Tag Archives: Ian

Vauxhall Bearcat Special

In 1922 Vauxhall introduced the 2.3 litre / cui 14/40 M-type to complement the 4 litre / 244 cui D-type and the 4.5 litre / 275 cui 30/98 E-type in it’s model range. The 14/40 featured a detachable cylinder head, 3 speed gearbox and rear wheel brakes, solid wheels were standard with wire spoke wheels an option.

Ian Ferguson, Vauxhall Bearcat Special, Prescott

The 1926 Vauxhall 14/40 chassis driven by regular hill climb competitor Ian Ferguson at Prescott above has been fitted with a 4 cylinder 366 cui / 6 litre motor normally found in a Stutz Bearcat.

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


Ian vs Danny – Tour Britannia Castle Combe

Back in 1973 a multidisciplinary event was organised that brought together the world of racing and rallying called the Avon (tyres not cosmetics) Tour of Britain in which competitors took part in a wide range of production (safety modified only) vehicles in a wide range of race, rally and even drag events across the length and breadth of Great Britain.

Talbot, Castle Combe, Tour Britannia

On Saturday Tour Britannia a similarly organised event for historic, classic & modern vehicles based this year in Wales and South West England visited Castle Combe on Saturday morning, when the race track was used as a rally stage thanks to the addition of three temporary chicanes and in the afternoon as a more conventional race track.

Citroen SM, Castle Combe, Tour Britannia

Headlining the racing fraternity on the inaugural event in 1973 were former two time Grand Prix World Champion Graham Hill in a Datsun Bluebird, regular Grand Prix participant Howden Ganley in a Citroen XM, similar to the #29 US spec vehicle of Andrew Brodie and Robert Lowdell above

Chevrolet Camaro, Castle Combe, Tour Britannia

and future world champion in his rookie year making a big name for himself James Hunt in a Chevrolet Camaro belonging to the injured Richard Lloyd, similar to the vehicle of Stuart Scott and Steven Wood above which Richard Lloyd recreated in 2005 shortly before his untimely death. James in the Camaro was the winner of the inaugural event in 1973. Scott and Wood were awarded the Competitors Choice Concours award.

Ford Escort Mk 1's, Castle Combe, Tour Britannia

The following year the publicity generated by the event in 1973 galvanised Ford into preparing two Escort RS2000’s for British UK Rally Champion Roger Clark and Saloon Car Racing Champion Gerry Marshall that were inseparable for most of the races with Roger pipping Gerry to the post in the final standings. Though in far higher states of tune than the original 1974 Escorts the vehicles of Phil & Mick Squires left and David Smithes & Eric Woolley right provided an evocative reminder of the epic battle in 1974. Phil & Mick won their class in this years event.

Sullivan & Ashley, Castle Combe, Tour Britannia

The highlight of the two races held on Saturday was the drive of former British Formula 5000 champion Ian Ashley in his Caterham R500 from the back of the grid to the lead in just two laps, above the ever on form Ashley is seen lining up the leading Porsche 911 RSR before the completion of the second lap.

Porsche RSR, Castle Combe, Tour Britannia

the #42 Porsche was driven by another name driver,

Danny Sullivan, Castle Combe, Tour Britannia

no less a name than former New York City cab driver, 1985 Indy 500 winner and 1988 Indycar Champion Daniel John ‘Danny’ Sullivan III from Louisville Kentucky ! Danny won his class in this years Tour Britannia which finished at Silverstone, yesterday afternoon.

My thanks to Simon Lewis who’s heavily discounted ticket allowed me to visit this event.

Hope you have enjoyed today’s Tour Britannia edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ and that you will join me again tomorrow for a look at a classic Plymouth with a push button shift. Don’t forget to come back now !


Sub 7 Second Family ? – Chevrolet Corvette C1

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After a thrilling Aarrons 499 in April ’09, my friends Throttleneckracing and Checkeredflagstilettos kindly took me back to Atlanta and put me up in a hotel using TNR’s loyalty points and we had a great meal at a local Cracker Barrel.

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That night my head still buzzing from a combination of jet lag, 3 days of Alabama sunshine and hundreds of laps of 200 mph racing action I found my self watching drag racing for the first time on the Speed Channel.

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Despite the fact I was physically exhausted, I was enthralled and fully engaged mentally by the sight of earth shaking top fuel drag cars spitting flames a good 10 to 20 feet into the air.

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A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I met Drag Racer Chris ‘Backdraft’ Hartnell on a Bristol Pegasus Motor Club trip to Race Retro at Stoneleigh and such was his enthusiasm for the sport I am determined to go and see a drag race at Shakespeare County Raceway this year.

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If I am lucky I hope to catch site of this outrageous pro modified Corvette C1 run by Ian Hanson and his family team comprising his wife Pauline son Richard, brother Colin, sister in law Karen and nephew Tom.

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Chris tells me that Ian’s car has this outsize magneto to deliver charge to the spark plugs in place of a battery which would be run flat by the electrical requirements of this humongous motor.

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The blurb on Ian’s motor read something like “8860cc / 540 cui all alloy New Century Chevrolet Big Block, with forged Arias pistons, Brooks alloy rods, Howards billet crank, and Aviade dry sump oil system that is hiding behind an Enderie ‘Big & Ugly’ injector hat and fuel system with an 8/71 Teflon Stage 4 Littlefield Supercharger”.

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Last year Ian set a new Supercharged Outlaws UK et record of 7.29 seconds over a distance of 402 meters.

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The record was set with the engine in a ‘mild state of tune’ producing around 1,700 (Seventeen Hundred) hp !

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This year Ian will be turning up the boost a little further…

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and attempt to cover the 402 meters in under 7 seconds.

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I am sure you will join me in wishing Ian all the best, with a little luck I’ll be there to see it, with a bit more luck I might just have time to take a photograph.

Thanks for joining me on today’s ‘mild state of tune’ edition of ‘Gettin a lil’ psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !