Tag Archives: Forum

Mini Van from the Dark Side of the Moon – Ferrari 250 GTO #3757

The first time I saw one of these, reg no: 5 RU #3869 GT belonging to Dave Clarke formerly of the Dave Clark Five, was on a fabulous summer afternoon in the car park of the Hotel opposite school I must have spent a good hour sitting on a wall leering at it longingly.

This particular example, third overall in the 1962 Le Mans 24 hours and winner of the Spa 500 kms race in 1963, has been the property of Nick Mason since the late 1970’s.

Allegedly one frosty morning this vehicle was the only one of his fleet that would start and so Nick ended up taking his kids to school in it, the rumour is that his kids never wanted to be driven to school in anything other than the 250 GTO thereafter which must qualify this car for the title worlds fastest mini van.

I did not know much about it until acquaintances on The Nostalgia Forum put me right some months ago. Ironically I have Nick Masons autograph from that day in my 1981 British Grand Prix programme.

Hope you have enjoyed todays edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ from the Dark Side of the Moon and hope you’ll join me again tomorrow for the first of my 12 vehicles of Chritmas series of blogs.

Slightly off topic I read this seasonal story yesterday and humbly recommend it to all.

With Seasons Greetings and best wishes for the New Year to everyone who has played apart in ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ no matter how great or small, thanks for being there to celebrate with.

PS 30 12 10 just found the photo above of #3757 taken at Goodwood Festival of Speed.


Peoples car – Жигули (Zhiguli) 2106

Well OK it is a Lada but this one is branded for the home market. Avtovaz originally called Volzhsky Avtomobliny Zavod or VAZ for short marketed its FIAT 124 derivatives under the Lada brand for export, around 60 % of production and under the Zhiguli brand inside Russia.

The cars they built were initially beefed up FIAT 124’s with thicker steel panels, smaller, more robust less powerful overhead cam engines not seen on any other FIAT vehicles, designed to run on low 93 octane fuel and fitted with aluminium rear drum brakes in place of discs. Perfect for harsh conditions from Siberia all the way down to deserts of Egypt.

A couple of batches of these vehicles were supplied to the militia with rotary wankel engines allegedly based heavily on Mazda technology. Many of these militia vehicles, all supplied without revolution counters did not make it as far as their first oil change, upon failure these the motors were swapped out for the more conventional 4 cylinder 1.2 / 73 cui and 1.3 litre / 79 cui units. Rotary Zhigulis are still to be found in the preowned car market of Moscow.

The overall body was little changed during production from 1970 to 1984 when the model was replaced by the Riva, itself a model once stripped of all the plastic and lights was pretty much the same as the 2103 series seen here.

I managed to decipher Жигули in cyrillic script on the badge with a little help from Alexey Rogachev on The Nostalgia Forum. Alexey informs me that the Zhiguli name is taken from the Zhiguli Mountains at the bottom of which is a town Tolyatti, named after an Italian communist, where these vehicles were built.

It is thought somewhere around 18 million Avtovaz FIAT 124 derived vehicles have been built since 1970, incredibly later Riva derivatives are still being assembled to this day in a Suzuki plant in Egypt.

Hope you have enjoyed this cyrillic edition of Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’, and that you’ll join me tomorrow Ferrari Friday. Don’t forget to come back now !