Tag Archives: Palm

It’s Primal – Maserati 3500 GT #101.686

When he was 24 Francis G Mandorano had the opportunity to visit the Ferrari and Maserati factories in Italy where he got the Maserati Bug.

Maserati 3500 GT, The Desert Classic, Palm Springs,

A couple of years later he bought his first Maserati red 3500 GT

Maserati 3500 GT, The Desert Classic, Palm Springs,

Francis the owner of today’s featured 1959 Maserati 3500 GT chassis #101.686, describes himself as a one trick pony, his passion is for Maserati 3500 GT’s of which he now has several.

Maserati 3500 GT, The Desert Classic, Palm Springs,

#101.686 is believed to be one of five cars sold in Mexico City.

Maserati 3500 GT, The Desert Classic, Palm Springs,

In 2002 the third owner of 101.686 Sam Bardor sent the six cylinder engine sent to Mr Maserati Ken Doughtery for a $25,000 rebuild.

Maserati 3500 GT, The Desert Classic, Palm Springs,

With 220hp coming from the all aluminium straight six engine Frank reckons he can get up to 26 mpg on the highway from this car which he calls “The Latina”.

Maserati 3500 GT, The Desert Classic, Palm Springs,

The car is still in it’s factory Bianco Neve colour and has a red leather interior with plenty of room for the long legged driver.

Maserati 3500 GT, The Desert Classic, Palm Springs,

Francis bought #101.686 in 2011 and had it fully restored to it’s present condition.

Maserati 3500 GT, The Desert Classic, Palm Springs,

He says of the car “It’s really a work of art” going on to say that his favourite part of the car is the noise concluding “when you have it on stainless steel exhaust and it’s tuned properly it’s primal”, which you can enjoy a little of on this link.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sharing these photographs taken at the Desert Classic Concours d’Elegance, Palm Springs, a couple of years ago.

Thanks for joining me on this “It’s Primal” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at another Peugeot. Don’t forget to come back now !


2012 Ranchero Mirage Desert Classic Concours d’Elegance – Palm Springs

It is a huge pleasure to know that the 2012 Concours d’Elegance season got underway a couple of weeks ago in Palm Springs, not least because thanks to Geoffrey Horton I’ll be able to shore some photo’s of altogether sunnier climbs as Europe struggles to get spring underway.

Benz, Desert Cassic C d'E

Geoffrey sent me a stack of photo’s of which I have picked a few to give a flavour of the Desert Classic Concours d’Elegance today, starting with Barney Oldfield’s 1909 Benz about which at the moment I know very little, but which in the coming weeks I hope to find out more for a future post.

Delahaye, Desert Cassic C d'E

The only thing I know about this 1936 Delahaye 135 Competition is that the exquisite bodywork is by Figoni et Falaschi, likewise I hope to find out more for a future post.

Rancho Mirage Desert Classic C d'E

It looks like the air display team was flying Harvard trainers but I can’t be absolutely sure about even that !

Kurtis, Desert Classic C d'E

The 1946 Kurtis Millar was one of the few new cars built for the 1946 Indy 500, it was raced without success by Leon Duray in ’46, ’47, ’48, I look forward to sharing a few more of it’s secrets in the week leading up to the Indy 500 in May.

Dyna Flow, Desert Classic C d'E

The forth generation Buick Roadmaster is probably best remembered for the introduction of the Dyna Flow automatic transmission that had previously fitted to WW2 ‘Hellcat’ Tanks also manufactured by Buick. Dyna Flow was the earliest automatic transmission on a passenger vehicle to make use of a torque converter for smooth, if inefficient automatic changes of gears.

Kurtis 500M, Desert Classic C d'E

Above is one of around 20 Kurtis Kraft 500M models built between 1954 and 1955 complete with fibre glass body and 135 mph capability.

Gogomobil, Desert Classic C d'E

On the 15th October 1957 film maker Peter H. Backhaus and his wife Marlotte set off on a round the world voyage in a two tone red and white Goggomobil Coupé TS 300 similar to the one above. They reached Japan where a technical defect requiring new parts that were refused entry by customs officials meant that Glass GmbH who manufactured the Gogomobil and sponsoring the adventure ended up having to supply Peter and Marlotte with a new car, a later Isar T700 model which meant once they had completed their circumnavigation Peter and Marlotte had to film the entire journey to Japan a second time so that only the second car appeared in the documentary Backhaus made of the journey.

The entire enterprise took some 5 years, but the film “Traumreise zu Dritt – Im Goggomobil um die Welt” “Dream trip threesome – In Goggomobil around the World” was a huge hit when it was released in Germany in 1964.

ALFA Romeo T33, Desert Classic C d'E

Among the many racers from the late 60’s early 1970’s was this 3 litre / 183 cui V8 ALFA Romeo T33 sports prototype which appears similar to the 1971 spec 33/3 driven by Henri Pescarolo and Andrea de Adamich which out lasted the Porsche 917’s at Brands Hatch to win the BOAC 1000kms. Similar T33/3’s of Vaccarella / Hezemans and de Adamich / van Lennep survived to take a one two on the Targa Florio in 1971 after all the Porsche 908’s crashed. Despite the best efforts of the Andretti family, where he had been staying, to wear him out, Ronnie Peterson with de Adamich also won the Watkins Glen endurance race in a T33/3.

NuArt Can Am, Desert Classic C d'E

Finally anyone with cash burning holes in their pockets might like to consider purchasing a 700 hp NuArt Can Am and taking part in the spec series Unlimited Racing Championship which is scheduled to run with 4 ALMS ‘Heritage’ Series race weekends and eight additional race weekends.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sharing today’s fabulous photographs.

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


Bombproof Escort – Ford Escort 1850GT FEV 1H

Motorsport owe’s much of it’s history to the publishers of Newspapers keen create events which would resonate and engage their readers, indeed the very first recorded motorsport events emanated from the minds of the editors of ‘Le Vélocipède’, who in 1887 attracted a single car entry for a 1.2 mile race across Paris and ‘Le Petit Journal’, who in 1897 69 entries for a 79 mile ‘race’ from Paris to Rouen. By 1908 individual events took on global challenges such as the 12,000 mile 169 day New York west to Paris race which was co sponsored by The New York Times and Le Martin.

Ford Escort 1850 GT, Goodwood Revival

Possibly inspired by another 10,000 mile ten day event the London to Sydney Rally of 1968, Australian advertising sage Wylton Dickson came up with the idea of organizing a 1970 World Cup Rally to link London which had played host to the 1966 World (Soccer) Cup to Mexico which was to play host to the 1970 World (Soccer) Cup at a party in London over a glass of wine while chatting to Irish Rally Champion Paddy Hopkirk.

Ford Escort 1850 GT, Goodwood Revival

Wylton, who had never so much as seen a rally before approached Stuart Turner Ford competitions manager who gave him the thumbs up and the Daily Mirror who provided the sponsorship for the event. British Rally Champion John Sprinzel was allowed to set up an HQ at the Royal Automobile Clubs Belgrave offices from which to run the whole 16,000 mile event which crossed 26 countries on three continents in 25 days.

Ford Escort 1850 GT, Goodwood Revival

Good to his word when the 1970 World Cup Rally was announced Stuart Turner entered 6 Ford Escorts into the event for Poles Sobieslaw Zasada / Marek Wachowsk, Finns Hannu Mikkola / Gunnar Palm, England soccer star Jimmy Greaves with pro co driver Tony Fall, Monte Carlo Rally winners Raunno Aaltonen / Henry Liddon, British rally stars Roger Clark / Alec Poole and Finish rally legend Timo Makinen co driven by Frenchman Gilbert Staepelaere. Other entries in the 96 car field included a VW Beach Buggy a five car factory Moskivitch team from the USSR and two privately entered Rolls Royce’s a Silver Cloud and a Silver Shadow !

Ford Escort 1850 GT, Goodwood Revival

Ford’s official reason for fitting these bars in front of the windscreen was that they were to protect the drivers from Condors in the Andes mountains of South America, but it has been noted that these bars connect the top of the front suspension towers to the top of the A pillars which coincidentally helps transfer suspension shock to the roof diverting them away from some of the weaker welds in the bodywork.

Ford Escort 1850 GT, Goodwood Revival

It is thought enough parts were produced for just 8 of the 1970 World Cup spec 1850 GT Escorts, which after the disappointment of easily leading the 1968 London to Sydney Marathon only for the Lotus Twin Cam engine in Roger Clark’s Cortina Lotus to fail, meaning these cars were built to be bomb proof against all foreseeable eventualities. Instead of using Lotus Twin Cam motors Ford Kent 1600cc / 97 cui pushrod motors were bored out to 1850cc / 112 cui fitted with a single Weber carburetor and dry sump lubrication which aids ground clearance. These motors were simple, durable and above all easily repairable, they were tuned to run on the low octane fuel that was to be found in the high altitude andean mountains on the South American legs of the route where stages of 500 plus miles were not uncommon and average speeds in excess of 90 mph were expected in order not to attract penalty points.

Ford Escort 1850 GT, Goodwood Revival

Hannu Mikkola had a relatively trouble free run dropping just 9 hours in penalty points over the course of the 25 day marathon, 4 of the other Escorts in the top 6 of the 23 finishers. During the course of the event FEV 1H became one of the most famous of Rally Vehicles of all time and is still among the most loved. As a result of the 1970 World Cup Rally win Ford launched a new sporty version of the Escort called the Ford Mexico with the 1600 / 97 cui Kent pushrod motor fitted to an Advanced Vehicle Operations strengthened “Type 49” body shell.

In 1995 there was a 25th Anniversary re run of the 1970 World Cup Rally, miraculously Ford ‘found’ a new unused Escort shell and built a new car to the same specifications as FEV 1H. Hannu Mikkola came out of retirement with Gunnar Palm to win the rerun as well, the new cars registration is H1 FEV.

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