Tag Archives: Jimmy

Another Alternative C-Type – Sulprizio Hagemann GMC

Like Walt Hansgen a few years earlier when United Engineering & Machine co owner Babe Sulprizio found he was too many dollars short to own a C-Type Jaguar he set to building his own special in 1955.

Sulprizio Hagemann GMC, Rolex Reunion, Laguna Seca,

Babe started by building a steel tube ladder frame to which he fitted Jaguar Mk VII independent front suspension and rear axle , a Morris Minor steering rack and a 5 litre / 302 cui GMC six cylinder ‘Jimmy’ motor mated to a 4 speed Moss gearbox.

It is said the ‘Jimmy’ GMC motor was chosen after the local Oakland Chevrolet assembly plant refused to supply a 265 cui V8.

For the bodywork Babe took his chassis with some sketched bodywork idea’s to expert english wheelman Jack Hagemann. Babe insisted the completed body be painted bright red which led to the car often being mistaken for a Ferrari.

I have not been able to establish any competition results for the car which appears to have been known as the Hagemann GMC or Sulprizio Hagemann GMC, if you know of any please do not hesitate to chime in below.

In 1976 the current owner bought the car and appears to have installed a Jaguar XK 120 motor, XK 150 disc brakes and tired of telling the inquisitive his car was not a Ferrari had it repainted in metallic British Racing Green.

Note this car is not to be confused with the 1957 Cozzi Jaguar Special which was also painted red and fitted with a Jack Hagemann body.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sharing his photo of the Sulprizio Hagemann GMC taken at last years Rolex Reunion at Laguna Seca.

Thanks for joining me on this “Another Alternative C-type” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for a look at a Shadow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Shoestring Winner – Epperly Belond Exhaust Special

Today’s photograph by Ed Arnaudin of the two time winning Belond Exhaust Special, seen here with Sam Hanks at the wheel, was taken in 1982.


The success of the Belond Exhaust Special is a testament to three men who persevered, (Gordon) Howard Gilbert a 1949 Indy 500 winning mechanic with the Blue Crown Spark Plug Special team, Howard’s neighbour George Salih a foreman at Meyer & Drake which produced the prevalent 16 valve twin cam 4 cylinder Offenhauser ‘Offy’ engine and Sam Hanks a driver who after 12 races at the Brickyard had yet to win his first Indy 500.

Salih and Gilbert came up with the brilliant idea of replicating the best features of the 1952 Pole Winning Cummins Diesel Special but without the bulk of the 3,100 lbs diesel powered vehicle.

In 1952 Frank Curtis built two cars with the engines inclined the Cummins Diesel with its engine inclined 5 degrees off horizontal and The Fuel Injector Special belonging to Howard Keck with the engine inclined 36 degrees.

Gilbert and Salih decided to build their car with a compromise between the two ’52 Kurtis Kraft chassis with the engine inclined at 18 degrees off horizontal which decreased the frontal area and lowered the centre of gravity of their car without inducing the lubrication problems that would accrue by inclining the engine at 5 degrees from horizontal, the Cummins diesel was not capable of the high crankshaft revolutions of the gas powered Offenhauser and so was easier to keep lubricated at 5 degrees from horizontal.

In order to build their engine Salih obtained cosmetically flawed Offenhauser parts on credit, and both took out mortgages on their homes to build the chassis, an operation that took place during nights and weekends between day jobs.

Having completed their chassis Quin Epperly built the bodywork in exchange for part ownership, the car is officially known as an Epperly. Exhaust manufacturer Belond got the naming rights for $2500 in sponsorship.

A contingency fund was secured for the #9 Belond Exhaust Special by equipping it with British Blue Lodge Spark Plugs as against the Champion items used by everyone else taking part in the 1957 Indy 500.

Salih got 1953 AAA Champ and 12 time Indy 500 veteran, Sam Hanks, with whom he had worked in 1956, to drive what at the time was the lowest and smallest vehicle of it’s type to a debut victory, at a record speed of 135 mph, whereupon Hanks immediately announced his retirement from racing.

The Belond Special became the first car to head to victory lane twice with different drivers in 1958 when 3 time champ Jimmy Bryan repeated Hanks achievement. In 1959 Bryan retired the Belond Special with a broken engine after just one lap.

Gilbert and Salih continued building cars until 1967, Jimmy Bryan died soon after the linked photo was taken as a result of injuries sustained in an accident at Langhorne in 1960.

Howard Gilbert built further vehicles until 1970 scoring a shock win with George Follmer at the wheel of a stock block Chevy powered Cheetah at Phoenix, in the Jimmy Bryan 150.

From 1970 to 1990 Howard built engines for AJ Foyt which took 25 champ car wins including the 1977 Indy 500, fourth victories at Indy for Gilbert and Foyt, along with USAC championships in 1975 and 1979.

With thanks to Steve Arnaudin for scanning his Dad’s photos to and Kevin Triplett for additional information.

Hope you have enjoyed the Belond Exhaust Special edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’, and that you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


RIP Eddie Stobart – Ford Escort RS 1800 Replica

Ford RS1800 Replica, Race Retro, Stoneleigh

No trip along a British or European motorway is complete without seeing one of an immaculate fleet of Eddie Stobart trucks.

Ford RS1800 Replica, Race Retro, Stoneleigh

Eddie Stobart (Snr) founded an agricultural business in the 1950’s and his son Eddie Stobart (Jnr) built the company into one of the best known haulage companies in Europe over a period of 30 years.

Ford RS1800 Replica, Race Retro, Stoneleigh

Eddie (Jnr) sold the company to his brother William and business partner Andrew Tinkler in 2004. It is sad to record that Eddie (Jnr) predeceased his father aged just 56 last week.

Ford RS1800 Replica, Race Retro, Stoneleigh

This Ford Escort MKII RS1800 Replica appears to have started life as a 1972 Ford Escort MK 1 1100L and been reshelled with a post 1975 style body.

Ford RS1800 Replica, Race Retro, Stoneleigh

This Eddie Stobart sponsored car was successfully campaigned in 2006 and 2007 in selected historic rallies by 5 time British Rally Champion Jimmy McRae, father of World Rally Champion Colin McRae.

Ford RS1800 Replica, Race Retro, Stoneleigh

Most recently this Escort has been run by Whelan Historic Motorsport in historic rally events for Jim Whelan and co driver John Atherton.

Slightly off topic congratulations to Kevin Harvick who made it two Sprint Cup wins in a row yesterday when he won the traditional Grandfather Clock at Martinsville last night. This was the first time I have ever seen my man win a Cup Race on TV.

I hope you’ll join me again for another edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’. Don’t forget to come back now !

Stop press ! It is with a heavy heart that I have to report Mr Ed Arnaudin contributor of many fabulous photo’s to ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ passed away during the red flag period of the Martinsville race.

A proper appreciation of Ed will follow in due course, in the meantime I hope you join me in honouring and celebrating his life by typing his name in the ‘Search psycho on tyres box’, in death as in life Ed has much to share.

Condolences to the best friend I have never met, Steve Arnaudin and his family.


May the best man win – Homestead Miami

When the intelnet first entered my life around 2003/4 thanks to some excellent writing by Jerry Bonkowski I found myself developing an interest in all things NASCAR.

That interest turned to fandom when I won a Happy Harvick hat thanks to a competition run by Jay Busbee’s From The Marbles Blog.

Last year I was fortunate for a third time when I won tickets to go to the Aarons 499 at Talladega, where these photos were taken, thanks to Buck Fever over at rowdy.com.

Today is the final round of the NASCAR Sprint Cup and ‘my driver’ Kevin Harvick stands an outside chance of winning it all.

May the best man win, Go Harvick ! Go #29 ! Go Happy !

More fun at ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ tomorrow don’t forget to come back now !


Global Scoop – Morgan GC

With recent Internet reports on the eminent return of a Harley Davidson powered three wheeler being according to a Morgan factory spokesman unsubstantiated and merely an internet rumour, I take great pleasure in revealing the new Morgan model the aforementioned spokesman suggested ‘we save or Christmas money for’ – the environmentally friendly Morgan GC.

With the market place for £100,000 / $ 160,000 vehicles shrinking Morgan is striking out into a new and untapped market of the performance electric cart, which will appeal not only to four time Sprint Cup Champions like Jimmy ‘I fell off a golf cart’ Johnson, but also to Britain’s booming ageing population as they downsize from sitting in 12 mph traffic jams to 12 mph shopping trolleys.

With styling cues taken from the Classic Roadster and 4/4 models, as one might expect from a Morgan ‘Perfection’ is key as can be seen by this magnificent steering wheel and sumptuous wood panelled dash.

Among the optional extras will be these £ 2,000 / $ 3,600 electric fold away electric mirrors which have a quick release facility perfect to give hideous hoodies and moody teenagers a good old fashioned ‘clip round the ear ‘ole’ at will.

With leaf springs all round, the standard Union Jack interior and room to carry shopping and a pair of green wellies on the back this should be an attractive package for it’s intended market.

How much will the Morgan GC cost you may well be asking ? Probably no more than the priceless look on your face when your local Morgan dealer tells you, ‘you’ve been had !’

Hope you enjoyed today’s comedy edition of ‘Gettin’ a little psycho on tyres’ , tomorrow back to a real Morgan the little 3 wheel nugget known as the F4.

Thanks for dropping by don’t forget to come back now !


Move Over – Rover P6… Cabriolet !

The other day I was ambling along to the shops in the bright sunshine and I caught a glimpse of an old school chrome bumper through a hedge, it was attached to a Rover P6 (marketed as a Rover 2000) I didn’t think much of it till I got around the corner and it registered there was something odd, the roof was missing.

I went back to check and sure enough this is a Rover 2000 4 door cabriolet. I have no idea where or when the conversion was done, probably when the car was at least 12 months old to avoid attracting additional car purchase tax.

The Rover P6 Series 1 was in production from 1963 – 1973. This particular model was relatively underpowered by a 104 hp single carb, 1978 cc 120 CUI Heronhead (flat head / combustion chamber in the piston) overhead cam four cylinder engine. 208, 875 examples were produced of which between 160 to 170 are thought to have been converted post registration (to avoid additional car purchase tax) into estate / station wagon types by HR Owen and Crayford Engineering. Crayford are well known for Cabriolet conversions and possibly may have done this one.

If you know anything about Convertible P6’s please tell us about them ?

Slightly off topic tonight (UK time) is the night Happy Harvick and anyone else interested in lifting the NEXTEL CUP surely has to beat Jimmy Johnson to be considered a contender, if the #48 leaves California with the win then I’d say the Chase and the Drive for Five is all over bar the shouting. Fingers crossed Go Happy ! Go Harvick ! Go #29 !

Wishing everybody a sunny Sunday. Don’t forget to come back know !