Tag Archives: Marshman

Dan’s 29’s – Lotus 29/2 & 29/1

A couple of years ago I wrote about the Lotus 29, #29/3, that Jim Clark drove in his first appearance in the Indy 500 in 1963. That car was wrecked at Phoenix at the end of 1964 in an accident that would claim the life of Bob Marshman.

Lotus Ford 29, Goodwood Revival

Today’s post features the other two Lotus 29’s #29/2 in white above and #29/1 in green below, which were both driven by Dan Gurney the driver who personally paid for Colin to visit the Indy 500 for the first time in 1962.

Lotus Ford 29, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Dan attempted to qualify the car painted white and seen carrying the #91 Indy 500 start number, but crashed it on Pole Day.

Lotus Ford 29, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Instead of repairing the car, chassis 29/2, the team put Dan in the original green #93 Lotus 29, chassis 29/1, which he qualified 12th. By race day the #93 29/1 was repainted white and Dan drove it to a 7th place finish.

Lotus Ford 29, Goodwood Festival of Speed

After the disappointment of loosing the ’63 Indy 500 on their debut Jim and Dan returned to take on the USAC Champ Car establishment at Milwaukee, with Jim in 29/3 and it would appear Dan drove 29/1 if one accepts that the race number #93 stayed with the chassis. Jim easily won the race from AJ Foyt whom he cleverly avoided lapping with Dan coming home third despite his car being fitted with over size carburetors.

Lotus Ford 29, Goodwood Festival of Speed

So far as I have been able to determine Bob Marshman was orginally given chassis 29/2, Gurney’s intended ’63 Indy 500 #91 race car, to drive in 1964 and it is this car which Bob qualified 2nd next to Jim Clark’s Lotus 34 at for the 1964 Indy 500.

Lotus Ford 29, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Bob appears to have crashed #29/2 at Milwaukee in ’64 and his owner Lindsey Hopkins bought #29/3 as a replacement apart from qualifying 2nd and 3rd at Indy and Trenton Bob had little luck in racing either of the Lotus 29’s never finishing in the top ten in either of them despite finishing 2nd three times in the Lindsey Hopkins Kuzma Offy that he was obliged to drive in the USAC Champ Car dirt track events.

These days the white #29/2 belongs to Skip Barber and when it is not on loan is to be found at his Barber Museum in Birmingham Alabama.

Lotus 29/1 with Jim Clark’s #92 on it belongs to the IMS Hall of Fame Museum and has often been confused with the car Jimmy drove at Indy and Milwaukee in ’63 that was crashed by Bob Marshman in ’64.

Thanks for joining me on this “Dan’s 29’s” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psychoontyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for “Maserati Monday”. Don’t forget to come back now !


Stirling’s Favourite – Ferguson Climax P99

“Harry” Ferguson was born on Novmeber 4th 1884 in Growell, County Down, Nothern Ireland. He started work with his brother in a bicycle and car repair business in 1902, while there Harry started racing motorcycles in 1904 and on the 31st December 1909, having designed and built a monoplane, he became the first person to fly in Ireland.

Ferguson Climax P99, Goodwood Festival of Speed

In 1911 Harry went into business selling motor and agricultural vehicles. On seeing the short comings of some of the agricultural products he was selling he began devising his own, including a new hydraulic system and three point linkage for attaching ploughs.

Harry entered into a hand shake agreement with Henry Ford Snr for Ford to manufacture the Ferguson patents under license in 1939. In 1947 Henry Ford II, Seniors grandson, reneged on the deal and five years later settled with Harry out of court to the tune of $9 million, around half of which went to Harry’s legal representatives.

Ferguson Climax P99, Goodwood Festival of Speed

In 1950 Harry employed Aston Martin designer Claude Hill and along with two pre 1939/45 war friends Fred Dixon, who prewar had proposed building an all wheel drive Land Speed Record (LSR) car and former ERA racer Tony Rolt began working on an innovative all wheel drive road car featuring electric windows, disc brakes and access to the rear through a hatchback, all idea’s which were unknown in European passenger car production at the time.

Project 99 a research vehicle, that became the worlds first all wheel drive Formula One car, to promote the all wheel drive concept was given the green light in May 1960, just 6 months before Harry’s death at the age of 75.

Ferguson Climax P99, Goodwood Festival of Speed

The P99 made it’s public debut in an Intercontinental Formula race with a 2.5 litre / 152 cui Coventry Climax motor at Silverstone in 1961 where Tony Rolt’s former entrant Rob Walker entered the car for Jack Fairman alongside Stirling Moss in a similarly powered Cooper.

Fairman retired from the race with a broken gearbox that may have resulted from excessive engine braking in the absence of reliable brakes, while Moss went on to a comfortable victory in the Cooper. At the British Grand Prix, where the Fergusson appeared with a 1.5 litre / 91.5 cui Climax, Fairman qualified 20th but ran into electrical problems, after Stirling Moss had retired his Rob Walker entered Lotus 18 he took over from Fairman in the P99. The car was later disqualified for receiving a push start.

Ferguson Climax P99, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Stirling Moss was entered to drive the Ferguson in the Oulton Park Gold Cup, a non championship race for Formula One cars entered by most of the top teams except Ferrari and Porsche. Stirling won easily to record the first, and only, win of a (non championship) Formula One race with an all wheel drive car and coincidentally the last (non championship) win for a front engined Formula One car.

The Fergusons 1.5 litre / 91.5 cui Formula One motor was uprated to 2.5 litres / 152 cui and subsequently entered in a series of non championship Antipodean Formula Libre, unrestricted, races in early 1963 where Graham Hill drove the car to a second place finish in the Australian rain at Lakeside and a forth place in the sub tropical summer heat of New Zealand at Pukekoe where with a mile to go his gearbox packed up while again running in second place.

Innes Ireland drove the P99 in the next three events finishing third at Leven, but retired from both of the other races. Graham Hill raced the car one more time at Warwick Farm where he came home sixth.

Ferguson Climax P99, Goodwood Festival of Speed

After a conversation with Stirling Moss, who had praised the benefits of the P99’s all wheel drive,Indy 500 entrant Andy Granatelli instigated a test in which Jack Fairman and Bobby Marshman drove the P99 at Indianapolis with the 2.5 litre / 152 cui motor and recorded average speeds of over 140 mph, Marshman claimed he did not need to lift at all for any of the corners, the car was so underpowered. Andy was sufficiently impressed that he employed Ferguson Research to develop all wheel drive for his 1964 Indy 500 challenger the Studebaker STP Special.

Granatelli never won the Indy 500 with an all wheel drive car but kept backing the concept through various incarnations the last of which was the all wheel drive Lotus 64 built in 1969, after which all wheel drive was banned from the brick yard.

Rolt, Fergusson P99, Richmond Trophy, Goodwood Revival

Ferguson Research was also involved with five all wheel drive Formula One projects including the 1969 Lotus 63, Cosworth and McLaren M9A, the last two of which I’ll be looking at in the weeks to come.

Although not the easiest car to drive Stirling Moss once described the Ferguson P99, which fascinated him, as his favourite racing car. Stuart Rolt, of the same Tony Rolt family is seen driving the P99 in practice for the 2011 Richmond Trophy at Goodwood above.

My thanks to Alan Cox, E.B., Ray Bell, Roger Clark and Michael Ferner at The Nostalgia Forum for their patience answering my questions about the the Ferguson P99.

Thanks for joining me on this “Stirling’s Favourite” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for a look at the first BRM to win a Grand Prix. Don’t forget to come back now !

08 07 13 Errata, I originally stated that Moss was entered in a Lotus 18 for a non championship race at Silverstone when the Ferguson made it’s debut, when in fact Stirling drove a Cooper Climax to victory in the race run to the Intercontinental Formula as now stated in the amended text. Thanks to Roger Clark for pointing out the error.


$150 Silver Dollars And An Avanti – 1962 Indianapolis 500

$150 Silver Dollars and a Studebaker Avanti were among the prizes taken home by two drivers from the Indianapolis Month of May in 1962.

On Pole Day the track temperature was measured at a scintillating 142° F / 61° C but amazingly this did not stop Parnelli Jones, in his Watson Offy, becoming the first man to average over 150 mph for his 4 qualifying laps to claim pole and an impromptu prize from a rival car owner of 150 silver dollars.

Indianapolis 1962

In Ed Arnaudins photo above a Studebaker Skylark Convertible passes the white Watson Offy of Shorty Templeton as is pushed to its outside second row grid position and the black Phillips Offy of Bud Tigelstad making its way to an inside forth row grid position.

Shorty and Bud would finish the race in 11th and 15th places respectively.

Indianapolis 1962

As the Skylark pace car returns to pit road Parnelli Jones from the inside of the front row leads Roger Ward, Watson Offy, Bobby Marshman, Epperly Offy, and the rest of the field to the start line. Rookie Dan Gurney in the middle of the third row seems to be struggling to get his rear engined stock block Thompson Buick up to speed.

Parnelli Jones led the first 300 miles comfortably before experiencing problems including coming to rest in the pits. AJ Foyt, Trevis Offy, was second in the early running until losing a wheel. And so Roger Ward came through to chase Jones down and take the lead, heading his team mate Len Sutton across the line for a Leader Card 1-2 victory at a new record 140 mph average for the race.

Watson Offy, Indianapolis 1982

In Ed’s photo above Roger is seen driving the #3 Leader Card Special during the 1982 pre race parade. Roger won a £125,000 and became the first owner of a Studebaker Avanti which was part of his prize package.

My thanks to Ed Arnaudin and his son Steve for today’s photographs and to E.B and Brian at The Nostalgia Forum for their help identifying Roger and the two racing cars in the top photo.

Thanks for joining me on this “$150 Silver Dollars And An Avanti” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for a trip through the National Motor Museum. Don’t forget to come back now !


Fatal Firebird – Lotus Ford 29 #29/3

In May 1961 a piece of successful Formula One technology percolated into the environs of Indianapolis which started a whole sale revolution in the layout of the cars that would dominate the Indy 500 hence forth in the form of the Kimberly Cooper Special driven by Jack Brabham.

The Kimberly Cooper Special was the smallest car in the field and possibly with the least powerful motor, but what everyone present learned from the car that started 19th and came in 9th was that the li’l funny car with the engine in the back could handle the corners so much better than the hitherto dominant front engine Roadster machines that the lack of 150 hp made little or no difference.

Lotus 29 Ford, Indianapolis

Imagine just putting the engine in the back of your car giving a 150 hp advantage ! It was a no brainer, but in 1962 only the Californian Speed King Micky Thompson and ’55 & ’56 Indy winning owner John Zink had rear engined cars prepared for the Indy 500.

Rookie Dan Gurney who passed his Rookie test in a Roadster was keen to drive either of the rear engined cars in the race in an effort to impress Lotus boss Colin Chapman whom he had invited over from Europe at his own expense in an effort to entice Colin into building Lotus indy cars for 1963. Dan gave up on the turbine powered John Zink Track Burner but did manage to qualify 8th in the under powered Thompson Buick and come home in 20th.

Lotus 29 Ford, Indianapolis

Chapman was sufficiently impressed with the Indy 500 and it’s potential rewards to build the Lotus 29 seen here for the 1963 race. The Lotus 29 featured a monocoque chassis, as campaigned in Chapman’s successful 1962 Lotus 25 Grand Prix car, in place of the usual tube space frame and it had a powerful version of a Ford stock block V8 in place of the almost ubiquitous 4 cylinder Offy that had been winning at Indy since the mid 1930’s and could trace their ancestry back to the Millers of the 1920’s.

Jim Clark and Dan Gurney were to race the Lotus challengers Clark qualified chassis 29/3 5th and Gurney chassis 29/1 12th. Towards the end of the race Clark was challenging Parnelli Jones for the lead when Jones Watson developed an oil leak, but the USAC officials managed to refrain from black flagging Jones before the oil stopped leaking which allowed Parnelli to take his one and only Indy 500 victory ahead of the Rookie Clark. Dan came in 7th also completing the full 200 laps. Dan’s chassis #29/1 today sits in the IMS museum painted in the green and yellow colours of Jim Clark’s #92 chassis 29/3.

Indy 1964, Ed Arnaudin

The following year Bob Marshman put #29/2 now known as the Pure Firebird Special on the middle of the front row for 1964 Indy 500 right next to pole sitter Jim Clark in his newer Lotus Ford 34, see above. Bob lost an oil plug going low on the apron while in the lead on lap 37 trying to avoid the slower Johnny White, Bob was eventually classified 25th.

Bob crashed #29/2 at Milwaukee and his owner Lindsey Hopkins bought Clark’s #29/3 as a replacement which Bob drove with no more success than he had with #29/2.

Despite the fireball at Indy in 1964 Bob tested chassis 29/3 at the seasons end wearing nothing but the usual, for the period, t-shirt and jeans at Phoenix. During the session Bob’s car was involved in an accident which ruptured the fuel tank, a week later Bob died of the burns he subsequently sustained.

Ed Arnudins photo’s show Lotus Mechanic Colin Riley at the wheel of Jim Clarks of #92 Lotus 29 Ford being towed through the Indianapolis garage area by another Team Lotus mechanic Dave Lazenby who is at the wheel of the dinky li’l towing tractor in the top photograph.

My thanks to Ed and Steve Arnaudin for the photo’s, Tim and B Squared at The Nostalgia Forum informing me of which chassis is featured in today’s post for identifying Colin and Dave in the photo’s.

Thanks for joining me on this ‘Oil Leak ? What Oil Leak ?’ edition of ‘Getting’ a li’l psycho on tyres’ I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !

05 02 12 ps Thanks to Brian for pointing out the now corrected Bobby Marshman spelling error and pointing out that Bob did not spin out of the 1964 Indy 500.

12 05 14 Since writing this piece it has come to my attention that Bobby Marshman signed his autographs ‘Bob Marshman’ and it seems fitting and respectful to have removed the references to “Bobby”.

It has also come to my attention that Bob drove #29/2 on the paved surfaces of USAC’s Champ Car Series up until Milwaukee in ’64 and not #29/3 as originally suggested. He also appears to have lost an oil plug rather than damaged an oil line at Indy as originally suggested.

I hope you’ll accept my sincerest apologies for any unintentional confusion caused.