Tag Archives: Delta

Twincharged – Lancia Delta S4

By 1985 it had become apparent that with the successes being racked up by the latest four wheel drive Audi Sport Quattro and Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 Lancia would have to abandon it’s supercharged 2 wheel drive Lancia 037 and join the four wheel drive rallying band wagon if it wanted to remain competitive in World Championship Rallying.

Lancia Delta S4, Race Retro, Stoneleigh

Over the course of 1985/86 Lancia built 200 Lancia Delta S4 Stradales with CroMo tube frame chassis, covered with epoxy and fiberglass 2 door body panels, vaguely reminiscent of the Lancia Delta 4 door hatch back but hinged in the roof for easy access to the rear.

Lancia Delta S4, Race Retro, Stoneleigh

Like the Peugeot Turbo 16 the engine was mounted transversely behind the passenger seat but it was not only supercharged as per Lancia 037 but also turbocharged to improve overall power, while the S4’s four wheel drive system was developed with Hewland.

Lancia Delta S4, Race Retro, Stoneleigh

Power out put for the motor at 5 bar boost was said to be 1000hp but in Staradale, road spec, 250 hp was deemed sufficient while in Corsa, competition spec between 500hp and 600hp was more likely.

Lancia Delta S4, Goodwood Festival of Speed

The competition version of the S4 made it’s debut on the RAC Rally in November 1985 and Henri Toivonen with Neil Wilson navigating came home first ahead of team mates Markku Alén and Ilkka Kivimäki.

Lancia Delta S4, Race Retro, Stoneleigh

The following season the S4 scored four victories; Monte Carlo for Henri Toivonen and Sergio Cresto, Acropolis for Miki Biasion and Tiziano Siviero with Markku Alén and Ilkka Kivimäki winning the Sanreno and Olympus Rallys.

Lancia Delta S4, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Markku and Lancia might have been crowned World Rally Champions, but that was before the governing body the FIA found that the organisers of the San Remo Rally had been wrong to disqualify the Peugeot team from a commanding lead of the rally for using skirts to aid the handling of their cars and so the FIA had little option but to annul the San Remo results which handed the world titles to Juha Kankkunen and Peugeot.

Lancia Delta S4, Race Retro, Stoneleigh

However the season was clouded and the course of rallying was changed after first three spectators were killed and another 30 were injured when a Group B Ford RS200 plunged into a crowd in Portugal and later Henri and Sergio lost their lives after their S4 plunged into a ravine and burst into flames in Corsica.

Lancia Delta S4, Race Retro, Stoneleigh

In the aftermath of these events Group B was cancelled from the end of 1986 and Audi withdrew from the Ford curtailed it’s Rally RS200 programme while Audi immediately withdrew from international rallying completely.

Lancia Delta S4, Alén, Kivimäki, RAC Rally, Wollaton Park, Nottingham

The photo above show’s Markku and Ilkka on the opening Wollaton Park stage of the 1985 RAC Rally while the remaining photographs show S4 Replica’s at Race Retro and Goodwood Festival of Speed built I believe by Rally Legend Replica’s in Blackburn.

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


Summer Classics – Easter Compton

After visiting Queen Square a couple of weeks ago I popped over to Easter Compton for the Summer Classics meeting.

Volkswagen Beetle, Summer Classics, Easter Compton

Representing the home of the Volkswagen, Wolfsburg (Wolfs Castle), was this 1959 Beetle.

Citroën CX 25 GTi Turbo, Summer Classics, Easter Compton

Turbo’s were all the rage in the 1980’s this is a top of the range Citroen CX 25 GTi Turbo from 1985 capable of 130 mph.

Raleigh Safety Seven, Summer Classics, Easter Compton

From 1933 an air cooled twin cylinder Raleigh Safety Seven 3 wheeler, built by the manufacturer in Nottingham better known for building bicycles since 1885 as it does to the present day.

Pontiac Firebird, Summer Classics, Easter Compton

If the signage on this California Highway Patrol car is to be believed this 1997 Pontiac Firebird was converted from a drug dealers car, though I suspect that might just be a bit of PR. If you know different please do not hesitate to chip in below.

Oldsmobile Delta 88, Summer Classics, Easter Compton

Delta was an upmarket trim option introduced to the Oldsmobile 88 in 1965, this Oldsmobile Delta 88 was built in 1972.

Dodge Deluxe Convertible, Summer Classics, Easter Compton Convertible, Summer Classics, Easter Compton

Dodge is celebrating it’s centenary this year, this 1948 Dodge Deluxe Convertible with Fluid Drive transmission was based on a design that went back to 1940 complete with L head side valve motor. These solid Chrysler Corporation D24 cars outsold Fords in the immediate aftermath of World War 2.

Thanks for joining me on this “Summer Classics” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for a look at another vehicle with Can Am history. Don’t for get to come back now !


Very Well Behaved – Delta E4 Coupé

Delta Motorsport was founded in 2005 by Managing Director Simon Dowson and Technical Director Nick Carpenter to transfer skills honed in motorsport to areas where innovative solutions are critical to performance, efficiency and optimisation.

Delta E4 Coupé, Goodwood Festival of Speed

In 2011, with match funding from the East Midlands Development Agency and the Technology Strategy Board, Delta Motorsport built a small run of prototype electric E4 Coupés to show off their skills.

Delta E4 Coupé, Goodwood Festival of Speed

The carbon fibre chassis and body with Bristol Fighter like styling is powered by two Oxford YASA DD500 electric motors fed by an under-floor mounted 32kWh battery driving the rear wheels.

Delta E4 Coupé, Goodwood Festival of Speed

With a range said to be 140 miles from a 12 hour charge, the E4 Coupé will accelerate from rest to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 116 mph.

Delta E4 Coupé, Goodwood Festival of Speed

After driving an E4 Coupé around Silverstone race circuit happy housing guru and TV presenter Kevin McLoud described the vehicle as “very well behaved”.

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


60th Anniversary – Oulton Park Gold Cup

On Bank Holiday Monday a couple of weeks ago I picked up GALPOT contributor Tim Murray and headed 175 miles north to Oulton Park for the second day of the Gold Cup meeting which marked the circuits 60th Anniversay. When we got there we met friends Simon and Phil from The Nostalgia Forum who directed us toward the control Tower where Steve Jones invited us to a cup of coffee and we met Alan Cox who also puts in a regular appearance on these pages.

March 761, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

Afterwards Tim and I had a wonder around the paddock where we found Greg Thornton’s Formula One March 761 resplendent in the colours of Sweden as would have been seen in the hands of Ronnie Peterson. Greg was declared the winner of the opening Derek Bell Trophy race of the day after Micheal Lyons experienced a pinion failure in his Lola T400 Formula 5000 car and an accident in which no one was hurt blocked the track.

Dodd, Chevron B31, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

Despite a sagging rear wing James Dodd driving his, non period, Martini liveried 1976 Chevron B36 appropriately won the Martini Trophy for 2 litre / 122 cui sports cars.

Watts, Peugeot 406, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

I only ever saw Patrick Watts 1998 British Touring Car Championship Peugeot 406 racing on the television but I spent many hundreds of happy hours driving one just like it in a Play Station game called TOCA 2, Patrick found his old car in Australia. Unfortunately he did not finish the Super Touring Trophy which was won by the versatile James Dodd who didn’t have time to celebrate his Martini Trophy win in the Chevron B36 before jumping into his Honda Accord.

Mitchell, Merlin Mk20, Grant, Merlyn Mk20a, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

The Historic Formula Fords can always be relied on to provide entertaining racing, Sam Mitchell and Callum Grant in their #40 and #1 Merlyn MK 20’s were never much further apart than this through out the 20 min race. Callum eventually got the better of Sam to take the chequered flag.

Smith, Delta T81, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

Nelson Rowe won the Amitstead Barnett Financial Services Formula Ford 2000 race and sowed up the Historic Formula Ford 2000 championship with a fine win in his Reynard SF79, the #10 Delta T81 of Derek Smith above has a chassis design going back to 1978 which was penned by none other than Patrick Head went on to form a formidable partnership with Frank Williams.

Historic Touring Cars, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

The Historic Touring Cars also provided a hugely entertaining spectacle above the #14 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super of Bob Schukburgh takes the bumpy route as he tries to pass a couple Hillman Imps, the #4 Mini was driven by British Olympic Cycling legend Sir Chris Hoy. Richard Dutton in the red and gold #35 Ford Mustang worked his way up from the back of the grid to 5th place in the race which was won by Mark Jones in a Ford Lotus Cortina.

Oosterbaan, Alton Holden AR2 , Gold Cup, Oulton Park

A welcome Antipodean novelty in the Libre race for Classic Racing Cars was the Alton AR2 powered by a Holden straight six driven by Henry Ooterbaan, the race was won by Andy Jones driving his father Ian’s Lotus 59.

Thornton, March, Glover, Lola, Lyons, Hesketh, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

If the first Derek Bell Trophy race disappointed because of it’s premature end, the second made up for it by the bucket load. With Micheal Lyons Lola rendered hors d’combat by it’s gearbox Micheal’s father Frank stepped aside to let his son race the family Hesketh 308E with which he started from the back of the grid. For the first 5 laps Neil Glover driving the #10 Lola T300/332 kept Greg Thornton in the #32 March 761 at bay by which time Micheal Lyons joined the fun. Greg on the left is seen above about to over take Neil in the Lola while Micheal on the right is about to pass on the outside on lap six. On the following lap Micheal got past Greg to take a comfortable win. Afterwards I was left wondering what Micheal might have achieved in his Mum Judy’s Surtees TS9.

Challis, Petty, de la Roche, Smith Buckler, Monro, Cooper, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

Steve Jones won the 500cc / 30.5 cui Formula 3 race in his Cooper, above the #7 Petty of Nigel Challis leads the #65 Smith Buckler of Richard de la Roche and #89 Cooper Mk 4 of Shirley Monro in the squable for 10th place, Challis finished the race ahead of Monro and de la Roche.

Yarwood Ladybird Mk6B,  Gold Cup, Oulton Park

John Harrison led the Classic Clubmans race from lights to flag, above the #77 Ladybird Mk6B driven by Bob Yarwood was built by Oulton Park legend Derek Walker, who is credited with winning more races than anyone else at Oulton Park. Derek received a special award for his achievement during the meeting.

Arculus, Lotus Elite, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

As the sun atarted to set the final race of the day was FISCAR Team Handicap race for sports cars built in the 1950’s was won by Brian Arculus in the #71 Lotus Elite.

After a quick sausage and chips washed down by a strong cup of tea it was time to head the 175 miles into the evening with the heavy bank holiday weekend traffic listening to Radio 2 which was celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the release of Dark Side Of The Moon.

Thanks for joining me on this “60th Anniversary” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again for Americana Thursday tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a 1958 racing Corvette. Don’t forget to come back now !


Family Affair – GSM Delta

In 1957 John Scott met South African Bob Van-Niekerk who had plans to build a sports car in South Africa. John told Bob that if he one of his cars won a race in Britain he would arrange to manufacture them in the UK.

GSM Delta, Prescott

Bob with fellow South African’s Willie Meissner and Verster de Wit who was responsible for the body styling produced a mould in the UK and sold the first body built in the UK in order to pay the cost of shipping the moulds to South Africa.

GSM Delta, Prescott

Above John Scott’s son Clive is seen standing next to his grand son, John’s great grandson, Ben behind the 1962 GSM Delta Clive purchased in 2009.

Bob went back to South Africa and set up GSM (Glass Sport Motors) with Willie Meissner and started production of their first vehicle which carried the Dart name.

GSM Delta, Prescott

Immediately competitive in South Africa, scoring 1-2 victory on it’s debut in a 4 hour race in Cape Town in 1958, by 1960 one of the GSM Dart’s found it’s way to the UK in 1960 and won first time out at Brands Hatch. True to his word John started a second production shop for the GSM in West Malling, Kent renaming the car Delta, as Daimler had already found out the Dart name was the property of Chrysler in the USA.

GSM Delta, Prescott

Power for the GSM Delta came from off the shelf Ford’s from 1 litre / 61 cui to 1.5 litres / 92 cui in size, the motor seen here is one of the larger pre crossflow Ford unit’s. Ford components were also used for the steering, brakes, gearbox and rear axle.

GSM Delta, Prescott

When Clive bought this car in 2009 he was surprised to find that he recognised his mothers handwriting in the log book.

GSM Delta, Prescott

Among the winners in the British built GSM Delta’s between 1960 and 1965 was Dutchman Jan van Niekerk, Jeff Uren, 1959 British Saloon Car Champion who is also known as the man behind the “Savage Cartina’s“, John Glyde Walker, Joe Krupwicz Americans Bob Clift, Bill Osband, Dave Johnson and Don Grohs.

GSM Delta, Prescott

Figures vary as to how many GSM Delta’s were built between 1960 and 1961, Clive puts the number at “approximately 40” of which he believes fewer than 10 remain. The car that Clive owns won the 2001 Paul Matty Challenge in 2001 and the 2006 Aldon / HSA Championship.

My thanks to Clive for his help with today’s blog.

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


Classic Expo – Race Retro, Stoneleigh, Coventry 1/2

A couple of weeks ago Tim Murray, Secretary of the Pegasus Motor Club, kindly invited me to join the club for a trip to Race Retro held at the Stoneleigh Park Exhibition and Conference Centre near Coventry, UK.

Here is an oversight of some of the details I saw in a hand full of the 500 plus photo’s I took, I’d filled up my phone with images just getting from the Centre’s car park to the Exhibition Hall !

Amongst the many celebrations at Race Retro was a celebration of the achievements of the Italian tuning house Abarth.

On the Minibus on the way up to Stoneleigh I found myself sitting next to the legendary classic slingshot drag racer Chris Hartnell whose infectious enthusiasm was all I needed to commit myself to going to a Drag event this season !

This is the view from Adz Prices ‘Go Hard or Go Home‘ known, I believe, as an Altered, the car features a Topolino body and a 360 Mopar with Weland Tunnel Ram. Drag lingo is something I am going to have learn fast. I hope to come back to this vehicle with a full blog in the near future.

It’s the 50th Anniversary since the launch of the iconic E-Type Jaguar. I’ll be back with a few E-Type blogs to celebrate in the fullness of time.

Amongst the many Jaguars and Jaguar replica’s on display was this fabulous XJR15 a model I had not seen in the flesh before.

There was an awesome display of rallying Lancia’s including this Group B Delta S4 which was the highest evolution of rally cars ever devised, this particular all wheel drive car had a mid mounted engine that was both turbocharged AND supercharged. It was my good fortune to see this very vehicle in action when it came second in the 1985 RAC Rally on it’s debut driven by Markku Alén and Ilkka Kivimäki behind team mates Henri Toivonen and Neil Wilson. Another vehicle that will be the subject of a future blog.

With thanks to Tim Murray and the Pegasus Motor Club without home this blog would not have been possible.

Hope you have enjoyed the first half of my report on the Race Retro Exhibition and that you’ll join me again tomorrow for part two. Don’t forget to come back now !