Tag Archives: MK2

Moorland’s Successor – Gemini Mk 2

As we saw a couple of weeks ago after the withdrawal of their backers the Moorland Formula Junior project, designed by Len Terry and built by Leslie Redmond, was taken on by Graham Warner of The Checkered Flag.

Len Terry moved on to designing the Terrier Formula Junior car, which would lead him into conflict with one of his other employers Colin Chapman at Lotus.

Gemini Mk II, Graham Barron, Castle Combe,

Leslie Redmond remained as Chief Engineer for Graham Warner who financed the building of a production version of the Moorland, naming it Gemini Mk2 after Gemini House on Edgware Road, where one of his businesses was based.

Thirty Gemini Mk 2’s are believed to have been built all but four being BMC powered with remainder fitted with Ford engines.

Gemini Mk II, Graham Barron, Castle Combe,

Graham Warner is shown as having been entered in a Ford powered Gemini Mk2 at Brands Hatch in October 1959, but he did not attend.

At the John Davy Trophy on the 26th of December, also at Brands Hatch, Graham was entered in a BMC powered Gemini Mk2 but again did not appear.

Gemini Mk II, Graham Barron, Castle Combe,

Jim Clark did however drive a works Ford powered entry in the John Davy Trophy to an 8th place on the models debut with the private Ford powered entry driven by Geoff Williamson failing to finish the same race after a spin.

Graham finally got to the grid in a BMC powered Gemini Mk II in March 1960 at Snetterton where he finished 3rd behind to DKW 2 stroke powered Elva 100’s and the following month Graham recorded his marques first win at Brands Hatch in a Ford powered Gemini Mk 2 this time leading two DKW powered Elva’s home.

Graham Barron is seen at the wheel of today’s featured Gemini Mk II at Castle Combe.

My thanks to Richard Bishop – Miller for filling in some of the gaps in my Moorland / Gemini knowledge with some comments he left on facebook.

Thanks for joining me on this “Moorland’s Successor” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for a look at the last in the present series of Healey’s. Don’t forget to come back now !


Je N’est Pas Brian Culcheth – Triumph 2500 PI Mk2

A couple of weeks ago I went to a highly entertaining talk given by Rally Champion Brian Culcheth who with Johnstone Syer finished second in the 1970 Daily Mirror World Cup Rally as celebrated in today’s featured French Triumph ad.

As the talk progressed it soon become apparent that the Quadrant ad agency had somehow managed to select the wrong car for the bottom photo because Brian Culcheth and Johnstone Syer started the 1970 World Cup Rally in a white #88 Triumph 2500 PI Mk2.

Triumph 2500 PI Mk2, Lloyd Hirst, Englefield, Baker, 1970 Daily Mirror World Cup Rally,

The #39 depicted was infact a ‘private’ entry crewed by Adrian Lloyd-Hirst, Brian Englefield and Keith Baker. With the perspective of nearly 50 years there are numerous accounts about this entry which I shall attempt to sumarise below.

Ordnance Survey employee Peter Dyer and fellow employee Keith Baker appear to have got the ball rolling when Peter mentioned the rally to Keith and his friend Adrian Lloyd- Hirst over a couple of beers at a motor club meeting somewhere north of Southampton.

According to Brian Engelfield Adrian managed to persuade a Graham Robinson to buy the left hand drive car which is believed to have come through John McCartney at the Triumph Dealership in Berkley Square London, thought the ‘KV’ part of the registration belies the fact that this car was originally registered in Triumph’s home town of Coventry.

While there has never been any suggestion UKV701H was prepared by the works Triumph team at Abingdon or at the Special Tuning department next door the #39 appears to have been fitted with numerous parts supplied by the works team which include the sump guard, spot light arrangement, 15″ Minilites, air intake scoop on bonnet, roof ventilator, bag tanks (see the fuel filler in the r/h rear wing which suggests that like the Austin Maxi I looked at last week this car was given a good deal of works assistance.

The #39 was officially entered by Adrian Lloyd-Hirst who is described variously as a scrap dealer, a publican and there is also a possibility that he was a Royal Naval Commander and Author.

Having survived the European leg of the rally the #39 appears to have retired near Montevideo in Uruguay with suspension problems. Brian Englefield had hoped to acquire the car from Graham Robinson but it was sold by Grahams estate after he died unexpectedly to Peter Barker in Jersey who had the car given the Jersey licence plate J 6749.

Brian drove the car twice more with Peter Barker in the 1972 Scottish Rally and with Ian McKean on the 1972 TAP Rally in Portugal.

According to Brian Engelfield the car ended up rusting away in Cornwall.

My thanks to Peter Dyer, Brian Engelfield and Jason Chinn for their comments about UKW701H at The Nostalgia Forum.

Thanks for joining me on this “Je N’est Pas Brian Culcheth” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Buckler Framed – Smith Special Mk2

Over the coming Saturday’s I’ll be looking a few vehicles built by Buckler of Reading including today’s Smith Special Mk2 500 Formula 3 car for which Buckler built the space frame in 1950.

‘500’ Formula 3 was a low cost formula devised by a group of enthusiasts working for the Bristol Aeroplane Company during the 1939-45 war. After the cessation of hostilities the group organised an event at the wartime Silverstone Aerodrome in 1946 which had to decamp to the nearby grounds of Lord Hesketh where a hill climb was run for open wheelers with 500 cc / 30.5 cui motorcycle motors.

Ken Smith built his first Smith Special in 1948 to run in the class and after this was damaged at Brands Hatch in October 1950 Ken ordered a new one off frame from Buckler in Reading to build the Smith Special Mk2.

Smith Special Mk2, de la Roche, Oulton Park

The 9′ 10″ car with the chain drive Norton transmission was powered by a mid mounted Norton twin cam shaft motor fed by two two fuel tanks one a 1 1/2 gallon gravity tank over the motor and another 7 1/4 gallon saddle tank mounted over the drivers legs from which fuel was directed to the gravity tank by a fuel pump.

The suspension featured upper transverse leaf springs and lower wishbones, the road wheels, front brakes, steering box, steering column and track rods were sourced from a FIAT while the brake master cylinder and rear brakes were sourced from a Morris.

Smith Special Mk2, de la Roche, Oulton Park

Ken Smith drove the car from 1951 to 1954 during which time if it finished it usually finished in the top six, more often than not in the top 3 which included several wins of which the 1953 Autosport Non production Car Trophy was it’s last in Ken’s hands.

These photo’s show the car being driven by present owner Richard de La Roche at the Oulton Park Gold Cup meeting last year, more detailed information on the Smith Special can be found on this link. I hope to be returning with a fuller history of ‘500’ Formula 3 towards the end of the year when the ‘500’ Formula 3 class cars will returning to Castle Combe for the first time since 1955 to compete for the “Bristol Aeroplane Company Motor Sports Club Challenge Trophy”, owned by the Bristol Pegasus Motor Club, on Sunday the 5th of October.

Thanks for joining me on this “Buckler Framed” 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 One car built by one of New Zealands most accomplished race car drivers. Don’t forget to come back now !


Britains Other Offroader – Austin Gipsy Mk2

While Britain’s Land Rover is a brand with a global reputation it is often forgotten that, ten years after the introduction of the Land Rover Series 1, Austin launched a vehicle that had similar capabilities with the intention of grabbing a share of the civilian off road market in 1958.

Austin Gipsey Mk2, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

The Gipsey was a slightly larger steel bodied all wheel drive that although slightly heavier than the aluminium bodied Land Rover had an Austin A70 Hereford based petrol motor engine which produced 62hp and a 55hp diesel variation, both more powerful than the Land Rover equivalents which meant the Gipsey had both better performance and better economy that the Land Rover Series 2 launched in 1958.

Austin Gipsey Mk2, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

Mk 1 Gipsies were available with 90 inch wheel bases only as against 88 inches for the Land Rover. In 1960 when production moved from Longbridge to Aldderley Park in Birmingham Mk2 versions were also built with 110 inch wheel base options to better Land Rovers 109 inch wheel base.

Austin Gipsey Mk2, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

The Austin Gipsey never did get the foothold in the worlds all wheel drive markets that were anticipated, the better performance was let down by the steel bodywork which both rusted more readily and was more difficult to replace than the aluminium panels fitted to Land Rovers. In 1968 British Motor Corporation owners of Austin merged with Leyland owners of Rover/Land Rover but Austin Gipsey production had already ceased the year before with just 21,208 vehicles of three series produced.

The vehicle seen here at an Avenue Drivers Club meeting in Bristol last year is a 1962 Long Wheel Base petrol powered Series 2 Gipsey.

Thanks for join me on this “Britain’s Other Offroader” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now.


New Cortina is more Cortina – Ford Cortina Mk2

The Roy Haynes designed second incarnation of the Ford Cortina MK2 was launched in 1966 with a range of 4 cylinder ‘Kent’ motors ranging 1.2 litres / 73 cui to 1.5 litres 91 cui.

Ford Cortina MK2, Goodwood Revival

Above is a 1966 1500GT with a Crayford Cabriolet Conversion seen last year at the Goodwood Revival.

Ford Cortina MK2, Goodwood Revival

The 1300 cc / 79 cui Cortina above was acquired as a used model by London based Australian Dental Surgeon ‘Doc’ Merfield who raced under the Team Boomerang banner. The ‘Doc’ fitted one of the five prototype Coventry Climax V8 ‘Godiva’ FPE Formula One motors and raced it from 1969 and 1973. In 1979 the car was discovered in East London without the engine and has been restored with a Donovan V8.

Cortina Lotus, Goodwood Revival

In 1967 Ford marketed a performance version of the Mk2 Cortina known as the Cortina Lotus, the reversal of the Mk1’s Lotus Cortina branding signifying that these cars were wholly manufactured by Ford where as manufacture of Mk1 Lotus Cortina was completed on the Lotus premises. The 108 mph Cortina Lotus like the one used the same Lotus developed motor as the Mk1 and the Lotus Elan. Later Cortina Lotus models were rebranded as Cortina Twin Cams. The Cortina Lotus was widely used in racing and rally competition until it was replaced by the smaller Ford Escort competition models in in 1968.

Blown Hell, Ford Cortina 1600 GT, Shakespeare County Raceway

For those not interested in competing with their Cortina’s the 1600 GT powered by a ‘Kent’ motor was the performance Cortina of choice, Blown Hell above started life as a 1600 GT but has since been fitted with a supercharged 3.5 litre / 215 cui Rover V8 for drag racing.

Ford Cortina Super, Shakespeare County Raceway

The Cortina Estate / Station Wagon above was highly rated for it’s then unparalleled load space the car seen above at Shakespeare County Raceway started life as a Cortina ‘Super’ but has since also been fitted with a 3.5 litre / 215 cui Rover V8.

Ford Cortina 1600E

The most refined of the New Cortina models was 1600E launched in October 1967, this featured a 1600 GT Kent motor, Rostyle wheels, twin fog lights, bucket seats, sports steering wheel and instrumentation, along with luxury walnut woodgrain trim. I remember when my neighbor’s Dad showed up with a 1600E in 1968 every kid on the block including me could not wait to be taken for a ride in it !

Thanks for joining me on this New Cortina edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’ I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !

PS Don’t forget …

Automobiliart GALPOT Seasonal Quiz

Automobiliart, Paul Chenard

December 26th – January 2nd

Win a set of Paul Chenard Greetings Cards

Sports-GT cars set, Paul Chenard

Set 1 Sports & GT Cars

Phil Hill, Sharknose Ferrari Set, Paul Chenard

Set 2 Phil Hill World Drivers Championship 50th Anniversary Edition

1934 GP Season Card set, Paul Chenard

Set 3 1934 Season

1950s Grand Prix Engines

Set 4 Grand Prix Engines of the 1950’s


Mike Hawtorns racecars Card set, Paul Chenard

Set 5 Mike Hawthorn’s Race Cars

The Automobiliart GALPOT Seasonal Quiz will comprise 8 categories.

Overall winner chooses one set of Paul Chenard Greetings Cards from the five sets shown above.

The cards measure 15.24cm x 11.43cm, come in packs of 12 with 3 copies of 4 designs in each set, plus A6 envelopes.

Which set will you choose ?

The free to enter Automobiliart GALPOT Seasonal Quiz will run from December 26th – January 2nd Entries close January 8th 2012, Winner announced January 16th 2012.

Full details on December 26th at GALPOT.


3 Graces – Ford Zephyr MK2

In 1954 Colin Neale lead a team that styled the Ford Consul, Zephyr and Zodiac Mk2 that all shared the same body, by the end of the year prototype cars were being tested across Europe and in 1955 further prototypes were being tested against the back drop of the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya.

Ford Zephyr Farnham Mk2

In February 1956 the ‘3 Graces’, as the models became unofficially known, were launched on the market the Consul with a 4 cylinder 1703 cc / 104 cui motor and the Zephyr and Zodiac with 6 cylinder 2553 cc / 156 cui motors.

Versions of the ‘3 Graces’ can be seen above, 410VRE is a 1958 Zephyr Farnham, a model which was selected by five police forces to became Britain’s first Motorway Patrol Cars in 1959. The Convertible 527FGY is a ’62 Consul, less than 30 ‘3 Grace’ Convertibles are thought to exist because the soft top conversion took so much strength out of the unitary chassis. 707JDV following the Consul is a 1961 top of the range Zodiac Farnham estate / station wagon.

Ford Zephyr Mk2, Mallory Park

The 1959 Zephyr Mk2 is seen above at Mallory Park being prepared by Ian Kellet Racing for Barrie ‘Whizzo’ Williams, seen standing to the right of the photo above, to drive in last year Goodwood Revival meeting.

Ford Zephyr Mk2, Mallory Park

Between 1956 and 1962 294,506 3 Grace models were built alongside 6,911 Convertibles. Some of all three variants were built in Fords Geelong factory south of Melbourne.

Thanks for joining me on this 3 Graces edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’ I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


‘Making Time’ – Jaguar 3.8 MK 2

The MK 2 Jaguar introduced in 1959 was available with a choice of 3 six cylinder XK6 motors this 1962 model is fitted with the top of the range 220 hp 3.8 litre / 231 cui engine that was slightly detuned from that found in E-Type Jaguars.

Jaguar, 3.8, Mk 2, Prescott VSCC

Sharing the same shell as the contemporary Daimler 2.5 V8 and later budget Jaguar 240, 340 and Daimler V8 250 it is thought around 110,000 vehicles of this type were built between 1959 and 1969 including all the variations on this shell.

MK 2 Jaguars with their rest to 60 mph 8.5 secs performance and top speed of 125 mph were used as Motorway cruisers by the police and have gained what is generally considered an unfair reputation as the criminal car of choice thanks no doubt to films like the hard core, for it’s time, ‘Get Carter‘ (see 55 secs) clip contains violence and strong language.

TV detective Inspector Morse drives a 120 hp 2.4 litre MK 2 Jaguar, which actor John Thaw described as an ‘arse’ to drive, though in the original novels, by Colin Dexter, Morse is described as driving a Lancia.

My favourite Jaguar MK2 media appearance is in ‘Withnail and I‘ warning this clip contains strong language.

Hope you have enjoyed today’s MK2 edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil psycho on tyres’ and that you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !