Tag Archives: Falcon

4th Autumn Classic – Castle Combe

Last Saturday saw the 4th action packed Autumn Classic at Castle Combe which saw large numbers of fans entertained with nine races and several demonstrations most notable for this observer of which were a pair of BRM P160’s from 1972 and a 1973 which regaled the Wiltshire countryside with the awesome sound of a couple of unsilenced V12’s.

Frazer Nash Super Sports, Patrick Blakeney-Edwards, Castle Combe

Patrick Blakeney-Edwards had a moderately successful day as a driver, above he is seen scampering away from a delightfully varied field to win the VSCC Sports Car Race aboard his Frazer Nash Super Sports.

Jaguar Mk 1, Williams, Butterfield, Dorlin, Castle Combe

The JEC Norman Dewis Trophy for Pre 66 Jaguars was won by Martin Hunt driving a Blakeney Motorsports prepared E-type Jaguar while one of the most entertaining battles of the day was fought by Grant Williams and Richard Butterfield both in Mk 1 Jaguars and Peter Dorlin in his Mk2 after Andy Wallace also in a Mk2 retired from third at the half way stage, Grant hung on to finish first saloon home in the #12 seen above.

Austin Healey 3000 Mk1, David Grace, Castle Combe

David Grace driving the #17 Austin Healey 3000 Mk1 won the first of the two Healey Driver International Challenge 25th Anniversary races from second on the grid beating pole sitting white and blue #46 driven by Healey Specialists Bill and Jack Rawles by just under 4 seconds.

Cooper Bristol T24/25, John Ure, Castle Combe

Steve Brooks starting from third on the grid in the #34 Aston Martin DB3S is seen above about to go into the lead on the opening lap of the Fiscar Historic Intermarque race, he looked set for a win until the race had to be called on lap 12, before the compulsory pit stops had cycled through, which meant Stephen Bond in the #95 Lister Bristol starting from 8th on the grid was declared the winner after an accident involving three cars without injury to the drivers blocked the track at Quarry.

Staride Mk3. Xavier Kingsland, Castle Combe

Andrew Turner in the white and red #2 Cooper Mk VI led the opening 8 laps of the BAC Motor Sports Club Challenge for F3 500’s race from 3rd on the grid until he was caught and passed by Xavier Kingsland in the silver Staride Mk 3 two laps from home, pole sitter Darryl Woods in the Cooper Mk XII kept the two race leaders honest and finished 3rd just less than 1 second behind the winner !

Ford Falcon, Chris Clarkson, Castle Combe

Michael Squire easily won the HSCC/HRSR Historic Touring Cars race from pole driving a flame spitting Ford Mustang, but second place finisher Chris Clarkson had a very busy time keeping eventual third place finisher Chris Saunders in the white #77 Ford Cortina and Bob Bullen in the yellow #69 Ford Anglia behind.

Lotus 20/22, Jack Woodhouse, Castle Combe

Jack Woodhouse made a great start from 2nd to lead the opening 9 laps of the FJHRA/HSCC Millers Oils Formula Junior race in the white #84 Lotus 20/22 before yielding to the faster #53 Lotus 20/22 driven by 3rd place starter Sam Wilson seen in third place at Quarry above. Sam however tripped up behind a back marker on the final lap to let Jack back into the lead which was just .2 of a second over Sam at the finish line.

Elva Courier Mk4T. Sean Kukula, Castle Combe,

Having been unlucky in the Fiscar Historic Intermarque race Stephen Brooks easily won the Jon Gross Memorial race in his DB3S leaving Sean Kukula and Jonathon Loader to squable over second place in their #149 and #46 Elva Courier Mk4T’s respectively, Sean won the Elva battle which was fittingly once raced by American Jon Goss.

Austin Healey Sebring, Richard Woolmer, Castle Combe,

Finally the Healey’s came out for a second race which again provided plenty of thrills with third place starter Marc Campfield making the running for the opening 8 laps until his car ground to a halt which left pole man David Grace to claim a 4.5 second victory over the Healey 3000 shared by 5th place starters Jack and Oliver Chatham, above as in the first race the Healey Sebring of Sprites of Richard Woolmer #38 and Gordon Elwell #33 kept spectators entertained further down the field on their way to 9th and 10th place finishes less than 2 seconds apart.

Thanks for joining me on this “4th Autumn Classic” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a six cylinder Plymouth. Don’t forget to come back now !


Classic Racing Americana – Silverstone Classic

This weeks Americana post comes from Silverstone Classic where an interesting selection of vehicles was on display.

Rigling Buick, Bachmann, Maserati Centenary Trophy, Silverstone Classic

The Maserati Centenary Trophy featured three US cars two of which appear to have been Indy 500 racers including the Rigling Buick, seen with Heinz Bachmann at the wheel above, possibly raced as a Schafer 8 Special between 1931 and 1934 by Paul Schafer who was joined with a second Schafer 8 Special in the 1934 Indy 500 by Al Miller who finished 6th. Coincidentally Paul carried the #26 in the 1934 race and Al the #36.

Kurtis KK500G, Fred Harper, Maserati Centenary, Silverstone Classic

The second Indy Car in the Maserati Centenary Trophy was the 1957 Kurtis KK500G driven by Fred Harper, this car was bought by Ray “The Flying Grocer” Crawford in 1957. Ray was a rare owner driver who failed to qualify the Meguiar Mirror Glaze Special at Indy in 1957 and 1958, but he did bring the car to Europe both years and raced it in both of the “Race of Two Worlds” events held at Monza, Italy in 1957 and 1958 finishing 7th and 4th respectively.

Corvette Stingray, Craig Davies, Chopaed International Trophy, Silverstone Classic

Craig Davis driving the #99 Corvette Stingray drove to an entertaining 13th place finish with Tim Harvey in the Chopard International Trophy, here the car is seen having just passed the #112 Cobra driven by Tim Summers.

Ford Falcon, Martin Melling, Mustang Celebration Trophy, Silverstone Classic

Seeing a Ford carrying a #88 these days seems a little strange, but this was Silverstone not Darlington, the ’64 Ford Falcon above was driven by Martin Melling to a 32nd place finish in the Mustang Celebration Trophy Proudly Presented by Pure Michigan.

Ford Mustang, Jackie Oliver, Mustang Celebration Trophy, Silverstone Classic

The #3 ’65 Ford Mustang above was driven by former Le Mans winner, Grand Prix driver and Arrows Formula One team owner Jackie Oliver to a fine fifth place in the Mustang Celebration Trophy Proudly Presented by Pure Michigan.

Intrepid RM1, Peter Garrod, Group C Endurance, Silverstone Classic

Finally it was great to see the 1991 Chevrolet powered IMSA Intrepid RM1 get a run in the Group C race with Peter Garrod at the wheel. The Intrepid designed by Bob and Bill Riley an built by Pratt & Miller was a forerunner of the Riley Scott’s US Prototype Sports Cars that would win 32 races between 1995 and 2005.

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


Super Saturday Part 2/2 – Silverstone Classic

Today’s blog continues on from yesterday with coverage of the second half of the Silverstone Classic Super Saturday race programme.

Porsche 911, Slater, Silverstone Classic

The 50 min Choppard International Trophy for pre’66 GT Cars was won convincingly by Sean McInerney driving the #64 TVR Griffith seen above about to thread it’s way passed the; #27 Porsche 911 driven by Adrian Slater, the #31 Lotus Elan driven by John Sheldon and the #91 Sunbeam Tiger shared by Neil Merry and Terry van der Zee.

Brabham BT4, Minshaw, Silverstone Classic

Jason Minshaw won the first of the weekends two Jack Brabham Memorial Trophy races driving the 1962 Brabham BT4 seen above. It is sad to have to report that in the second race for pre ’66 Grand Prix cars the following day Denis Welch was killed in an accident while driving his Lotus 18. I am sure you will want to join me in offering sincerest condolences to Denis’s family and many friends.

Ford Falcons, Voyazides, Gardiner, Silverstone Classic

Perversely the Mustang Celebration Trophy proudly presented by Pure Michigan was dominated by the type that the Mustang wiped off the sales floor, namely the Ford Falcons driven by Leo Voyazides #1 and Mike Gardiner #37. Leo is seen above sweeping into a lead that he did not relinquish for the rest of the race.

Maserati Centenary Trophy Start, Silverstone Classic

Light was fading at the start of the Maserati Centenary Trophy for pre ’61 Grand Prix cars and photographers such as your truely were having to resort to every trick in photoshop to get an image. Above Philip Walker driving the #1 Lotus 16 is seen streaking into what proved to be an unassailable lead ahead of; the #30 Offy powered Scarab driven by Bristol’s Julian Bronson, #88 ‘Toothpaste Tube’ Connaught C Type driven by Michael Steele, the, #27 Tec-Mech driven by Tony Wood, #35 Kurtis driven by Fred Harper.

Lola T70, Voyazides, Silverstone Classic

Leo Voyazides thirst for victory was unsatiated after winning the Mustang Celebration trophy and he is seen above driving his Lola T70 in the FIA Historic Masters Sports Cars race in hot pursuit of the cheeky 2 litre / 122 cui Chevron B19 driven by Martin O’Connell. No one knows exactly what happened to Martin, but he ended up in the rough stuff, uninjured leaving Leo and Simon Hadfield a clear road to victory lane.

Mercedes Benz C11, Berridge, Silverstone Classic

The final race of Super Saturday was my favourite not because it was the most closely contested, it was not despite the best efforts of Katsu Kobota driving a Nissan to take the challenge to the winning #31 Mercedes Benz C11 driven by eventual Group C Endurance winner Bob Berridge, but because the twin turbo V8 C11 driven at full speed is music to my ears and poetry in motion to my eyes. I could watch that car circulating all day and night as I did in 1991 at Le Mans, with out a care in the world.

Approaching 9pm it was all over time to return my photographers bib to the Media Office, jump into a courtesy BMW, driven by an ex Royal Protection Officer, which on the way back to the car park took me past the crowds waiting for Bonnie Tyler to give a rendition of “Total Eclipse Of The Heart”.

Thanks for joining me on this “Super Saturday Part 2/2” edition of Gettin’ a li’l pscyho on tyres. I’ll be staying with Silverstone Classic for the rest of the week I hope you will join me starting with Maserati Monday tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Lightweight – Buckler Daimler DD2

In 1957 Buckler started manufacturing frames for it’s DD2 model like the 1958 example seen here at the Bristol Motor Club’s Family Club Day at Castle Combe.

Buckler Daimler DD2, BMC Family Club Day, Castle Combe

This was built as a “lightweight” at the Buckler works for Les Hall.

Buckler Daimler DD2, BMC Family Club Day, Castle Combe

DD2’s were fitted with a variety of motors including Ford, Daimler , MG and in one instance a Vincent V twin from a motorcycle.

Buckler Daimler DD2, BMC Family Club Day, Castle Combe

It is thought Les Hall’s car originally had a Morris motor fitted.

Buckler Daimler DD2, BMC Family Club Day, Castle Combe

DD2’s were fitted with a variety of proprietary fiberglass bodies, today’s car is fitted with a Mistral body, others were made by Falcon, Convair and AKS to name a few.

Buckler Daimler DD2, BMC Family Club Day, Castle Combe

At some point today’s car was acquired by Malcolm Buckler, son of founder Derek, and shipped to the Isle of Isle of Man sans motor on top of a cargo of building stone.

Buckler Daimler DD2, BMC Family Club Day, Castle Combe

Later the car was acquired by Malcom’s brother in law Kieth Ambrose and his son Simon credited with putting the car back on the road with a Daimler V8.

Buckler Daimler DD2, BMC Family Club Day, Castle Combe

It is thought that a journalist Mr (Alan ?) Burgess may have been the first person to fit a SP250 Daimler V8 to a DD2, it thought this car might have been used for drag racing, but evidence in the form of a race programme or photographs have yet to surface to confirm this.

If you have any information to support this hypothesis please do not hesitate to chime in below.

Thanks for joining me on this “Lightweight” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a BRM. Don’t forget to come back now !


Protoect-O-Top – Ford Ranchero

Unlike it’s earlier siblings, which had been based on the full size Ford Custom range, the second generation Ford Ranchero was based on the mid size Ford Falcon range and launched in 1960.

Ford Ranchero, Classic Motor Show, NEC Birmingham

In 1964 like it’s parent Falcon the Ranchero received a face lift with the 4.7 litre / 289 cui Windsor V8 replacing the 4.3 litre / 260 cui variant in the top performance models.

Ford Ranchero, Classic Motor Show, NEC Birmingham

Note that while the ’64 Falcon was known as second generation, the ’60 to ’65 model Ranchero’s inclusive are known as second generation Ranchero’s.

Ford Ranchero, Classic Motor Show, NEC Birmingham

Toady’s featured vehicle powered by a “289” was built in 1965, but appears not to have been imported into the UK until 2009.

Ford Ranchero, Classic Motor Show, NEC Birmingham

The rear deck is covered by an aftermarket Protect-O-Top made of fibre glass with spring loaded hinges made in Santa Clara CA, Protect-O-Top appears to have gone out of business after the owner failed to attract a buyer some years ago.

Ford Ranchero, Classic Motor Show, NEC Birmingham

In 2011 a ’65 Ranchero owner managed to trace two former Protect-O-Top employees who had access to the original moulds. They were persuaded to make up some new Ranchero Protect-O-Tops for between $650 and $900 each. The cost of shipping these items doubled the cost, because they could only be carried at commercial rates due to their “66 x 60” unpacked size.

Ford Ranchero, Classic Motor Show, NEC Birmingham

With a larger payload than the VW Type 2 pickup, against which the Ranchero was designed to compete, the model did well, unlike it’s parent Falcon which could not hold it’s own against the new Ford Mustang pony car.

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

Brighton Speed Trials Under Threat of Permanent Cancellation !

In their infinite wisdom, Brighton & Hove City Council are seeking to ban the Brighton Speed Trials from 2014.

If you care about speed and or motorsport history, please sign this linked petition to save Brighton Speed Trials in 2014 and beyond.

It’s a faf to Register before signing, but relatively painless compared to loosing the event which has been run with few interruptions since 1905.

You do not need to be resident in Brighton or even the UK to sign.

More on Brighton Speed Trials on this link.

Thanks and please spread the word through whatever social media you have at your disposal.


SoCal TV Hustler – Ford Falcon

25 years after Edsel Ford allegedly passed on the Falcon name in favour of Mercury, for a new brand in 1935, Ford under the direction of Robert McNamara finally brought the Falcon name into the market for it’s new mid size car range in 1960.

Ford Falcon, Edenbridge Fun Day

The first generation Falcon’s, like the ’62 4 door station wagon seen here at Edenbridge earlier this year, were primarily designed as second cars for families who already had a full size land yacht on the drive and needed a second vehicle for the wife to drive.

Ford Falcon, Edenbridge Fun Day

By 1962 the four door station wagon was available with a Squire options package that included faux wood paneling which gave the car car a quasi woody look.

Ford Falcon, Edenbridge Fun Day

Part of Fords marketing strategy for the Falcon from 1961 to 1965 was to include Charles Schulz peanuts characters Charlie Brown and Lucy in the sales literature for the Falcon models.

Ford Falcon, Edenbridge Fun Day

Look closely again at the number plate holders in the top photo and you’ll see they bear the legend “Encino Ralph Williams”. Ralph Williams was a Southern California TV Car Hustler, a born motor mouth who lived by the ABS moto, ALWAYS BE SELLING. It appears he did not always play his audience with straight dice and he was moved on by local authorities for a variety of violations. I found this linked footage, presumably an out take, of Ralph in action to give you an idea of what colourful legend he was. WARNING DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK IF YOUR EARS ARE EASILY OFFENDED.

Ford Falcon, Edenbridge Fun Day

The first series Falcon’s were also badged as Mercury Comets and in Canada as Ford Frontenacs until 1963 when the second generation Falcons were introduced.

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


Killed By A Pony – Ford Falcon Sprint V8

The stand out car in the Goodwood car park last week was this Ford Falcon Sprint V8, there is something about the unmolested patina of old racing cars I simply find irresistible, something all to easy to underestimate that speaks of both achievement and subsequent precarious survival.

Ford Falcon Sprint V8, Goodwood Revival

There are four strands to Ford Falcon history, the US built cars such as the one seen here which were in production from 1960 until 1970, the Argentinian built Falcons in production from 1962 to 1991, the Australian built Falcons which have been in production since 1960 and the US built Falcon ‘E series’ 8 seat vans built from 1961 to 1967.

Ford Falcon Sprint V8, Goodwood Revival

Allegedly Edsel Ford first came up with the Falcon name for the design of a luxury car in 1935, he felt the name did not quite fit and renamed the car Mercury which was launched as a luxury brand in 1938.

Ford Falcon Sprint V8, Goodwood Revival

The Ford Falcon was launched in 1960, like the contemporary Chevrolet Corvair, Chrysler / Plymouth Valiant, Studebaker Lark and AMC Rambler, the design evolved from market research which identified that many US families were in the market for a smaller than full size second vehicle primarily to be driven by women. The first generation Falcons were in production from 1960 -1963.

Ford Falcon Sprint V8, Goodwood Revival

The second generation Falcon was redesigned in 1964 and aimed at a more youthful market. Falcons were available in two door, 4 door, sedan, 2 door coupé like this 1964 model, 2 door convertible, 2 door coupé utility and 3 or 5 door station wagon forms.

Ford Falcon Sprint V8, Goodwood Revival

Six engine options were available from 2.4 litre / 144 cui in line sixes through to 4.9 litre / 302 cui Windsor V8’s along with 4 transmission options 2 speed (ford o matic) auto, 3 speed auto and 3 or 4 speed manual.

Ford Falcon Sprint V8, Goodwood Revival

Despite over a million sales in the first two years of the first generation Falcon, second series Falcon sales tanked thanks in no small part to another vehicle in the Ford range that was based on the second generation Falcon but aimed at an even more youthful market known as the Ford Mustang which was launched in April 1964.

Ford Falcon Sprint V8, Goodwood Revival

To try and keep sales up the Sprint V8 with 4.7 litre / 289 cui, as seen here, and later even 4.9 litre / 302 cui variations were introduced but the slightly more expensive Mustang with the same power trains was the car everyone wanted.

Ford Falcon Sprint V8, Goodwood Revival

The secrets of this particular cars past remain hidden to me for now, a signature above the lighter on the dash looks like that of two time British Saloon car champion Jack Sears. I have not been able to find any evidence Jack drove such a car after winning the 1963 British Saloon Car Championship driving a Ford Cortina GT, a Lotus Cortina and a Ford Galaxy 500.

Thanks for joining me on this Sprint V8 edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil psycho on tyres’ I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !