Tag Archives: Mille

The One That Escaped – Mercedes Benz 300 SLR no.5

Giovanni, better known as Hans, and Fritz Schlumpf were born in Italy in 1904 and 1906 respectively before there Swiss father. an accountant, and Alsatian mother Jeanne Becker resettled in Mulhouse, Alsace then under German rule.

Hans became a banker and Fritz a wool broker before going into business together in 1929 founding SAIL a public limited company in 1935 which began acquiring shares and later a controlling interest, in the Malmerspach spinning mill before managing takeovers of further textile manufacturing businesses.

Mercedes Benz 300 SLR, Goodwood Festival of Speed

On the 28 June 1976 the Schlumpf Brothers had to file for bankruptcy with the loss of 2,000 jobs, just as another Schlumpf pet project is about to come to fruition unbeknownst to the laid off workers.

Nine month’s after the loss of their jobs members of the CFDT union discovered that the Schlumpf brothers had converted one of their old textile mills in to a 17,000 sq meter / 182986 sq foot museum, due to open shortly after the brothers filed for bankruptcy, containing over 400 vehicles mostly Bugatti’s and only a few other European makes, including to day’s featured 1955 Mercedes Benz 300 SLR no.5, which were laid out along immaculate gravel avenues of lights separated by tiled walk ways.

Mercedes Benz 300 SLR, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Naturally the former Schlumpf employees did not take kindly to the appearance of being paid a pittance while the brothers employed a staff including seven assistant mechanics, two upholsterers, two body-work specialists, an assistant body-work specialist and five painters many of whom were former employees of Bugatti, another business based in Mulhouse that had ground to a halt in the 1950’s, to maintain and indeed restore to their former glory so many cars, not all of which were acquired in pristine condition.

After occupying the factory and apparently holding the Schlumpf brothers hostage for 3 days the French Government negotiated the brothers exile to Switzerland and declared their Collection of national cultural significance ensuring it would not be broken up nor sold abroad and founded the what today has become La Cité de l’Automobile – National Museum – Schlumpf Collection in Mulhouse with various national and regional private and public bodies eventually reimbursing the brothers and presumably their creditors to the tune of 69 million francs.

Mercedes Benz 300 SLR, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Just how the Schlumpf brothers managed to acquire 300 SLR no.5 in 1966 remains a mystery, at least one source reckons it was “probably” traded for a fabled W196 Grand Prix car of the same vintage, which only begs the question how did the Schlumpf brother obtain a W196, because Mercedes Benz have been quite meticulous in holding onto their post war racing heritage.

# no.5 has a three race history, it started the 1955 Mille Miglia at 7:01 am with Karl Kling at the wheel who like Juan Manuel Fangio who started at 6:58 attempted to drive the route solo, however he never made it to the finish of the 1,000 race after crashing out.

Juan and Karl drove # no.5 to a second place finish on the in the Tourist Trophy at Dundrod and according to Mercedes Benz the same pairing finished second, to chassis #no.4 driven by Moss and Collins, driving the same car on the Targa Florio where the team secured victory in the 1955 World sports car championship over Ferrari who scored one victory and Jaguar who scored two victories.

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


Imports – Hillsborough Concours d’Elegance

Welcome to the third and final installment of our trip to Hillsborough Concours d’Elegance courtesy of Geoffrey Horton who has kindly shared his photographs from the event.

Rolls Royce 20/25 Vincent Van, Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance

Among the imports this I find this 1933 Rolls Royce 20/25 Vincent Van charming in much the same way as the Paper Boys 1929 Rolls Royce Twenty I looked at earlier this year.

Bentley 4 1/4 Sports Saloon, Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance

Austin and Barbra Kilburn’s 1938 Park Ward bodied 4 1/4 litre ‘Derby’ Bentley chassis #B165LE was awarded third place in the Bentley class.

Cisitalia 202 Aerodynamica Berlinetta, Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance

Eight of the top nine positions in the 1947 Mille Miglia were secured by cars with an engine capacity of less than 1100 cc / 67 cui, this Cisitalia 202 Aerodynamica Berlinetta driven by Inico Bernabei and Tullio Pacini finished 2nd in class and 3rd overall behind the winning 3 litre Alfa Romeo and the class winning sister Cisitalia 202 Spyder driven by the legendary Tazio Nuvolari and Francesco Carena.

Allard K2 Roadster, Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance

Winner of the Arcane Oddities and Rarities class was David Rossiter who’s 1951 Allard K2 Roadster strikes a pose above.

Jaguar XK140 FHC, Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance

Despite his 1955 Jaguar XK140 FHC SE/MC looking more pristine than ever and being fitted with an all important otter switch judges decided to award Geoffrey and Gayle Horton 2nd place in the Jaguar Sports Cars class, I’m sure you will join me in offering them sincerest congratulations and better luck next time.

Porsche 911 E, Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance

Finally above is a 1970 Porsche 911 E, I believe chassis # 911 022 0224, belonging to George Jewett who was awarded 3rd in the Porsche class.

My thanks again to Geoffrey Horton for sharing the photo’s that have graced these photo’s for the last three days.

I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a 1975 Formula One challenger. Don’t forget to come back now !


Additions And Corrections – Ferrari 166MM #0040M

Having run well over 50 consecutive Ferrari Friday blog’s I have to confess I have temporarily run out of Ferrari’s to write about, however while I find some more I will recover some of the vehicles that I first blogged about on the much missed rowdy.com website, adding additional information and corrections where ever applicable in the light of new sources of information.

Ferrari 166MM, Goodwood, Festival Of Speed

Only 25 166 MM’s were commissioned by Enzo Ferrari to be built by Carrozzeria Touring who built the roadsters nick named Brachetta’s (small boat) using the patented Superleggra technique of fixing aluminium alloy panels directly to a tubular space frame.

The cars featured a 135 hp 1992cc / 121 cui V12 single overhead cam all alloy engine designed by Gioacchino Colombo. Each cylinder has a displacement of 166 cc / 10 cui from which the model derives its 166 name the MM comes from Mille Miglia, the name of a 1000 mile road race from Brescia to Rome and back which the 166 MM won in 1949.

Ferrari 166MM, Goodwood, Festival Of Speed

The 166 in various guises put Ferrari on the the sports car map, a 166 S being driven to victory in the 1948 Milie Miglia by Clemente Biondetti and Giuseppe Navine. In 1949 Biondetti repeated the feat at the wheel of a 166 MM (chassis 0008M) he shared with Ettore Salani.

The same #0008M chassis was then entered by Lord Selsdon, for the 24 hour Le Mans race, who let his team mate Luigi Chinetti drive for an amazing 23 (twenty three) hours en route to victory. Another 166MM, chassis #0010, with Luigi Chinetti and Jean Lucas sharing the driving went on to win the 1949 Spa 24 hour race.

Ferrari 166MM, Goodwood, Festival Of Speed

Today’s featured car chassis #0040M vehicle was driven by Luigi Villoresi and Pasquale Cassani finished 12th overall in the 1950 Targa Florio. Note, some sources using “Targa Florio: 20th Century Epic” by Pino Fondi as reference material suggest that Villoresi did not finish, this is probably because Fondi only lists the top ten finishers.

Several weeks later chassis #0040M was entered in the 1950 Mille Miglia for Aldo Bassi with Aldo Berardi in the co drivers seat. The car left the road in wet conditions and hit a tree outside Ponte San Marco, Bassi succumbed to his injuries later that day.

Ferrari 166MM, Goodwood, Festival Of Speed

After repairs which included a replacement body, Touring body #3453, the car went to Portugal where Vasco Sameiro is known to have driven it to 9th place in a race at Vila Real on June 20th 1950. The car remained in Portugal changing hands at least twice before turning up in the UK in 1973.

Ferrari 166MM, Goodwood, Festival Of Speed

Ferrari 166 MM #0040M has been owned by the Mason-Styrron family since 1989 who have used it in many classic competitions since. #0040M was restored by the Ferrari factory prior to it’s appearance at the 2009 Goodwood Festival of speed where the car is seen here.

Thanks for joining me on this “Additions and Corrections” editions of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Race Winning Body – MG K3 #K3001/K3003

In October 1932 MG launched the K-Type Magnette at the London Motor Show, featuring a 48″ track and either a 94″ or 108″ wheel base the chassis was powered by a 6 cylinder 39 hp 1087cc / 66 cui motor with a cross flow cylinder head that originated from the 1930 Wolseley Hornet.The K1 Magnet was fitted with a saloon body on the 109″ wheel base and in all 181 were manufactured up to 1934 in KA, KB and lastly KD specifications which reflected a series of motor upgrades during the production run.

In 1933 the K2 a two seater on the 94″ chassis was launched, 16 were built with KB spec motors and 4 more with KD motors and pre selector gear boxes.

MG K3 K3001, Prescott

The princely sum of £795 could secure a supercharged K3 racing variant, as seen driven above at Prescott by Brandon Smith – Hillard, at first, as above, fitted with Powerplus superchargers just below the radiator and later with Marshall units. Fitted with pre selector gearboxes three K3’s including #K3001 above were entered into the 1933 where George Eyston and Giovanni Lurani driving chassis #K3003 came in 21st behind Tazio Nuvolari in an ALFA Romeo but took a class victory with Earl Howe and Hugh Hamilton coming in 22nd overall and 2nd in class in #K3001.

Subsequently #K3001 was raced at Brooklands, shared for the Shelsley Walsh by Land Speed Record holder and Mille Miglia class winner George Eyston with MM team mate Giovanni Lurani, raced throughout Europe by Bobby Kolrusche in 1934.

The Mille Miglia chassis #K3003 meantime had been given to the great Tazio Nuvolari to drive in the 1933 Ulster TT which he promptly won outright beating two 8 cylinder ALFA Romeo’s running in the 3 liter 183 cui class.

At some point after 1934 and before the commencement of the 2nd World War the body from the Mille Miglia and Tourist Trophy winning #K3003 replaced that on #K3001 which is how #K3001 appears in the photo above one of just 33 K3’s to have been built from 1933 to 1934.

My thanks to Ed of the Wessex MG Club Newsletter for details about this chassis.

Thanks for joining me on this ‘Race Winning Body’ edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again tomorrow, don’t forget to come back now !


Awaiting TLC #2 – Rover 75 P4

The Rover P4 range of vehicles was introduced in 1949 to replace the interim out dated P3 vehicles which had been rushed into production in 1948 as the Rover company sort to rebuild itself as a vehicle manufacturer having spent the years during World War 2 manufacturing aircraft.

Rover P4 75, Atwell Wilson MM

Drawing inspiration from the 3rd generation Raymond Loewy designed Studebaker Champion launched in 1946, at the request of the Wilkes brothers who owned Rover, Gordon Bashford was responsible for what was known in the factory as the P4. The original P4’s came fitted with a central spot lamp mounted in the grill, but this feature was dropped early in production which eased the difficulties keeping the engine cool.

Rover P4 75, Atwell Wilson MM

The P4 was continually being upgraded and from 1954 a distinct MkII version was available that was then restyled again into the form shown in these photo’s in 1957, a Mk 2.2 if you will.

Rover P4 75, Atwell Wilson MM

Because of material shortages immediately after WW2 these vehicles incorporated a high percentage of aluminium content and were to be seen in competitions of the day including the 1955 Mille Miglia in which Lando Barsotti brought his #347 Rover 75 P4 home in 271st place. The 75 seen here was powered by a 2.2 litre /136 cui 6 cylinder motor featuring the same overhead inlet valves and side exhaust valve design as had been a feature of the earlier P3.

Rover P4 75, Atwell Wilson MM

The final MK II P4’s were produced in 1959 with 9,974 Mk II’s produced over it’s five year production run.

I spotted this particular vehicle at the back of the Atwell – Wilson Motor Museum. I am not sure what they planned to do with it, good working examples of the type tend not to fetch more than £ 2000 so the cost of restoration would appear to be a little prohibitive.

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