Tag Archives: Smallman

RIP – Hill Cosworth GH2

After serving an apprenticeship with Smiths Instruments and rising to the rank of Petty Officer in the Royal Navy Norman Graham Hill passed his driving test aged 24 in 1953.

The following year he got the motor racing bug driving a 500 Formula 3 Cooper and joined Team Lotus as a mechanic where he eventually talked his way into the cockpit, in 1956 Graham, as he is better known, made his Grand Prix debut at the wheel of a Lotus 12.

Hill Cosworth GH2, The Donington Grand Prix Collection

By 1962 Graham Hill was leading BRM to their one and only Formula One World Constructors Championship and became World Drivers Champion for the first time.

Hill Cosworth GH2, The Donington Grand Prix Collection

After winning the Indy 500 driving a Lola in 1966 Graham Hill rejoined Lotus in 1967 to partner Jim Clark and the following year he won his second world championship in the Lotus 49B.

Hill Cosworth GH2, The Donington Grand Prix Collection

A year after winning the Le Mans 24 Hours sharing a Matra MS670 with Henri Pescarolo, Graham decided to go it alone and set up his own team in 1973 running a Shadow in 1973 and Lola’s and a derivation thereof in 1974 and 1975.

Hill Cosworth GH2, The Donington Grand Prix Collection

Having retired from driving in 1975 Graham put all of his efforts into supporting a rising British star Tony Brise who scored the teams first constructors championship point at the 1975 Swedish Grand Prix at the wheel of the Lola derivative Hill GH1.

Hill Cosworth GH2, The Donington Grand Prix Collection

For 1976 Graham was to run fellow Londoner Tony in a one car team for which Andy Smallman designed the all new Hill GH2 powered by a Cosworth DFV, the development of which Graham had been an instrumental part of in 1967 while at Lotus.

Hill Cosworth GH2, The Donington Grand Prix Collection

On the 29th of November 1975 the team tested the new car, seen in these photographs at The Donington Grand Prix Collection, at Paul Ricard in Southern France and at the end of the test the core members of the team; manager Ray Brimble , mechanics Tony Alcock and Terry Richards, designer Andy Smallman and Tony Brise boarded the Graham’s Piper PA 23-250 Turbo-Aztec which he then piloted back to England.

Hill Cosworth GH2, The Donington Grand Prix Collection

At 10pm in heavy fog while attempting to land at Elstree Airfield the plane crashed with the loss of all on board.

Thanks for joining me on this “RIP” 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 !


Spare Smallman Embassy – Lola T370 #HU3

At the end of his relatively unsuccessful, season high 9th place finish in Belgium, 1973 season at the wheel of his privately entered Embassy Shadow DN1, Graham Hill hooked up with Lola, who’s car he had driven to win the 1966 Indy 500, for a two car attack on the 1974 World Drivers Championship.

Lola T370, Haynes International Motor Museum

Embassy sponsored the building of the Lola T370 which was designed by Andy Smallman. Unlike Lola T330 and T332 Formula A/5000 cars with rear mounted side radiators the T370 had the radiators mounted directly behind the front wheels, as would appear on Lola 1975 T400 Formula A/5000 car.

The most remarkable thing about the T370 when it first appeared was the outsize tall airbox which gave the car the appearance of a sail boat, much larger than the one seen in today’s photo as can be seen in this link.

Graham’s efforts with the T370 were rewarded by a 6th place finish in the Swedish Grand Prix, but apart from that the over weight if reliable T370 was not particularly competitive as drivers of the second car; Guy Edwards, Rolf Stommelen, Peter Gethin and Vern Schuppan found out.

Guy Edwards scored a best 7th behind his team mate in the 1974 Swedish Grand Prix and German Rolf Stommelen repeated the feat in the 1975 South African Grand Prix.

Today’s featured chassis HU3, seen at the Haynes International Motor Museum, first appeared as a spare car at the 1974 Spanish Grand Prix a role it remained in for 11 of the 14 events to which it was taken.

The car was first raced by Peter Gethin in the 1974 British Grand Prix where he qualified 21st on the grid but retired with a puncture. Rolf Stommelen then drove the car in the 1975 Argentine and Brazilian Grand Prix where he started 19th and 23rd on the grid respectively and finished 13th and 14th respectively.

HU3’s final appearance was again with Rolf at the wheel during practice for the 1975 Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

The T370 was superseded by a single T371 chassis in 1975 but as it dawned on Graham it was time to retire he decided to follow the lead of 3 time World Champion Jack Brabham and 2 time race winner Bruce McLaren to become a Formula One constructor.

Thanks for joining me on this “Spare Smallman Embassy” 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 !