Tag Archives: Cook

Standing Start World Records – ERA R2A

In 1934 the second works ERA today’s featured chassic R2A was built up for Humphrey Cook, the teams primary source of funding, to drive.

Initially the car was fitted with an 1,100 cc motor and Humphrey drove the car to a debut win in a handicap event at Brooklands before setting standing start world records for it’s class over kilometer and mile distances.

ERA R2A, Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, Laguna Seca

Humphrey continued to race R2A until his retirement from racing in September 1935 by which time the chassis had been driven in Europe with a 1500 cc / 91.5 cui motor, which has been retained in the chassis since 1936.

Nicky Embiricos bought R2A the following season an he had Giulio Ramponi fit Tecnauto independent suspension, Nicky crashed the car in it’s first race after the modifications were completed and promptly retired from racing.

R2A has retained the independent front suspension ever since but was fitted with further modified body work under the ownership of George Abecassis from 1946 to 1948 and then finally lowered while in the care of Ted Lloyd-Jones from 1956 to 1957.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for kindly arranging to share Karl Krause’s photograph of R2A taken at Laguna Seca during last years Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion.

Thanks for joining me on this “Standing Start World Records” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again for Mercedes Monday tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


A Section Lady Traffic Patrol _ MG A 1600 Roadster #GHN 70453

MG launched it’s MG A 1600 in May 1959 which was powered by a 78hp 1558 cc / 95 cui four cylinder engine sufficient for a 98 mph top speed.

MG A 1600 Roadster, Goodwood, Revival

From this distance I can’t help but feel that someone at Lancashire Constabulary Headquarters, in Preston, would have had to have had the best interests of road safety at heart, and also a great sense of humour, if he had decided the best way to keep the rule of law on Lancashire’s busy highways and byeways was to procure a fleet of 50 MG A 1600s, split them in to A Section, differentiated with white cars and B Section differentiated with black cars and deployed them on Traffic Patrol’s with only lady police officers at the wheel.

MG A 1600 Roadster, Goodwood, Revival

In this day an age such a scheme would surely be met with howls of derision and a fair amount of protest and in fact looking at the photo linked here it would appear that Bonhams were misinformed about the female officers only policy when today’s featured car came up for auction a few years ago.

Chassis #GHN 70453 is one of the cars from the mythical ‘A Section’ that was delivered on the 8th of July 1959 it was restored by Brown & Cook, of Hoddesdon, Herts back to it’s police specification although the public address megaphone regrettably no longer works.

Thanks for joining me on this “A Section Lady Traffic Patrol” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again for Mercedes Monday tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Libre, Hillclimbing, Guernsey Bus – Chevron Cosworth B17C #F2-70-2

Alongside the production of nine Formula 3 Chevron B17 1 litre / 61 cui “Screamer” Formula 3 cars Chevron built 5 examples of the B17B powered by Vegatune Ford Twin Cam engines in 1598cc / 97.5 cui form for US based SCCA Formula B competitors and two B17C’s one with a 1598 cc / 91.5 cui Cosworth FVA engine to compete in Formula 2 and the other today’s featured chassis #F2-70-2 which was originally supplied to compete in Formula Libre events.

Chevron Cosworth B17C, Silverstone Classic, Press Day

Steve Thompson had the car fitted with a 1790 cc / 109.2 cui Cosworth FVC engine and is believed to have won at least 14 Formula Libre races with the car in 1970. The ownership trail then includes Frank Mumford and Alex Seldon, the latter is believed to have fitted the car with a 2 litre / 122 cui BDA in 1972, but neither owner is known to have competed with the car.

Chevron Cosworth B17C, Martin Bullock, Silverstone Classic, Press Day

In November 1972 Malcom Brown is believed to have raced the car at Brands Hatch and in April the following year Richard Leech drove the car in a Libre event as Castle Combe, Deryck Cook advertised the car for sale now powered by a Ford Twin Cam before Philip Sandwith in Guernsey bought it from Spencer Elton in Wiltshire.

Chevron Cosworth B17C, Martin Bullock, Silverstone Classic, Press Day

Philip competed in hill climb events from 1975 to 1978 with #F2-70-2 now fitted with a Holbay twin cam engine that helped him secure numerous class records, Guernsey Bus garage manager Mike le Cras ran the car at the Le Val des Terres hill climb in St Peter Port Guernsey in 1983.

Chevron Cosworth B17C, Martin Bullock, Silverstone Classic, Press Day

The ownership trail then leads to Australian Martin Bullock who is seen driving the car in these photographs at the Silverstone Classic press day in 2013, with a 1967 – 1971 Formula 2 spec Cosworth FVA fitted. More details on this car can be found on Allen Brown’s Old Racing Cars.com website.

Thanks for joining me on this “Libre, Hillclimbing, Guernsey Bus” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be revisiting Nottingham circa 1985. Don’t forget to come back now !


Monterey Brits – Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion

Today’s post features a selection of the British built cars seen at this years Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Laguna Seca by Karl Krause.

Morgan Super Aero, Rolex Motorsports Reunion, Laguna Seca

Instantly recognisable by it’s V twin engine, sliding pillar front suspension and three wheels is this JAP powered 1930 Morgan belonging to and driven by Larry Ayres.

ERA R2A, Rolex Motorsports Reunion, Laguna Seca

It was a great pleasure to find that the second ever ERA to be built, R2A built for the companies financer Humphrey Cook in 1934, was flying the flag in California driven by Paddins Dowling who only bought the car last year.

Lagonda V12, Rolex Motorsports Reunion, Laguna Seca

I don’t believe Richard Morrison’s short wheel base 1939 Lagonda V12 is one of the Le Mans Team cars but that does not make it any less desirable in the authors eye’s.

Turner Mk III, Karl Krause, Rolex Motorsports Reunion, Laguna Seca

I understand Karl Krause recently qualified for his racing licence and during the run up to the Reunion he got a run in Steve Lilves #48 1965 Turner Mk III. Karl is seen above coming down the Corkscrew one of the most famous corners in motor racing.

Triumph TR6, Bill Warner, Rolex Motorsports Reunion, Laguna Seca

Above Bill Warner drives the 1971 Group 44 Triumph TR6 of the type the US champion of the British sports car Bob Tullis drove between 1969 and 1973 before switching to a V12 E-type Jaguar.

Lola T332, Rolex Motorsports Reunion, Laguna Seca

Finally I understand the 1974 #5 Viceroy Lola T332 above was driven to victory twice over the Reunion week, once by owner Zak Brown and secondly by Richard Dean who in a tenuous link was the first driver to show me the ropes around Brands Hatch at the wheel of a Brands Hatch Racing School Ford Escort XR3i in 1989 when he was an emerging talent in Formula Three !

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton and Karl Krause for arranging to take and taking today’s photographs respectively.

Thanks for joining me on this “Monterey Brits” 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 Porsche’s at the Reunion. Don’t forget to come back now !


Bird’s Wyedean Win – Wyedean Forest Rally

On Saturday I popped over to the Forest of Dean to see the 40th Weir Engineering Wyedean Forest Rally for which 175 entries had been received.

The Wyedean started and finished at Chepstow Race Course and was run over 8 stages making a total of 43.42 stage miles that were linked by 98.37 road miles.

MG ZR, Gemmell, Beebe, Blaze Bailey, Wyedean Rally,

This was the first Rally I had been to since the 1985 Lombard Race Rally, during the course of the day I visited two stages the 3.26 mile Blaze Bailey on the eastern edge of the Forest of Dean near Soudley and 6.02 mile Mailscot near Staunton on the western edge.

Above co driver Matt Beebe directs enthusiastic spectators in their efforts to get driver Richard Gemmell and his MG ZR out of a mud trap that saved the car from a couple of hundred foot drop into an abyss on the last corner of the Blaze Bailey stage, the #243 crew recovered to eventually record a 100th place finish from the 120 crew’s who made it back to Chepstow.

Mini Cooper S, Lewis, Fife, Mailscot, Wyedean Rally,

Unfortunately I was not party to any radio communications during the event which made it impossible to follow what was going on in terms of positions and stage times so today’s blog will be limited to photographs of the winners of the 5 classes which split into a total of 16 sub classes each with a winner along with an overall winner.

The historic class was divided into four, winners of the H1a Class were Peter Lewis and Paul Fife in the 1963 #255 Mini Cooper S, seen above in the Mailcot Stage.

Datsun 240Z, Easson, Reynolds, Blaze Bailey, Wyedean Rally

Back in 1971 and 1973 Datsun 240 Z’s driven by Edgar Hermann and Shekhar Mehta respectively won the gruelling East African Safari Rally proving the model was no flimsy boulevard cruiser.

It was therefore perhaps no great surprise that Jeremy Easson and Mike Reynolds won class H2b on Saturday with their #53 240Z built in 1974.

Mazda RX7, Scannell, Stevens, Blaze Bailey, Whedean Rally,

Nowhere near as noisy as it’s circuit racing siblings was the 1979 #48 Mazda RX7 crewed by class H3b winners Jake Scannell and Adrian Stevens which like the #53 Datsun is seen on the Blaze Bailey stage above.

Ford Escort RS1800, Elliot, Price, Blaze Bailey, Wyedean Rally,

The Ford Escort in MkI and MkII guises was a rallying staple through out the 1970s, winning the 1970 World Cup Rally in MkI form and the 1979 World Rally Championship in MkII form.

The #24 Escort RS1800 Replica above crewed by Nick Elliot and Dave Price won the H4 category and as we shall see was one of three MKII shelled Escorts to win awards on Saturday, the #24 started life as a far more mundane 2 door Ford Escort Popular.

Nissan Micra, Quinn, Carmen, Mailscot, Wyedean Rally,

Three classes were run for the Rally First starter series for novice crews running production cars with a few basic competition safety features.

The RF 1.0 class for cars running motors of no more than 1 litre / 61.5 cui was won by the 2001 #260 Nissan Micra S crewed by Nick Quinn and Neill Carmen seen above on the Mailscot Stage.

Volkswagen Polo, Handford, Davies, Blaze Bailey, Wyedean Rally,

Morgan Handford and Richard Davies took top honors in RF1.4 despite taking the longest route around the final corner of the opening Blaze Bailey stage in their 1999 #236 Volkswagen Polo 1.4 16V.

Volswagen Polo GTi, Smith, Houldsworth, Mailscot, Wyedean Rally,

Top starter class RF1.6 honours were taken by Mick Smith and Calvin Houldsworth driving their 2001 #220 Volkswagen Polo GTi seem above on the Mailscot Stage.

MG ZR, Riddick, Riddick, Mailscot Wyedean Rally,

The BTRDA kick Start 1400 series is run in two classes for slightly more sophisticated cars than the Rally First vehicles, but with tightly controlled stock restricted specifications on motors and suspensions.

Winners of Class 1400 C were the Scotish pair Keith and Mairi Riddick in their 2001 #227 MG ZX.

Vauxhall Corsa, Bennett, McNeil, Blaze Bailey, Wyedean Rally,

The slightly more liberal 1400 S class was won by #201 Vauxhall Corsa crewed by David Bennett and Alistair McNeil seen above on the Blaze Bailey stage following a much better line through the final corner than the #236 RF1.4 class winning VW Polo.

Ford Fiesta ST, Cook, Jones, Mailscot, Wyedean Rally,

Group N is an internationally recognised production based category that allows only safety modifications and a free choice of electronic control unit (ECU) for the motor, the success of the category can be judged by the fact it has remained largely unchanged since it’s inception in 1982.

Winners of the Group N3 class for vehicles with motors up to 2 litres / 122 cui on Saturday were Geno Cook and Ryan Jones who drove the #66 Ford Fiesta ST seen above in the closing gloom towards the end of the final Mailscot Stage.

 Mitsubishi EVO IX, Thompson, Murphy, Blaze Bailey, Wyedean Rally,

Russ Thompson and Andy Murphy won the over 2 litre / 122 cui Group N4 class driving the #10 Mitsubishi Evo IX seen on the Blaze Bailey Stage above.

Peugeot 205 GTi, Lloyd, Roberts, Mailscot, Wyedean Rally,

The top five classes, B10, B11, B12, B13 and B14 cater for a range of specialised vehicles which must retain FIA crash tested type body shells, which precludes the use of space / tube frame specials.

Winners of the up to 1600 cc / 97.6 cui B10 class were Thomas Lloyd and Sherrin Roberts in their formerly Grey 1987 #60 Peugeot 205 Gti running with non period LED fog lights.

Ford Escort Mk II, Elsmore, Harrold, Mailscot, Wyedean Rally,

Graham Elsmore and Stuart Harrold won the first three Wyedean Rallies from 1975 to 1977, the pair were also British Group One, similar to Group N, champions in 1977 and competed for works Ford, Triumph and Vauxhall teams in to the 1980’s.

They were loaned the #32 Ford Escort Mk2, seen hanging it’s tail out on the Mailscot stage above, by event sponsor Rob Weir, Graham and Stuart repaid Rob’s kindness with an up 2 litre / 122 cui class B11 victory.

Ford Escort Mk II, Phelps, Manuel, Blaze Bailey, Wyedean Rally,

Over 2 litre / 122 cui B12 class honours were won by the #61 Ford Escort Mk2 crewed by Tim Phelps and Elwyn Manuel, their car is powered by a 2.4 litre / 146 cui motor who’s origin I was not able to determine during the course of the event.

Mitsubishi EVO IX, Elsmore, Edwards, Mailscot, Wyedean Rally,

Graham Elsmore’s son Nik is a proper chip off the old block, he was 1999 BRTDA Gold Star champion and shared the #21 Mitsubishi Evo IX above with Matt Edwards to finish 5th overall and win the B13 class for vehicles over 2 litres / 122 cui with four wheel drive.

Ford Fiesta ST, Payne and Williamson, Mailscot, Wyedean Rally,

The events Press officer Andrew Haill kindly explained that despite finishing behind 2 other B14 competitors James Payne and Carl Williamson driving the #3 Ford Fiesta ST above on the Mailscot stage were awarded the top honours in class B14 because the top three overall finishers are excluded from class awards.

Ford Focus WRC 07, Bird, Davies, Blaze Bailey, Wyedean Rally,

Clear overall winner of the 40th Weir Engineering Wyedean Forest Rally with five stage wins and 3 second fastest times was 2005 ANCRO National champion Cumbrian Paul Bird and his Welsh co driver Aled Davies driving his 2007 #1 Ford Focus WRC.

Paul, the head of Paul Bird Motorsports who run PBM Moto GP and British Superbike teams, has finished 2nd twice on this rally before was thrilled to win the event at the third time of asking.

Paul finished last season with two straight rally victories, which has now become three and he will be looking to make it four on the Malcom Wilson Stages Rally on March the 7th.

If you have never seen a forest rally in person I can heartily recommend it, your fellow spectators are unfailingly friendly, kids seem to love the sport, one six year old on Saturday managed to detain his Dad on the stages for many hours beyond the original two Dad had planned for the visit and most National Forests in the UK can be visited for free, though there maybe charges for car parking, as for example the reasonable £6 being charged for Forestry parking on the Mailscot Stage.

Thanks for joining me on this “Bird’s Wyedean Win” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at King Richards ’67 Plymouth Belvedere. Don’t forget to come back now !


The Corporation’s 300S – Maserati 300S

If cars had karma one might wonder what on earth today’s Maserati 300S chassis #3060 had been upto in it’s previous life.

Maserati 300S, Goodwood Festival of Speed

#3060 was originally sold to Maserati Corporation of America in October 1955 and the car made it’s debut at the 1956 Sebring 12 hours with Italian Cesare Perdisa and Argentinian Carlos Menditéguy at the wheel.

Maserati 300S, Goodwood Festival of Speed

39 laps into the race the car was retired with accident damage, then on the way back to New York the trailer carrying #3060 was hit by a truck causing further damage.

Maserati 300S, Goodwood Festival of Speed

By 1957 Maserati Corp of America had repaired the car and Dale Duncan drove #3060 to victory on the Little Switzerland Hillclimb at Euraka Springs. A week later Carroll Shelby then drove the car to the first of two consecutive victories first at Caumberland Airport and then a month later at Lime Rock.

Maserati 300S, David Franklin, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Bob Butcher bought the car miway through 1957 and he scored a 2nd at Thompson before hiring Carroll Shelby to drive #3060 in the Road America 500 at Elkhart Lake where he finished 2nd.

Maserati 300S, David Franklin, Goodwood Festival of Speed

It is believed that #3060 passed into the hands of Rallye Motors by 1959 and it is possible that #3060 was scheduled to be driven in the ’59 Sebring 12 Hours by Edwin P. Lawrence and James Cook. However there is at least one other 300S chassis, of a still extant vehicle, that Edwin was driving when he fatally crashed in practice.

Maserati 300S, David Franklin, Goodwood Festival of Speed

During the 1960’s #3060 was seen with a ‘ugly’ fibre glass body allegedly covering the original aluminium body, the chassis was also fitted with a Chevy V8 and GM Auto transmission.

The car was restored in 1991 and fitted with a motor that was assembled from ‘an amalgam of’ parts held by Cameron Miller. 1978 British Hillclimb Champion David Franklin is seen at the wheel of #3060 in these photographs during this years Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Thanks for joining me on this “The Corporation’s 300S” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l pshycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again for a look at a Sultan’s Bugatti tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


4th Of Four – Bentley 4 1/2 Litre #TX3246

Just as May is the month motorsport turns it’s attentions to the Indianapolis 500 and Monaco Grand Prix June is traditionally the sports interest focuses on the Le Mans 24 Hours. This month I have lined up 29 vehicles that either competed in the event, are of a type that competed in the event and or were designed to compete in the event but for one reason or another did not compete on the fastest roundabout in the world.

Humphrey Wyndham Cook is listed on the peerage.com as being born in 1893 to Wyndham Francis Cook and Frederica Evelyn Stillwell Freeland he attending Harrow on the Hill School and Christ Church, Oxford University.

Bentley 4 1/2 Litre, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Described as quiet and enthusiastic Humphrey started racing in 1914 and continued after The Great 1914/18 war racing Vauxhall’s and Bugatti’s mostly at Brooklands.

In 1928 he entered today’s featured car an unsupercharged 4 1/2 litre Bentley, chassis #TX3246 in the 1928 Tourist Trophy at Ards where he finished 7th.

Bentley 4 1/2 Litre, Goodwood Festival of Speed

The car next appears to have been entered by W.O. Bentley in to the Double Twelve at Brooklands, two 12 hour races being run in daylight on the same weekend, so as not to disturb the neighbors at night, in May 1929 where Humphrey and Frank Clement retired with a big end failure.

A month later and with the big end repaired #TX3246 powered by it’s original motor #PM3275 was entered into the Le Mans 24 Hour race by Bentley Motors Ltd for Frank Clement and Jean Chassagne to drive. Carrying the #8 They finished 4th completing a 1st to 4th place sweep for the Marque behind the Woolf Barnato and Henry Birkin driving the #1 Speed Six and the #9 and #10 4 1/2 litre cars driven by Jack Dunfee and Glen Kidston with Dr. Dudley Benjafield and André d’Erlanger in the latter.

Bentley 4 1/2 Litre, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Humphrey Cook and Leslie Callingham drove #TX3246 to a third place finish in the Brooklands 6 hour race at the end of June 1929 where a Bentley 1,2 finish interupted by an ALFA Romeo running in the 2 litre / 122cui class.

Two weeks later in the Irish GP Eireann Cup run at Phoenix Park Humphrey finished 5th before #TX3246 returned to Brooklands where Jack Barclay and Frank Clement drove her to victory lane in the Brooklands 500, the first race ever organised by the British Racing Drivers Club, BRDC, in October 1929.

Bentley 4 1/2 Litre, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Humphrey Cook went on to fund and race Raymond Mays and Peter Berthon’s English Racing Automobiles, ERA, project.

While Jack Barclay is still best known in London for his Rolls Royce and Bentley Dealerships in Mayfair.

Bentley 4 1/2 Litre, Goodwood Festival of Speed

#TX3246 powered by the 4 1/2 litre motor number #PM3275 is seen in these photographs at Goodwood Festival of Speed last year.

Thanks for joining me on this “4th Of Four” edition of “Getting A Little Psycho On Tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !