Tag Archives: GAZ

Rare Breeds – Haynes International Motor Museum

Last Sunday I made a ‘little’ detour to the Rare Breeds Car Show at the Haynes International Motor Museum on the way to the airport to pick up some friends.

Rare Breeds, Haynes IMM

Among the 70 odd vehicles on display were half a dozen Formula 500’s some 50’s (UK) Stock Car replica’s, for those in the US these are more like 1/4 mile paved and dirt Late Sportsman race cars than NASCARs Stock Cars, and a number of interesting vehicles one is unlikely on an average everyday commute.

Austin 3 Litre, Rare Breeds, Haynes IMM

Around 10,000 Austin 3 litre vehicles nicknamed ‘Land Lobsters’ were built between 1968 and 1971 which though well appointed were no competition for the similarly sized Triumphs, Rovers and Jaguars which would soon all become merged into the same nationalised British Leyland conglomerate. There are thought to be around 60 of these vehicles left and this one has been in the Stephen’s family since new.

Austin 7 Hamblin 7 Cadet, Rare Breeds, Haynes IMM

Some of you may remember my blog on the wreck of a Bowden Super Two I wrote some months ago, this is an Austin 7 Hamblin Cadet with the smaller body that the Bowden Super Two bodywork was based on. At £34.10/- this was the cheapest bodywork on the market, it was made to fit pre war Austin 7’s. The owner of this car is the son of Sid Hamblin who founded the SE Hamblin company and personally built this car.

Austin Mini Wildgoose, Rare Breeds, Haynes IMM

The Austin Mini Wildgoose RV has also featured on GALPOT before, this is a 1967 model with larger wraparound cabin windows and a tilting roof incorporating canvas sides, looks a little less like an airport control tower than the original. This particular vehicle has had the original 850 cc / 51.8 cui motor replaced with a 1275 cc / 77 cui unit and gearing to match so that it can easily cruise above the minimum motorway speed limit of 50 mph.

DKW 1000S

My Uncle in Germany had a DKW 1000S before he swapped it for a more versatile square back. These two stroke powered cars were relatively expensive in the UK so not many were in imported although Jim Clark made his racing debut driving a DKW before going on to win two World Championships and the Indy 500. This Left Hand Drive (LHD) model was imported from Sweden via Norway.

Fordson 7A, Rare Breeds, Haynes IMM

From 1933 – 1939 Ford commercial vehicles in the UK were badged Fordson. This Fordson 7V served as an auxiliary fire tender during World War 2. Because of it’s relatively powerful V8 motor 7V’s were much in demand for use as racing car transporters after hostilities ceased.

Model 48 Ford, Rare Breeds, Haynes IMM

E691 is a replica of Nev Hughes 1935 Model 48 Ford raced, in 1955, built by Keith Barber. Current owner Roy Clarke rescued it in 2006 and it recently featured, as did several of the vehicles seen in the back ground in an advertisement for the Audi R8 V10 Spyder. It can be seen painted black with red stripes under the ‘B9’ at 1m 01 secs in this clip.

Gaz, M21 Volga, Rare Breeds, Haynes IMM

Also featured in an earlier post has been a GAZ M21 Volga, this 1962 model one of only two known to be in the UK is in considerably better condition than the one I featured on the former East German border in 2006.

Lafitte 5CV, Rare Breeds, Haynes IMM

Described as very difficult to drive this RHD Lafitte 5CV Cycle Car is positively bristling with innovative technology starting with an inverted Y 3 cylinder air cooled radial engine that tilts with a hand mechanism in order alter to the friction driven gear ratio. The Lafitte has way ahead of it’s time independent front suspension but no foot brakes ! This car has recently been certified as roadworthy for the first time since 1964 but the owner thought discretion was the better part of valour and brought this amazing device to the show on a trailer.

Spirit Gordini M3, Rare Breeds, Haynes IMM

There seems to be a lot of interest in triking at the moment stimulating no doubt Morgan’s recent return to the manufacture of trikes. For those who cannot afford Morgan’s starting price their are plenty of alternatives. The front wheel drive Spirit Gordini M3 started life as two separate front wheel drive Renault 5 / Le Car models one ’79 tother ’85.

Tornado Talisman, Rare Breeds, Haynes IMM

Another new manufacturer to me is Tornado apparently founded in 1957 in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire by Bill Woodhouse and Tony Bullen. Amazingly this car had lain awaiting restoration when it’s owner passed aeay and thanks to the Faithorpe Sports Car Club it was passed on to Bill Woodhouse who did not know what to do with it until two gap year students the Hillier brothers took it upon themselves to rebuild the car in order to gain engineering experience under the guidance of the current owner and founder of the company Mr Woodhouse. The Talisman is one of 186 Ford powered examples made.

Triumph Spitfire Special, Rare Breeds, Haynes IMM

Finally my car of the day award goes to this Triumph Spitfire based Special made by Martin Harcourt using an English Wheel and alot of effort to make the polished aluminium panels on this unique single seater. When it’s complete Martin hopes to use his shiny special in sprints and hill climbs. I am sure he will have plenty of fun with it.

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


Nikita’s Gull – GAZ M13 Chaika

It’s always a great pleasure to blog about little known vehicles that were produced behind the Iron Curtain like today’s car the GAZ M13 Chaika was seen at Haynes International Motor Museum a few weeks ago.

GAZ M13 Chaika, Haynes International Motor Museum

Since I first blogged about the GAZ M21 I have learned a little more about the company which was founded in 1929 in a cooperation between Ford and the Soviet Union as the Nizhegorodsky Avtomobilny Zavod, NAZ, Nizhegorodsky Automobile Plant, at Nizhny Novgorod in the Volga Region approximately 500 miles east of Moscow.

GAZ M13 Chaika, Haynes International Motor Museum

The factory started out making Ford Model A cars and Model AA light trucks known as NAZ-A and NAZ-AA respectively. In 1933 Nizhny Novgorod was renamed Gorky, after Maxim Gorky a writer who was born in the city and Nizhegorodsky Avtomobilny Zavod was renamed Gorkovsky Avtomobilny Zavod shortened to GAZ.

Gorky, the city, was renamed Nizhny Novgorod in 1990 but the vehicle manufacturer retained the GAZ name.

GAZ M13 Chaika, Haynes International Motor Museum

The luxury M13 Chaika seen here was produced from 1959 to 1981, though the mechanical underpinnings remained in production until 1988 fitted with a marginally more modern body until 1988.

GAZ M13 Chaika, Haynes International Motor Museum

Styling of the Chaika drew heavily on the 1956 Mercury Montclair Phaeton with a potpourri of 1956 Cadillac Series 62 inspired features thrown in. With a 195 hp being transmitted from it’s V8 engine via a copy of the push button operated Chrysler TorqueFlite transmission the Chaika, translates into ‘gull’, was capable of 99 mph.

GAZ M13 Chaika, Haynes International Motor Museum

Seems incredible in this day and age to even conceive the idea that such a luxury vehicle was not made for sale. All 3,100 examples of the Chaika made over a period of 22 years were added to motor pools and issued to top professionals, Communist Party officials, scientists, academics and VIP’s. The KGB also ordered these vehicles in large numbers.

GAZ M13 Chaika, Haynes International Motor Museum

Despite being entitled to larger ZIL limousines the Soviet head of state Nikita Khrushchev is known to have expressed a preference for the GAZ M13 even having one kept at his dacha.

GAZ M13 Chaika, Haynes International Motor Museum

Three versions of the Chaika were manufactured most were M13 saloons, but for ceremonial purposes open a 4 dr M13b convertible was produced from 1961 to 1962. The estate / station wagon M13A Universal is the rarest Chaika produced in the 1960’s primarily for use as ambulances and funeral cars.

GAZ M13 Chaika, Haynes International Motor Museum

At the time the Chaika was first in production the Soviet Union was leading the space race, a fact possibly not lost on the stylist responsible for the M13’s tail light assembly….

GAZ M13 Chaika, Haynes International Motor Museum

though he may also have admired ’56 Cadillac Series 62 for its attention to detail and copied the idea of routing the exhaust pipes through the rear bumper !

Thanks for joining me for today’s motor pool edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’, I hope you’ll join me again tomorrow for a look at a handcrafted Lanchester. As they might say in Russia, Не забудьте вернуться сейчас!


Lots of Red Cars – Haynes International Motor Museum

Allard K1, Haynes IMM

A couple of weekends ago I was in a bah humbug mood looking for something to do when a friend asked if I had ever been to the Haynes International Motor Museum, to which I had not and responded accordingly, before I knew it I was being whisked away towards Sparkford in deepest Somerset.

Auburn 852SC, Haynes IMM

The museum bills it’s self as having the UK’s largest collection of cars, numbering over 400, to which maybe added it probably has the largest collection of cars painted red !

Austin Healey Sprite, Haynes IMM

John Haynes publisher of many DIY car repair manuals established the museum, which operates as an Educational Charitable Trust, in 1985.

GAZ M13 Chaika. Haynes IMM

Apart from the accidental or otherwise concentration of red vehicles there are plenty of cars from all over the world some of which were models and or manufactures I had never heard of before.

Jordan Playboy, Haynes IMM

The vehicles are tightly packed at the moment, though unusually for a museum many, possibly even most, get a run round the museum grounds by the museum staff, while others can be hired for weddings and special occasions, a magnificent growling Viper got a quick blast round the museum while we were there.
Lanchester, Haynes IMM

Plans are afoot to expand the museum is September this year and having managed to snap only 10% of the collection over the couple of hours of my visit I look forward to returning even with the building work underway, the ticket I purchased is valid for a year !

Look forward to sharing some of the stories behind these cars in future editions of ‘Gettin’ a little psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again tomorrow for a trip to Silverstone. Don’t forget to come back now !


From way back in the USSR – GAZ 21

Today’s post is dedicated to my friends at TNF, Alexander, Robert S and Alexey who last week unwittingly conspired to introduce me to the delights of Russian Truck Cross.

I don’t have any pictures of Russian trucks but I did find these pictures of a GAZ 21 in my archive taken at the old East /West German border crossing at Marienborn on the A2 between Hannover and Berlin. The GAZ 21 was designed by Lev Yeremeev who appears to have taken his styling queues from the ’52 – ’56 Ford Mainline.

The three series of this model were in production from 1956 – 1970 powered by either a 2,445 cc / 149 cui 4 cylinder engine or in a few cases by a 5520 cc / 336 cui V8. These vehicles were used as taxi cabs, police interceptors and estate versions, known as GAZ 22’s were used as ambulances.

Thanks for dropping by and as they might say in Russia, Не забудьте вернуться сейчас!

PS some fab pics of GAZ 21’s on the race circuit here.

Correction : it turns out that the V8 cars mentioned above were made for the KGB and actually known as GAZ 23’s with more or less identical bodies to the GAZ 21 in order not to attract any attention from the observed populace. Thanks to Alexander for the new information.