Tag Archives: Arnold

AWDC Britpart Safari Championship R7 – Walters Arena, Neath

Last October I popped across the Severn Bridge to visit Walters Arena, Neath a disused quarry, for the 7th round of the All Wheel Drive Club (AWDC) Britpart Safari Championship, due to a number of circumstances immediately after the event I managed to loose my camera’s memory card before I had down loaded the images somewhere between Neath, London and Bristol which were my next ports of call in the following 24 hours. Last weekend the memory card turned up so here is my belated blog.

Land Rover Tomcat, Rob Bool, Walters Arena, Neath

I was alerted to the AWDC Britpart Safari Championship at last years Castle Combe Rally Day where several competitors gave impressive demonstrations on a make shift off road course. Above the Land Rover Tomcat of Rob Bool is seen on his way to a second place finish in class.

MG Metro 6R4, Ivan Dudley, Walters Arena, Neath

I believe Ivan Dudley has built several space frame MG miniMetro 6R4’s with BMW M3 engines for different off road competitions, he is seen above on his way to a 14th place overall finish.

Mitsubishi Milner, Colin Davies, Walters Arena, Neath

There are several chassis manufacturers I have not heard of before I believe the vague interpretation of a Mitsubishi Pick Up above sits on a Milner chassis built in Derbyshire which could be powered by any number of motors different motors including, 5 litre / 302 cui Ford Coyote or BMW M3 to name a few, Colin Davies is seen above on his way to a 10th place finish overall.

Land Rover Milner Evoque, Wyn Williams, Walters Arena, Neath

The Range Rover Evoque likeness above driven by Wyn Williams to a 4th place finish overall also sits on a Milner chassis.

Peugeot Simbugini, Oliver Arnold, Walters Arena, Neath

Oliver Arnold is seen above heading for a 3rd place finish in his Peugeot 206 likeness I have no idea what kind of chassis the car has, if you know please do not hesitate ti chip in below.

Mitsubishi Milner R5, Chris Bird, Mitsubishi Milner, Chris Bird, Britcar Safari Championship R7, Walters Arena, Neath

Chris and co driver John Bird are seen above on their way to a win in their Mitsubishi Milner V8 after recovering from a stop on the opening stage.

Two participants were taken to hospital with non life threatening injuries from the event, emphasising how tough a discipline the AWDC Safari Championship is, details of this years series which kicked off on March 20th can be found on this link.

Thanks for joining me on this “AWDC Britpart Safari Championship R7” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at the last in the current series of Camaro’s. Don’t forget to come back now !


Rodney’s Racer – Warrior Bristol

Between 1952 and 1953 Rodney Nuckley, believed to be related to one of the directors of the Warrior Tap & Die Company in Hertfordshire, was carving out a winning reputation as a driver of Cooper Cars in the open wheel Formula 3 and Formula 2 series, particularly in Scandinavia. He crashed his Cooper Bristol Formula 2 car at the end of season Snetterton meeting in October 1953.

Rodney, who had driven under the Ecurie Richmond banner, commissioned engineer and Ecurie Richmond mechanic Bernard Roger to design a 2 litre sports car chassis using the Bristol engine and transmission from the Cooper.

The Warrior chassis featured de Dion rear suspension and Cooper 4 lug wheels, the sinuous body is said to have been the handy work of Williams and Pritchard.

Warrior Bristol, Sonoma Historics

Known race records for the Warrior show that Formula 3 driver Roger Biss drove the Warrior on it’s debut at Siverstone in May 1954 to a 4th place finish.

Rodney’s only outing in the car, appears to have been, at the British Grand Prix meeting at the same venue two months later where he recorded a 9th place finish (3rd in class), soon after winning at least once more in a Formula 3 race run at Västkustloppet in Sweden in July 1954 Rodney appears to have stopped racing.

Roger Biss then appears to have taken over ownership and the driving duties of the Warrior scoring best finishes of 2nd at Brands Hatch and Silverstone in 1955.

Warrior Bristol, Sonoma Historics

By August of 1955 the Warrior was acquired by JD Lomas and from the only known results appears to have won the 2 litre sports car race at Aintree on the cars debut and finished at the some venue on the same day in the handicap event.

The Warriors next owner, Bernie Arnold, took the car to Macau where it appeared in the 1956,’57 and ’58 Macau Grand Prix and in 1960 Bernie won the Johore Coronation Grand Prix driving the Warrior.

When the Bristol motor expired Bernie replaced it with a Jaguar motor and in that form Tim Robertson drove the car to win the sports car event at the 1970 1970 Singapore Grand Prix.

Warrior Bristol, Sonoma Historics

The Jaguar motor was replaced with an original spec Bristol motor when the Warrior was restored by Ian Boughton in Western Australia after he bought it in 1978.

The Warrior painted red remained in Australia from the 1970’s until 1999 when Dick Willis sold it to Jack Perkins in California.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sharing his photo’s of the Warrior Bristol which were taken at Sonoma Historics earlier this year and to Dick Willis and everyone who contributed to the Rodney Nuckey thread at The Nostalgia Forum.

Thanks for joining me on this “Rodney’s Racer” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again for the story behind a unique Formula 5000 car tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !

PS Soon after this blog was posted Cooper997 posted a press cutting from Motor Racing December 1953 on The Nostalgia Forum which reports the build of the Warrior and goes on to say that Rodney and Bernard projected building a Formula One Car with a “modified Lagonda (David Brown type) engine.


Black Badge Myth – Lotus Europa #54/2108

In 1966 Lotus introduced the Lotus Europa known as Type 46 which was apparently born out of Colin Chapman’s attempt to win the Ford contract to build Ford’s Le Mans challenger which went to Lola and eventually became known as the GT40.

Lotus Europa S2, Race Retro

The Europa came with a mid mounted Renault engine and gearbox, of the type usually found in the Renault 16, albeit boosted from 52 hp to 82 hp mounted on a steel back bone chassis with a fiberglass body bonded to the chassis.

Lotus Europa S2, Race Retro

A racing version of the Europa, Type 47 was also built which was intended to replace the Lotus 7, which it never did. In April 1968 Lotus introduced the Europa S2 which used the same running gear and chassis as the original but featured electric window’s, fully adjustable seats, polished wood facia and the body was now secured to the chassis by bolts in place of the resin bonding, this package of refinements were sufficient for Lotus to give the Europa S2 a new internal Type number 54.

Lotus Europa S2, Race Retro

The 1969 Europa S2 seen here fetched over £16,000 at the recent Silverstone Auction held at Race Retro. Interestingly this car was advertised as a Black Badge Car, which romantics would have you believe was something to do with a myth allegedly marking the death of Jim Clark in 1968 when in fact the truth is considerably more mundane.

Lotus Europa S2, Race Retro

According to the late Graham Arnold Lotus Marketing Director in 1968 the Black Badge Elan’s and Europa’s came about because Graham arranged for the production of a batch of black ‘Lotus’ badges because he ‘thought’ they would look classier and would not clash like the yellow and green ‘Lotus’ badges did with the red white and gold ‘Gold Leaf‘ colours carried by many road going Lotus models at the time. Colin Chapman did not approve of the new badges and vetoed their use. Subsequently some of these badges however did find their way on to various cars not least the press fleet for which Mr Arnold was responsible, causing him to attract the ire from Mr Chapman who thought Mr Arnold had fitted the black badges in contradiction to Mr Chapman’s wishes.

Subsequently replica black badges have found their way on to owners cars often as a mark of respect to Jim Clark but these badges were never sanctioned officially and should not attract any kind of premium if fitted.

Thanks for joining me on this “Black Badge Myth” edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Two Tone Paint Standard – Lotus 36 Elan Sprint

It is well known in the motor trade that you know a model is coming to the end of it’s life when the limited editions and special paint jobs start appearing.

Lotus Elan Sprint, Oulton Park

Falling Elan S4 sales and the suggestion that the Elan was falling behind the competition in a group test may have led Lotus Sales Director Graham Arnold suggesting that a revamped Elan be launched with a paint job derived from the Gold Leaf Team Lotus Grand Prix cars which were about to seal the teams forth World Constructors Championship in 1970.

Lotus Elan Sprint, Oulton Park

The Elan Sprint was also given a new big valve head that is said to have been developed in just 10 days which boosted power from 115 to 125 hp. The Webber carburetors of Elan Sprint motor did not need the power bulge, required by the earlier S4 model Stromberg carburetors, in the bonnet / hood though early examples like the one seen here at Oulton Park are thought to have been fitted with bonnets from the previous S4 series to use up the surplus stock.

Lotus Elan Sprint, Oulton Park

The badge on the wing celebrates World Constructors Championship victories in 1963, ’65, ’68 and ’70, this badge on the last Sprint models produced between November 1972 and May ’73 included a fifth 1972 championship victory.

Lotus Elan Sprint, Oulton Park

It is suggested in some circles that the gold stripes between the two tone paintwork were applied to cover quality issues where the two colours meet, however the Gold Leaf Grand Prix cars on which the Elan Sprint paint scheme is based also featured a gold stripe twixt the red and white colours. Sprints could be ordered in single colours, at additional cost.

Lotus Elan Sprint, Oulton Park

When Autocar tested the Elan Sprint in 1971 they liked the refinement, speed and handling but were not so keen on the ride, cramped cockpit or heating and ventilation.

Lotus Elan Sprint, Oulton Park

It is thought 1353 Elan Sprints were built between January 1971 and March 1973 when Elan production ceased because the model did not meet new regulation requirements introduced for 1974 in US and European Markets.

Thanks for joining me on this ‘Two Tone Paint Standard’ edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !