Tag Archives: Mason

Worth Travelling 200 miles To Hear – Autumn Classic Castle Combe Preview

Next Saturday Castle Combe will be marking the 60th Anniversary of it’s one and only International Formula One race that was won by Harry Schell driving a Vanwall with some of the cars that took part in that race present for a fantastic selection of displays, demonstrations and and most importantly races.

The track will also be celebrating the 60th Anniversary since the last in period Formula 500 F3 race was run at the track.

Blue Bird Sunbeam 350hp, Don Wales, Pendine Sands

The National Motor Museum will be bringing along a mouth watering selection of vehicles including Sir Malcolm Campbell’s Blue Bird Sunbeam V12 which 90 years ago became the first car to set a World Land Speed Record of over 150 mph, seen above with his grandson Don Wales at the wheel earlier this year, the NMM will also be bringing along the 1955 Connaught Type B Tony Brooks drove at Castle Combe in 1955 prior to winning the 1955 Syracuse Grand Prix and a 1966 Lotus 49 chassis R3.

Other exhibits and vehicles to look out for will be Nick Mason’s 1957 Maserati 250F, of the type Bristols Horace Gould drove to second place at Castle Combe in 1955, and the Pink Floyd drummers distinctive 1953 Ferrari 250MM.

Gordon Keeble, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe,

Expect to see many motor clubs in attendance with pre 1970’s vehicles, a rare Gordon Keeble is seen on the Bristol Pegasus Motor Clubs stand last year, this year their stand will feature a couple of Abarth’s from Tony Castle Millers Middle Barton Garage.

Owners clubs confirmed this year will represent Alvis, Bristol celebrating 60 years since the marques last 1-2-3 class victory at Le Mans, Gordon Keeble, Lotus, Marcos and Reliant.

Cooper Mk X, Steve Jones, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

60 years after the very last all 500 F3 race run at Castle Combe in period, the Bristol Pegasus Motor Club will again be sponsoring the BAC MSC Challenge Trophy, won last year by Steve Jones driving the #74 Cooper Mk X after a close race with the pursuing George Shackleton driving a slightly older Cooper Mk 8.

Look out for some rare cars to take part in the races like Richard Bishop Miller’s successful in period Revis and other on display only including the locally built 1950 Milli Union and the Swedish built Effly the owners of these cars all have wonderful stores to tell about them.

Volvo 122, Gavin Watson, Oulton Park

New for this year at the Autumn Classic meeting will be the Terry Sanger Trophy for pre 1966 Saloons like the Lotus Cortina of the type the much missed Terry drove back in the day and the Volvo 122 seen above driven Gavin Watson seen at Oulton Park last year.

Terry drove some incredible machinery including a Ford GT40 V8 powered Cortina with outsize wheels and the 1971 Harrier F5000 car which he designed and built, the latter will be present next as a static display next Saturday, other races will be for fifties sports cars, VSCC pre war sports cars, look out for the ever entertaining Patrick Blakeney Edwards in his Fraser Nash, the ever popular Healey Challenge, Formula Junior and Historic Aston Martin’s in which Nick Mason’s daughters Holly and Chloe driving a pair of Aston Martin Ulsters were stars last year.

05-Jaguar D-type_1947sc

The life and times of two time Le Mans winner Ivor Beub will also be celebrated at the event Ivor born in East Ham but later resident from nearby Cheltenham won Le Mans driving Jaguar D types in 1955 with Mike Hawthorn and 1957 with Ron Flockhart, cars present in the ‘Danco Dream Garage’ that Ivor drove will include a 1955 Cooper T39 Bobtail sports car 1959 Cooper T51 formula two car along with some of the cars already mentioned.

Other cars present in the dream garage will include event sponsor Bristol Forklifts Julian Bronson’s Scarab which has been rendered hors d’combat after it’s recent outing at Goodwood Revival, also lookout for Andy Wallace in the The Norman Dewis Trophy race for pre ’66 Jaguars, last year the 1988 Le Mans winner drove a Jaguar D-type, at Oulton Park Andy was seen at the wheel of a rather more pedestrian but equally effective class winning Mk 1.

BRM Type 15, Doug Hill, BRM Day, Bourne,

Finally the piece de resistance of the day, and worth making a 400 mile round trip to hear in my opinion will be the National Motor Museum’s BRM Type 15, the sound of which is quite unlike any other you will hear in motor racing and will be demonstrated on the track where such a machine was last raced in anger in a Formula Libre event at Castle Combe 60 years ago.

Castle Combes charity of the day will be the National Motor Museum Trust’s BRM Preservation Appeal which will go toward’s keeping the Type 15 in full running order.

Full details of the action packed Autumn Classic day can be found on this link where tickets can also be purchased online, for those who want a sneak preview of the racing action there is usually a test day for competitors on the Thursday before the event.

Hope to see you there.

Thanks for joining me on this “Worth Travelling 200 Miles For” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a hot Mercury Convertible. Don’t forget to come back now !


Ferrari Sports Car Racers – Goodwood Festival Of Speed

Today’s post will be looking at some of the Ferrari Sports Racers at the recent Goodwood Festival of Speed some of which will be familiar and others not.

Ferrari 312 P, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

Former British Hill Climb champion David Franklin was celebrating his first fifty years in motorsports driving Arnold Meiers svelt 1969 Ferrari 312 P Coupé chassis #0872 with which I first became familiar on my first visit to Goodwood in 2009.

Ferrari 512 M, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

I have seen Nathan Kinch’s Ferrari 512 M #1030 once before at Silverstone Classsic, but have yet to write about it, maybe next year.

Ferrari 712, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

Perhaps the ultimate variation of the Ferrari 512 S is Paul Knapfield’s chassis #1010 which was fitted with a 7 litre / 427 cui V12 and open spyder body work for Jean Pierre Jarier to drive in a couple of Can Am races in 1972.

Ferrari 250MM, Holly Mason Franchitti, Goodwood, Festival of Speed,

In 2012 Anette Mason had the privilege of driving the 1.2.3 liveried Ferrari 250 MM chassis #0353 MM (# 0239 EU) her daughter Holly Mason Franchitti had the honour this year…

Ferrari BB 512, Anette Mason, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

… while Mum was kept busy driving the period correct British Racing Green 512 BB previously owned and raced by her husband’s former band management EMKA and raced by former band manager Steve O’Rourke.

Ferrari 458 GT3, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

Finally I believe the f.f. Course Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 above is or has been raced in British GT and or Britcar championship events, though I have yet to pin down it’s precise history or who was driving the car at Goodwood, if you can help please do not hesitate to chime in below.

Thanks for joining me on this “Ferrari Sports Car Racers” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a Formula Jr open wheel racer. Don’t forget to come back now !


9 Mins Of Fame – EMKA C84/1

Trained accountant Steve O’Rourke and EMKA productions became the management team for Pink Floyd post Syd Barrat and both Steve and drummer Nick Mason shared an interest in racing cars.

EMKA C84/1, Silverstone Classic Test Day,

Steve’s international racing career got of the ground with a Ferrari 512BB which he entered and drove from 1979 to 1980 scoring a best 7th place finish in the 1980 Silverstone 6 hours with Chris Craft and Vic Norman.

EMKA C84/1, Rudolf Ernst,  Silverstone Classic Test Day,

In 1981 Steve had Michael Cane Racing convert Niki Lauda’s 1979 Project Four Motorsports BMW M1 Procar to a more liberal Group 5 spec and raced that for two season’s scoring a best 2nd place in the 1981 Silverstone 6 Hours whith Derek Bell and David Hobbs sharing the cockpit, Nick Mason also co drove Steve’s BMW M1 on it’s two outings in 1982.

EMKA C84/1, Rudolf Ernst,  Silverstone Classic Test Day,

For 1983 Steve made the bold decision to follow in the footsteps of Robin Hamilton and Nimrod to build his own Aston Martin powered Le Mans challenger the EMKA C83/1.

EMKA C84/1, Silverstone Classic Test Day,

Len Bailey who was based at Gomm Metal Developments in Woking did the design work, Gomm did the metal work, the fibre glass body was constructed by Protoco, Aston Martin Tickford supplied 5,340 cc / 325.8 cui V8 engine and the whole car was prepared for competition by Micheal Cane Racing.

EMKA C84/1, Silverstone Classic Test Day,

On it’s debut at Silverstone the C83/1 was driven by Tiff Needell, Jeff Allam and Steve, they qualified 17th but retired on the last lap due to a failed wheel bearing. Nick Faure replaced Jeff at Le Mans for the 24 hour race where the car qualified 25th and finished 17th despite spending 2 hours in the pits with a suspension problem.

EMKA C84/1, Rudolf Ernst,  Silverstone Classic Test Day,

Due to uncertainty over the 1984 fuel regulations the C83/1 did not race again until 1985, by which time the ground effect venturi had been replaced with a flat floor, the rear suspension had been revised and the car had been renumbered as C84/1.

EMKA C84/1, Tiff Needell, Mark Galvin, Steve O'Rourke, Brands Hatch, 1000 kms

At Silverstone the C84/1 driven by Steve, Tiff and Bob Evans was nearly four seconds a lap in qualifying than two years earlier and qualified 15th for the six hour race but it retired again this time due to an engine issue.

Nick Faure again drove the car at Le Mans in 1985, in place of Bob, and the trio were now nine seconds a lap faster in qualifying and started from 13th on the grid. By employing an out of sequence fuel strategy Tiff Needell was able to lead the 24 Hour classic for 9 mins during the opening hours before finishing a respectable 11th.

C84/1 appeared at Spa where James Weaver took over the guest seat from Nick Faure and at Brands Hatch, as seen in the last photo where Mark Galvin took over from James. The car qualified 17th and 10th respectively, retiring from both races fuel pressure and drive belt issues respectively.

Steve retired from competition until 1991 when he returned racing GT’s winning the British GT GT2 and GT1 class drivers championships with co-driver Tim Sugden in 1997 and 1998 respectively, his highest Le Mans finish was 4th also in 1998 when he shared his McLaren with Tim and Bill Auberlen.

A second EMKA was built in 1989 using the discarded ground effect floor from the C83/1 and spare parts from C84/1 including the revised type of suspension, with the original red C83/1 bodywork.

Owner Rudolf Ernst is seen at the wheel of C84/1 in the photo’s above taken at the Silverstone Classic Test Day earlier this year.

Thanks for joining me on this “9 Mins Of Fame” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at another Le Mans Challenger from Mercedes Benz. Don’t forget to come back now !


Fastest In The Country – Cooper MG #4/4/52

In 1952 MG tuner Lionel Leonard replaced his first Cooper MG registered JOY 500 with a new one, chassis number #4/4/52 registered KOY 500 which is featured today.

Cooper MG T21, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

Peter Morely, who completed a restoration of the car in 2008 tells me the chassis appears to have much in common with the earliest rear engined Cooper 500 Formula 3 cars and suggests it is likely that it was based on a used chassis. Doug Nye, author of Cooper Cars, kindly informed me that the T series numbering system was applied retrospectively to this era of Cooper, it is accepted in some circles that when Lionel bought both JOY 500 and KOY 500, in kit form, that they were both in T14 spec although Cooper would have referred to them simply as Cooper MG’s.

Cooper MG T21, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

The MG XPAG motor, bored out to 1,467cc @ 91 cui, drives the rear wheels through an MG gearbox both of which would have been sourced from the contemporaneous MG TC / TD/ Y series models. Lionel drove KOY 500 to a second place finish on it’s debut at Snetterton in May 1952 and finished the season with a win at RAF Tarrant Rushton in Dorset.

Cooper MG T21, John Paul Mason, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

Bristol’s car dealing Horace ‘the Gonzalez of the West Country’ Gould bought KOY 500 for the 1953 season and by fitting it with Mk 1 Cooper Bristol suspension and twin leading edge brake shoes brought the car up to what in some circles is regarded as T21 specification, although again this designation is entirely retrospective. Highlights of Horace’s season included a win in the Queensferry Sprint and 2nd place finish in the Sheena Gray Trophy race at Charterhall.

Cooper MG T21, John Paul Mason, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

According to Roger Clark Horace advertised #4/4/52 in Autosport as “THE FASTEST COOPER MG IN THE COUNTRY”. Brian Naylor bought the car and shared #4/4/52 with Ian Davidson in 1954. Brian drove in most events recording a win at Snetterton and another at Silverstone, while Ian drove the car in just four events and podiumed in each with wins at the Barbon Hillclimb and Croft.

Cooper MG T21, John Paul Mason, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

When the restoration of #4/4/52 was completed in 2008 the car was taken to Monaco and competed in the historic meeting in which it finished 6th. KOY 500 is seen in these photo’s at last years Autumn Classic at Castle Combe with John Paul Mason at the wheel.

Roger Clark discerned from the much missed David McKinney’s note books that “approximately 20 Cooper MG kits were sold”.

My thanks to D-Type, Tim Murray, Roger Clark, Doug Nye and Peter Morley at The Nostalgia Forum for helping me with today’s post.

Thanks for joining me on this “Fastest In The Country” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again for “Maserati Monday” tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Importing A Ladder – Maserati 250F #2530/32

Somewhere around 1980 Pink Floyd Drummer Nick Mason entered into negotiations to purchase ERA 10B and found that he could only buy the car on condition that he bought a Maserati 250F, today’s featured car, as part of the package.

Maserati 250F, Rob Hall, Cholmondeley Pageant Of Power

Nick bought both cars and found that the 250F had a 1957 lightweight chassis which turned out to be #2530 to which people had fitted numerous incorrect parts including a Chevrolet V8.

Maserati 250F, Autosport International, NEC Birmingham

Nick described the car as a “basket case” and recalls the car being described as a ladder for import purposes.

Maserati 250F, Rob Hall, Cholmondeley Pageant Of Power

#2530 was originally fitted with a V12 motor but never raced with it, later in 1958 #2530 was fitted with a six cylinder motor and sent to South America. It appeared in the 1960 Argentinian Grand Prix with the chassis number #2532 where Gino Munaron drove the car to a 13th place finish.

Maserati 250F, Autosport International, NEC Birmingham

To keep you on your toes Antonio Creus drove another 250F in the 1960 Argetinian Grand Prix this was chassis #2526 which carried the #2530 ID tag ! Antonio retired from with driver fatigue.

Maserati 250F, Autosport International, NEC Birmingham

Towards the end of 1960 Brazilian Rugeno Peruzzi bought the car and between 1962/64, according to David McKinney’s Maserati 250F, it appears to have been raced by Camillo Cristofaro with a Chevrolet V8 in the engine bay.

Maserati 250F, Autosport International, NEC Birmingham

Colin Crabbe found the car with out any identity in the early 1970’s and Nick had the frame replaced by a new one to the correct 1957 lightweight specification.

Maserati 250F,  Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

Rob Hall is seen yumping #2530 at Cholmondeley Pageant Of Power at the top of the post while Charles Knill-Jones, a member of the Ten Tenths team which looks after Nick Mason’s many cars, is seen in period attire hustling Nicks 250F around Castle Combe at last years Autumn Classic meeting.

My thanks to Castle Combe historian Pete Stowe for letting me know who was driving #2530 at Castle Combe.

Thanks for joining me on this “Importing A Ladder” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for a look at a vintage Bugatti. Don’t forget to come back now !


Autumn Classic – Castle Combe

Castle Combe Circuits second Autumn Classic closed the racing season at the Wiltshire circuit for the second year running a couple of weeks ago and it proved again proved a big hit with the spectators more of whom used the event to dress up 30’s to 50’s costume than I remember last year.

Ecurie Ecosse, Commer, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

After arriving I made my way to the paddock for a Big Boys Breakfast while the practice sessions were getting underway. Above the 1959 Ecurie Ecosse 2 stroke diesel powered Commer Transporter and many ex Ecurie Ecosse team cars, including the 1960 Cooper T49 Monaco, 1961 Sebring Austin Healey Sprite and the rear engined 1962 Tojeiro-Buick Coupé will all be coming up for auction at Bonhams in December.

Triumph Special, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

There were many interesting vehicles in the car park including this sports car about which I know nothing apart from the fact it said “Triumph” on the tax disc, if you know more please do not hesitate to chime on below.

Mods, Rockers & Cops, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

After practice and before racing commenced there were several demonstrations including the one seen above featuring a selection of “mods” on their scooters and “rockers” on their motorcycles with “rozers” in hot pursuit aboard a Wolseley and Triumph Herald squad cars.

Maserati 250F, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

Nick Mason’s Maserati 250F arrived a later than intended and sadly sans Nick, but it made a welcome appearance on the track, unfortunately the PA was a little weak at Old Paddock when I took this photo so I’m not sure who was at the wheel, if you know chime in below.

Aston Martin DB3, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

The Historic Aston Martins got the afternoons racing underway, Martin Hunt driving a Fraser Nash Le Mans Replica did well to lead from second on the grid for the opening lap but it was Chris Woodgate, seen above qualifying his Aston Martin DB3 #DB3/6 on pole in the early morning mist, who led from lap 2 until the finish, while Hunt fell back to finish an eventual fifth.

Norman Dewis Trophy, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

Grahame Bull and Anthony Reid locked out the front row for the Norman Dewis Trophy for Jaguars with the #12 E Type and #33 XK120 respectively. Reid made a great race of it taking the lead on lap 2 and then again from lap six to 18 until he was slowed by a puncture which left Bull with an unassailable lead.

Big Healey Challenge, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

The Big Healey’s provided the second biggest grid of the day and by far the fiercest competition which saw five competitors trying to go unsuccessfully line abreast into the Bobbies chicane at one point ! Above the #73 Chris Clarkson / Ted Williams, #16 Eric Wolley / Dan Cox and #98 Nils-Fredrick Nyblaeus / Jeremy Welch cars fight over blagging rights for the best entry line into Tower Corner. David Grace and Anders Schildt were declared the winners after Dan Cox driving the fastest car in the race went backwards into the barriers, without injury, at Tower.

VSCC Pre War Sports Cars, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

The rather more leisurely VSCC Pre War Sports Cars race was won by Frederic Wakeman from pole abourd his Fraser Nash Super Sports but only after past a fast starting HRG driven by Andrew Mitchel who led the opening three laps. The brothers Blakeney-Edwards provided the scrap of the race Simon in the #4 Fraser Nash Shelsey got the better of Patrick in the #3 Fraser Nash Owlet Saloon to home 3rd. The brothers are seen congratulating each other on their return to the pits.

FISCAR, 50's Inter Marque, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

Andrew Sharp, seen leading in his #45 Aston Martin DB2 a above, from third on the grid managed to lead every lap of The FISCAR 50’s Inter Marque, but only after he had managed to build up a big enough to make his compulsory pit stop 5 mins before the end of the race. Nike Thorn and Johnny Todd driving the #44 Austin Healey 100S did well to finish just 0.07 seconds behind Sharp, from second on the grid, on a thrilling closing lap.

Miller Oils Formula Junior, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

The biggest grid of the day was provided by the Miller Oils Formula Junior Championship competitors. Jack Woodhouse qualified on pole in his #84 Lotus 20/22 and won the close fought race by half a second from Peter Morton who started alongside him in the rare #75 Lightning Envoyette seen above on the opening lap.

50's Lightweight Sports Racing Cars, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

The final race of the day was for 50’s Lightweight Sports Racing Cars had eight entries of which just seven took the start. But it only takes two cars to make a race and Alex Quattlebaum proved it by taking the win from 4th on the grid in his #10 Leco MG after a race long battle with 2nd place starter Brian Arculus in his #17 Lotus IX. Brian might have won the race had he not switched his lights on which appeared to have an adverse effect on the smooth running of his motor. Alex is seen making his final pass on Brian 2 laps from home above.

And so the 2013 season of Motorsport that began with the sad loss of circuit saviour Howard Strawford, drew to a close at Castle Combe in Wiltshire, roll on 2014 !

Thanks for joining me on this Autumn Classic edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for a look at a 1990 Thunderbird. Don’t forget to come back now !


Testing The Beat – McLaren F1 GTR #10R

For several years before his untimely death Bruce McLaren toyed with the idea of building a road car once his racing operations had become firmly established. In 1970 he had a Can Am McLaren M6 fitted with a GT body that both he and Gordon Coppock had worked on to perfect. After Bruces death the directors of McLaren decided to shelve the road car project although to further copies of the M6GT were built by Trojan who were responsible for building McLaren’s customer racing cars.

Twenty years later McLaren designer Gordon Murray convinced Ron Dennis to back his concept for the ultimate road car which Peter Stevens was engaged to complete the exterior styling. The McLaren F1 road car was launched in 1992 and in 1998 it set road car speed records of 231 mph with the rev limiter switched on and 243 with the limiter switched off.

At around the same time as the launch of the F1 a movement for racing GT cars was gathering pace and for the 1995 Season McLaren built 9 F1 GTR variants the first of which #01R, modified road car chassis #019 was loaned to Lanzante Motorsport who entered Yannick Dalmas, Masanori Sekiya and JJ Lehto into the 1995 Le Mans 24 hours under the Kokusai Kaihatsu Racing banner and improbably won as a result of superior reliability over the much faster Courage Porsche C34 prototype driven by “Brilliant” Bob Wolleck, Eric Hélary and Mario Andretti. The race winners covered just 298 laps the last time a Le Mans 24 hours had been won with less than 300 laps completed was 1952 to when Hermann Lang and Fritz Reiss drove their Mercedes Benz 300SL to victory with 277 laps completed.

McLaren F1 GTR, Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham

For the 1996 season Mclaren built a further batch of nine cars with extended front and rear bodywork which was easier to remove than on the original ’95 F1 GTR, magnesium gearbox housing with stronger internals which resulted in a lighter car. Two of the ’95 Spec F1 GTR’s were similarly upgraded.

Today’s featured vehicle is the first of the ’96 F1 GTR’s chassis #10R which was used as a test development vehicle to replace the Le Mans winning #01R which had immediately been retired from competition for publicity purposes.

David Brabham used the car for a test session at Le Mans in 1996 where he recorded the 20th fastest time, but the car has never been raced.

When pop drummer Nick Mason bought #10R he had McLaren convert the car for road use as were several F1 GTR’s once their competition careers were over.

Mark Hales tested the 600hp BMW V12 powered #10R for Evo magazine and recorded a 0-60mph time of 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 240.1 mph.

In 1997 a further development of the F1 GTR featuring an even longer body, 10 examples of which were built. An over view of the racing results of the F1 GTR from 1995 to 2007 can be seen on this link.

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