Tag Archives: Lurani

Brazil’s Man In Switzerland – Maserati 6CM #1558

In 1937 Milanese Lancia dealer “Libeccio” Eugenio Minetti with fellow racing drivers Giovanni Lurani, Luigi Villoresi and Franco Cortese founded Scuderia Ambrosiana and remained the teams president until 1949.

Maserati 6CM, Silverstone Classic

The following year Baron Manuel de Teffé von Hoonholtz followed his father into the Brazilian diplomatic corps and was posted to the Brazilian consulate in Switzerland.

Maserati 6CM, Silverstone Classic

The Baron better known as Manuel de Teffé was invited to drive a 1938 Maserati 6CM in it’s Brazilian national colours alongside the two other Scuderia Ambrosina 6CM’s by Count Giovanni Lurani.

Maserati 6CM, Urs Muller, Silverstone Classic

Manuel is recorded as having made 6 European starts in the 6CM during 1938 finishing four of the events with a best 5th place in the Voiturette Prix de Bern run on the Bremgarten circuit.

Maserati 6CM, Silverstone Classic

From 1939 to ’41 Manuel raced his Maserati 6CM in South America, with five starts recorded in Brazil and one in Argentina, of those he won at; II Circuito da Gávea Nacional and Subida da Tijuca both of which ran in Brazil.

Maserati 6CM, Silverstone Classic

Subsequently his car was sold to British expatriate in Argentina Eric Forest-Greene who recorded a sixth place finish in the 1941 Buenos Aires Grand Prix with the car.

Maserati 6CM, Silverstone Classic

Switzerlands Urs Muller is seen at the wheel of chassis #1558 in Brazilian colours during practice for the recent Maserati Centenary race at Silverstone Classic, voiturette expert Adam Ferrington assures me that #1558 is not the car driven in period by Manuel de Teffé.

Thanks for joining me on this “Brazil’s Man In Switzerland” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Race Winning Body – MG K3 #K3001/K3003

In October 1932 MG launched the K-Type Magnette at the London Motor Show, featuring a 48″ track and either a 94″ or 108″ wheel base the chassis was powered by a 6 cylinder 39 hp 1087cc / 66 cui motor with a cross flow cylinder head that originated from the 1930 Wolseley Hornet.The K1 Magnet was fitted with a saloon body on the 109″ wheel base and in all 181 were manufactured up to 1934 in KA, KB and lastly KD specifications which reflected a series of motor upgrades during the production run.

In 1933 the K2 a two seater on the 94″ chassis was launched, 16 were built with KB spec motors and 4 more with KD motors and pre selector gear boxes.

MG K3 K3001, Prescott

The princely sum of £795 could secure a supercharged K3 racing variant, as seen driven above at Prescott by Brandon Smith – Hillard, at first, as above, fitted with Powerplus superchargers just below the radiator and later with Marshall units. Fitted with pre selector gearboxes three K3’s including #K3001 above were entered into the 1933 where George Eyston and Giovanni Lurani driving chassis #K3003 came in 21st behind Tazio Nuvolari in an ALFA Romeo but took a class victory with Earl Howe and Hugh Hamilton coming in 22nd overall and 2nd in class in #K3001.

Subsequently #K3001 was raced at Brooklands, shared for the Shelsley Walsh by Land Speed Record holder and Mille Miglia class winner George Eyston with MM team mate Giovanni Lurani, raced throughout Europe by Bobby Kolrusche in 1934.

The Mille Miglia chassis #K3003 meantime had been given to the great Tazio Nuvolari to drive in the 1933 Ulster TT which he promptly won outright beating two 8 cylinder ALFA Romeo’s running in the 3 liter 183 cui class.

At some point after 1934 and before the commencement of the 2nd World War the body from the Mille Miglia and Tourist Trophy winning #K3003 replaced that on #K3001 which is how #K3001 appears in the photo above one of just 33 K3’s to have been built from 1933 to 1934.

My thanks to Ed of the Wessex MG Club Newsletter for details about this chassis.

Thanks for joining me on this ‘Race Winning Body’ edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again tomorrow, don’t forget to come back now !


Thread Breakers – Lotus 20 # 20-J-892

In 1958 at the suggestion of engineer, journalist and former racing driver Count Giovanni “Johnny” Lurani Formula Junior was adopted as an entry level form of open wheel racing that mandated the use of engines, gearboxes and brakes from everyday production road cars.

Lotus Ford 20

There were two classes up to 1000cc / 61 cui vehicles were allowed to run with a minimum weight of 360 kgs / 792 lbs and up 1100cc / 67 cui were allowed to run with a minimum weight of 400 kgs / 880lbs. The larger engine class was the most popular and initially a large variety of motors were used including FIAT, BMC, Moskvitch with 4 stroke 4 cylinder engines while SAAB and DKW 2 stroke 3 cylinder engines were also popular.

Lotus Ford 20

The series initially featured front engine vehicles but followed the trend set in Formula One and went the rear engined route at the turn of the decade. Lotus built a successful variation of the Lotus 18 Formula One car for formula Junior in 1960 and followed that up with Lotus 20 model that is featured today.

Lotus Ford 20

This particular Lotus 20, # 20-J-892, belongs to long time Lotus enthusiast Ralf Pickel, who fell in love with Lotus cars thanks in part to Matchbox, from Schwabach in Southern Germany.

# 20-J-892 was supplied new to Honda Racing Team manager and ex motorcycle racer Reg Armstrong fitted with a Cosworth tuned Ford engine number # 61425. Reg is thought to have driven the car at several events in Ireland.

Lotus Ford 20

After being sold on, first to Edmund Gill then to Bill Popplewell, who shared the driving with Frank Keane in Ireland, the car was fitted with a larger engine in 1965 by Brian Cullen for entry into Formula Libre events.

At Phoenix Park a drive shaft, which also acts as a critical suspension component, snapped causing an accident while Brian was at the wheel, that damaged the left hand side of the chassis.

Lotus Ford 20

Gordon Percy bought the damaged 20-J-892 with the intention of using it to build a grass track racer but over a period of 20 years he never quite got round to it and in 2000 the car left Ireland and ended up being restored by Michael Hibberd who replaced the damaged chassis members. After a couple of further documented changes of ownership Ralf bought the car from Richard Smeeton, who had a fresh £12,000 Richardson built Ford Formula Junior engine installed, earlier this year.

Lotus Ford 20

Ever since he bought the car Ralf has been wondering why the mirrors are mounted so high and close together on the screen, the probable answer has recently come to light that in the absence of timing beams on hill climbs a thread was stretched across the finish line of these events that mechanically stopped the timing clock when it was broken as cars crossed the finish line.

One one occasion when Reg Armstrong was driving today’s featured Lotus 20, which was considerably lower than all of the other vehicles in a contest, the thread was broken not by the car but Reg’s chin, reportedly causing copious blood shed.

Subsequently it is thought the mirrors were placed high on the screen to prevent further injury. A similar bloody fate befell the slightly taller Edmund Gill when he drove 20-J-892 following year when again the height of the finish line thread took no account of how low the Lotus 20 was.

To date Ralf has only had the opportunity to do some testing and demonstration events with this neat racer, but has plans to drive the car in anger for the first time next year hopefully at Hockenheim in April and Salzburgring in May.

My thanks to Ralf for sharing the photo’s and information on his Lotus. Thanks to TNFers Alan Cox, David Mckinney, Simon Thomas, Bill P, Richard Hinton, David Beard, Tim Murray, Richard Young, Edward Fitzgerald and larryd who contributed to the Lotus 20 and Reg Armstrong threads on The Nostalgia Forum.

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