Tag Archives: Philip Morris

Wife’s New Clothes – Iso Rivolta Lele IR6

Before designing the body for the 2+2 Lamborghini Jarama which I looked at a couple of weeks ago, Bertone’s Marchello Gandini was commissioned to design what was intended to be a one off 2+2 body for an ISO Rivolta IR300.

ISO Rivolta Lele IR6 Sport, Silverstone Classic

Piero Rivolta was so impressed with Gandini’s new design that he had the one off put into production lending his wife’s name to the new ISO Rivolta Lele which was launched in 1969 powered by a Chevrolet V8 tuned to either give 300hp or 350 hp.

ISO Rivolta Lele IR6 Sport, Silverstone Classic

In 1972 after General Motors demanded payment for it’s motors prior to shipping ISO Rivolta switched to using Ford Cleveland motors in it’s Grifo, Fidia and Lele models with the Ford powered Lele becoming the Lele IR6 with 325hp of which 130 were built from 1972 until ISO Rivolta went bankrupt in 1974. Around 20 Lele IR6 models with manual transmissions were built with their Cleveland motors tuned to give 360 hp and these were known as IR6 Sports.

ISO Rivolta Lele IR6 Sport, Silverstone Classic

In all 285 ISO Lele’s, of all types, are thought to have been built including 3 or possibly 4 cars commissioned by Philip Morris for ISO Marlboro F1 drivers Howden Ganley and Nanni Galli along with associated promotions.

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

Brighton Speed Trials Under Threat of Permanent Cancellation !

In their infinite wisdom, Brighton & Hove City Council are seeking to ban the Brighton Speed Trials from 2014.

If you care about speed and or motorsport history, please sign this linked petition to save Brighton Speed Trials in 2014 and beyond.

It’s a faf to Register before signing, but relatively painless compared to loosing the event which has been run with few interruptions since 1905.

You do not need to be resident in Brighton or even the UK to sign.

Thanks and please spread the word through whatever social media you have at your disposal.


Fragrant Debut Pole – McLaren Cosworth M23 #M23/1

At the 1973 South African Grand Prix 1967 World Champion New Zealander Denny Hulme qualified on pole for the first and only time in his entire formula one career which lasted from 1965 until 1974. Remarkably he was driving a brand new Ford Cosworth powered McLaren M23, #M23/1 featured today, that was designed by Gordon Coppuck and which was to replace the Ralph Bellamy designed McLaren M19C.

McLaren Cosworth M23, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

The design of the M23 was broadly similar to the design of the 1972 turbo Offy powered McLaren M16 which Mark Donohue drive to victory in the 1972 Indy 500, except in the DFV motor of the M23 was bolted into the chassis rather to a sub frame and the side radiators of the M23 were surrounded by a deformable structure to protect the fuel tanks in the side of the chassis.

Denny Hulme came fifth in the 1973 South African Grand Prix which was won by Jackie Stewart driving a Tyrrell 006. At the 1973 Swedish Grand Prix Denny Hulme took the first of the M23’s 16 World Championship race victories, two races later Peter Revson scored the models 2nd victory at the British Grand Prix a feat Peter would repeat at the Canadian Grand Prix towards the end of the season. Despite scoring two more wins than in the previous season McLaren again finished third in the 1973 World Constructors championship as they had in 1972.

McLaren Cosworth M23, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

For 1974 McLaren again attracted BRM’s sponsor Philip Morris and the Marlboro brand, Yardley having sponsored BRM in 1970 and 1971 prior to joining McLaren for 1972. Peter Revson moved to join the UOP Shadow outfit and was replaced at McLaren by 1972 World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi from Lotus.

Emerson won three world championship races in 1974 on his way to his second World Drivers Championship and McLaren’s first World Constructors Championship, backed up by Denny Hulme who won the first race of the 1974 World Championship season in Aregetina which would be his last prior to retiring from the sport at the end of the season. Chassis #M23/1 was used in the early 1974 season by a third Yardley backed factory entry for Mike Hailwood who joined McLaren from Surtees. Mike ‘the Bikes’ best result was third in the South African Grand Prix which would become his career high world championship result. An accident in Germany at the wheel of another M23 prematurely terminated Mikes driving career, though he would return to motor cycling at which he was a seven time world champion and add two Isle of Man TT trophies in 1978 and 1979 to bring his total to fourteen.

In 1975 Emerson claimed two more championship victories on his way to second in the title behind Niki Lauda in the superior Ferrari 312T which had a more powerful motor and superior handling thanks to a transversely mounted gearbox and the testing skills of it’s driver. Another Surtees refugee Jochen Mass who had teken over Mike Hailwoods Yardley McLaren drive in 1974 replaced Denny Hulme and scored his only Grand Prix victory at the ill feted 1975 Spanish Grand Prix.

James Hunt replaced Emerson Fittipaldi for 1976 and McLaren ended up using the M23 for a forth straight season as they were locked in an epic battle with Niki Lauda for the 1976 title that has been immortalised by Ron Howard in the film “Rush” released earlier this year. On his way to the 1976 World Drivers Championship James won 6 races to become the M23 model’s most successful driver.

By 1977 the M23 was pressed into a fifth season of competition as a works racer before a much modified McLaren M26 was finally brought up to speed mid way through the season, non works McLaren’s were used sporadically in World Championship events until 1978 when rising star Nelson Piquet recorded a 9th place finish in the Canadian Grand Prix on what was to be the M23’s final World Championship appearance.

Tony Trimmer won the British Formula One Championship driving a Melchester Racing McLaren M23 in 1978.

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


Fifty Fifty – BRM P160E # P160-07

For 1972 BRM lost their Yardley sponsorship but managed to land an even bigger sponsor in the form of Philip Morris who were interested in stealing some of the lime light Players were basking in thanks to their “Gold Leaf” brand logo’s appearing on the championship winning Lotus cars of Graham Hill and Jochen Rindt in 1968 and 1970 respectively.

BRM P160 E, BRM Day, Bourne

In order to give Philip Morris’s Marlboro brand maximum exposure BRM determined it would enter every Grand Prix of the 1972 season with five 48 valve V12 powered cars of three different designs dating back to 1970 with a roster of eight different drivers. Some how Jean Pierre Beltoise managed to keep his head in the ensuing chaos and won the Monaco Grand Prix in a BRM P160 a design dating back to 1971 and the final non championship John Player Victory Trophy race of the season in the new for 1972 BRM P180. These two races would prove to be the last ever contemporary Formula One race victories for the team ever.

BRM P160 E, BRM Day, Bourne

For 1973 designer Tony Southgate left the chaos at BRM to start afresh with the new Shadow Team while BRM decided to downscale to a three car operation for a more or less regular trio of drivers, using an updated version of the BRM P160. Swiss driver Clay Regazzoni who was on what turned out to be a one year sabbatical from Ferrari and Frenchman Jean Pierre Beltoise BRM’s incumbent winner who was in the middle of a three year stint at British Racing Motors (BRM) were joined by a young Austrian upstart called Niki Lauda who decided that suicide was best avoided in favour of yet another bank loan for one last attempt at hitting the big time in Formula One.

BRM P160 E, BRM Day, Bourne

Clay Regazzoni made an immediate impact by winning pole for the first race of the 1973 season at the Argentinian Grand Prix but from there things went steadily down hill for the team particularly after they had locked out the first three starting positions for the 1973 Race of Champions at Brands Hatch with Beltoise and Lauda sharing the fastest lap of the race with the Lotus of Ronnie Peterson.

BRM P160 E, BRM Day, Bourne

At the very next race the non championship International Trophy held at Silverstone today’s featured chassis #P160-07 the first of four E specification chassis, appeared for the first time with Clay Regazzoni qualifying 8th and finishing a respectable 3rd. Clay drove the car on five more occasions failing to improve on 8th in qualifying and slipping no lower than 12th and finishing similarly.

BRM P160 E, BRM Day, Bourne

#P160-07 was not used for the British Grand Prix and when it reappeared at the 1973 Dutch Grand Prix Jean Pierre Beltoise was at the wheel. Beltoise qualified the car no better than ninth and no worse than 16th in 6 races netting two 5th place finishes and a season high 4th place finish at the Canadian Grand Prix from a 16th place start.

JP Beltoise drove #P160-07 on it’s last in period appearance at the 1973 US Grand Prix where the car finished 9th from a 14th place start after which the car was briefly fitted with a Westlake V12 for testing in 1974 again with Beltoise at the wheel. By now Regazzoni had signed to rejoin Ferrari and on his recommendation Ferrari signed Niki Lauda to join him and so the Austrian finally started repaying his bank loans on his way to becoming a triple World Champion.

Philip Morris moved their Marlboro sponsorship to McLaren in 1974 with whom they won the first of many championships with Emerson Fittipaldi at the wheel in the opening year of their thirty year partnership.

Tony Southgates new for 1973 Shadow DN1 design did not better his BRM P160 design the Shadow team finishing 8th at the seasons end, 3 points and one spot below BRM in the championship table.

Today’s featured car was seen at last years BRM Day in it’s home town Bourne, Linconshire with J Burt at the wheel.

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