Tag Archives: Graham

Frank’s Championship Winner – Chevrolet Camaro Z/28

For 1972 Adrian Chambers Castrol SCA Freight team built a second generation Chevrolet Camaro with Mark Lesueur and Norman Lockwood to replace the ex-Bobby Brown first generation Camaro Z/28 it had been campaigning with Australian Frank Gardner at the wheel.

The car was initially fitted with a 5,736 cc / 350 cui motor and raced in the British Saloon Car Championship while the team saved the first generation Z/28 for selected appearances in the Deutsche Rennsport Meisterschaft.

During 1972 Frank won outright and by definition his class at Thruxton, Silverstone, Oulton Park, Mallory Park and no less than 3 times at Oulton Park to secure a class win in the championship but still had to give way in the overall championship to Bill McGovern driving a George Bevan Hillman Imp to a perfect 11 out of 11 class victories.

Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Frank Gardner, Brands Hatch

Frank is seen driving the car above to victory at the 1972 British Grand Prix meeting at Brands Hatch in this photograph given to me by someone at school in the mid 1970’s.

The following season Frank drove today’s featured car, now fitted with a 7 litre / 427 V8 to six victories from 9 starts to secure his third British Saloon Car Championship and can be seen driving the car round Oulton Park that year in the clip below.

For 1974 the British Saloon car championship mandated a change to less radically modified Group 1 specification cars and Frank drove the SCA Group 2 spec Camaro with Australian compatriot Brian Muir in Europe where the car always qualified in the top six but frequently failed to start and when it did always failed to finish.

Frank retired to Australia at the end of 1974 where he continued racing into the the early 1980’s and running Australian Touring Car programmes with success for BMW.

Today’s featured car was then bought from Adrian Chambers by Stuart Graham with the intention to run it in Super Saloon races alongside his Group 1 Brut 33 Camaro British Saloon Car Championship program but the car proved to heavy to be a competitive super saloon.

Stuart sold the car onto Dutchman Rob Slotemaker who raced the car in Group 5 spec with a 7,443 cc 454 cui V8 up until his death at the wheel of his Group 1 spec 1974 Camaro at Zandvoort in 1979.

Rob bequeathed today’s featured car to current owner Bert Moritz and Bert’s son Patrick recently failed in an attempt to crowd fund an estimated US$200,000 restoration of the car.

Thanks for joining me on this “Frank’s Championship Winner” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again for FIAT Friday tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


DB Six – Dodge Brothers Senior Six Opera Coupé

Five years after the Dodge Brothers, Horace and John, died unexpectedly due to unrelated causes their widows sold the company to Dillon, Read & Co in, up to the time, the largest ever cash transaction involving some US$ 146 million. At the end of 1925 Dillon, Read & Co also acquired a majority in Graham Inc and the three Graham brothers worked for Dodge Brothers until 1927 when Dodge introduced it’s first 3.6 litre / 244 cui six cylinder models.

Dodge Brothers, Senior Six Opera Coupe, VSCC, Castle Combe

The L head six produced 60 hp and complemented the 40 hp Fast four in the Dodge range which was loosing market share falling from second largest manufacturer in 1920 to 7th place by 1927 prior to Chrysler’s acquisition of Dodge Brothers in 1928.

Dodge Brothers, Senior Six Opera Coupe, VSCC, Castle Combe

Identifying the exact age of today’s Senior Six Opera Coupé, seen at Castle Combe a couple of years ago, has proved extremely difficult officially it’s listed as a 1929 model however I have only been able to match it to models with the distinctive horizontal bonnet / hood vents dated 1927 and 1928.

If you know the exact years the horizontal vent Sixes were in production please do not hesitate to chime in below.

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


Sixties Ferrari Covers – GALPOT Automobilia

Continuing to clear some of the motor racing stuff I have collected over the years today’s post features a couple of MotorSport covers that are currently on line on my “lightpress” e-bay account.

MotorSport, Goodwood, April 1966

First up from April 1966 the staff at MotorSport believed that the idea of an apparently arbitrary 3 liter / 183 cui limit on the size of forth coming GT regulations was not either in the interest of the sport, or the British motor industry who’s GT cars from Jaguar and Aston Martin with motors over the new limit would be rendered obsolete despite not being particularly quicker than their competition with smaller motors. The photo shows the start of the 1963 Goodwood Tourist Trophy race featuring four Ferrari 250 GTO’s, 2 Aston Martins and 2 E-type Jaguars which was won by Graham Hill in the #11 250 GTO.

MotorSport, Surtess, Ferrari 312, Siracusa, June 1966

By June 1966 the Ferrari V12 3 litre 183 cui Formula One car was looking a good bet to win the championship with 1964 champion John Surtees at the wheel. John is seen guiding his Ferrari 312 fitted with a downsized sports car V12 motor through the streets of Siracusa on his way to an easy non championship victory. Note how Sicilian spectators are clearly seen ligning the inside of the crash barriers which were presumably installed to protect them. By the end of June John Surtees quit the Ferrari team after a disagreement with Ferrari management which deprived him and Ferrari of Championships which up until then had been theirs for the taking.

MotorSport, Bandini, Ferrari P3/4, Daytona, March 1967

Finally after a humiliating defeat to Ford at Le Mans in 1966 in February 1967 Ferrari stole a little Ford thunder by claiming victory in the Daytona 24 hour race. Seen on the cover of the March 1967 edition of MotorSport is Lorenzo Bandini at the wheel of the #23 Ferrari P3/4 he shared on his way to victory with Chris Amon. The #26 North American Racing Team Ferrari P4 driven by Pedro Rodriguez and Jean Guichet finished second.

Thanks for joining me on this “Sixties Ferrari Covers” 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 Surtees Hill Lola – Lola Chevrolet T70 Mk II Spyder SL71/43

Team Surtees started running Lola T70’s in sports car races in 1965, for 1966 the teams proprietor, 1964 World Champion, John Surtees ran a Chevrolet Mk II spyder variant, chassis #SL71/17, in the Canadian American (Can Am) Challenge winning the inaugural Can Am race at St Jovite from pole with the car.

Surtees retired from the next couple of Can Am races with a broken oil pipe and then after a start line accident at Bridgehampton and Mosport respectively. At Laguna Seca the team had a new chassis #SL71/43, today’s featured car, which he qualified 7th but retired for a third time after 92 laps with suspension damage.

Knapfield, Lola T70, Goodwood Revival

John Surtees returned to chassis #SL71/17 at Riverside where he qualified second and won, 1962 World Champion and 1966 Indy 500 Winner Graham Hill was drafted into chassis #SL71/43 and came home third from 5th on the grid in the cars final appearance for Team Surtees.

Knapfield, Lola T70, Goodwood Revival

Surtees went into the final round of the 1966 Can Am Challenge at Stardust International Raceway in Las Vegas sharing the series lead with 1961 World Champion Phil Hill who was driving a Chaparral 2E.

Despite qualifying 4th behind Jim Hall on pole with his Chaparral team mate Phil Hill beside him and Chris Amon in a McLaren Elva in third, John Surtees forced his way through to the lead on the opening lap. John did not relinquish that lead for the entire 70 lap race and so secured the inaugural Can Am Championship.

Chassis SL71/43 was acquired by George Ralph for 1968 his best results with the car were two 11th place finishes one in the USRRC Championnat Nord-Americain race held at Mont-Tremblant from 17th on the grid and the other in the Road America Can Am race from 21st on the grid.

Current owner Paul Knapfield is seen driving the car at the 2011 Goodwood revival in these photo’s.

My thanks to Tom RA Announcer Schultz for kindly visiting his den to dig out the chassis details of today’s featured car from his copy of Lola T70 – The Design, Development & Racing History Hardcover – December 1, 2012 by John Starkey and Franco Varani.

Thanks for joining me on this “The Surtees Hill Lola” 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 !


Wobbly Web Wheels – Lotus 12

Despite only being fitted with mock up engine and all new rear transaxle made of wood the Lotus 12 with a chassis made of Reynolds 531 tubing looked sensational to the select members of the press lucky enough to it in the stable block at the back of a hotel in Hornsey in October 1956.

Lotus 12

Lotus 12, Goodwood Festival of Speed, June 2011

The space frame chassis had independent wishbone suspension on the front and was to be powered by a 4 cylinder Coventry Climax motor built to meet the then second tier Formula 2 regulations. The gearbox mounted to the rear transaxle was to feature a sequential shift as used on motor cycles.

Lotus 12

Lotus 12, Goodwood Festival of Speed, June 2011

Typical of designer Colin Chapmans maxim to add lightness the magnesium ‘wobbly web’ wheels, inspired by a design Colin had seen on a US military aircraft, were fitted with six wheel nuts instead of the more common central knock off nut because Formula 2 races did not, as a general rule, require pit stops to change tyres and the six small wheel nuts weighed less than the one knock off nut.

Lotus 12

Lotus 12, Goodwood Festival of Speed, 2011

Colin Chapmans first foray into open wheel racing under his own Lotus banner while innovative was not as successful in 1957 as had been the Vanwall for which Colin had designed the chassis, but this did not prevent him from fitting the 12 with an oversize version of the Formula 2 Coventry Climax engine and running two examples at the Monaco Grand Prix in 1958 for Graham Hill and a second F2 spec car for Cliff Allinson to mark Lotus first entry into the top Formula One tier of the sport.

Lotus 12

Lotus 12, Goodwood Festival of Speed, 2011

The first two Lotus 12’s featured de Dion suspension but Chapman refined his design by fitting his own version of the Macpherson struts fitted with universal joints that became known as the Chapman strut, a system also used on the Lotus Elise. In Formula One races the Lotus 12 scored some promising sixth place finishies and a remarkable 4th place in Belgium but the most important Colin Chapman was now playing on the big stage where he would leave an indelible mark right up until his untimely demise im 1982.

Thanks for joining me on this Wobbly Web edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’ I hope you will join me again tomorrow when we will be looking at a big cat. Don’t forget to come back now !


Scaglietti Pontoon – Ferrari 250 TR #0754

I’d like to thank Geoffrey Horton for today’s photograph of David Love’s 1958 Ferrari 250 TR seen here at Danville Concours d’Elegance in 2008.

Ferrari 250TR, Danville Concours d'Elegance

The 250 TR powered by the lightweight 276 hp 2,953 cc /180 cui Colombo Tipo 125 engine was a hugely successful sports car winning the Le Mans 24 hour race, with Phil Hill and Oliver Gendebien at the wheel in 1958 and further variations winning the endurance classic in 1960 and 1961.

#0754, originally painted blue, was sold to Yugoslavian born Guatamalan Jaroslav Juhan co driver of the car, under the ‘Equipe Los Amigos’ banner, in the 1958 Le Mans 24 hours with Frenchman François Picard who collided with the Lotus of Jay Chamberlain in heavy rain six hours into the race.

After Le Mans #0754 returned to the factory for repairs to the Scaglietti pontoon bodywork and was re painted red before being shipped to Vasek Polak a friend of the now retired from racing Juhan.

Once in the USA #0754 was driven to numerous overall and class victories by Jack McAfee, George Keck and Jack Graham.

Jack Graham comprehensively damaged the car on the October 22nd 1960 when he locked his brakes at Laguna Seca and came to rest against an oak tree. After surviving serious injuries Jack retired from racing.

Bob Gengami had the car repaired and raced it in 1962 selling it on to Bob Allen who advertised #0754 TR as ‘freshly overhauled’ in 1964 when David Love acquired it.

David described the car he purchased as ‘completely unusable’ and after unsuccessfully suing the vendor began the slow process of restoration to the condition in which we see the car here. Along the way David raced the car from 1965 to 1968 and since 1974 he has raced #0754 in historic events.

The 250 TR is generally accepted as one of the two most desirable Ferrari’s amongst auctioneers, behind the 250 GTO, a 1957 250 TR was sold for US$ 12,100,000 in May 2009.

Thanking Geoffrey for sharing this sumptuous photograph, more details and photographs on the history of #0754 TR can be found on Tams old race car site here.

I hope you have enjoyed today’s Scaglietti pontoon edition of Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres and that you’ll join me again tomorrow when I’ll be celebrating the life of one of this blogs earliest contributors Mr Edwin Arnaudin. Don’t forget to come back now !


Real Fast Lorry – Bentley 3/4.5 litre Fixed Head Coupe 1924

For a carceaologist like myself vintage Bentley’s, referred to by Ettore Bugatti as ‘the fastest lorries in the World’ are a bit of a nightmare because the original bodywork of many of them has long since rotted away, many of those bodies have been replaced with replica Van den Plas Le Mans bodies. A few of Bentley’s have chassis with not much in the way of original fabric either.

One disputed Bentley chassis recently turned up in the law courts which had chassis members from three different models front, middle and rear ! Unless you have an exceptionally strong belief in the concept of ‘entity’ you may struggle to accept that some vintage Bentley’s are vintage and or indeed Bentley’s at all.

Gareth Graham is seen here driving a vehicle owned by BJA Collings, not to be confused with the BBC comedy ‘Stig’ character Ben Collings, during the VSCC meeting at Loton Park in September.

The Fixed Head Coupe featured today has a 1924 chassis but with a 110 hp 4,398 cc / 268 cui 4 cylinder engine that was not available with these 3 litre chassis until 1927. If the vehicle is on its original licence plates it was first registered in Essex.

Hope you have enjoyed today’s vintage edition of ‘Getting a lil’ psycho on tyres’, and that you will join me tomorrow for a look at a gargantuan contemporary Bentley. Don’t forget to came back now !