Tag Archives: Newman

In Keen Anticipation – Owen Special

From the mid 1950’s to the mid 70’s Freddie Owen and his wife Pam lived in Esher Surrey, where Peter was the proprietor of Wellands Coach Builders.

Owen Special, Peter Newman, Chateau Impney

Alongside his business interests Freddie built a couple of Jaguar powered specials including today’s featured car which is powered by a six cylinder 3.4 litre / 210 cui XK140 motor.

Owen Special, Peter Newman, Chateau Impney

The Owen Special first registered on the road in 1962 is believed to have been built between 1959 and 1960 with a space frame chassis and aluminium body that anticipates the E-Type Jaguar launched in 1961.

Owen Special, Peter Newman, Chateau Impney

After used the car in competition into the 1970’s before he retired to the Isle of White, while the car disappeared to Belgium from whence mechanical aficionado Pete Waterman appears to have bought the car and had it restored by renowned Jaguar specialists Lynx.

Owen Special, Peter Newman, Chateau Impney

The Owen Special is seen in these photographs being driven by current owner Peter Newman, at last years Chateau Impney Hillclimb, who is keen to here from anyone who can shed any further light on the car, please do not hesitate to chime in below if you can oblige.

Thanks for joining me on this “In Keen Anticipation” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at another Dakar Rally challenger. 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 !


King Kevin 4 The Happy Nation !

Without the wonders of the internet I’d probably have no idea who Kevin Harvick was, around the time he was pulled into NASCAR’s top echelon of Cup racing by Richard Childress, RCR, the mainstream press in the UK had barely registered RCR and NASCAR’s star driver Dale Earnhardt’s passing and showed no interest in the guy Richard would turn to in his hour of need.

Thanks to the likes of Jerry Bonkowski over at Yahoo! Sport I managed to keep in touch with what was going on in Cup competition at the turn of the Millennium.

Chevrolet Impala SS, Harvick, Nurburgring,

In 2008 Jay Busbee at the same august internet enterprise ran a competition in which his readers were asked to fantasise about the future of NASCAR to be in with a chance of winning a number of NASCAR goodies.

My entry above imagined a 24 hour Cup race at the Nurburgring, which won me a “Americans For A Gunk Free Nation” cap signed by none other than Happy Kevin Harvick.

Chevrolet Impala SS, Kevin Harvick, Aaron's 499, Talladega,

The following year I got even luckier thanks to a much missed website called rowdy.com and won a trip to see Kevin race in the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega.

The race was best remembered for the wipe out between winner Brad Keselowski and Carl Edwards at the finish line, my man Kevin had a torrid time after his own early wipe out dented every panel on his car and his 2009 season was his worst since his semaphore slump in 2002.

On the plus side Kevin did win the 2009 Bud Shootout and in the post race interview uttered the phrase that I would eventually purloin and tweek for the title of this blog in 2010.

Chevrolet Impala SS

Photo Courtesy Kevin Harvicks Twitter feed.

The following season there were rumours that Kevin would switch to Haas Stewart Racing but these came to nought and Kevin bounced back to place 3rd in the Cup standings 3 times over the next four seasons.

At the end of 2011, to show how serious the matter of winning the Cup was, Kevin shut down his championship winning Kevin Harvick Inc Nationwide and Camping World Series Truck teams in his quest to focus on a Cup winning competitive edge.

Chevrolet Impala SS, Kansas, Kevin Harvick

Photo courtesy Kevin Harvick’s Twitter feed.

However despite finishing third in the final Cup standings last year Kevin decided that the switch to Stewart Haas Racing was due and amazingly after scoring 20 top ten finishes Kevin was crowned Sprint Cup Champion after winning his fifth race of the season at Homestead Miami to beat Ryan Newman by just one point.

The following day Kevin tweeted “All I can (do) is thank you to everyone for the support through all the years!! What a year this has been!!! WE WIN!!!”

Having been a Happy fan with a signed hat since 2008, I would like to congratulate Kevin and his SHR crew on their Championship success, thank him for keeping me entertained through thick and thin and wish him and his delightful wife Delana, who allegedly wears the fire suit, along with their son Keelan a relaxing festive break and best wishes for the 2015 season which kicks of on Valentines day with the Sprint Unlimited at Daytona.

Thanks for joining me on this “King Kevin 4 The Happy Nation !” 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 !


Winning Pace Car ? – Ford Torino GT Convertible

For 1968 Ford launched a new mid size model with a 116″ wheel base called the Torino which was placed over the previous Fairlane’s attracting a predictable price hike in return.

Ford Torino GT Convertible, Marin Concours d'Elegance

To promote the new model Ford did a deal with the organisers of the Indy 500 to provide a fleet of Torino GT Convertible pace cars for the use of event officials which included two 428’s, one 390 and one hundred and fifty six 302 Automatics known as ‘festival cars’.

Ford Torino GT Convertible, Marin Concours d'Elegance

Additionally Ford dealers could order a limited edition ’68 Pace Car spec Torino GT convertible. It is thought 709 of these limited edition vehicles were built with around 90% percent having the lower spec 302 motor fitted.

Ford Torino GT Convertible, Marin Concours d'Elegance

It is possible, with a little room for scepticism in the absence of any number of confirming details, that today’s featured example seen by Geoffrey Horton at last years Marin Concours d’Elegance is the 309 Pace Car used at Indy.

Ford Torino GT Convertible, Marin Concours d'Elegance

The give away evidence that this might be the 390 GT Torino Convertible used at Indy are the bonnet / hood pins which are unlikely to have been fitted to any of the Dealer ordered Limited Edition pace cars.

Ford Torino GT Convertible, Marin Concours d'Elegance

The ’68 Indy 500 was won by Bobby Unser driving a turbocharged 4 cylinder Offenhauser powered Eagle from team owner Dan Gurney in a Ford V8 powered Eagle. The ’68 race was also used as a backdrop for the film ‘Winning’ which introduced Paul Newman to Motorsport and led to his participation as a driver and successful team co owner.

Ford Torino GT Convertible, Marin Concours d'Elegance

‘Winning’ brought some no doubt welcome additional coverage for the GT Torino Pace Cars which also featured in the film. If you have evidence to either confirm or refute the notion that this car is one of the cars supplied to Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1968 please do not hesitate to chime in below.

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


Upsetting The Unsers – Canepa Porsche Pikes Peak Special

Back in 1980 Porsche racer now turned restorer and collector Bruce Canepa had a crack at Pikes Peak Hillclimb with today’s featured Canepa special.

Canepa Porsche,  Niello Serrano Concours d’Elegance

Bruce decided to make use of the latest in off road buggy technology for his attempt and commissioned fabricator Paul Newman to build an open wheel buggy with a 3 litre / 183 cui flat 6 cylinder engine in the rear.

Canepa Porsche,  Niello Serrano Concours d’Elegance

Despite the car running well Bruce found that the normally aspirated motor lost too much power in the thin air of the higher reaches of the 14,000 ft climb to be competitive.

Canepa Porsche,  Niello Serrano Concours d’Elegance

In 1981 Bruce returned to the hill climb with a 450hp twin turbocharged Porsche motor in the back of his Pikes Peak special and set a new record and fastest time in practice despite according to Bruce the best, but unsuccessful, attempts of Pikes Peaks legends Bobby and Al Unser to get the car disqualified.

Canepa Porsche,  Niello Serrano Concours d’Elegance

Bruce’s website describes the race unfolding thus “In the race, Canepa was on pace to win the event and set a new hill record when he rounded a turn to find a spectator standing right in front of him. He spun the car, missed the spectator and stalled the engine. Canepa was so far ahead that even after he restarted he was still able to finish second.”

The 1981 race to the clouds was won by Dan” Bud” Hoffpauir driving street equipped open wheel Wells Coyote. The following year Pro Rally cars became the fastest cars on the hill and they have continued to dominate every year up to and including 2013.

My thanks to Karl Krause for sharing his photographs of the Canepa Porsche, seen at this years Niello Serrano Concours d’Elegance, and to Geoffrey Horton for kindly arranging for Karl to share them.

Thanks for joining me on this “Upsetting The Unsers” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again for a look at a Ford GT40 Mk 1 race car tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Pre Spin Off – Dodge Ram Pace Truck

In late 2008 Dodge launched it’s forth generation (DS/DJ) Ram pickups, like the trend setting second (BR/BE) and third (DR/DH/D1/DC/DM) generation Ram pickups the big rig styling theme was kept and subtly updated.

Dodge Ram, Re/Max 250, Talladega, Superspeedway

As well as serving as pace truck the Dodge Ram above also served as camera truck as the field for the ARCA RE/MAX 250 prepared to leave pit road on the Friday before the Spring 2009 Aarons 499.

Dodge Ram, Aarons 499, Talladega, Superspeedway

Power options ranged from 215 hp 3.7 litre / 226 cui PowerTech V6 to 390 hp 5.7 litre / 345 cui cui Hemi V8 with a 350 hp Cummins Diesel added in 2010. The body options were one 2 door and three 4 door options plus the Dually on the heaviest trucks in the range. 2 or 4 wheel drive could also be specified across the range.

Dodge Ram, Aarons 499, Talladega, Superspeedwayadega, Superspeedway

Midway through 2009 Dodge owners Chrysler filed under Chapter 11 and entered into a deal with FIAT which saw the Dodge brand emerge as an automobile only brand and spun Ram spun off as a Pickup and Commercial Vehicle only brand, making the Aarons 499 Dodge pace truck seen here at Talladega one of the last to be sold under the Dodge Ram brand name.

The Pace truck above is seen in front of the #39 and #88 Chevrolets of Ryan Newman and Dale Earnhardt JR prior to the final restart of the Aarons 499, the finish of which will be best remembered for the incident between Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski which saw Keslowski take his maiden Sprint Cup win and Edwards bounce of the retaining fence so that he ended up crossing the line on foot classified 24th. Newman who was caught in the fracas which ensued crossed in third behind an unscathed Dale Earnhardt Jr.

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