Tag Archives: Osella

Steel Wide Body – FIAT 500L Osella Alfa Romeo Caccaviello

Today featured FIAT 500L appears to be a FIAT in name only.

FIAT 500L Osella Alfa Romeo Caccaviello, BIAMF, Bristol

The car is believed to have been built on a chassis that has it’s origins in the Abarth later Osella 2000SP sports racing car, with double wishbone suspension and disc brakes front and rear.

FIAT 500L Osella Alfa Romeo Caccaviello, BIAMF, Bristol

The extra wide body is believed to be all steel and to have been built by the Italian Carlo Caccaviello coachworks.

FIAT 500L Osella Alfa Romeo Caccaviello, BIAMF, Bristol

Sitting in the back is a fuel injected 1.5 litre / 91.5 cui Alfa Romeo boxer engine of the type originally found in the front of the Alfa Romeo Sud, 33 and more or less forgotten Nissan Arna.

FIAT 500L Osella Alfa Romeo Caccaviello, BIAMF, Bristol

The 5 speed transmission is also sourced from the Alfa Romeo parts bin.

This 1974 car seen in these photograph’s several years ago at the Bristol Italian Auto Moto Festival was first registered in the UK on the 28th July 2000.

Thanks for joining me on this “Steel Wide Body” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I will be looking at a competition Healey, don’t forget to come back now !


Nelson Rowes to Double – HSCC Thruxton Revival Easter Sunday

Sunday finally brought months of waiting to an end for this race fan as I headed to Thruxton after teaching my Mum how to use her cruise control very early on Sunday morning.

Thruxton Circuit, Hampshire, UK

Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire like many British race tracks began life as a military air base during the 1939 – 45 war, it opened in 1940 and served as a base for the RAF and USAF troop carrying aircraft and gliders notably used for the D-Day landings on June 6th 1944 and many subsequent operations requiring large numbers of air borne troops. The first race meetings were held on a circuit using the perimeter roads in the 1950’s but the track was considered too bumpy and it was not until the British Automobile Racing Club, BARC, needed a new home following the closure of the Goodwood circuit in 1966 the Thruxton was reactivated more or less in the form we know it today.

Daimler V8-250, Thruxton Easter Revival

Last time I was at Thruxton well known Grand Prix pundit and 13 time Grand Prix winner David Coultard was still driving in Formula Ford in 1989, my first visit to Thruxton a couple of years earlier was notable for a win by my school pal Sven driving his Alfa Romeo Alfasud for whom I was acting as gofer. Consequently I got to drive his car round the track at snails pace following Sven as he stood in the back of the victory parade lap car. The entrance to the circuit on Sunday was flanked by a variety of Mini’s, Triumphs and Jaguars, in amongst the Jaguar Enthusiasts Club vehicles was this 1969 Daimler V8 250.

HSCC Classic Racing Cars, Thruxton Easter Revival

I got to the track just as the last practice was about to begin above the HSCC Classic Racing Cars, comprising Formula 2,3,B and Ford open wheelers dating from 1963 to 1970 line up in the holding area prior to the start of their practice session.

Austin A105, Thruxton Easter Revival

The paddock was full of delights like this 1958 six cylinder Austin A105 of the type that Jack Sears used to win the very first British Saloon Car Championship in 1958. Thruxton has a great mix of corners from tight 90 degrees to long sweepers meaning this A105 driven by Andrew Davenall found it’s self in a race long scrap with the much better handling Mini Cooper of David Dunnell which went in favour of the former towards the back of the HSCC Historic Touring Car field.

Kvanti Mk I, Thruxton Easter Revival

Making a welcome appearance from Finland in the Historic Formula Ford race was this 1971 Kvanti Mk I driven by Pertti Kilveri.

Ford Boss 302 Mustang, Thruxton Easter Revival

Another car that was to find it’s self in the midst of a mid field scrap was this 1969 Boss Mustang driven by Martin Edridge which managed to edge out the 1969 Camaro driven by Nick Savage both of whom were miles behind the better handling Lotus Elan’s that took the top three spots in the HSCC Historic Road Sports Championship.

Osella BMW PA4, Thruxton Easter Revival

There were two races for racing cars powered by 2 litre 92 cui motors at Thruxton on Sunday the Martini Trophy Race featured 2 litre Group 6 cars like the BMW powered 1976 Osella PA4 driven by Italian Cosimo Turizio unfortunately Cosimo retired shortly before the end of the race handing Ray Mallock driving a 1976 Mallock Mk18 in the invitational class a second place finish.

Nissan Primera GT, Thruxton Easter Revival

The Super Touring Car Race featured Derek Palmer’s 1999 Nissan Primera GT, which was originally built and prepared by Ray Mallock Limited (RML) for Laurent Aiello who became the first Frenchman to win the British Touring Car Championship.

Brabham BT30, Thruxton Easter Revival

Ted Walker was in the pits time keeping for Lincoln Small who was driving the Brabham BT30 in the featured Jochen Rindt Trophy race. Lincoln’s Brabham is the same one that Derek Bell drove for Tom Wheatcroft to a second place finish in the 1970 European Formula 2 Championship.

Jochen Rindt Trophy Race, Thruxton Easter Revival

The Jochen Rindt Trophy race on Sunday was won by Martin O’Connell driving a 1977 Chevron B40 that looks as though it might be the same won as Alain Prost drove for Fred Opert prior to becoming a four time World Champion. Martin is seen above leading Andrew Smith’s March 742 car at Campbell Corner on the opening lap. Andrew finished second but only after loosing a couple of places in the opening laps and regaining them.

Super Touring Car Race, Thruxton Easter Revival

There was not a huge entry for the Super Touring Car Race on Sunday, partly because some of the entries were lost after the race for these cars held the day before. However Derek Palmer in the Nissan was always ready to take any advantage of Stewart Whyte’s 1996 Honda Accord although he did not have the speed to challenge Stewart for the top spot on the podium.

Chevron B36, Thruxton Easter Revival

Martin O’Connel came close to scoring a second comfortable win on Sunday with his Chevron B36 above in the Martini Trophy Race however he suffered a puncture which handed the lead to the similar car of Nick Flemimg.

HSCC Historic Road Sports Race, Thruxton Easter Revival

The HSCC Historic Road Sports Race was as mentioned earlier a Lotus Elan benefit, but not before Andrew Sheppard, driving a nimble 1962 Lotus Seven S2, had found a way past the #9 1963 Elan of eventual winner Roger Waite. Andrew unfortunately was soon to retire out on the circuit.

HSCC Historic Formula Ford Race, Thruxton Easter Revival

The full grid of Formula Ford cars was thinned out after a contretemps on the opening lap after the first attempted start. Bristol Veterinarian Nelson Rowe, driving the #87 1971 Crosslé 20F, made a great start from the first attempt but was beaten by Benn Simms driving the #2 1968 Jmr 7 Jomo on the second start as seen above. Nelson quickly found away past Benn and drove to his first victory of the day having only to worry if he had enough petrol to make it to the finish after the additional start and pace lap. Former Grand Prix driver Tiff Needell seen above in 7th place second from right was thrilled to find away to a third place finish in his 1971 Lotus 69 and was heard talking about appearance money before committing to making any further appearances in the series.

HSCC Historic Touring Car  Race, Thruxton Easter Revival

The HSCC Historic Touring Car Race also had to be stopped after Neil Brown went bouncing into what looked like at least 3 barrel rolls at nobel. Amazingly Neil released himself and appeared completely unharmed from the incident. Richard Dutton made a second clean start and headed for a comfortable win in his read and gold 1965 Mustang which can be seen leading some back markers above but it was Mike Gardiner driving a 1964 Ford Falcon who took the restart from the back of the grid who provided most of the entertainment. Mike is seen above relieving the ’65 Mustang driven by Warren Biggs of second place going into Campbell.

Historic Formula Ford 2000  Race, Thruxton Easter Revival

Nelson Rowe driving the #1 1979 Reynard SF79 was in command of the Pinto powered Historic Formula Ford 2000 race through out all though teenager Callum Grant did his best to earn a beer driving a 1978 Delta T78 to a commendable second place finish.

Lotus 59, Thruxton Easter Revival

The final race of the day for HSCC Classic Racing Cars was a Ian Jones benefit, he was never headed from poll driving the #1 1969 Lotus 59 seen above in Formula B spec. Again despite the absence of a memorable duel for the lead there were some great scraps going on behind Ian. All in all I got my 12 quids worth on a day where the temperatures were marginally above freezing and a good supply of affordable track side snacks and hot drinks kept my sense of humour from running for the cover of the nearest duvet or three.

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


Silver Jubilee – Middle Barton Garage

The self styled “Italian Shrine” Middle Barton Garage celebrated its Silver Jubilee last weekend and I joined fellow members of the Bristol Pegasus Motor Club at Delamare services on the M4 at 8:30 am last Saturday to join in the fun.

Middle Barton Garage

Arthur in his 2006 Mustang GT led a couple of MX5’s a Westfield and yours truly in his humble Golf Mk IV Estate along some beautiful country roads as we took an indirect route with some challenging curves towards the newly relocated Middle Barton Garage which now lies just outside Somerton in Oxfordshire.

Bentley, Middle Barton Garage

We arrived early to find an eclectic assortment of vehicles accumulating including this 1924 Bentley fitted with a normally aspirated 4398 cc / 268 cui six cylinder motor. If I ever get to drive a vintage car of any sort this would be one I’d choose, it looked all set to go like a steam train with little in the way of refinement or creature comfort.

FIAT 124, barchetta, 128 3P, 500, 500 Abarth, Middle Barton Garage

Among the Middle Barton Garage friends and customer cars to turn up was this FIAT 124 Spider, one of at least two I saw on the day, a Barchetta, 128 3P and 500. Being polished in the background is a turbocharged racing Abarth 500.

Osella Abarth PA2, Middle Barton Garage

The Abarth Osella PA2 was built for the 1974 European 2 litre / 122 cui sports car championship, there does not seem to be much agreement on exactly how many PA2’s were built a chassis #013 was offered by Bonhams 5 years ago. The Osella PA2s running with four cylinder engines from Abarth, BMW or Ford were outclassed by the works V6 powered Alpine Renaults in 1974 the final year of the championship. This car chassis #011 is painted in the colours used by Georgian Prince in Spanish exile Jorge de Baragation who drove chassis #001 to a victory at Jarama in 1974.

Tornado FIAT 600D GT, Middle Barton Garage

Alongside the production of their Talisman sports cars Tornado Cars of Rickmansworth, not to be confused with Tornado Sports Cars of Kidderminster, offered a FIAT 600 D conversion to a more powerful spec. David Render bought the one of seen here and his friend Colin Chapman suggested and organised fitting an even more powerful Lotus Twin Cam motor to this car, with which David won more than 50 trophies in sprint and hill climb events.

GMC 100, Middle Barton Garage

The 1950 GMC 100 Pickup above is being finished off by one of Middle Barton Garages neighbours.

Ferrari, FIAT, Maserati, Lancia, Middle Barton Garage

As I left the Silver Jubilee celebration the Ferrari California Convertible and Maserati Bora 4th from right pulled up to join in the fun.

My thanks to Tony Castle-Miller of Middle Barton Garage and Nick of the Bristol Pegasus Motor Club for organising the event.

Thanks for joining me on this “Silver Jubilee” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be taking a close look at a car driven by Queen Elizabeth II during her coronation year. Don’t forget to come back now !