Tag Archives: 2011

It’s Not A Pick Up Truck – Ferrari 150° Italia

Having snatched World Drivers Championship defeat from the jaws of Victory at the Abu Dahbi Grand Prix in 2010, where Fernando Alonso went into the last race of the season with a 15 point lead over third placed Sebastian Vettel but left 4 points in arrears to the German in the final Championship standings, Ferrari regrouped for 2011 building a new vehicle with the design credited to Aldo Costa and Nicholas Tombazis which was known at its launch as the F150 in celebration of Italy’s 150th unification anniversary.

Ferrari 150° Italia, Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham

Formula One attracts controversy like flies to jam and a large number of jokes by even the most technical minded Formula One anoraks aside it was not long before Ford objected to Ferrari’s use of the trade marked F150 name and eventually Ferrari settled on the 150° Italia in which the ‘°’ stands for the ordinal cento cinquantesimo or one hundred and fiftieth in English.

Ferrari 150° Italia, Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham

Technically Ferrari’s 2011 2.4 litre/146 cui V8 powered challenger was caught on the hop having failed to spot the potential handling benefits of off throttle blown diffusers, a failure which echoed Enzo Ferrari’s assertion that aerodynamics are for teams that cannot build engines.

Ferrari 150° Italia, Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham

As a consequence Alonso was rarely in contention for podium finishes as Red Bull and McLaren who had refined their off throttle blown diffusers, won the opening 8 races of the 2011 season with Sebastian Vettel in the Red Bull winning 6 and Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button driving McLarens winning the remaining two.

Ferrari 150° Italia, Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham

For the ninth race of the season the British Grand Prix Ferrari had managed to persuade all the teams that they should run without off throttle blown diffusers, which basically hooked up an electronic engine programme to wind up the engine speed when the driver was off throttle to force hot air through the exhaust into the diffusers which produced additional downforce when running off throttle through the corners.

Ferrari 150° Italia, Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham

In the prevalent wet conditions which dried through the race Alonso, starting third, managed to beat the Lewis Hamilton driving a McLaren and Sebastian Vettel in his Red Bull to score the Ferrari teams only victory in 2011.

Ferrari 150° Italia, Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham

By the next race the teams despite objections from Ferrari and the Ferrari powered Sauber team reverted to running off throttle blown diffusers in anticipation of a ban on these devices for 2012.

Ferrari 150° Italia, Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham

Ferrari ended up a distant third in the manufactures championship behind Red Bull who scored six further victories to take their 2011 total to 12 and McLaren who scored four further victories in the 19 race season.

Fernando finished the 2011 championship 4th behind Vettel, Jenson Button and Mark Webber who scored just one point ahead of the Spaniard. De facto Ferrari number 2 driver Felipe Massa was lucky to keep his Ferrari seat for 2012 after he finished 6th in the championship 99 points behind Lewis Hamilton having failed finish any higher the 5th all season.

Thanks for joining me on this “It’s Not A Pick Up Truck” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


US Convertibles – Niello Serrano Concours 2011

Thanks to the generosity of Geoffrey Horton today’s images come from the 2011 Niello Serrano Concours held the weekend before last in the El Dorado hills of sunny California. Today I’ll be focusing on a fabulous array of American made convertibles seen at the show.

Cord L29 Phaeton, Niello Serrano Concours

Vehicles manufactured by Cord Corporation were the feature Marque of the event so it was most fitting that grandson of the Cord Corporations founding father E.L. Cord should be seen here in one of the companies original models the 1929 Cord L29 Phaeton, which was the first US built front wheel drive car offered to the American public.

Cord L29 Coupé, Niello Serrano Concours

Of all the photo’s that Geoffrey sent to me this one of a 1930 Cord L29 Coupé with it’s bizarre, even by todays standards headlights and racy two tone paintwork, gets my nomination for car of the show. The front wheel drive L29 was the brainchild of Carl Van Ranst who had previously worked on the successful front wheel drive Miller open wheel racing cars that won that won the Indianapolis 500 on four occasions between 1926 and 1932.

Cord L29 Coupé, Niello Serrano Concours

Continuing on a vaguely Indianapolis related theme Geoffrey tells me this 1931 12 cylinder Cadillac 370A Roadster, was an Indy pace car in 1931. It was pulled out of a barn and restored by the owner 18 months ago.

Auburn Boat Tail Speedster, Niello Serrano Concours

One, of many, things I have learned thanks to these photo’s is that Cord was a brand name of cars manufactured by Auburn a company that ueber salesman E.L. Cord turned around during a leveraged buyout, above is a 1935 Auburn 851 Boat Tail Speedster manufactured just two years before both names went bust in the wake of the Great Depression.

Cord 812 Convertible Coupé,  Niello Serrano

The last model developed by Cord was the headlight popping 810 which had onlookers standing on the running boards of rival manufacturers cars when it was launched in New York in 1936. Rushed development and production schedules meant it gained a bad reliability reputation. For 1937 front wheel drive Cord 810’s were rebadged 812’s and although they had ironed out all of the reliability issues of the previous year the 812 series could not save Cord from financially tanking. This 1937 Cord 812 Convertible Coupe is particularly rare, if I have understood Card lore correctly, it is one of only six that were ordered without the exterior chrome exhausts sticking out of the sides of the bonnet.

Packard Super 8 Convertible, Niello Serrano

Despite the now give away giant bonnet ornament it took me a good half hour to work out that the car above is a 1949 Packard Super 8 Convertible with a pre WW2 bathtub body style.

Dual Ghia, Niello Serrano

I’ll let you see if you can guess what this mystery car is before you reach the end of this blog, this car was highly rated by Time and Life magazines, Good Houskeeping described this model as a ‘social phenomenon’. Designed in Italy but not built by one of the ‘big three’ the car is said to have had 50/50 weight distribution about the axles and counted amongst it’s star owners Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin drove one in the film Kiss Me Stupid and Ronald Reagan allegedly lost his to President Lyndon Johnson in a poker game. This is one of the 99 cars built from 1956 to 1957 from a planned production run of 300.

Buick Le Sabre Convertible, Niello Serrano

I know the designer of my all time favourite Formula One car is a fan of the 1959 Buick Le Saber Convertible all though he would probably prefer the Invicta version in bright red.

Lincoln Continental Convertible, Niello Serrano

Representing the swinging, in the UK anyway, sixties at Niello Serrano were the slab sided 1963 Lincoln Continental Convertible with it’s rear suicide doors, which are all the rage at Rolls Royce these days,

Dodge Dart Convertible, Niello Serrano

and the infinitely more modest 1964 Dodge Dart Convertible, which in optional automatic form had push buttons to select the gears.

The mystery car is the Dual Ghia, designed by Ghia in Italy and built by Dual motors in Detroit with Chrysler running gear.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for his excellent photographs without which todays post would not have been possible.

Thanks for joining me on this US convertible edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil psycho on tyres’ I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at some of the Ferrari’s at Niello Serrano Concours. Don’t forget to come back now !


My Word Is My Bond – Ferrari 250 GT Boano Convertible

Today’s uniquely bodied Ferrari images come straight from the Carmel By The Sea Concours on the Avenue which was held on Tuesday courtesy of GALPOTS regular contributor Geoffrey Horton.

Ferrari 250 GT Boano Convertible

In 1955 a New Yorker Robert Lee set off on a Safari stopping over in Rome for a week on the outward journey. While in Italy Mr Lee went to Modena and visited Enzo Ferrari who suggested that if Mr Lee should ever want to buy a Ferrari he should buy one direct from the factory in Italy.

Mr Lee responded that he did not think a Ferrari would be up to running on the streets of New York, to which Enzo replied “If you buy a Ferrari, I guarantee it will run in New York City”.

Ferrari 250 GT Boano Convertible, Carmel By The Sea

In 1956 Mr Lee saw this 250 GT Convertible on the Ferrari stand at the New York Auto Show, when Mr Lee enquired about the possibility of purchasing it he was informed by Luigi Chinetti, Ferrari’s New York representative, that the car was not for sale and would be returned to Modena after the show.

Mr Lee then sent Enzo a Telegram reminding him of their meeting and offering $ 9,500 dollars, all he had, for the Convertible.

Ferrari 250 GT Boano Convertible, Carmel By The Sea

Soon after on the instructions of Mr Ferrari, Mr Chinetti asked Mr Lee to bring him a cashiers cheque for $9,500 and the worlds only 250 GT Boano Convertible, which is alleged to have cost $20,000 to build, would be his.

55 years and two restorations later this unique car still belongs to Mr Lee, possibly making it the worlds oldest Ferrari in continuous original ownership.

Jaguar XK150,  Carmel By The Sea

My thanks again to Geoffrey Horton, seen above with his sister Vanessa and XK140, for today’s photographs, I hope you will join me in congratulating Geoffrey on winning second place at the Carmel By The Sea Councours on The Avenue.

Hope you have enjoyed this Boano Convertible edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ and that you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a large Bristol. Don’t forget to come back now !