Tag Archives: Mk

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 !


Full Size Wheels – Shadow Mk III

As we saw last week Shadow owner Don Nichols had a thing about keeping the frontal area of his Can Am challengers to a minimum by using under sized wheels. For the 1972 season Shadow Mk II designer Peter Bryant convinced Don it would be better to build a car with bigger wheels in order to gain an increase in cornering performance that would be the result of the improved suspension geometry bigger wheels would afford.

Shadow Mk III, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Two Shadow Mark III’s were built two using the Shadow Mk II chassis tubs raced in 1971 and a third Mk II chassis tub was built and appears to have remained unraced in either 1971 or 1972. Confusingly that third unraced chassis tub, has been built into the only car now in the 1971 Shadow Mk II spec which I looked at last week.

Shadow Mk III, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Aside from the larger wheels and improved suspension geometry which required new suspension pickup points, the Mk III had mid mounted radiators which replaced the single front mounted radiator of the Mk II. A variety of different front aerodynamic appendages were tried on the front of the Mk III as the season progressed suggesting that moving the weight of the radiators back may not have done any favours to the front end handling of the car.

Shadow Mk III, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Jackie Oliver was again retained as the teams primary driver and he proved capable of competing with the other Chevrolet powered Can Am challengers in qualifying, only failing to qualify inside the top 10 on one occasion, however by 1972 Porsche has significantly raised the bar with a pair of Penske entered RC Cola Porsche 917’s. Reliability was still not Shadow’s strong suit and Jackie managed only a single second and third place finish during the season. Joining Jackie as team mates during the year were Brazilian Carlos Pacé, who managed a 4th place at his third and final run in the car at Edmonton, and NASCAR winner Donnie Allison.

Shadow Mk III, Goodwood Festival of Speed

In fact Donnie only ended up doing some qualifying laps in the final race of the season at Riverside, seen on this link wearing the red helmet, before having to hand his car over to Jackie Oliver who had attempted to qualify his own car, that had been fitted with a turbocharged Chevrolet big block, before it blew a piston.

Shadow Mk III, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Today’s featured car, which I believe is built around the first Shadow Mk II chassis tub, is owned by Fred Cziska and seen here at Goodwood Festival of Speed with Scott Dmek at the wheel.

Thanks for joining me on this “Full Size Wheels” 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 !


Formula One Wheels – Shadow Mk II

A couple of weeks ago I was delighted to receive today’s featured photo’s from Geoffrey Horton of a Shadow Mk II , a vehicle that had been built for Jackie Oliver to drive in the 1971 Can Am Series.

Shadow Chevrolet Mk II, Marin Sanoma Concours d’ Elegance

The story of the Shadow racing team begins with an orphan Don Nichols who as a child was influenced by The Shadow radio series, after service in the ’39 – ’45 war and a career in military intelligence Don appears to have gravitated to the world of motor racing supplying American tyres to the Japanese racing fraternity during the 1960’s.

Shadow Chevrolet Mk II, Marin Sanoma Concours d’ Elegance

In 1970 Don founded Advanced Vehicle Systems which built a red vehicle notorious for it’s tiny size and wheels designed by Trevor Harris called the Shadow Mk I. The car qualified well with first George Folmer and then Vic Elford at the wheel, but was hampered with a 100% unreliability record not finishing any races.

in 1969 Peter Bryant had designed and entered his titanium chassised Ti 22 Can Am car which Jackie Oliver had been qualifying even better, than the Shadow, ever since it was first seen and managed two 2nd place finishes in 1970.

Shadow Chevrolet Mk II, Marin Sanoma Concours d’ Elegance

Bryant ran out of funds for the Ti 22 and both he and Jackie Oliver joined Don Nichols for the 1971 season. Don was keen that Peter keep the frontal area of the Shadow Mark II to a minimum and so the Mk II was designed around Formula One size wheels and tyres which were smaller than those ordinarily found in Can Am.

Powered by a 8.1 litre / 494 cui Chaparral prepared Chevrolet V8 Jackie scored a best third place finish at Edmonton when the car appeared painted white with black lettering on all the upward facing surfaces except the rear wing. Jackie used chassis Mk II #1 through out the 1971 season.

Shadow Chevrolet Mk II, Marin Sanoma Concours d’ Elegance

As we shall see next week Peter Bryant was responsible for designing the 1972 Shadow MK III and Jackie for driving it. What I did not know until recently was that Advanced Vehicle Systems built three Mk II monocoque tubs and that all three were used to build the Shadow Mk III which ran on full size Can Am tyres.

In 2009 Don Nichols sold off the chassis, seen here at Marin Sanoma Concours d’Elegance where it won it’s class, which is actually the third chassis that was only ever raced in Mk III specification. Mr Losher the owner decided, that as the first two chassis are still in 1972 Mk III spec, he would build his up to the older 1971 Mk II Formula One wheel spec.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sending me these photographs.

Thanks for joining me on this “Formula One Wheels” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho” on tyres”, next week I’ll be looking at the Shadow Mk III on Americana Thursday, meantime I hope you will join me for another edition of Ferrari Friday tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Silver Plated Steering Wheel Boss – MG 18/80 Mk II Prototype

In 1928 MG moved away from it’s original remit of giving Morris Bullnose products wider appeal which culminated in the MG 14/40 and started to manufacture it’s own chassis and engine blocks.

MG 18/80 Mk II Prototype, Bristol Classic Car Show

The new 18/80 model featured both a unique MG chassis and engine block both of which had been developed from lessons learned from a Morris Light Six Saloon that never went into production. The new distinctive radiator design would be maintained all the way through to the T Series.

MG 18/80 Mk II Prototype, Bristol Classic Car Show

The 18/80 also featured unique to MG front and rear axles with Rudge Whitworth centre lock wheels an either tourer or saloon body styles.

MG 18/80 Mk II Prototype, Bristol Classic Car Show

The twin carburetor six cylinder motor featured a four bearing crankshaft with a Duplex chain, see behind the radiator on the right, which drives the camshaft, distributor, water pump, oil pump and dynamo. The MG 80 hp rated six gave the 18/80 enough power to reach 100 mph. The motor seen here has been upgraded with a MK III cylinder head and ignition and drives through a Rover SD1 clutch in place of the original cork in oil unit.

MG 18/80 Mk II Prototype, Bristol Classic Car Show

The 1929 chassis of the vehicle featured today was originally built as a prototype for the MK II saloon in 1929 however by the early 80’s the body was in such a poor state that it was replaced with a Mk III 18/100 ‘Tigress’ style body. Note the unique silver plated steering wheel boss from the original Mk II Prototype has been retained, but the dash and instrumentation are from a Mk III Tigress.

MG 18/80 Mk II Prototype, Bristol Classic Car Show

As a result of underwhelming track performance, only five ready to race Mk III ‘Tigress’ vehicles, styled after the contemporary Bentley competion models, were built in period.

Thanks for joining me on this “Silver Plated Steering Wheel Boss” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be featuring a Techno DAF. Don’t forget to come back now !


A New Peak – Ford Cortina Mk III

Barry Gill talking in a Ford promotional video claimed Ford had brought motoring to a new peak when they launched the Cortina MK III in 1970 and sales would prove that the claim was not without substance in the minds of the paying public.

Ford Cortina Mk III XL, Bristol Classic Car Show

The new car with late 60’s wide hip US Ford Torino influenced styling was several inches wider and lower than the million plus selling Ford Cortina Mk II.

Ford Cortina Mk III GT, Bristol Classic Car Show

As with the Cortina Mk II there was a plethora of different models L and XL models featured a pair of head lights while the GT, GXL variations featured twined pairs of headlights and Rostyle wheels as seen in the photo below. The XL model in the top photo appears to have a set of out of period RS wheels.

Ford Cortina Mk III GT, Bristol Classic Car Show

The Peak Performer came in 2 door, 4 door and 5 door estate versions while specialists like Crayford would be more than turn a Saloon / Sedan into a convertible. In South Africa a pickup ‘P100’ variation of the Mk III Cortina was also built.

Ford Cortina 1300, Qwara, Malta

In late 1973 the Cortina recieved a mild face lift known as the TD, the Cortina (TD) 1300 above seen in Malta is almost indistinguishable from the XL at the top of the post the GT and 2000E which replaced the GXL featured square headlights in place of the twined pairs of head lights of the original Mk III.

Ford Cortina 1300, Qwara, Malta

In the UK 4 cylinder overhead valve Kent and single overhead cam Pinto engines from 1.3 litre / 79 cui to 2 litres / 122 cui were available dependent on the different trim specifications.

Uren Ford Cortina Mk III Savage, Bristol Classic Car Show

Despite the Peak Performance tag Mk III Cortina’s were never intended for competition although Radio Presenter Noel Edmonds gained a fair amount of publicity for driving one in production saloon car races and Ford did organise a celebrity series called the BAE Trident trophy when the Mk III was launched with participants including Formula One champions Graham Hill and John Surtees along with British Rally ace Roger Clark. Those in the UK wanting larger motors had to turn to Jeff Uren who fitted Essex 144 hp 3 litre V6 motors which could be specified with Westlake cylinder heads giving 190 hp or additionally with Tecalemit fuel injection under an impressively ventilated bonnet / hood to give 218 hp and a zero to 60 mph time of 7 road burning seconds.

Uren Ford Cortina Mk III Savage, Bristol Classic Car Show

Those living in Australia could order their Cortina’s with a factory fitted straight six Ford (Australian) Falcon 4.1 litre / 250 cui motor while in South Africa a Essex V6 versions of the Mk III Cortina were built with the top of the range 3 litre / 183 cui carrying a Perana badge. Like the Mk II Cortina sales of the Mk III Cortina reached well over a million by the time production ceased in 1976.

Thanks for joining me on this ‘A New Peak’ edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I shall be looking at Ford Torino a US contemporary of the Mk III Cortina. Don’t forget to come back now !

09 05 12 PS I did not know it at the time of the original post but a Ford Cortina features in a car chase in the 2011 Robert De Niro action movie ‘Killer Elite‘.