Tag Archives: Paramount

Aluminium Over Ash – Paramount Roadster

WA Hudson and S Underwood founded Paramount Cars in Derbyshire to produce sports cars in 1950.

Paramount Sports, Summer Classics, Easter Compton

They intended to use Alvis running gear building an Alvis based prototype in 1948.

Paramount Sports, Summer Classics, Easter Compton

The cost of the Alvis parts proved prohibitive to Paramount switched to using Ford running gear and building vehicles with aluminium over ash bodies in much the same way as Morgan still do today.

Paramount Sports, Summer Classics, Easter Compton

In 1953 when today’s featured car was built, Paramount were acquired by Camden Motors and moved to Leighton Buzzard.

Paramount Sports, Summer Classics, Easter Compton

With the new ownership Ford Consul motors were offered with a new roadster as seen here, the twin carburetor Aquaplane cylinder head came from Harmer Copeman who started tuning Ford motors for his hydraplanes in a back garden shed before diversifying into becoming a tuning specialist for motor cars.

Paramount Sports, Summer Classics, Easter Compton

The Paramount Roadster seen here at last years Summer Classics show at Easter Compton was purchased in 1975 and underwent a 13 year restoration.

Paramount Sports, Summer Classics, Easter Compton

It is thought around 60 Roadsters were built, some of the last chassis built went to Rochdale in 1956 to have fibre glass bodies fitted.

Paramount Sports, Summer Classics, Easter Compton

It is thought only 8 Paramounts of the total production of around 80 have survived with only 3 in roadworthy condition.

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


Summer Classics – Easter Compton

Halfway between Bristol and the former holiday resort Severn Beach lies Washingpool Farm just outside Easter Compton which played host to Summer Classics at the weekend.

Zil 131, Summer Classics, Easter Compton

By no means the biggest show I have attended this year, what Summer Classics lacked in quantity it more than made up with in quality and good company on Saturday. Above is a 150 hp V8 that took part in a race, possibly the greatest race of all time the nuclear arms race. This 1971 6 x 6 Zil 131 was fitted out as a Zelda R140 mobile radio station designed to be used as a mobile command center. The cabs for the radio operators on the back of the trucks were designed to survive nuclear fall out and thus ensure the possibility of mutual destruction !

Volkswagen Subaru Multivan, Last Limited Edition, Summer Classics, Easter Compton

The Type 3 Transporter / Multivan above is one of the last 6, 2494 of 2500, Last Limited Edition (LLE) Multivans made in 1992. There was also a Redstar limited edition available to VW employees only and production of the Type 3 continued in Mexico until 2003. This particular LLE Multivan is a particularly quick camper having been fitted with a 230 hp 3.3 liter / 201 cui Subaru flat six motor, Porsche gearbox and brakes and a Scania Shifter.

Paramount Sport, Summer Classics, Easter Compton

Saturdays ‘car manufacturer I had never even heard of before’ was Paramount. The 1953 Paramount Sports above featuring an aluminium body on an ash frame is one of only 3 road worthy Paramount vehicles from a total of 80 of all types thought to exist.

MG6 GT, Summer Classics, Easter Compton

After the MG Rover group disappeared in 2005 the MG marque was revived in 2011 with help from many former employees who were re employed at the MG Motor UK Technical Center by new owners of the MG marque SAIC Motor. The MG6 GT above, built from a complete knock down kit supplied by SAIC was assembled at Longbridge, home to the former MG Rover Group. Despite a successful presence in the British Saloon Car Championship production volumes so far are thought to be small probably not yet reaching a thousand.

Peterbilt, 8 Seconds, Summer Classics, Easter Compton

I have never sat in a Peterbilt before, nor a TV star nor a vehicle that has 1,000,000 miles, I ticked all those boxes on Saturday when I climbed into the cab of Straight 8 a 1993 Peterbilt which was featured in Trick My Truck in January 2007. As can be seen the truck has over 1.2 million miles on the clock !

Rover 3500S, Summer Classics, Easter Compton

The Rover 3500S came in two different forms for the UK Market S stood for Synchromesh as used in the four speed manual gearbox while in the US Market all Rover 3500 S models were automatics. Looking at the dash this is clearly a right hand drive vehicle, unfortunately I did not notice if the car was a converted LHD automatic or a UK supplied manual making use of the Rover parts bin with a US spec front number plate mounting, ice warning device seen to the left of the number plate and US spec bonnet with three air intakes. The wipers would suggest this is a UK spec car with some US spec goodies.

Armstrong Siddeley Whitley, Summer Classics, Easter Compton

Unlike Bristol Cars which refrained from using the names of Bristol Aeroplanes, it’s parent organisation, for it’s vehicles until 1975 Armstrong Siddeley used the names of it’s parent companies WW2 aircraft, including Hurricane and Lancaster upon the the resumption of vehicle manufacture in 1945. The Sphinx mascot is seen above on a 1953 Armstrong Siddeley Whitley which takes it’s name from a twin engined bomber that is named after a suburb of Coventry where Armstrong Siddeley’s were built.

Lincoln Zephyr, Summer Classics, Easter Compton

My personal vote for car of the show goes to this 1936 Lincoln Zephyr. This V12 was occupied by a family of four with an outsize classic TV and was making it’s way on a 1600 plus mile holiday journey from Dresden, Germany at an eye watering 21 mpg imperial / 18 mpg US !

Singer Le Mans, Summer Classics, Easter Compton

Among many storied cars at the Summer Classics Show on Saturday was this Singer Le Mans built in December 1935 it took part in the 1936 Exeter Trials with HD Acres at the wheel as can be seen on this link. By 1939 the Singer had acquired the large centre fog light and was in the hands of RJW Appleton who used it to compete in the Lands End Trial. The present owner spent many years rebuilding the Singer after acquiring a big box of ‘bits’.

Ford Torino, Summer Classics, Easter Compton

The “striped tomato” 1974 Ford Gran Torino seeen above is one of the first six built in 1973, for the ’74 model year. It was picked up by it’s current owner in San Francisco with a straight body and has been slowly restored since with well over £6k in suspension parts alone. By all accounts Paul “Michael” Glaser took an instant disliking to the car with which he will be forever associated as Starsky from the Starsky & Hutch TV series. He thought the car looked like a ridiculous ride for a supposed undercover cop and referred to it as striped tomato both in private and later in scripts for the show.

Sunbeam Alpine, Summer Classics, Easter Compton

Fresh paintwork and equally fresh cream leather interior suggest this 1953 Sunbeam Alpine Mk I has been recently restored, love the way the Brooklands Aero screens sets the look of this car apart from it’s 1.582 siblings that were built from 1953 to 1955.

BSA Combination, Summer Classics, Easter Compton

BSA first built the 591cc / 36 cui M21 in 1937, with production lasting until 1963 ! Used by the armed forces and in large numbers with combination sidecars, as seen with the 1951 model above, by the Automobile Association (AA) as roadside assistance units.

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


West Coast Detailing – Lotus XI

A couple of weeks ago I looked at Ed Arnaudin’s photo of Floyd Aaskov’s Lotus XI at Thompson CT taken in 1958, where you will find details about the Lotus XI model.

Lotus XI, Paramount Ranch, Carlyle Blackwell

Photo Carlyle Blackwell, Publised Courtesy Blackwell Archive, for sales enquiry’s please e-mail infoATpsychoontyres.co.uk and your contact details will be forwarded to the Blackwell Archive.

Today we are looking Carlyle Blackwell’s photograph of Jack Nethercutt’s Lotus XI at Paramount Ranch in 1956/57.

It would appear that Jacks Lotus XI ran a similar 4 cylinder 1098 cc /67 cui Coventry Climax engine to Floyd Aaskov. One thing that stands out about Jacks car is how amazingly clean it looks, it looks as well detailed in many other photographs I have seen of this vehicle.

Records indicate that Jack Nethercutt started racing in 1956 with a Mercedes Benz 300 SL, oddly records indicate Floyd Aaskov started racing in a similar model 12 months later on the east coast. In 1957 Jack started notching up regular GM class wins on the West Coast and in 1958 he acquired a Ferrari 500 TRC with which he started winning in the 2 litre / 122 cui EM class.

In 1959 Jack upgraded his 500 TR by fitting a 2.5 litre motor in and running in the 152 cui DM class in which he continued his record of accumulating class wins.

For 1960 Jack took delivery of a Ferrari 250 TR 59 with which he again took class wins in the 187 cui S1 division including a third overall in the Sebring 12 Hours. Half way through 1961 Jack swapped his Ferrari for a Lotus 19 and again running in the DM class continued his winning ways until 1964, taking a class win at the ’62 Riverside 6 hours with a one off drive in a Morgan plus 4 along the way.

Records show that Jacks career ended in 1965 driving a Mirage Oldsmobile in the over 5 litre / 305 cui class still carrying the #102 but without much in the way of success.

Jack appears to have settled for running a Mirage Chevrolet for Scooter Patrick in the first Can Am championship in 1967.

A similar photograph by Carlyle Blackwell to photograph above appeared on the cover of Road & Track in March 1957.

Lotus XI, Paramount Ranch, Carlyle Blackwell

The caption read “It was dry and hot at Paramount Ranch, near Los Angeles, the day Carlyle Blackwell shot our March cover – but no hotter than the Lotus Eleven, driven here by its owner, Jack Nethercutt.”

My thanks to Ed Arnaudin who purchased the photograph in the 1950’s and to his son Steve for sending me the scan, thanks also to Jean L and JB Miltonian at the TNF Forum for their help in identifying the track and coming up with the R&T; details.

I hope you have enjoyed today’s West Coast detailed edition of “Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres” and that you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !

28 07 12 PS My thanks to Pamela Blackwell who has kindly retrospectively given me permission to post the photo’s her father took.