Tag Archives: Mears

Intercooled IMSA GTO Racer – Porsche 934/5 930 770 0954

Two years after the introduction of the Porsche 930 street car marketed as the 911 Turbo Porsche manufactured a run of 400 Porsche 934 street cars mandated by a set of rules known as Group 4 in order that it’s customers could compete with a 550 hp race version of the 934 in 1976.

In 1977 Porsche built a further 10 white 934/5’s for it’s US customers who raced to the more liberal IMSA GTO series, aside from differences in the front and rear wheels arches and the rear wing which supplemented the tea tray spoiler the 934/5 was fitted with an intercooler which helped cool the combustion charge and raised the output to 600hp at 7000 rpm.

Porsche 934/5, Niello Serrano Concours d’Elegance

George Dyer took delivery of 934/5 #930 0954 in 1977 to supplement the non turbo charged 911 Carrera RSR which he had been racing since 1973 and co drove to victory in the 1977 Sebring 12 Hours with Brad Frisselle.

Records at RacingSportsCars.com show George raced the 934/5, which I believe to be today’s featured car, on nine occasions in 1977 with a win in the 250 mile Paul Revere race at Daytona being the cars stand out success.

Porsche 934/5, Niello Serrano Concours d’Elegance

Current owner Bruce Canepa raced #0954 once in 1978 finishing 7th at Sears Point before driving the car with Rick Mears and Monte Shelton to a third place finish in the 1979 Daytona 24 hours which seems to have been the cars final race appearance.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for arranging for me to share these photo’s of the car taken by Karl Krause at Niello Serrano Concours d’Elegance a couple of years ago.

Thanks for joining me on this “Intercooled IMSA GTO Racer” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a Jaguar powered special that anticipated the arrival of the E-Type Jaguar. Don’t forget to come back now !


Anny-Charlotte Ralph And Bob – Porsche 935 K3/80 #009 00030

It is quite perverse to try and write a comprehensive story about today’s featured Porsche 935 chassis #009 00030 which took part in 6 Daytona and 4 Le Mans 24 hour races, winning the former with Bob Garretson, Bobby Rahal and Brian Redman at the wheel in 1981 and hitting headlines around the world when Rolf Stommelen, Dick Barbour and a certain Paul Newman drove the car to a second place finish at Le Mans in 1979 in a single blog, so I will focus on some of the cars highlights, owners and star drivers for now.

Porsche 935 K3/80, Verney, Kent-Cooke, Garretson, Le Mans

Rolf, Dick and Paul proved their result at Le Mans was no fluke when they finished second on the cars second appearance in the ’79 Watkins Glen 6 Hour race.

French driver Anny-Charlotte Verney shared #009 00030 for the first timeApple, on it’s final appearance carrying customer Porsche 935/77A bodywork, with Bob Garretson and Skeeter McKitterick for a 9th place finish in the 1980 Daytona 24 hour race.

At the Sebring 12 Hour race #009 00030 was fitted with Kremer Brothers K3 bodywork which carried sponsorship from Apple Computer and was driven to a 7th place finish by Bob, Bobby Rahal and Canadian Kees Nierop.

At Le Mans in 1980 Bob and Bobby were joined by Australian Alan Moffat to qualify 14th on the grid but piston failure led to the cars only Le Mans retirement after it had completed 134 laps.

After winning the Daytona 24 hours in 1981 the same winning Bob, Bobby and Brian trio finished 17th from 4th on the grid in the 1981 Sebring 12 Hours.

Part owner Bob Garrettson, with Ralph Kent-Wood, stepped back from the driving seat to allow Bobby and Brian to share the wheel to finish 3rd and 4th at Riverside and Laguna Seca.

The #009 00030 was then shipped to Le Mans where owners Bob and Ralph teamed up with British Petrolium (BP) sponsored Anny-Charlotte Verney to set a qualifying time of 3 min 55.150, good enough for 33rd spot on the grid.

Anny-Charlotte sharing the car for the second time with Bob and Ralph drove the car, seen above 23 hours into the race, to 6th place finish.

The car remained competitive for the remainder of the 1981 IMSA season which included a 3rd place finish with Bob, Rick Mears and Johnny Rutherford in the 1981 Watkins Glen 6 hour race.

In 1982 Bob was joined at the wheel of #009 00030 by Columbian Mauricio DeNarvaez and Jeff Wood at Daytona where they finished 3rd in the season opening 24 hours race.

Bob teamed up with Anny-Charlotte for a third time in #009 00030 for the 1982 Le Mans 24 Hours and they were joined by Ray Ratcliff for the cars final Le Mans start, from 43rd on the grid they salvaged an 11th place finish.

Wayne Baker bought #009 00030 for the 1983 season and converted it from twin turbo 935 spec to single turbo 934 spec and ran it with a loose interpretation of 934 bodywork at Daytona where he drove the car with Bob and Jim Mullen to a 9th place finish and in the 1983 Sebring 12 hours where Kees replace Bob and with Wayne and Jim scored the cars second and final outright victory.

At the end of 1983 #009 00030 was returned to full twin turbo 935 K3 spec and on it’s fifth appearance in the Daytona 24 hours was driven by Wayne, Jim and Tom Blackaller to a 5th place finish from 12th on the grid, from the same position on the grid at Sebring the same trio finished a season high 4th.

#009 00030’s final appearance in the Daytona 24 hours was in 1985 when Jack Newsum, Chip Mead and Ren Tilton joined Wayne for a 9th place finish from 28th on the grid.

Midway through 1985 Chester Vincentz bought the car and converted it back to single turbo 934 spec and ran it IMSA GTO events with a 934 type body in 1985 and a hybrid 935 body in 1986 and ’87 as a 930 S.

On the October 4th 1987Chester drove #009 00030 to a 12th place finish from 12th on the grid on the cars 72nd and final known in period appearance.

Thanks for joining me on this Anny-Charlotte, Bob and Ralph edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when Ferrari Friday will be making a month long return. Don’t forget to come back now !


911’s 50th Anniversary – Niello Serrano Concours d’Elegance

I’d like to welcome a new contributor to Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres thanks to Geoffrey Horton who kindly asked Karl Krause to take the photo’s at Niello Serrano Concours d’Elegance which appear in today’s blog.

Karl sent around 200 images and since I’ve been celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Porsche 911 through October I thought I’d give the model one more look in today’s blog.

Porsche 911S , Nielllo Serrano Concours d'Elegance

I can’t be sure of the age of the 911 above but given that the distinctive 5 spoke Fuchs alloy wheels first became an option on the 911S in 1966 I’ll hazard a guess the car above in a 1966 or later 911S.

Porsche 911T , Nielllo Serrano Concours d'Elegance

There is a good chance that any Porsche carrying the distinctive #77 was once driven by Bruce Jennings who clocked up at least 30 victories mostly in Porsche’s between 1952 and 1981. The 911T with the distinctive solid alloy wheels appears to be the car Bruce shared with Bob Tullis in the 1970 Sebring 12 Hours. The pair started 46th and failed to finish.

Porsche 911S, Nielllo Serrano Concours d'Elegance

The #77 Carrera RS bodied Porsche 911S above appears to be the car Bruce shared with Bob Beasley and Bill Bean in the 1979 Six Hour race at Watkins Glen, despite a spin the trio started 40th and finished 18th.

Porsche 911 Carrera RSR, Nielllo Serrano Concours d'Elegance

Above is a 1974 era Carrera RSR bodied Porsche 911, it appears in the colours of the Gelo Racing Team though if it is one of the Gelo team cars I have yet to workout which one. If you know please do not hesitate to chime in below.

Porsche 934, Nielllo Serrano Concours d'Elegance

Bruce Canepa of Canepa Design raced several Porsche’s back early 80’s I believe the single turbo 934 bodied example above was one of them that was originally raced by George Dyer through 1977 prior to Bruce acquiring the car and fitting a 935 flat nose more usually seen on the twin turbo 935 models raced primarily in Europe. If this is the same car then Bruce Canepa, Rick Mears and Monte Sheldon appear to have driven it to a third place finish from 19th on the grid in the 1979 Daytona 24 hours.

Porsche 934/5, Nielllo Serrano Concours d'Elegance

Bruce drove several other 935 bodied Porsche’s notably with Gianpiero Moretti in the Momo team, at the time of writing I am not at all sure what the history of the flat nosed 935 bodied Porsche is, again if you know please chime in below.

Canepa Porsche Speedster 962 Twin Turbo, Nielllo Serrano Concours d'Elegance

Finally filed under outrageous road car is this twin turbocharged Canepa Design built Porsche Speedster which confirms Bruce Canepa’s addiction to fast cars.

My thanks to Karl Krause for sharing today’s photographs and to Geoffrey Horton for his help in procuring them.

Thanks for joining me on this “911’s 50th Anniversary” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for a look at the final incarnation, to date, of the Ford Thunderbird this one driven by none other than Halle Berry. Don’t forget to come back now.


Indianapolis Excursion – Indy 500 29th May 1988

I was living in Brixton, London in November 1987 when I received an invitation from Rick and Karen, two Canadian friends also living in London, to attend their wedding on May 27th 1988 in Toronto their home town.

The first thing I did after I received the invitation was to check the dates for races in the USA around the wedding date, the Winston 500 was to be run at Talledega on May 1st, the Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte on May 29th as was the Indy 500.

The timing was against me getting to Talladega, a track I finally visited 21 years later, and Indianapolis seemed a lot closer to Toronto than Charlotte so I made my mind up to visit the Indy 500 something I had wanted to do since I read a book by Tommaso Tommasi called from Brands Hatch to Indianapolis in which a precise description of driving around the track is given by Peter Revson.

Chevrolet Beretta

The weekend of the wedding I went to Avis and collected this shiny brand new Chevy Beretta, an interesting contrast to the £50 1973 Volvo 144 DL automatic I was driving around London at the time !

Early on the morning after the wedding I packed my stuff and headed around 350 miles west on the 401 which turned into Route 96/94 after I crossed the US border into Detroit and then 200 miles south on Route 69. The only difficulty I had was keeping to the 55 to 60 mph speed limits which seemed excruciatingly slow compared to the 70 mph I was used to in the UK.

Datsun, Indianapolis

Eleven hours after I had set out I arrived at a mall parking lot (Lafayette Shopping Centre ?) a mile or so north from the track having picked up a ticket for the bleachers from a vendor at face value of $15 (?) right out side the track. I felt very much at home as some lads were having a kick about with a proper round football, turned out they were telephone engineers from Manchester, England !

My plan was to spend the night in the car, I got a shock when I opened the boot/trunk of the car and found I had forgotten to pack two important items one of which was my sleeping bag. I need not have worried the weather was more than warm enough to feel comfortable sleeping on the back seat of the car wearing a T shirt and shorts.

On race day I woke up with the dawn, had a round of salami sandwiches I had packed in advance and my customary breakfast apple and headed off to the track which opened at 6am.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

I bought a souvenir T-Shirt from a girl, who like me hailed from Germany, on the way in and before I knew it I was standing on the hallowed pavement of Indianapolis pit lane. I was as inspired as I had been by any other tourist sight I had seen, Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower and even the Pyramids, by the Indy timing tower which I had seen in countless photographs over the previous 15 years I had been a racing fan.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Pinching myself standing before the gates of Gasoline Alley, I felt a little like I was standing before the gates of heaven itself as the sun came up.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

The immaculate team haulers seemed a tad quaint to be carrying 220 mph race cars, but then again a hauler never won the Indy 500.

I took a walk all around the infield while the hullaballoo that starts the days proceedings got underway prior to the 11 am start, including a look at the infamous inside of turn 3 hard partying Snake Pit. I saw ‘Supersonic’ Chuck Yeager prepare himself for duties in the pace car and took my seat in the bleachers as Grand Marshall Garfield was driven around the circuit.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

At this point the fact that I had somehow overlooked packing a telephoto lens I had borrowed specially for the event became painfully obvious.

The race was dominated by Rick Mears on pole with Danny Sullivan and Al Unser Snr who locked out the front row of the grid. All three were driving the new Penske PC 17 designed by Penske new boy Nigel Bennett and all three Penske drivers would be 3 of the only 4 drivers to lead a lap of the 72nd running of the Indy 500.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

’85 Spinner & Winner Danny Sullivan set a blistering early pace driving the Miller PC17, seen here chasing the #92 of Dominic Dobson, led a race high 91 laps but crashed out on lap 101 leaving Rick Mears to almost run away with the race. Sullivan would end the season as the winner of his one and only CART championship.

Lola T87 00

For 8 laps I was beside myself with excitement as Scottish born Brit Jim Crawford became the only non Penske team member to lead the ’88 500 in his year old Buick ‘stock block’ powered Lola T87/00. Jim who just two months earlier had been unable to walk as a result injuries received at Indy in 1987 became a father the following week. Jim retired to become a fishing boat captain and died of liver failure aged 54 in 2002.

March 88C, IMS

Two time world champion Emerson Fittipaldi did not lead a lap but still managed to come home 2nd in his Pat Patrick run March 88C powered by the then relatively new Ilmour Chevy V8. The following year ‘Emmo’ returned to win the fist of his two Indy 500 victories.

Penske PC 17, IMS

Rick Mears ran out the deserving winner of the 1988 Indy 500 a race that ended under yellow flags thanks to a piece of body work that flew off Michael Andretti’s 4th place Kraco March with just 4 laps to go. Ricks third 500 victory marked the first for the Ilmour Chevrolet engine which would dominate at Indianapolis until 1994 when a one off Mercedes push rod engine also designed by Ilmour would take top honours.

After the race I rehydrated and slept in the car for an hour before the 11 hour 550 mile trek back to Toronto. Two weeks later I was back at one of my other favourite race tracks Le Mans, but that story will have to wait for another day.

Thanks for joining me on this Indianapolis excursion edition of
‘Gettin a lil’ psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again tomorrow for an Indy Ferrari Friday special. Don’t forget to come back now !


Gould Charge – Penske PC10

For 1982 Roger Penske had his manufacturing team in Poole, Dorset, England, where all his open wheelers were made, build 6 Penske PC10’s designed by Geoff Ferris. The cars were ready in October 1981, drivers Rick Mears and Kevin Cogan completed 3000 miles of testing during the off season.

AJ Foyt said of the legendary Penske preparation “The rest of us are trying to do as much in six days as Penske took six months to do.”

Penske Cosworth PC10, Rick Mears, Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Photo by Ed Arnaudin.

Rick Mears, took pole at with a record 207 mph average speed in the #1 Gould Charge seen here on the warm up lap for the race, and Kevin Coogan started 2nd with a 204 mph 4 lap average. The first two spots on the grid were sown up just 9 minuets after qualification had started on Pole Day. AJ Foyt filled out the front row.

The 1982 is best remembered for an accident at the start that took out Kevin Coogan, AJ Foyt, Mario Andretti, Dale Whittington and Roger Mears.

Blame for the incident was placed on the inexperienced Penske new boy Kevin Cogan, though the cause of the accident has ever been satisfactorily explained, it came to light many years later that Rick Mears had a similar incident in another PC10 during private testing that was kept out of the media at the time.

AJ Foyt managed to get out for the second attempt to start the 1982 Indy 500 but neither the repairs to Foyt’s #14 March nor the months of preparation at Penske were enough to keep Gordon Johncock, driving a Wildcat, from taking a photo finish victory in which Johncock held off Mears by just 0.16 secs.

During a 15 year Champ Car Career Rick Mears won 3 CART Championships, a record equalling, with Foyt and Al Unser, 4 Indy 500 victories and an unequalled six Indy 500 poles. Rick also took the most CART Championship race wins during the 1980’s.

While Mears and Penske lost the battle at Indy in 1982, they took a second consecutive championship in 1982.

The following season Al Unser Snr won the championship driving a Penske PC10B after the intended replacement PC11 proved unequal to the performance of the older car after the 1983 Indy 500.

Those interested in what lies beneath the super streamlined body of the PC10 might be interested to see a series of photos, taken by the extraordinary cutaway artist Tony Matthews, posted on The Nostalgia Forum, see post three and down of this PC10 thread.

My thanks to Steve Arnaudin for the scan of his Dad’s photo.

Thanks for joining me for this Gould Charge edition of ‘Getting a little psycho on tyres’ I hope that you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !