Tag Archives: Peterson

Pillarless Vue Panoramic – Delage D8 120 Letourneur & Marchand Aerosport Coupé

By 1937 when today’s Delage D8 120 was built, Louis Delage had sold the controlling interest in his company to his French rival Delahaye who continued to market cars with both brand names.

Delage D8 120 Letourneur & Marchand Aerosport Coupé, Desert Classic Concours d'Elegance, Palm Springs

The 1936 Delage D8 100 and 1937 Delage D8 120 were designed to top the ranges of both brands.

Delage D8 120 Letourneur & Marchand Aerosport Coupé, Desert Classic Concours d'Elegance, Palm Springs

The Delage D8 120 like the D8 100 introduced a year earlier used Delahaye sourced steel ladder chassis frames.

Delage D8 120 Letourneur & Marchand Aerosport Coupé, Desert Classic Concours d'Elegance, Palm Springs

There seems to be a good bit of confusion about the origins of the engine used in the D8 120 with some sources believing it to have origins in a Delahaye truck and by others to have origins in the Delahaye 135MS straight 6, so far as I am aware both of these suggestions are no more than chewing the cud piffle of the highest order.

Delage D8 120 Letourneur & Marchand Aerosport Coupé, Desert Classic Concours d'Elegance, Palm Springs

I believe the D8 120 engine is a 120hp developement of the straight eight Delage first built in 1929 with it’s capacity now stretched to 4,302 cc / 262.5 cu in.

Delage D8 120 Letourneur & Marchand Aerosport Coupé, Desert Classic Concours d'Elegance, Palm Springs

As before the Delahaye take over top of the range Delages were supplied only as rolling chassis onto which the creme de la creme of boutique coach builders were given instructions by customers as to their exact body requirements.

The Aerosport Sport Pillarless Vue Panoramic body on today’s featured car, now owned by the Peterson Museum, is by Letourneur & Marchand a Parisian coach building company founded in Paris on the 1st of April 1905.

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

Thanks for joining me on this “Pillarless Vue Panoramic” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at some of the 400 cars collected by a man who know’s more about the inside of cars than most and has made a fortune out of writing books about how to take them apart and put them back together again. Don’t forget to come back now !


To Act Or Race – Cooper T56 Mk II #FJ-2-62

Welcome to the first of a short series of Saturday blogs featuring cars raced in Formula Junior between 1959 and 1963.

Cooper T56 Mk II,  Marin Concours d'Elegance,

Following the successes of their first 1960 T52 Formula Junior design, cobbled together with bits from their 500 Formula 3 and Formula 2 designs, in the United States and Europe Cooper Cars built the T56 for the 1961 season.

Cooper T56 Mk II,  Marin Concours d'Elegance,

Walt Hangsen raced the prototype T56 to victory at Riverside in November 1960 and Ricardo Rodriguez followed this up with a second victory in the same car in Mexico in January 1961.

Cooper T56 Mk II,  Marin Concours d'Elegance,

For the 1961 season lumber merchant Ken Tyrrell ran three T56’s, including today’s featured chassis, as works British Motor Corporation powered team for South Africans Tony Maggs and John Love.

Cooper T56 Mk II,  Marin Concours d'Elegance,

After scoring 8 victories during Tony Maggs finished the season as joint European Formula Junior Champion with Jo Siffert who drove a Lotus 20 for Ecurie Romande.

Cooper T56 Mk II,  Marin Concours d'Elegance,

At the end of the season Ken Tyrrell returned the three T56’s to Cooper who then sold #FJ/2/56 on to actor Steve McQueen who while on location for the film “The War Lover” had attended John Coopers racing school and tried the T56 at Brand Hatch.

Cooper T56 Mk II,  Marin Concours d'Elegance,

After driving #FJ/2/62 to victories at Del Mar and Santa Barbra Steve retired from motor racing after he was given an ultimatum by his Studio bosses that he could either act in the movies or become a racing driver, but he could not do both.

Al “Buster” Brizzard bought #FJ/1/62 from McQueen’s mechanic Stanley Peterson and ran it with a BMC motor in 1963, a larger Ford motor in 1964, and then an Alfa Romeo motor in 1965 when he secured the Pacific Coast Formula B Championship.

By the late seventies the car was reportedly seen with big tyres and wings before another of Steve McQueen’s mechanics, Skip McLaughlin, started to restore it. Unfortunately a house fire put an end to Skip’s project and restoration was not completed to it’s original 1961 BMC powered specification until after the cars last owner acquired it in 2003.

The year before these photograph’s were taken by Geoffrey Horton the current owner bought the car for $198,000 at R&M Auctions in August 2012.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sharing today’s photograph’s taken at Marin Concours d’Elegance in 2013.

Thanks for joining me on this “Act Or Race” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for a look at five decades of classic Formula One cars. Don’t forget to come back now !

Wishing all GALPOT readers in the USA a Happy Independence Day.


RIP JP B – Peugeot 309 Gti Turbo Cup

Born on April 26th 1937 Jean Pierre Beltoise was part of a cohort of French drivers that emerged in the 1960’s that included Johnny Servous Gavin, Gerrard Larrousse, Henri Pescarolo and brother in law Francois Cevert.

JP B’s started racing motor cycles winning 11 national titles in three years, he raced Motor Morini, Kreider and Bultaco machines in a handful of world championship events from 1962 to 1964 finishing a best 3rd on a 50 cc Kreider in the 1964 French Grand Prix.

In 1963 Jean Pierre started racing Djet sports cars for René Bonnet. After Bonnet sold out to Matra he raced a succession of Formula 3 and Formula 2 Matra open wheelers with sufficient success that led to his Grand Prix debut in the 1966 German Grand Prix with a Formula 2 Matra in which he finished 8th overall and first in the Formula 2 class.

In 1968 JP B was contracted to drive for the French Matra Sports team but did not race a proper Formula One Spec car until the Spanish Grand Prix when he was drafted in to drive Jackie Stewart’s Cosworth powered Matra MS10 for Ken Tyrrell’s Matra International team.

At Monaco he raced the Matra V12 powered Matra MS 11 for the first time but retired with broken suspension, at the Dutch GP he finished a season high second behind Stewart.

Matra Sport withdrew form F1 at the end of 1968 to focus their efforts on getting Ken Tyrrells Matra International Team Matra MS80 cars for Jackie Stewart, JP-B was drafted in as Jackie’s team mate and again finished a season high second this time in France.

Ken Tyrrell and Matra parted way’s after winning the 1969 World Championships and Matra got it’s V12 programme back on track with JP B and Henri Pescarolo in the drivers seats JP B scored two season high thirds to Henri’s one. The following season JP B remained on the Matra team with Chris Amon but the results were disappointing.

For 1972 JP B signed to drive for BRM for which an over ambitious programme was being funded by Marlboro. At the 1972 Monaco Grand Prix Jean Pierre won his only Grand Prix generally reckoned to have been one of the more difficult races thanks to the atrocious conditions.

Note the scuff mark the BRM’s nose in the linked photo this came about after contact with Ronnie Peterson’s March which was baulking his while being lapped.

This race would be the last formula one championship win for a BRM and at the end of the season Jean Pierre won the non championship John Player victory race at Brands Hatch driving a BRM P180 which would be the last win for the BRM team.

Jean Pierre continued driving for BRM in 1973 during which he finished a season high 4th in Canada with the by now ancient BRM P160 and in 1974 during which he scored a great second place finish on the debut of the P201 in South Africa.

Out of a Formula One drive for 1975 Jean Pierre was in the running for a drive with the new Ligier team for 1976 and tested the Matra V12 powered JS5 before it was decided to hand the car over to 1975 Formula 2 champion Jacques Laffite.

Alongside his open wheel racing Jean Pierre continued racing sports cars winning races in 5 litre, 3 litre and 2 litre classes though most, seven, were wins with the 3 litre / 183 cui Matra’s which included the 1970 Tour de France sharing driving with Patrick Depailler and with FIA President Jean Todt doing the navigating.

After winning the sports car World Championship twice in 1973 and 1974 Matra withdrew from racing a Jean Pierre continued racing Ligier and Rondeau built sports cars at Le Mans, but he never improved on his career best 1969 4th place finish with Piers Courage in the endurance classic.

JP B won two French Saloon car championships driving BMW’s in 1976 and 1977 before proving his versatility, despite restricted arm movement that was the result of a sports car accident in the 1960’s, by winning the 1979 French Rallycross Championship driving an Alpine A310.

Peugeot Gti Turbo, JP Beltoise, Le Mans,

Into the 1980’s JP B continued racing Peugeot 505 Turbo’s, a V6 Talbot Tagora and in 1988 he was racing in the Peugeot 309 Gti Turbo Cup series, above Jean Pierre is seen driving the #88 309 to victory in the support race to the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Jean Pierre passed away on the 5th of January aged 77.

Condolences to his family and friends RIP JP B.

Thanks for joining me on this “RIP JP B” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be visiting Autosport International. Don’t forget to come back now !


ALFA Screen – Maserati Tipo 151 #151.006

In order to compete in the top 4.0 litre / 244 cui GT Prototype Class in the 1962 Le Mans 24 hours Briggs Cunningham and Frances Maserati agent John Simone funded the production of 3 Tipo 151’s.

Ing. Giulio Alfieri abandoned the Birdcage construction of his Tipo 60/61 models and returned to using large tube chassis construction as had been used on the one off Maserati 450S, the 151’s body featured a proprietary windscreen sourced from the ALFA Romeo Giuleitta Sprint Speciale parts bin.

Maserati Tipo 151, Colasacco / Hill, Goodwood Revival

Briggs Cunningham entered two of the Tipo 151’s, chassis 151.004 and 151.006 seen here, and Maserati France chassis 151.002 for the ’62 Le Mans 24 hours.

William Kimberly and Dick Thompson driving #151.006 qualified 3rd behind the Ferrari 330 TRI driven by eventual winners Olivier Gendebien and Phil Hill and the 330 GTO driven by Mike Parkes and Lorenzo Bandini.

Maserati Tipo 151, Colasacco / Hill, Goodwood Revival

During the race William and Dick completed 62 laps before a brake issue caused Dick to crash and retire, the Maserati France car driven by Maurice Trintignant and Lucien Bianchi was withdrawn after 152 laps because the suspension was causing the rear tyres to wear out every 10 laps. The second Cunningham 151 driven by Walt Hangsen and Bruce McLaren retired after completing 177 laps with a blown motor.

#151.006 was then driven in two US events by Augie Pabst whose best result was a 7th place in the LA Times Grand Prix at Riverside. Bev Spencer then bought the car for Stan Peterson to drive in the ’62 SCCA meeting at Vacaville, however Stan crashed in the qualifying race and after it was repaired Bev sold the car to Skip Hudson whose best result, from three known starts, was a 3rd place in an SCCA race at Cotati in May 1963.

Joe Colasacco and Derek Hill were drove #151.006, now owned by Lawrence Auriana when it was photographed during practice for the RAC TT Celebration races at Goodwood in 2011 and 2012.

Thanks for joining me on this “ALFA Screen” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a French WM Le Mans entry. Don’t forget to come back now !


Recreation Racer – Peterson Supercharged 6.5 litre Road Racer

Tucked away in deepest Devon Peterson Engineering is a globally respected purveyor of hand made components for vintage Bentley cars.

Bentley Mk VI, Peterson SC Special, Goodwood Revival

The rural business run by Bob Peterson also has a fine reputation for restoring, rebuilding and recreating vintage Bentley Motor Cars.

Bentley Mk VI, Peterson SC Special, Goodwood Revival

Today’s featured Peterson Supercharged 6.5 litre Road Racer is a recreation of the famous methanol burning red Bentley Blower Tim Birkin drove at Brooklands from 1929 to 1932.

Bentley Mk VI, Peterson SC Special, Goodwood Revival

This car like many Petersen Specials relies on a 400 hp 6.5 litre 406.5 cui supercharged 8 cylinder Rolls Royce motor for power in place of the donor cars original 6 cylinder normally aspirated Bentley motor.

Bentley Mk VI, Peterson SC Special, Goodwood Revival

Like last Sunday’s Blue Velvet Special the Peterson Special is built around a Bentley Mk VI chassis in this case one of the last delivered in 1953.

Bentley Mk VI, Peterson SC Special, Goodwood Revival

Along with, Limited Slip Differential (LSD), dual circuit hydraulic disc brakes and fully adjustable suspension the Petersen Supercharged 6.5 litre Road Racer is fitted with Dunlop Racing tyres.

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


Peterson’s Poles – Lotus Cosworth 72E #R6

The 1973 Formula One season is remembered for many things some good Jackie Stewart’s third and final world championship some bad the death’s of Jackie’s team mate Francois Cevert and Roger Williamson who had been selected to replace Jackie upon his retirement. However one of my overwhelming memories of the season, the first which I avidly followed in the printed press which was as close to the internet as I could find back in the day, was the raw speed shown by Ronnie Peterson driving his Ford Cosworth DFV powered John Player Special sponsored Lotus 72.

Lotus Cosworth 72E, Silverstone Classic

During the 1973 season Ronnie Peterson set a new record number of 9 pole position starts from the 15 race championship season as he finally found himself with a car capable of winning races rather than out lasting the opposition has the March cars he drove in 1971 to second place in the world championship standings had done. I believe seven of those pole positions and Ronnie’s four 1973 championship race victories were recorded in today’s featured chassis which I believe to be #R6.

Lotus Cosworth 72E, Silverstone Classic

#R6 first appeared towards the end of the 1971 season in ‘D’ spec wearing the Gold Leaf Team Lotus colours with another Swede Reine Wisell at the wheel. Reine’s best result was a 4th place finish in the 1971 Austrian Grand Prix.

For 1972 #R6 still in ‘D’ spec but now painted in the black and gold livery of John Player Special was driven by Australian Dave Walker. Dave who had built an enviable record in the junior ranks on his way up could not perform to the same level at the sports top table and only managed a best 5th place finish at the non championship Brazilian Grand Prix with today’s featured chassis. Reine Wisell was reunited with #R6 at the 1972 United States Grand Prix where he finished 10th.

Lotus Cosworth 72E, Silverstone Classic

Over the winter of 1972/73 Ronnie Peterson joined Lotus from March and #R6 was brought up to 72 E spec which included wide track front suspension revisions which were soon abandoned and structural revisions to include a deformable structure around the side fuel tanks. By the time R6 appeared in ‘E’ spec at the non championship Race of Champions at Brands Hatch Ronnie had already scored his first pole for the Brazilian Grand Prix. At Brands Ronnie qualified 6th and fought his way into the lead by lap 5 an was running away from the field when his gearbox broke and forced his retirement on his 18th lap but not before he had set what would be a shared fastest lap time with the BRM drivers Jean Pierre Beltoise and Niki Lauda who had been Ronnie’s team mate at March in 1972.

Ronnie drove to pole position for the following Spanish Grand Prix in chassis #R8 recording fastest lap before the gearbox failed. Back in #R6 Ronnie then won pole for the Belgian Grand Prix from which he retired after an accident. Ronnie was back in #R8 for the Monaco Grand Prix where he qualified 2nd and finished third behind Stewart and team mate Emerson Fittipaldi. Back in #R6 for the remainder of the 1973 season Ronnie was claimed his forth pole of the season in his home Grand Prix but finished second after leading his team mate for most of the race and in the process wearing out his tyres. Emerson retired with gearbox failure four laps from home leaving Denny Hulme to pick up the pieces and sweep by to win the Swedish Grand Prix.

Lotus Cosworth 72E, Silverstone Classic

At the 1973 French Grand Prix Ronnie finally took his maiden Grand Prix victory from 5th on the grid driving today’s featured car and two weeks later he claimed his fifth pole position of the season at the British Grand Prix, where he finished second. At the Dutch Grand Prix Ronnie was on pole in again but retired with gearbox and engine issues. In Germany Ronnie qualified 2nd but failed to finish. Ronnie won 3 of the final 4 championship races in 1973 in Austria Italy and the United States and pole for the final three races of the season in Italy, Canada and the USA. He retired from the Canadian Grand Prix with a puncture.

Ronnie finished third in the 1973 World Drivers Championship behind Stewart and team mate Fittipaldi and there is no doubt that Emerson might have won the championship if he had not been forced to race his team mate as hard as he did. Lotus again won the constructors championship as they had with the same model in 1970 and ’72.

For 1974 Lotus had planned to replace the Lotus 72 with the Lotus 76, but when that failed to show potential the Lotus 72 design was pressed into service for the remainder of the season in slightly modified form with the oil tank moved from behind the gearbox to a position ahead of the rear wheels as mandated by new regulations.

#R6 ended it’s in period competition career in South Africa where Team Gunston entered the car in the local Formula One series for Ian Scheckter, brother of Jody, in in 1974 Ian scored five wins in the South African series to finish second to Dave Carlton who drove a McLaren M23. For 1975 Ian drove his brothers 1974 Tyrrell 007 and Team Gunston entered Eddie Keizan in #R6. Eddie like Ian the year before in the same car finished 13th in the South African Grand Prix but could only manage a season high second in the local South African championship races after which it was retired.

Ronnie Peterson fan Katsu Kubota is the current owner of #R6 seen here earlier this year at the Silverstone Classic meeting.

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


Mario & Ronnie Show – Lotus Ford 79 #79/2 & #79/3

John Player Team Lotus hit the track running in 1978 with Mario Andretti winning the opening race of the season in Argentina and his team mate Ronnie Peterson winning the third race of the season after a thrilling last couple of laps in South Africa. Both of these victories were achieved with the previous seasons Lotus Ford 78 ‘wing car design’ for 1978 Colin Chapman and his engineers came up with something even more refined in the shape of today’s featured car the ‘ground effect’ Lotus Ford 79.

Lotus Ford 79, Goodwood, Festival of Speed

The Mario Andretti first raced a Lotus 79 in the non championship International Trophy race at Silverstone a race well remembered because the front row qualifiers Ronnie Peterson and Niki Lauda both spun of on the warm up lap leaving Andretti and James Hunt to start at the front of the grid despite qualifying 3rd and 4th. Andretti only lasted two laps before he spun out with Hunt spinning out one lap earlier at the same spot.

Lotus Ford 79, Goodwood, Festival of Speed

However for the Belgium Grand Prix there were no mistakes Mario qualified on pole and won, driving I believe from Ronnie who started 7th in the older Lotus Ford 78. At the Spanish Grand Prix Mario was I believe given the #79/3 seen above while Ronnie took over Mario’s Belgium winning #79/2 seen below. Mario qualified on pole and Ronnie 2nd and that is how the Spanish Grand Prix finished.

Lotus Ford 79, Goodwood, Festival of Speed

Mario retired from the Swedish Grand Prix after qualifying on pole leaving Ronnie to finish 3rd behind the controversial Brabham fan cars of Lauda and Watson. Bernie Ecclestone chose to withdraw the Brabham BT46 fan cars after just one race. At the following French Grand Prix Mario qualified 2nd and Ronnie 5th, however they finished 1st and 2nd respectively for the 3rd time in the 1978 season.

Lotus Ford 79, Goodwood, Festival of Speed

For the British Grand Prix it was Ronnie and pole and Mario next to him but both cars retired. In Germany Mario qualified on pole with Ronnie sat next to him on the grid and by now unsurprisingly that is how they finished the race. In Austria Ronnie was again on pole with Mario starting second however Mario retired leaving Ronnie to take an unchallenged win which would prove to be his last.

Lotus Ford 79, Goodwood, Festival of Speed

At the Dutch Grand Prix Mario qualified on pole in #79/3 with Ronnie beside him in #79/2 and the pair duly took their fifth and final 1-2 result of the season. This would prove to be Mario’s last Grand Prix win and indeed the last for any American driver and Ronnie’s last ever finish too. Ronnie crashed #79/2 during practice for the Italian GP and started the race from fifth in an older Lotus 78 while Andretti started from pole in the latest #79/4. Ronnie was involved in a start line accident which broke his legs, unfortunately during the night bone marrow from his injuries got into his blood stream and he died the following morning. The race was restarted and a subdued Mario finished sixth which was enough to claim the championship, but in truth Mario was far more concerned for Ronnie with whom he had been good friends since there time as team mates driving Ferrari sports cars in the early 1970’s. Ronnie for the second time in his career finished second in the World Drivers Championship.

Lotus Ford 79, Goodwood, Festival of Speed

The success of the Lotus 79 was largely due to what was happening to the airflow beneath the bodywork, by building the monocoque just wide enough to hold the driver with fuel tank behind him and the motor behind that, Colin Chapman and his engineers Peter Wright, Geoff Aldridge, Martin Ogilvie and Tony Rudd used the side pods to create venturi by using a low wide neck at the front entrance to the side pods and tall wide exit, with side skirts sealing airflow under the car. When the car was moving air was guided into a partial vacuum created between the venturi side pods under surface and the surface of the road and this had the effect of sucking the car to road which allowed the car to negotiate corners at higher speeds than their competitors, most of whom had still not got to grips with the wing car aerodynamics advanced by the previous years Lotus 78.

For the last two races of the 1979 season perennial Formula One under achiever Jean Pierre Jarrier joined Mario in the team Mario qualified on pole in the USA with J-PJ 8th but neither car finished in the US Grand Prix. The final race of the season was held in Canada where Mario could only qualify 9th and Jean Pierre sat on pole. During the race Jean Pierre looked set for a win until he retired with an oil leak.

Mario finished tenth. The Lotus 79’s were set to be replaced by even more radical Lotus 80’s in 1979 but everything did not go to plan and so the 79’s were pressed into service again for most of the season but were out classed by their competitors who were getting to grips with ground effects aerodynamics.

A little post script courtesy Barry Boor, Mario Andretti was invited to drive the inauguration lap of the next home of the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the America’s on October 21st, the car he drove was naturally a Lotus Ford 79 with which he won his world Championship, you can see how he got on in this linked youtube clip.

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