Maltese Heart Breaker – Mercedes Benz W121 B2 190 SL Roadster

The 1962 Sales Brochure for the Mercedes Benz 190 SL promoted the vehicle as “Sporty and comfortable: the car for two.”

Mercedes Benz 190 SL, Malta Classic Car Collection

The brochure went on to describe the 190 SL as “An exceptionally happy combination of experienced craftsmanship and undating beauty and driving comfort !

Mercedes Benz 190 SL, Malta Classic Car Collection

In addition…” continues the blurb, “it is one of the few cars which even the most critical test drivers parts with reluctantly and with profound admiration.”

Mercedes Benz 190 SL, Malta Classic Car Collection

In the second paragraph owners of 190 SL’s are described as having “… a mutual love of spirited driving, an ear for a powerful engine with a “masculine” tone, an appreciation of mechanical perfection –

Mercedes Benz 190 SL, Malta Classic Car Collection

and last but not least, the wish for maximum joy without sacrificing the joy of zestful driving.”

Mercedes Benz 190 SL, Malta Classic Car Collection

The 1962 190 SL seen in these photograph’s can be found at the excellent Malta Classic Car Collection in Qwara, well worth a visit if one is visiting the island.

Thanks for joining me on this “Maltese Heart Breaker” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a French homologation special. Don’t forget to come back now !

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He Who Yells Loudest – Peugeot EX5/L45

Peugeot built four new EX5 cars to compete in the 1914 French Grand Prix that mandated a maximum engine capacity of 4.5 litres / 274 cui and maximum weight of 1,100 kgs / 2,425 lbs.

As with Ernst Henry’s previous 1912 L76 and 1913 L3 Grand Prix winning engine designs the 1914 L45 featured twin overhead cam shafts, four valves per cylinder and with the aid of a Claudel Carburettor it produced 112hp at just 2,800 rpm, unlike it’s predecessors the EX5 had brakes on all four wheels.

Peugeot L45, Goodwood, Festival Of Speed,

In the race Georges Boillot drove the wheels off his EX5 to try and stay in touch with early Mercedes leader Max Sailer and continued to do so for the next 12 laps, after the Rookie Sailer retired from the lead at 1/4 distance.

Two laps from the end the Mercedes of Christian Lautenschlager passed Georges to lead an eventual Mercedes 1, 2, 3, finish, leaving Boillot to retire with a broken engine and his team mate Jules Goux to finish 4th ahead of the Sunbeam driven by Dario Resta a third EX5 driven by Victor Rigal finished 7th while the fourth EX5 was retained as a spare.

Peugeot L45, Goodwood, Festival Of Speed,

I have been unable to establish what role today’s featured car played in the 1914 French Grand Prix but what is certain is that it was one of a batch of three EX5’s sent to the United States in October 1915 some months after the fourth EX5 had been sent over for Dario Resta to drive.

The Texan lumber family Lutcher Brown appears to have bought today’s featured EX5 for Ralph Mulford to race in the 1916 Indy 500 in which he started 20th and finished 3rd, two spots behind Dario Resta’s winning EX5.

Peugeot L45, Goodwood, Festival Of Speed,

Art Klein who became head of transportation at Warner Brothers had also become the owner of this car by 1948 and he sold it to Lindley Bothwell in time for Lindley to enter it in the 1949 Indy 500 when it was 35 years old !

With the latest tyres fitted Lindley passed his rookie test and recorded a best time of around 103 mph when the qualifying times for the 33 starters in the race ranged from over 125 mph to over 132 mph.

Peugeot L45, Goodwood, Festival Of Speed,

Lindley who over time was a “Yell King” cheerleader at college football matches and pioneer of the use of flashcards for spectators, turned down the opportunity to become a professional baseball player to continue his studies, with three degrees he went on to become one of the top ten citrus growers in the US and owner of one of the biggest private collections of old automobiles that included the last Tzar of Russia’s Rolls Royce and a King George V Daimler.

He was also responsible for setting the California vintage auto racing movement in motion when he organised the 1950 retrospective Vanderbuilt Cup in Santa Monica.

Peugeot L45, Goodwood, Festival Of Speed,

Somewhere along the line Lindley appears to have become convinced Art Klein acquired today’s featured EX5 from Dario Resta.

It seems more likely that the Resta EX5 which won at Indy in 1916, ended up being either broken up and or driven by Ray Howard in the 1919 Indy 500 that coincidentally was won by Howdy Wilcox also driving one of the four EX5’s.

The Bothwell family who still own today’s featured EX5 claim to have evidence to back Lindley’s belief that today’s featured EX5, which incidentally is also incorrectly labelled by the Bothwells as a 1913 car, was the 1916 Indy winner, but this has never been made public and until it does it remains unlikely that the King of Yell and his family will win this particular disagreement over this cars exact provenance.

My thanks to Bitburgs finest auto historian Micheal Fines and his colleagues who have helped establish the provenance of today’s featured EX5 at The Nostalgia Forum and on the Track Forum.

Thanks for joining me on this “He Who Yells Loudest” 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 !

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Tax Minimising Special – Healey Duncan Drone

Upon the completion of his studies in mechanical engineering Ian Duncan joined the Bristol Aeroplane Company where he was promoted to chief technical assistant to chief engineer Roy Fedden in 1940.

Two years later Roy and Ian left Bristol to visit the US where they studied aero engine production methods on behalf of the British government.

Healey Duncan Drone, Castle Combe

Back in the UK Ian joined Roy at Roy Fedden Ltd in Cheltenham which was set up with a view to designing and building a flat 6 aero engine, a gas turbine engine and an idiosyncraticvehicle with a three cylinder radial engine at the back driving the rear wheels through a torque converter with Alex Mouton designed rubber suspension for the road wheels.

It is not known if lack of finance or conceptual differences led Ian and Roy to part ways, but by the end of the war Ian had briefly joined his brothers canning machine company before founding Duncan Industries (Engineers) Ltd, with former Fedden employees including Frank Hamblin and Alan Lamburn based 130 miles north east of London in the little Norfolk town of North Walsham.

Healey Duncan Drone, Castle Combe

Ian was inspired to build a much smaller vehicle, than what turned out to be the extremely unstable Fedden, more in the mould of the American Crosley micro car, from whom he ordered five 10″ wheels and tyres around which he based his Dragonfly prototype.

Despite only being 10′ 9 1/2″ long and 4′ 1 1/2″ tall the Dragonfly was bristling with novelties including three abreast seating, a transversely mounted BSA 500 cc motor cycle engine driving the front wheels through a chain driven differential with half shafts and French designed constant velocity joints, the only thing the Dragonfly shared in common with the Fedden was Alex Moulton designed rubber suspension.

Healey Duncan Drone, Castle Combe

In order to fund the building of the Dragonfly prototype Duncan Industries bought three Riley powered Healey chassis and curiously chose to modify bodies from a Hillman Minx, Ford Anglia and Ford Popular for each respectively.

A scaled up version of the Dragonfly body was then fitted to an Alvis chassis and 23 further Healey’s were fitted with similarly scaled up Dragonfly saloon bodies plus one convertible as were 29 more Alvis chassis, several Daimler’s, Bentley’s and at least one Allard.

Healey Duncan Drone, Castle Combe

In an effort to encourage British manufacturers to find markets for their products abroad the Government introduced a 66.6% sales tax on vehicles costing more than £1,000 in 1947.

With the Duncan Dragonfly based bodied vehicles all costing far in excess of this Duncan produced a bargain basement Drone body for which the windscreen, passenger seat and spare wheel were all listed as extra’s to keep the price down for the domestic market.

Healey Duncan Drone, Castle Combe

By cutting out every luxury the power to weight ratio of the Drone bodied Healey’s made them ideal for competition and today’s featured Drone was one of four Healey’s that took part in the 1949 Mille Miglia.

This particular car took the start at 6:25 am with James Cohen and Reg Hingett aboard. 35kms later Reg was dead after the car collided with a bridge and while James would eventually be repatriated back to the UK, he too would succumb to his injuries.

Healey Duncan Drone, Castle Combe

Repairs to the 1947 chassis seen here at a Castle Combe Classic & Retro Action Day were not completed until 2013.

Today’s featured car is one of just two Drones believed to have survived from the 15 known to have been built.

Thanks for joining me on this “Tax Minimising Special” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I will be looking at another Indy car. Don’t forget to come back now !

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Racing – FIAT 131 Super Miafiori

FIAT launched it’s 131 model marketed as the 131 Miafiori, after the suburb in Turin where it was built, at the Turin show in 1974.

FIAT 131 Super Miafiori, Auto Italia, Beaulieu,

The 131 Miafiori range that included 2, 4 and 5 door variants, replaced the FIAT 124 range that dated back to 1966.

FIAT 131 Super Miafiori, Auto Italia, Beaulieu,

In 1978 a second series of 131 Miafiori’s was launched that included upgraded exterior and interiors with twin cam engine options for it’s 1.3 and 1.6 litre engines.

FIAT 131 Super Miafiori, Auto Italia, Beaulieu,

Topping the Series 2 range was the performance orientated 131 Racing, also known as the Super Miafiori in the UK, powered by a 2 litre / 122 cui twin cam engine, previously seen in the 124 Spyder, that produced 115 hp.

FIAT 131 Super Miafiori, Auto Italia, Beaulieu,

The Racing featured unique to model either black or orange colour options, quad head lamps, front grill and short ratio 5 speed gearbox and was quoted with a quoted top speed of 110 mph.

FIAT 131 Super Miafiori, Auto Italia, Beaulieu,

Production of the Series 2 131 Miafiori’s continued until 1981.

FIAT 131 Super Miafiori, Auto Italia, Beaulieu,

The example seen in these photograph’s at Auto Italia, Beaulieu several years ago appears to be a RHD Super Miafiori with non UK market Racing badging, according to DVLA Records the car was built in 1979, but not registered in the UK until the 11th of January 2010.

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

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Smooth Operator – Packard 1107 Twelve Roadster #73933

In 1934 the Packard Twelve was available in three chassis lengths with the 1107 sitting twixt the longer 1108 and shorter 1106 with a 142″ wheel base.

Packard 1107 Coupe Roadster, Bonhams, Quail Lodge

By 1934 the 445 cui / 7298 cc engine produced 160hp with the aid of a single Stromberg carburetor.

Packard 1107 Coupe Roadster, Bonhams, Quail Lodge

It is said that the 67° V12 is so smooth that when standing next one idling it is difficult to discern if it is actually running or not.

Packard 1107 Coupe Roadster, Bonhams, Quail Lodge

11th series Packards were fitted with three speed manual transmissions and drum brakes all round.

Packard 1107 Coupe Roadster, Bonhams, Quail Lodge

Chassis #73933 seen in these photographs was restored by Stone Barn Automobile Restorations of Vienna, New Jersey in the mid 1990’s prior to commencing a multiple award winning career on the Concours circuit the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) National Senior First Prize in 2003.

Packard 1107 Coupe Roadster, Bonhams, Quail Lodge

When sold at Bonham’s Quail Lodge Auction in 2014 for US$ 465,000 the was described as having less than 40,000 miles on the clock.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sharing these photograph’s taken at the auction a couple of years ago.

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

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Torrential Drizzle – Odyssey Battery MSA Rally Cross Pembrey

May 1st dawned overcast as I headed down to Pembrey for the third round of the Odyssey Battery MSA Rally Cross Championship, by the time I got there the drizzle was approaching torrential helping to prepare the track for a full day’s entertainment that was scheduled to include no less than 52 starts.

Ford Fiesta, Kevin Procter, Odyssey Battery, MSA Rally Cross Championship, Pembrey

Ford Fiesta driver Kevin Procter seen taking the inside line above, out fumbled his rivals to win the Supercar class.

Suzuki Swift, Tom Llewellin, Odyssey Battery, MSA Rally Cross Championship, Pembrey

Rally Cross debutante Tom Llewellin is seen leading his rivals in the Junior class for Suzuki Swift 1300’s, after finishing second in his first heat Tom led the final from start to finish.

Peugeot 206, Guy  Corner, Odyssey Battery, MSA Rally Cross Championship, Pembrey

Guy Corner is seen above making a splash, in his Peugeot 206 above, on his way to victory in the Super National Class.

Citroën C2, Phil Chicken, Odyssey Battery, MSA Rally Cross Championship, Pembrey

The Super 1600 class was won by Phil Chicken in his #62 Citroën C2 beating the #72 Suzuki Swift driven by Tristan Ovenden.

Citroën Saxo, Graham Rumsey, Odyssey Battery, MSA Rally Cross Championship, Pembrey

Graham Rumsey saw off four Polish challengers to win the Hot Hatch class in his #45 Citroën Saxo beating 2nd place finisher Tomasz Wielgosz in his #1 Peugeot 106 and 3rd place finisher Robert Potyra in his #18 Saxo.

BMW Mini Cooper S, Keifer Hudson, Odyssey Battery, MSA Rally Cross Championship, Pembrey

After getting liberally caked in mud by his fellow competitors in the 1st qualifier for the BMW Mini class Kiefer Hudson seen above, jet washed his #53 Mini down and came back to win the final.

Swift Sport Championship, Odyssey Battery, MSA Rally Cross Championship, Pembrey

The Swift Sport Class final had not one, but four starts after first Aiden Hills rolled his car, then Jeff Hankin followed suit on the second attempt, on the third attempt Bradley Durdin backed into the barriers and finally Nathan Heathcote completed 3 laps in his #55 Swift ahead of Chris Woollett in the #7.

RX 150, Chrissy Palmer, Odyssey Battery, MSA Rally Cross Championship, Pembrey

Chrissy Palmer held off two generations of Llewellin in the Honda Fireblade powered Rage RX150 final beating the younger Ben in the green #7 above and Dad double British Rally Champion David who put on a notably spectacular display in his white example.

Porsche 911, Barry Stewart, Odyssey Battery, MSA Rally Cross Championship, Pembrey

Regular readers might remember the last time I saw Barry Stewart’s spectacular Porsche 911 was at the Brighton Speed Trails a couple of years ago, above Barry is seen leading the field on his way to a win in the Retro class ahead of the Metro 6R4 driven by Rob Gibson and Rear Wheel Drive Ford Escort Mk III driven by Ray Morgan.

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

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Phizackerley Coachworks – Delage DIS Colonial Phizackerley Tourer

Today’s featured Delage DIS Colonial Tourer was built in 1927.

Delage DIS Colonial Tourer, VSCC Spring Start, Silverstone,

It is powered by a 2198 cc / 134 cui variant of the Delage push rod overhead valve four cylinder engine.

Delage DIS Colonial Tourer, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham

According to the blurb on display with this vehicle the body sits on a “Colonial” chassis which is both slightly longer, wider and has a higher ground clearnace than the regular DI, DIS and DISS Delage’s.

Delage DIS Colonial Tourer, VSCC Spring Start, Silverstone,

It would appear the powered chassis was originally shipped to Australia.

Delage DIS Colonial Tourer, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham

Once it got to Sydney coach builder Isaac Phizackerley built and fitted the Tourer bodywork.

Delage DIS Colonial Tourer, VSCC Spring Start, Silverstone,

Phizackerely originally founded the Isaac Phizackerley’s Cycle Works in the 1890’s manufacturing bicycles and cycle tyres.

Delage DIS Colonial Tourer, VSCC Spring Start, Silverstone,

In 1902 Phizackerley built at least two De Dion-Bouton powered single cylinder 6hp cars in 1902 one with an open two seat body and the other with an open four seat body.

Delage DIS Colonial Tourer, VSCC Spring Start, Silverstone,

There after the company seems to have focused on building bodies for chassis from third parties several of which came from Delage in the 1920’s.

Delage DIS Colonial Tourer, VSCC Spring Start, Silverstone,

The car seen in these photograph’s at last years Classic Car Show in Birmingham and at this years VSCC Spring Start was not registered for use on British roads until the 11th of July 2002.

Thanks for joining me on this “Phizackerley Coachworks” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be visiting Wales for my first Rally Cross meeting. Don’t forget to come back now.

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