Tag Archives: Michelin

Inspired By Dad – KAMAZ T4 Dakar Truck

In 1969 the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union decided that a new plant for manufacturing supersized vehicles was to be built in Naberezhnye Chelny which is now in the Republic of Tatarstan a federal subject of Russia.

The first trucks started rolling out of the KamAZ, Kamskiy Avtomobilny Zavod – Kama Automobile Plant, facility in 1976 and since then the company has built over 2,000,000 vehicles.

KAMAZ T4 Dakar Truck, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

It’s factories are now also found in; Afghanistan, Chile, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, North Korea, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Venezuela and Vietnam.

KAMAZ has also built an enviable reputation on the Dakar Rally where it’s T4 competition vehicles have won the Truck class of the Dakar Rally 14 times.

KAMAZ T4 Dakar Truck, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

Today’s featured 20,000lb / 9071 kgs KAMAZ T4 is powered by a 17.2 litre / 1049cui turbocharged diesel V8 that produces 730hp mounted behind the front axle that drives all four wheels through a sixteen speed gearbox.

Suspension is by leaf springs, 15 on each corner at the front and 10 leaves on each corner at the rear, which are supplemented by Reider Racing shock absorbers.

KAMAZ T4 Dakar Truck, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

The cargo area carries two fuel cells with a combined capacity of 230 gallons / 1000 litres with tools and spares supplemented by two 50″ Michelin XZL tyres mounted on 20″ wheels, the tyre pressures on the truck are monitored and adjustable from with in the cab.

The #507 seen here at the Goodwood Festival of Speed was driven to victory in the 2015 Dakar Rally by Ayrat Mardeev, Aydar Belyaev and Dmitriy Svistunov ahead of two more KAMAZ crew’s who finished 2nd and 3rd with a 4th KAMAZ place 5th.

KAMAZ T4 Dakar Truck, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

Ayrat Mardeev who was competing on his 4th Dakar Rally is the son of Ilgizar Mardeev a former KAMAZ Rally Raid driver killed in a quad bike accident in 2014, Aydar Belyaev the navigator was the most senior member of the KAMAZ team while mechanic Dmitriy Svistunov was taking part in his first Dakar Rally.

Thanks for joining me on this “Inspired By Dad” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again for Mercedes Monday tomorrow. Don’t for get to come back now !


Minimum Weight Restricted Bore- 1908 Mercedes Grand Prix

The very first Grand Prix de l’Automobile Club de France run at Le Mans in 1906 was run to a maximum weight of 1000 kgs / 2204 lbs and maxiumum fuel consumption formula which encouraged manufacturers to put large engines into flimsy chassis, the winning car was a 90hp 13 litre / 793 cui Renault with shaft drive to the rear wheels driven by Ferencsz Sziz.

Mercedes Grand Prix, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

For the 1907 Grand Prix de l’Automobile Club de France run at Dieppe the maximum permissible weight restriction was abandoned but the 9.4 miles per gallon maximum fuel consumption was retained, this much shorter race run over a single day was won by 1906 second place finisher Felice Nazzaro aboard a chain driven 16.5 litre / 1006 cui FIAT ahead of the 1906 winner Ferencsz who was again driving a Renault.

Mercedes Grand Prix, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

In 1908 the Automobile Club de France ran it’s Grand Prix on the same course at Dieppe but for vehicles that weighed a minimum of 1100 kgs and a maximum cylinder bore of 155 milimeters / 6.1 inches for 4 cylinder motors or 127 mm / 5 inches for 6 cylinder motors, no one built a six cylinder car for the race.

Mercedes Grand Prix, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

Mercedes turned to Paul Daimler to conceive it’s 1908 Grand Prix challenger in the absence of William Maybach who conceived the 1907 Daimler Grand Prix challenger before leaving Daimler to form his own company with his son Karl.

Mercedes Grand Prix, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

Paul did not stray far from William Maybach’s idea’s, but did build a much lower car which improved the the handling.

Mercedes Grand Prix, Martin Viessmann, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

The car had a 2.7 meter / 106″ wheel base with a 1.4 meter / 55″ track, it was powered by a 12.8 litre / 780 cui motor that produced 135hp at just 1400 rpm, the rear wheels were driven through a 4 speed gearbox chain drive, despite a top speed in excess of 100 mph the foot and hand brakes operated only on the rear wheels.

Mercedes Grand Prix, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

Three cars were built for the 1908 French Grand that were to be crewed by Willy Pöge, Otto Salzer, Christian Lautenschlager and their respective mechanics.

Mercedes Grand Prix, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

Otto set fastest lap of the race at over 78 mph but retired on the third lap with a broken wheel, Willy came home 5th over 36 mins behind the winner Christian who on his last set of 100psi Michelin tyres came home over 8 mins ahead of a pair of 150hp Benz’s that finished 2nd and 3rd.

Mercedes Grand Prix, Martin Viessmann, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

All three cars were sold after the 1908 Grand Prix de l’Automobile Club de France, one of them was tuned to produce 180hp and recorded a speed of over 107mph over the flying kilometer during the Ostend Speed week with the bearded Belgian Camille “Le Diable Rouge” Jenatzy at the wheel.

President and CEO of the family German Heating System company bearing his name, and former sponsor of Niki Lauda’s hat, Martin Viessmann is seen at the wheel of one of the Mercedes Grand Prix cars that is the sister to the one driven to victory by Christian in the 1908 Grand Prix de l’Automobile Club de France.

Thanks for joining me on this “Minimum Weight Restricted Bore” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I will be looking at a Zeppelin powered Belgian car. Don’t forget to come back now !


Wanted Four Black Round Things – Toleman Hart TG185

The story of the Toleman Hart TG185 goes back to 1980 when the Toleman Formula Two team decided to build their own Formula Two car the TG 280 and in the process swap from being a Goodyear to a Pirelli tyre customer, five years later when today’s featured car was built it became quite apparent to the detriment of Toleman that switching tyres suppliers was a less than amicable experience for Goodyear.

After securing the Formula Two championship at their first attempt Toleman, engine supplier Brian Hart and Pirelli did not hesitate to leap up to the top of the motor racing tree with a two car formula one team for 1981. After many trials and the odd tribulation an unknown Ayrton Senna joined the team for 1984 and the team what would be it’s best year scoring 3 podium finishes which contributed to the teams 16 points and 7th place finish in the World Constructors Championship.

Toleman Hart TG185, Silverstone Auction

On the way to that success Toleman made an acrimonious switch from Pirelli to Michelin tyres after the San Marino Grand Prix, but at the end of the 1984 season Michelin decided to quit Formula One with neither Goodyear or Pirelli now prepared to step up to the plate to help Toleman out.

Toleman’s preparations for the 1985 season went on regardless the new Rory Byrne designed TG185 was similar to the TG184 with a tidier body and revised suspension, the 1.5 litre 91.5 cui 4 cylinder turbocharged Hart motor produced around 800 hp and McLaren refugee John Watson was signed up with Spirit refugee Stefan Johansson to drive the new cars, in the end neither did John had a one off drive as a stand in for the injured Niki Lauda at McLaren before retiring from Formula One and Stefan got the second seat at Tyrrell for the first race of the season before being snapped up by Ferrari to replace René Arnoux in circumstances that remain unexplained to this day.

Toleman Hart TG185, Silverstone Auction

Meantime Italian knitwear moguls and Alfa Romeo’s primary Formula One sponsor Benetton were keen to expand their Formula One involvement by finding a drive for emerging talent Teo Fabi, Benetton bought the failing Spirit team who had a contract with Pirelli for a supply of tyres and reassigned it to Toleman after the first three races of the season.

Toleman ran a single entry for Teo for six races before Piercarlo Ghinzani was drafted in as a number two drive from the failing Osella team between them the teams only successes were a pole position start for Teo in Germany along with 14th and 12th place finishes for Teo in France and Italy respectively.

Toleman Hart TG185, Silverstone Auction

Things were not much better at Alfa Romeo where Ricardo Patrese and Eddie Cheever managed to finish eight times in non points paying finishes through out the whole of 1985.

At the season’s end Benetton ditched Alfa Romeo who withdrew from Formula One, while Benetton bought out Toleman and kept Teo Fabi who was joined by Gerhard Berger for 1986 in a restructured team that secured a supply of BMW engines for the new season.

The TG185 seen here at Silverstone Auction, sans Hart engine, was driven by Piercarlo Ghinzani at the end of 1985, prior to his return to Osella and was sold in the auction for £30,940 at the recent Silverstone Classic meeting.

Thanks for joining me on this “Wanted Four Black Round Things” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again for Mercedes Monday tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


3 Ferraris By Fury – GALPOT Automobilia

This weeks Ferrari Friday will be the last GALPOT blog this year to feature Automobilia items currently on offer from my lightpress e-bay listings. All three of today’s items feature Ferrari Formula One cars designed by Mauro ‘Fury’ Forghieri.

MotorSport August 1974, Niki Lauda, Ferrari 312 B3, Dutch Grand Prix

From August 1974 this MotorSport Magazine front cover depicts Niki Lauda streaking away driving his Ferrari 312 B3 to his second Grand Prix victory of the 1974 in the Dutch Grand Prix in which he again finished ahead of his team mate Clay Regazzoni as he had in Spain a couple of months earlier. Just as his former March team mate Ronnie Peterson driving a Lotus had done in 1973, Niki claimed 9 pole positions in the 1974 season, but alas only two victories enough to finish fourth in the final championship table one spot ahead of Peterson who with 3 victories and only one pole.

MotorSport, September 1975, German Grand Prix

1975 was Niki Lauda’s first championship year in which he drove his Ferrari 312 T with a novel transverse gearbox to five victories. This front cover dated September 1975 features an image depicting Niki Lauda leading the field on opening lap of the 1975 German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring. Niki eventually finished 3rd in the race that was won by Carlos Reutemann in 5th place in the photo driving the Martini Brabham Cosworth BT44B

Michelin Ad, Carlos Reutemann, Ferrari 312 T3, South African Grand Prix

Finally, for this year at least, this Michelin Radial advertisement from 1978, features an image of Carlos Reutemann driving a Ferrari 312 T3 at what appears to be the South African Grand Prix at Kyalami, a race in which Carlos ironically spun off on oil dropped by his team mate Gilles Villeneuve on lap 55. The race was won by Ronnie Peterson driving a Goodyear shod Lotus 78 after an exciting last lap dice with Patrick Depailler driving a Goodyear shod Tyrrell 008.

At the time the advert was published Carlos had won the Brazilian and United States West Grand Prix in Michelin’s first full season in the top flight of motorsport. Reutemann would secure two more victories for the tyre manufacturer, that introduced radial tyres to Formula One in a partial season of competition with Renault in 1977. Gilles Villeneuve won his maiden Grand Prix at the final race of the season in Canada driving his Michelin shod Ferrari to give Michelin 5 wins from 16 championship races.

Thanks for joining me on this “3 Ferraris By Fury” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for the last in this months series of road vehicles painted with racing liveries, this one will be an MG as I have never seen an MG before, or since. Don’t forget to come back now !


Ferrari Covers & Ad – GALPOT Automobilia

This weeks Ferrari Friday features a couple more Ferrari related items from the 1970’s currently on offer from my lightpress e-bay listings.

MotorSport Cover 05/70, Andretti, Ferrari 512S, Sebring

First up a MotorSport cover from May 1970 featuring an image depicting Mario Andretti on his way to winning the Sebring 12 Hours driving a Ferrari 512S which he shared with Ignazio Guinti and Nino Vaccarella.

Mario Andretti cited this drive as the drive of his life in the British magazine Autosport many years ago because he was co opted into the #21 Ferrari after the #19 he had qualified on pole with Art Mezario had retired with gearbox trouble while 11 laps to the good over the rest of the field.

To win the 12 Hours Andretti had to catch and pass the Solar Productions Porsche 908, shared by actor Steve McQueen and pro driver Peter Revson, when he stepped into the #21 with just an hour of the once round the clock race to go. Having passed McQueen for the lead Andretti had to come in for fuel and as he left the pit lane he was but a few seconds ahead of the famous actor and remained there just 22 seconds ahead at the flag.

Michelin Ad, 12/73, Ferrari Dino

The Michelin advertisement above depicting a Ferrari Dino comes from the back cover of MotorSport in December 1973.

MotorSport Cover, 06/74, Niki Lauda, Ferrari 312 B3, Jarama

Finally the another MotorSport front cover from June 1974 depicting Niki Lauda at the wheel of a Ferrari 312 B3 on his way to winning the 1974 Spanish Grand Prix, this was Niki’s first Grand Prix win.

Thanks for joining me on this “Ferrari Covers & Ad” edition of Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for a look at a Ford Thunderbird with an unusual paint job. Don’t forget to come back now !


Perfect car for a wedding #1 – Citroen Traction Avant

I don’t propose to post photos of cars used at Weddings every Saturday but I thought I’d give today’s blog a topical theme, though I suspect the summer wedding season is probably already over.

Most of the photo’s I have taken of cars used at weddings are not even taken on a Saturday, this is because just down the row of buildings from my city centre bank is an old court house that has been rebranded as a Registry Office. The City centre location is of course used for weddings 6 days a week though as can be seen from these photo’s the location is not without a few ‘parking issues’.

The Citroen Traction Avant is probably most famous as being the car that the cartoon detective Tintin used in the, now deemed less than politically correct, series of stories by Belgian artist Georges Rémi who published his work under the nom de plume Hergé.

The Citroen Traction Avant Garde was a revolutionary vehicle for it’s time, which spanned 1934 -1957, it was the worlds first front wheel drive steel monocoque production car, setting a trend that is almost ubiquitous for passenger vehicles 76 years later.

The construction without the hitherto universal separate chassis was available with a variety of 4 and 6 cylinder engines from 1.3 litres / 79.5 CUI up to 2.9 litres / 176 CUI which sit behind the gearbox driving the front wheels, optimising the weight distribution on the independently sprung wheels.

There were plans to build a 3.8 litre / 231 CUI V8 version of the Traction Avant featuring an automatic transmission with a torque converter, similar to that later employed in the GM Dynaflow transmission, however after 20 prototypes had been built Citroen had gone bankrupt and Michelin who bought the company to primarily test its tyre and other rubber products cancelled the project.

In 1954 a Traction Avant was used to test the self levelling hydropneumatic suspension of the later equally revolutionary Citroen DS which would eventually replace the Traction Avant series in 1955. 759,111 of these vehicles were built in Paris (France), Forest (Belgium), Cologne (Germany) and Slough (England)

Best wishes to anyone who is getting married to day, hope you have enjoyed my first week as a blogger as much as I have, I look forward to to hearing from you all, ‘y’all come back now ! Hear !.’