Tag Archives: Croft

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 !


120 Years Of Competition – Mercedes Benz

2014 marks the 120 years of competition for Mercedes Benz, going back to the 1894 Paris – Rouen race and examples of the marque on display at Goodwood included Ben Collins 111 year old Mercedes Simplex 60hp.

Mercedes 18/100, Mass, Croft, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Going back just 100 years, like the lucky birthday boy passenger Basil Croft, was the Mercedes 18/100 of the type which Christian Lautenschlager drove to win the 1914 French Grand Prix. 1975 Spanish Grand Prix winner and 1989 Le Mans winner Jochen Mass is seen at the wheel here.

Mercedes Benz W165, Stewart, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Paul Stewart is seen at the wheel of the slightly smokey 1939 Mercedes Benz W165 of the type which irked the Italians by winning the 1939 Tripoli Grand Prix with Hermann Lang at the wheel.

Mercedes Benz High Speed Transporter, 300SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé, Goodwood Festival of Speed

For their return to Grand Prix racing in 1954 the Mercedes Benz Rennabteilung built a special high speed transporter, capable of 104 mph, using Mercedes 300SL running gear. Sitting on the back of the replica Rennwagen Schnelltransporter is one of two Mercedes Benz 300SLR Uhlenhaut Coupés built on the chassis of the 300SLR roadster of the type Stirling Moss and Dennis Jenkinson drove to victory in the 1955 Mille Miglia with a 300SL Gullwing Body.

Mercedes Benz 300SLS, Franchitti, Goodwood Festival of Speed

It was great to see 3 time Indy winner Dario Franchitti back behind the wheel of a racing car, he was so pleased he even took a selfie of himself behind the wheel while the car was moving ! The car Dario is seen driving here is a replica 300SLS of the type Paul O’Shea drove to many victories for GALPOT contributor Geoffrey Horton’s uncle George Tilp in the USA.

Mercedes Benz 500SL Rallye, Asch, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Moving forward two decades to 1980 and Mercedes Benz were competing in the World Rally Championship with the 500SLC Rallye model, the season highlight was a 1-2 victory in the Ivory Coast Rally shared by Björn Waldegård and Hans Thorszelius in the winning car. Roland Asch is about to find out that the hey bails make a poor substitute for the vehicles brakes.

Mercedes Benz CLK GTR, Ludwig, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Finally two time Le Mans winner Klaus Ludwig pilots a 1998 V12 Mercedes Benz CLK GTR back to the pits of the type that won the 1997 FIA GT Drivers and Manufacturers Championships with Bernd Schneider at the wheel.

Thanks for joining me on this “120 Years Of Competition” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again for Maserati Monday tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !