Tag Archives: Mallory Park

Unlike A Cooper – Revis

Reg Bicknell from Southampton was an entrepreneur who built up several business which eventually included dealing in cars, running pubs and managing amusement arcade machines.

After being demobed from the Royal Air Force where he served as a night fighter pilot Reg returned to his auto sales and repair business.

Revis, Mallory Park

Inspired by a copy of the Formula Three magazine IOTA in a pub he determined that he too could have a go at building a car, without interfering with his business commitments, to compete in the formula aimed at the impecunious.

Reg drew up nine criteria for his car before he started which began with “1. Be as unlike a Cooper as possible” and went on to include all round independent suspension, all parts to be made from scratch and so forth.

Revis, Mallory Park

He began building the car in the winter of 1950 with his teen neighbour Brian Trew after first getting a set of magnesium alloy wheel rims cast which could be bolted on to the brake drums.

The first JAP powered variant of the car was finished in late 1951 after many build problems particularly with the suspension were overcome by trial and error.

Revis, Mallory Park

Reg’s car initially proved too heavy and unreliable so over the winter of 1951 Reg ditched the independent rear suspension for a swing axle arrangement and during 1952 he replaced the JAP engine with a heavier more powerful “double knocker”, twin cam, Norton motor but still managed to bring the overall weight down from 625 lbs to 560 lbs.

These refinements along with replacing the pair of rear brakes with a single inboard unit turned the Revis into an altogether more competitive machine and Reg clocked up 2 wins and numerous placings along with a shared lap record at Goodwood during 1952.

Revis, Mallory Park

In 1953 Reg took the offer of a semi works ride with Staride, but on his only outing in the Revis took another win at Silverstone.

For 1954 Reg replaced the conventional aluminium body work of the Revis with a rough home made fibre glass nose that enclosed the front wheels, in this configuration Reg clocked up 10 more wins during 1954.

Revis, Mallory Park

The following season Reg abandoned the original Revis for the Revis II and in 1956 the original Revis seen here was shipped to the USA for future SCCA champion Pierre Moin who raced the car 5 or 6 times as an open wheel car with a Triumph twin motor without much success.

The Revis had further unreliable outings until at least 1961 and was brought back to the UK from Canada by present owner Richard Bishop Miller in 2009.

Revis, Bishop-Miller, Oulton Park

Reg Bicknell would go on to share a Lotus XI with Peter Joop in at Le Mans in 1956 where the pair finsihed 7th overall and 1st in class.

At the beginning of the 2014 season Richard Bishop Miller had the misfortune to fracture his vertebra after the Cooper of John Turner landed on top of him at the VSCC Silverstone Spring Start meeting.

Fortunately while Richard was recovering in hospital the Revis was striped and repaired so that both car and driver could return to the track at Zandvoort in Holland a couple of weeks ago.

Richard hopes to make the trip down from the Lake District to Castle Combe for the VSCC meeting on Sunday October 5th and I for one shall look forward to seeing him compete for the The Bristol Aeroplane Company Motor Sports Club Challenge Trophy for the “500” Formula Three cars which have not been seen at Castle Combe since 1955.

Thanks for joining me on this “Unlike A Cooper” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a concept competition car from Renault. Don’t forget to come back now !


Maserati Monday – Maserati 250F 2507/23/22

I thought it would be fun to give the pick ups, commercial and agricultural vehicles that have been a feature of Monday’s posts and restyle the day Maserati Monday, bookend the working week with two Italian marques can’t be bad, can it ?

Of the seven World Drivers Championship era’s perhaps the most romanticised is the 3rd from 1954 to 1960 when the rules mandated 2.5 litre / 152.5 cui motors to replace the 2 litre / 122 cui Formula 2 motors that had been used to determine the 1952 and 1953 World Drivers Championships.

Maserati 250F, Test Day, Mallory Park

If one car epitomises the era more than other then it is the Maserati 205F versions which took part in the very first and very last championship race of the era winning the first the 1954 Argentinian Grand Prix in the hands of Juan Manuel Fangio and being long since surpassed by the rear engined cars from Cooper and Lotus when Robert Drake soldiered away to a 13th place finish in his Joe Lubin entered 250F, 7 laps down on the winning Lotus Climax driven by Stirling Moss in the last race of the 2.5 litre era the 1960 US Grand Prix.

Maserati 250F, Test Day, Mallory Park

Apart from the 8 World Championship Grand Prix won by 250F variants, bettered only by Mercedes Benz with nine victories, while the 250F clocked up an unequaled 23 non championship Formula One race victories in the same era.

Maserati 250F, Test Day, Mallory Park

Most of the twenty six 250F’s built led hard racing lives and consequently have complicated histories today’s featured car #2507 is no exception having originally been bought by Gilbey Engineering for Roy Salvadori to drive in 1954. Roy one a non championship race at Snetterton with the car and scored many other podium placings before he crashed at Oulton Park which led to the car being returned to the Maserati factory for repairs.

Maserati 250F, Albuquerque, Test Day, Mallory Park

Maserati replaced the chassis of 2507 and sent it back to Gilbey Engineering an now it get’s complicated, the Gilbey car was eventually retired after Ivor Beub had raced it, but the damaged Gilbey chassis was repaired and given a new identity #2523 for the 1956 season in which Bristol’s Horace Gould drove the car in the Belgian Grand Prix and Piero Taruffi in the French, on each occasion it retired.

Maserati 250F, Test Day, Mallory Park

In 1957 #2523 was rebodied and given a the identity #2522 and from then until 1959 it was driven by a dozen different drivers, including Taruffi, Gould, Harry Schell, Masten Gregory, Ivor Bueb, Hans Herrmann, Joakim Bonnier, Wolfgang Seidel, Carroll Shelby, Cliff Allison, Hernando da Silva Ramos and Fritz d’Orey of which Harry Schell scored the best result a second place in the non championship 1957 Grand Prix de Pau.

By 1960 #2507/23/22 had been shipped to Brazil Gino Munaron raced it at least once before selling it on, eventually the car was fitted with a Chevrolet V8 before being brought back to Europe by Colin Crabbe in 1972. The current owner, Jose Albuquerque seen enjoying the car at a Mallory Park test day a couple of years ago, acquired #2507/23/22 in 1999.

My thanks to David McKinney, Michael ‘Tuboscocca’ Catsch, John Winfield, Allan Luton and Alan Cox at the Nostalgia Forum for their patience and understanding answering my questions and not least to Tim Murray who kindly lent me a copy of David McKinney’s excellent book ‘Maserati 250F‘ which is as good as it get’s in print on the subject of these wonderful cars. New evidence is always being shed on the stories of these cars so if you know different to what is written above, please do not hesitate to chime in below.

Thanks for joining me on this “Maserati Monday” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be starting the first in a series of Bugatti blogs. Don’t forget to come back now !


Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This #4 – Connew Chevrolet PC1 02

For my final blog on cars that participated in the 1973 Formula 5000 grid I am thrilled to be returning to Chadwell Heath and Peter Connew’s team who against all odds managed to build a car with beer money, run it on a wad of French Francs and made one world Championship start in the 1972 Austrian Grand Prix. After the Austrian Grand Prix where the team won £40 for completing more than 1/3rd distance before the suspension collapsed the Connew team entered a couple of non championship races at Brands Hatch. At the first the engine blew up after which they parted ways with driver Francois Migault. For the second Lec Refrigeration paid for the engine to be rebuilt in exchange for running David Purley who inadvertently knocked the steering wheel mounted kill switch off, that he had insisted on having fitted, on the warm up lap.

Connew Chevrolet PC1, Whalebone Library, Chadwell Heath

The freshly rebuilt Ford DFV motor was sold at the end of 1972 to pay off outstanding bills and Peter Connew struck a deal to run Swiss driver Pierre Soukry who had Formula 5000 Morand Chevrolet motor he had been using in his McLaren M10B for French Hillclimb events, European Formula 5000 races and had tried to qualify for the two non championship events which the Connew team had attempted at Brands Hatch in 1972. Mechanics Pinky and Perky are seen above sitting on the front wheels of the Connew with Pierre left and Peter right behind in this photograph taken outside the Whalebone Library Chadwell Heath just down the road from the Connew teams lock up.

Connew Chevrolet PC1, Mallory Park

The Connew PC1 02 is seen above in this photo by Don Shuttleworth taken at Mallory Park where the PC1 in F5000 guise was to have made it’s debut. Unfortunately before it had completed much more than a flying lap of practice Pierre had to return to the paddock to have an oil leak fixed. The problem proved insurmountable, the team tried to qualify for a F5000 race at Brands Hatch in August 1973 but again Pierre did not set a competitive time nor one representative of the speed he had shown in his Trojan built McLaren M10B #400-20.

03 Copyright Barry Boor Collection 1973 soukry

After the Brands Hatch Meeting Pierre was never seen or heard of again which is odd because he appears to have competed with a German licence since at least July 1967, when he won his class racing a FIAT Abarth at the Hockenheimring and was quite well known in hill climbing circles with an Abarth. Equally nothing has been heard of his 1971 ex team VDS Tasman McLaren M10B chassis 400/20. If you should happen to know what became of Pierre please do not hesitate to chime in below, Peter Connew would welcome any news of him.

Tony Trimmer, Connew Chevrolet PC1, Brands Hatch

For the final race of the 1973 Formula 5000 championship Peter did a deal with Portobello Inn Racing to run Tony Trimmer in the car. Tony qualified 23rd one spot behind his Portobello Inn Racing team mate Arie Lyendijk who on this occasion was driving a McLaren M18. After several laps of the race Tony suffered a suspension failure which put the Connew into the crash barrier with neither driver or car suffering further damage.

The Connew was taken home for the final time with many parts sold off, that might ordinarily be the end of the story but 40 years later there are plans afoot to put the old girl back on her wheels. Stay tuned.

My thanks to Peter Connew, Barry Boor and Don Shuttleworth for sharing their photographs.

Thanks for joining me on this “Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This #4” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at the last model to be built by ISO Rivolta . Don’t forget to come back now !

Brighton Speed Trials Under Threat of Permanent Cancellation !

In their infinite wisdom, Brighton & Hove City Council are seeking to ban the Brighton Speed Trials from 2014.

If you care about speed and or motorsport history, please sign this linked petition to save Brighton Speed Trials in 2014 and beyond.

It’s a faf to Register before signing, but relatively painless compared to loosing the event which has been run with few interruptions since 1905.

You do not need to be resident in Brighton or even the UK to sign.

Thanks and please spread the word through whatever social media you have at your disposal.


French Built Championship Winner – MATRA Ford MS80 #MS80/3

For 1969 MATRA CEO Jean-Luc Lagardère took a gamble to try and win the 1969 Drivers and Manufacturers Championships by suspending the entry of MATRA V12 powered cars by the works MATRA team and putting all of the teams efforts behind Ken Tyrrells Ford DFV powered MATRA International team cars.

MATRA MS80, Silverstone Classic, Press Day

Even with all the focus being on the MATRA International Team cars the 1969 MS80 was not ready for the start of the season, fortunately the old Ford Powered MATRA MS10 was still good enough for Jackie Stewart to win the championship opening South African Grand Prix.

MATRA MS80, Silverstone Classic, Press Day

The MS80 made it’s public debut at the non Championship Race of Champions from the Lotus 49 of Graham Hill. At the Spanish Grand prix run around the streets of Barcelona at Montjuich Park Stewart won again starting from starting from forth on the grid after the faster Lotus 49’s of Rindt and Hill retired at the same spot a few laps apart as a result of crashes caused by wing failures, and Chris Amon who lead Stewart by over 30 seconds retired with a seized motor after half distance.

Maydon, MATRA MS80, Silverstone Classic, Press Day

At Monaco Stewart retired but then went on to win in Holland, France, backed up by team mate Jean Pierre Beltoise who finished second and Great Britain. In the German Grand Prix Stewart finished second to Jacky Ickx driving a Brabham before winning the Itallian Grand Prix at Monza.

MATRA MS80, Silverstone Classic, Press Day

Stewart retired from both the Canadian and US Grand Prix by which time Ickx who won in Canada was too far back in the points standings to catch the Scot. Stewart finished 4th in Mexico to round out the season in which he won his first drivers Championship and MATRA International their only World Manufacturers title.

Maydon, MATRA MS80, Test Day, Mallory Park

Only two MS80’s were completed for the 1969 season, a Ford Cosworth all wheel drive MS84 was also built but this featured MS80 suspension and a unique space frame chassis and was used originally as a spare car to replace the older MATRA MS10’s.

MATRA MS80, Silverstone Classic, Press Day

It is a credit to the determination of MATRA CEO Jean-Luc Lagardère to win both drivers and manufacturers championships that he sanctioned the building of the MS80 which featured fuel tanks that were integral to the monocoque that was reinforced inside by a number of transverse bulkheads, effectively splitting the fuel tank in many small interconnected cells.

Maydon, MATRA MS80, Silverstone Classic, Press Day

It had been announced well before 1969 that for 1970 rubber bag fuel tanks would be mandated that precluded the use of many interconnected fuel cells, so effectively the MS80 was restricted to being a one season challenger at the end of which it was outlawed.

MATRA MS80, Silverstone Classic, Press Day

At the end of 1969 Stewart and Tyrrell decided that they wanted to use the Ford Cosworth DFV in 1970 and MATRA who had been taken over by French manufacturer Simca, a French Chrysler subsidiary, were adamant they wanted to return to V12 power for 1970. To date the MATRA MS80 remains the only car built in France to win the World manufacturers championship. Note: the Renault’s driven by Fernando Aonso to Drivers and Manufacturers Championship success in 2005 and 2006 were built in Enstone, UK in the same premises that are now home to the Lotus F1 Team.

Chassis #MS80/3 seen in today’s photographs was built up from an unused spare tub for owner/driver Ray Maydon, who is seen driving the car at a Silverstone Classic test day top and bottom and at a Mallory Park test day in the middle.

My thanks to Walter Melissen of the The Nostalgia Forum and Ultimatecarpage.com for his assistance in identifying the chassis number and owner driver of today’s featured model.

Thanks for joining me on this “French Built Championship Winner” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


2011 GALPOT Review #3 – Motoring Events

This week I am reviewing the GALPOT year 2011, on Monday I looked at some of the Museums I have visited and yesterday I looked at some of the Concours d’Elegance events covered on GALPOT thanks to Geoffrey Horton, today I am reviewing some the motoring events I have attended which includes any gathering short of a full blown racing.

Bristol 405 Drophead, Pistonheads Sunday Service

By the end of January cabin fever was setting in and I leaped at the opportunity to go to my first Pistonheads Sunday Service which was convened at the BMW Plant car park just outside Oxford. I am not sure how many people attended but I was pleased to see several Bristol’s including this 405 Drophead.

de Tomaso Mangusta, BIAMF

April sees Bristol host it’s Annual Italian Auto Moto Festival a display of all things Italian on two and four wheels. Despite the presence of a fabulous array of red Friday cars the undoubted star of this years festival for me was the Cobra killing de Tomaso Mangusta.

Hesketh 308B, Silverstone Classic

I managed to make two trips to Silverstone this year the first for the Silverstone Classic Press Day which was a testing session with a veritable armada of Press Corps present. Star of the day was the Hesketh 308B the same chassis that James Hunt drove to Hesketh’s only Grand Prix victory at the Dutch Grand Prix in 1975.

March 71B, CGA Engineering

Tony ‘Giraffe’ Gallagher from The Nostalgia Forum kindly organized a trip to CGA Engineering in Warrington where former Lotus employee Colin Bennett and his sons were workong wonders with racing cars spanning the late 1960’s to the early 1990’s including the Formula 2 spec March 71B chassis above decked out in Vick’s livery in tribute to Ronnie Peterson.

Hillman Tiger Replica, Castle Combe C&SCAD

Thanks to the generosity of David Roots from the Bath & West Car Club I received an invitation to attend the Classic and Sports Car Action Day at Castle Combe. A tight schedule meant I focused my attention entirely on the vehicles in the car park including this Hillman Avenger Tiger Replica.

Morgan 3 Wheeler, Morgan Factory

If your a fan of simple joys, it hard to believe that you will not leap at the chance to jump in the dinky little Morgan 3 Wheeler at some point in your life, I saw this one several times during the course of the year at, Silverstone, Goodwood and during several visits to the Morgan factory.

Morgan SLR, Silverstone Classic

A hectic July weekend saw me pop into the Silverstone Classic for the first of the three days of entertainment, I probably saw more cars in action and photographed more than in any single day in my entire life that Friday. Among the many revelations was this Morgan Triumph SLR which I mistook for some unknown Italian exotica on the day, unfortunately all the action I saw was qualification sessions, I’ll try and make more time for the event in 2012. Many thanks to garyfrogeye amongst many others who helped me out by contacting Mr John Sprinzel who along with the recently departed Chris Lawrence was responsible for this masterpiece of British craftsmanship.

Riley & Ford Ranger, Mallory Park

If I had my way every Wednesday I’d be up at the crack of dawn, sometimes earlier, and head 125 miles north to Mallory Park for the finest full English, breakfast, that money can buy and enjoy a veritable pot puree of vehicles being run in and tested around the track. Sadly this year I only made it the twice but it was worth it, where else could I see a vintage Riley being driven flat out next to a spec series Ford Ranger ?

Lafitte 5CV, Rare Breeds, Haynes IMM

Thanks to another tip from David Roots I made a, very long, diversion on my way from Bristol to the airport to the Haynes International Motor Museum to see the Rare Breeds show. I was not disappointed, I still have many of the vehicles I saw that day to blog about in the coming month. Above is a rotary 3 cylinder motor that tilts to engage the clutch of the Lafitte 5 CV.

Brooklands, William Boddy,

Among many firsts in 2011 I managed a visit to the worlds first purpose built motor racing venue, Brooklands which dates to 1907 and sadly fell into disuse in 1939 with the onset of World War 2. I was there for the William Boddy Tribute Meeting to honor a journalist who was in part responsible for realizing my own passion for all things motoring and who did much to help save what is left of the Brooklands track today. One of the highlights of my motoring year was seeing a handful of cars from Brooklands heyday being driven over the crumbling but none the less hallowed concrete.

Berkley B105, Dyrham Park

The day after Brooklands I visited Dyrham Park which used to be a Hill climb venue in the 1960’s where a demonstration of vehicles that were and would have been, entered in the original events took place. Unfortunately today’s safety requirements make it quite impossible for a modern competitive event to take place at Dyrham Park but it was wonderful to see so many cars being driven with a modicum of spirit up the hill.

Unfortunately my hard drive went on tilt after my visits to Brooklands and Dyrham Park so I will not be able to post any further images from these two events.

Simca, Oulton Park

A couple of weeks ago I was near Manchester for a TNF meeting with my friend Tim who had never been to Oulton Park before, so we made the short diversion from a friends house and found a track day in progress, one of the star vehicles was this 130 hp Simca 1000 which once belonged to Frank Breidenstein – President of ”Simca Heckmotor (rear engine) Deutschland”.

My sincerest thanks to everyone who made these adventures and the blogs that came form them possible, not least Tim who is both a fountain of useful information and a handy map reader.

Thanks for joining me on this events edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’, I hope you’ll join me for a review of 2011’s racing action tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !

PS Don’t forget …

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.

Looking for Automotive Seasonal Gift Idea’s? Visit Automobiliart Now !