Benz re entry into the top echelon of Motorsport in the 1954 season team manager Alfred Neubauer chose 1951 World Champion Juan Manuel Fangio as his de facto Number 1 driver.

Mercedes Benz were late turning up for the show in 1954 and Neubauer allowed Fangio to race in the 1954 Argentinian and Belgian Grand Prix which he promptly won.

Mercedes Benz W196, Goodwood Festival of Speed

At the French Grand Prix Mercedes Benz showed up with three streamlined cars that were powered by 257hp straight 8 motors with desmodromic valves, that were positively closed by a cam activated lever as opposed to a valve spring and direct fuel injection developed from the Mercedes Benz DB601 inverted V12 engines used in the fearsome Messerschmitt Bf 109E fighter plane.

The body and chassis made use of the light but highly flammable Elektron magnesium alloys, perhaps the only surprise was that W196 streamliners did not follow the latest aircraft technology by using the latest in disc brakes instead opting to use massive inboard mounted drum brakes.

Mercedes Benz W196, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Fangio led home team mate Karl Kling in an emphatic show of strength though the third car driven by Hans Hermann, seen driving the #10 below, retired with engine problems.

The British Grand Prix at Silverstone showed up the draw back of the streamlined body work when Fangio could not position the car accurately to avoid hitting the concrete filled oil drums that marked the inside of the course and as a consequence Juan could only finish fourth behind two Ferrari’s and a Maserati.

Mercedes Benz W196, Hans Hermann, Goodwood Revival

For the German Grand Prix Mercedes Benz built an open wheel car for Juan, the streamliners henceforth would only appear at Monza in 1954 and ’55, and he went on a three race winning streak in Germany, Switzerland and Italy enough to claim the 1954 World Drivers Championship.

Today’s featured W196 chassis #000 08/54 was the last W196 to be completed in 1954 and was finished in time for Fangio to drive it in the season ending Spanish Grand Prix where he qualified 2nd behind the debutant Lancia D50 driven by Alberto Ascari and finished 3rd after slowing his pace due to an oil leak.

Mercedes Benz W196, Goodwood Festival of Speed

At the non championship 1955 Gran Premio Ciudad de Buenos Aires Karl Kling drove this car to a second place finish behind team leader Fangio.

Fangio scored chassis #000 08/54’s only win at the 1955 Belgian Grand Prix which along with three more wins on his way to securing his third World Drivers Championship title.

Mercedes Benz W196, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Hans Hermann seen driving today’s featured car at a Goodwood Revival Meeting a few years ago, when he was 82, scored a career best third place finish in the 1954 Swiss Grand Prix he continued driving Formula one cars sporadically until 1961 a year after falling out of his BRM P25 at the German Grand Prix.

1970 Hans retired from motor racing aged 42 after driving the winning Porsche 917 in the 1970 Le Mans 24 hours with Richard Attwood.

Thanks for joining me on this “Elektron Desmodromic Fuel Injection” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be taking a look at a Prototype Maserati. Don’t forget to come back now !


Dick’s Voiturette ERA – ERA R1B

Today’s featured car ERA R1B was the first of the second batch of ‘B’ spec ERA’s built between 1935 and 1938.

R1B was purchased by up and coming 22 year old Richard Seaman for the 1935 season. Richards successes included winning the Coppa Acerbo, Swiss Grand Prix and Czech Grand Prix races for 1.5 litre / 91.5 cui voiturettes.

ERA R1B, Silverstone Classic,

ERA offered to do the race preparation for R1B, but when Richard found this unsatisfactory he returned to ex Alfa Romeo driver and mechanic Giulio Ramponi who had prepared Richards Swiss GP Voiturette winning MG in 1934.

Richard switched to a Delage with success in 1936 before becoming a hired Mercedes Benz driver for the remainder of his all to brief career in 1937.

ERA, RB1, Tim Cottam, BRM Day, Bourne

R1B was sold to G.F. Manby-Colgrave who had Jazz musician “Buddy” Featherstonhaugh share the driving duties in 1936.

From 1937 to 1947 dance band leader and later TV personality Bill Cotton took over ownership of R1B.

ERA, RB1, Tim Cottam, BRM Day, Bourne

R1B has always been fitted with a supercharged 1.5 litre motor and has been kept to B specification and appearance since the Marsh family took over ownership from 1964 to 1998.

Michael Gans is currently the owner of R1B seen top at a recent Silverstone Classic meeting and in the hands of Tim Cottam, son of A L Cottam who owned R1B from ’59 to ’64, at the BRM Day run on the streets of Bourne in 2012.

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


Quick Transport and Transporter – Mercedes Benz Rennwagen Schnelltransporter and 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé

In 1954 the Mercedes Benz Rennabteilng returned to Grand Prix racing and equiped themselves with a special transporter that was capable of 105 mph.

Mercedes Benz, Rennwagen Schnelltransporter, 300 SLR  Uhlenhaut Coupé

Most racing car transporters at the time were woefully underpowered and would have struggled to reach 60 mph.

Mercedes Benz, Rennwagen Schnelltransporter, 300 SLR  Uhlenhaut Coupé

This is a recreation of the original Schnell Tranporter fitted with the correct type 200 hp 3 litre / 183 cui straight six motor as found in the 300 SL Gullwing Coupés.

Mercedes Benz, Rennwagen Schnelltransporter, 300 SLR  Uhlenhaut Coupé

Mounting the cab ahead of the motor meant the frontal area of the vehicle was reduced, which aided top speed.

Mercedes Benz, Rennwagen Schnelltransporter, 300 SLR  Uhlenhaut Coupé

Some of the features of the under chassis design would not look out of place on a 21st century Le Mans Prototype (LMP) racing car.

Mercedes Benz, Rennwagen Schnelltransporter, 300 SLR  Uhlenhaut Coupé

I have not seen any contemporary evidence showing that Mercedes Benz advertised the original vehicles top speed on the rear wings / fenders.

Mercedes Benz, Rennwagen Schnelltransporter, 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé

Sitting on the back of the Rennwagen Schnell Transporter at this years Goodwood Festival of Speed was a Gullwing Mercedes Benz, but this is not a regular 300 SL Gullwing.

Mercedes Benz, Rennwagen Schnelltransporter, 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé

Beneath the 300 SL Gullwing bodywork sits a 1955 300 SLR Roadster chassis complete with competition spec 3 litre fuel injected 8 cylinder motor in place of usual 300 SL six cylinder motor.

Mercedes Benz, Rennwagen Schnelltransporter, 300 SLR  Uhlenhaut Coupé

Known as the Uhlenhaut Coupé this was a vehicle devised by Rudolf Uhlenhaut as a 1956 racing prototype. However after Mercedes Benz withdrew from racing activities in Europe at the end of 1955 one of the two Uhlenhaut Coupés was fitted with a silencer the size of a suit case in order not to breach the peace and used by Rudolf as his daily driver.

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


Classic Clubs – Silverstone Classic

Today’s blog is dedicated to all the hundreds of car clubs and thousands of classic car enthusiasts who brought classic cars along to Silvertone Classic as we take a look at some of the clubs present.

Aston Martin Owners Club, Silverstone Classic

No less than three, from a total production of 100, of the 2002 limited edition Aston Martin DB7 Zagato’s headed the Aston Martin Owners Club parade.

Berkeley Enthusiasts Club, Silverstone Classic,

Celebrating it’s 50th Anniversary in style was the Berkeley Enthusiasts Club, above a Berkeley Foursome and B105 lap the Silverstone Circuit.

BMW Car Club, Silverstone Classic,

Complementing the 40 metre BMW wheel and Village Green the BMW Car Club was out in strength, above a Z3 and Z1 lap the circuit during one of the parades.

Classic Corvette Club UK, Silverstone Classic

Classic Corvette Club UK was celebrating it’s 35th anniversary, the ’78 Indy 500 Pace Car Limited Edition above was built a year before the formation of the club. This one has the desirable 220hp L82 motor option, the 1978 Indy 500 was won by Al Unser in his Cosworth DFX powered Lola T500.

Daimler & Lanchester Owners Club, Silverstone Classic

The Daimler & Lanchester Owners Club always have a fine display of SP250s at this event and this year was no exception.

Mustang Owners Club of Great Britain, Silverstone Classic

The Mustang Owners Club of Great Britain were celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Pony Car, above a ’70 convertible stands next to a ’69 Shelby GT 500.

Ginetta Owners Club, Silverstone Classic

Regular readers will know I’m a big fan of the Ginetta G33, one day when I’m in a position to buy one I’ll become a member of the Ginetta Owners’ Club.

Jaguar Enthusiasts Club, Club, Silverstone Classic

John James of the Jaguar Enthusiasts Club was able to help me out with an Otter Switch for GALPOT’s most famous XK140 owner Geoffrey Horton in California.

Lamborghini Club UK, Silverstone Classic

The original competition spec prototype Lamborghini Muira Jota burned to the ground on the, unopened, Brescia ring road in April 1971, a member of Lamborghini Club UK has built this wonderful replica of the Prototype originally built by Bob Wallace.

Mercedes Benz Club, Silverstone Classic

Amongst the Mercedes Benz Club members vehicles was this imperiously tailfined 1967 Mercedes Benz 200.

Morgan Sports Car Club, Silverstone Classic

Wecoming Morganeers was the Morgan Sports Car Club with 5,000 owners world wide.

Piper Sports And Racing Car Club, Silverstone Classic

Catering for just 80 examples ever built is the Piper Sports And Racing Car Club which is primarily concerned with preserving the marque for whom Tony Hilder designed the 30″ GT’s first seen in 1968.

Porsche Club Great Britain, Silverstone Classic

Porsche Club Great Britain
is the UK’s only officially recognised club for the marque and has close links with Porsche AG and the marques official importer Porsche Cars Great Britain.

Stag Owners Club, Silverstone Classic

Driven by a zest for life for those united by a common interest in the Triumph Stag classic car is the Stag Owners Club.

Karmann Ghia Owners Club, Silverstone Classic

The Karmann Ghia Owners Club attempts to support all aspects of ‘KG’ ownership from purists who want to see original cars to those whose interests include customisation, lowering and performance modifications.

Thanks for joining me on this ‘Classic Clubs’ 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 !


Super Saturday Part 2/2 – Silverstone Classic

Today’s blog continues on from yesterday with coverage of the second half of the Silverstone Classic Super Saturday race programme.

Porsche 911, Slater, Silverstone Classic

The 50 min Choppard International Trophy for pre’66 GT Cars was won convincingly by Sean McInerney driving the #64 TVR Griffith seen above about to thread it’s way passed the; #27 Porsche 911 driven by Adrian Slater, the #31 Lotus Elan driven by John Sheldon and the #91 Sunbeam Tiger shared by Neil Merry and Terry van der Zee.

Brabham BT4, Minshaw, Silverstone Classic

Jason Minshaw won the first of the weekends two Jack Brabham Memorial Trophy races driving the 1962 Brabham BT4 seen above. It is sad to have to report that in the second race for pre ’66 Grand Prix cars the following day Denis Welch was killed in an accident while driving his Lotus 18. I am sure you will want to join me in offering sincerest condolences to Denis’s family and many friends.

Ford Falcons, Voyazides, Gardiner, Silverstone Classic

Perversely the Mustang Celebration Trophy proudly presented by Pure Michigan was dominated by the type that the Mustang wiped off the sales floor, namely the Ford Falcons driven by Leo Voyazides #1 and Mike Gardiner #37. Leo is seen above sweeping into a lead that he did not relinquish for the rest of the race.

Maserati Centenary Trophy Start, Silverstone Classic

Light was fading at the start of the Maserati Centenary Trophy for pre ’61 Grand Prix cars and photographers such as your truely were having to resort to every trick in photoshop to get an image. Above Philip Walker driving the #1 Lotus 16 is seen streaking into what proved to be an unassailable lead ahead of; the #30 Offy powered Scarab driven by Bristol’s Julian Bronson, #88 ‘Toothpaste Tube’ Connaught C Type driven by Michael Steele, the, #27 Tec-Mech driven by Tony Wood, #35 Kurtis driven by Fred Harper.

Lola T70, Voyazides, Silverstone Classic

Leo Voyazides thirst for victory was unsatiated after winning the Mustang Celebration trophy and he is seen above driving his Lola T70 in the FIA Historic Masters Sports Cars race in hot pursuit of the cheeky 2 litre / 122 cui Chevron B19 driven by Martin O’Connell. No one knows exactly what happened to Martin, but he ended up in the rough stuff, uninjured leaving Leo and Simon Hadfield a clear road to victory lane.

Mercedes Benz C11, Berridge, Silverstone Classic

The final race of Super Saturday was my favourite not because it was the most closely contested, it was not despite the best efforts of Katsu Kobota driving a Nissan to take the challenge to the winning #31 Mercedes Benz C11 driven by eventual Group C Endurance winner Bob Berridge, but because the twin turbo V8 C11 driven at full speed is music to my ears and poetry in motion to my eyes. I could watch that car circulating all day and night as I did in 1991 at Le Mans, with out a care in the world.

Approaching 9pm it was all over time to return my photographers bib to the Media Office, jump into a courtesy BMW, driven by an ex Royal Protection Officer, which on the way back to the car park took me past the crowds waiting for Bonnie Tyler to give a rendition of “Total Eclipse Of The Heart”.

Thanks for joining me on this “Super Saturday Part 2/2” edition of Gettin’ a li’l pscyho on tyres. I’ll be staying with Silverstone Classic for the rest of the week I hope you will join me starting with Maserati Monday tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !