Tag Archives: Gendebien

Five Classic Racing Ferraris – Silverstone Classic

The Silverstone Classic meeting usually offers the Ferrari fanatic a bonanza of Maranello’s finest road and racing cars and I am sure this year’s Silver Jubilee edition of the event will be no different.

Ferrari 500 TRC, David and James Cottingham, Silverstone Classic

Among the myriad of Ferrari racers seen in recent years have been the Cottinghams Ferrari 500 TRC which finished 7th both at the 1957 Le Mans 24 hours and on the 1958 Targa Florio.

Ferrari 246 Dino, Tony Smith, Silverstone Classic,

Another regular competitor is Tony Smith’s 1958 Ferrari 246 Dino which counts among it’s former occupants Wolfgang von Trips, Oliver Gendebien, Dan Gurney and Phil Hill the latter drove the car to the last win for a front engined Grand Prix at Monza in 1960.

Ferrari 166/206, Harry Leventis,  Gregor Fisken, Silverstone Classic,

Ing. Forghieri, responsible for the design of Harry Leventis’s Ferrari 166/206, above, was never the cars biggest fan, once likening the design, in conversation with desginer Gordon Murray, as to sticky brown smelly stuff, however that did not prevent Ludovico Scarfiotti driving the car in an earlier form to claim the 1965 European Hillclimb Championship.

Ferrari 512M, Nathan Kinch, Silverstone Classic

Ferrari 512’s are not an uncommon sight at Silverstone Classic weekends, #1030 seen above with Scotsman Nathan Kinch at the wheel, was raced in S form in 1970 and M form in 1971 under the Ecurie Francorchamps banner but found it’s greatest success under JC Bamford’s ownership for whom Peter Brown, Willie Green and Neil Corner all drove it on various occasions to seven straight wins in it’s last seven races during 1972 six victories were claimed in the Motoring News GT Championship and the other in the Interserie race held at Silverstone.

Ferrari F40 LM, Stefano Sebastiani, Silverstone Classic,

Finally the Silver Jubilee edition of the Silverstone Classic will see the first race for GT cars from the 1990’s, above Stefano Sebastiani is seen about to put his 1989 F40 LM, a converted road car, through it’s paces during last years popular GT demonstration run.

Tickets for this years advance ticket only Silver Jubilee Silverstone Classic are available from this linked website.

Thanks for joining me on this “Five Classic Racing Ferraris” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at the first of a series of Formula Junior open wheelers. Don’t for get to come back now !


Five In The Car Park – Silverstone Classic

To celebrate Silverstone Classic’s Silver Jubilee I thought it would be fun to select 25 highlights from the last four years that I have been attending the event, today I am looking back at 5 of my favourite classics seen in the Sliverstone Classic car park over the years.

Aston Martin DB2/4 Mk2 Touring Spider,Silverstone Classic

My car of the day on my first visit to Silverstone Classic in 2011 was this 1956 Aston Martin DB2/4 Mk2 Touring Spider which Mr Alexander Smith won in a Daily Express competition with his catch phrase “Who Said A Spider Couldn’t Fly ?”.

Ferrari 250 GT Europa, Silverstone Classic

Two years later my car of the day was this 1955 Ferrari 250 GT Europa #0373GT in which Oliver Gendebien and his co driver Pierre Stasse finished the non stop 1956 2,000 mile Liege Rome Liege Rally 3rd overall.

Lotus Seven Series IV, Silverstone Classic

By no means the rarest, nor necessarily most popular, of cars, but one I used to lust after as a school kid was the chunky Series IV Lotus Seven this 1970 example on Wolfrace Alloy wheels appeared at the 2012 Silverstone Classic.

Lamborghini Jota, Silverstone Classic

Mr Piet Pulford spent 15 years and large sums of money turning a beaten up Lamborghini Muira he found in the States into this copy of the one off racing spec Jota that was destroyed by fire in Italy in 1972.

BMW 3.0 CSL, Silverstone Classic

One of the more lurid colour schemes seen at Silverstone Classic was that on this 1973 BMW 3.0 CSL.

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


Non Stop Runner – Ferrari 250 Europa GT Pininfarina #0373GT

Last week I looked at a 1953 Ferrari 250 Europa Coupé. This week features one of just 28 slightly later Ferrari 250 Europa GT chassis #0373GT built in November 1954.

Ferrari 250GT Europa, Silverstone Classic

#0373GT was delivered to Jacques Swaters dealership Garage Francorchamps and sold to Belgian Jacques Washer in 1955. Washer entered the car in at least two events for his cousin Olivier Gendebien in 1956.

Ferrari 250GT Europa, Silverstone Classic

Oliver finished second in class on the Cote de la Roche Hillclimb in the Ardennes, before taking part in the 1956 Liege Rome Liege rally across Europe. Oliver and his co driver Pierre Stasse finished the non stop 2000 mile event 3rd overall.

Ferrari 250GT Europa, Silverstone Classic

In the 1990’s the car was fitted with a Ferrari 250 GT/E motor and differential, along with a gearbox from a Ferrari 412. The motor was tuned to give 300hp and more recently the car has been fitted with ‘modern’ brakes.

Ferrari 250GT Europa, Silverstone Classic

#0373GT has taken part in numerous classic events including the 1999 re run of the Rome Liege Rome Rally. The same year #0373GT won it’s class on the La Carrera Panamericana repeating the feat in 2000, on the second occasion fitted with period correct Halibrand alloy wheels.

The car is seen in these photo’s at the recent Silverstone Classic.

Thanks for joining me on this “Non Stop Runner” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me when I be looking at a Can Am March. Don’t forget to come back now.

PS Some thoughts on what to watch out for at the Belgian GP at Motorsports Unplugged.


Factory Floor Reinforcement – Ferrari 156 #0002R

The 1961 season ushered in the 1.5 litre / 91.5 cui era of Formula One and only one team was fully prepared for what was to follow, namely Ferrari who had developed a suitable V6 motor for the previous Formula 2 rules. The British manufacturer BRM as usual was behind schedule with it’s V8 motor and so resorted to using the four cylinder Coventry Climax motors that most of the remaining British garagiste entrants were forced to use until the Coventry Climax V8’s became available.

Ferrari entered only seven of the eight championship events and won five of them beaten only by Stirling Moss in an outdated Lotus 18 at Monaco and the Nurburgring. Ferrari team leader Wolfgang “Taffy” von Trips won the Dutch and British Grand Prix, Phil
Hill won the Belgian Grand Prix and privateer Giancarlo Baghetti driving an FISA entered won the French Grand Prix, coming off a run of two non championship Formula One Victories to make him the only man to win from his first three Formula One race starts.

Ferrari 156, Replica, Goodwood Revival

Going into the penultimate race of the championship von Trips lead Phil Hill in points, however despite starting from pole von Trips was involved in an accident with Jim Clark that sent the German’s Ferrari into a collision with a grandstand at the end of the second lap. Consequently Von Trips and 15 spectators were killed and Phil Hill who started forth went on to win both the 1961 Italian Grand Prix and the Championship with one race to go.

Ferrari withdrew from the US Grand Prix, won by Innes Ireland driving a Lotus Climax 21 to record Team Lotus’s first team victory. At the end of 1961 the 156’s designer Carlo Chitti and team manager Romolo Tavoni walked out on Ferrari to found a new team called ATS, leaving Phil Hill and Baghetti joined by rookies Ricardo Rodriguez and Lorenzo Bandini to soldier on with the 156’s in 1962. The cars remained competitive in the opening races of the season but were eclipsed by both the V8 powered BRM P578 and Lotus 25, driven by Graham Hill and Jim Clark respectively, as the season progressed.

Ferrari 156, Replica, Goodwood Revival

At the end of 1962 Enzo Ferrari had all of the 156’s, known as Sharknoses, broken up with reusable parts saved for future use, while the chassis frames were cut up and used to reinforce a new Ferrari factory floor. For 1963 lighter versions of the 156’s were built in anticipation of a new V8 powered car designed by Mauro “Fury’ Forghieri that John Surtees drove to the 1965 World Drivers Championship Title.

The car driven by Jan Biekens featured today replicates the 65° V6 powered chassis #0002 in the colours of Equipe National Belge driven by Olivier Gendebien to a forth place finish with the three 156’s, all using more powerful 120° V6’s of Phil Hill, von Trips and Richie Ginther ahead of him. Von Trips drove the same car painted red at the Monaco Grand Prix where he was classified 4th after crashing on lap 98 of 100.

Ferrari 156, Replica, Goodwood Revival

I believe French GP winner Giancarlo Baghetti moved from the FISA to the Scuderia Sant Ambroeus team for the 1961 British Grand Prix at Aintree where he drove the original #0002 still fitted with the 65° V6 qualifying 19th and retiring after an accident having completed 27 laps. At the German Grand Prix Willy Mairesse drove the original repaired #0002 qualifying 13th on the tortuous Nürburgring and crashing out on the 13th of 15 laps.

For the Italian Grand Prix at Monza the original #0002 was fitted with the latest 120° V6 and given to Phil Hill who drove it to victory in the race and championship as outlined above.

In 2004 Jan undertook the building of this replica with Jim Stokes Workshops Ltd and it was completed some five years later using many original parts, you can see a diary of the work progressing in the ‘News’ pages of Jan’s website.

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


Biting The Hand – Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa 59/60 #0774

After attracting the attention of US Ferrari importer Luigi Chinetti in 1957 Dan Gurney found himself at the wheel of a North American Racing Team Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa, owned by Chinetti at Le Mans in 1958 and drove the car up to 5th place before handing over to his team mate Bruce Kessler who got caught up in someone elses accident before the car retired. That drive impressed Ferrari sufficiently to earn Dan a drive with the works Ferrari team.

Ferrari 250 TR, Goodwood Revival

For their 1959 Le Mans effort Ferrari built today’s featured Ferrari 250 TR chassis #0774 for Gurney to share with Jean Behra the car managed twice as many laps as Dan’s first attempt but still fell way short of a result.

Next time out Phil Hill and Olivier Gendebien drove the car at Goodwood in the TT Race where they also failed to score a result both the 1959 Le Mans and Goodwood TT had been won by Aston Martin in what turned out to be a championship winning season for them.

Ferrari 250 TR, Goodwood Revival

1960 would see a return of fortune for the Ferrari sports car team and chassis #0744 played an important role winning two championship races first Phil Hill and Cliff Alison won the 1000 kms at Buenos Aires and then Olivier Gendebien and Paul Frére won the Le Mans 24 hours scoring Ferrari’s third win in the Endurance Classic and helping Ferrari to their sixth World Sports Car title.

Ferrari 250 TR, Goodwood Revival

Between these successes #0774 was loaned to Chinetti’s NART team for Ritchie Ginther and Chuck Daigh to drive in the Sebring 12 hours but they failed to finish and after Le Mans the car was sold to Eleanor von Neumann who entered it for Phil Hill to drive in the 1960 LA Times Grand Prix at Riverside where he finished 7th overall.

Ferrari 250 TR, Goodwood Revival

In 1963 Tom O’Connor bought the car for his Rose Bud racing team which promptly stripped the motor out and fitted it to their Lotus 19 chassis 952 that featured here on GALPOT a couple of years ago.

Ferrari 250 TR, Goodwood Revival

Under the ownership of Paul Pappalardo #0774 was reunited with it’s original motor in the 1980’s and the car won two class Concours d’Elegance awards at Palm Beach and Pebble Beach in 1993.

Ferrari 250 TR, Goodwood Revival

In a twist of biting the hand that feeds irony Dan Gurney eventually won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1967 with co driver AJ Foyt driving for Ferrari’s sworn enemy Ford in a Mk IV.

After 26 years in Paul’s custody ownership of #0774 passed to Hong Kong sourcing and logistics magnate William E ‘Chip’ Connor who kindly took it to the 2012 Gooodwood Revival for the Tribute to Dan Gurney Parade.

Thanks for joining me on this “Biting The Hand” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t for get to come back now !


Raced, Crashed, Stolen & Returned – Ferrari 250 GTO #3387

With the price of Ferrari 250 GTO’s in the 20 – 30 million US dollar range it occurred to me recently that to be a mere millionaire is probably no longer enough to purchase one of the 39 cars built.

Today’s featured Ferrari 250 GT0 #3387 was sold to Luigi Chinetti in March 1962 after the factory had done some testing with it at Monza earlier in the month.Chinetti entered the car for Phil Hill and Oliver Gendebien in the Sebring 12 hours under his NART banner and came home 2nd OA, 1st in class.

Ferrari 250 GTO, Goodwood Revival

Bob Grossman bought the car and entered it for himself and George Roberts jr in the ’62 Le Mans 24 hours coming home 6th overall 3rd in class behind two more GTO’s. Grossman scored one more class win at Bridgehampton in ’62 before selling the car to the Gammino family.

Mike Gammino raced the car through ’63 and ’64 scoring 4 class wins and 2 outright victories, during practice for ’64 Daytona 2000kms Mike crashed the car and ended up replacing the body with a new body from Scaglietti

Ferrari 250 GTO, Petersen Automotive Museum

Gammino sold the car back to Grossman who drove #3387 to another class victory at Nassau in 1965 before the car retired from active competition and was sold to K F White.

In 1979 R Finger bought the car and eleven years later a Kawasaki motorcycle dealer masterminded a plan to relieve Dr Finger of #3387 after offering the car to interested parties from his fax machine.

Ferrari 250 GTO, Goodwood Revival

Six men from the Savanah manged to steal #3387 and K F White showed up with a US$ 4.3 million cashiers cheque, but backed out of the deal when he suspected the car was a fake because the “real” #3387 was confirmed to be with Dr R Finger. The FBI picked up #3387 later that afternoon returning the car to it’s rightful owner and sending the perpetrators on their way to a Federal Penitentiary.

The car as seen today is seen wearing the colours the original body wore at the Sebring in 1962.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for his photo of #3387 seen at the Petersen Automotive Museum in 2011, the two other photo’s were taken at the 2012 Goodwood Revival.

Thanks for joining me on this “Raced, Crashed, Stolen & Returned” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


The Breadvan – Ferrari 250 GT SWB #2819

Today’s unique vehicle came to be built after Count Giovanni Volpi di Misurata fell out with Enzo Ferrari for financing a rival Formula One team ATS which employed ex Ferrari personnel Carlo Chiti, Giotto Bizzarrini and World Champion driver the American Phil Hill.

#2819 started life as a regular Ferrari 250 GT SWB and was entered in the 1961 Tour de France by Ecurie Francochamps for Olivier Gendebien and Lucien Bianchi who finished 2nd. The car was then acquired by Count Giovanni Volpi di Misurata who’s Scuderia Serenissima di Venezia entered the 1961 Paris 1000 kms for Maurice Trintignant and Nino Vaccarella who finished 3rd.

Ferrari 250 GT SWB, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

Wanting a third vehicle to enter in his Le Mans team which included one 250 GTO, #3445 and a Ferrari TR/61, #0792TR which won at Sebring, but unable to secure a second 250 GTO from Ferrari, Count Volpi di Misurata had his 1961 250 GT SWB upgraded to 250 GTO spec by the very man responsible for conceiving the original 250 GT SWB and 250 GTO series Giotto Bizzarrini.

Allegedly in just 14 days Giotto Bizzarrini & Piero Drogo modified Count di Misurata’s 250 GT SWB by moving the dry sumped engine back 5 inches behind the front axle so that it could be mounted lower in the chassis. Piero Drogo came up with a staggeringly beautiful body with a cut off ‘Kamm’ tail which led to the name Breadvan. The finished car was 143 lbs lighter than the 250 GTO and 7 mph faster on the 4 mile Mulsanne straight at Le Mans.

Ferrari 250 GT SWB, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

The body of the 250 GT SWB Breadvan is so low that a plastic bubble was devised for the hood to cover the six Webber carburettors. The 276 horse power 2953 cc / 180 cui V12 engine weighed nearly half that of the contemporary XK straight six used by Jaguar in it’s D & E Type racers.

#2819 driven by Carlo Maria Abate and Colin Davis was leading the works 250 GTO’s in the 1962 Le Mans 24 Hours when it retired after four hours with drive shaft failure. After a 4th place finish at Brands Hatch for Abate, and 3rd place in Paris for Ludovico Scarfiotti and Davis the ‘Breadvan’ was used by Count di Misurata as a road car.

Ferrari 250 GT SWB, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

The original SWB body from #2819 was fitted to chassis #2439 by Scaglietti in 1962 after Gunnar Anderson had a couple of accidents at Falkenberg and Västkustloppet in Scandinavia.

Apparently Count Volpi di Misurata lent The Breadvan to Gianni Agnelli, then head of FIAT, who had the vehicle painted black by his butler because it reminded him of a hearse, it is not noted if this had anything to do with then delicate state of Ferrari finances at the time, the Ferrari road car division was eventually absorbed by FIAT in 1969.

Thanks for joining me on this “The Breadvan Edition” of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at Colin Chapmans 1968 turbo charged all wheel drive Indy challenger. Don’t forget to come back now !