Tag Archives: Paulo

Stepping Stone – Dallara Renault F304

The winner of the last two rounds of the Free Single Seater Series at Castle Combe was the aptly named Stuart Wiltshire in his Dallara Renault Xtec F304, though it turns out that Stuart is actually an Essex Boy born and bred.

Dallara F304, Castle Combe

Dallara was founded by Gian Paolo Dallara near Parma Italy in 1972 specialising in building sports racing and hillclimbing cars . After penning one of the wilder body work configurations for Walter Wolf‘s Can Am team in 1977, Dallara was commissioned by Wolf to build a third tier open wheel Formula 3 car. Built to similar regulations as the F304 seen here, the Wolf F3 car was driven by Bobby Rahal at Monaco.

Dallara F304, Castle Combe

During the 1980’s Dallara Formula 3 cars started winning championships in Italy then France and Germany before going on to dominate the most competitive series of all in Britain during the 1990’s.

Dallara F304, Castle Combe

Today Dallara is known world wide having briefly competed in Formula One and built a variety of sports cars for teams including Lancia, Ferrari, and Audi. More recently Dallara were one of the original suppliers of chassis to the Indy Racing League and now have an exclusive deal to supply IRL chassis and they have built a near monopoly in every series used as an entry by drivers trying to reach Formula One.

Dallara F304, Castle Combe

In 2004 the British Formula 3 Series was dominated Dallara F304 chassis like the one in these photo’s most were powered by Mugen Honda motors but Renault and Opel, the German GM division were represented with multiple entries.

Dallara F304, Castle Combe

Among those driving Dallara F304’s when they first appeared were British 2004 Champion Nelson Piquet Jr who after a brief tormenting career in Formula One today drives in the NASCAR Trucks division, Lucas di Grassi the Pirelli F1 tyre tester who last year drove for the Virgin Grand Prix Team and in 2004 drove a Renault powered F304 identical to the car featured today, Australian Supercar V8 contender Will Davison, fellow Aussie Will Power who today is part of the Penske IRL team, Venezuelan IRL driver EJ Viso and Karun Chandock who became the first driver to record a finish for the HRT Grand Prix team last year and is an occasional driver for the Team Lotus Grand Prix team this year.

Dallara F304, Castle Combe

Seven years on from it’s first appearance Stuart Wiltshire is competing in the MSV F3 Cup with his JSM Construction sponsored car being prepared by Mark Bailey Racing who started off in the Toyota Formula 3 Championship in 1989, with Mark Bailey taking the championship spoils and have participated in World Sports Car Championships with their own design the MBR 972.

Dallara F304, Castle Combe

Stuart a director of a construction company has competed in Formula 3 championships for older vehicles on and off since 2003 the highlight of his career was leading into the first bend at Donington Park earlier this year.

Dallara F304, Castle Combe

With a couple of wins behind him at Castle Combe, I wish Stuart all the best as he returns to the MSV F3 series and look forward to future appearances of Stuart and the immaculate Mark Bailey Racing Dallara Renault F304 at Castle Combe for the Free Single Seater Series.

Thanks for joining me on this stepping stone edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’, I hope you’ll join me again tomorrow for Ferrari Friday. Don’t forget to come back now !

10 11 11 Post Script – Since posting this blog it has been brought to my attention that Stuart Wiltshire has a Dallara F302 with 04 updates for sale. I can’t say for sure this is the same car as featured in this blog. The car in the blog was definitely described as an F304 in the MBR team blurb at Castle Combe when I saw it.


Pininfarina Renaissance – FIAT 130 Coupé

Returning to the Bristol Italian Auto Moto Festival back in April today’s car is the stylish sharp edged FIAT 130.


Launched to much acclaim at the 1971 Geneva Motor show the FIAT 130 Coupé was designed by Paolo Martin at Pininfarina and won a design prize which marked a renaissance for a company that had fallen from favour since it’s heyday designing the Fiat 1800 Peugeot 404 and Austin A55 and A60 concepts for large volume producers in the late 50’s and early 60’s.

This smart new vehicle was powered by a 165 hp 3235 cc / 197 cui twin over head cam V6 designed by Aurelio Lamperdi designer of the original 4 cylinder Testa Rossa engine.


Just 4,294 examples of the FIAT 130 Coupé were produced from 1971 to 1977, this marked the end of FIAT’s presence in the Executive end of the automotive market, future vehicles for this market segment were handled by the Lancia marque which was also owned by the FIAT conglomerate.

Thanks for popping in to today’s Paolo Martin styled edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Prize Winning Brazilian – Avallone 11 #A1110 016

It’s always a thrill to bring you the rare and unexpected and today thanks to Peter M in Switzerland it is a tremendous honour to share with you the photos and the story behind this ‘Best Replica’ prize winning Brazilian vehicle from the 1978 Geneva Motor Show.

In 1924 William Morris later Lord Nuffield, founder of Morris Cars and Cecil Kimber general manager of Morris Garages in Oxford (owned by William Morris) sold their 48th specially modified Morris Cowley ‘Old Number One‘ with bodywork by Carbodies of Coventry with a special octagonal badge, thus launching MG Cars as a marque in it’s own right.

In 1936 MG launched the successful ‘T’ range with the TA an attractive 50hp two seat sports car featuring a steel body on an ash frame. Production of the TB was interrupted by WW2 but it was not until 1955 with exports outnumbering home sales by more than 10 to 1 that production of the final incarnation of the ‘T’ range, the 63 horsepower TF 1500 with independent front suspension, was halted to make way for the MGA. Some cars when they go out of production are never heard of again but the MG TF has proved over 50 years since production ceased to be an inspiration of sturdier stuff.

After some market research in 1968 a small volume Italian manufacturer Siata, up until then best known for building 40 odd Crosley powered 300 BC Barchetta Sports cars, went in to production of a MGTF replica called the Siata Spring using the mechanical components of the rear engined FIAT 850 ! The Spring continued in production until 1970 when Siata failed and continued under the ORSA name until 1975.

In 1974 the Brazilian furniture manufacturer Lafer created a fibre glass TF based replica again with running gear from a rear engined vehicle the VW Fusca (Beetle to the rest of us) ! Some 4300 MP Lafers were built with 1,000 thought to have been exported over a 16 years production span.

A couple of years later Brazilian racing driver / racing impresario and hitherto racing car constructor Antonio Carlos Avallone put the feeble but fun efforts of both Siata/ORSA and Lafer to shame by constructing his Avallone 11 an MG TF replica with a Brazilian spec Chevrolet engine at the front and additional Chevrolet do Brazil mechanical running gear all round.

The fibre glass panels were so strong that Antonio used to delight in handing potential clients at his factory and at motor shows a large rubber mallet and invite them to do their best to inflict some damage to the body panels.

Unlike the Siata/ORSA Spring or PM Lafer the Antonio Carlos Avallone paid a huge amount of attention to the details of the TF and then replicating them on his Avalone 11 which included not only the instrumentation …

but also the switch gear.

All of his dedication and hard work was rewarded when probably this very vehicle #A1110 016 was rewarded with the Best Replica Award at the 1978 Geneva Motor Show. An achievement recognised by MG with a letter of congratulation personally addressed to Antonio Carlos Avallone.

The intention of Swiss Importer Huber to introduce Avallone to the Swiss market some how got lost in the midst of time and this vehicle was found lying around in a building in 1982. With a lot of effort the previous owner managed to get the car legally registered for use on the road and drove it for some 20 years until he sold it to Peter M who informs me that the original steering wheel has been replaced with one of larger diameter, the original steel wheels have been replaced by larger wire wheels and that the original seats have been replaced with ones mounted lower in the cockpit.

Just as there seem to be a never ending stream of manufacturers making replica AC Cobra’s and Porsche 356’s so it is with replica MG TF other notable replica’s include the Naylor 1700 of the mid 1980’s and even today there is a company, TG, in new Zealand making TF kits using Maita MX5 running gear, yet none, so far as I am aware, of the other TF replica’s have been awarded a prize at the Geneva Motor Show.

I’d like to thank Peter M for furnishing me with the details and photographs of his highly praised car.

Thank you for joining me on todays Brazilian edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ I hope you’ll join me again tomorrow for a look at another award winning French vehicle.

23rd Jan 2011 PS I have a friend who is looking to purchase a Radiator Grille for another one of these Avallone 11 vehicles, if you can help anyway with either the supply or location of such an item please leave a message below or send me an e-mail which can be accessed through my personal profile page.

Thanking you in anticipation
of your responses.

23 de janeiro de 2011 PS: Eu tenho um amigo que está olhando para comprar uma grade de radiador para outro desses 11 Avallone veículos, se puder ajudar de qualquer maneira com qualquer fonte ou localização de um item deste tipo, por favor deixe uma mensagem abaixo ou envie-me um e–mail que pode ser acessado através da minha página de perfil pessoal.

Agradecendo antecipadamente as suas respostas.