Tag Archives: O’Neil

Sweet and predictable – #43 Maserati 150 S #1643

Thanks to again to Ed Arnaudin for today’s photograph of a Maserati 150 S owned by EF Spicer seen here at Thompson CT 20th July 1958.

7 43 27s

By the time the smallest ever Maserati, the 150S, was built in 1955 the Maserati brothers were long gone from the company bearing their name working on their new OSCA vehicles.

The popularity of the 1500 cc / 91.5 CUI sports car class racing led Maserati to fill the gap in the lower end of their range with this vehicle.

Following Ferrari who in turn was inspired by the fuel efficient advantages of an HWM four cylinder Alta engine, Vittorio Bellanti also ditched the prevalent smooth 6 cylinder engine architecture in favour of a new 4 cylinder alloy block, dry sump lubricated engine featuring hemispherical combustion chambers, double overhead cams and twin plug ignition which produced 140 hp at 7,500 rpm.

Valerio Colotti designed the chassis with independent front and de Dion rear suspension originally covered in a 300S derived body by Celestino Fiandri in 1955.

For 1956 the slightly less derivative body seen here was designed by Medardo Fantuzzi. Stirling Moss drove one of the factory entered 150 S’s in a sports car race to second place on the Nurburgring in 1956 beaten by margin of ‘just’ 3 seconds over 100 miles by Hans Hermann in a Porsche 550 A.

Stirling is alleged to have said of the 150 S that it was ” sweet-handling and predictable but overbodied and gutless.”

EF (Edward Farnham) Spicer drove the #43 in the photo to 9th place in the final all comers race on July 20th, 8 spots behind the winning Porsche 550 of Newton Davis.

My thanks and best wishes to Ed Arnaudin and his son Steve for todays photograph, Jerry Entin for vehicle identification and Terry O’Neil for the results.

Hope you have enjoyed today’s sweet & predictable edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil psycho on tyres’ and that you’ll join me again tomorrow, don’t forget to come back now !


Knobbly Cat – #61 Lister Jaguar

Thanks again to Steve and Ed Arnaudin for today’s photos from Lime Rock in April / May 1959.

The story of the Jaguar powered Lister is that it only came about despite the initial reticence of builder Brian Lister and that it was only after a) the failure of the difficult to maintain Maserati engines which powered Listers in 1956 to improve on the the Lister Bristol of 1955, b) a diamond merchant Norman Hillwood had dropped a 300 hp Jaguar D type engine into his own second hand chassis after Brian had refused to do it for him and c) Jaguar supremo Sir William Lyons had shown his enthusiasm for supplying Lister with the D-type power train in order to back up the private D-types of Ecurie Ecosse to double the odds against the increasingly competitive Aston Martins that Brian Lister eventually saw sense and built 17 series 1 ‘Knobbly’ Jaguar powered Listers and between six and eight more with small block Chevrolet motors from 1957 – 1958.

The #61 Lister Jaguar seen here is one of the Cunningham team cars, Ed Arnaudin’s photo throws up a mystery since neither the Cunningham Website or Terry O’Neils Northeast American Sports car races 1950 – 1959 list the car as being present at Lime Rock for the April 24th meeting that got held over to May 9th after rain stopped play and the cops shut the show down on the original date.

The best fit theory thrown up on The Nostalgia Forum is the possibility that this car had different gearing to the #62 Lister Jaguar that was raced by Briggs Cunningham that day and may have been used for comparison by Briggs Cunningham.

With thanks to all those on The Nostalgia Forum Lister Register thread who contributed including David McKinney , raceanouncer 2003 Vince H, RA Historian Tom and Terry O’Neil.

Hope you have enjoyed today’s Knobby Cat edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ and that you’ll join me for the concluding edition of this Jaguar week featuring a vehicle that out qualified Stirling Moss driving a Maserati 250 F in a historic race. Don’t forget to come back now !


A day at Thompson CT – Austin Healey 100-Six

On the 20th of July 1958 Norris Crosby Chief Engineer at Orangeburg Plastics loaded up the trunk of his Austin Healey 100-Six and headed for the ‘Old’ Thompson Raceway in the North East corner of Connecticut, on the way he picked up Ed Arnaudin who took these wonderful photographs kindly provided by his son Steve for us to enjoy.

The Austin Healey 100 was designed as a private enterprise by Donald Healey to run on the historically disastrous Austin A90 Atlantic running gear including a 2660 cc /162 cui motor with a three speed gearbox fitted with overdrive on 2nd and 3rd gear the 100 name was chosen because the vehicle was capable of over 100 mph.

When Austin MD Leonard Lord saw the Healey Hundred prototype a deal was struck for the bodywork to be manufactured by Jenson and then shipped to Longbridge where assembly was completed alongside the Austin A90 Atlantic.

The #65 seen here is listed twice as being the 4 cylinder ‘100’ model however the horizontal crinkled grill bars and air scoop tell us that this vehicle is actually a BN6 ‘100 – Six’ manufactured between 1956 and 1959, fitted with a 117 hp 2639 cc / 161 cui in line 6 cylinder BMC C Series motor from the Austin Westminster and a four speed gearbox, overdrive if fitted was optional.

The car on the outside row of the grid from the #65 and the #114 are both earlier 4 cylinder ‘100’ models with distinctive vertical radiator grill bars and no air scoops .

Norris blew his exhaust muffler during the race and came in 5th overall 3rd in Class D in Race 5 behind the race winning smaller Class E AC Bristol of E Hamburger.

(Note results corrected 03/04/11)

In this shot Norris leads F Twaits in his rare Fraser Nash 100/163 down the yet to be finished Thompson CT pit road.

Ed Arnaudin describes riding in the car with Norris on the way home on a dark, cold evening as being “loud as hell” thanks to the muffler blown during the race.

A lovely fuss free way to go racing no trailers just get in your race car pick up your buddy on the way, race and go home.

With thanks to Ed and Steve Arnaudin for taking and providing these photographs, additional material from Northeast American Sports Car Races 1950-1959 * by Terry O’Neil.

Hope you have enjoyed today’s edition from the race in 1958, looking forward what tomorrow brings, don’t forget to come back now !

* Please note :- I do not in anyway endorse, or have any commercial interest in the products or distributors highlighted in today’s feature, I am merely passing information on as an enthusiast of all things motoring, I have no experience of handling these products nor have I used these vendors. I recommend anyone interested in these items or distributors do their own thorough investigation into suitability, reliability and particularly prices of both products and vendors before making any purchasing decisions.