Tag Archives: 400

CAD/CAM Body – Mitchell Special MkII

The last in the current series of Bristol Special blogs features the Mitchell Special Mk II concieved by Andy Mitchell of Mitchell Motors in Wiltshire as the ultimate Bristol.

Mitchell Special Mk II, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe,

In 2008 Andy started by designing and building an FIA safety compliant space frame which makes use of axles, suspension and and steering from a wrecked Bristol 401.

Mitchell Special Mk II, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe,

The block for the 1971cc / 120 cui motor was sourced from an even older Bristol 400. Apart from the block and cylinder head castings everything else is modern competition spec running to electronic ignition and an Eaton supercharger which brings the power up to 200hp.

Mitchell Special Mk II, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe,

With the chassis and motor completed Andy approached an acquaintance Stuart Brown to design the body. Stuart had just finished 3D imaging every component of a Bugatti type 35 for The Bugatti Trust and was in possession of all the 3D imaging software needed to design a body for Andy on his computer.

Mitchell Special Mk II, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe,

Andy started by taking Stuart of 50 50’s period sports cars he liked and another 50 of vehicles from the same period which he did not like.

Mitchell Special Mk II, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe,

With the necessary measurements of the chassis Stuart came up with a design that went through 21 stages of refinement in consultation with Andy to arrive at the final design seen on the car today.

Mitchell Special Mk II, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe,

It took just seven months for the body to be completed starting from Andy’s initial consultation with Stuart, which also included e-mailing the 3D images to woodworkers who fed the information into their CAM (computer aided manufacture) machine which cut a full size plywood buck around which Andy could from the aluminium body.

In May 2010 Andy started taking part in competitive VSCC (Vintage Sports Car Club) and AMOC (Aston Martin Owners Club ) events with his Mitchell Special Mk II, seen in these photographs at the Autumn Classic meeting at Castle Combe, recording at least one win and several placings.

Thanks for joining me on this “CAD/CAM Body” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at an Eagle. Don’t forget to come back now !


Aerodynamic Jewel – Ferrari 400 Superamerica Aerodynamico Coupé S1 #3221SA

After weeks of being adrift thanks to a few server issues it feels great to be finally back up to speed with to speed with today’s Ferrari Friday blog. My thanks to everyone for their patience and understanding during this challenging time for GALPOT.

Ferrari 400 Superamerica, Blackhawk, Museum

The Ferrari 400 Superamerica was launched in 1959 with a 340hp 4 litre / 244 cui Columbo V12 which replaced the Lampredi V12 that had been the mainstay of the America series Ferrari’s going all the way back to 1950.

Ferrari 400 Superamerica, Blackhawk, Museum

Chassis #3221SA the 18th of 25 such cars built was delivered to a French customer in 1962 and for a while belonged to the Marquis de St. Didier and later, in the 1980’s, to the President of Cartier Alain Dominique Perin.

Ferrari 400 Superamerica, Blackhawk, Museum

Pininfarina offered Coupé, Cabriolet and Spider bodies for the 400 Superamerica Series 1 which was produced until 1962 when it was replaced by Series 2 of which 22 were built up until 1964.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sharing his photographs taken at the Blackhawk Museum.

Thanks for joining me on this “Aerodynamic Jewel” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a Formula 5000 car that unexpectedly beat a top drawer Formula One field. Don’t forget to come back now !


Hot Rover #2 – MG ZS

The MG ZS was the second prong of Rover MG’s three pronged attack on the market for hot vehicles launched in 2001 alongside the MG ZR I looked at last week.

MG ZS, Goodwood Revival

The ancestry of the MG ZS can be traced back to fifth generation Honda Civic, the floor pan of which Rover used to build the Rover 400 model which when face lifted became the Rover 45.

MG ZS, Goodwood Revival

The ZS was made available with a range of tuned motors from the Rover 45 and a tuned 175hp version of the 2.5 litre / 152 cui V6 from the larger Rover 75.

MG ZS, Goodwood Revival

The 2001 vehicle seen here at the Goodwood Revival last year is the model topping ZS 180 with the 175 hp V6 that gives the ZS a rest to 60 mph time 7.3 seconds and top speed of 139 mph. The ZS 180 has larger brakes discs and brake calipers than all of the other ZS models.

MG ZS, Goodwood Revival

The Honda based chassis pan with double wishbone front suspension and multi link rear suspension proved eminently adaptable to switch from optimised for comfort settings required for Rover 45 customers to optimised for handling settings required for MG ZS customers which along with the ZS steering came in for praise from press when launched.

MG ZS, Goodwood Revival

The large rear spoiler was standard on ZS 180 models up until 2004 when the model was face lifted with a much smarter body kit.

Thanks for joining me on this “Hot Rover #2” edition of “Gettin a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t for get to come back now !


Meridian Date – Bristol Concours d’Elegance

Bristol C'dE, Greenwich

Yesterday I travelled 2 degrees, 35 mins 45.25 seconds East to the Meridian line at Greenwich in London with Florian, my guest from France, to see the Bristol Concour’s d’Elegance, where a fine selection of Bristol Cars and a single Fraser Nash BMW, representing over 60 years of automotive history was accumulating in the grounds of the Old Naval College.

Frazer Nash BMW 321, Bristol C'dE, Greenwich

Oldest car at the show was this 1939 Frazer Nash BMW 321, Frazer Nash were in partnership with the Bristol Aircraft Company when the latter diversified into the automotive market after WW2.

Bristol 400, Bristol C'dE, Greenwich

Several Bristol 400‘s, the manufacturers first model, were present all in immaculate condition, this 1971cc, 120 cui six cylinder being maintained by Bristol Owners Club (BOC) member Derek Hughes.

Bristol 402, Bristol C'dE, Greenwich

Among many Bristol models I saw for the first time was the 402 of which only 23 examples were built, this one belonging to Richard Weale.

Arnolt Bristol, Bristol C'dE, Greenwich

I know the father of one GALPOT regular used to race an Arnolt Bristol so it was a particular thrill to see and above all hear this car being started up by Kenneth Andrén who brought his car over from Sweden.

Bristol 406, Bristol C'dE, Greenwich

There were several Bristol 406’s, which featured roof mounted indicator lights, present this one belonging to Edward Anderson.

Bristol 407, Bristol C'dE, Greenwich

Chrysler supplied the motor’s for all Bristol models starting with the 407 in 1961, this is the 6277 cc / 383 cui big block Chysler B series V8 fitted to the 411 Series 2 belonging to Jamie Davenport.

Bristol 603, Bristol C'dE, Greenwich

In 1976 the 603 model was introduced a car that owed no heritage at all to the Bristol 407 that had been continually upgraded from 1961 and formed the basis of a succession of new models. This is the cockpit of the 603E belonging to Fergus Taylor-Gregg.

Bristol Blenhiem, Bristol C'dE, Greenwich

Newest of the Bristol’s present was the 2009 Blenhiem Series 4 of Richard Levine.

Bristol 407 Viotti, Bristol C'dE, Greenwich

91 year old Bristol Works Director, until the factory closed earlier this year, the sprightly Syd Lovesy was amongst those who handed out the prizes at the end of the day. Syd is seen here with Richard Vaughan and the unique 1963 Bristol Viotti 407 styling exercise that once belonged to comic actor Peter Sellers.

Bristol C'dE, Greenwich

Concours d’Elegance award winning cars included the 400 of Ashley James, the 403 of John Manley, the 405 of Cyril Milward, the 411 Series 2 of Jamie Davenport, a 412, the Arnolt of Kenneth Andrén, and the last one I can positively identify in the line the Fraser Nash BMW 321.

Arnolt Bristol, Bristol C'dE, Greenwich

Car of the day for me was definitely the Arnolt, hats off to Kenneth bring this car over from Sweden, thanks to everyone at the Bristol Owners Club who made this a day for Florian and I to remember.

Thanks for joining me on this Meridian edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’, I hope you’ll join me again tomorrow to see how the Aluminium Buick 215 V8 came to impact the British motor industry. Don’t forget to come back nowhttps://www.psychoontyres.co.uk/powered-under-licence-rover-p5b-3-5-litre-coupe/ !


How many are there – Bristol 400 Cabriolet ?

I have made a bit of a mess of my original idea of celebrating the Bristol Aeroplane Companies Centenary celebration by setting out to post a blog about each model in the order they were released with the most basic mistake of confusing a 401 with a 403, now that has been rectified I find there was a version of the Bristol 400 which I did not even know about until John Lomas kindly pointed out I had a photograph of it !

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This Bristol 400 cabriolet appears to be one of two built that never entered full production. If I had known just how rare it was when I took the photograph I would have waited for an opportunity to take a photograph of the front of the car, but that as they say will now have to wait for another day.

It would appear that Pinin Farina also built a Bristol 400 convertible but director Tony Crook cancelled any plans for it to go into production allegedly because of the inferior quality of the bodywork. According to the Bristol Owners Club, despite this decision there may be as many as 10 Pinin Farina Bristol 400’s. A quick search on Google images reveals one of the Pinin Farina 400 Cabrilolets to be a dark blue while another is eggshell blue.

Slightly off topic it was lovely to see Kevin Harvick keeping his composure after his pit crew dropped lug nut yesterday at Phoenix. Somehow Kevin managed to come back from 19th to 6th behind Jimmy Johnson and now sits 46 points behind Hamlin who after leading most of the race ran low on fuel at the end and wound up coming in just 12th.

Kevin is certainly the underdog going into Homestead Miami next weekend, but he certainly won’t be the first underdog going into the final race of the season to lift the Cup. Go Harvick ! Go #29 ! Go Happy !

Finally a word to some visitors from Germany, schoen Gruss an alle Morgan Freunde von http://www.morgan-club.de die dem letztens ‘Gettin’ a lil psycho on tyres’ besucht haben.

Thanks for popping by, looking forward to tomorrow’s blog already, don’t forget to come back now !


Happy 100th Birthday British and Colonial Aeroplane Company, Ltd !

What better way to celebrate the start of my blogging career, than with a centenary celebration in honour of the company that started my local exclusive vehicle manufacturer, The Bristol Car Company.

Unfortunately I missed the celebrations at Filton this weekend where 200 odd Bristol’s, nearly 5% of all Bristol’s ever made, were on display but have already made arrangements to be at the 101st birthday party.

Bristol 400, Prescott

Above is a photo taken at the Prescott VSCC meeting back in August of what I believe to be one of the 487 Bristol 400’s made between 1947 and 1950.

The Bristol 400 featured a 1971 cc ohv straight 6 which, along with the chassis and bodywork, was based on the pre war BMW 327.

Some great snaps, by my friend Tim Murray, from the centenary celebrations can be seen at The Nostalgia Forum here.

Hope you enjoyed my first blog and as they used to say on one of my favourite TV show’s ‘y’all come back now ! Hear !’