Tag Archives: Nash

VSCC Spring Start – Silverstone

A couple of weeks ago I headed over to Silverstone for the VSCC Easter Spring Start meeting during which 11 races took place.

GN Ford Piglet, Doug Cawley, VSCC Spring Start, Silverstone

Dougal Cawley headed the opening lap of the Fox & Nichol Trophy in his GN Ford known as Piglet, but after 12 mins it was a surprised Rudiger Friedrichs who took the flag on his debut on the 1932 #138 Alvis Firefly seen above in third place.

Frazer Nash Targa Florio, Ian Dalglish, VSCC Spring Start, Silverstone

Eddie Lees won the race for Frazer Nash and GN cars from Martin Hunt both driving Frazer Nash’s, Tony Lees in COGNAC is seen above about to relieve Ian Dalglish in the #172 Frazer Nash of third place while Martin Stretton is seen with head lights blazing on a mission to make up ground from a fall to eight
place on lap 2, he finished an eventual 5th.

Lotus 18/21, Peter Horsman, VSCC Spring Start, Silverstone

After a first corner in which Connaught driver Micheal Steele was sent airborne to the detriment of his car but fortunately without injury to the driver, the Pre 1966 HGPCA race for Grand Prix cars was restarted and Peter Horsman in his 1961 #22 2 1/2 litre Lotus Climax 18/21 led all the way after starting 3rd on the grid.

Frazer Nash Fast Tourer, Chris Chilcott, VSCC Spring Start, Silverstone

Chris Chilcott and Andy Bush are seen dicing for fourth on the opening lap of Race 4 for pre war sports cars, aboard Frazer Nash and Riley respectively, Chris never made it to the end of the first lap and Andy retired on lap 6 of the 8 lap race leaving Jo Blakeney – Edwards to win aboard her Frazer Nash.

Amilcar Hispano Special, Tom Walker, VSCC Spring Start, Silverstone

Seen blasting past Astrophysicist Robin Tuluie’s #20 Riley Menasco Pirate above is the GP Italia Trophy race winner Tom Walker in his Amilcar Hispano Special.

Lagonda V12 Le Mans, Darren McWhirter, VSCC Spring Start, Silverstone

The longest race of the day, half an hour, was the Tom Cole Trophy Race for 1950’s sports cars, won by Darren McWhirtter in the 1954 #64 Lagonda V12 Le Mans seen lapping the 1952 #10 Nash Healey Le Mans driven by Sam Stretton.

Riley 12/4 Special, James Whitmore, VSCC Spring Start, Silverstone

The longest race of the day was followed by the shortest, the 5 lap All Comers Short handicap that was won by James Whitmore in the 1934 #156 Riley 12/4 Special seen leading a gaggle of earlier starters above.

Farrallac Allard Sports, Tony Bianchi, VSCC Spring Start, Silverstone

After early leader Lister driver Roberto Giordaneli out braked himself on the end of the Club straight on the opening lap, Tony Bianchi took the lead of the 50’s Sports and Sports Racing cars race in his Cadillac powered #7 Farrallac and holding off eventual winner Mark Lewis in his #100 Lister Chevrolet for four laps of the ten lap race.

Lotus 12, Andrew Smith, VSCC Spring Start, Silverstone

For the first 11 laps of the 13 lap Patrick Lindsey Memorial and Amschel Rothschild Trophy Andrew Smith looked set to finish 2nd in his #10 Lotus 12, seen above being followed by eventual third place finisher Frederick Harper in his Kurtis Roadster, until pole sitter and leader Philip Walker spun his Lotus 16 and had to settle for second.

Morgan Plus 8, Keith Ahlers, VSCC Spring Start, Silverstone

Keith Ahlers smoked the field in the the AR Motorsport Morgan Challenge Series race leading all 18 laps from pole and setting fastest lap of the race to win by nearly half a minute in his fire breathing #29 Morgan Plus 8.

ERA E-Type GP1, Duncan Ricketts, VSCC Spring Start, Silverstone

Three ERA’s took turns leading the final All Comers Scratch Race for Pre War cars but Terry Crabb aboard ERA 12C, Nick Topliss aboard ERA R4D both gave way to 3rd place starter Duncan Ricketts aboard the ERA E-Type GP1 who took the lead on lap 3 and help it to the finish 5 laps later.

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


COhen GN & AC – COGNAC Frazer Nash Special

S.A. COhen was responsible for building the first iteration of today’s featured car using I believe a 1925 Frazer Nash chassis with a solid axle and chain drive as originally developed by GN.

COGNAC Frazer Nash Special, Mallory Park,

The triple carburetor 2 litre / 122 cui aluminium block iron head six cylinder AC motor, that lent it’s initials to the last two letters of the cars name, is of a design that dates back to 1919 and remained in production up until 1963.

COGNAC Frazer Nash Special, Tony Lees, Chateau Impney

My understanding is that COGNAC was originally fitted with a two seat body that originated from an Amilcar with the radiator coming from a Hampton of a type I have not yet identified, if you know which model Hampton is shown in this linked image please do not hesitate to chime in below. and that the tail was modified to fit a spare wheel across the back of the car.

COGNAC Frazer Nash Special, Mallory Park,

It appears that the tail of the Amilcar body was modified to fit a spare wheel across the back of the car.

COGNAC Frazer Nash Special, Tony Lees, Mallory Park,

I am not sure exactly when S.A. Cohen competed with the car, the only report I have found so far describes him suffering with a slipping clutch at the Lewes speed trials in the June 1937 issue of MotorSport.

COGNAC Frazer Nash Special, Mallory Park,

A chap called Duchy at the Nostalgia Forum recalls his father owned the COGNAC Frazer Nash Special and used it as a road car in the mid 1950’s and that it was not converted into the single seater form seen here until the 1970’s.

COGNAC Frazer Nash Special, Tony Lees, Chateau Impney

Ron Footitt is the man responsible for converting the COGNAC Frazer Nash Special into a single seater for vintage racing in the 1970’s.

COGNAC Frazer Nash Special, Mallory Park,

I have seen several accounts of the story that Ron wanted his ashes scattered onto a racing circuit upon his death and that COGNAC’s next owner Freddie Giles obliged at Oulton Park, after winning a race he is said to have scattered Ron’s ashes from a glove on his slowing down lap.

COGNAC Frazer Nash Special, Tony Lees, Mallory Park,

Current owner Tony Lees is seen testing COGNAC at Mallory Park soon after he bought it in 2013 and at last years Chateau Impney Hillclimb.

Thanks for joining me on this “COhen GN & AC” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow far a look at the last in the current series of ERA’s. Don’t forget to come back now !


Shelsley Giant Killer – Spider

Today’s featured Spider was inspired by Capt. Archie Fraser Nash’s successful GN hill climber known a “Kim”.

Spider was built by Basil Davenport who bought a GN chassis from the Captain which he then shortened and converted to a single seater with central steering and fitted a Kim inspired body built from chalk drawings on his workshop floor in 1924.

For 1925 Basil replaced the prototype GN Vitesse 1087cc / 66 cui V twin engine he had originally bought with the chassis for the unique 1500 cc / 91.5 cui V twin with four valve aluminium bronze heads and twin spark plugs from the works GN racer known at Mowgli that had lapped Brooklands at 92 mph.

Spider, Charlie Martin, Chateau Impney,

After fitting lighter pistons and stronger JAP connecting rods Basil turned up at Shelsley Walsh on September the 4th 1926 and became the first man to climb the hill in under 50 seconds.

Further modifications for 1927 including lighter valves and new cam shafts made the car quicker but the engine blew at Colwyn Bay leaving Basil just five weeks to build a new crankcase and motor before Shelsley.

The new crankcase allowed one cylinder to be mounted slightly ahead of the other for added reliability of the connecting rods and the engine compression was raised so the 40mm Solex Carburettors could now feed the engine with an alcohol fuel mixture.

Spider, David Leigh, VSCC, Prescott

At Shelsley in 1927 Basil knocked another second of his record, despite the rain !

The following season Basil left the Shelsley record at 46.4 seconds and it was not until 1929 that Raymond Mays driving a 3 litre / 183 cui supercharged Villiers relieved Basil of the Shelsley record.

In 1930 Basil proved to be quicker up Shelsley that none other than Rudolf Caracciola driving a supercharged 7 litre / 427 cui Mercedes Benz SSK.

Spider, VSCC, Prescott

At the same meeting his temporary 44.6 second record eventually fell to Hans Stuck who drove his 3.5 litre / 213 cui Austro Daimler to a new record of 42.8 seconds leaving Basil and the Spider in second place.

There after Basil fitted new heads to the car and even front wheel brakes, but these did not help make the car any quicker and he retired to look after his business interests in 1931.

In 1946 Basil brought Spider briefly out of retirement to set the best unsupercharged time at Shelsley but elected to cannibalise Spider particularly of it’s body, held on by six bolts and chain drive transmission for the 2 litre / 122 cui Big Spider.

Spider, Charlie Martin, Chateau Impney,

While still at school in 1979 David Leigh started helping Basil rebuild the original Spider.

After Basil’s death David bought bought Spider from Basil’s longstanding mechanic Ron Sant in 1994.

Three years later David managed to drive Spider up Shelsley in under 40 seconds which had been Basil’s dream since breaking the 50 second record in 1926.

Spider, David Leigh, VSCC, Prescott

David modestly credits the achievement to the improvements in the track surface and latest Avon GP motorcycle tyres which sit on period correct size 19 inch rims.

David Leigh is seen at the wheel, recovered from a Handley Page bomber, of Spider in the 2013 photographs taken at Prescott.

At Chateau Impeney Charlie Martin, better known for driving the Morgan RIP Special became only the third person to drive Spider as seen in the above 2015 dated photographs.

My thanks to Tim Murray for kindly lending me his copy of John Bolsters “Specials” 1971 edition with out which this blog would be very brief.

Thanks for joining me on this “Shelsley Giant Killer” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at another ERA. Don’t forget to come back now !


No Body One Brake – GN G.N.A.T.

GN cars founded by H.R. Godfrey and Archibald Frazer-Nash in 1910 were were made in London up until 1923 and were initially notable for being built with wooden chassis with chain driven JAP engines or belt driven Peugeot engines.

GN G.N.A.T., John Wiseman, Chateau Impney,

By 1919 GN adopted steel chassis and engines of their own design, I believe today’s featured GN G.N.A.T. special has a 1919 steel chassis that was lightened, shortened and lowered by E.G.Sharp who fitted a front axle with a wider track than the rear starting the work in 1925.

GN G.N.A.T., Richard Wiseman, VSCC, Prescott,

Sharp acquired an unusual 1088 cc / 66 cui aircooled V twin JAP engine for the car that featured modified Vitesse cylinder heads that dispensed with the original overhead cam shafts in favour of pushrod operated overhead valves.

GN G.N.A.T., John Wiseman, Chateau Impney,

It was only after the valve gear had been redesigned by E.G.Sharp that the twin carburetor engine produced any useful power.

GN G.N.A.T., John Wiseman, VSCC, Loton Park,

Since the chassis had been lowered a much smaller diameter clutch was fitted with a length of rope tied to the clutch pedal for the driver to pull if the clutch failed to engage properly.

GN G.N.A.T., John Wiseman, Chateau Impney,

Originally E.G.Sharp omitted any bodywork as was common practice in the period and had only one break drum operational on the rear axle to slow the car down.

GN G.N.A.T., Richard Wiseman, VSCC, Prescott,

The car is described in “Specials” by John Bolster as “Very fast, but only moderately reliable” with it’s most notable achievements being a fatest time of the day, FTD, recorded at Stalybridge in 1928 and a class win at Shelsley Walsh in 1930.

Richard Wiseman is seen driving the GN G.N.A.T wearing blue overalls at Prescott while John Wisemann wearing white overalls is seen driving the car at Chateau Impney and on the start line at Loton Park.

My thanks to Tim Murray for kindly lending me his copy of “Specials” 1971 edition by John Bolster.

Thanks for joining me on this “No Body One Brake edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


4th Autumn Classic – Castle Combe

Last Saturday saw the 4th action packed Autumn Classic at Castle Combe which saw large numbers of fans entertained with nine races and several demonstrations most notable for this observer of which were a pair of BRM P160’s from 1972 and a 1973 which regaled the Wiltshire countryside with the awesome sound of a couple of unsilenced V12’s.

Frazer Nash Super Sports, Patrick Blakeney-Edwards, Castle Combe

Patrick Blakeney-Edwards had a moderately successful day as a driver, above he is seen scampering away from a delightfully varied field to win the VSCC Sports Car Race aboard his Frazer Nash Super Sports.

Jaguar Mk 1, Williams, Butterfield, Dorlin, Castle Combe

The JEC Norman Dewis Trophy for Pre 66 Jaguars was won by Martin Hunt driving a Blakeney Motorsports prepared E-type Jaguar while one of the most entertaining battles of the day was fought by Grant Williams and Richard Butterfield both in Mk 1 Jaguars and Peter Dorlin in his Mk2 after Andy Wallace also in a Mk2 retired from third at the half way stage, Grant hung on to finish first saloon home in the #12 seen above.

Austin Healey 3000 Mk1, David Grace, Castle Combe

David Grace driving the #17 Austin Healey 3000 Mk1 won the first of the two Healey Driver International Challenge 25th Anniversary races from second on the grid beating pole sitting white and blue #46 driven by Healey Specialists Bill and Jack Rawles by just under 4 seconds.

Cooper Bristol T24/25, John Ure, Castle Combe

Steve Brooks starting from third on the grid in the #34 Aston Martin DB3S is seen above about to go into the lead on the opening lap of the Fiscar Historic Intermarque race, he looked set for a win until the race had to be called on lap 12, before the compulsory pit stops had cycled through, which meant Stephen Bond in the #95 Lister Bristol starting from 8th on the grid was declared the winner after an accident involving three cars without injury to the drivers blocked the track at Quarry.

Staride Mk3. Xavier Kingsland, Castle Combe

Andrew Turner in the white and red #2 Cooper Mk VI led the opening 8 laps of the BAC Motor Sports Club Challenge for F3 500’s race from 3rd on the grid until he was caught and passed by Xavier Kingsland in the silver Staride Mk 3 two laps from home, pole sitter Darryl Woods in the Cooper Mk XII kept the two race leaders honest and finished 3rd just less than 1 second behind the winner !

Ford Falcon, Chris Clarkson, Castle Combe

Michael Squire easily won the HSCC/HRSR Historic Touring Cars race from pole driving a flame spitting Ford Mustang, but second place finisher Chris Clarkson had a very busy time keeping eventual third place finisher Chris Saunders in the white #77 Ford Cortina and Bob Bullen in the yellow #69 Ford Anglia behind.

Lotus 20/22, Jack Woodhouse, Castle Combe

Jack Woodhouse made a great start from 2nd to lead the opening 9 laps of the FJHRA/HSCC Millers Oils Formula Junior race in the white #84 Lotus 20/22 before yielding to the faster #53 Lotus 20/22 driven by 3rd place starter Sam Wilson seen in third place at Quarry above. Sam however tripped up behind a back marker on the final lap to let Jack back into the lead which was just .2 of a second over Sam at the finish line.

Elva Courier Mk4T. Sean Kukula, Castle Combe,

Having been unlucky in the Fiscar Historic Intermarque race Stephen Brooks easily won the Jon Gross Memorial race in his DB3S leaving Sean Kukula and Jonathon Loader to squable over second place in their #149 and #46 Elva Courier Mk4T’s respectively, Sean won the Elva battle which was fittingly once raced by American Jon Goss.

Austin Healey Sebring, Richard Woolmer, Castle Combe,

Finally the Healey’s came out for a second race which again provided plenty of thrills with third place starter Marc Campfield making the running for the opening 8 laps until his car ground to a halt which left pole man David Grace to claim a 4.5 second victory over the Healey 3000 shared by 5th place starters Jack and Oliver Chatham, above as in the first race the Healey Sebring of Sprites of Richard Woolmer #38 and Gordon Elwell #33 kept spectators entertained further down the field on their way to 9th and 10th place finishes less than 2 seconds apart.

Thanks for joining me on this “4th Autumn Classic” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a six cylinder Plymouth. Don’t forget to come back now !


Super Saturday Winners – Silver Jubilee Silverstone Classic

Today’s post features all the winners on Super Saturday of the Silver Jubilee Silverstone Classic Meeting, after an aqueous qualification day Saturday emerged as a beautiful sunny.

Lotus, Sam Wilson, Lotus Andrew Hibberd, Silverstone Classic

The action kicked of with the Historic Formula Junior race which was won by the blue #53 Lotus 20/22 driven by Sam Wilson, from 2nd on the grid, seen above being challenged by 4th place starter and 8th place finisher Andrew Hibberd’s red #79 Lotus 22 going into Copse on the opening lap.

Stirling Moss Trophy, Silverstone Classic

Gregor Fisker did a great job driving, the GALPOT Banner car, #46 Ferrari 246S from fifth on the grid to the win he is seen above chasing 3 Knobbly Listers and a white stripped Costin Lister while being pursued by the #25 Lotus by A. Wolfe and I. Vercoutere on lap 5 of the 21 lap / 50 minute race.

Warwick Banks Trophy, Silverstone Classic,

Three Mini’s secured the top three spots for the Warwick Banks Trophy race in the wet conditions, however they were soon swamped by more powerful Lotus Cortinas, BMWs and Alfa Romeos after the start. Richard Meaden in the #63 Lotus Cortina leads coming out of Village above on the opening lap while eventual winner triple British Touring car champion Matt Neal driving the #152 Lotus Cortina, he shared with 2012 British Touring Car Champion Gordon Shedden, has made up 7 places from 14th on the grid going into the third corner of the 50 minute / 18 lap race !

Kidston Trophy, Silverstone Classic

Andrew Hall driving the #69 Frazer Nash Supersports made a super start from 5th in The Kidston Trophy race for pre war sports cars to lead for a couple of corners before Gareth Burnett in the big green #52 Talbot 105 took command for the opening 7 laps of the race. A slick driver change helped Fredric Wakeman and Patrick Blakeney-Edwards take the lead and win the race in the #11 Frazer Nash Super Sports, seen on the extreme left of the photo above in third place.

Tyrrell 012, Martin Stretton, Silverstone Classic

Despite qualifying his #44 Tyrrell 012 nearly 5 seconds faster than Sam Hancock’s yellow #55 Fittipaldi F5A, Martin Stretton, seen above, had to eat Sam’s dust for three laps before pulling away to win the FIA Masters Historic Formula one race by just under 2 seconds.

Honda Dodd, Audi, Wrathall, Silverstone Classic,

12th place starter Frank Wrathall in the 1989 #39 Audi 80 Quattro is seen above lining up to overtake James Dodd driving the 1999 #1 Honda Accord for the lead which Frank would not relinquish on lap 4 of the Super Touring Car race.

Cooper T51, Harvey, Cooper T53, Nuthall, Silverstone Classic,

Racing an open wheeler for the first time since breaking his legs in a Formula Ford car early in his career was 1992 British Touring Car Champion Tim Harvey, who is seen above passing Will Nuttall in the #10 Cooper T53, for the lead on his way to winning the Maserati Trophy race driving Roger Wills #1 Cooper T51.

Jaguar, Nicholl-Jones, TVR, Whitaker, Silverstone Classic,

Mark Whitaker driving the #46 TVR Griffith starting 4th on the grid for the JET Trophy race had left the two Minis that qualified ahead of him way behind and as seen above already had pole sitter Matt Nicholl Jones #85 Jaguar E-type well in his sites as he exited Woodcote for the first time, Mark won the 9 lap race by nearly 18 seconds.

FIA Masters Historic Sports Cars, Silverstone Classic

Martin O’Connell driving the #4 Chevron B19 seen in second above never dropped out of the top 4 on his way to winning the FIA Masters Historic Sports Cars race from the #60 Lola T70 driven by Marino Franchitti and Richard Meaden seen above in 4th place.

Jaguar E-Type, Martin O'Connell, Silverstone Classic

There was little time for Martin to savour his victory as he had a pressing appointment on the 13th row of the grid to start the International Trophy race in his E-Type Jaguar, on lap 11 of the one hour 25 lap race he took the lead and stayed there to claim a second consecutive victory.

11 Nissan / Jaguar_9462sc

Steve Tandy starting from pole in his IMSA Spice, seen in a distant third above, held the lead on the opening lap of the evening Group C race but relinquished it to the #27 Nissan R91CK of Bob Berridge and #17 Jaguar XJR14 of Christophe D’Ansembourg, Bob held the lead for three laps before Christophe, seen in second place above, took the lead on the 4th lap and held on to it for the remainder of the race.

Thanks for joining me on this “Super Saturday Winners” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at another Mercury. Don’t forget to come back now !


Aqueous Friday – Silver Jubilee Silverstone Classic

Weather predictions have been pretty unreliable in this neck of the woods this year so when I was told that an aqueous qualifying day was predicted for the Silver Jubilee edition of the Silverstone Classic I paid little attention beyond checking my wellies and rain coat were packed.

Alexis HF1, Duncan Rabagliati, Silverstone Classic

Qualification started bearably moist as Duncan Rabagliati, driving his #7 Alexis Mk 1 and his fellow Formula Junior competitors hit the track.

Lister Chevrolet Knobbly, Roberto Giordanelli, Silverstone Classic,

As practice for the Stirling Moss Trophy came to an end I headed out to Brooklands where Roberto Giordanelli is seen kicking up a little spray aboard his Chevrolet powered Knobbly Lister.

Frazer Nash Supersports, Hall / Grant Peterkin, Silverstone Classic

As the Pre War Sports cars came out qualify for the Kidston Trophy the heavens opened up and I was caught in the wrong place in the wrong attire as Andrew Hall and Michael Grant Peterkin took turns in coming to terms with their severely under steering chain drive Frazer Nash Supersports on their way to fifth on the grid.

Jaguar E-Type, James Cottingham, Silverstone Classic,

Above James Cottingham drifts his #73 E-Type Jaguar through Club corner above on his way to second on the grid for the Tourist Trophy race.

Williams FW07C, Christophe d'Ansembourg, Silverstone Classic

Christophe d’Ansembourg entered Abbey curve backwards and is seen passing the apex at 90º to the track before recovering from the mother of all tank slappers without exceeding the track limits to qualify his Williams FW7C for the FIA Masters Historic Formula One Race 21st from 38 runners.

Audi 80 Quattro, Frank Wrathall, Silverstone Classic

With all wheel drive one might have expected Frank Wrathall to be a contender for pole in his Super Tourisieme Audi 80 Quattro however since the whole Super Touring Car qualifying session was run behind the safety car he was only awarded 13th place on the grid based on previous form.

Kurtis KK500C, Geriant Owen, Silverstone Classic

Conditions such as this would never be tolerated at Indianapolis but Geriant Owen put on a fine display of driving skill and qualified his 1954 Kurtis KK500C roadster a fine 12th for the Maserati Centenary Trophy race.

Nissan R90CK, Bob Berridge, Silverstone Classic,

Bob Berridge’s Japanese Group C spec Nissan R91CK will have been no stranger to monsoon conditions and so it was perhaps no surprise he qualified on pole for the Group C race, following in the US GTP spec #5 Spice SE90P is Steve Tandy who qualified 9th on the sadly depleted Group C grid.

Bizzarrini 5300 GT, Tim Harvey, Silverstone Classic

Roger Wills stepped down from driving his collection of cars this weekend and let Tim Harvey do the hard work, above Tim gets to grips with Rogers Bizzarini 5300GT which was awarded 7th on the grid for International Trophy for Classic GT Cars as once again the whole session had to be run behind the pace car.

Porsche 911 RSR, Mark Bates, Silverstone Classic

Mark Bates took full advantage of the tricky conditions to drift his Porsche 911 RSR to an unexpectedly high 4th on the grid amongst a gaggle of more powerful Lola T70’s and faster 2 litre / 122 cui Lola and Chevron sports racing cars on the FIA Masters Historic Sports Car grid.

Fortunately as we will see next week the rain eased off over night to make for an interesting day’s racing on Super Saturday.

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