Tag Archives: Rover

The Gearless Green Car – Mini 9X ADO20

Today’s featured British Leyland Motor Corporation Mini 9X test car was built to trial the replacement overhead cam engine intended to replace the BMC ‘A’ series push rod that had been introduced in 1951 along with the Austin A30, and a new gearless transmission.

The single overhead cam eight valve four cylinder engine has a capacity of 1500 cc / 91.5 cui with a rubber belt driving the cam, when tested it produced 50hp at 4000 rpm.

BLMC Mini 9X ADO20, Atwell Wilson Motor Museum

Despite achieving only 20 hours running time over 4 and half weeks on a test bed in 1975 due to leaks and other faults this car was regularly driven up until 1987 with only a cam belt failure on the M5 in 1982 during high speed testing.

The transmission consists of a torque converter and a mechanical final drive sourced from an Austin Allegro, the only gear options being forwards or reverse.

BLMC Mini 9X ADO20, Atwell Wilson Motor Museum

Other novel features on the 9X test cars were a redesigned nose, vertical strut suspension, this car was also fitted with competition aluminium doors, with sliding windows and original ADO15 type exterior hinges and boot lid, the unique bonnet and wings were also in weight saving aluminium, the original doors and boot lid corroded and have been replaced by steel items.

Four ADO20 Minis were converted to house the 9X transmission three of which also had the 9X single overhead cam engine also fitted, today’s example seen at the Atwell Wilson Motor Museum, Calne, was the second to be converted and the first to be fitted with the 9X engine, known at the factory as The Green Car, originally painted Connaught Green, resprayed in 1985 to the current Tundra Green, it was purchased in 1975 by the father of the Mini Sir Alec Issigonis who used it as his preferred transport for many years until he sold it back to Austin Rover as BLMC had become.

One prototype to an all new 9X design featuring the overhead cam engine, gearless transmission, front strut suspension and hatchback tailgate was built before the project was cancelled leaving the Mini in production until 2000 having out lived it’s eventual successor the Austin miniMetro that was in production from 1980 to 1997.

Thanks for joining me on this “The Gearless Green Car” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for Mercedes Monday, don’t forget to come back now !


Legend Fires North West Stages – Blackpool & Fleetwood

Organised by members of the, Blackpool South Shore Motor Club, Chester Motor Club, Ecurie Royal Oak Motor Club, Fylde Motor Sports Club, Garstang and Preston Motor Club, High Moor Motor Club, Preston Motorsports Club, Stockport 061 Motor Club, Warrington & District Motor Club and Wallasey Motor Clubs the 17th Legend Fires North West Stages Rally ran over 75 miles of tarmac stages in and around Blackpool and Fleetwood for competitors in the Northern Tarmacadam championship, The ANWCC Stage Rally Championship, The ANCC Rally Championship, The SD34 Rally and the Formula1000 Championships on the first weekend of the month.

Legend Fires North West Stages, Legend Fires North West Stages, Stage 3 Fleetwood,Legend Fires North West Stages, ABP Fleetwood Docks Special Stages

I missed the first stage on Friday and after standing down at 9am on Saturday I negotiated over 200 miles of heavy rain and a closed section of Motorway to arrive in time to catch some of the action on the ABP Fleetwood Docks Special Stage, above the 6th place finishing #4 Proton S2000 driven by Andrew Fenwick with Andrew Roughead is being chased by the cheeky #48 Vauxhall Corsa crewed by Nick and A Constantine that finished 7th overall.

Ford Focus WRC, ABP Fleetwood Docks Special Stages

On their Stage 15 run through the Fleetwood Docks Tony Bardy and Neil Colman lost over a minute in their #1 Ford Forcus WRC with what appears to have been a puncture, above members of the team and public put their backs into lifting the car onto a jack, they finished the event 3rd overall despite the delay.

Ford Fiesta, Duncan Taylor, Steven Grayson, Legend Fires North West Stages, Legend Fires North West Stages, Blackpool Promenade,

Unofficial paint job of the event went to Duncan Taylor and Steven Grayson who’s UFO, Unicorn, Dinosaur bedecked #31 Fiesta came in 16th overall, if anyone can tell this old duffer what the paint job is about please chime in below.

MG Metro 6R4, Driver Unkown, Legend Fires North West Stages, Blackpool Promenade,

The MG Metro 6R4 above was part of a demonstration before the final Promenade stages opened, not sure who was driving it, again if you do please chime below.

Land Rover Wolf XD, John Hickinbotham, Scott Young, Legend Fires North West Stages, Blackpool Promenade,

Class L of the Rally was run for 4 Land Rover Wolf XD’s all crewed by members of various active military units, the Royal Air Force (RAF) #108 was crewed by John Hickinbotham and Scott Young who finished 3rd in class and 43rd overall.

Sunbeam Imp Sport, Alan Kitson, Ronald Aspinwall, Legend Fires North West Stages, Blackpool Promenade,

Oldest car in Class A by the best part of at least two if not three decades was the 1968 #68 Sunbeam Imp Sport crewed by Alan Kitson and Ronald Aspinwall who finished a highly respectable 2nd in class and 24th overall.

Subaru Impreza, Arron Newby Rob Fagg, Legend Fires North West Stages, Blackpool

The #5 Subaru Impreza driven by Arron Newby and Rob Fagg added plenty of colour to the event on it’s way to 2nd overall, but that was not enough…

Subaru Impreza WRC S11, Simon Bowen, Richard Robinson, Legend Fires North West Stages, Blackpool Promenade,

… to get ahead of the older Subaru Impreza WRC S11 driven by winners Simon Bowen and Richard Robinson seen above at one of the chicanes on the last but one Promenade Stage.

Legend Fires North West Stages, Blackpool Promenade

I added a few new snaps to my collection of abstract lights before it started raining just in time to drive the 200 miles home.

Thanks for joining me on this “Legend Fires North West Stages” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at another Trans Am Camaro. Don’t forget to come back now !


Beyond Injury Achieving The Extraordinary – Qt Wildcat 500 DKR

The Wildcat is a space frame off road competition vehicle developed by Bowler in Derbyshire who sold the production rights to Qt Services based in Plymouth in December 2007. Qt Services appear to have rebranded themselves Wildcat Automotive who now offer a range of off road vehicles themselves, apparently in competition with Bowler.

Today’s featured 120 mph Qt Wildcat is powered by a Jaguar derived 280 4 litre / 244 cui V8 which drives the wheels on both the Land Rover Defender derived solid axles through a Sadev SCL90 6-speed transmission.

The 365 litre / 80 gal imp / 96 gal US fuel tank gives the Wildcat a range of between 400 to 600 miles and the engine can run on petrol between 88 – 98 octane

Qt Wildcat 500 DKR, Capt Tony Harris, Goodwood Festival of Speed

PUD 755, registered on 19th September 2005, is part of a fleet of Wildcats run by the Race2Recovery Offroad Rally Raid Team founded in 2011 by Capt Tony Harris, a former Infantry Officer for the Royal Fusiliers and Cpl Tom Neathway as a platform for ex military personnel with combat incurred life changing injuries to exercise their adventurous spirit in off road competition while raising funds and profile of the Help for Heroes Charity and Tedworth House Personnel Recovery Centre in Tidworth, Wiltshire, where many injured in combat recover from their injuries.

Race2Recovery, who’s strap line reads “Beyond Injury Achieving The Extraordinary”, achievement’s include first disabled team to; complete the Turaeg Rally in 2012, complete the Dakar Rally in a car, Qt Wildcat500 DKR, 2014, complete the Dakar Rally in a Truck 2014, complete a British Offroad Rally 2014, 2nd place overall in the Defender Challenge 2014 and last year to win a British Offroad Rally Championship Event.

Thanks for joining me on this “Beyond Injury Achieving The Extraordinary” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for a chain drive Mercedes Monday. Don’t forget to come back now !


Le Jog – Aust Services

At the beginning of December Le Jog passed through Aust Services for an Autotest in the Car Park, below are some of the runners and riders.

MG A, Volker Haltenhof, Horst Pokroppa, Le Jog, Aust Services,

Volker Haltenhof and Horst Pokroppa collected a nice round 100 min time penalty and were classed 30th in their 1957 MG A.

Rover P4, Robert McClean, Susan McClean, Le Jog, Aust Services,

Spirit of the Rally Trophy winners were Robert and Susan McClean who were classified 19th in their 1962 Rover P4.

Porsche 356, Jonathan Miles, Andy Elcomb, Le Jog, Aust Services,

The #10 Porsche 356, also built in 1962, was driven by Jonathan Miles and Andy Elcomb who were classified 11th overall first in class and won a Bronze Medal Status.

Volvo 123GT, Roger Osborne, Barbara Osborne, Le Jog, Aust Services,

Roger and Barbara Osborne appear to have retired their #4 Volvo 123 GT early in the event, which was won by a similar car driven by Andy Lane and Iain Tullie who clocked up just 8 mins 1 sec in penalties over the three day drive from Lands End to John O’Groats.

Austin Mini, Rachel Vestey, Owen Turner, Le Jog, Aust Services,

Classified 14th in their 1972 Austin Mini 1275 GT were Rachel Vestey and Owen Turner, Australian Rachel won the Ladies prize too.

MG B, David Maryon, Andy Ballantyne, Le Jog, Aust Services,

The 1966 MG B driven by David Maryon and Andy Ballantyne also retired from the event.

Thanks for joining me on this “Le Jog” edition of “Gettin a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a Daytona 24 Hour competitor. Don’t forget to come back now !


Classic Competition Cars – Classic Motor Show NEC Birmingham

Today’s blog is all about some of the classic competition vehicles at last weekends Classic Motor Show at the NEC in Birmingham.

Rosemary Smith,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

A couple of weeks ago I went to a talk at which Rosemary Smith, winner of the 1965 Tulip Rally driving the Hillamn Imp above, was to be the guest of honour, unfortunatley she had a fall and so could not make it so it was great to see her on her feet again at the Classic Motor Show despite the fact that some of her bones were still on the mend.

MG B Roadster,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

Rosemary drove a Ford Cortina Lotus on the 1968 London to Sydney Rally and finished 48th six places behind Jean Denton who drove the MGB GT Roadster seen above in need of some tlc, who finished 42nd.

Discovery Beetle,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

Among the taller vehicles at the show was the road legal Gulf liveried Discovery Beetle, above, built on a shortened 1996 Land Rover Discovery chassis and fitted with a 300 TDi which being lighter and more aerodynamic than a standard Discovey goes well on the road and is perfect for off road trials.

Cooper Daimler T87,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

Having acquired a 1966 Cooper T81 formula one car and fitted it with a 7.2 litre / 440 cui wedge engine for hill climbing Martin Brain acquired a 1967 Cooper T87 Formula 2 chassis and had it fitted with a 2.5 litre / 152 cui Daimler hemi V8, more commonly found in the SP250 and V8 250 Daimler models, for hill climbing on tracks with tighter corners. The car was rescued from a Swedish Museum in 2011 by Gillian Goldsmith better known as a successful equestrian and car racer Gillian Fortescue-Thomas who has since competed with the Cooper Daimler as has her daughter Samantha.

Gould NME GR61X,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

Powered by a 650 hp Nicholson McLaren Engines (NME) 3.5 litre / 213 cui development of the Cosworth HB Indy car engine the Gould NME GR61X is the most successful car ever to compete in British Hill Climbing with Scott Moran claiming 133 wins and Roger Moran claiming a further 16 and Alex Summers 8 since the cars first appearance in April 2005.

Empire Wraith,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

Successful Trike hill climber and Empire Racing Cars founder Bill Chaplin called Dutch born Formula One aerodynamicist Willem Toet, most recently at Sauber, to work on the Empire Wraith hill climb challenger which is powered by a 180hp Suzuki GSR K8 motor. This example built at the Empire factory in Stathe Somerset in 2013 is the first of three built to date and is driven by Clive Austin and Chris Aspinall.

Healey Westland,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

In 1948 Donald Healey and Geoffrey Healey drove the Healey Westland above to a ninth place finish on the Mille Miglia, the following year Tommy Wisdom and Geoffrey finished 10th in the same event in the same car.

Marcos Prototype,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

By 1959 former de Haviland aircraft engineer Frank Costin had a CV that included designing the Vanwall Grand Prix challenger that won the inaugural World Constructors Championship in 1958 and subsequent demand for his attention included that of Jem Marsh with whom he founded Marcos Engineering in Dolgellau, North Wales. The prototype Marcos, using the same plywood construction techniques de Haviland used to build the Mosquito fighter bomber the Vampire jet fighter, built in 1959 powered by a Ford 100E engine is seen above awaiting some well earned tlc having disappeared in Lincoln for many years.

Italia 2000GT,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

Only 329 Italia 2000 GT’s were built by Vignale and in 1996 Jorg Von Appen had #210, one of five Italia’s he owned converted to race spec to take part in the TR Race series, it survived four races and was recently purchased by the proprietor of Patterson’s Original Pickles.

Porsche 904 Carrera GTS,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

After withdrawing from Formula One at the end of 1962 Porsche built their first tube framed fiberglass bodied sports car which would culminate in the development of the 917 and later 936 models, originally known as the 904 Porsche badged the car Carrera GTS in deference to Peugeot’s ‘digit “0” digit’ numbering system. The GTS seen here was I believe used in competition by Claude Barbier and possibly later by Cyr Febbrairo.

BMW GTP,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

No doubt much to the annoyance of Formula Ring Meister Bernie Ecclestone the manufacturer who supplied the engines for his Formula One Brabham team split it’s efforts in 1986 between Formula One and the IMSA GTP series and invested in four March 86G chassis and fitted them with a 2 litre / 122 cui version of the BMW engine that had powered Nelson Piquet to the World Championship in 1983. A BMW GTP was driven to it’s only victory by Davy Jones and John Andretti in the Watkins Glen 500, while the Brabham BMW team scored on 2 championship points in the worst season for the team up to that time.

Eagle HF89,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

Dan Gurney’s All American Racers graduated to the IMSA GTP class in 1989, after claiming the driver’s and constructors’ championships in the GTO division Chris Cord in 1987, the teams all new HF89 was designed by Ron Hopkins and Hiro Fujimori and the following year Argentina’s Juan Manuel Fangio II drove HF89’s to three victories in the Topeka 300, Sears Point 300 with Rocky Moran and Del Mar Fairgrounds Road Circuit in November 1990.

Thanks for joining me on this “Classic Competition Cars” edition of Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a Carrera Panamericana challenger. Don’t forget to come back now !


Hartz Avenue At Its Finest – Danville Concours d‘Elegance

A month ago Geoffrey Horton popped over to Old Town Danville to participate in the Danville Concours d‘Elegance and see Hartz Avenue at it’s finest, an event that raises Parkinson’s research and patient care.

Land Rover 101 Forward Control, Danville Concours d‘Elegance

Among the British vehicles on display this mid 1976 Land Rover 101 Forward Control designed initially for pulling field guns and carrying 1 ton of ammunition, a fleet of 31 101’s were converted by Land Rover to “City CABs” for the 1995 film Judge Dredd set in 2139.

Aston Martin DB5, Danville Concours d‘Elegance

For many years the Aston Martin DB5 could probably lay claim to being the the worlds most recognisable automotive movie star, with the James Bond franchise about to release a new film “SPECTRE” it is quite possible the DB5 will rise to the top of that chart again.

Jaguar E-type, Danville Concours d‘Elegance

Winner of Class B: 1960 – 1969 British Sports Cars was this 1962 Jaguar E-Type belonging to Donald Morris.

Austin Healey 100, Danville Concours d‘Elegance

From 1956 a cracking high performance 110hp Austin Healey 100M version of the BN2.

Lagonda 2.6-Litre DHC, Danville Concours d‘Elegance

Ideal for touring on the Continent is this 1952 Lagonda 2.6-Litre Drop Head Coupé one of only 125 built that was discovered in a barn by a Doctor in 2004 prior to an extensive restoration complete in original factory colours.

Jaguar XK140 FHC, Danville Concours d‘Elegance

Once again congratulations to Geoffrey whose 1955 Jaguar XK140 Fixed Head Coupé SE/MC was judged Class A: Pre-1960 Sports Car winner.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sharing his photographs from Danville more of which will be seen on Friday.

Thanks for joining me on this “Hartz Avenue At Its Finest” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for a look at a Plymouth Wagon. Don’t forget to come back now !


Shadows and Reflections – Silver Jubilee Silverstone Classic

Today’s post features some of the more off the wall stories behind last months Silver Jubilee Silverstone Classic.

Bristol MW6G, Silverstone Classic

Greeting VIP’s in the VIP car park on the Friday was this 1962 Bristol MW6G (Medium Weight originally fitted 112hp Gardiner 8.4 litre 6HLW 6 cylinder engine). Royal Blue operated out of Bournemouth from 1880 to 1986, this coach is one of at least two owned by the White Brothers in Gaydon.

Jaguar XK150, Silverstone Auctions, Silverstone Classic,

On the Thursday I attended the auction, for the first time since the 1980’s, and among the lots was this 1958 non matching numbers Jaguar XK150 in need of a little TLC which sold for a tad over £20,000 pounds, or the price of a couple of brand new Dacia’s.

Cooper Monaco, Silverstone Auctions, Silverstone Classic,

Waiting ready to race was the Cooper Monaco chassis CM/2/59, its early history is unknown to me, but more recent owners have included Frank Sytner and Bristolian Ted Williams. The Cooper was bought for just short of £220,000 by Justin Maeers who claims he only popped in to the auction for the free beer. After Charles Gillet blew the engine in his Willment Climax the following day Justin came to an agreement to enter his newly acquired Cooper in it’s place for the Stirling Moss Trophy race. Starting from the back of the grid Justin unfortunately damaged the gearbox after just two laps.

Porsche 911 RSR, Cooke, Dowd, Silverstone Classic

When the heavens seriously started to open during qualifying on Friday many of us with camera’s caught in the rain went for some reflection shots, above the Martini liveried 1974 Porsche 911 RSR of Jeremy Cooke and Mike Dowd which qualified 32nd for the FIA Masters Historic Sports Car race was probably my best effort.

Shadow DN8, Jason Wright, Silverstone Classic,

It was a pleasant surprise to see not one but two recently restored 1977 Shadow DN8’s taking part in the FIA Masters Formula One race, above Jason Wright which has a two race history at the end of 1977 when Jean Pierre Jarier replaced Ricardo Patrese at the Canadian Grand Prix and finished 9th and Ricardo finished a non runing 10th at the US GP the following week.

Bugatti T35, Duncan Pittaway, Bentley Blower, J Ernst, Silverstone Classic,

Taking time off from running his monstrous show stealing FIAT S76 was Duncan Pittaway who is seen wheeling his #13 Bugatti T35 passed the #47 Bentley Blower driven by J Ernst on his way to a 7th place finish in the Kidston Trophy for pre war cars, from 8th on the grid.

Arrows Megatron A10B, Mike Wilds, Silverstone Classic,

Demonstrating the Turbo Megatron (BMW) powered Arrows A10B was the severely underrated Mike Wilds who just made it to Formula One with the struggling Ensign team then to BRM when BRM was collapsing and since then he has been racing all manor of vehicles including a Shadow DN3, Can Am BRM, Production Saloon 16 Valve Mercedes Benz 190 and numerous Sports and Group C cars at Le Mans.

BMW 3.0 CSL, Peter Mullen, Ford Cologne Capri, Rick Wood, Silverstone Classic

Alpina, celebrating it’s 50th anniversary this year, took a famous RAC Tourist Trophy at Silverstone in 1973 when Derek Bell and Austrian Harald Ertl driving an Alpina BMW 3.0 CSL claimed a 3 lap vicotry over solo driver Jochen Mass in a works Ford RS2600 Cologne Capri, on this occasion Ric Wood in the 1974 24 valve RS3100 Capri got the better of Peter Mullen in the Alpina BMW on their way to finishing 20th and 24th in the Super Touring Car Trophy.

Rover BRM, Silverstone Classic

Completely unannounced the Rover BRM which Graham Hill and Jackie Stewart drove to a 10th place finish in 1965 came whistling by on a demonstration lap, I have no idea who the driver was.

Bristol MW6G, White, Silverstone Classic

Finally the White brothers 1966 Hants & Dorset Bristol MV6G was on VIP duty all day on Saturday.

Thanks for joining me on this “Shadows And Reflections” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at another 1975 Formula One contender. Don’t forget to come back now !