Tag Archives: Bristol Pegasus Motor Club

Classics @ Autumn Classic – Castle Combe

Today’s post looks at some of the non combatants seen at Castle Combe’s Autumn Classic meeting a couple of weeks ago.

Wolseley Hornet, Crayford, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe,

The story behind the 57 1966 Wolseley Hornet Crayford convertibles has all the makings of a great movie seeing as it involves a global baked bean brand, an exclusive deal with a company operating out of two private garages in London and a nudist colony, the rest of the details will have to wait for a future blog.

FIAT 850 Coupé, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

At my very first race meeting out in Zambia one of the more unlikely competitors drove a FIAT 850 Coupé like the 1969 example above on the Bristol Pegasus Motor Club stand.

Aston Martin DB Mk III FHC, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

The 1959 Aston Martin Fixed Head Coupé with a Tickford notch body is an extremely rare vehicle, only five were ever built.

Daimler Dart SP 250, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

If I had any spare cash I’d be seriously tempted to buy this 1963 Daimler SP250 which has just 38,000 miles on the clock, if you would like to become it’s fifth owner I have the contact details of the vendor.

Humber Sceptre Estate, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

Slightly out of period was this 1976 Humber Sceptre based on a design first seen in 1967. The Sceptre Estate first seen in 1974 was one of the earliest UK station wagons to feature a light in the loading area and a rear screen wiper, the Humber name disappeared under Chrysler UK’s post 1976 branding strategy.

Bristol 450, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

One car I have been waiting see first hand for some time is the sole remaining Bristol 450 belonging to Simon Draper, I believe this car finished 7th over all and first in the 2 litre class at the 1955 Le Mans 24 Hours. The prize money from the teams success was donated to victims of the 1955 Le Mans disaster after the team withdrew from the sport having scored two consecutive Le Mans class victories.

Triumph Dolomite, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

A nice quiz question what is the connection between all of the vehicles in this photograph ? Answer Donald Healey who was responsible for the Austin Healey’s in the back ground and the Hudson Terraplane inspired 1937 Triumph Dolomite Saloon in the foreground.

Lotus IX, Mike Marsden, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

Former Concorde wind tunnel engineer and Historic Lotus Register Lotus Mk IX registrar Mike Marsden is seen above in his 1955 Lotus Mk IX which he has owned since 1967.

Morris Mini Cooper S, Dave Foster, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

Dave Foster is seen coming into the pits above in his immaculate 1965 Morris Mini Cooper S which he has driven in competition for the last decade clocking up 10,000 competition miles.

Horstman 4 Seater, Trevor Turpin, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

Until the Autumn Classic I’d never heard of a Horstman, it turns out they made nearly 3,000 vehicles just down the road in Bath between 1915 and 1929. These days Horstman, which patented a torsion bar suspension system for tracked military vehicles in 1922, continues to specialise in suspensions for military vehicles. The 1923 Horstman above is believed to have belonged to the companies founder Sidney Horstmann OBE.

FIAT Isotta Fraschini, Mike Vardy, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

In 1905 FIAT drew up plans for a world land speed record car which was to have two in line four cylinder motors producing upto 200 hp. The car never got built but nearly 20 years ago Graham Rankin undertook to build the car anyway. 13 years later he sold the unfinished project complete with a WW1 surplus 250hp Isotta Fraschini 16.5 litre / 1014 cui 6 cylinder aero motor to Mike Vardy who spent another seven years completing the FIAT Isotta Fraschini. Mike appeared to have great fun hanging the tail out on some parts of the circuit during his demonstration.

White Whistling Billy, Robert Dyke, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

Finally last year I saw this recreation White Sprint Car at Race Retro, this year I finally got to see Dr Robert R. Dyke driving it at speed, only 60% of the boilers potential pressure was used but it still moved at an impressive speed given that it only has 2 x twelve inch brake drums on the rear axle.

Thanks for joining me on this “Classics @ Autumn Classic” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a limited edition Hemi Challenger. Don’t forget to come back now !


BAC MSC Challenge Trophy – Autumn Classic Castle Combe

It’s not everyday that I get to write a feature about a single 15 min race, but last Sunday 500cc Formula 3 cars returned to their spiritual home to compete in a race solely for the 500cc Formula 3 cars for the first time in 59 years.

Iota Milli Union, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

Not all of the cars that turned up were competing, among the static displays with the 500 Owners Association was this Iota Milli Union, considered to be one of the oldest 500cc Formula 3 cars built to the original Iota plans advanced by Dick Caesar.

This particular car was originally built by Bristol Telephone Engineer and motorcycle racer GH Millington in 1946/7. This combination took part in the first closed event at Castle Combe run in July 1950 where Gerry Millington finished second in the first race for the newly internationally recognised formula to be run at the circuit.

Currently the car is in need of a new £600 magneto which the present owner can ill afford at the moment.

Effyh, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

The Efflyh above is thought to be one of 10 500cc F3 cars built in Sweden, I believe this particular car built in 1950 found it’s way to Senator T. Newell Wood who drove it on his 960-acre Brynfan Tyddyn estate in Pennsylvania. In 1956 this car is thought to have been fitted with a Norton engine, Cooper suspension and the straight edged bodywork seen here.

BACMSC Challenge Trophy, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

The prize for competitors in the 500cc Formula 3 race was the Bristol Aeroplane Company Motor Sports Club’s Challenge Trophy which was commissioned by the same club that is generally regarded as being the home of the 500cc Formula 3, since many of those instrumental in devising it were employees of the Bristol Aeroplane Company during the ’39-’45 war.

The original BAC MSC was reformed as the 500 Club in 1946 an organisation that later morphed into the British Racing and Sports Car Club. Bristol Aeroplane Company revived the BAC MSC as the Bristol Pegasus Motor Club in 1955.

I am afraid my attempt at lashing my video camera to the spectator fence for the start of the BAC MSC Challenge Trophy race was less than successful, but in this clip you get a feel for the sound these cars make en masse, turn up the volume to off the dial !

BACMSC Challenge, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

Regular readers may remember that at the beginning of the season I attended the VSCC Spring Start meeting at Silverstone where John Turner driving the #86 Cooper Mk 9 and Richard Bishop Miller driving the #57 Revis ended up in hospital. It was great to see both drivers going at it hammer and tongs with their repaired steeds at Castle Combe. On this occasion John finished 6th Richard 8th with Xavier Kingsland in the Staride Mk 3 I looked at last week 12th.

JP Mk 1, Alan Croft, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

16 different manufacturers were named on the entry list many vehicles were unique others, like the Scottish built JP Mk 1 driven by Alan Croft above, went into production.

Cooper Mk X , Steve Jones, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

The BACMSC Challenge Trophy race was won by Steve Jones aboard his Cooper Mk X by just over half a second from George Shackleton, seen popping his head out as they enter Old Paddock, who was driving a Cooper Mk 8.

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


BPMC Bring Your Car Evening – Redhill Village Hall

A couple of weeks ago the Bristol Pegasus Motor Club (BPMC) and a few friends met at Redhill Village Hall for a BBQ and autosolo on their football/soccer pitch.

Rolls Royce Phantom II, BPMC, Redhill Village Hall

Oldest of the vehicles present was this magnificent 1929 Rasberry and Cream Rolls Royce Phantom II which I believe served as a funeral directors vehicle before being restyled recently as a 2 seat coupé.

Sunbeam Tiger, BPMC, Redhill Village Hall

Parked up right next to me was this purposeful 1965 Sunbeam Tiger.

Chevrolet Corvette C3s, BPMC, Redhill Village Hall

A pair of ’80 & ’81 late C3 Chevrolet Corvette’s came along as did a single C6.

TVR Tuscan, BPMC, Redhill Village Hall

TVR kept making spartan lean machines right until the end of 2007, above a 2001 Tuscan with orifices in the wings that look like they should conceal weapons of mass destruction instead of headlights and indicators.

Factory Five 65 Coupé, BPMC, Redhill Village Hall

BPMC Social Secretary Nick Woods looks like he has just won the lottery behind the wheel of a friends ’08 Factory Five 65 Coupé, the bad news was the autosolo in which he was about to compete mandated drivers wear a black sack over their heads and were to be guided by their sighted passengers. Nick was navigated round the autosolo bollards by yours truely it took us nearly 30 seconds just to get off the start line such was the noise of the Roush V8 in front of us.

Toyota Hilux, BPMC, Redhill Village Hall

Though the Factory Five was wholly unsuited to the purpose of driving round the bollards, the event was won by a slightly smaller and considerably less powerful Saab, the most unsuited vehicle but most entertaining vehicle in the event was the ’95 Toyota Hilux Monster truck with 36 inch wide tyres driven by Scott Grey and his partner.

It turns out that Redhill Village Hall has Classic Gatherings most months on the third Thurday of the month, the next is on July 17th see their Classic Car Evening Gatherings page on facebook for further details.

Thanks for joining me on this “BPMC Bring Your Car Evening” edition of “Gettin a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be revisiting a Maserati I recently wrote about. Don’t forget to come back now !


A Psychotic Car ? – Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI eXtreme RS450

In 1973 Mitsubishi launched one of it’s most successful vehicles in the form of the 4 door tin top Lancer of which 6 million examples had been built by 2008. Spanning 5 model generations name variations according to specific markets included; Colt Lancer, Dodge/Plymouth Colt, Chrysler Valiant Lancer, Chrysler Lancer, Eagle Summit, Hindustan Lancer, Soueast Lioncel, Mitsubishi Mirage, Mitsubishi Galant Fortis and Mitsubishi Lancer Fortis.

Mitsubishi became the second Japanese manufacturer to win the East African Safari Rally in 1974 when Joginder Singh and David Doig beat Björn Waldegård and Hans Thorszelius driving a much faster but unreliable Porsche 911. Joginder and David won the Safari Rally, as it had by now become known in 1976, again driving a 1600 Lancer GSR.

In In the 1980’s Mitsubishi’s officials motorsport programmes were placed in the hands of Ralliart with former Rally Driver Andrew Cowan playing a prominent role. In 1996 Ralliart signed Tommi Mäkinen to drive it’s works Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution III Rally cars and the combination won not only the 1996 Safari Rally but also the 1996 World Rally Drivers Championship.

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI eXtreme RS450

Driving successive Evo IV, V and VI models Tommi won 3 more consecutive World Championships with Mitsubishi also winning the manufacturers title in 1998. By the end of 2001 Tommi had racked up 22 World Rally wins in Ralliart prepared Lancers.

Alongside it’s rally preparation business Ralliart also upgraded cars for customers and sold a range of performance goodies and today’s featured car, owned by fellow Bristol Pegasus Motor Club member Trevor Hartland is one that was upgraded by Ralliart.

Today’s featured car started life as a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI RSII, a model close to the top of the factory finished performance tree with the Anti Yaw Control (AYC) and Anti Lock Brakes (ABS) deleted to save weight and give the driver maximum control.

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI eXtreme RS450

The Ralliart Evolution VI RSII “eXtreme” upgrade package included 18 inch wheels, lowered suspension with new bushes and top mounts, high ratio steering rack (just two turns lock to lock), plenty of interior and exterior carbon fiber.

A special Electronic Control Unit boosted the power up to 340hp with 303lb/ft torque at 3000 rpm enough to take one from rest to 60 mph in just 4 seconds, only 26 Evo VI RSII’s were upgraded to “eXtreme” spec plus an additional older Evo V. Today’s featured car is the 11th of the 26 Evo VI RSII “eXtreme” models.

The RS450 was a UK spec only upgrade on the “eXtreme” which was fitted to just four vehicles of which only three remain. The more or less competition RS450 spec includes among many more items a Ralliart blue printed motor with competition spec crankshaft,connecting rods, forged pistons, with high lift cams competition gasket, lightened valves.

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI eXtreme RS450

For swift gear changes a phosphor bronze gear linkage bush kit was fitted, while the suspension is Group N, National competition spec with Ralliart strut braces front and rear and the brakes are to match.

The RS450 name was chosen because it was intended that the model would produce 450 lb per foot torque but the final figure was just over 380 lb per foot torque, enough described as “psychotic” by one commentator, to reach 60mph from rest in just 3.8 seconds and 100 mph in 8.8 seconds, not bad for a vehicle that cost £45,000 new in 2000.

Trevor’s car was the only white RS450 built and uniquely does has a colour coded rear wing at the original owners request after he was less than enamoured with the original red one. In 2001 this car covered the 1/4 mile Brighton speed trials in 12.53 seconds for a class winning 119mph run.

When Trevor last had his pride and joy tested on a rolling road the motor was conservatively mapped to produce 449 hp and 469 lb per foot torque with 1.8 bar of boost !

My thanks to Trevor Hartland for sharing these photo’s of his rare Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI eXtreme RS450.

Thanks for joining me on this “A Psychotic Car” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again for Americana Thursday tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Last Finest And Most Exciting – Bristol Fighter

When I got up at some absolutely ungodly, dark and cold, hour last November to join some friends from the Bristol Pegasus Motor Club for a trip to the Classic Motor Show at the NEC in Birmingham the last thing I could have imagined was finding my self sitting at the wheel of a 210 mph car, the last Bristol ever built to boot, taking a selfie, a couple of hours later thanks to the generosity of owner Mr Gibbs that is exactly what happened.

Bristol Fighter, Classic Motor Show, NEC Birmingham

The Bristol Fighter was designed by Max Bostrom, regular GALPOT readers might remember another vehicle from his design portfolio the rumbling Aston Martin AMR 1 Group C Le Mans challenger. The design of the Fighter seems to center on it’s motor which is based on the 8 litre / 487 cui all aluminium Chrysler V10 as used in the Dodge Viper and Dodge Ram SRT-10 pick up.

Bristol Fighter, Classic Motor Show, NEC Birmingham

Fitted with Bristol’s own heads the motor was made available with 525 hp in normally aspirated base form, a 628 hp option was also available which with the effects of ram air when in motion is boosted to 660 hp, and if that was not was not enough in turbocharged from the motor produced 1012 hp to become the second most powerful motor ever offered by a manufacturer second only to the 1046 hp quoted for the SSC Aero.

Bristol Fighter, Classic Motor Show, NEC Birmingham

The standard transmission is a six speed manual and with all the torque from the V10, when Richard Porter tested one for evo magazine in in 2008 he found the motor would pull in sixth gear from as low as 30 mph. A 4 speed automatic was an option with performance being the same regardless of transmission meaning 60 mph could be reached from rest in a claimed 4 seconds with the 525 hp motor.

Bristol Fighter, Classic Motor Show, NEC Birmingham

Despite extensive use of aluminium and carbon fiber to save weight and keep the center of gravity than almost every weekend apart from a Ferrari Enzo the interior is completely civilised and decked with finest Wilton carpet over extra thick soundproofing underlays to provide a “perfect environment in which to enjoy the car’s astonishing performance.

Bristol Fighter, Classic Motor Show, NEC Birmingham

At 6′ tall I find many performance vehicles no go area’s, however the Bristol is different it was designed to accommodate individuals between 5′ and 6′ 7″. I can just picture my 5′ 2″ mother loving this car since she recently passed her Institute of Advanced Motorists test. Notice the swicth gear, finest military grade good enough to last the life of the car, just as well since a replacement switch would cost you £60 each in 2008.

Bristol Fighter, Classic Motor Show, NEC Birmingham

With all of that glass parking should be a piece of cake, no having to open the gull wing doors and getting a mate to talk you in as would be mandatory with some of Marchello Gandini or Pininfarina’s finest designs.

Bristol Fighter, Classic Motor Show, NEC Birmingham

As Bristol said “in a world where cars are styled first and tested for function afterwards the Fighter is again unique”. The 0.28 drag coefficient of the body is class leading, in part because this 210 mph car has no need of wings, Gurney flaps or even venturi because it was designed to set new aerodynamic standards not follow the crowd.

Bristol Fighter, Classic Motor Show, NEC Birmingham

Exact production numbers for the Fighter are hard to come by one source says sixteen Fighters were built while another suggests at least 46 may have been built. What is for sure is that today’s featured car was the last completed Bristol to leave the factory, the owner Mr Gibbs also tells me that one incomplete Fighter left the factory when it closed down in 2011.

In the advertising cody for the Fighter model Bristol claim that it is “Designed according according to engineering and aerodynamic principles, it is intended to represent the finest and most exciting way for two people to travel by road.” One day I’d like to put that to the test, meantime I’d like to thank Mr Gibbs for letting me try his Fighter, the very last complete Bristol to leave the factory, for size.

Now all I have to do is see if I can save my pennies fast than any one else before Mr Gibbs parts with it, did I mention this car which has never been registered is for sale ? It was and if you would like to purchase it get in touch and I’ll gladly pass the message on.

Thanks for joining me on this “Last Finest And Most Exciting” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. When I’ll be looking at a agricultural super vehicle. Don’t forget to come back now !


Christmas Came Early – Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham

Last weekend I joined my friends from the Bristol Pegasus Motor Club in the back of a Ford Transit and headed for the National Exhibition Center in Birmingham where the Classic Motor Show was in full swing.

Oldsmobile Curved Dash, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham

Amongst my favourites in the seven halls packed with cars was this 5hp single cylinder 1903 Oldsmobile Curved Dash a regular runner despite spending 50 years in the USA from 1950 to 2002 virtually unused.

Austin 1800 UTE, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham

Austin was a well known British manufacturer which got swallowed up in the British Motor Corporation empire, to meet demand for a pick up in the Antipodes the Australian BMC plant devised the Austin 1800 UTE (Australian for Pickup) based on the front wheel drive ‘Landcrab’ ADO 17 platform. This was the first time I had seen such a vehicle.

Aston Martin DBS V8 Ogle, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Bristol

The Aston Martin DBS V8 Ogle was a concept car commissioned by WD & HO Wills to promote the then new brand of Sotherby cancer sticks, it was first seen at the 1972 Geneva Motor Show. Among the many interesting features were an array of no less than 22 rear lights which included sequential lights for indicating, the number of brake lights showing varied according to the brake pressure applied. So far as I can discern this is one of three Wills ordered a second car in Red and White to promote it’s Embassy brand and a middle aged lady is reputed to have paid £30,000 for a third.

ISO Rivolta Fidia, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham

John Lennon is known to have been a somewhat reluctant driver, but he knew what he liked in a car and that was summed up in the Iso Rivolta Fidia, the one above is the second of three that he purchased. This one is unusual because it has a Chevrolet V8 motor in place of the standard Ford V8.

Vauxhall Cavalier Sportshatch, Classic Motor Show, NEC,  Birmingham

In the late 1970’s and 1980’s Vauxhalls and Opels became increasingly similar above is a Vauxhall Cavalier Sports Hatch which had much in common with the second generation Opel Manta. This particular one has body kit which makes it look even more like the Chevrolet Monza that inspired the design and a non standard turbocharged motor to improve it’s performance.

Anadol A8, Classic Motor Show, NEC,  Birmingham

News to me at the motor show was that Turkey had an indigenous motor industry not only building vehicles from knock down kits but having a manufacturer Anadol who made cars initially to a design by the same Ogle who designed The Sotherby Special. For 1981 Anadol felt confident enough with it’s own design capabilities to launch the Ford Kent powered A8 model. Only 1013 were built when the plug was pulled in 1984. This one was driven over 5000 reliable miles to the UK from Turkey.

Daimler DS420, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Bristol

Sadly the Daimler DS420 limousine launched in 1968 was mostly made up of parts from the Jaguar parts bin including the XK engine. In fact the model was the last to be manufactured powered by the XK engine when production closed in 1992. The example seen here is from 1986/87.

Lamborghini 25th Anniversary Countach , Classic Motor Show,

Celebrating 50 years of Lamborghini production was Lamborghini Club UK who’s display included this 1988 Lamborghini 25th Anniversary Countach.

Ginetta G33, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham

The Ginetta G33 continues to grow on me, ever since I saw one competing at Gurston Down earlier this year I have had a real yearning to try the model.

Bristol Fighter, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham

The undisputed high light of the day for me however came when Bristol Owners Club member Mr Gibbs owner of this 210 mph Bristol Fighter, the last Bristol to be completed to date, invited me to try the drivers seat for size, wow !, what an experience at 6′ tall I do not fit comfortably in many cars, especially those with any kind of performance credibility but the Bristol fitted like a glove. After posting this blog next on my to do list is write a nice letter to a big chap with a white beared and a red and white outfit, Dear Santa …..

Thanks for joining me on this “Christmas Came Early” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow for a look at a Falcon Station Wagon. Don’t forget to come back now !


Podiumed In Class – Cross Trophy

Ten days ago I had a rare Spring Sunday lie in and arose in time to meet Chris Clarke at the Shell garage on the A38 just outside Bristol from whence we proceeded to Duncan Pittaway’s farm in Dundry for the 2013 edition of the Bristol Pegasus Motor Club‘s Cross Trophy Production Car Trial.

Land Rover Evoque, Cross Trophy, Dundry

Photo Courtesy Andy Moss / BPMC Archive

Among the entries were the father and son Robsons using Mum’s 2 wheel drive Range Rover Evoque,

TVR 280S, Cross Trophy, Dundry

Photo Courtesy Andy Moss / BPMC Archive

the most powerful vehicle taking part was Duncan Pittaway’s 1989 TVR 280S,

Volkswagen Golf III, Cross Trophy, Dundry

Photo Courtesy Andy Moss / BPMC Archive

Newcomers to the event were the Firks brothers who were sharing this stripped track day prepared Golf III.

Firks & Firks, Cross Trophy, Dundry

The Firks brothers Keith and Andrew were not the first novice winners to win the Clubsport Class 1 front wheel drive honours but they are the first to have achieved the same score behind the wheel.

Citroen AX, Cross Trophy, Dundry

Photo Courtesy Andy Moss / BPMC Archive

Class 1 honours in the National B event went to Ray Jacobs in a keenly fought battle of Citroen AX’s with Colin Francis and Chris Buckle.

Marlin Roadster, Cross Trophy, Dundry

Photo Courtesy Andy Moss / BPMC Archive

Roland Panes won Class 2 rear wheel drive honours in his yellow Marlin Roadster.

Parsons, Cross Trophy, Dundry

Photo Courtesy Andy Moss / BPMC Archive

Making a welcome return to competition after his recent illness was Alan Spencer who recorded the lowest (best) score of the day with Cherry Robinson in the passenger seat.

Volkswagen Golf IV, Cross Trophy, Dundry

Photo Courtesy Andy Moss / BPMC Archive

With the Firks brothers sharing top honours in Class 1 Chris Clarke calmly guided me to a third place finish in class which translated to a 7th place overall in a field of 14 competitors who finished the Clubsport event. I’ve made my mind up to acquire a second set of wheels and far more aggressively patterned tyres and to remove various bit’s of plastic from the front wings and below the motor for my next production car trials outing.

My thanks to Mal who set the courses, Tim who kept the scores and Peter who checked the vehicles taking part for the Bristol Pegasus Motor Club, to marshals, Donny, Liz and Carlie to Andy Moss for sharing today’s photographs and last but not least Chris Clarke who sat alongside me on this event.

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