Tag Archives: F

Project Panda – Ford Zodiac Mk4

In 1961 Vice President of Engineering at Ford of Britain Harley F Coop, who had worked on the Continental Mk II and Ford Falcon , became involved with Project Panda to design a vehicle to replace the Mk3 Zephyr / Zodiac range. The cars were to be fitted with V6 motors replacing the straight 6’s which had been used.

Ford Zodiac Mk 4, Goodwood Revival

Despite having a shorter motor the resultant Mk 4 Zephyr and Zodiac models had a long bonnet and short boot, this was because of the independent rear suspension which could not accommodate the spare tyre in the rear so, Coop placed the spare tyre at an angle ahead of the radiator at the front of the car.

Ford Zodiac Mk 4, Goodwood Revival

The Zodiac powered by the top of the range 3 litre / 183 cui V6 made an excellent towing vehicle however it would appear that the one off camper carried by this 1970 model, seen at the Goodwood Revival, was designed and manufactured by the Walkett brothers who are best known for their Ginetta sports cars.

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

12 05 08 While searching for information about the Ford Corsair I came accross a myth about the Corsair setting a number of records at Monza in 1967, it transpires these records were actually set by Eric Jackson, Ken Chambers, John Beckhart, Michael Bowler and John Maclean driving a Ford Zodiac MK IV averaging 100 mph for an entire seven days and nights on the Ford repaired Monza banking.

PS Don’t forget …

Automobiliart GALPOT Seasonal Quiz

Automobiliart, Paul Chenard

December 26th – January 2nd

Win a set of Paul Chenard Greetings Cards

Sports-GT cars set, Paul Chenard

Set 1 Sports & GT Cars

Phil Hill, Sharknose Ferrari Set, Paul Chenard

Set 2 Phil Hill World Drivers Championship 50th Anniversary Edition

1934 GP Season Card set, Paul Chenard

Set 3 1934 Season

1950s Grand Prix Engines

Set 4 Grand Prix Engines of the 1950’s


Mike Hawtorns racecars Card set, Paul Chenard

Set 5 Mike Hawthorn’s Race Cars

The Automobiliart GALPOT Seasonal Quiz will comprise 8 categories.

Overall winner chooses one set of Paul Chenard Greetings Cards from the five sets shown above.

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Which set will you choose ?

The free to enter Automobiliart GALPOT Seasonal Quiz will run from December 26th – January 2nd Entries close January 8th 2012, Winner announced January 16th 2012.

Full details on December 26th at GALPOT.

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Poor Mans Roller – Rover P5 Mark II 3 Litre

The P5 was Rovers top of the range saloon / sedan when it was introduced in 1958 .

Rover P5 MkII 3 Litre, BMW Factory, Pistonheads,

Initially powered by a 115 hp, 2,995 cc / 182.8 cui straight six with the novel F head featuring an overhead intake valve and side exhaust valve as on the smaller motor used in the P4 series.

Rover P5 MkII 3 Litre, BMW Factory, Pistonheads

In 1962 the Mark II P5 was launched, as seen here, now with 129 hp, a quarter light front window and no glass wind deflectors atop the door windows.

Rover P5 MkII 3 Litre, BMW Factory, Pistonheads

The prototype P5 was fitted with 11 inch drum brakes all round however by the time the car was launched to the public disc brakes were fitted to the front wheels.

Rover P5 MkII 3 Litre, BMW Factory, Pistonheads

This was the vehicle of choice for a succession of British Prime Ministers and UK Government cabinet ministers and it is said Her Majesty the Queen of England preferred her Rover P5 as her daily driver.

Rover P5 MkII 3 Litre, BMW Factory, Pistonheads

When production ceased in 1965 15,676 Rover P5 Mrak II 3 litre saloons had been manufactured.

Thanks for joining me on the poor mans Rolls Royce edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil psycho on tyres’ I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Carroll’s Cat faster than a 250 F – Lister Jaguar BHL 128

Moving on 20 years from yesterdays blog but staying with the Lister Jaguar cars of the late 50’s, this one has a proud boast thanks Bobby Bell who is seen here standing in the fire suit, behind the car, at the British Grand Prix meeting where he was competing in the Lloyds & Scottish championship.

Bobby Bell, who kindly shared the details about today’s story is one half of Bell & Covill purveyors of fine, approximately 25,000 at last count, motor cars which have been sold to customers from Twickenham to Tobago.

One might imagine from the BRG and yellow paint job that this vehicle had been raced by Archie Scott Brown to some of the many Lister Jaguar victories, however it transpires that nothing could be further from the truth.

According to Doug Nye’s 2nd edition, reasonably priced, ‘Powered by Jaguar‘ the 1959 Lister Jaguar BHL 128 was originally supplied to Carroll Shelby Sports Cars Inc, Dallas Texas as a rolling chassis built to accept an American made body and Chevrolet V8 engine.

BHL 128 also known as ‘the Boeing Car’ is said to have been part of a Land Speed Record project with input from Boeing and master minded by John Fitch, Doug’s research categorically states John Fitch the former Mercedes Driver and Safety Engineer had absolutely no involvement in such a project.

What ever the outcome of the Boeing project the vehicle has no identifiable ‘in period’ racing history and was recovered to England around 1969 and acquired by Peter Sargent around 1970. Between 1970 and the mid 70’s BHL 128 was fitted with both a 3.8 / 231 cui XK Jaguar motor and a, retrospective, 1958 low frontal area ‘Knobbly’ body in preference to the historically more accurate, but less successful, 1959 Costin body.

Bobby tells me that he acquired BHL 128 in the mid 70’s and raced it to many historic race victories and a Lloyds & Scottish Championship.

However one of his favourite memories was the day he put BHL 128 on pole for the 1978 historic race at Le Mans, with a time that would easily have qualified for the 24 hours race proper, ahead of Stirling Moss and Willie Green one of the best if not the best historic racer of all time.

Bobby tells me that on that day BHL 128 was fitted with a 2.9 high ratio back axle which allowed him to hit approximately 175 mph on the 4 mile Mulsanne straight at 6000 rpm.

Both Willie Green in his D-type Jaguar and Moss driving a far superior handling open wheel Grand Prix Maserati 250 F made up ground on the Lister in the corners but could not keep pace with the Lister on La Sarthe’s long straights.

Unfortunately on the third lap of the race, the crankshaft broke and as Bobby says, ‘that was that’. Stirling might have added “Better to lose honorably in a British car than win in a foreign one”, though if he did, it was not recorded on this particular occasion.

Bobby sold the car in the mid ’80’s and it has since undergone restoration and now belongs to a lucky Steven Gibbs.

My thanks to Bobby Bell for sharing today’s story and to Doug Nye, David Mckinney, Belmondo, Dutchy, Julian Bronson, and Robert Barker at The Nostalgia Forum for additional comments going back to May last year.

Thanks for joining me for a week of Big Cat history, I hope you’ll join me again tomorrow for everyone’s favourite ‘Ferrari Friday’ when I’ll be looking at one of a series of 387 Ferrari’s none of which were sold as new in the United States. Don’t forget to come back now !