Tag Archives: Brothers

Two Pedal Open Wheeler – Tecno DAF

In 1961 the Pederzani brother sought to diversify their Tecno company from the manufacture of hydraulic pumps and take advantage of the expanding market for karts. After building the first offset sidewinder karts powered by Parilla motors their karts won the World Championships in 1964, ’65 and ’66.

Techno DAF, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

In 1966 the company started building Formula 3 cars and in 1968 Francois Cevert, Ronnie Peterson and Franco Bernabei won the French, Swedish and Italian Formula 3 championships respectively, driving cars similar to the one featured here.

Techno DAF, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

In 1965 DAF, wanting to prove the value of their Variomatic transmission system first seen in the 1959 DAF 600, bought an Alexis Formula 3 car to which they fitted a variomatic transmission but found the drive belts designed for road use could not cope with the additional stresses found on the race Techno DAF, Goodwood Festival Of Speedtrack.

Techno DAF, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

With better belts DAF returned in 1966 with a Brabham chassis for Mike Beckwith with which he scored points and a third place during the season. In 1967 the London Checkered Flag Team ran Gemini chassis for Beckwith and Gijs van Lennep and both scored victories despite the fact that it was becoming clear that the Variomatic was absorbing more power than a conventional gearbox.

Techno DAF, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

For 1968 DAF acquired a couple of Techno’s for Racing Team Halland to run, of which today’s featured car is one, with which Beckwith won his heat at the Monte Carlo F3 meeting with van Lennep following him in second. Beckwith scored a couple of more second places during the season and at the end of the year the team led the final race before the team mates Beckwith and van Lennep took each other out. DAF retired from Formula 3 having made their point.

Techno DAF, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

The DAF Techno’s were powered by 1 litre / 61 cui 4 cylinder Ford MAE motors that could be tuned to develop 120 hp.

Techno DAF, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

The Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), the earliest concept of which Leornado da Vinchi is credited with, seen here is almost identical to that seen on later Volvo 300 series cars. By the 1990’s CVT belt technology had advanced to completely overcome the power absorption that had been highlighted by the DAF F3 programme. When David Coultard tested a CVT system in 1993 it was immediately so fast that the governing body of Formula One specifically banned CVT for the 1994 season before it was used on the track.

CVT also had a successful competition record in European Rallycross when mounted first in a DAF 66 Marathon Coupé and then in a Volvo 343.

Continuously Variable Transmission is available in a variety of cars today including automatic versions of the Jeep Patriot, Mitsubishi Lancer and SEAT Exeo.

Techno went on to build a championship winning Formula 2 car for Clay Regazonni in 1970 before becoming involved in a Martini Rossi sponsored F1 project for which they designed and built a flat 12 motor with cheap materials that was powerful but too heavy. The car made it’s debut in 1972 in 1973 Chris Amon scored the teams only World Championship point before the haphazardly chaotically organised team folded.

DAF Cars was taken over by Volvo in the mid 1970’s and Volvo became part of the Ford empire at the turn of the century. The Dutch NedCar factory founded in a partnership between Volvo, Mitsubishi and the Dutch Government in 1991 passed wholly in to the hands of Mitsubishi in 2001.

Mike Beckwith, who made a single non championship Formula One start in 1963, made several starts in Formula 2 and a variety of sports car races up until the end of 1970, last photo I can find of him competing was in a Citroen XM production car in 1972.

Gijs van Lennep made 8 Grand Prix starts which included two sixth place finishes including his last GP start in the 1975 German GP. 1972 proved to be van Lennep’s most successful season when he won the British F5000 championship driving a Surtees and also won the Le Mans 24 Hours sharing a Porsche 917 with Helmut Marko covering 5335 kms / 3315 miles a record that stood for 38 years.

Sharing a Porsche 911 RSR with Herbert Muller Gijs won the last Targa Florio in 1973 and in 1976 Gijs won Le Mans for the second time in his last professional race sharing a Porsche 936 with Jacky Ickx.

Thanks for joining me on this ‘Two Pedal Open Wheel’ edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’ I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now.


Racin’ & Rockin’ – #46 Hunter Brothers Chevrolet Impala

For those needing a NASCAR fix while the series is taking a break today’s car is the #46 Hunter Brothers Chevrolet Impala, seen here at Palo Alto earlier this year, that operated out of Hendersonville NC in 1965.

Chevrolet Impala, Palo Alto, C d'E

This car was driven by US Airforce Sergeant Roy Mayne, from Sumter SC who was given permission to race while on active duty. His best finish was in 1965 when he drove this car to a 4th place finish behind Ned Jarret, Buck Baker and Darel Dieringer in the September 6th Southern 500 at Darlington.

From 1963 to 1974 Roy drove in 139 Grand National and Winston Cup events scoring 22 top ten finishes. He never compete in a whole season his best end of season standing was 25th in 1966. Roy was one of the stunt drivers in the 1968 Elvis Presley movie ‘Speedway‘.

Chevrolet Impala, Palo Alto, C d'E

The new for ’65 fourth generation Chevrolet Impala set the all time industry annual sales record of more than one million units sold. Chevrolet finished 3rd in the final standings of the 1965 Grand National season behind Ford and Dodge.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sending me the photos.

Wishing all my fellow NASCAR fans a relaxing day off, see you all at Rowdy Chat for the Brickyard 400 next Sunday.

Thanks for joining me on this ’65 Impala edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Fibreglass Transformer – Austin Healey Sprite #ANJ/6378

Lenahm Sprite, Race Retro, Stoneleigh,

Today I am looking at this Austin Healey Sprite fitted with an Ashley nose and a Lenham Fastback, a body style also apparently known as a Lenham GT which found a new owner at last weekends Race Retro exhibition for £10,450 / $ 17,000 thanks to auctioneers H&H;.

Lenahm Sprite, Race Retro, Stoneleigh,

Sporting a twin carb 1,100cc / 67 cui A series motor up from the original 948 cc / 57 cui fitted to a four speed gearbox which all points to a competition history.

Ausitn Healey Sprite

This undated and uncaptioned photo taken from the H&H; website of a vehicle bearing the same registration number (888 HPA) gives a tantalizing insight into an interesting race history that is said to have included preparation by the ‘Naylor Brothers’ and modification to Sebring Spec prior to the Lenham Fastback bodywork being fitted.

Lenahm Sprite, Race Retro, Stoneleigh,

More recently this vehicle was driven to 5th in class in the 20th Classic Marathon by Peter & Betty Banham along a route from Belgium to the Dolomite mountains of Italy.

I’d like to thank David Birchall over at The Nostalgia Forum who came up with additional information on the identity of the nose type. If you have any interesting info on this vehicle in either of the photographs please add your comments below.

Hope you have enjoyed today’s transformer edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres and that you’ll join me again tomorrow for a look at another Great British sports car. Don’t forget to come back now !


The conspicuous underdog – ‘Petit Pataud’ Replica 2/2

Today I’ll be sharing some details about John Aibels fabulous ‘Petit Pataud’ Replica 1950 Series 61 Cadillac Coupe, if you missed the story about the original here is a link to yesterdays post.

John found his bottom of the range Series 61 Cadillac with the correct Petit Pataud 121″ wheel base in Iowa, it did not have the optional power windows, amazing I had no idea they had even been thought of in 1950, but Johns car was originally fitted with a Hydra – Matic automatic transmission and he went to considerable trouble to locate a correct manual one as used at Le Mans, an item difficult to find because it is also the transmission of choice amongst hot rodders.

Being a volunteer at CAM (The Collier Collection) John was given access to the original and correctly identified the Marchal driving lights, GI two way radio among many other parts, and noted how and where they were correctly installed. It took around a year to meticulously hunt down these items on E-Bay and to collect all the bits and pieces prior to the car being sent to a restoration shop for a three year restoration.

The car is fitted with a roll bar and five point harness though John is a little sceptical about the capability of the drum brakes to handle serious competition, I am not sure he has the Alfin drums and additional brake ducting
Cunningham had fitted to the original.

Apparently the Cunnigham ‘Petit Pataud’ was used as both a tow car and shop vehicle after its sturdy service at Le Mans, evidence of this can be seen in this link to a photo of the restored original where a chrome tow hitch cover is plain to see under the bumper, also the original no longer has the 35 gallon long range fuel tank and filler as can be clearly seen on the passenger side of Johns car just behind the C pillar.

He says of his car “You are right everytime we drive the car we get the thumbs up and smiles from a lot of people. It also drives great, it is very comfortable, it just soaks up the bumbs on the roads. She rolls like a ship in the turns, but holds very well.”

I’d like to thank John for sharing his photo’s and thoughts on his marvellous motor car, a reminder of a golden age of optimism, a time when with a few good connections a showroom car fitted with a double barrel carburettor, some French springs, a long range fuel tank and GI two way radio you could compete in one of, if not the most romantic race in the world.

Thanks also again to Chief 187 who so thoughtfully set these last two blogs up for me.

Hope you have enjoyed this weekends extraordinary vehicle, new followers and comments are always appreciated and a useful tool to help me source more for you in future, thanks for dropping by don’t forget to come back now !

Slightly off topic, today is a big day for all three contenders in the post season NASCAR Chase for the Cup, covered by less than 40 points the only strategy to win the cup now has to be to win the next three races, looking forward to seeing if Kevin Harvick can step up to the plate and pull it off. Go Harvick ! Go #29 ! Go Happy !

10/11/10 Erratum, I got the model types a bit mixed up and have removed all ‘de Ville’ references from the text above, the Series 61 shown here is the shorter model known as Type 61 Coupe, not Coupe de Ville which was the Type 62. Apologies for any confusion.


The conspicuous underdog – ‘Petit Pataud’ Replica 1/2

It’s a great honour to feature on ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ a ‘Petit Pataud’ replica belonging to John Aibel. This will be another two part blog starting today with the history of the real ‘Petit Pataud’ finishing tomorrow with some of the fascinating details about this faithful replica.

The ‘Petit Pataud’ legend starts with an invitation from 1949 Le Mans winner Luigi Chinnetti to facilitate an entry in the 1950 Le Mans entry for Briggs Cunningham.

Seeking advice from a well respected mechanic Bill Frick, Cunningham made a false start building a hot rod like device by dropping a Cadillac V8 into a Ford body and dubbed a Fordillac. If any one knows of any pics of this ‘device’ please leave a message below.

The Le Mans organisers deemed the Fordillac ineligible so Briggs bought two showroom 1950 Series 61 Cadillac Coupes one was given an open aluminium body devised by employees of the Grumman aircraft manufacturer and dubbed ‘Le Monstre’ by the French press, the other was more modestly prepared for endurance racing by Frick – Tappett Motors and dubbed with typical French irony ‘Petit Pataud’ ‘little clumsy’ a name I believe usually referring to new born pups.

The Cunningham team were surprised to find ‘Petit Pataud’ the more or less stock underdog of the stable driven by Miles and Sam Collier proved quicker than the heavily modified ‘Le Monstre’ straight out of the box. Though this was rectified during the course of practice for the race.

The 24 hours of Le Mans had an unusual start procedure, drivers stood on the opposite side of the track from the car and at the drop of the flag sprinted across the track and jumped in to their cars fired them up and drove off, in a piece of comedy reminiscent of a ‘Herbie’ film ‘Petit Pataud’s’ doors were found to be locked after it’s driver sprinted across the track at the start, fortunately the window was open so he reached inside to unlock the door from the inside !

Miles Collier who raced in the 1939 Le Mans race advised Briggs to equip his cars with fold away shovels in case either car found itself buried in the famously unforgiving artificial sand banks installed to prevent the more wayward vehicles from venturing too far from the notoriously fast and dangerous circuit.

Briggs rejected the advice and paid the price on lap 2 of the race when he found himself trapped in the sand bank at the end of the 4 mile long Mulsanne straight, Briggs probably wasted several minuets borrowing a shovel from a spectator and wasting half an hour successfully digging his car out and resuming the race.

‘Petit Pataud’ meanwhile as to be expected from a land yacht was sailing along at a nice and steady pace reaching 120 mph on the Mulsanne and running 1,956 miles to average 81.5 mph for 24 hours and finish in a commendable 10th place overall, 2nd in class behind a Cadillac powered Allard.

Briggs and Phil Walters brought ‘Le Monstre’ in one lap down, about the time it would have taken to borrow a shovel, on ‘Petit Pataud’, a small victory for the clumsy team underdog perhaps but just the stuff of legends that makes Le Mans such a fascinating race.

Tomorrow I’ll continue with details about Johns fabulous replica and some surprising differences with the restored original which make Johns car today arguably closer to the original Le Mans spec as raced in 1950.

Thanks to Chief 187 who set up my connection with John Aibel, and thanks to John, unfortunately I was not able to visit Florida to take these magnificent pics which he kindly sent to me.

Thanks for stopping by wishing everyone a wonderful weekend, don’t forget to come back now !

10/11/10 Erratum, I got the model types a bit mixed up and have removed all ‘de Ville’ references from the text above, the Series 61 shown here is the shorter model known as Type 61 Coupe, not Coupe de Ville which was the Type 62. Apologies for any confusion.