Tag Archives: DB

Derelict & Abandoned In Pennsylvania – DB Panhard HBR 5 #1004

It’s hard to believe that nothing is known about this DB (Deutsch Bonnet) HBR 5, seen at Brooklands a few weeks ago, between it’s export from France to the USA in 1959 until it’s discovery derelict and abandoned in Pennsylvania in 1982.

DB Panhard HBR 5, Brooklands Double Twelve

After restoration to racing spec in 1985 it was shown and raced regularly until 1991 and then stored until 1999.

DB Panhard HBR 5, Brooklands Double Twelve

The current owner acquired it in 2001 and restored it to European road legal condition by 2005.

DB Panhard HBR 5, Brooklands Double Twelve

HBR 5’s were manufactured between 1954 and and 1961. The 850 cc / 51.8 cui 2 cylinder Panhard motors sourced from the Panhard Dyna Z was upgraded from 42 hp to 58 hp spec by René Bonnet.

DB Panhard HBR 5, Brooklands Double Twelve

The upgraded Panhard motor which could be taken up to 6500 rpm when combined with the slippery Charles Deutsch designed body produced a vehicle capable of 140 mph though acceleration was rather leisurely with a rest to 62 mph time of 21.5 seconds.

DB Panhard HBR 5, Brooklands Double Twelve

Available as Coupé’s, Convertibles or outright racers the DB HBR 5 had a long competition career winning it’s class in the Mille Miglia, Le Mans and Sebring multiple times.

Thanks for joining me on this “Derelict & Abandoned In Pennsylvania” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking into the shadow’s on Americana Thursday. Don’t forget to come back now !


Double Twelve – Brooklands

Last Sunday I was spoiled for choice of interesting events to attend and opted for going to Brooklands where the Double Twelve event was billed as the biggest motoring competition held at the World’s oldest circuit since 1939. Unfortunately I missed the speed trials which were held on Saturday but I did catch the Driving Concours on Sunday.

Hupmobile Eight, Brooklands Double Twelve

As ever, when I visit Brooklands,I probably learned more on Sunday than I had forgotten in a life time. Among many cars I had either never seen let alone heard of was this Hupmobile Eight in the car park.

ALFA Romeo, 1750 Berlinetta Prototype, Brooklands, Double Twelve

This ALFA Romeo, looks like a anorexic “Montreal” but in fact is a 1968 “1750 Berlinetta” a road registered prototype driven here by Corrado Lopresto, one of several ALFA Romeo Prototypes present and one of numerous cars that had been brought over from Italy for the Double 12.

AC Bristol, Greyhound, Brooklands, Double Twelve

A Bristol powered AC Greyound cost 25% more than a Shelby American Cobra when it was manufactured, this 1963 example is one of 82 built between 1958 and 1964 and features a sunroof fitted new by the Allard Motor Company.

Lagonda 2 litre, Brooklands, Double Twelve

Martin Tinsley driving the 1932 2 litre Lagonda, above, demonstrates it’s impressive turning circle on one of the driving tests.

Mercedes Benz, 230, Brooklands, Double Twelve

Another vehicle that had come all the way from Italy was the Mercedes 230, above, driven by Massimo Delbo who won the Mercedes Benz Pre and Post War Sports and Touring Cars class of the Driving Concours.

Hotchkiss Brandt M201 JEEP, Brooklands, Double Twelve

Looks like a Willy’s JEEP from the good ol’ USA and was billed as a WWII Jeep, but in fact this M201 was built under license by Hotchkiss Brandt in 1957 for a contract from the French Military. If you would like to own this vehicle it is the prize in a Raffle organised by the War and Peace Show more details on this link. I now have tickets to win a Morgan, a Triumph and a JEEP, one day I just have to get lucky !

Lotus 61, Brooklands, Double Twelve

The first time I took a photo of Les Buck’s Lotus 61 it was tipping down at Prescott the photo was so blurry all I could make out was that the car was yellow and green. Les told me he plans to be out at Prescott today so weather permitting I’ll have a second crack at getting a photo of the car in action.

MG Super Sport, Brooklands, Double Twelve

With my recent run of Tuesday MG blogs it was a thrill and a surprise to stumble across the oldest MG known to exist this MG Super Sports dates back to 8th January 1925 and during the ’39-’45 war was converted to a hay-mower !

Sinclair C5, Brooklands, Double Twelve

Restricted to a top speed of 15 mph, in order not to be categorised as a motor vehicle on British roads, the Sinclair C5 was a hybrid powered by an electric motor or pedal power. Despite being launched with the aid of Stirling Moss, in 1985, it was the object of much derision with a lamentable performance climbing hills. I suspect this model may have a turbo conversion with 24v electrics because it effortlessly whistled up the Test Hill without the aid of pedal power and appeared to be traveling well over 15 mph.

Rolls Royce, Handlye Special, Brooklands, Double Twelve

At the other end of power spectrum was the Rolls Royce Merlin / Meteor powered 27 litre / 1650 cui Handlye Special, built and driven by Robin Beech, which by virtue of laying a single 20 yard black stripe at the bottom of the Test Hill got my vote for the “Gettin’ a li’l Psycho on Tyres” award !

DB HBR5, Rolls Royce, Brooklands, Double Twelve

The ‘Deutsch Bonnet’ DB HBR5 Coupé belonging to Derek Fritz came third in it’s class of the Driving Concours event a car I shall cover in greater detail in a future Wednesday Continental Curiosity blog.

Fraser Nash TT Replica, Brooklands, Double Twelve

Overall winner of the Driving Concours was Andrew Hall in the 1935 Fraser Nash TT Replica, not to be confused with being a replica of a 1935 car, Andrew can be seen in the passenger seat receiving the trophy a Brooklands Screen mounted on hefty chunck of the Brooklands Track.

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


Broken Promises – DB Panhard HBR

Somehow almost overlooked this photo by Ed Arnaudin of John B Mull in his DB Panhard competing in Race 1 at Thompson CT on the 20th July 1958, although John did not finish this race, we shall see this is a significant model in the world of national and international class H up to 750 cc 45.7 cui racing.

The manufacture of DB cars commenced after a promised drive failed to materialise at the 1936 French Sports Car Grand Prix for Charles Deutsch and René Bonnet. The following year they entered a special of their own devising using the remnants of of a Citroen Traction Avant 11 CV.

Their specials placed in the very first post war race in Paris in 1945 and with the construction of the open wheel DB7 Automobiles Deutsch & Bonnet became a business entity in 1947.

Unhappy with the supply of Citroen parts they switched primarily to using flat twin Panhard motors of 744 cc / 45.4 cui. DB Panhards took class victories at the Mille Miglia, four times, Le Mans, three times, Sebring, twice and SCCA class H, the latter in 1958 with Howard Hanna at the wheel and in 1959 with Ray Heppenstall at the wheel.

Despite their on track success after building nearly 1000 vehicles, a disagreement over the architecture of their next model led to Deutsch and Bonnet going their separate ways forming CD and Automobiles René Bonnet respectively, the latter using Renault power became part of Matra Automobiles in 1965.

Panhard which as Panhard et Levassor had been in business since 1897 was absorbed in to Citroen in 1965 with the last vehicle produced in 1967 the name is still to be found in use as a brand of French built military vehicle.

The HBR model seen here was built from 1954 to 1961 on the most common DB chassis shared with Mille Miles and Coach models of which a combined total of 660 were made.

John B Mull appears to have had a collection of vehicles to race with Evelyn Mull between them they are known to have raced a Jaguar XK120, AC Ace Bristol, Austin Healey 100 S and this DB Panhard, JB is also known to have raced an OSCA S750.

Hope you have enjoyed the Race 1 Thompson CT 20th July 1958 series, my thanks to Ed and Steve Arnaudin for the photograph and to Terry O’Neil for the race results. Join me tomorrow for Ferrari Friday when we will be looking at a vehicle driven by a reigning 3 time World Grand Prix Champion on it’s victorious debut and a month later was driven to a class victory by the USA’s first future world champion. Don’t forget to come back now!