Tag Archives: Payne

Huntingdon’s Fund Raiser – Mercedes Benz (W198) 300SL Gullwing Coupé

Today’s featured Mercedes Benz 300 SL is a regular on the award winning Mercedes Benz stand at The Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham.

Mercedes Benz 300 SL, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham

Last year the owner of this 1961 Gullwing Coupé, that was first registered in the UK on the first of May 2002, allowed visitors to the Classic Motor Show to sit in the car in exchange for a donation to the Huntingdon’s Disease Association and raised £460.

During the event the interior leather suffered some accidental damage which was kindly repaired gratis by another exhibitor Jason Payne from the Leather Repair Company in Knaresborough.

Thanks for joining me on this “Huntingdon’s Fund Raiser” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for a look at a 1924 Delage. Don’t forget to coma back now !


Cambrian Rally – Conwy County

Cambria is the Latinised form of the Welsh name Cymru from Old Welsh combrog and Proto-Brythonic word kom-brogos, meaning fellow countryman or compatriot, known to much of the rest of the world as Wales.

After studying Welsh rock strata in 1835 Adam Sedgwick named the first geological period of the Paleozoic Era the Cambrian period which characterised by the rapid diversification of lifeforms, known as the Cambrian explosion, some of which have been well preserved in the sedimentary rocks exposed in Wales.

Snowdon, County Conwy

500 million years after the Cambrian explosion 266 of the direct descendants of some of those lifeforms gathered in County Conwy to take part in the 61st running of the annual Cambrian Rally organised by the North Wales Car Club on Saturday February 13th.

The Cambrian Rally has moved from being the concluding round of the MSA Welsh Rally, Ravenol BTRDA Rally, FMP and ANWCC Forest Rally Championships last year to being the season opener for them this year.

 Mini John Cooper Works WRC, Conner McCloskey, Damien Duffin, Penmachno, Cambrian Rally,

With the intention of making a 4am departure from Bristol to see the opening stage of the Cambrian Rally I left home promptly at 5.30 after being unexpectedly invited out for tapas and sing a long the night before.

The delay was fortuitous as I ended up not far from Snowdon on the third Penmachno stage of the rally which sent the cars around the perimeter of the quarry where the #7 2012 McGeehan Motorsport Mini John Cooper Works WRC crewed by Conner McCloskey and Damien Duffin, who finished the event 4th overall, are seen above.

FIAT Abarth 131 Rally, Matthew Robinson, Sam Collins, Penmachno, Cambrian Rally,

Walter Rohrl, a hero in my youth drove a FIAT Abarth 131 Rally to claim his first World Rally Championship in 1980.

I believe the 1978 #30 FIAT Abarth 131 Rally seen above started as a more pedestrian brown model before being converted by RSD Rally Sport Development into a competition version, Matthew Robinson and Sam Collins retired the #30 from the event after exceeding the time limit before stage 6.

Hillman Avenger, Barry Jordan, James Gratton-Smith, Penmachno, Cambrian Rally,

In the 1970’s it would appear there were plans within the British product planning arm of the Chrysler Europe empire to produce an Avenger to compete with the Ford Mexico with a BRM developed 16 valve twin cam head.

It would appear a few heads got built and at least one was fitted to a car used by factory personnel but the project stumbled at this stage, I am not sure if the #64 1971 Hillman Avenger 1500 GL Luxe has one of the 16 valve twin cam BRM heads fitted but the BRM livery on the rear piqued my interest, the car driven by Barry Jordan and James Gratton-Smith unfortunately also retired, after Stage 3.

Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI, Jayne Auden-Rowe, David Auden, Penmachno, Cambrian Rally,

The #75 1998 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI seen above crewed by Jayne Auden-Rowe and David Auden was classified 50th overall.

Skoda Favorit, Paul Ellis, Simon Jones, Penmachno, Cambrian Rally,

I could not resist going back to the puddle in the quarry as the final competitors went through Paul Ellis and Simon Jones make a splash in their way to a 70th place finish overall in their #120 1992 Skoda Favorit.

Ford Fiesta R200, Glynne Jones, Glenn Mercer, Penmachno, Cambrian Rally,

Similarly Glynne Jones and Glenn Mercer go temporarily amphibious in their Ford Fiesta R200 on their way to a 77th place finish overall.

Ford Fiesta 2000, Stephen Simpson, Andrew Roughead, Great Orme, Cambrian Rally,

Andrew Roughead moved from co – driving Andrew Fenwicks 6th placed Proton S2000 the week before on the Legend Fires North West Stages to sit beside Stephen Simpson in his #12 2010 Ford Fiesta S2000 seen above lifting a rear wheel on the final Great Orme Stage on their way to 8th place overall.

Ford Escort L, John Rowlands, Glenn Latham, Great Orme, Cambrian Rally,

Lifting a front wheel in classic Mk2 style is the #20 1976 2 litre Ford Escort L crewed by John Rowlands and Glenn Latham which came home 15th overall.

Peugeot 309 GTi, Tim Cains, Richard May, Great Orme, Cambrian Rally,

The sun came out for a short while and is seen above illuminating the faces of 36th place finishers Tim Cains and Richard May in their #85 1988 Peugeot 309 GTi.

Nissan Micra Tropic, Niel Andrew, Dominic Adams, Great Orme, Cambrian Rally,

54th place finishers overall and 2nd in the 1400C class were Niel Andrew and Dominic Adams in the #86 1994 Nissan Micra Tropic seen above heading into the sunset sans rear bumper cover.

Ford Fiesta S2000, Charles Payne, Carl Williamson, Penmachno, Cambrian Rally,

After nearly 48 mins of competitive driving Charles Payne and Carl Williamson in their #3 2009 Ford Fiesta S2000 came home just 1 second behind the winners …

Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX, Luke Francis, John H Roberts, Penmachno, Cambrian Rally,

… Luke Francis and John H Roberts in their #6 2004 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX who also won this event in 2012.

Volkswagen Lupo E, Paul Barbet, Chris Sheriden, Great Orme, Cambrian Rally,

Paul Barbet and Chris Sheriden above are heading to an evening 81st place finish overall in their #127 2001 Volkswagen Polo E.

As darkness rapidly fell after the action was over I managed to stumble back across Great Orme back to the car park after another great days entertainment.

Thanks for joining me on this Cambrian Rally edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for a look at the last of this month’s featured Camaro’s. Don’t for get to come back now !


£70 Special – Fairley Mercury

While working for the Austin Motor Company where he served his apprenticeship from 1932 to 1936 Reg Phillips cut a sober figure in his Austin Ulster as he competed in trials events in period trilby and over coat.

Fairley Mercury, Jim Payne, Chateau Impney Hill Climb

After the war Reg went on to become chairman of Fairley Steel and built a series of frugal competition vehicles, in the spirit of the pre war Shelsley Specials, initially for trials use, a one off Norton powered 500 F3 and then a series of Hill Climb cars including today’s featured Fairley Mercury.

Fairley Mercury, Jim Payne, Chateau Impney Hill Climb

Built in 1954 and originally powered by a flathead Ford Reg also referred to this vehicle as the £70 Special in deference to the cost of the components Reg both made and acquired for it.

Fairley Mercury, Jim Payne, Chateau Impney Hill Climb

Reg is said to have won some silverware with the car which became the Fairley Mercury in 1955 when the Flathead Ford V8 was replaced with a Mercury V8.

Fairley Mercury, Jim Payne, Chateau Impney Hill Climb

Reg replaced the Fairly Mercury first with a 500 F3 Cooper to which he fitted a transversely mounted 4 cylinder Climax that was in turn supercharged. Later Reg replaced the Cooper chassis with one of his own design and manufacture with which he captured fastest time of the day at Shelsley Walsh in August 1960.

Jim Payne is seen at the wheel of the Fairley Mercury at last weekends Chateau Impney Hill Climb.

Thanks for joining me on this “£70 Special” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow for Ferrari Friday. Don’t forget to come back now !


Bird’s Wyedean Win – Wyedean Forest Rally

On Saturday I popped over to the Forest of Dean to see the 40th Weir Engineering Wyedean Forest Rally for which 175 entries had been received.

The Wyedean started and finished at Chepstow Race Course and was run over 8 stages making a total of 43.42 stage miles that were linked by 98.37 road miles.

MG ZR, Gemmell, Beebe, Blaze Bailey, Wyedean Rally,

This was the first Rally I had been to since the 1985 Lombard Race Rally, during the course of the day I visited two stages the 3.26 mile Blaze Bailey on the eastern edge of the Forest of Dean near Soudley and 6.02 mile Mailscot near Staunton on the western edge.

Above co driver Matt Beebe directs enthusiastic spectators in their efforts to get driver Richard Gemmell and his MG ZR out of a mud trap that saved the car from a couple of hundred foot drop into an abyss on the last corner of the Blaze Bailey stage, the #243 crew recovered to eventually record a 100th place finish from the 120 crew’s who made it back to Chepstow.

Mini Cooper S, Lewis, Fife, Mailscot, Wyedean Rally,

Unfortunately I was not party to any radio communications during the event which made it impossible to follow what was going on in terms of positions and stage times so today’s blog will be limited to photographs of the winners of the 5 classes which split into a total of 16 sub classes each with a winner along with an overall winner.

The historic class was divided into four, winners of the H1a Class were Peter Lewis and Paul Fife in the 1963 #255 Mini Cooper S, seen above in the Mailcot Stage.

Datsun 240Z, Easson, Reynolds, Blaze Bailey, Wyedean Rally

Back in 1971 and 1973 Datsun 240 Z’s driven by Edgar Hermann and Shekhar Mehta respectively won the gruelling East African Safari Rally proving the model was no flimsy boulevard cruiser.

It was therefore perhaps no great surprise that Jeremy Easson and Mike Reynolds won class H2b on Saturday with their #53 240Z built in 1974.

Mazda RX7, Scannell, Stevens, Blaze Bailey, Whedean Rally,

Nowhere near as noisy as it’s circuit racing siblings was the 1979 #48 Mazda RX7 crewed by class H3b winners Jake Scannell and Adrian Stevens which like the #53 Datsun is seen on the Blaze Bailey stage above.

Ford Escort RS1800, Elliot, Price, Blaze Bailey, Wyedean Rally,

The Ford Escort in MkI and MkII guises was a rallying staple through out the 1970s, winning the 1970 World Cup Rally in MkI form and the 1979 World Rally Championship in MkII form.

The #24 Escort RS1800 Replica above crewed by Nick Elliot and Dave Price won the H4 category and as we shall see was one of three MKII shelled Escorts to win awards on Saturday, the #24 started life as a far more mundane 2 door Ford Escort Popular.

Nissan Micra, Quinn, Carmen, Mailscot, Wyedean Rally,

Three classes were run for the Rally First starter series for novice crews running production cars with a few basic competition safety features.

The RF 1.0 class for cars running motors of no more than 1 litre / 61.5 cui was won by the 2001 #260 Nissan Micra S crewed by Nick Quinn and Neill Carmen seen above on the Mailscot Stage.

Volkswagen Polo, Handford, Davies, Blaze Bailey, Wyedean Rally,

Morgan Handford and Richard Davies took top honors in RF1.4 despite taking the longest route around the final corner of the opening Blaze Bailey stage in their 1999 #236 Volkswagen Polo 1.4 16V.

Volswagen Polo GTi, Smith, Houldsworth, Mailscot, Wyedean Rally,

Top starter class RF1.6 honours were taken by Mick Smith and Calvin Houldsworth driving their 2001 #220 Volkswagen Polo GTi seem above on the Mailscot Stage.

MG ZR, Riddick, Riddick, Mailscot Wyedean Rally,

The BTRDA kick Start 1400 series is run in two classes for slightly more sophisticated cars than the Rally First vehicles, but with tightly controlled stock restricted specifications on motors and suspensions.

Winners of Class 1400 C were the Scotish pair Keith and Mairi Riddick in their 2001 #227 MG ZX.

Vauxhall Corsa, Bennett, McNeil, Blaze Bailey, Wyedean Rally,

The slightly more liberal 1400 S class was won by #201 Vauxhall Corsa crewed by David Bennett and Alistair McNeil seen above on the Blaze Bailey stage following a much better line through the final corner than the #236 RF1.4 class winning VW Polo.

Ford Fiesta ST, Cook, Jones, Mailscot, Wyedean Rally,

Group N is an internationally recognised production based category that allows only safety modifications and a free choice of electronic control unit (ECU) for the motor, the success of the category can be judged by the fact it has remained largely unchanged since it’s inception in 1982.

Winners of the Group N3 class for vehicles with motors up to 2 litres / 122 cui on Saturday were Geno Cook and Ryan Jones who drove the #66 Ford Fiesta ST seen above in the closing gloom towards the end of the final Mailscot Stage.

 Mitsubishi EVO IX, Thompson, Murphy, Blaze Bailey, Wyedean Rally,

Russ Thompson and Andy Murphy won the over 2 litre / 122 cui Group N4 class driving the #10 Mitsubishi Evo IX seen on the Blaze Bailey Stage above.

Peugeot 205 GTi, Lloyd, Roberts, Mailscot, Wyedean Rally,

The top five classes, B10, B11, B12, B13 and B14 cater for a range of specialised vehicles which must retain FIA crash tested type body shells, which precludes the use of space / tube frame specials.

Winners of the up to 1600 cc / 97.6 cui B10 class were Thomas Lloyd and Sherrin Roberts in their formerly Grey 1987 #60 Peugeot 205 Gti running with non period LED fog lights.

Ford Escort Mk II, Elsmore, Harrold, Mailscot, Wyedean Rally,

Graham Elsmore and Stuart Harrold won the first three Wyedean Rallies from 1975 to 1977, the pair were also British Group One, similar to Group N, champions in 1977 and competed for works Ford, Triumph and Vauxhall teams in to the 1980’s.

They were loaned the #32 Ford Escort Mk2, seen hanging it’s tail out on the Mailscot stage above, by event sponsor Rob Weir, Graham and Stuart repaid Rob’s kindness with an up 2 litre / 122 cui class B11 victory.

Ford Escort Mk II, Phelps, Manuel, Blaze Bailey, Wyedean Rally,

Over 2 litre / 122 cui B12 class honours were won by the #61 Ford Escort Mk2 crewed by Tim Phelps and Elwyn Manuel, their car is powered by a 2.4 litre / 146 cui motor who’s origin I was not able to determine during the course of the event.

Mitsubishi EVO IX, Elsmore, Edwards, Mailscot, Wyedean Rally,

Graham Elsmore’s son Nik is a proper chip off the old block, he was 1999 BRTDA Gold Star champion and shared the #21 Mitsubishi Evo IX above with Matt Edwards to finish 5th overall and win the B13 class for vehicles over 2 litres / 122 cui with four wheel drive.

Ford Fiesta ST, Payne and Williamson, Mailscot, Wyedean Rally,

The events Press officer Andrew Haill kindly explained that despite finishing behind 2 other B14 competitors James Payne and Carl Williamson driving the #3 Ford Fiesta ST above on the Mailscot stage were awarded the top honours in class B14 because the top three overall finishers are excluded from class awards.

Ford Focus WRC 07, Bird, Davies, Blaze Bailey, Wyedean Rally,

Clear overall winner of the 40th Weir Engineering Wyedean Forest Rally with five stage wins and 3 second fastest times was 2005 ANCRO National champion Cumbrian Paul Bird and his Welsh co driver Aled Davies driving his 2007 #1 Ford Focus WRC.

Paul, the head of Paul Bird Motorsports who run PBM Moto GP and British Superbike teams, has finished 2nd twice on this rally before was thrilled to win the event at the third time of asking.

Paul finished last season with two straight rally victories, which has now become three and he will be looking to make it four on the Malcom Wilson Stages Rally on March the 7th.

If you have never seen a forest rally in person I can heartily recommend it, your fellow spectators are unfailingly friendly, kids seem to love the sport, one six year old on Saturday managed to detain his Dad on the stages for many hours beyond the original two Dad had planned for the visit and most National Forests in the UK can be visited for free, though there maybe charges for car parking, as for example the reasonable £6 being charged for Forestry parking on the Mailscot Stage.

Thanks for joining me on this “Bird’s Wyedean Win” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at King Richards ’67 Plymouth Belvedere. Don’t forget to come back now !


Wacky and Bertone – Arnolt Bristol Bolide #404X3086

In 1906 Stanley Harold Aranoff was born into a family of bookbinders living in Chicago. After studying engineering he changed his name to Arnolt as part of an unsuccessful bid to break into the motor industry in 1936.

Arnolt Bristol Bolide, Bristol Concours d'Elegance, Greenwich

While looking for business opportunities he bought the rights to the Sea Mite Marine engine which he attached to a 13 ft rowing boat and sailed from St Joseph in Michigan across Lake Michigan to Chicago as part of a publicity stunt which earned him his “Wacky” nickname.

Arnolt Bristol Bolide, Bristol Concours d'Elegance, Greenwich

The Sea Mite proved a wise purchase after “Wacky” Arnolt won a contract to supply the motors to the US NAVY for their small vessels during the ’39-’45 war.

Arnolt Bristol Bolide, Bristol Concours d'Elegance, Greenwich

After the war “Wacky” held franchises to distribute MG, Riley and Morris cars and at the 1952 Turin motor show a MG TD with bodywork designed by Franco Scaglione form the financially struggling Bertone Coachworks caught his eye.

Arnolt Bristol Bolide, Bristol Concours d'Elegance, Greenwich

Wacky immediately placed an order for two hundred of the distinctive Bertone MG’s and Mr Bertone apparently nearly fainted. Only 103 Arnolt MG’s were built because MG switched production to the new TF model.

Arnolt Bristol Bolide, Bristol Concours d'Elegance, Greenwich

Impressed with the sales of the Bertone MG Arnolt, “Wacky” commissioned Bertone to develop a body for an Aston Martin and a total of eight these cars are thought to have been built by which time Aston Martin has long pulled the plug on the project.

Arnolt Bristol Bolide, Bristol Concours d'Elegance, Greenwich

Wacky then commissioned a one off Bertone Bentley for his personal use before entering an agreement with Bristol to supply 200 type 404 chassis with 125 hp six cylinder Bristol motors which would then be shipped to Bertone for the bodywork as seen on today’s featured 1954 example chassis #404X3086.

Arnolt Bristol Bolide, Bristol Concours d'Elegance, Greenwich

Today’s featured car, which is seen at the 2012 Bristol Concours d’Elegance at Greenwich, was the original European demonstrator and was displayed at the 1954 Motor Shows held in Geneva, Turin, Brussels, Munich, and finally Paris where it was sold to an American owner.

Arnolt Bristol Bolide, Bristol Concours d'Elegance, Greenwich

To help market the Arnolt Bristol “Wacky” entered three cars in the 1955 Sebring 12 hours and they finished 1st, 2nd and 4th in the 2 litre / 122 cui class with John Panks and Ernie Erickson sharing the honours. The following year the team finished second in the Sebring 12 hours to a Ferrari and in 1957 the team withdrew from the race after team member Bob Goldrich was killed during the race.

Arnolt Bristol Bolide, Bristol Concours d'Elegance, Greenwich

In 1960 Max Goldman and Ralph Durbin shared a second Sebring 12 hour class win driving an Arnolt Bristol which finished 14th overall. Other class and race winners driving Arnolt Bristol’s included team owner Wacky himself, Ed Rahal, Carl Grassman and Tom Payne.

Arnolt Bristol Bolide, Bristol Concours d'Elegance, Greenwich

Production of the Arnolt Bristol is thought to have come to an end in 1959 with 142 vehicles built, of those 12 were destroyed on Wacky’s premises in a warehouse fire.

Arnolt Bristol Bolide, Bristol Concours d'Elegance, Greenwich

Three versions of the Arnolt Bristol were built striped down Bolide like the one seen here, several Bolides also had aluminium bodies, Deluxe Roadster with Connolly hide seats full windscreen and full weather protection and a couple of coupes. At least one Arnolt Bristol is known to have been sold new as late as 1966.

Thanks for joining me on this Wacky and Bertone 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 months Indy Cars. Don’t forget to come back now !


Big Rig Look – Dodge Ram 1500 Extended Cab

After extensive customer research chief designer Philip E Payne took a gamble and went with the big rig look for the second generation (BR) Dodge Rams launched in 1994. He knew that by pandering to the majority of his clients he might loose a few of those who preferred softer styling.

Dodge Ram 1500 Extended Cab, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

The Big Rig look gave the new range of Dodge Ram’s instant recognition that was quite distinctive form the main rivals built by General Motors and Ford, and the look is even more distinctive on this ’95 1500 extended cab with the bug deflectors and sun shield, the only thing missing are the christmas tree lights usually found on big rigs.

Dodge Ram 1500 Extended Cab, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

The second generation Dodge Rams were powered by the same motors as the first series this one, seen at last year’s Avenue Drivers Club meeting in June, is powered by a top of the 1500 range 230 hp 5.9 litre / 360 cui Magnum V8.

Dodge Ram 1500 Extended Cab, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

Second Generation Rams were available in 1500 half ton, 2500 3/4 ton and 3500 dually one ton forms. The 2500 3/4 ton and 3500 one ton was available with a 8 litre / 488 cui V10 that was used as the basis for the Dodge Viper sports cars.

Dodge Ram 1500 Extended Cab, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

Ram body options included 2 door, 2 door extended cab and from 1998 Quad Cab 4 door extended cab with front opening “suicide’ doors. Special attention was given to the storage area’s inside the cab with a large glovebox, central armrest storage and further storage space behind the seats.

Dodge Ram 1500 Extended Cab, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

1500 Rams could be ordered with either 6′ or 8′ beds. THis truck will have been fitted with an A518 four speed automatic transmission a descendant of the TorqueFlight 3 speed automatic transmission first seen in 1956.

Dodge Ram 1500 Extended Cab, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

The 1996 film Twister featured a similar 3/4 ton Ram 2500 with club cab on the back to the one seen here, sadly it was destroyed near the end of the story nearly bringing some pick up truck fans to tears.

Dodge Ram 1500 Extended Cab, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

Philip E Payne’s gamble with the big rig look paid off handsomely as Dodge went from it’s traditional third spot in truck sales behind Ford and General Motors to first in three years and stayed at the top from 1996 to 1999 by which time both Ford and GM had caught up with the big rig look.

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


Out Of The Ark – Lotus Elan (Ark Racing)

In 1976 one year after production of the Lotus Elan had ceased the 4th generation Group 5 regulations came into effect for “Special Production Cars” for cars that met the criteria for groups 1 to 4 but were allowed almost unlimited bodywork modifications excluding the bonnet, roofline and railpanel combined with unlimited lightening of the chassis.

Porsche dominated the series overall from 1976 to the series demise in 1981 with numerous variations of the 935 model, though it’s ultimate development ‘Moby Dick’ 935/78 ironically only one one race. Lancia was most successful in the smaller under 2 litre / 122 cui division with it’s Lancia Beta Montecarlo winning two championships with BMW and Ford taking the smaller category once each.

Three different Lotus models were entered into selected Group 5 (Silhouette) races three Elan’s like the one featured today, a Europa and a couple of Lotus Esprit’s. Over the next couple of weeks I will be looking at how three of those teams faired.

Lotus Elan, Ark Racing, Silverstone

In 1968 Derek Mathews built the first of several well known and successful racing cars a Sprite for John Banks, which by 1970 became the Ark Sprite powered by Ford Twin Cam engine. After building and running a Group 6 2 seat open sports car with F Lester Ray originally called the (Derek Matthews) DM6 (sixth car) which became the Vogue Derek built a Lotus Elan for John Evans to race in the 1974 in British Modsports races a combination which recorded many class wins in 1974 and 1975 being crowned BRSCC (British Racing Sports Car Club) Modsports Champions in 1975.

For 1979 Ark Racing built an Elan for Max Payne and John Evans to run in selected World Manufacturers Championship, German DRM, and Belgian events, becoming the third Elan to be used in Group 5. According to ‘The Oracle” and Richard Jenvey the Ark Racing Group 5 Elan, seen above making it’s debut at Silverstone, was built on a Lotus chassis.

At Silverstone the Elan qualified 23rd overall, 3rd last in class and retired with gearbox issues. The car was raced four times in 1979, Max Payne beating a de Tomaso Pantera to win a Benelux race at Zandvoort in The Netherlands.

Lotus Elan, Ark Racing, Silverstone

The last time I saw the Ark Racing Elan was in 1982, again at Silverstone above, when Max Payne was sharing the car with Chris Ashmore they qualified 32nd and were disqualified for a push start. The Ark Racing Elan is thought to have been the last one to have raced taken part in an international ‘in period’ race qualifying 25th and finishing 18th at the 1982 Brands Hatch 1000 kms race with Payne and Ashmore at the wheel.

My thanks to The Oracle, his spokesman Pete Taylor and Edward Fitzgerald for their comments at The Nostalgia Forum and to Richard Jenvey for his private comments.
Thanks for joining me on this “Out Of The Ark” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !