Tag Archives: Cord

Americana – Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion

Last month Geoffrey Horton kindly asked Karl Krause to take some photo’s of the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion festivities at Laguna Seca, I’ll be running a couple of blogs featuring a selection of the vehicles that were present starting with five American vehicles and one from Canada today.

Ford Model T Speedster, Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion

First up is a the #81 1922 Ford Model T Speedster known as the Hudkins MoTor Special in deference to Bruce Hudkins who built the immaculate boat tail body.

Caballo de Hiero, Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion

Fast forward 31 years to 1953 when a pioneering Hot Rodder Akton Miller took it upon himself to build the #11 “Caballo de Hiero”, Iron Horse, above using a Ford Chassis and an Oldsmobile motor to take on the might of Europe from Lancia, Ferrari, Talbot Lago and Jaguar in the 1953 Carrera Panamerica in which he and co driver Douglas Harrison finished a respectable 14th overall, the following year they returned and came home an even better 7th overall covering the 1921 mile route at an average speed of 94.1 miles per hour.

Bocar XP5,  Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion,

In the late 1950’s BOb CARnes set out to design and build the fastest and safest sports car in the world that would be both fully operable on ordinary roads and track, at a price within the reach of ordinary people. By 1959 he was on his 5th design the XP5 like the example owned by Wesley Abendroth above which I believe is chassis XP5043, that when powered by a 290 hp Corvette V8 was easily capable of 160 mph.

Dailu Mk2, Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, Laguna Seca,

Even more obscure and rare than the Bocar XP5 is Greg Meyer’s Dailu Mk2 built by DAvId Greenblatt and LUigi Cassiani in Canada. After the pair turned constructors and successfully built the Chevrolet powered Dailu Mk1 to improve upon Davids 1960 Sadler Mk IV, they built the Dailu Mk2 with a coupé fiberglass body, Jaguar XKE rear suspension, and a 430hp Ford Traco engine. John Canon drove it to victory on it’s debut and owner Peter Lerch continued the cars winning ways even after electing to remove the roof.

Ford GT40 MkII, Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, Laguna Seca,

Probably best known of today’s featured cars is the Ford GT40 MkII chassis P/1015 which Ken Miles and Lloyd Ruby drove to victory on it’s debut in the 1966 Daytona 24 Hours and was then driven by Ken and Denny Hulme to a second place finish in the Le Mans 24 Hours, subsequent starts in the same events in 1967 yielded no finishes.

Chevrolet Monza, Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, Laguna Seca,

Fourteen years further down the line and Chris Cord Racing were entering the second of their DeKon Engineering built Chevrolet Monza’s for Jim Adams in the IMSA GTX series. Other drivers of chassis #1012, seen above now owned by Ken Epsman, in the 1980 – 81 time frame included team owner Chris Cord, Rick Koop and a chap, or these days I believe more correctly a chapess, called Bruce Jenner who is apparently a darling of the moment in the media .

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for organising these photographs for me and to Karl Krause for their execution, more will follow next week.

Thanks for joining me on this “Americana” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a 1975 World Constructors Winning Ferrari. Don’t forget to come back now !


Americana – Hillsborough Concours d’Elegance

Geoffrey Horton kindly sent me the images for the next three posts which were all taken at the Hillsborough Concours d’Elegance, today’s post will feature selected American cars, tomorrow selected Ferrari’s and Saturday’s more selections from Europe.

Phantom, Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance

When it comes to revolutionary one off designs few can match the 1938 (Nineteen Thirty Eight) Phantom Corsair which was the brain child of ketchup heir Rust Heinz and Maurice Schwartz that had the driver sit next to one passenger on the left and two more to the right with just two more in the back. The gull wing doors were push button operated as was the electrically operated four speed automatic transmission, the whole car being built on a Cord Front Wheel Drive chassis and powered by a 190 hp Lycoming V8.

Devin D, Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance

The 1959 Devin D was so successful on the race track that Porsche refused to sell Bill Devin motors forcing his customers to acquire their own Porsche motors and install them themselves.

Chrysler 300F, Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance

After the low sales volumes for the Chrysler 300D in 1958 and 300E in 1959 sales picked up again in 1960 for the Chrysler 300F which was powered by a new 413 cu in (6.8 L) Wedge V8 engine that produced 375 hp.

Pontiac GTO, Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance

If one wanted to hop up ones 1964 Pontiac Tempest for US$ 295 one could opt for the GTO options as seen on the example above that included a 325 hp 6 litre / 389 cui V8, dual exhausts, chromed valve covers and air cleaner, three speed Hurst floor shift manual transmission a raft of handling improvements, but standard Tempest steering and drum brakes.

Shelby Cobra, Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance

The #19 competition 427 Shelby Cobra chassis CSX 3010 appears to have been built in 1965, the only in period racing history I have been able to verify for it thus far pertains to the 1968 US Champions race at Riverside which was won by a Peter Consiglio for whom I have also been unable to establish any other results, if you know more about Peter please do not hesitate to chip in below.

Chevrolet Corvette, Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance

Finally I believe the 1967 Chevrolet Corvette above was judged the best in Corvette through to 1989 class.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sharing his photographs more of which can be seen on Ferrari Friday and on Saturday.

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


Classic Americans – Desert Classic Concours d’Elegance

A couple of weeks ago Geoffrey Horton loaded his trailer up with his Jaguar XK140 and headed for Palm Springs and the Desert Classic Concours d’Elegance. Toady’s blog features photo’s Geoffrey kindly shared of some of the US built cars that were taking part.

Lincoln L Brunn Beetle Back, Desert Classic Concours d'Elegance

By 1925 Cadillac founder Henry M Leland had sold the second marque he had founded, Lincoln, to Henry Ford for $8m but Ford continued to up date the L-Series first seen in 1917, until 1930. The 1925 Lincoln above features a nickel plated radiator shell first seen in 1924.

Cadillac V16 Series 452, Desert Classic Concours d'Elegance

Need a 2 door convertible with plenty of room for occasional passengers and cargo in the boot / trunk the 1930 Cadillac V16 Series 452 is just the car you are looking for.

Packard 1005 Convertible Coupe , Desert Classic Concours d'Elegance

Winner of this years Desert Classic Concours d’Elegance was the 1933 V12 powered Packard 1005 Twelve Convertible Coupe seen above. The 1005 was the tenth Packard series car and shared 11 different body with the V8 powered Packard Super Eight.

Cord 812 s/c, Desert Classic Concours d'Elegance

1935 the Cord 810 was the sensation of the New York Auto Show, by 1937 when the supercharged 812 convertible above was built the company had a less than complimentary reputation for reliability and the following year the remains of the company were sold to Avaiation Corporation which today is part of Textron Systems Corporation.

Diamond T Pickup, Desert Classic Concours d'Elegance

Following a tip from some quail hunters the owner of this rugged 1949 Diamond T Model 201 1 ton pickup abandoned in a field near Globe Arizona, dented and rusted it was 90% there and the Hercules six cylinder motor still turned. After restoration this Diamond T won the 2010 Desert Classic Concours d’Elegance Best Non-Passenger Vehicle award.

Packard 250, Desert Classic Concours d'Elegance

Visiting Paris Retromobile in the 1990’s Californian Carl Schneider came across some drawings by Pininfarina of a Packard that was never built. After purchasing the drawings Carl and Peter Portugal built the likeness of the Pininfarina Packard, seen above, using a 1952 Packard 250 series Mayfair two-door hardtop as a starting point.

Scarab Continuation, Desert Classic Concours d'Elegance

In 1958 Lance Reventlow started building a successful series of sports racing cars, above is a continuation model.

Guldstrand Corvette GS90, Desert Classic Concours d'Elegance

In the early 1990’s Corvette racer Dick Guldstrand approached General Motors with a plan to build his own vehicle based on the Corvette asking for 15 chassis and a few million dollars to get him going, he got one car and GM’s blessing. Dick ended up building six of the $200,000 dollar cars, the one above is the second of them, built in 1993.

Vector M12, Desert Classic Concours d'Elegance

Nearly three times more common than the Guldstarnd Corvette is the Vector M12 of which 17 examples were manufactured from 1995 to 1999. The Vector was built on a modified Lamborghini Diablo Chassis and is powered by a 499 hp Lamborghini V12.

My thanks to Geoffrey for sharing his photographs more of which will be seen tomorrow and next Wednesday.

Thanks for joining me on this “Classic Americans” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me tomorrow for Ferrari Friday to see a work in progress.


Unlucky In Love – Auburn 851 SC Speedster

The Auburn 8-851 SC was a response to the failure of the previous 12 cylinder 12-160 model to sell at Dodge V8 prices, customers, even during those depression years up to 1933, erroneously thought there had to be something wrong with the product to be offered at such bargain prices !

Auburn 851 SC, Goodwood Revival

Restyled by Gordon Beuhrig, of a model originally designed by Alan Leamy, the Speedster is one of the all time most memorable elegant designs from nose to boat tail.

Auburn 851 SC, Goodwood Revival

The 8 indicating 8 cylinders was dropped from the model name to become ‘851’ which was available with a normally aspirated straight 8 Lycoming motor or a 150 hp supercharged one.

Auburn 851 SC, Goodwood Revival

The casual observer looking at the front of an Auburn was never left in any doubt about the Supercharged version of the “851” chrome headers of the SC were matched by tasteful text on the bonnet / hood which shouted out top of the range model …

Auburn 851 SC, Goodwood Revival

even on the intake side of the motor !

Auburn 851 SC, Goodwood Revival

Fabled speed merchant Ab Jenkins took a stock 851 SC Speedster and ran it for 12 hours at an average speed of 100 mph soon after the model launched on January 1st 1935. Ab Jenkins was then employed to test each 851 SC Speedster to over 100 mph before shipment, the plaque on this one shows Ab tested the car to 100.6 mph.

Auburn 851 SC, Goodwood Revival

Around 5000 normally aspirated and supercharged version of the ‘851’ were sold in 1935, but the following year sales of the same model rebadged ‘852’ tanked leading EL Cord to wind up production at the 40 year old Auburn company for good.

Auburn 851 SC, Goodwood Revival

This particular car was purchased by Eduardo Montinola as a courting gift for Philippine model Susan Magalona who married Eduardo’s rival Carlos Ledesma a sugar baron in what was described as the marriage of the year, in the Philippines, with gifts that included a truck full of peanuts ! The Marriage was loveless and annulled and Susan subsequently married millionaire diplomat by the name of Federico Elizalde.

Thanks for joining me on this ‘Unlucky In Love’ edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’ I hope you will join me again tomorrow. 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 !