Tag Archives: Jack

Super Saturday Part 2/2 – Silverstone Classic

Today’s blog continues on from yesterday with coverage of the second half of the Silverstone Classic Super Saturday race programme.

Porsche 911, Slater, Silverstone Classic

The 50 min Choppard International Trophy for pre’66 GT Cars was won convincingly by Sean McInerney driving the #64 TVR Griffith seen above about to thread it’s way passed the; #27 Porsche 911 driven by Adrian Slater, the #31 Lotus Elan driven by John Sheldon and the #91 Sunbeam Tiger shared by Neil Merry and Terry van der Zee.

Brabham BT4, Minshaw, Silverstone Classic

Jason Minshaw won the first of the weekends two Jack Brabham Memorial Trophy races driving the 1962 Brabham BT4 seen above. It is sad to have to report that in the second race for pre ’66 Grand Prix cars the following day Denis Welch was killed in an accident while driving his Lotus 18. I am sure you will want to join me in offering sincerest condolences to Denis’s family and many friends.

Ford Falcons, Voyazides, Gardiner, Silverstone Classic

Perversely the Mustang Celebration Trophy proudly presented by Pure Michigan was dominated by the type that the Mustang wiped off the sales floor, namely the Ford Falcons driven by Leo Voyazides #1 and Mike Gardiner #37. Leo is seen above sweeping into a lead that he did not relinquish for the rest of the race.

Maserati Centenary Trophy Start, Silverstone Classic

Light was fading at the start of the Maserati Centenary Trophy for pre ’61 Grand Prix cars and photographers such as your truely were having to resort to every trick in photoshop to get an image. Above Philip Walker driving the #1 Lotus 16 is seen streaking into what proved to be an unassailable lead ahead of; the #30 Offy powered Scarab driven by Bristol’s Julian Bronson, #88 ‘Toothpaste Tube’ Connaught C Type driven by Michael Steele, the, #27 Tec-Mech driven by Tony Wood, #35 Kurtis driven by Fred Harper.

Lola T70, Voyazides, Silverstone Classic

Leo Voyazides thirst for victory was unsatiated after winning the Mustang Celebration trophy and he is seen above driving his Lola T70 in the FIA Historic Masters Sports Cars race in hot pursuit of the cheeky 2 litre / 122 cui Chevron B19 driven by Martin O’Connell. No one knows exactly what happened to Martin, but he ended up in the rough stuff, uninjured leaving Leo and Simon Hadfield a clear road to victory lane.

Mercedes Benz C11, Berridge, Silverstone Classic

The final race of Super Saturday was my favourite not because it was the most closely contested, it was not despite the best efforts of Katsu Kobota driving a Nissan to take the challenge to the winning #31 Mercedes Benz C11 driven by eventual Group C Endurance winner Bob Berridge, but because the twin turbo V8 C11 driven at full speed is music to my ears and poetry in motion to my eyes. I could watch that car circulating all day and night as I did in 1991 at Le Mans, with out a care in the world.

Approaching 9pm it was all over time to return my photographers bib to the Media Office, jump into a courtesy BMW, driven by an ex Royal Protection Officer, which on the way back to the car park took me past the crowds waiting for Bonnie Tyler to give a rendition of “Total Eclipse Of The Heart”.

Thanks for joining me on this “Super Saturday Part 2/2” edition of Gettin’ a li’l pscyho on tyres. I’ll be staying with Silverstone Classic for the rest of the week I hope you will join me starting with Maserati Monday tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Killed By A Pony – Ford Falcon Sprint V8

The stand out car in the Goodwood car park last week was this Ford Falcon Sprint V8, there is something about the unmolested patina of old racing cars I simply find irresistible, something all to easy to underestimate that speaks of both achievement and subsequent precarious survival.

Ford Falcon Sprint V8, Goodwood Revival

There are four strands to Ford Falcon history, the US built cars such as the one seen here which were in production from 1960 until 1970, the Argentinian built Falcons in production from 1962 to 1991, the Australian built Falcons which have been in production since 1960 and the US built Falcon ‘E series’ 8 seat vans built from 1961 to 1967.

Ford Falcon Sprint V8, Goodwood Revival

Allegedly Edsel Ford first came up with the Falcon name for the design of a luxury car in 1935, he felt the name did not quite fit and renamed the car Mercury which was launched as a luxury brand in 1938.

Ford Falcon Sprint V8, Goodwood Revival

The Ford Falcon was launched in 1960, like the contemporary Chevrolet Corvair, Chrysler / Plymouth Valiant, Studebaker Lark and AMC Rambler, the design evolved from market research which identified that many US families were in the market for a smaller than full size second vehicle primarily to be driven by women. The first generation Falcons were in production from 1960 -1963.

Ford Falcon Sprint V8, Goodwood Revival

The second generation Falcon was redesigned in 1964 and aimed at a more youthful market. Falcons were available in two door, 4 door, sedan, 2 door coupé like this 1964 model, 2 door convertible, 2 door coupé utility and 3 or 5 door station wagon forms.

Ford Falcon Sprint V8, Goodwood Revival

Six engine options were available from 2.4 litre / 144 cui in line sixes through to 4.9 litre / 302 cui Windsor V8’s along with 4 transmission options 2 speed (ford o matic) auto, 3 speed auto and 3 or 4 speed manual.

Ford Falcon Sprint V8, Goodwood Revival

Despite over a million sales in the first two years of the first generation Falcon, second series Falcon sales tanked thanks in no small part to another vehicle in the Ford range that was based on the second generation Falcon but aimed at an even more youthful market known as the Ford Mustang which was launched in April 1964.

Ford Falcon Sprint V8, Goodwood Revival

To try and keep sales up the Sprint V8 with 4.7 litre / 289 cui, as seen here, and later even 4.9 litre / 302 cui variations were introduced but the slightly more expensive Mustang with the same power trains was the car everyone wanted.

Ford Falcon Sprint V8, Goodwood Revival

The secrets of this particular cars past remain hidden to me for now, a signature above the lighter on the dash looks like that of two time British Saloon car champion Jack Sears. I have not been able to find any evidence Jack drove such a car after winning the 1963 British Saloon Car Championship driving a Ford Cortina GT, a Lotus Cortina and a Ford Galaxy 500.

Thanks for joining me on this Sprint V8 edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil psycho on tyres’ I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Sign of things to come – Kimberly Cooper Special

Today’s blog, on the 50th anniversary running of the ‘ Indy 500’ in 1961, comes courtesy of photographs by Ed Arnaudin and Phillippe de Lespinay.

01 Copyright Ed Arnaudin 1961_61s

Photo by Ed Arnaudin.

AJ Foyt recorded his first of four victories at Indy in 1961 driving the Bowes Seal Fast Special, a Trevis Roadster, outrunning Ed Sachs and Roger Ward both driving Watson Roadsters.

Cooper T54, Jack Brabham, Indy 500

Photo by Ed Arnaudin.

Also on the grid of the 1961 Indy 500 was a small car built in England driven by an Australian who started 13th and came in 9th, perhaps not a stunning performance but none the less a significant marker for the future designs that would appear at Indianapolis.

Cooper Climax T54, Kimberely Cooper Special, Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Photo by Ed Arnaudin.

The #17 Kimberly Cooper Special, was the smallest car in the field powered by the smallest engine a 270 HP 2750 cc / 167 cui 4 cylinder Coventry Climax which gave away around 150 HP to it’s Offenhauser powered opposition. Uniquely that day in May the Cooper had it’s Coventry Climax engine mounted behind the driver.

Despite it’s power disadvantage which showed in straight line speed the Coopers lighter weight and rear engine configuration gave two time, reigning, World Champion,Jack Brabham a superior handling car going round the corners.

Had the team not made an unscheduled third stop, spending over 8 minutes stationary over three stops ‘Black Jack’ wound have been in a competitive position at the end of the race.

Cooper never returned to Indianapolis. The marker they had put down with the rear engine layout was taken up by others and by 1969 all Indy 500 qualifiers had engines mounted in the back, a development that was met with some resistance by both organizers and fellow competitors, who were less than thrilled by all manner of new comers turning up and eventually sweeping up the victory spoils.

In 1963 owner Kjell Kvale, believing some hopelessly optimistic performance figures for a 6 cylinder Aston Martin engine had Joe Huffaker install it in ‘Black Jacks’ 1961 Cooper T54 for Pedro Rodriguez to drive. Due to poor straight line speed Pedro Rodriguez was bumped in qualifying for the 1963 Indy 500.

The unique T54 then passed through 3 hands and by 1977 it had morphed into a Chevrolet powered sprint car. Fortunately many of the original parts that had been replaced in the morphing process had been kept.

Cooper T54, Philippe de Lespinay

Photograph courtesy of Philippe de Lespinay

In 1990 Philippe de Lespinay and Robert G Arnold managed to purchase over 70% of the parts belonging to the T54, along with it’s original equally storied engine, giving Thomas Beauchamp, Gene Crowe and Quincy Epperly the task of restoring the Cooper back to it’s 1961 specification using as all of the recovered original parts, including all of the surviving body panels.

Cooper T54,  Jack Brabham

Photograph courtesy of Philippe de Lespinay

During the restoration Jack Brabham found time to visit the shop in California and inspect the work in progress.

Cooper T54,  Jack Brabham

Photograph courtesy of Philippe de Lespinay Monterey 2006

Thirty years after first driving the T54 at Indianapolis Jack Brabham took a belated fairy tale victory to win the 1991 Monterey Cup.

Cooper T54, Rolex Moments in Time.

Photograph courtesy of Philippe de Lespinay

Since then the T54 has appeared at the Petersen Automotive Museum, the Marconi Automotive Museum, Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and in 2006 was selected as the star of the 2006 Rolex display at Monterey.

In July Philippe will be bring the Kimberly Cooper Special also known as the Cooper Coventry Climax T54 to Goodwood Festival of Speed, where I look forward to seeing the car for the first time in the flesh and meeting Philippe.

My thanks to Steve Arnaudin for scanning and sending his Dad’s photos, to Phillipe de Lespinay for permission to use his photos more of which along with the complete story on the restoration of the T54 may be seen here.

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

Correction in an earlier edit of this blog I incorrectly stated Pedro Rodrigueuz had crashed the Cooper Aston Martin, this was definitely not the case and a case of labelling error by a third party, apologies for any confusion caused.


Heavyweight – Jaguar E- Type 3.8 Coupe

Call me a hopeless romantic but there is something I find irresistible about the notion of walking into a showroom purchasing the fastest vehicle they have in stock, adding a couple towing eyes, a fire extinguisher roll cage and 5 point harness and ignition cut out switch and heading down to the nearest race track.

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This kind of racing used to be called stock car racing in the US and Production racing in the UK.

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Today’s stunning 1961 E-type 3.8 litre Coupe has been kept in more or less original trim since new.

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It still has an all steel shell and opening panels.

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Until recently the current owner; ex power boat racer, Michael O’Shea has been racing a 1958 XK150S, he has a decades experience racing Jaguars and a couple of years racing a Cooper – Maserati.

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Michael first started racing karts at 12 but did not start racing cars for another 34 years.

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Racing has been in Michael’s blood all his life his Dad was the mastermind behind the O’Shea Racing Organisation which ran a car for a then unknown, future world champion, Jack Brabham.

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Michael will be racing his car in the new HSCC Jaguar E-Type Challenge a series created to cater just for E-types on their 50th Anniversary.

My thanks to Jaguar World and Classic & Performance Car for additional information.

Hope you enjoyed todays Heavyweight edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ and that you will join me again tomorrow for Ferrari Friday. Don’t forget to come back now !


West Coast Detailing – Lotus XI

A couple of weeks ago I looked at Ed Arnaudin’s photo of Floyd Aaskov’s Lotus XI at Thompson CT taken in 1958, where you will find details about the Lotus XI model.

Lotus XI, Paramount Ranch, 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.

Today we are looking Carlyle Blackwell’s photograph of Jack Nethercutt’s Lotus XI at Paramount Ranch in 1956/57.

It would appear that Jacks Lotus XI ran a similar 4 cylinder 1098 cc /67 cui Coventry Climax engine to Floyd Aaskov. One thing that stands out about Jacks car is how amazingly clean it looks, it looks as well detailed in many other photographs I have seen of this vehicle.

Records indicate that Jack Nethercutt started racing in 1956 with a Mercedes Benz 300 SL, oddly records indicate Floyd Aaskov started racing in a similar model 12 months later on the east coast. In 1957 Jack started notching up regular GM class wins on the West Coast and in 1958 he acquired a Ferrari 500 TRC with which he started winning in the 2 litre / 122 cui EM class.

In 1959 Jack upgraded his 500 TR by fitting a 2.5 litre motor in and running in the 152 cui DM class in which he continued his record of accumulating class wins.

For 1960 Jack took delivery of a Ferrari 250 TR 59 with which he again took class wins in the 187 cui S1 division including a third overall in the Sebring 12 Hours. Half way through 1961 Jack swapped his Ferrari for a Lotus 19 and again running in the DM class continued his winning ways until 1964, taking a class win at the ’62 Riverside 6 hours with a one off drive in a Morgan plus 4 along the way.

Records show that Jacks career ended in 1965 driving a Mirage Oldsmobile in the over 5 litre / 305 cui class still carrying the #102 but without much in the way of success.

Jack appears to have settled for running a Mirage Chevrolet for Scooter Patrick in the first Can Am championship in 1967.

A similar photograph by Carlyle Blackwell to photograph above appeared on the cover of Road & Track in March 1957.

Lotus XI, Paramount Ranch, Carlyle Blackwell

The caption read “It was dry and hot at Paramount Ranch, near Los Angeles, the day Carlyle Blackwell shot our March cover – but no hotter than the Lotus Eleven, driven here by its owner, Jack Nethercutt.”

My thanks to Ed Arnaudin who purchased the photograph in the 1950’s and to his son Steve for sending me the scan, thanks also to Jean L and JB Miltonian at the TNF Forum for their help in identifying the track and coming up with the R&T; details.

I hope you have enjoyed today’s West Coast detailed edition of “Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres” and that you will 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.


West Coast Spyder – Porsche 550

My thanks go out again to Ed Arnaudin & Son for today’s photograph, Ed purchased this photo by Carlyle Blackwell of Jack McAfee in his John Edgar owned 550 most likely being driven to victory at Pebble Beach, a track I know very little about, on 22nd April 1956.

Porsche 550, Pebble Beach

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.

Jack McAfee was an extremely successful West Coast driver who started out in hot rod racing by tuning a neighbour friends mother’s model T, unbeknown to the fellow’s poor mother.

Jack is best known for driving cars owned by John Edgar highlighted by a couple of international appearances including the Nurburgring 1000 kms. Driving the 550 seen here Jack became National class F champion in 1956.

At 29 Jack became the youngest ever Porsche Dealer and was responsible for the often copied McAfee aftermarket wheels for Porsche and VW cars long before Porsche cars were fitted with the iconic Fuchs alloy wheels.

Just 90 Porsche 550 purpose built racing cars, inspired by the 356 specials built and raced by Walter Gloecker, were produced from 1953 – 1956.

Allegedly one of these low slung cars was driven under a pair of railway crossing gates by Hans Hermann during the 1954 Mille Miglia. A light weight 550 A variant was driven to Porsche’s first major out right sports car victory by drivers Umberto Maglioli and Huschke von Hanstein in 1956 Targa Florio.

However all of the 550’s racing successes are dwarfed by it’s position in 20th century movie culture, outside a restraunt on the 23rd of September 1955 Alec Guiness, the original Obi-Wan Kenobi, was shown the #130 Porsche 550 known as ‘Little B*st*rd’ owned by an emerging acting talent and part time race driver.

Sir Alec thought the vehicle looked sinister and advised the owner ‘If you get in that car, you will be found dead in it by this time next week.’ Sadly, a prediction that came true on 30th September 1955 when the legend of James Byron Dean was born.

My thanks to Arnaudin & Son for the wonderful photograph and to racingsportscars.com for the race information.

Hope you have enjoyed today’s edition of getting a little psycho on tyres and that you’ll join me again tomorrow for a look at a Porsche in need of a little TLC. 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.


Two Cats in Hollywood – D-type XKD 531 & C -type XKC 007

Thanks again go to Steve & Ed Arnaudin for providing today’s unusual photograph which Ed purchased somewhere around 1958/59.

Jaguar D and C types

Photo by 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.

Extensive research on The Nostalgia Forum has revealed that not only the cars but also the lead driver AND the photograph itself all have stories to tell.

This photograph appears to have been taken in the studio by Carlyle Blackwell around 1956/57, when he was the owner of the red #18 C-Type XKC 007 which he raced between 1955 and 1957. The #54 D-type is thought to be XKD 531 owned and raced by J Douglas.

It should be noted that this blog is a research project in progress and the identification of the chassis numbers is still not definitive. I have tried to reach the copyright holders but so far in vain so it is possible I might have to withdraw this blog at some point.

The D-type Jaguar like the C-Type was a factory built racing car powered by a variation of the same XK engine design as the XK 120, XK 140 and C-type.

Like the late C-Type the D-Type was fitted with efficient disc brakes. It’s debut at Le Mans in 1954 was thwarted by sand in the fuel, once it was removed Duncan Hamilton & Tony Rolt took their D-type back up the field to second place 1 lap down on the winning Ferrari of Jóse Frolián González and Maurice ‘Racing Is Life’ Trintignant.

The following year Mike Hawthorn and Ivor Beub driving a D-Type won a hollow Le Mans Victory after the Mercedes Benz team withdrew following the horrendous crash in which an estimated 83 spectators lost their lives and a further 120 were injured.

D-types entered by the private Ecurie Ecosse team took two further victories in ’56 and ’57.

The #54 XKD 531, which I believe we are looking at here, is one of 53 customer D-types, this one was raced from 1956 to 1957 by J Douglas and then from 1958 to at least 1959 by Ray Seher.

The red #18 C-type XKC 007 was originally owned by Charles H Hornburg Jnr who had future US World Champion Grand Prix driver Phil Hill drive it to two victories in 1952, Phil said of XKC 007 ” It was the first car I ever drove that had a really precise feel about it – it really felt like a racing car.”

Carlyle Blackwell acquired the car in 1955 and raced it through to the end of 1957 before acquiring the D-type XKD 528.

Jaguar D Type

Photo by 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.

The story of this photo does not stop with the cars however, look closely at the driver of the #54 and some of you might recognise the face as none other than that of Emmy winning writer Jack Douglas.

A detail of this photograph appeared on the cover of Sports Car Graphic in March 1963 the masthead reads “If the face on this month’s cover looks familiar, it should be. It belongs to Jack Douglas, writer, author of among other things, “My brother was an only child”, and sometime race driver. The photo was shot by his friend, Hollywood photographer Carlyle Blackwell.”

Jaguar D Type

Photo by 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.

The whole photograph as seen at the top of the blog first appeared on the cover of Sports Car Illustrated in February 1957 with a masthead that reads “Carlyle Blackwell shot this Ektachrome of a pair of competition Jaguars booming through the night.”
As can be seen studio lights are used to illuminate both drivers and the front of the #18.

Note how the colour from Ed’s purchased slide has darkened around an apparently ivory car, while the colour of the car as it appears on the cover of Sports Car Illustrated appears yellowish, the colour of Jacks car at the time has been described as ‘mustard yellow’ which only goes to show how unreliable photographs can be when trying to identify vehicles back in the day.

To date this is without doubt one of the most fascinating photographs I have ever come across. My thanks to Steve and particularly Ed Arnaudin who first purchased the photograph. Thanks also to everyone on the Auto Slides by Blackwell thread on The Nostalgia Forum for their invaluable contributions including, RA Historian Tom, Frank Barrett, Jean L, Jerry Entin, Frank Sheffield, Frank Hill, JB Miltonian, and raceanouncer 2003 Vince H.

I hope anyone believing they can improve on the accuracy of my hypothesis about this photo or with contacts leading to the Blackwell estate will chime in below.

Hope you have enjoyed this ‘Carceology’ edition of “Getting a lil’ psycho on tyres’ and that you will join me again tomorrow to see a ‘mystery’ vehicle with a Cat under the hood. 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.

Pamela tells me that her brother is seen at the wheel of the #18 Jaguar C-type in the photograph and that the photo was taken in Carlyle Blackwell’s driveway.