Tag Archives: Hewland

Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This #5 – Connew PC1 002

One of the many highlights of 2015 were a precious few hours I spent cleaning and polishing all manor of wheels, wings, aluminium panels and nut’s and bolts in the company of Peter Connew and his family with his cousin Barry Boor.

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The reason circumstances brought us together was that Peter, seen at work on his lathe above, kindly accepted an invitation to give a talk about his experience building and racing the Connew PC1 to The Nostalgia Forum Hertfordshire UK Film Show at Ware Village Hall in May.

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Peter and Barry, seen below, devoted a huge amount of time to finding and cleaning the bit’s, many of which had not been seen or handled for forty years, to put as much as was possible of the car back together.

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Along with the foot pedals, steering wheel, instruments, cables, fluid bottles and original leather seat one box contained a couple of Hewland DG300 gear ratio’s which caused Alain de Cadenet to seek a discount when he bought the rest of the gearbox from Peter for his de Cadenet Le Mans car.

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In the absence of springs and shock absorbers pieces of wood were cut to replace them to keep the front suspension in shape, and in the absence of a Ford Cosworth DFV engine or Hewland DG 300 gearbox a sheet of wood was cut to support the rear of the chassis the correct 2″ inches off the ground.

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Peter’s kids Chris and PC all chipped in on the day before the talk as did Peter’s wife Iris, who helped out back in the day when the car was originally built and on this occasion painted the lettering into tyres, amazingly the 40 year old Firestones and Mag wheels still hold pressure though one would not want to use them for anything other than display purposes.

Connew PC1, TNF Herts Film Show, Ware Village Hall

As you can see by the comments on this link, the first appearance of the Connew PC1 in public since the 21st of October 1973, when a broken shock absorber caused Tony Trimmer to crash in to the barriers at Brands Hatch, and the talk by Peter were both welcome and well received.

Peter and Barry are keen to locate a Ford Cosworth DFV engine block and Hewland DG300 gearbox casing so that they can attach the rear wheel’s if you can help locate either at a sensible price please get in touch so that “Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This #6” is not too long in the making.

Thanks for joining me on this “Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This #5” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a Desert Racer. Don’t forget to come back now !


Twincharged – Lancia Delta S4

By 1985 it had become apparent that with the successes being racked up by the latest four wheel drive Audi Sport Quattro and Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 Lancia would have to abandon it’s supercharged 2 wheel drive Lancia 037 and join the four wheel drive rallying band wagon if it wanted to remain competitive in World Championship Rallying.

Lancia Delta S4, Race Retro, Stoneleigh

Over the course of 1985/86 Lancia built 200 Lancia Delta S4 Stradales with CroMo tube frame chassis, covered with epoxy and fiberglass 2 door body panels, vaguely reminiscent of the Lancia Delta 4 door hatch back but hinged in the roof for easy access to the rear.

Lancia Delta S4, Race Retro, Stoneleigh

Like the Peugeot Turbo 16 the engine was mounted transversely behind the passenger seat but it was not only supercharged as per Lancia 037 but also turbocharged to improve overall power, while the S4’s four wheel drive system was developed with Hewland.

Lancia Delta S4, Race Retro, Stoneleigh

Power out put for the motor at 5 bar boost was said to be 1000hp but in Staradale, road spec, 250 hp was deemed sufficient while in Corsa, competition spec between 500hp and 600hp was more likely.

Lancia Delta S4, Goodwood Festival of Speed

The competition version of the S4 made it’s debut on the RAC Rally in November 1985 and Henri Toivonen with Neil Wilson navigating came home first ahead of team mates Markku Alén and Ilkka Kivimäki.

Lancia Delta S4, Race Retro, Stoneleigh

The following season the S4 scored four victories; Monte Carlo for Henri Toivonen and Sergio Cresto, Acropolis for Miki Biasion and Tiziano Siviero with Markku Alén and Ilkka Kivimäki winning the Sanreno and Olympus Rallys.

Lancia Delta S4, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Markku and Lancia might have been crowned World Rally Champions, but that was before the governing body the FIA found that the organisers of the San Remo Rally had been wrong to disqualify the Peugeot team from a commanding lead of the rally for using skirts to aid the handling of their cars and so the FIA had little option but to annul the San Remo results which handed the world titles to Juha Kankkunen and Peugeot.

Lancia Delta S4, Race Retro, Stoneleigh

However the season was clouded and the course of rallying was changed after first three spectators were killed and another 30 were injured when a Group B Ford RS200 plunged into a crowd in Portugal and later Henri and Sergio lost their lives after their S4 plunged into a ravine and burst into flames in Corsica.

Lancia Delta S4, Race Retro, Stoneleigh

In the aftermath of these events Group B was cancelled from the end of 1986 and Audi withdrew from the Ford curtailed it’s Rally RS200 programme while Audi immediately withdrew from international rallying completely.

Lancia Delta S4, Alén, Kivimäki, RAC Rally, Wollaton Park, Nottingham

The photo above show’s Markku and Ilkka on the opening Wollaton Park stage of the 1985 RAC Rally while the remaining photographs show S4 Replica’s at Race Retro and Goodwood Festival of Speed built I believe by Rally Legend Replica’s in Blackburn.

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


Son Of Lobster Claw – Trojan Cosworth T103 #T103/1

After the successes of the 1973 Trojan T101 Formula 5000 car, particularly in the hands of Jody Schekter in the USA, the company Chairman Peter Agg asked Ron Tauranac to design an all new car for 1974 which would be suitable for F5000, the T102, and Formula 1, the T103 although the Chevy V8 in the former would not be able to be fitted as a fully stressed member as the Ford Cosworth DFV used to power the latter.

Trojan Cosworth T103, Silverstone Classic, Silverstone

Both the T102 and T103, seen above at last years Silverstone Classic, bore a strong resemblance to the Brabham BT34 Lobster Claw formula one car which Ron designed for the 1971 season.

Trojan Cosworth T103, Bonny, Silverstone Classic, Silverstone

Powered by the, as good as, ubiquitous Ford Cosworth DFV with an equally, as good as, ubiquitous Hewland DG300 gearbox the T103 attracted a minimum of sponsorship from Suzuki GB and Australian Tim Schenken was signed up to drive the car.

Trojan Cosworth T103, Silverstone Classic, Silverstone

Like the Amon Cosworth AF101 I looked at last week the Trojan T103 made it’s debut at the 1974 Spanish Grand Prix where Tim qualified 25th, 2 spots behind Amon, but stayed in the race for 54 more laps than Chris before spinning off on oil on lap 76, eight laps early, to be classified 14th.

Trojan Cosworth T103, Silverstone Classic, Silverstone

At the Belgian Grand Prix Tim brought the car home 10th and at Monaco Tim qualified 24th on the 25 car grid only to be involved in an incident that removed seven cars from the race on the opening lap. The team was refused an entry for the Swedish Grand Prix, failed to qualify for the Dutch Grand Prix, missed the French Grand Prix and turned up at the British Grand Prix with a new cockpit surround and Ferrari 312 B3 style single piece front wing.

Trojan Cosworth T103, Silverstone Classic, Silverstone

Tim qualified 25th for the British Grand Prix but but was sidelined with a suspension problem on lap 6. Tim and the Trojan proved unequal to the task of qualifying for the German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring, but bounced back by qualifying 19th in Austria where he finished a season equal high 10th. The cars final appearance before the money ran out was at the Italian Grand Prix where Tim qualified 20th and completed 15 laps before the gearbox cried enough.

That was pretty much the end of Trojan too, a company that founded in 1914 survived as a manufacturer in it’s own right until the the 1960’s when it started manufacturing first Heinkel bubble cars, then Elva sports racing cars and later McLaren Sports and open wheel racing cars under licence and then manufacturing a hand full of open wheelers of it’s own devising. The company was not dissolved until 2013.

Tim Schenken’s final Grand Prix appearance came in the 1974 US Grand Prix where he failed to qualify the unloved Lotus 76 27th but took to the grid when it looked like Mario Andretti’s Parnelli would not start but eventually turned up late grid to take his rightful place. Tim took the start only to be disqualified.

Tim eventually hooked up with Howden Ganley to found Tiga a successful company making racing cars for the junior open wheel and sportscar classes. A Tiga chassis tub was started for a Formula One car but it was never finished. Tiga would also become a successful Group C2 and IMSA Lights manufacturer.

The T103 is seen being driven by owner Phillipe Bonny at last years Silverstone Classic above.

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


Backyard Hi Tec – Amon Cosworth AF101

This month’s Sunday posts will feature 5 Formula One cars that ran in the 1974 season for which the then 31 year old Le Mans winner Chris Amon decided to follow in the foot steps of Jack Brabham and Bruce McLaren by building a car bearing his own name.

Amon Ford F101, Maydon, Siverstone Classic

It would appear Chris had plans to build both Formula 1 and Formula 5000 cars the latter to race in the lucrative US series with up and coming Australian Larry Perkins; a driver, engineer and sofa surfer who was making his way through the junior ranks in the UK. However despite financial backing from amateur racer John Dalton only the Formula One spec AF101 featured here ever saw the light of day.

Chris commissioned Gordon Fowell to provide him “with a sophisticated chassis” powered by a Ford Corsworth DFV motor driving the rear wheels through a Hewland gearbox. Gordon had designed the attractive, if underpowered, Martini sponsored 1973 Tecno E731 that Chris drove in practice at three meetings in 1973 but had never raced.

Amon Ford F101, Maydon, Siverstone Classic

The AF101 chassis, fabricated by Thompson who were also responsible for fabricating the Tecno E731 and Ferrari 312 B3, was certainly sophisticated with unique, for the time, central fuel cell that would become deriguer once ground effects were better understood with the introduction of the Lotus 79 in 1978. The car also had titanium torsion bar suspension and inboard front brakes, as did the well proven Lotus 72.

Responsibility for the aerodynamics was handed over to Professor Tom Boyce, and almost every time the car appeared it had a different nose including a high wing when it was first tested, a chisel nose in Spain where it first raced, a shovel at Monaco where the car qualified but did not race and then a lower full width wing was tried when the car failed to qualify in Germany and Italy.

Amon Ford F101, Maydon, Siverstone Classic

Unfortunately the AF101 proved a little to sophisticated for Chris’s budget, despite Larry Perkins saving a fortune in hotel bills with his sofa surfing skills, the little team folded having clocked just 22 laps in the 1974 Spanish Grand Prix before a brake shaft broke. Looking back on the project Chris conceded that he had attempted to build, what turned out to be a fragile hi tec vehicle on a backyard budget when he might have achieved more with a vehicle that was a little less ambitious and a little more reliable.

Larry Perkins loyalty was rewarded with an attempt at qualifying the Amon in the German Grand Prix after Chris was taken ill, unfortunately the combination of the Nurburgring, a rookie driver and a fragile car proved too much of a challenge for the team.

Amon Ford F101, Maydon, Siverstone Classic

After out qualifying Ricky von Opel and his works Brabham BT44 in the 1974 Spanish Grand Prix Chris was offered the second works Brabham drive for the rest of 1974, but turned it down out of loyalty to his own employees. Just as in 1973 when Tyrrell stepped in to offer Chris a couple of end of season drives after the demise of the Tecno team, at the end of 1974 BRM stepped in to offer Chris a couple of drives in the wonderful BRM P201, a model I’ll be looking at in a couple of weeks.

Post Italy 1974 the Amon was abandoned, restored and languished in a German Museum before it was restored to running condition in 2005. It is currently owned and raced by Ron Maydon in the Grand Prix Masters Series, Ron is seen driving the AF101 at Silverstone a few years ago.

Amon Ford F101, Maydon, Siverstone Classic

Thanks for joining me on this Backyard Hi Tec edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be starting a new GALPOT feature “Maserati Monday”. Don’t forget to come back now !