Tag Archives: HWM

Unique GT Coupé – HWM Jaguar GT Coupé

After the ’39 – ’45 war Hersham and Walton Motors (HWM) was operate by partners George Abecassis and John Heath. For the 1948 season John, a self taught engineer, built an Alta powered Special called an HW Alta which they both raced with some success.

The following season an open wheel HW Alta was built and encouraged by it’s success they built the first four HWM cars for the 1950 season, three works cars and one for a privateer, which could run in open wheel or closed wheel form.

HWM Jaguar GT Coupé, HGPCA Test Day, Silverstone,

20 year old Stirling Moss was given his first break, beyond 500cc Formula 3, by the team and scored two third place finishes at Reims and Bari despite a lack of reliability and power from the Alta motors.

One of the original works cars retains it’s an Alta motor to this day, another became the first HWM Jaguar and the third went to Hollywood and became the Stovebolt Special.

HWM Jaguar GT Coupé, HGPCA Test Day, Silverstone,

With the profits from selling their cars at the end of 1950 the team built new open wheel Formula Two cars for the 1951 and ’52 seasons but there competitiveness dwindled against the likes of Ferrari.

In 1953 HWM built another sports car now powered by a Jaguar motor with which George won a race at Snetterton. HWM focused on building and running Jaguar powered cars until 1956 when John Heath died from injuries sustained after an accident in the rain on the Mille Miglia.

HWM Jaguar GT Coupé, HGPCA Test Day, Silverstone,

Thereafter George decided to focus on running the trading side of HWM which had become an Aston Martin dealer in 1951 and has remained so to this day to become the oldest Aston Martin dealership in the world.

The final HWM is today’s featured Jaguar powered HWM GT Coupé built, with unique bodywork the design of which is credited to Aston Martin’s Frank Feeley, as a road car which show’s how HWM might have progressed but for the unfortunate turn of events on the Mille Miglia.

Thanks for joining me on this “Unique GT Coupé” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psychoontyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a Formula One BRM. Don’t forget to come back now !


Monterey Classic Meets Woodstock – Silverstone Classic 2011

Berliet, Silverstone Classic PD

A couple of weeks ago I was looking around Silverstone regarding a film project while several teams representing over 100 years of the automobile history were fettling their vehicles for the forth comingSilverstone Classic 2011 meeting which runs from July 22nd to 24th.

Chevrolet AK Pick Up, Silverstone Classic PD

If your into powered transport be it steam, diesel, petrol, 2 wheeled, 3 wheeled, 4 wheeled or more you will probably find something of interest during the day and if your camping there will be 2 nights of music headlined by the likes of tribute bands Legend, Queen On Fire and The Rolling Stoned on the first night, followed by Suzy Quattro, 10cc, Wishbone Ash on the second night topped off with an afternoon of classical music from Tetra Electra, Tenors Unlimited and the 40 strong Amadeus Orchestra.

Ferrari 512M, Silverstone Classic PD

What has really helped this event grow in stature is the participation of numerous owners clubs, the Jaguar Owners clubs have chosen this event to officially celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the E-Type and hope to gather over 1,000 of the 70,000 plus E -types built together at the same time, a race for E-types will be held with 58 entries.

Ford Galaxie 500XL, Silverstone Classic PD

Other marques including Porsche who also intend to gather in similar numbers, with smaller marques like Bristol being represented by the Bristol Owners Club.

Hesketh 308B, Silverstone Classic PD

Silverstone Auctions the event sponsors will be holding an auction at the Silverstone Classic on July 23rd that will include the sale of the last truely privately built and entered Formula One Car to win a Grand Prix.
HWM Jaguar, Silverstone Classic PD

For those less inclined to the racing which will include classic saloons, sports cars and Grand Prix cars there will be a fun fair, arial displays and gathering of steam powered traction engines to keep you entertained during the daylight hours while you wait for the music to start.

My thanks to Jonathon Gill who facilitated this fascinating day at Silverstone, I look forward to visiting the event in July and sharing more details of some of the vehicles I saw during preparations for it in the weeks ahead.

Thanks for joining me on this Silverstone Classic edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be sharing some photos of a fascinating workshop in Warrington. Don’t forget to come back now !


Stovebolt Special – HWM Chevrolet #49 ?

HWM Stovebolt Special, Pebble Beach, Carlyle Blackwell

Photo Carlyle Blackwell, Publised Courtesy Blackwell Archive, for sales enquiry’s please e-mail infoATpsychoontyres.co.uk and your contact details will be forwarded to the Blackwell Archive.

On Wednesday when I started today’s blog I thought lovely black car rare make, probably not too much history. As you’ll see below I could not have been more wrong in my assessment of the task ahead.

Hersham and Walton Motors (HWM) acquired an Aston Martin Dealership in 1951 reputedly making it the oldest such franchise.

Racing drivers & HWM owners George Abecassis and John Heath first built a streamlined body on an Alta sports car chassis in 1948.

The first proper HWM’s were also 4 cylinder Alta powered and built for the second tier European open wheel series called Formula 2 in 1950.

This is one of those 1950 open wheel cars allegedly driven by none other than Sir Stirling Moss at the start of his career.

Thanks to information passed on by David McKinney, it appears that this vehicle still fitted with an Alta engine was purchased in 1953 by 20th Century Fox and used in the film ‘The Racers‘ staring Kirk Douglas and Bella Darvi, this film was also known as ‘Such Men Are Dangerous’ in some countries.

During filming the car was heavily damaged, later Tom Carsten purchased all the vehicles from the film, selling most of them on, but keeping the HWM because it had independent suspension and fitting it with a 302cui /4900 cc Chevrolet V8 which was then bored out to 4994 cc / 305 cui by Edelbrock.

The car was also fitted with a quick change rear axle and experimental disc brakes by Hallibrand.

Bill Pollack, seen in this photograph by Carlyle Blackwell, confirmed as having to be at Pebble Beach by Bill himself, is known to have driven the at least twice in 1956 during which time chassis acquired the nome de course ‘Stovebolt Special’.

Bill was a regular winner at events such as Pebble Beach (two times), Golden Gate Park, Reno, Torrey Pines, Stockton, Madera, Willow Springs, Palm Springs, and the Santa Barbara road races, the most famous of which was in an Allard J2 at Pebble Beach from which his book ‘Red Wheels and White Sidewalls‘ takes it’s title.

JB Miltonian informs me that a version of this photo with the driver in an obviously retouched red shirt appeared on the cover of Sports Car Illustrated in September 1956 with the caption “Rounding the last turn at Pebble Beach is Bill Pollack in the latest Carstens bomb, the HWM-Chev V8. A complete breakdown of the car starts on p12. Ektachrome is by Carlyle Blackwell.”

The Stovebolt Special is known to have been raced until at least 1963.

In 1980 John Matherson restored the car which appeared in the Pebble Beach Concours in 2003.

HWM Stovebolt Special, Alan Raine

As seen in this photo by Alan Raine most recently the Stovebolt Special has reappeared in the UK driven by Simon Taylor.

According to one source Simon’s car is now listed as having a 5737 cc / 347 cui motor.

There is some disagreement as to the chassis number of the Stovebolt Special with options including #49 – 001 ,49/02 and even FB 102, should Simon Taylor get in touch I’ll ask him and add a post script.

My thanks to Carlyle Blackwell for the photo, Ed and Steve Arnaudin who kindly sent it on to me and TNFers David McKinney, Alan Raine, fnqvmuch, Tim Murray, Roger Lund, Mark Godfrey, JB Miltonian, and Vince H, who helped reveal the story behind the ‘Stovebolt Special’.

Please keep the Arnaudin family in your thoughts and prayers at this time.

Hope you have enjoyed today’s Stovebolt Special edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ and that you’ll join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !

28 07 12 PS My thanks to Pamela Blackwell who has kindly retrospectively given me permission to post the photo’s her father took.