Tag Archives: Gerard

Multi Spec Open Wheel – Cooper T71/73 #F1-3-64

When Bob Gerard hung up his helmet and gloves to become an entrant he continued to buy Cooper cars and enter them in a variety of specifications as he had done with his 1953 Cooper Bristol #CB-4-53.

In 1964 Bob had today’s featured Cooper T71 to all intents and purposes a 1 litre Formula Two car built up to 1.5 litre Formula One spec fitted with a twin cam 1.5 litre Holbay motor, the similar works Cooper T73 Formula One cars differed only in that they were fitted with 1.5 litre 91.5 cui Coventry Climax motors that produced 50hp more than the Ford production block based Holbay.

Cooper T71/73, Alan Baillie, Silverstone Classic

Bob entered #F1/3/64 for John Taylor in Formula Libre and non championship Formula One events in 1964 before giving John his Championship Formula One debut at the 1964 British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch.

John qualified 22nd and after gearbox repairs in the pits was running 14th, 24 laps down on winner Jim Clark when the flag fell in what turned out to be this cars only championship Formula One appearance.

Cooper T71/73, Alan Baillie, Silverstone Classic

Subsequently Bob continued to enter this car in Formula One spec for John and Alan Rollinson before running it with a 1 litre / 61 cui Formula Two motor for a couple of events in September 1964.

In 1965 John Rhodes drove the car with the Holbay motor and on other occasions Gerard Racings two mechanics were kept busy installing a Formula Two and a 1650 cc / 100 cui Formula Libre spec motor for John Taylor to drive.

1965 also saw Bob’s son Julian Gerard race this car with a stock 1 litre / 61 cui Formula Three spec Ford motor fitted.

In 1966 Bob entered the car in Formula Two spec in one event for Chris Lambert before turning it over to Formula Libre spec for his son Julian for the 1967 season.

At the end of 1967 Californian Bob Wenz bought #F1/3/64 and raced it for several seasons in SCCA Formula B events.

#F1/3/64 is seen in these photographs with current owner Alan Baillie at the wheel at last years Silvertone Classic.

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


Bob’s New Era – Cooper Bristol #CB/4/53

Severely short sighted Frederick Roberts “Bob” Gerard was born in 1914 into a family who business, Parr’s, a company that evolved from bicycle manufacture into the haulage.

Cooper Bristol T23, Russell, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe,

Bob’s first motoring event was the MCC Lands End Trial which he completed driving a Riley Nine an was awarded a Premier Award, Bob continued to successfully compete in trials and races at both Donington and Brooklands until the outbreak of war in 1939.

Cooper Bristol T23, Russell, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe,

After the war Bob continued competing, now with ERA R4A and later ERA R14B, in 1950 he finished the British Grand Prix in 6th with the latter and 6th at Monaco with the former.

Cooper Bristol T23, Russell, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe,

For 1953 Bob bought today’s featured Cooper chassis #CB/4/53 which was fitted with a six cylinder Bristol motor and designed to compete in 2 litre / 122 cui Formula 2 races, some of which were part of the World Drivers Championship in 1953 and 1954. Bob finished 11th in the 1953 French Grand Prix and 10th in the 1954 British Grand Prix diving this car, but experienced a good deal more success in British Formula Libre (all comers) events with it.

Cooper Bristol T23, Russell, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe,

On August 28th 1954 Bob drove this car to victory in the Hastings Trophy Formula Libre race at Castle Combe and beat a mighty V16 BRM in the process.

Cooper Bristol T23, Russell, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe,

Bob continued to race #CB/4/53 until 1956, with a slightly enlarged motor fitted he finished 11th in the 1956 British Grand Prix. His final British Grand Prix appearance was in 1957 when he drove a Cooper T43 to another 6th place finish.

CB/4/53’s second owner had a 2 litre supercharged ERA motor fitted and the car was later restored to it’s original condition as seen here at Castle Combe, with Steve Russell at the wheel, by Dick Crosthwaite.

Thanks for joining me on this “Bob’s New Era” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psychoontyres” I hope you will join me again for Maserati Monday tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Straddling Hostilities – Delage 3 Litre Course

In 1932 Delage launched it’s D6 series which featured independent front suspension, hydraulic front brakes and a six cylinder motor of 2.1 litres / 128 cui.

Delage 3 litre Course, John Warden, VSCC, Loton Park.

Like the Delahaye 135 series, which initially used cable operated brakes, the Delage D6’s were available with a variety of chassis lengths onto which coach builders, like Charon would build a body in what ever style a customer required.

Delage 3 litre Course, John Warden, VSCC, Loton Park.

By 1936 D6’s were available with motors just over 3 litres / 183 cui when Delage started building the 3 Litre Course model for competition.

Delage 3 litre Course, John Warden, VSCC, Loton Park.

Records show that one such car entered by Ecurie Walter Watney driven by Louis Gérard and Georges Monneret finished second at the Le Mans 24 Hours and on the other side of the hostilities in 1949 entrant and driver Henri Louveau sharing a 3 litre D6S with Juan Jover from Spain repeated the feat at the same venue.

John Warden’s 3 Litre Course shown in these photographs taken at a VSCC meeting at Loton Park is listed in the programme as a 1937 model, the DVLA records show the car as being built and imported to the United Kingdom in 1949, their are myriad reasons for such a discrepancies arising, if you happen to know the real reason please do not hesitate to chip in below.

Thanks for joining me on this “Straddling Hostilities” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psychoontyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now.


All Sizes Including Chevy – ERA R4A

Continuing the 80th Anniversary Celebration of English Racing Automobiles, ERA, today’s featured vehicle ERA R4A was the first to be built for a customer, South African P G Fairfield and it was the first to be built in 1935.

ERA R4A, James Baxter, VSCC Prescott

ERA R4A was originally painted white and fitted with a 1.1 litre 67 cui supercharged motor and in this form Patrick Fairfield won the Mannin Beg street race on the Isle of Man, the Nuffield Trophy at Donington Park and the Dieppe Grand Prix support race for Voiturettes.

ERA R4A, VSCC Spring Start, Silverstone

After running the car in South African events in early 1936 Patrick returned R4A to the UK where it was fitted with a 1,500 cc / 91.5 cui motor. In this form Patrick and R4A recorded second place finishes in the British Empire Trophy at Donington Park and in the Picardy Grand Prix.

ERA R4A, HGPCA Test Day, Silverstone

Patrick recorded three wins in South African events in 1937 before he was killed during the 1937 Le Mans 24 hours race. R4A was acquired by Norman Wilson with the smaller 1,100 cc / 67 cui motor fitted. Norman raced R4A mostly in South Africa up until the outbreak of the ’39 – ’45 war in which he would loose his life while serving in the South African Air Force.

ERA R4A, James Baxter, VSCC Prescott

Reg Parnell looked after R4A from 1942 to 1945 before selling her to Bob Gerard. When Bob Gerard appeared with R4A at Cockfosters, one of Britains earliest post war motoring events, in July 1945 it had several modifications to the radiator surround which would eventually enclose a smaller radiator.

ERA R4A, James Baxter, VSCC Prescott

In 1948 Bob fitted the 2 litre / 122 cui which is seen in these photographs, at some point he also had radius rods to the rear suspension of R4A, R6B and R14B though these have since been removed from all three cars.

ERA R4A, James Baxter, VSCC Prescott

After ten years of ownership Bob sold R4A to John McAfee in Northern Rhodesia, now Zambia, and the following year it went to Jimmy de Villiers in Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe. During this period in Southern Africa up to the mid 1960’s R4A is said to have been fitted with a unspecified Chevrolet motor for a short time.

ERA R4A, Silverstone Classic,

I believe R4A is currently owned by NJ Topliss and is seen in these photo’s with James Baxter at the wheel during last years VSCC Prescott meeting.

Thanks for joining me on this “All Sizes Including Chevy” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again for Maserati Monday tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Last of the line – ERA R14B

English Racing Automobiles was founded by driver Raymond Mays, designer Peter Berthon and financier Humphrey Cook in 1933 to manufacture racing cars capable of upholding British prestige in Continental European races.

Without the financial or engineering resources made available to Mercedes Benz and Auto Union in top flight Grand Prix races, ERA focused their efforts one step down, in the GP2 or Indy Lights of its day known as voiturette racing for vehicles with supercharged motors from 1.1 litres / 67 cui to 2 litres / 122 cui.

The ERA engines came in three sizes and were based on a 6 cylinder Riley production block with a stronger crankshaft and entirely new aluminium cylinder head.

Chassis design was by Reid Railton and the body work was by George and Jack Cray to a design by a Mr Piercy who like Railton had been responsible for the design of Malcom Campbells land speed record breaking vehicle ‘Bluebird‘.

ERA R14B seen here is the 14th and final original ‘sit up and beg’ originally a pale blue vehicle built in 1938 with a 1.5 litre /91 cui Zoller supercharged engine for Johnnie Wakefield who won the 200 mile race at Brooklands and finished third in the 1938 Bern GP.

Bob Gerard acquired the car after WW2 and scored third and second place finishes at the British Grand Prix of 1948 and 1949, he continued to race the car successfully until 1956.

Current owner Donald Day purchased ERA R14B in 1958 and has raced it with a 2 litre / 122 cui motor in place of it’s original 1.5 litre 91 cui unit. In 1990 14B appeared for the first time in British Racing Green.

This same vehicle was driven to victory in the pre 1959 Historic Grand Prix at Monaco by Julian Bronson in 2002.

All photo’s bar the penultimate one from the September VSCC meet at Loton Park, the penultimate one was taken at the August VSCC meet at Prescott.

Thanks to David Hodgkinson for back ground information on ERA 14B.

Hope you have enjoyed todays British Racing Green edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’, and will join me tomorrow for a look at a high flying special. Don’t forget to come back now !