Tag Archives: Dave

50 Foot Special – Mercedes Chevy 300SL

Mercedes Chevy 300 SL, Sacramento State Capital C d'E

Back in the 1950’s US Mercedes Benz importer Max Hoffman is credited with encouraging Daimler Benz AG to build the Mercedes 300 SL (W198) based on the successful 1952 Le Mans Winning 300 SL (W194).

Chuck Porter amongst a few other US racing drivers took wrecked 300 SLs and turned them into full blown race cars giving them the ‘SLS’ moniker.

Mercedes Chevy 300 SL, Sacramento State Capital C d'E

The body of today’s car owned by multi championship winning driver and owner Dave Wolin is thought to have possibly started as such a project. The body is said to have been abandoned in a San Gabriel Valley back yard for 50 years after incurring the legal wrath of Daimer Benz AG for being too close a copy of the original.

Mercedes Chevy 300 SL, Sacramento State Capital C d'E

When Dave found the body it had a tree growing in it ! After the body was rejuvenated it was fitted to a modern chassis powered by a Chevrolet small block crate motor. The power is transmitted through a four speed Richmond T 10 gearbox and Speedway Engineering Quick Change rear axle.

Mercedes Chevy 300 SL, Sacramento State Capital C d'E

Dave successfully competes with this cool car in races, hill climbs and surprisingly, given that he modestly calls his Merc a 50 Footer*, also enters his Mercedes into Concours events such as the Sacramento State Capital Concours as seen here.

* Looks good from 50 feet but it’s a racing car not a show car.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for the photos, for introducing me to Dave Wolin and to Dave for the additional photos and information about this ultra cool 300 SL.

I hope you have enjoyed todays Gull Wing edition of ‘Gettin a lil’ psycho on tyres’ and that you will join me again tomorrow for a trip to the Donnington Park Museum. Don’t forget to come back now !

PS Recommend aficionados of the 1930’s era Silver Arrow’s visit my friend Paul Chenard’s blog about his limited edition book ‘Silver Clouds‘ on the 1934 season.


The Bosses Car #2 – Aston Martin Rapide

Regular readers may remember a couple of months ago when i visited the Morgan factory I happened across Charles Morgan’s limited edition Aeromax.

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A couple of weeks ago I happened across Dave Richards, personal transport this fabulous ‘large and in charge’ Aston Martin Rapide while visiting Prodrive.

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The Rapide is Aston Martin’s top of the range 4 door saloon, a successor to the Aston Martin V8 based Series 1 Aston Martin Lagonda of 1974/74 of which just 7 were built.

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The 2010 Rapide is powered by a 470 hp 5935cc / 362 cui V12 …

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that is shared in common with both the DB9 and V12 Vanquish.

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This is only the second Rapide I have ever seen and it still surprises me how graceful this four dour DB9 looks.

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Surprisingly this range topping model of of a well known British Marque is actually assembled at a dedicated Magna Steyr plant in Graz, Austria.

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The standstill to 62mph performance time of 5.2 seconds and top speed of 184 mph will undoubtedly helped a near standard Rapide take second in class during the 24 hour race at the Nurburgring in 2010.

More on Aston Martin and the Rapide Luxe can be seen up the Drive Channel.

Hope you have enjoyed today’s Austrian built edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres, and that you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Rise and Fall – Euclid R210

It’s always a thrill to bring you something remarkable here on Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres and today’s humungous story comes courtesy of Gray Chandler with whom I became acquainted on The Nostalgia Forum a couple of weeks ago.

Gray from Adelaide, Australia, spent 14 years working as a heavy equipment fitter looking after 60 plus Euclid R105 mining trucks, each with a 100 ton carrying capacity, on the open cast copper mines on the then troubled tropical Bougainville Island between Papua New Guinea and the Soloman Islands north east of Australia on the South Western Pacific rim.

Gray informs me that it was possible to execute a 360 degree spin in an R105… if it was empty !

One day in the early 1970’s a new $500,000 piece of kit arrived for testing and evaluation the Euclid R210.

It was carefully assembled with a crane to lift the heavier parts into place…

… the biggest crane on the Island was on the back of this 4 axle chassis. Euclid the Greek mathematician would have surely been impressed with the geometry.

The completed Euclid R210, which dwarfed the hitherto ubiquitous R105, had an empty weight of 250,000 lbs. Power came courtesy of a 1,850 hp Avco-Lycoming gas turbine engine, running on jet fuel which was used to drive a Euclid AC generator and AC/DC transformer which provided power for the DC wheel motors, the turbine and generator weighed ‘only’ 6000 lbs.

The R210 was soon put to work carrying 210 tons of material or 140 cubic yards at a 2:1 heap SAE.

The R210 met a premature end when the turbine ‘flamed out’ (self destructed) which immediately caused the generator to stop and thus the braking AND steering system to fail. The operator who gallantly stayed with his vehicle, I am not sure I would have jumped 12 feet to the ground either, became a passenger as 250,000 lbs of rolling steel brushed a puny Euclid R105 aside like a match stick, after crushing first a 3 axle CAT 14e road grader and then a 3 axle Isuzu cherry picker the R210’s wheels were sufficiently fouled for it to come to rest.

Amazingly everyone involved managed to get out of the way and no one was hurt.

The mining company tried to hush the story up, but our man Gray seen here in front of the Euclid R210 managed to get some photo’s anyway.

Despite it’s tropical paradise location Borurganville Islanders were fighting for their independence from Papua New Guinea at the time something that was not achieved until 1997. Anyone like me interested in mining communities in the 1970’s will be interested to follow this link to a website which gives a fascinating insight to life in the Bougainville Copper Mining community.

I am sure you will all join me in thanking Gray Chandler for today’s outsize story and photo’s along with Dave Webster who took the three photo’s of the Euclid R210’s construction.

Hope you have enjoyed today’s trip to a tropical paradise and that you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Take a bow Dave Randall – Ginetta G4

A couple of months ago I was visiting my folks up near London, went for a walk and and stumbled into this wonderful 1966 Ginetta G4 belonging to Dave Randall.

He told me his car is fitted with a Ford 1500 cc 91 cui engine and that he races it in the HSCC Historic Road Sports Series. It turns out the next day Dave went to Mallory and scored a perfect Q1, F1, C1 and fastest lap !

Not bad racing against more powerful Morgan’s and Triumphs.

Research has revealed that Dave won the 2010 HSCC Historic Road Sports Series Championship with one round to go. Congratulations Dave !

Wishing everyone a sunny day, don’t forget to come back now !