Tag Archives: Art

Niki’s Ford – Ford Capri RS 3100

With apologies to my Rowdy friends who will have read much of this before, I hope you will agree that there is good reason for reposting this blog today. The Ford Capri RS 3100 was the final 1974 racing evolution of the Mk1 Ford Capri that was launched in 1969. It is thought that four RS3100’s were built by the Ford Competitions department in Cologne, Germany.

Ford Capri RS3100, Goodwood FoS

The racing debut of the RS3100 appears to have been by the Harry Theodoracopoulos team in the the 1974 Atlanta Six Hours where Harry and team mate Horst Kwech qualified 32nd but are not recorded as finishing the race.

A week later Ford’s Cologne factory team entered two RS3100’s at the Nurburgring Eifelrennen in Germany, where one time German NASCAR racer, ‘dega 1971, Rolf Stommelen & Toine Hezemans scored a one, two in the German Touring car championship.

Ford Capri RS3100, Goodwood FoS

Power comes from a 440 hp Cosworth developed GAA quad cam 24 valve V6 motor, a similar type was also used in European Formula 5000 races with some success. To improve engine bat aerodynamics and weight distribution the radiators were mounted ahead of the rear wheels.

Despite it’s high state of tune the RS3100 was generally outclassed by the BMW CSL ‘Batmobiles’ much as it’s predecessors the Capri RS 2600 and Capri RS had been in 1973.

Ford Capri RS3100, Goodwood FoS

This vehicle appear’s painted up at Goodwood as the #3 Niki Lauda used at the two Norisring races on the 15th of September 1974 where he finished 6th and 20th.

Toine Hezemans was Lauda’s team mate that day in the #4 entry who in a symmetrical reversal of fortunes came in 16th in the first race and 2nd in the second race.

Ford Capri RS3100, Goodwood FoS

Not sure how Niki Lauda who was in the first year of a Ferrari contract was allowed to race for the work’s Ford team given that just a decade earlier Enzo Ferrari and Ford had spectacularly fallen out over a deal in which Ferrari was supposed to sell out to Ford. These days it is extremely rare for a contracted Formula One driver to be allowed to race in any other category.

Ford Capri RS3100, Goodwood FoS

The RS 3100 differed visibly from it smaller engined Capri RS 2600 and Capri RS brethren with the addition of this large Gurney flap on the back.

I hope you will join me in wishing one of my all time hero’s Niki Lauda a very Happy Birthday.

Thanks for joining me on the Birthday Boy edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again tomorrow don’t forget to come back now !


Pop Up Swansong – Ferrari 456M

The Ferrari 456 launched in 1995 was the long awaited V12 powered 2+2 replacement for the Ferrari 412 GT which had been out of production since 1989.

Ferrari 456M, Silverstone Classic

During the intervening 6 years if you wanted a 2+2 Ferrari you had to make do with the mid engine 8 cylinder Mondial 2+2.

Ferrari 456M, Silverstone Classic

Ferrari reentered the front engine rear wheel drive GT market with a V12 that owed nothing to the Ferrari 412 but was derived from the 65 degree Ferrari Dino V6 motor which in V12 form with 4 valves per cylinder and two overhead camshafts could produce an unstressed 436hp.

Ferrari 456M, Silverstone Classic

In 1998 the 456 was upgraded to 456M (Modificata) spec, externally distinguishable by the fog lights mounted in the grill, like the 1999 example seen here earlier this year at the Siverstone Classic.

Ferrari 456M, Silverstone Classic

456M spec motors were said to be good for an even smother 442hp thanks in part to a change in the firing order of the 12 cylinders and in part to the improved Bosch electronic engine management system.

Ferrari 456M, Silverstone Classic

There are a number of extremely rare variations on the 456 platform, these include two four door saloon / sedans built for the mysterious Nafsas Al Khaddaja allegedly resident in Belgium.

Prince Jefri Bolkiah of Brunei is said to have ordered 7 456 GT Venice 4 door shooting brakes, but found he only had $9 million dollars in spare change when it was time to pay for them so only took six of them home without any change.

The Sultan of Brunei had two 456 Spyders built while Mike Tyson had an aftermarket Spyder conversion on his.

Finally there is Shaquille O’Neal’s example which features a number of aftermarket modifications to accommodate his 7′ 1″ frame including much longer seat rails and a unique, for a 456, targa top.

Ferrari 456M, Silverstone Classic

The 456M was the last Ferrari to feature pop up headlights which were no longer necessary at the time the car was launched in 1995, but remained since they had been a requirement at the time the design of the model commenced. In all 3,289 456 variants had been produced when production switched to the 612 Scaglietti in 2003.

Fellow blogger Jay Wollenweber spotted the older 458 model on the sunny streets of San Ramon recently.

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

PS Don’t forget …

Automobiliart GALPOT Seasonal Quiz

Automobiliart, Paul Chenard

December 26th – January 2nd

Win a set of Paul Chenard Greetings Cards

Sports-GT cars set, Paul Chenard

Set 1 Sports & GT Cars

Phil Hill, Sharknose Ferrari Set, Paul Chenard

Set 2 Phil Hill World Drivers Championship 50th Anniversary Edition

1934 GP Season Card set, Paul Chenard

Set 3 1934 Season

1950s Grand Prix Engines

Set 4 Grand Prix Engines of the 1950’s


Mike Hawtorns racecars Card set, Paul Chenard

Set 5 Mike Hawthorn’s Race Cars

The Automobiliart GALPOT Seasonal Quiz will comprise 8 categories.

Overall winner chooses one set of Paul Chenard Greetings Cards from the five sets shown above.

The cards measure 15.24cm x 11.43cm, come in packs of 12 with 3 copies of 4 designs in each set, plus A6 envelopes.

Which set will you choose ?

The free to enter Automobiliart GALPOT Seasonal Quiz will run from December 26th – January 2nd Entries close January 8th 2012, Winner announced January 16th 2012.

Full details on December 26th at GALPOT.

Looking for Automotive Seasonal Gift Idea’s? Visit Automobiliart Now !


Beware HMRC – Ford Model A

After 18 solid years of solid market dominance the Tin Lizzie Ford Model T with over 15 million units sold world wide was reaching the end of it’s marketable life as the worlds truly massed produced car, and despite some resistance from it’s creator, Henry Ford, a replacement was designed with the same attention to detail as to how it would be mass produced.

Ford Model A, Atwell Wilson Motor Museum

The Ford Model A was launched in 1927 with an improved 4 cylinder 201 cui / 3.3 litre engine, conventional clutch, brake, accelerator foot pedal arrangement, with a variety of colours for a variety of passenger and commercial body styles.

Ford Model A, Atwell Wilson Motor Museum

Despite being in production for a relatively, compared to the Tin Lizzie, short time of just 4 years from 1927 to 1931 over 4.5 million Model A’s were produced. With production being continued in Russia under Licence by GAZ from 1932 to 1936.

Ford Model A, Atwell Wilson Motor Museum

However not all was rosy for the Model A in Europe where cars were taxed on either engine size or horsepower or in the case of His Majesties Revenue & Customs a formula involving both.

Ford Model A, Atwell Wilson Motor Museum

As a result of the punitive taxation rules European manufacturers had specialised in building lighter cars with smaller engines and the Model A did not stack up well against the light weights, even less so when the Model a was offered with a smaller 122 CUI / 2 litre motor because the smaller motor had a much higher fuel consumption.

Ford Model A, Atwell Wilson Motor Museum

The Model A became the first Ford manufactured entirely in Britain when Ford’s new plant at Dagenham was opened in October 1931. However this 1929 model, seen here at the Atwell Wilson Museum will have been assembled from a kit in the same facility at Old Trafford in Manchester as the earlier ‘British Built’ Model T’s.

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


A Clockwork Orange – Adams Probe 16

For anyone, like me, who was a kid during the fierce competition to conquer space through the 1960’s part of the vision for the future included mandatory white jump suits, jet packs and incredibly cool cars like the Adams Probe 16 seen here at the Goodwood Festival of Speed earlier this year.

Adams Probe 16, Goodwood Festival of Speed

This design came about as a result of an investigation into the extremes of styling by Dennis and Peter Adams who are credited as having introducing a number of modifications to the Marcos GT which became the Marcos Fastback GT.

Adams Probe 16, Goodwood Festival of Speed

With a roof line at just 34″ above the ground, that is a full 6″ shorter than the Le Mans winning Ford GT 40 which took it’s name from it’s 40″ height, access to the Probe 16 is effected through a slide back glass roof panel.

Adams Probe 16, Goodwood Festival of Speed

It would appear that the three Probe 16’s were manufactured at the the old Marcos factory at Bradford on Avon in Wiltshire, power came from a mid mounted 4 cylinder motor sourced from, an at the time very common, front wheel drive Austin 1800.

Adams Probe 16, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Winning the award for the best British Styling Exercise at the London Motor Show in 1969 did not raise the public profile of this vehicle enough for it to go into volume production. Though four similar Probe 2001’s were manufactured by the Probe Motor Company and WT Nugent Engineering between 1970 and 1972. Up to 48 further vehicles which used some of the Probe 16 body moulds are thought to have been built under the Centaur brand.

Adams Probe 16, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Of the three original Probe 16’s one went to Wichita Lineman singer song writer Jim Webb, by way of complete contrast another Probe 16 went to Sunshine Of Your Love singer song writer Jack Bruce. Jack passed his Probe 16 on to Mountain drummer on the Nantucket Sleigh Ride Cody Laing.

Adams Probe 16, Goodwood Festival of Speed

However AB/4 seen here is arguably the most famous of the trio of Probe 16’s having played the role of Durango 95 in the Stanley Kubric ultra violence shock flic A Clockwork Orange. After its flirtation with the silver screen AB/4 spent many years in the Pollock Auto Showcase.

Adams Probe 16, Goodwood Festival of Speed

AB/4 still painted it’s original yellow, was repatriated in 1987 and featured in the pseudo comedy television series Top Gear at the beginning of the century.

More detailed information about all of the Probe 16 related cars can be found on the probe2001.com website, on the linked page some photos of AB/4 can be seen of the car being driven around Brands Hatch. Thanks to The Nostalgia Forum reader MCS the driver of the car at Brands Hatch has been identified as most likely being Ray Allen who immortalised his place in the annals of motor racing history for winning the worlds very first Formula Ford race.

My thanks to MCS and everyone else who contributed to the Adams Probe 16 thread at The Nostalgia Forum.

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


Designed By An Accountant #2 – Lotus Elite

After he had finished with his Lotus VI PGP182 complete with a body of his own design Peter Kirwan Taylor purchased one of the last Doretti sports cars and ‘took the back off’ and turned it into a Coupé too meet his needs.

Lotus Elite, Castle Combe

A couple of years later he was talking to Peter Lumsden and Paul Fletcher who planned on compete at Le Mans in 1956 with a Lotus XI and he suggested that they might fair better with a Coupé body. Peter K-T put the idea to Colin Chapman who responded that they would be better starting with a fresh design from scratch with the idea of designing of designing a car that would be competitive on the race track and be a viable proposition for ‘driving to the office’.

Lotus Elite, Castle Combe

As on his special bodied Lotus VI Peter again opted for designing a car with a high waist line but now with an integral roof influenced by the design of his Doretti Coupé, the design was finalised in collaboration with Frank Costin, who not only had developed a special bodied Lotus Mark VIII but was also an aerodynamicist at the aircraft manufacturer de Havilland where Peter coincidentally was also working in his day time capacity as an accountant.

Lotus Elite, Castle Combe

The uncluttered design has a drag coefficient of just 0.29 that compares favourably with vehicles being designed and manufactured today. The Elite, as the new Mark 14 became known, features a glass fibre monocoque with a steel sub frame to carry the engine and front suspension. Power came from a 75 hp Coventry Climax four cylinder engine which was inclined to lower the bonnet / hood line.

Lotus Elite, Castle Combe

On the track the Elite was a huge success with six class wins scored at Le Mans, two of them including winning the Index of Thermal Efficiency, former ESPN commentator David Hobbs fitted his with a special 4 speed automatic gearbox took 15 wins from 18 starts during 1961 and ’62 and in the Antipodes Leo Geoghegan won the 1960 Australian GT championship also driving an Elite.

Lotus Elite, Castle Combe

This particular well known example, seen here at Castle Combe, was first registered in 1962 and now belongs to a fellow member of the Bristol Pegasus Motor Club who restored it after it had been lying in bits for 20 years.

Thanks for joining me on this second accountants edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’ I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at an award winning orange movie star. Don’t forget to come back now !


Road Legal Ferrari’s A Brief History – Niello Serrano Concours

For Ferrari Friday GALPOT continues yesterdays perusal of vehicles on display at the Niello Serrano Concours thanks to Geoffrey Hortons photographs.

Ferrari 250 GTE 2 + 2, Niello Serrano Concours

First up a Ferrari 250 GT/E 2+2, one these models was Enzo Ferrari’s daily driver, early GALPOT readers may remember such a vehicle appearing in a previous blog, albeit modified into a replica 250 GT SWB Competizione.

Ferrari 275 GTS, Niello Serrano Concours

More exclusive, one of just 200 models built between 1965 and 1968, is this Ferrari 275 GTS powered by a 3.3 litre / 201 cui V12.

Ferrari Dino, Niello Serrano Concours

The V6 Ferrari Dino had been in production for two years and two distinct series from 1969 to 1971 before the first Series III Dino’s were manufactured for the US market, this is one of 1,431 Series III Dinos produced between 1971 and 1974.

Ferrari 365 GTC/4, Niello Serrano Concours

Manufactured between 1971 and 1972 the Ferrari 365 GTC/4 is a 2+2. One of the 500 examples produced appeared in the 1977 film Herbie Goes To Monte Carlo alongside several other Ferraris including a slightly more powerful 365 GTB/4 Daytona with which the GTC/4 shares a common chassis.

Ferrari 328 GTS, Niello Serrano Concours

Representing Maranello’s prancing black horse for the 1980’s at Niello Serrano was this Ferrari 328 GTS of which some 7400 were manufactured between 1985 and 1989.

Ferrari 550, Niello Serrano Concours

Ferrari returned to manufacturing motor cars with the engine in front of the driver in 1996 with the beefy 550. With a boot / trunk large enough to carry a set of golf clubs the Ferrari 550 was turned into a handy racer at Le Mans by the likes of Prodrive.

Ferrari 360, Niello Serrano Concours

Twentieth model in Ferraris catalogue of street legal exotics is the Ferrari 360 a model produced from 1999 – 2005 which you may remember from an earlier blog was made available with an optional Tubi Style exhaust to provide extra horsepower and amplify the sound.

Ferrari F430, Niello Serrano Concours

With a 200 mph top speed the Ferrari F430 that replaced the 360 in 2004 arguably had no need of gimmicks like optional Tubi Style exhausts. It looks good, sounds good and goes fast, pretty much everything one could want from a Ferrari except of course it’s replacement the F458 Italia.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sharing the delights of the California Concours season with us at GALPOT, I look forward to seeing what motoring delights he will find next year.

Thanks for joining me for Ferrari Friday, I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at an innovative Lotus with a body designed by Peter Kirwan-Taylor. 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 !