Tag Archives: Hotchkiss

Coffee, Croissant & Cars 03/15 – Avenue Drivers Club

There was a definite military atmosphere pervading this month’s Avenue Drivers Club meeting at Queen Square thanks to the presence of the six military vehicles featured in today’s blog which were promoting The Dig For Victory Show, a 1940’s Family Festival that will be taking place on the 13th to 14th of June at the North Somerset Showground.

Willys MB, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol,

Most unusual amongst the Jeeps present was this 1942 Willys MB painted in the colours of a Royal Naval Beach Master for the 1944 Allied Invasion of France.

Bedford OY, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol,

The 1940 Bedford OY 3 ton truck above was a hasty adaption of the civilian Bedford O series first seen in 1939.

Ford GPW, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol,

Just as Bantam could not hope to satisfy the demand for a general purpose off road vehicle with the original Jeep evolution of the “Blitz Buggy”, by October 1941 it had become clear that Willys Overland were struggling to meet the US Government’s demand for their Willys MB evolution and so Ford were contracted to produce licenced versions known as the GPW (Government, P Ford speak for 80″ wheelbase, Willys licenced) like the 1942 example above.

Hotchkiss M201, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol,

After the 1939/45 war Jeep production continued for several decades, in France Hotchkiss produced the M201 like the 1960 example above until 1981 and the last “La Jeep” remained in service with the French Military until 2000.

Willys MB, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol,

The immaculate Willys MB above was built in 1943.

Austin Champ, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol,

Finally Britain began looking for a replacement for it’s Jeeps in 1947 and one option was the Rolls Royce powered “Truck, 1/4 ton, CT, 4×4, cargo & FFW, Austin Mk.1” like the 1954 example above which is more commonly known by it’s civilian name “Austin Champ”.

The next Avenue Drivers Club Meeting will be at Queen Square, Bristol 9am on Sunday the 12th of April.

Thanks for joining me on this “Coffee, Croissant & Cars 03/15” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at an Oldsmobile Delta 88. Don’t forget to come back now !


Double Twelve – Brooklands

Last Sunday I was spoiled for choice of interesting events to attend and opted for going to Brooklands where the Double Twelve event was billed as the biggest motoring competition held at the World’s oldest circuit since 1939. Unfortunately I missed the speed trials which were held on Saturday but I did catch the Driving Concours on Sunday.

Hupmobile Eight, Brooklands Double Twelve

As ever, when I visit Brooklands,I probably learned more on Sunday than I had forgotten in a life time. Among many cars I had either never seen let alone heard of was this Hupmobile Eight in the car park.

ALFA Romeo, 1750 Berlinetta Prototype, Brooklands, Double Twelve

This ALFA Romeo, looks like a anorexic “Montreal” but in fact is a 1968 “1750 Berlinetta” a road registered prototype driven here by Corrado Lopresto, one of several ALFA Romeo Prototypes present and one of numerous cars that had been brought over from Italy for the Double 12.

AC Bristol, Greyhound, Brooklands, Double Twelve

A Bristol powered AC Greyound cost 25% more than a Shelby American Cobra when it was manufactured, this 1963 example is one of 82 built between 1958 and 1964 and features a sunroof fitted new by the Allard Motor Company.

Lagonda 2 litre, Brooklands, Double Twelve

Martin Tinsley driving the 1932 2 litre Lagonda, above, demonstrates it’s impressive turning circle on one of the driving tests.

Mercedes Benz, 230, Brooklands, Double Twelve

Another vehicle that had come all the way from Italy was the Mercedes 230, above, driven by Massimo Delbo who won the Mercedes Benz Pre and Post War Sports and Touring Cars class of the Driving Concours.

Hotchkiss Brandt M201 JEEP, Brooklands, Double Twelve

Looks like a Willy’s JEEP from the good ol’ USA and was billed as a WWII Jeep, but in fact this M201 was built under license by Hotchkiss Brandt in 1957 for a contract from the French Military. If you would like to own this vehicle it is the prize in a Raffle organised by the War and Peace Show more details on this link. I now have tickets to win a Morgan, a Triumph and a JEEP, one day I just have to get lucky !

Lotus 61, Brooklands, Double Twelve

The first time I took a photo of Les Buck’s Lotus 61 it was tipping down at Prescott the photo was so blurry all I could make out was that the car was yellow and green. Les told me he plans to be out at Prescott today so weather permitting I’ll have a second crack at getting a photo of the car in action.

MG Super Sport, Brooklands, Double Twelve

With my recent run of Tuesday MG blogs it was a thrill and a surprise to stumble across the oldest MG known to exist this MG Super Sports dates back to 8th January 1925 and during the ’39-’45 war was converted to a hay-mower !

Sinclair C5, Brooklands, Double Twelve

Restricted to a top speed of 15 mph, in order not to be categorised as a motor vehicle on British roads, the Sinclair C5 was a hybrid powered by an electric motor or pedal power. Despite being launched with the aid of Stirling Moss, in 1985, it was the object of much derision with a lamentable performance climbing hills. I suspect this model may have a turbo conversion with 24v electrics because it effortlessly whistled up the Test Hill without the aid of pedal power and appeared to be traveling well over 15 mph.

Rolls Royce, Handlye Special, Brooklands, Double Twelve

At the other end of power spectrum was the Rolls Royce Merlin / Meteor powered 27 litre / 1650 cui Handlye Special, built and driven by Robin Beech, which by virtue of laying a single 20 yard black stripe at the bottom of the Test Hill got my vote for the “Gettin’ a li’l Psycho on Tyres” award !

DB HBR5, Rolls Royce, Brooklands, Double Twelve

The ‘Deutsch Bonnet’ DB HBR5 Coupé belonging to Derek Fritz came third in it’s class of the Driving Concours event a car I shall cover in greater detail in a future Wednesday Continental Curiosity blog.

Fraser Nash TT Replica, Brooklands, Double Twelve

Overall winner of the Driving Concours was Andrew Hall in the 1935 Fraser Nash TT Replica, not to be confused with being a replica of a 1935 car, Andrew can be seen in the passenger seat receiving the trophy a Brooklands Screen mounted on hefty chunck of the Brooklands Track.

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