Tag Archives: J2

Purple Haze – Brighton Speed Trials

The the skeletal old pier at Brighton was shrouded by a sea haze as I enjoyed an excellent breakfast with local organic eggs at the Lucky Beach cafe on the beach front.

The purpose of my visit to Brighton was to see the 1/4 mile Brighton Speed Trials which earlier this year were saved, with the aid of some GALPOT readers who signed an e-petition organised by Brighton and Hove Motor Club.

Austin 1800 S, Brighton Speed Trials

Among the Brighton and Hove Motor Club members taking part was Andrew Atherton and his immaculate 1970 Austin 1800 S Mk II, also known as a Landcrab, who recorded a best time of 20.77 secs which translates to a final speed of at least 66.55 mph.

Plymouth Satellite, Cheng Lim, Brighton Speed Trials,

Surprisingly Cheng Lim could not better Andrew’s time in his similarly aged General Lim Plymouth Satellite who only managed a best time of 29.67 or 47.49 mph the slowest time of the day.

Porsche 911, Barry Stewart, Brighton Speed Trials,

At the sharper end of the field Barry Stewart managed to record 41st fastest time with a best 12.10 secs approx 112 mph in his Rallycross, off road competition, spec turbocharged Porsche 911.

Allard J2, Jim Tiller, Brighton Speed Trials,

Jim Tiller’s drag spec Allard J2 “The Old Fella” had the largest quoted engine size at 7342 cc / 448 cui but he could only record 14th best time at 10.62 seconds / 127 mph.

Force SR4, Rob Stevens, Brighton Speed Trials,

Like the slowest car the fastest car in the field was painted purple, but the competition Force SR4 powered by a 1300 cc / 79 cui turbocharged motor was driven by 2012 Brighton Speed Trials Winner Rob Stevens who recorded a best time of 9.87 seconds / 144 mph in the top six run off.

Suzuki Hyabusa Turbo, Craig Mallabone, Brighton Speed Trials,

Unsurprisingly 8 bikes managed a faster time than Rob with fastest being Craig Mallabone on his 1300 cc / 79 cui turbocharged Hayabusa powered Suzuki who recorded the only sub 9 second time of the day at 8.94 on his first timed run, seen above, at an astonishing 150.68 mph.

My thanks to those GALPOT readers who signed the Save Brighton Speed Trials e-petition without your support I would not have found myself writing this blog.

Thanks for joining me on this “Purple Haze” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again for a look at a proto Can Am car tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Bump Start Only – Kayne Special

Following yesterdays blog about Colin Cooper here is the first of 4 blogs on MG powered specials that Colin has built, raced and or owned.

Kayne Special 1, Loton Park

The Kayne name is derived from Kay, and Neil his children. Colin’s first special was built in the ’72 – ’73 off season on an MG J2 chassis thought to be chassis number J4326. The Colin is seen driving the car above on it’s first outing at Loton Park in 1973.

Kayne Special 1, MG L, MG PB, RAF Topcliffe

For 1973 Colin ran the Kayne Speacial 1 with a 939 cc / 57 cui 4 cylinder MG PB motor. To save weight car built the car without a starter motor, so it always had to be bump started ! The Kayne Special is seen above at RAF Topcliffe alongside the #28 MG L Type of Maurice Gleeson and the #30 an ex Nigel Musselwhite MG PB belonging to Colin’s friend Trevor Goodwin.

Kayne Special 1, Oulton Park

For the 1974 season Colin fitted a Shorrock S/C directly driven off the nose of the crank, the car is seen Curborough Sprint driven by current owner Mike Painter in the early 1980’s with the super charger fitted, you can tell by the single carburetor popping out of the bodywork ahead of the front wheels.

Kayne Special 1, Loton Park

Colin secured many class victories with the Kayne Special before selling it on 1976.

Kayne Special 1, Loton Park

Mike Painter bought the Kayne Special, seen more recently at Loton Park above, soon after Colin sold it.

I’ll be looking at Colin’s second special the Kayne Special II next Tuesday.

My thanks to JMH for the chassis number and Allan Lupton for his comments on The Nostalgia Forum.

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

24/04/12 Added chassis number.


Quintessential British Sports Car – MG J2

The MG J series produced from 1932 to 1934 came in 4 distinct models the J1 a 2 door 4 seat open or closed sports car with a 847 cc / 51 cui motor, J2 a two seater open only version, as seen in todays blog, of the J1, J3 similar to a J3 but with a 750 cc / 45 cui supercharged motor and the J4 a pure racing version of the J3 with a 72 hp supercharged motor.

MG J2, Castle Combe, Wessex Sprint

The 1932 J2 is easily distinguishable by the front cycle style mud guards which in 1933 were replaced with front mudguards joined by running boards to the rear wings a feature that was to remain with all subsequent MG sports cars all the way through to the TF model which was manufactured until 1955.

MG J2, Castle Combe, Wessex Sprint

The 36 hp motor, was similar to that used in the earlier M-Type looked at last week, featuring a cross flow cylinder head and twin SU carburetors but only a two bearing crankshaft which had a limited life at maximum rpm. The Castrol GTX oil breather catch tank is a relatively recent requirement for competition.

MG J2, Castle Combe, Wessex Sprint

Lifting the side opening bonnet panels of the J2 reveals the four speed gearbox and foot wells. The steering column operates Marles steering gear and the drivers side front brake cable can be seen emerging from the chassis rail above.

MG J2, Castle Combe, Wessex Sprint

The two humped dash scuttle of the J Series would turn out to be another trade mark MG feature that was continually carried forward over twenty years to the 1955 MG TF. Note the how the potential crankshaft saving engine revolution counter dominates the dash board instrumentation.

MG J2, Castle Combe, Wessex Sprint

Just over 2000 J2’s were built out numbering the combined total of all the other J series MG’s by more than 2 to 1, this particular example, seen at last years Wessex Sprint, was acquired by Mike Hawke for £85 in October 1953, the car cost just short of £200 new in 1932.

Mike is known to have campaigned this car successfully at both Castle Combe and Silverstone before passing the car on to his son Jeremy who won his class at Castle Combe on the day these photo’s were taken.

Thanks for joining me on this Quintessential British Sports Car edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil psycho on tyres’ I hope you will join me tomorrow when I’ll be featuring a hot version of “The car you always promised yourself. Don’t forget to come back now !


Racing on Ice – Allard J2 #J2123

Seasons greetings.

Allard J2, Lake Orion

Today’s photograph comes courtesy of Eric Davison an acquaintance of Del Lee, the owner of the Allard J2 seen above.

Del Lee “was a car salesman and at one point he owned a used sports car dealership on Detroit’s Livernois Avenue”.

His Allard is seen, probably in 1952, being readied for an event which Eric describes as being run as a time trial with a Le Mans start and no spiked tyres allowed.

My efforts to find a result for the event have been unsuccessful but Bob Martin of the event organising club Detroit SCCA did send me a copy Open Exhaust April 1969, the club magazine, in which Dels car is mentioned by author Les Rutlidge inconnection with an event at Bridgehampton in May ’52.

Les also tells us that in June ’52 Del “blew two pistons while practicing for the Camp Dearborn Road Race” and that replacements of the correct size “could only be found in a Wisconsin built lawn mower !” Lee is reported to have purchased two such units removed their pistons and fitted them to the Cadillac motor which #J2123 was running at the time.

J2 #J2123 currently belongs to GALPOT contributor and todays GALPOT Birthday Boy John Aibel, I hope you will join me in wishing John a Happy Birthday.

My thanks to Eric Davison for his recollections and today’s photograph and to Bob Martin for the copy of the April 1969 Open Exhaust.

Thanks for joining me on this ice racing edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’ I hope you will join me tomorrow when the eight day Automobiliart / GALPOT Seasonal Quiz get’s under way.

Don’t forget to come back now !

Automobiliart GALPOT Seasonal Quiz

Automobiliart, Paul Chenard

December 26th – January 2nd

Win a set of Paul Chenard Greetings Cards

Sports-GT cars set, Paul Chenard

Set 1 Sports & GT Cars

Phil Hill, Sharknose Ferrari Set, Paul Chenard

Set 2 Phil Hill World Drivers Championship 50th Anniversary Edition

1934 GP Season Card set, Paul Chenard

Set 3 1934 Season

1950s Grand Prix Engines

Set 4 Grand Prix Engines of the 1950’s


Mike Hawtorns racecars Card set, Paul Chenard

Set 5 Mike Hawthorn’s Race Cars

The Automobiliart GALPOT Seasonal Quiz will comprise 8 categories.

Overall winner chooses one set of Paul Chenard Greetings Cards from the five sets shown above.

The cards measure 15.24cm x 11.43cm, come in packs of 12 with 3 copies of 4 designs in each set, plus A6 envelopes.

Which set will you choose ?

The free to enter Automobiliart GALPOT Seasonal Quiz will run from December 26th – January 2nd Entries close January 8th 2012, Winner announced January 16th 2012.

Full details on December 26th at GALPOT.

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When Colleen’s away …. – Allard J2 – 1513

Today’s story begins in the sun fried podunk called Bell on the west side of an arid ditch called Los Angeles River in California, where ‘Okie’ George Wright drifted in 1919 and started a wrecking business that transformed over time to become the world first speed shop called Bells Auto Parts for competitors running Model T’s.

Just before the second world war a lanky redheaded kid called Roy Richter from Maywood California, a perfectionist with a genius for pattern making and fabrication started building a reputation at Cragar, a company owned by George White , manufacturing Leo Goosen designed cylinder heads and at Bell Auto Parts where Roy built his first Saxon midget, then raced it successfully.

Roy moved to Detroit where he continued to manufacture dirt track cars, but in 1938 after a racing tour of New Zealand, Roy settled again in California where he built an extremely successful Offenhauser powered midget for Sam Hanks, the eventual 1957 Indy 500 winner aboard the Belond Exhaust Special.

During the war Roy worked in the aircraft industry and his former employer George Wright of Bell Auto Parts passed away, Roy took the opportunity to lease Bell Auto Parts, raising the money by selling his Model T.

After the war a huge demand for racing equipment was unlocked as hundreds of thousands former forces personnel who had built up an enthusiasm for all things mechanical during the war now had the time and disposable income to explore their curiosity to go faster and further.

Allard J2

(Photo Courtesy Bernard Dervieux)

Bell Auto Parts took full advantage of it’s position as a distributor of performance parts and diversified with a mail order catalogue. Roy with an eclectic taste in vehicles midgets, desert streamliners and sports cars became the California distributor for Allard cars and imported this vehicle the 3rd J2 built and the 8th ever imported to the USA.

Allard J2

(Photo Courtesy Bernard Dervieux)

Allard J2 1513 was shipped to the USA without a motor, as was customary, and Roy installed a Cadillac 331 cui V8.

Allard J2

(Photo Courtesy Bernard Dervieux)

On one occasion when Roy’s wife Colleen was away he took his #1 Allard J2 down to the US Navy airship base at Santa Ana and entered a race with amongst others a couple of XK120’s driven by Phil Hill (#18), and Jack McAfee (last row), Tom Frisbey (#3) Allard K2, Basil Panzer (#2) Allard J2, and Sterling Edwards (#10) Edwards R26.

Roy won the race and when his wife came home he is said to have confessed all and promised never to race again.

In 1953 Richter diversified his interests into the manufacture of safety helmets hoping to capture the market occupied by English Cromwell leather head gear which he distributed. The success of the Bell 500 was followed by the first helmet to meet Snell standards the Bell 500 TX helmet in 1957.

Roy followed the diversification into safety equipment with a response to the ‘strength and style deficiency’ in after market performance wheel market sold under the Crager brand name he had acquired from the White estate.

Allard J2

(Photo Courtesy Bernard Dervieux)

In 1954 William ‘Bill’ Leach acquired Roy’s J2, now painted white, from a third party, Bill raced the car without much success and sold it in 1956 to pursue his interest in horse racing.

Allard J2

(Photo Colin Warnes)

Bernard Dervieux, acquired Roy Richter’s J2 1513 in 2000,

Allard J2

(Photo Colin Warnes)

it is still fitted with its Cadillac motor

Allard J2

(Photo Colin Warnes)

powerful enough to provide plenty of excitement 60 years after it’s debut win.

Allard J2, Desert Classic C d'E

(Photo Geoffrey Horton)

Earlier this year the #1 J2 -1513 was seen at the Dessert Classic, apart from its non period yet apt Cragar wheels,

Allard J2, Desert Classic C d'E

(Photo Geoffrey Horton)

the car is in original immaculate shape,

Allard J2, Desert Classic C d'E

(Photo Geoffrey Horton)

a fitting testament to the extraordinary figure who first owned her Roy Richter.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton, who initiated today’s blog, Colin Warnes, of The Allard Register, and Bernard Dervieux, the owner, for sharing their photos.

Further thanks to Frank, Woody and David at The Nostalgia Forum, to Mr Holland at The Cadillac Forum and Brock Yates of Car & Driver for background information.

Hope you have enjoyed this ‘Roy will play’ edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil psycho on tyres’ and that you will join me again tomorrow for a trip to the Atwell Wilson Museum. Don’t forget to come back now !


Changes Of Heart – Allard J2 #J2123

Thanks to John Aibel today we are looking at a storied Allard J2 of which John says :-

Allard J2

“The car was ordered on 7th. June, 1951 for Wood Motors, Detroit, MI. Park Hill Ref. No. 248: Head Office Order No. 173. It was assigned production number J-2123.

Allard J2

Many Memorandum notes followed detailing the options needed, like Cadillac Engine Modified, 32 mm wire wheels Left Hand Drive, Large Lucas Headlamps MPBL with stone guards Red Leather interior, Blue paint as per chip supplied.

Allard J2

The car was delivered to Wood Mtrs. on August 31, 1951. It was built and imported for Mr. Delvan Lee a personal friend of Don Wood’s brother. Mr. Woods told John they only imported one Allard, and this was done as a special favor to Mr. Lee. They were interested in more popular imports and they are today Mercedes-Benz dealers.

Allard J2

Mr. Lee worked for Connell Cadillac of Detroit who supplied high performance engines to the marine industry. They did the instillation of the Cadillac engine into the Allard.”

Allard J2

He entered in some local and regional sporting events including ice racing. In 1953 and 1954 Mr Lee entered events at Watkins Glen, as well as Bridgehamton Long Island.

Allard J2

Mr Lee won the Giant Despair Hillclimb and set fastest time of the day in 1953.
By 1954 Mr. Lee sold the Allard to Fred Lavell. Delvan raced the car for Lavell at the 1954 Watkins Glen event.

Allard J2

Photo Motor Life December 1957 will be properly credited or removed upon request.

In 1954 Lavell took the Allard to Bonneville, Ut. speed events. He drove the car to a speed of 127 mph. The next two years the stock body was removed and a Sorrell [streamliner] fiberglass body with a DeSoto engine was installed. It ran this was in 1955 and 1956 and attained a speed of 150 mph.” Another J2 owned by Denny Larsen held the Class D modified Bonneville sports car record at an average 178.068 mph at the time.

Allard J2

“When I bought the car, the aluminum Allard body was not installed on the frame, and a Chevrolet small block was in the engine compartment coupled to a Moss 4 speed transmission. The instillation was not operational.”

Allard J2

John had the car restored to its original specification by Mr. Tivvey Sheldon with a 6390 cc / 390 cui Caddy engine, three Stromberg 97 carbs, GM transmission. “We kept the quick change rear that was put in I believe before the Bonneville runs.”

Allard J2

John has driven this car at Pocono, Pa., Philadelphia Vintage Grand Prix, and Watkins Glen Allard reunion. The highest recorded speed by radar in John’s hands was 115 mph during the Phily event.

My thanks to John for sharing the photos of his magnificent car and to Colin Warnes of the Allard Register for additional information and photographs.

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