Tag Archives: Fink

Shafer 8 – Rigling Buick

Like the Wonder Bread Special I looked at last year today’s featured chassis is credited as being the handy work of Herman Rigling who is said to have built no fewer than 8 of the 40 chassis that started the 1931 Indy 500.

Rigling Buick, Silverstone Classic,

Foremost of the 8 entries that Herman had a hand in building was the Buick powered #12 example driven Phil Schafer known as the Schafer 8 which started 23rd and finished 12th.

Rigling Buick, Heinz Bachmann, Silverstone Classic,

The following season Phil returned to Indy to drive the #33 Shafer 8 Rigling Buick from 26th on the grid through to an 11th place finish.

Rigling Buick, Silverstone Classic,

In 1933 Phil was absent from the Indy 500 grid having failed to qualify the #7 Abels Fink Auto Special in an officially sanctioned qualifying session, he did qualify on the morning of the race, but officials realised they had overstepped their jurisdiction by allowing the running of a qualifying session on race day morning !

However the #8 Abels Fink Auto Special, Phil’s Shafer 8 dating back to 1931 , was driven by H W Stubblefield from 10th on the grid to a fifth place finish.

Rigling Buick, Silverstone Classic,

Phil entered two Shafer 8’s for the 1934 Indy 500, it would appear his original Rigling Buick was entered as the #36 for Al Miller and his mechanician Pinky Donaldson while Phil and mechanician Earle Frost drove the #26 Shafer 8.

Rigling Buick, Silverstone Classic,

Al drove to a 6th place finish from 8th on the grid while Phil starting from an Indy 500 career high 6th on the grid recorded his only Indy 500 retirement with a broken cam shaft drive after completing 130 laps to be classified 16th in his last drive at the Brickyard.

Rigling Buick, Silverstone Classic,

Phil continued competing in the AAA championship until 1936 and continued to participate in the Pikes Peak Hillclimb until 1952.

Heinz Bachmann is seen at the wheel of a Rigling Buick above that is believed to be the Shafer 8 that Phil Shafer failed to qualify at Indy in 1933 but with which Paul won the AAA non Championship race at Elgin Illinois, as described at the end of the post by John Glenn Printz, and raced in his final Indy start in 1934.

My thanks to Vitesse2 and Michael Ferner at the Nostalgia Forum for their help with some of the details in today’s story, I highly recommend reading Michael’s retelling of the 1933 Indy 500 qualification saga part 1 of which appears linked here and part 2 linked here with the race report linked here.

Thanks for joining me on this “Shafer 8” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a DIY Backie. Don’t forget to come back now !


Raced, Stolen & Broken Up – Ferrari 166MM Vignale Spyder S2 #0314M

With the first of 8 victories in the last 11 Mille Miglia races run in 1948 Ferrari built a huge following for his sports cars and the following year returned and won with the 166MM model of which 33 similar chassis were built and clothed with bodies from Touring, Vignale, and Zagato.

Ferrari 166MM Vignale Spyder S2, William Boddy Tribute, Brooklands

Commencing in 1952 a second series of 13 166MM chassis was built, seven of which originally had Vignale bodies like the one on #0314M which was sold to Edoardo Lualdi-Gabardi who drove #0314M in hillclimb and race events through the second half of 1953.

Edoardo’s best results were two thirds one at the Circuito di Senigallia and the other in the 12 hour race at Pescara where he shared the driving with a driver called Pinzero. At the end of the 1953 season the motor was upgraded to a 3 litre / 183 cui spec and the car was sold to Primo Pezzoli competed with the car and like it’s previous owner scored a season best 3rd on the Trieste-Opicina hillclimb.

The known competition history of #0314 resumed in 1959 when Arrigo Cantelli is thought to have used it for hillclimbing. In 1961 #0314M was acquired by German treasure hunter Helmut Frevel and the following year it scored a 2nd in the 7th Tuerckheim-Les Trois Epis hillclimb and 3rd in the 4th Macon-Solutre hillclimb though on neither occasion is Frevel thought to have been at the wheel.

Frevel’s work took him to South Africa in 1963 and he took #0314M with him until 1967. In 1993 owner Peter Glaesel had the car restored by DK Engineering in Watford. In 1998 Walter Fink acquired #0314M and it appeared in the 1999 and 2000 retro Mille Miglia events. The day after the latter the car was stolen and was not heard of again until 2008 when it was found striped of everything including the motor and gearbox in an Italian scap yard.

New owner Phillip Hylander sent the car back to DK Engineering to be restored to it’s present condition in 2009 and #0314M is seen in today’s photograph at the William Boddy Tribute at Brooklands several years ago.

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