Tag Archives: Brock

I’m Sorry, I Haven’t A Clue – Sonoma Historics

Most teachers know that they can walk into a room with a dozen students and tease pretty much anything they want to teach out of them, on almost any subject, over the space of an hour or so. In the spirit of such student participation I’m inviting you dear reader to help me out here, because at fast glance I’m sorry to say I haven’t a clue about what any of today’s six featured vehicles are, neither manufacturer or age.

Sonoma Historics

At first sight this green racer looks like a cross between the second incarnation of the Bristol 450 Le Mans racer and the later Bristol Arnolt. The British registration plate on the back reads “SAR 336”. At a guess this vehicle is British and Bristol powered but do you know where the body came from and when ?

Sonoma Historics

Chip slicer radiator grills, as on the vehicle above, often point to a Ferrari or Chevrolet but I cannot think of any models from those manufacturers who built anything that looked like this. If you think you know what this might be, please do not be scared to chip in below.

Sonoma Historics

California is the home of the fiber glass special and the white racer above looks like one of the majority I have not heard of. The HM sticker tells us it probably ran in SCCA events for vehicles up to 750 cc / 45.7 cui. Does anyone recognise this pint size racer ?

Sonoma Historics

My first thought was that the vehicle above was a Kes Kastner & Pete Brock designed Triumph TR250K, but it is not. Confusingly it says Phoenix on the front and advertises Piranha kits on the side, I feel like a fish out of water on this one too, can you help ?

Sonoma Historics

The rear body reminds one of the Lotus 19 and Lotus 23 sports racing cars, but everything forward of the roll bar does not. All suggestions welcome below.

Sonoma Historics

Finally the Can Am type vehicle above looks part McLaren and part Chaparral with out fitting the mould of either, unusually for a vehicle of this type, if it is a Can Am car, it appears to have an aluminium body at a time when fiber glass was very much de riguer.

If you can help identify any of these vehicles please do not hesitate to chip in below, as soon as I have all the answers I’ll do a follow up blog.

My thanks to Karl Kause and Geoffrey Horton for sharing today’s photographs taken at Sonoma Historics at the end of May.

Thanks for joining me on this “I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at some of the vehicles at the recent San Morino Motor Classic. Don’t forget to come back now !


Brock’s Fantuzzi Body – de Tomaso Sports 5000 #P70-001

In 1965 Alejandro de Tomaso turned his attention to building a run of 50 sports racing cars, to be known as the Sport 5000 using the central backbone chassis architecture of his Vallelunga road car as a starting point.

de Tomaso Sport 5000, Modena

Photo Courtesy Bill Noon / Symbolic International.

He replaced the 100 hp 4 cylinder Ford Kent motor used in the road car with a 475 hp 4.7 litre / 289 Ford V8 sourced from Carroll Shelby of the type developed for the Cobra sports racing cars.

de Tomaso Sport 5000, Modena

Photo Courtesy Bill Noon / Symbolic International.

The open top aluminium body work was designed by Pete Brock, who was responsible for designing the Cobra Coupé bodywork for Carroll Shelby, a year earlier and crafted by Fantuzzi.

de Tomaso Sport 5000

Photo Courtesy Bill Noon / Symbolic International.

The cars first public appearances, with rear wheels covered, were in the 1965 Turin Motor Show and 1966 Modena Racing Car Show. Around this time Ghia had stepped in with some financial assistance and the car was known as the Ghia de Tomaso. In March 1966 Pierre Noblet, Franco Bernabei, Umberto Maglioli were entered to drive the car in the Sebring 12 Hours, but it failed to show up.

de Tomaso Sport 5000

Photo Courtesy Bill Noon / Symbolic International.

The Sport 5000 entry for the 1966 Le Mans 24 Hours was refused by organisers Automobile Club de l’Ouest, but in July 1966 Roberto Bussinello drove the Sport 5000, on it’s competition debut, in the Cuircuito del Mugello road race where the car retired on the opening, 66 km, lap.

Palm Springs Concours d'Elegance

The only Sport 5000 built at de Tomaso’s Modena factory would never race again, by this time Shelby had turned his attentions to the Ford GT40 programme and production of the Sport 5000 was put on indefinite ice.

Pete Brock used elements of the Sport 5000 design including the adjustable rear wing, in the Suzuki Hino race car, while de Tomaso used the strengthend chassis design in the Ford 289 and later 302 cui V8 powered de Tomaso Mangusta.

The unique Sport 5000, a contemporary of the Ford GT40 and Ferrari P3, did not surface again until after Alejandro de Tomaso died in 2004. In 2006 a second car was built known as a 70P using the original cars panels as a template for the copy.

Earlier this year the de Tomaso Sport 5000, which is now being offered for sale by Bill Noon’s Symbolic International, was seen, above, by Geoffrey Horton at Palm Springs Concours d’Elegance.

My thanks to Bill Noon at Symbolic International for sharing his photographs of the Sport 5000 and to Geoffrey Horton for sharing his photograph too !

Thanks for joining me on this “Brock’s Fantuzzi 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 American project that took Jaguar back to Le Mans in the mid 1980’s. Don’t forget to come back now !


Outlaw Racer – Ferrari 365 GTB/4

01 Image3178sc

Launched in 1968 the Ferrari 365 GTB/4 replaced the Ferrari 275 GTB/4 and to this writers mind represents the pinnacle of front engine rear wheel drive fastback GT cars. Until outlawed by US legislation in 1971 the 365 GTB/4 came with headlights mounted behind acrylic glass covers.

02 Image3126sc

This most stylish of vehicles is powered by a 347 hp Lamperdi inspired twin overhead cam 60º V12 stretched to 4390 cc / 268 cui motor, each cylinder with a volume of 365 cc from which the model gets its name.

03 Image3128sc

To optimise the weight balance and handling the gearbox is mounted as part of a transaxle just in front of the rear wheels.

04 Image3127sc

As one would of expect of a vehicle this cool to look at it has performance to match being capable of reaching 60 mph from rest in 5.4 seconds with a top speed of 174 mph.

05 Image3129sc

Competition versions of the 365 GTB/4 run by privateers with up to 450 hp counted amongst their successes a GT class winning 5th overall at Le Mans in 1971 along with GT Class wins in the same race in ’72, ’73, and ’74 scoring 1st to 5th in class in ’72, and five years after production of the model had ceased an amazing 2nd overall in the Daytona 24 hour race.

Dan Gurney and Brock Yates also drove a 365 GTB/4 2,876 miles from New York to Los Angeles averaging 80.1 mph to win the inaugural Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash in 1971.

06 Image3130sc

It is thought just 1,406 of these cars designed by Leonardo Fiorvanti of Pininfarina and built by Scaglietti including 122 Spiders and 15 lightweight competition vehicles. The high desirability of the rare Spiders has led to several Berlinetta models being converted and several companies have made Spider replicas with a variety of engines.

The 365GTB/4 was replaced by the rear engined 365 GT4 Berlinetta Boxer.

I hope you have enjoyed today’s Outlaw Racer edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ and that you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !