Tag Archives: Monte

Dominating Réunion – Alpine A110 1600S

Jean Rédélé’s rear engined Alpine A110 “Berlinette” launched in 1961 was an evolution of the A108. Distinguishing features include proprietary Renault R8 running gear in place of the Renault Dauphin running gear of the A108 and a larger tail for the fiberglass body to accommodate the larger R8 derived motors.

Alpine Renault, A110, 1600S, Castle Combe C&SCAD

The cars were manufactured at the Dieppe factory, which today operates under the the Renault Sport banner, with further cars being assembled in Mexico under the name Dinalpin and perhaps most unlikely of all from 1967 to 1969 in Bulgaria under the name ‘Bulgaralpine‘.

Alpine Renault, A110, 1600S, Castle Combe C&SCAD

Over the years of production up to 1977 the choice of straight 4 cylinder engine sizes ranged from 95 hp 1.1 liters / 67 cui through to 125 hp 1.6 liters / 97 cui, the latter giving the a top speed of 130 mph and zero to 60 mph in 7 seconds.

Alpine Renault, A110, 1600S, Castle Combe C&SCAD

With these sorts of performance figures the vehicle was a shoe in for a successful competition career in particular on tarmac rallies, Jean Vinatier won the French National Rally title in 1969 in an A110 and both Ove Anderson (1971) and Jean-Claude Andruet (1973) won the Monte Carlo Rally in A110’s the latter victory contributing to Alpine Renault, rebranded after Renault’s 1970 buy out, winning the first World Rally Championship in 1973.

Alpine Renault, A110, 1600S, Castle Combe C&SCAD

The A110 cars also have a successful track racing history in Europe and the United State still winning its class in races as late as 1980.

During the course of finding out about the A110 I have found several inaccuracies one that the A110 was inspired by Colin Chapmans Lotus Elan, this is not true the A110 preceded the announcement of the Elan by 1 year. Also I have seen the A110 mentioned in connection with the Brazilian assembled Willys Interlagos, the Interlagos built from 1962 to 1966 and most successfully raced by Wilson Fittipaldi, brother of twice world champion and Indy 500 winner Emerson, was based on the A110’s predecessor the A108.

Alpine Renault, A110, 1600S, Castle Combe C&SCAD

This particular vehicle seen at Castle Combe Classic and Sport Car Action Day was originally exported to Renault St Denis, Il de La Réunion out in the Indian Ocean between islands of Madagascar and Mauritius, in 1973. It immediately made an impact sweeping Réunion’s two biggest events the ‘Mille Kilometers‘ and ‘Tour de la Réunion‘ from 1973 to 1975. The car was acquired by it’s current owner in 1991.

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


A tale of two chassis frames – Lotus Climax 19 Monte Carlo #952

The Lotus 19 was a two seat version of the Lotus 18 mid engine Formula One car that Stirling Moss drove to an unexpected first marque Grand Prix victory for Lotus at Monaco in 1960.

In a case of history repeating itself, two years earlier in 1958 Moss had driven a Cooper to record that marques first Grand Prix victory and Cooper dubbed their 1958 sports car the Cooper Monaco, Colin Chapman dubbed the 19 the Lotus Monte Carlo in honour of Stirling’s achievement.

Lotus 19, Goodwood Revival

The Lotus 19 chassis #952 was originally purchased along with two others, #950 & #953, by the British Racing Partnership (BRP) team #952 & #953 were both acquired in 1961 and #950 in 1960.

BRP, co founded by Stirling’s Dad and Stirling’s ex manager entered the car under sponsors UDT-Laystall banner. The exact racing history of #952 from 1960 to 1962 is not known to me but by 1962 it was acquired by the Rosebud Racing Team in the USA and was successfully raced in the USA by Marsten Gregory and Innes Ireland.

By the end of 1963 the Rosebud Racing Team had managed to attach a 3 litre Ferrari V12 to #952 in place of the usual Coventry Climax 4 cylinder.

Innes Ireland sustained severe injuries when he crashed the now Ferrari powered #952 during practice at Pacific Raceways, Washington for the Pacific Northest GP.

Rescue workers had to cut Innes, who had a broken leg and hip, out of the wreck while he was still fully conscious on account of his morphine allergy.

Rosebud Racing replaced the chassis on their Ferrari powered racer while retaining the #952 chassis number, see second photo in this link and Innes Ireland bravely stepped in to drive it again.

Many years later, after ownership of #952 along with a Ferrari 250 GTO (!) was transferred to Victoria High School in Texas, #952 eventually ended up back in England with the Higgins brothers who rebuilt #952 in the 1980’s replacing the Ferrari V12 motor with a 2 litre / 122 cui 4 cylinder Coventry Climax.

The second chassis frame incarnation of chassis #952 is seen above driven by the Danish Baron Otto Reedtz-Thott at the Goodwood Revival.

Footnote this car should not be confused with a Lotus 21 Grand Prix car belonging to Alex Morton that carries the chassis number 939/952, apparently after 939 was damaged a replacement Lotus 21 chassis with the number 952 was sent to repair 939 and the frame has carried the 939/952 number ever since.

My unreserved thanks and congratulations to the many contributors on the Case history: Lotus 19 Monte Carlo thread on The Nostalgia Forum which has been attempting since 2004 to piece together the histories of all 17 of the Lotus 19 Monte Carlo’s that left the factory. Particular thanks to Micheal Oliver, David Birchall and David McKinley who kindly answered specific questions.

Thanks for joining me on this Carceaology Edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’, I hope you’ll join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Gatso’s Monte Carlo – Ford Zephyr 6

The largest British Fords from 1950 to 1972 were marketed as the Zephyr and Zodiac models. The first Zephyrs, built between 1951 and 1956, were a longer version of the 4 cylinder Ford Consul fitted with a 70 hp straight six motor.

Ford Zephyr 6, Goodwood Revival

The Zephyr 6 above, seen at the Goodwood Revival, is the reshelled remains of the car that Maurice ‘Maus’ Gatsonides and Peter Worledge drove to victory in the 1953 Monte Carlo Rally.

Many drivers may well have heard of the Gatso speed camera, this was developed by Gatsonides originally so that he could measure and improve his cornering speeds in competition.

When ‘Maus’ drove ‘VHK 194’ to his Monte victory it was a Left Hand Drive car that was reshelled into a Right Hand Drive model after sustaining comprehensive damage in an accident.

Richard Dredge drove VHK 194 a couple of years ago. In his amusing report Richard stated the motor has good torque, but not much top end and that the ergonomics appeared to be an after thought, describing the bench seat as giving ‘all the support of a water bed.’

In 1955 Vic Preston Sr and DP Marwaha drove a similar Ford Zephyr 6 to victory on the East African Safari Rally.

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


Dream Car – Vauxhall Cresta PA

I don’t believe it is any exaggeration to say that no other British mass production vehicle quite captured the spirit of the US Dream Car concepts of the 1950’s quite like the second iteration of the Vauxhall Cresta known as the PA.

1958 Vauxhall Cresta, Race Retro

With unadulterated optimistic styling that mimics both the Packard Caribbean production car and Lincoln Futurama Concept car of 1955 the Cresta PA personifies the Rock’n’Roll era of the 1950’s in much the same way as the 1957 Cadillac Series 62.

1958 Vauxhall Cresta, Goodwood Revival

The Cresta PA could seat six with a three abreast bench seat up front, which thanks to a column shift for its three speed gearbox and dashboard mounted handbrake facilitated easy smooching twixt driver and companion.

1958 Vauxhall Cresta, Goodwood Revival

Both of the cars featured in today’s post were powered by a 2262 cc / 138 cui straight 6 cylinder motor that delivered 70 hp enough for the Cresta to reach 60 mph from rest in 16.8 seconds and a top speed of 89 mph.

1958 Vauxhall Cresta, Race Retro

This two tone blue example appears to be a 1958 model, it was used by John Walker and Frank Dimblebee in the 1960 Monte Carlo Rally.

1958 Vauxhall Cresta, Goodwood Revival

Seats covered in leather and nylon, fitted woven carpets and a heater came fitted as standard for the 1960 model above.

1958 Vauxhall Cresta, Goodwood Revival

Options included radio, fog lights, reversing lights, locking filler cap and external mirrors.

1958 Vauxhall Cresta, Race Retro

The asking price for one of these classics in good condition today is around £10,000 which reflects the fact that few of the 81,841 PA’s built between 1957 and 1962 have survived.

1960 Vauxhall Cresta, Goodwood Revival

Fans of British ska band The Specials may remember a Cresta PA featured in the video for their seminal hit ‘Ghost Town‘, that was a 1962 model fitted with a larger 104 hp 2651 cc / 162 cui straight six.

Hope you have enjoyed this British Dream Car edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’ and that you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


The Real McCoy – Mini Cooper S

Mini Cooper S, Prodrive

The 1964 Monte Carlo Rally boasted a superb entry including factory backed vehicles from Citroen, Ford, Mercedes, Saab, Volvo, Volkswagen and a fleet of 6 works Mini Coopers.

Starting from Athens, Frankfurt, Glasgow, Lisbon, Minsk, Monte Carlo, Oslo, Paris and Warsaw, the field converged on Rheims in France and from there on to 5 competitive stages and a couple of laps of the Monaco Grand Prix track.

The Ford Falcon Sprint of Bo Ljungfeldt won every stage of the rally including the laps around Monaco but in those days the overall results were determined by a handicapping system which translated stage times and engine size into points which meant Ljungfelds 305 hp 4.7 litre 289 cui Falcon did not have a sufficient time margin over the 70hp 1071cc / 65 cui Mini Cooper S seen here crewed by Paddy Hopkirk and Henry Liddon which was declared the winner of the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally.

33 EJB is thought to have been built in 1963 and crewed by Hopkirk and Liddon to 3rd overall and 3rd in class in the 1963 Tour de France prior to winning the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally.

The car belongs to the Heritage Motor Centre at Gaydon and is seen here at the Prodrive workshops because the engine was not running properly.

Like the Revenge Mini Replica I blogged about some months ago 33 EJB also has it’s Replica’s like this one built in the USA.

Finally I’d like to correct an oft repeated error reference the registrations of the works Mini’s on the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally seen in the 5th paragraph of this link.

What ever BMW or anyone else may say the registrations of the works Minis on the Monte Carlo Rally in 1964 were as follows :-

33 EJB #37, Hopkirk/Liddon, Cooper S, 1st overall/1st in class.
570 FMO #182 Makinen/Vanson, Cooper S 4th overall/2nd in class
569 FMO #105 Aaltonen/Ambrose, Cooper S 7th overall/3rd in class
477 BBL #39 Baxter/McMillan, Cooper 43rd overall/2nd in class.
18 CRX #187 Thompson/Heys, Cooper S crashed
277 EBL#189 Mayman/Domleo, Cooper S crashed

My thanks to Alan, Tim, Stephen, Darren, Fred at The Nostalgia Forum who helped me out with the registration numbers.

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


Asymmetrical Anniversary – Renault 4 GTL

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With the demise of the Renault 4CV in 1961, Renault needed a new utility vehicle to compete with the ubiquitous if agricultural Citroen 2CV which had been in production since 1948.

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Renault Chairman Pierre Dreyfus came up with an urban vehicle that was superior to the 2CV in almost every aspect in the form of the front wheel drive Renault 4.

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Built from 1961 to 1994 the Renault 4 was powered by a variety of motors from 747 cc 45.6 cui to 1300 cc 78.7 cui all water cooled in line 4 cylinder engines. In the first year there was a baby R4 with a 603 cc 36.7 cui engine marketed in France only as the R3.

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Over 8,300,000 Renault 4’s were built, the 1st million had been built by 1966 in just over four years. Renault 4 was built / assembled at Billancourt, France in Australia, Spain, Belgium, Colombia, Slovenia, Portugal, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Ireland, Morocco, Algeria and from 1965 to 1964 41, 809 R4’s were built under licence by Alfa Romeo in Italy.

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Few people outside Renault and the motor industry realise that the Renault 4 has an asymmetrical wheel base with the left hand rear wheel being mounted just ahead of the right rear because each wheel is sprung by its own torsion bar mounted across the width of the chassis.

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Like the 2CV the Renault 4 has a box chassis unlike the 2CV the R4’s chassis stiffness is dependant on all the body panels being attached.

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A 20hp Renault 4 was entered in the 1962 Monre Carlo Rally in which it was classified last, an all wheel drive Sinpar version came 3rd in the 1980 Paris Dakar Rally and to celebrate it’s 50th Birthday a team of three Renault 4’s were entered in the 2011 Monte Carlo Rally.

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Renault 4’s are great fun to drive with dash mounted umbrella gear sticks and hand brake levers,
happy Golden Anniversary Renault 4 !

My thanks to Steve Arnaudin for reminding me of this anniversary.

Hope you have enjoyed today’s asymmetrical edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ and that you’ll join me again tomorrow for another 50th Anniversary. Don’t forget to come back now !


Don’t get mad get even – Replica Revenge Mini.

Today’s featured vehicle is a replica of ‘The Revenge Mini’ which won the 1967 Monte Carlo Rally in the hands of Rauno Aaltonen and Henry Liddon. Unusually the car is probably most famous because of the events that took place on the 1966 Monte Carlo Rally.

There has always been a bit of an edgy competition between France and Britain in just about every field of endeavour, I guess no one wants to be first loser against their immediate neighbour. Evidence of this can be seen in the Monte Carlo Rally of 1966. The Mini Cooper S had been the winning car on the Monte Carlo Rally in 1964 in the hands of Paddy Hopkirk and Henry Liddon and again in 1965 with Timo Mäkinen and Paul Easter at the wheel. Timo and Paul crossed the line in first place in 1966 with Roger Clark in a Lotus Cortina second followed by Aaltonen and Hopkirk both driving Mini’s in third and forth.

However much to the surprise of everybody the top four and two other British cars were disqualified for cheating. Their crime was running non standard (performance enhancing ?) single filament headlight bulbs. It transpires that when teams had entered they had done so on the understanding that these bulbs would be legal as they had been over the previous two years but then the rules were changed after entries had closed making these bulbs illegal because the models of the disqualified cars did not have single filament bulbs fitted as standard.

Curiously the car declared as the winner Pauli Toivonens Citroen was allowed to and did run with these bulbs because some ID19’s were fitted with the single filament bulbs on the normal production lines. Naturally the result upset everyone Prince Rainer snubbed his own prize giving ceremony , Pauli Toivonen, declared the winner, swore he would never drive a Citroen again, and kept his word, and the British Motor Corporation protested the result which 10 months later was declared final and stood.

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Of course better than getting mad is to get even so in 1967 BMC came back and Rauno Aaltonen with Henry Liddon co driving the #177 took the Mini’s third and final Monte Carlo Victory. Observant fans of Michael Caine and the original 1969 film ‘The Italian Job‘ will remember Crocker making reference to the ’66 Monte disqualification in the workshop where the Minis are being prepared and some one is checking the head lights Crocker says ‘I hope their dual filament bulbs, we wouldn’t want to be caught doing anything illegal now, would we ?’

Wishing everyone a fabulous weekend. ‘Don’t forget to come back now. Hear ?’