Tag Archives: Mitchell

The Crumpled Cup Auto Solo – Rolls Royce Car Park Filton

On Sunday I headed down to Queen Square for the regular second Sunday of the month Avenue Drivers Club meeting only to find all access roads blocked by Bristol Half Marathon stewards one of whom apparently had no idea where Queen Square was, which made for an interesting point of departure for a conspiracy theory which I shall refrain from repeating here.

MCW Metrobus MkII, Rolls Royce Car Park, Filton

Later at mid day I made my way over to the Rolls Royce Car Park at Filton for the Bristol Pegasus Motor Clubs first Crumpled Cup Autosolo. Upon reflection I wish I had stopped off longer at The Ark Bus, 1982 MCW Metrobus, a faith in motion project, to ask for some much needed devine intervention to help me to remember the three different routes through the 31 cones that were to make up the three timed tests of the event.

01 Crumpled Cup_5894sc

The Volkswagen Golf Mk IV Estate is not an obvious choice of vehicle for this type of event and certainly not when carrying more than half a tank of fuel, but I determined that I would have fun and that I did in spades despite the fact that of my nine runs, three times through each of the three routes I actually only managed to complete the course correctly on five occasions ! Fortunately this was still better than some so I did not come last in the front wheel drive class.

Honda Civic, Rolls Royce Car Park, Filton,

Martyn Mitchell warned me that his Honda Civic would only be in contention for the slowest time of the day and perhaps next time he will join me by the bus in some requests for devine intervention on the memory front.

Citroen Saxo, George/Ashley Pope, Rolls Royce Car Park, Filton

Father and son George and Ashley Pope shared their Citroën Saxo to take front wheel drive honours with Ashley only scoring two clean runs on the final test which ironically was the only test on which George scored only one clean run, George was the comfortable winner of the front wheel drive class and would have finished 3rd overall had the event been run as an open competition between all eight competitors.

Westfield SEiW, Andy Moss, Rolls Royce Car Park, Filton

Struggling with the turning circle of his self built Westfield SEiW was club chairman Andy Moss.

Vauxhall VX220, Martyn Lidbury, Rolls Royce Car Park, Filton

Despite having the smaller Lotus Elise size front tyres on his Vauxhall VX220 Martyn Lidbury also struggled with the turning circle of his car which otherwise made all the right noises as he drove it to third in class on his first event with the club.

Westfield SEiW, Ben Bishop, Rolls Royce Car Park, Filton

Second in the rear wheel drive class was Ben Bishop in his Westfield SEiW with the second best score overall too.

Mazda MX5, Chris Buckley, Rolls Royce Car Park, Filton

Lowest scores of the day were recorded by Chris Buckley in his supercharged Mazda MX5 who only scored maximum points on his very first run of the afternoon.

Everybody seemed to enjoy the event which I hope shall be the first of many to come, my thanks to Pete Goodman for getting permission from Rolls Royce to use the venue, to Alan Spencer for organising the event, to Tim Murray the events secretary and score keeper, marshals Ann Mitchell and Nick Woods and not least my fellow competitors who made the 4 hours of the competition fly by.

Thanks for joining me on this “The Crumpled Cup Auto Solo” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a Mercury Monterey. Don’t forget to come back now !


Monterey Porsches – Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion

On our fourth visit to this years Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion I’ll be looking at some of the Porsches and Porsche powered cars present.

Porsche 1500 Super Continental, Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion,

First up the 1955 Porsche 1500 Super Continental owned and driven by Clinton deWitt, US Porsche importer Max Hoffman had the 1500 Continental supersede the 1500 America in 1955 with the less powerful ‘normal’ motors because he thought they would give his customers better low engine speed performance than the more powerful “Super” motors, the inverse of what a race car needs. The Continental name did not last long because objections from Ford who used the Continental name at that time for a stand alone brand.

Porsche 550A, Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion,

Porsche 550’s have a long tradition of being raced on the East and West coast of North America the 1955 34 F Modified 550 A belongs to Tom Tarbue a regular visitor to the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion.

Denzel Roadster, Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion,

Strictly speaking the 1958 Denzel 1300 Roadster owned and driven to Terry Sullivan does not belong in this blog since Wolfgang Denzel came up with his Roadster completely independently of Porsche and like Porsche developed his own range of performance parts for use in motors sourced from contemporary Volkswagen Beetles, but I included it just for the benefit of disambiguation.

PAM Platypus Porsche, Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion,

Scooter Patrick, Hans Adam, and Don Mitchell are credited with building the Porsche powered 1964 PAM Platypus out of P.A.M. Foreign Cars of Hermosa Beach, California for NO FEAR pilot Miles Gupton who raced the car with a number of different Porsche motors finishing 1964 as runner-up West Coast Champion, second only to Frank Monise’s Lotus 23B. The car was latter fitted an Oldsmobile V8 but as since been restored with a 2 litre Porsche 901 motor and is currently run by owner driver Arthur Conner.

Porsche 935J, Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion,

From 1977 the story of the Porsche 935 became increasingly confusing with the works offering 10 ’76 935 spec customer cars known as 935/77A’s while proceeding with their own development plan on the works 935/77 that featured improved aerodynamics that necessitated a more inclined second rear screen which covered the mandated original. The works 935/77 also adopted a twin turbo motor to stay ahead of the expected competition from a turbocharged BMW CSL. Meanwhile the Kremer brothers had been developing it’s own K series of 935’s which were the class of the field at Le Mans in 1979 when a K3 took overall honours, to keep up Joest Racing, better known these days for their exploits at Le Mans with Audi, developed there own version of the 935 known as the 935J above is the 935 J 000 00012 one of two cars that appeared in 1980 for the Momo sponsored Electrodyne racing. This car, now owned by William Chip E Connor, only recorded the one race win at Daytona in July 1981 when Mauricio de Narvaez and Hurley Haywood drove the now DeNarvaez entered car to victory lane in the Paul Revere 250 at Daytona.

Porsche 962C, Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion,

Finally we have the 962C chassis #962-170 being offered for sale by Canepa said to be an unraced spare, one of the last four 962’s built in 1991. While I do not doubt it was never raced I wonder if as well as being sent to Team Trust in Japan sans engine it was also sent sans factory body work since to the best of my knowledge no factory supplied 962 was ever supplied with a central pillar mounted rear wing or a nose with single head lamps on either side, where as the likes of Britten Lloyd Racing, from whom Trust also bought a 962 chassis, Kremer and Joest all built a variety of body variants for the 962 with unusual headlight arrangements and centrally mounted rear wings.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton and Karl Krause for organising and taking today’s photographs respectively.

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


CAD/CAM Body – Mitchell Special MkII

The last in the current series of Bristol Special blogs features the Mitchell Special Mk II concieved by Andy Mitchell of Mitchell Motors in Wiltshire as the ultimate Bristol.

Mitchell Special Mk II, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe,

In 2008 Andy started by designing and building an FIA safety compliant space frame which makes use of axles, suspension and and steering from a wrecked Bristol 401.

Mitchell Special Mk II, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe,

The block for the 1971cc / 120 cui motor was sourced from an even older Bristol 400. Apart from the block and cylinder head castings everything else is modern competition spec running to electronic ignition and an Eaton supercharger which brings the power up to 200hp.

Mitchell Special Mk II, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe,

With the chassis and motor completed Andy approached an acquaintance Stuart Brown to design the body. Stuart had just finished 3D imaging every component of a Bugatti type 35 for The Bugatti Trust and was in possession of all the 3D imaging software needed to design a body for Andy on his computer.

Mitchell Special Mk II, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe,

Andy started by taking Stuart of 50 50’s period sports cars he liked and another 50 of vehicles from the same period which he did not like.

Mitchell Special Mk II, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe,

With the necessary measurements of the chassis Stuart came up with a design that went through 21 stages of refinement in consultation with Andy to arrive at the final design seen on the car today.

Mitchell Special Mk II, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe,

It took just seven months for the body to be completed starting from Andy’s initial consultation with Stuart, which also included e-mailing the 3D images to woodworkers who fed the information into their CAM (computer aided manufacture) machine which cut a full size plywood buck around which Andy could from the aluminium body.

In May 2010 Andy started taking part in competitive VSCC (Vintage Sports Car Club) and AMOC (Aston Martin Owners Club ) events with his Mitchell Special Mk II, seen in these photographs at the Autumn Classic meeting at Castle Combe, recording at least one win and several placings.

Thanks for joining me on this “CAD/CAM Body” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at an Eagle. Don’t forget to come back now !


Pinacle Of 500cc F3 Design – Staride Mk 3

Mike Erskine Speedway rider who owned a factory that manufactured motor vehicle radiators who also built Staride frames for Speedway motorcycle racing in Southampton.

Staride Mk3, Xavier Kingsland, Gurston Down.

At the end of 1951 he quit Speedway and started building a prototype 500cc Formula 3 car to a design, an evolution of a Kieft design, by former Kieft designer Dean Delamont and Cecil Mitchell for John Hambin.

Staride Mk3, Xavier Kingsland, Gurston Down.

On it’s debut at Goodwood in April 1952 John finished 4th. A production protoype Staride also appeared in 1952.

Staride Mk3, Xavier Kingsland, Gurston Down.

For 1953 a production run was started and Reg Bicknell who had successfully built and raced the Revis was one of the works supported drivers.

Staride Mk3, Xavier Kingsland, Gurston Down.

Reg was a regular top three finisher in International Formula 3 events through 1953 as was Dennis Taylor in 1954.

Staride Mk3, Xavier Kingsland, Oulton Park.

It is believed 10 Starides, weighing 500lbs, were built and they were offered for sale at £550 less engine and gearbox.

Staride Mk3, Xavier Kingsland, Oulton Park.

Today’s featured 1953 Staride Mk3 is seen at Gurston Down and Oulton Park last year with Xavier Kingland at the wheel.

Anyone within traveling distance of Castle Combe will have the opportunity to see 500cc Formula 3 cars, like the Staride and Revis I looked at last week, tomorrow where they will be racing for the Bristol Aeroplane Company Motor Sports Club Challenge Trophy along with seven more races and a plethora of classic car demonstrations and static displays.

Thanks for joining me on this “Pinacle Of 500cc F3 Design” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I be starting an 80th Anniversary Celebration of English Racing Automobiles (ERA). Don’t forget to come back now.


60th Anniversary – Oulton Park Gold Cup

On Bank Holiday Monday a couple of weeks ago I picked up GALPOT contributor Tim Murray and headed 175 miles north to Oulton Park for the second day of the Gold Cup meeting which marked the circuits 60th Anniversay. When we got there we met friends Simon and Phil from The Nostalgia Forum who directed us toward the control Tower where Steve Jones invited us to a cup of coffee and we met Alan Cox who also puts in a regular appearance on these pages.

March 761, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

Afterwards Tim and I had a wonder around the paddock where we found Greg Thornton’s Formula One March 761 resplendent in the colours of Sweden as would have been seen in the hands of Ronnie Peterson. Greg was declared the winner of the opening Derek Bell Trophy race of the day after Micheal Lyons experienced a pinion failure in his Lola T400 Formula 5000 car and an accident in which no one was hurt blocked the track.

Dodd, Chevron B31, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

Despite a sagging rear wing James Dodd driving his, non period, Martini liveried 1976 Chevron B36 appropriately won the Martini Trophy for 2 litre / 122 cui sports cars.

Watts, Peugeot 406, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

I only ever saw Patrick Watts 1998 British Touring Car Championship Peugeot 406 racing on the television but I spent many hundreds of happy hours driving one just like it in a Play Station game called TOCA 2, Patrick found his old car in Australia. Unfortunately he did not finish the Super Touring Trophy which was won by the versatile James Dodd who didn’t have time to celebrate his Martini Trophy win in the Chevron B36 before jumping into his Honda Accord.

Mitchell, Merlin Mk20, Grant, Merlyn Mk20a, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

The Historic Formula Fords can always be relied on to provide entertaining racing, Sam Mitchell and Callum Grant in their #40 and #1 Merlyn MK 20’s were never much further apart than this through out the 20 min race. Callum eventually got the better of Sam to take the chequered flag.

Smith, Delta T81, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

Nelson Rowe won the Amitstead Barnett Financial Services Formula Ford 2000 race and sowed up the Historic Formula Ford 2000 championship with a fine win in his Reynard SF79, the #10 Delta T81 of Derek Smith above has a chassis design going back to 1978 which was penned by none other than Patrick Head went on to form a formidable partnership with Frank Williams.

Historic Touring Cars, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

The Historic Touring Cars also provided a hugely entertaining spectacle above the #14 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super of Bob Schukburgh takes the bumpy route as he tries to pass a couple Hillman Imps, the #4 Mini was driven by British Olympic Cycling legend Sir Chris Hoy. Richard Dutton in the red and gold #35 Ford Mustang worked his way up from the back of the grid to 5th place in the race which was won by Mark Jones in a Ford Lotus Cortina.

Oosterbaan, Alton Holden AR2 , Gold Cup, Oulton Park

A welcome Antipodean novelty in the Libre race for Classic Racing Cars was the Alton AR2 powered by a Holden straight six driven by Henry Ooterbaan, the race was won by Andy Jones driving his father Ian’s Lotus 59.

Thornton, March, Glover, Lola, Lyons, Hesketh, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

If the first Derek Bell Trophy race disappointed because of it’s premature end, the second made up for it by the bucket load. With Micheal Lyons Lola rendered hors d’combat by it’s gearbox Micheal’s father Frank stepped aside to let his son race the family Hesketh 308E with which he started from the back of the grid. For the first 5 laps Neil Glover driving the #10 Lola T300/332 kept Greg Thornton in the #32 March 761 at bay by which time Micheal Lyons joined the fun. Greg on the left is seen above about to over take Neil in the Lola while Micheal on the right is about to pass on the outside on lap six. On the following lap Micheal got past Greg to take a comfortable win. Afterwards I was left wondering what Micheal might have achieved in his Mum Judy’s Surtees TS9.

Challis, Petty, de la Roche, Smith Buckler, Monro, Cooper, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

Steve Jones won the 500cc / 30.5 cui Formula 3 race in his Cooper, above the #7 Petty of Nigel Challis leads the #65 Smith Buckler of Richard de la Roche and #89 Cooper Mk 4 of Shirley Monro in the squable for 10th place, Challis finished the race ahead of Monro and de la Roche.

Yarwood Ladybird Mk6B,  Gold Cup, Oulton Park

John Harrison led the Classic Clubmans race from lights to flag, above the #77 Ladybird Mk6B driven by Bob Yarwood was built by Oulton Park legend Derek Walker, who is credited with winning more races than anyone else at Oulton Park. Derek received a special award for his achievement during the meeting.

Arculus, Lotus Elite, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

As the sun atarted to set the final race of the day was FISCAR Team Handicap race for sports cars built in the 1950’s was won by Brian Arculus in the #71 Lotus Elite.

After a quick sausage and chips washed down by a strong cup of tea it was time to head the 175 miles into the evening with the heavy bank holiday weekend traffic listening to Radio 2 which was celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the release of Dark Side Of The Moon.

Thanks for joining me on this “60th Anniversary” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again for Americana Thursday tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a 1958 racing Corvette. Don’t forget to come back now !


Shopping Around #2 – Cadillac 6 Window Sedan

Last week I looked at the Cadillac Series 62 4 Window Hard Top Sedan, by coincidence just after I finished preparing that blog I came across this 6 Window Sedan at Easter Compton.

Cadillac, 6 Window Sedan, Summer Classics, Easter Compton

Unsurprisingly from the front the Flat Top 4 window and six window sedans look almost identical.

Cadillac, 6 Window Sedan, Summer Classics, Easter Compton

However from the side the difference can be seen in the sloping rear roof line of the six window model.

Cadillac, 6 Window Sedan, Summer Classics, Easter Compton

It was only when I got home that I realised that today’s featured car is missing the tell tail the small badge below the arrow behind the front wheel on the front wing / fender which distinguishes a Series 62 ‘6229’ from the ‘6329’ de Ville 6 window Sedan which would be identified by small chrome ‘Cadillac de Ville’ lettering above the chrome arrow on the tail wing / fender.

Cadillac, 6 Window Sedan, Summer Classics, Easter Compton

The difference in the basic price when new between the two models was $418, if you know what the extra cost gave you apart from a difference in the badges already mentioned please chime in below.

Thanks for joining me on this “Shopping Around #2” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again for Ferrari Friday tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Shopping Around #1 – Cadillac Series 62 4 Window Hard Top Sedan

Shopping Around for ideas to mark the 35th Anniversary of Elvis Presley’s passing I thought it would be interesting to look at one of the few Cadillac models that evaded the King on his notorious Cadillac buying sprees.

Cadillac Series 62 Sedan 4 Window Flat Top, Goodwood Revival

Bill Mitchel was responsible for the design of the 1959 13 model Cadillac range, 11 of which shared the same chassis with a 130″ wheelbase, the Fleetwood 75 Limousine and Sedan shared a chassis with a 149.5″ wheelbase.

Cadillac Series 62 Sedan 4 Window Flat Top, Goodwood Revival

A 6.4 liter / 390 cui V8 was used to power all of the ’59 Cadillacs, which weighed between 4690 and 5570 lbs, all tuned to produce 325 hp with the exception of the Eldorado which had 345 hp.

Cadillac Series 62 Sedan 4 Window Flat Top, Goodwood Revival

Differentiating the ’59 models from the exterior can be quite easy, if all of the exterior trim is attached.

Cadillac Series 62 Sedan 4 Window Flat Top, Goodwood Revival

We can tell this is a base 6239 model by the small badge below the arrow behind the front wheel on the front wing / fender.

Cadillac Series 62 Sedan 4 Window Flat Top, Goodwood Revival

Popular options for the ’59 Cadillacs included radio with rear speaker for $165, or radio with rear speaker AND remote control $247, a six way power seat came in at $89.

Cadillac Series 62 Sedan 4 Window Flat Top, Goodwood Revival

The 4 window sedans with their distinctive wrap around rear screens are also known as ‘flat tops’.

Cadillac Series 62 Sedan 4 Window Flat Top, Goodwood Revival

It may seem strange that Elvis, a well documented Cadillac enthusiast, never bought or owned a ’59 model, which is so clearly identified with the rock’n’roll era. Until one realises that he was doing his duty for his country at the time, serving with the 3rd Armoured Division in Friedburg Germany where he enjoyed the delights of his VW Beetle and BMW 507 convertible while keeping a lowish, by his standards, profile.

Thanks for joining me on this “Shopping Around #1” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !