Tag Archives: Parker

Speedway To 500 F3 – JBS Norton Mk 1 #RAC/002/51/AC

In 1950 Alf Bottoms switched from being a two wheel Speedway star at Wembley to a racing driver with James Bottoms & Sons being responsible for modifying the 1947 Cowlan 500 Formula Three car, originally built by R.L. Coward and Geoff Lang, with help from Chris and Noel Shorrock into the first JBS.

JBS Norton Mk 1, Richard Utley, Silverstone,

Alf and brother shared the driving duties with Alf being the more successful scoring several out right wins as did Miss Elisabeth Store who drove the JBS to victory in the ladies race in October.

JBS Norton Mk 1, Richard Utley, Oulton Park,

For 1951 JBS not only updated it’s design to incorporate double wishbone front suspension and adonised aluminium body, but also put the design into production building somewhere between 13 and 20 cars.

JBS Norton Mk 1, Richard Utley, Castle Combe,

During the season JBS drivers included Alf, Ron “Curly” Dryden, Les Leston, Don Parker, Winco Frank Aikens, Dick Richards, Ron Frost, Jack Westcott, Ken McAlpine, Peter Collins, John Habin, Allan Moore, John Coombs and André Loens.

JBS Norton Mk 1, Richard Utley, Castle Combe,

Despite the deaths of Alf, in an accident at the Luxembourg Grand Prix, and Ron “Curly” Dryden in an accident at Castle Combe JBS scored 120 podiums during the year with Peter Collins and Don Parker finishing 3rd and 4th in the 1951 British F3 Championship behind Cooper drivers Eric Brandon and Alan Brown.

JBS Norton Mk 1, Richard Utley, Castle Combe,

Chassis #RAC/002/51/AC is seen in these photographs with Richard Utley at the wheel, Silverstone top, Oulton Park second and Castle Combe the remainder, Richard who raced a Frazer Nash Le Mans Replica, Tojeiro 1100 and Lotus XI between 1955 and 1962 also worked with John Tojeiro on the 1100 and later Bob Hicks on the MK1 Caravelle Formula Junior car.

Since returning to historic racing in 1987 Richard has also co founded C&R Engines with Charlie Banyard Smith to re-manufacture long stroke Manx engines of the type that powers his JBS.

Thanks for joining me on this “Speedway To 500 F3” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Brynfan Tyddyn Winner – Kieft CK52

After a brief and unsuccessful attempt at hillclimbing in a Marwyn 500 Swansea born Cyril Kieft ended up buying the Marwyn company when it folded.

8 or 9 Kieft Mk 1’s incorporating Marwyn parts and ideas were manufactured for the 1950 season with the works teams greatest achievement being the capture of 13 records in the 350cc and 500 cc class at Monterey using Norton Engines and with Stirling Moss, Ken Gregory (Moss’ manager) and Jack Neill doing the driving.

Stirling and Ken had plans to build their own 500 Formula 3 car to beat the predominant Coopers for 1951, but were short of finance.

Kieft CK52, Race Retro, Stoneleigh

When they approached Cyril with the idea of employing Ray Martin to design and build a car to Stirling’s specifications Cyril agreed and with Stirling aged just 21 and Ken as co directors Kieft Car Construction Ltd, a new entity, was founded in Wolverhampton.

The CK51 with a Norton engine was an immediate success with Moss scoring a debut win, 27 seconds ahead of Alan Brown’s Cooper Mk V at Goodwood in May 1951, unfortunately Stirling’s growing list of commitments elsewhere meant the main beneficiary of the new Kieft would be Don Parker.

After testing Stirling’s prototype Kieft Don bought a Kieft CK51 and incorporated many of his own idea’s into it. With his personalised Kieft Don won the 1952 Autosport Formula 3 Championship, Light Car Challenge and Veterans Trophy and the national title again in 1953 missing out on a hatrick by just one point to Les Leston in 1954.

Kieft CK52, Race Retro, Stoneleigh,

Ironically while Don Parker was clocking up 30 wins during the 1953 season Stirling concluded that the Cooper Mark IV was a better bet than the Kieft CK52, like the one seen in these photographs, and he resigned as director of Kieft as a result.

This particular car was sold to Dick Irish of Cleveland Ohio who raced it to numerous victories the most notable of which was the Brynfan Tyddyn Challenge Cup run over a road course north of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

Kieft moved on to building Formula 2 cars in 1953 and aborted Formula One project intended for the 1954 season.

Kieft CK52, Race Retro, Stoneleigh,

Don Parker kept faith with Kieft until 1956 when he too inevitably bought a Cooper.

Today’s featured car returned to the UK in 2005 and after it was restored was raced by Nigel Ashman who drove it to the 500cc Owners Association Club Championship title in 2010.

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


Not A de Havilland – Comet JAP

In 1950 Brian Heyward bought the Rudge powered Aikens 500 Formula 3 car from Wing Commander Frank Aikens, Brian only had the opportunity to drive it twice before he was called up to serve His Majesty King George V in the Royal Air Force for two years in Germany.

During his national service Brian’s father Charles bought a Cooper Mark IV which he already found was far too overweight to be competitive.

Comet, Race Retro, Stoneleigh

Upon completion of his National Service Brian and Charles used parts of the Cooper Mk 4 and some, lighter, cast magnesium components off a Cooper Mk VI to build the Cooper Heyward Special more commonly known as the C.H.S..

Brian raced the C.H.S. from 1953 to 1957 and is known to have finished 5th at the wheel of the car in a final at Brands Hatch in December 1954.

Comet, Race Retro, Stoneleigh

Brian found employment at de Havilland alongside future Lotus designer Maurice Philipe, future Lotus driver Alan Stacey, the Costin brothers Frank and future Cosworth partner Mike, and Brian Hart who would also make an enviable name for himself in the field of race engine production.

Soon after in 1953 Brian and Charles began construction of their second car, today’s featured Comet, named after the the jet powered de Havilland airliner.

Comet, Race Retro, Stoneleigh

With machining help from fellow 500 F3 racer Don Parker in it’s original form the Comet featured Kieft castings and wishbone suspension at the front, with swing axles and bungee cord springs on the rear.

The Comet was developed up until 1958; receiving a Norton engine in 1955, glass fiber body in 1956 and at some point a rear transverse spring, as had been employed by Cooper since 1946, replaced the bungee cords at the back.

Comet, Race Retro, Stoneleigh

Construction of a Comet II was started, but never completed, both Comet’s were sold on in 1964 to Brixham Lifeboat Coxwain Arthur Curnow who entered the Comet for Ivor Churchill to race.

Since then the Comet, seen in these photographs at Race Retro, has been restored twice; by Sandy Skinner who fitted the JAP engine along with a new aluminium body in the early 1980’s and by Neil Hodges for Peter Becker in 2003, today the Comet belongs to and is run by James Gray.

Thanks for joining me on this “Not A de Havilland” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at the first of this month’s series of cars that ran in the Indianapolis 500. Don’t forget to come back now !


Nothing can extinguish the Olympic Flame – Rochdale Olympic Phase I

This comes under the category of cars I had not heard of before I took the picture.

Rochdale Motor Panels and Engineering were beased in Rochdale, Greater Manchester between 1948 and 1973, best known for making fibre glass bodied kit cars .

In 1959 they designed the glass fibre monocoque for the Olympic the only other such monocoque at the time was the Lotus Elite. After a factory fire the car went into production in 1960.

The Olympic was designed by Richard Parker to take a variety of engines including the twin cam 1.5 litre 91.5 cui Riley, Morris Minor, MGA and Ford 109E, unusually for kit cars of the time it featured wind down door windows.

With the Riley engine the car was capable of 0-60 mph in 11.9 secs and could reach 102 mph.

It is estimated that 250 of these vehicles were built of which 100 survive.

Remarkably the Olympic flame is still kept alive by a group of enthusiasts who own the original moulds making it technically possible to build a new Rochdale Olympic.

Hope you enjoyed this Mancunian edition of Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres, don’t ferget to come back now !