Tag Archives: Raby

Gemini’s Antecedent – Moorland BMC

My understanding is that Leslie Redmond of the Moorland Car Company, Southall, London built today’s unique Moorland Formula Junior car to a design laid down by Len Terry in early 1959.

The first documented appearance of the car I have been able to find is in the third BRSCC organised Formula Junior race which took place at Brands Hatch on August 3rd 1959.

Moorland, Bill Grimshaw, Silverstone Classic,

It would appear that Graham Warner of The Checkered Flag, a car sales, engineering and racing business that operated from premises on Edgeware Road and Chiswick High Street in London with a third on Arkright Street in Nottingham, bought the car and entered it for himself at Brands Hatch.

However Graham got stuck on his return from Germany, where the German Grand Prix had been run at Avus in Berlin the day before and called ahead to his mechanics to find a driver for the Speedwell BMC powered Moorland.

Ian Raby was given the job of driving the Moorland and after starting from the back of the grid, having missed practice, he scythed through the field recording the quickest lap in the five lap race on his way to eventual victory.

Graham Warner decided to acquire the rights, jigs, moulds and services of Leslie Redmond to put the car into production, naming it Gemini Mk2 after Gemini House on Edgeware Road where one of his businesses was based.

In 1960 the Moorland went to the USA where it remained until repatriated in 2001, current owner William, Bill, Grimshaw is seen at the wheel in this photograph exiting the pits at last years Silverstone Classic meeting.

On the 26th December 1959, at a rain sodden Brands Hatch, a Scotsman by the name of Jim Clark drove a Checkered Flag entered Ford powered Gemini Mk2 to an eighth place finish in the 10 lap John Davey Trophy.

Thanks for joining me on this “Gemini’s Antecedent” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I will be looking at another Healey. Don’t forget to come back now !


Bearing His Own Name – Brabham BT3 F1-1-62

After winning the 1959 and 1960 World Drivers Championships driving 4 cylinder Coventry Climax FPF powered Coopers Jack Brabham went into business with fellow Australian engineer and designer Ron Tauranac to found Motor Racing Developments (MRD) was founded to build racing cars for customers and the Brabham Racing Organisation.

It is believed that the Brabham name was only applied to Motor Racing Developments cars after it was realised that the pronunciation of MRD was akin to the French expletive.

Brabham BT3, Donington Grand Prix Collection,

After building the initial MRD retrospectively known as the Brabham BT1 Formula Junior car a batch of 11 BT2 Formula Juniors was built before thoughts turned towards building a Formula One car today’s featured BT3.

Jack Brabham left Cooper at the end of 1961 and initially raced a Lotus Climax 24 #947 until today’s featured car was ready for the German Grand Prix.

Brabham BT3, Donington Grand Prix Collection,

Only the one Coventry Climax FWMV V8 powered BT3 was built and it was noted for having a roomy cockpit compared to it’s rivals in particular the svelte Lotus 25 built for the equally svelte Jim Clark.

Other notable features included; a Francis-Colotti Type-34, 6 speed gearbox, 9 inch disc brakes and external pipes to the front radiator to help keep the cockpit temperatures down.

Brabham BT3, Donington Grand Prix Collection,

Jack was the first person ever to start a Grand Prix in a car bearing his own name at the 1962 German Grand Prix where he qualified 24th after an engine failure and retired from the race when his improvised throttle linkage proved problematic.

After winning the non championship Danish Grand Prix in his Lotus, finishing third in the non championship Gold Cup in the BT3 Jack missed the Italian GP but returned to for the US Grand Prix and drove the BT3 now fitted with larger brake discs to finish 4th to become the first man to win World Championship points driving a car bearing his own name.

Brabham BT3, Donington Grand Prix Collection,

At the non championship 1962 Mexican Grand Prix Jack finished 2nd to the Lotus 25 shared by Trevor Taylor and Jim Clark and at the season ending South African Grand Prix Jack recorded another 4th place finish.

Jack drove the car in two championship rounds in 1963 finishing a best 5th in the Italian GP, but more importantly he won the non championship Solitude Grand Prix in Germany and Austrian Grand Prix at Zeltweg, finishing latter 5 laps ahead of his pursuers.

Brabham BT3, Donington Grand Prix Collection,

New Zealander Denny Hulme also drove the BT3 to a fourth place finish in the non championship 9th Kanonloppet race in Sweden.

The BT3 was then sold to Ian Raby who fitted a BRM V8 motor and entered it into four world championship rounds over the ensuing 2 seasons, his best result was 11th in the 1965 British Grand Prix.

Brabham BT3, Donington Grand Prix Collection,

David Hepworth bought the BT3 from Ian and fitted a Chevrolet V8 for use in hillclimbing. Tom Wheatcroft latter acquired the car and had it restored back to it’s original specification.

The car is seen at Tom’s Donington Grand Prix Collection prior to it being sold on in 2012.

01/03/15 Errarta the photo’s originally posted with this blog showed the intercontinental 2.5 litre, 4 cylinder Brabham BT4 driven by Jason Minshaw to victory in the Jack Brabham Memorial Trophy at last years Silverstone Classic meeting not the BT3 as I erroneously thought.

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


Wider & Longer Cockpit – Flash Special

In 1957 while Jack Brabham was building the Cooper T43 for an almost complete season of Formula One the Cooper Car Company was still predominantly dependent on selling open wheelers for the “500” Formula 3 class, their 1957 500 F3 model was known as the Mk XI even though it was little changed from the 1956 Mk X and 1955 Mk IX models that preceded it.

West London launderette and dry cleaning operator Albert Zains had been racing Cooper 500 Formula 3 cars since 1954, for some long forgotten reason he ordered his 1957 Cooper XI to be built with a cockpit 2 inches wider and 2 inches longer than standard.

Flash Special, Roy Wright, Oulton Park

Albert’s own size is not thought to have played any part in the decision, he christened his Norton powered car the Flash Special.

Of the cars known results up to 1960 when Albert appears to have retired from racing were 5 third place finishes all recorded in 1958, two of which were scored by Albert, two with Ian Raby at the wheel and one with Syd Jensen.

Flash Special, Roy Wright, Oulton Park

Albert appears to have been part owner and one time racer of a Lotus Eleven chassis #168 which post Albert’s involvement in 1958 became known as the “Singapore Eleven” with fellow 500 F3 exponent Gordon Jones.

The Flash Special was fitted with a Triumph motor in 1970 and is seen in these photo’s with current owner Roy Wright at the wheel at last years Oulton Park Gold Cup meeting.

Flash Special, Roy Wright, Oulton Park

Thanks for joining me on this “Wider & Longer” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psychoontyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at another ERA. Don’t forget to come back now !


Elle va à Bexhill On Sea – Elva Climax Mk III

Bexhill on Sea second hand car dealer and engine tuning specialist Frank G Nichols decided to enter the racing car manufacturing business as a response to enquiries arising from a CSM Frank bought from Mike Chapman, no relation to Colin and raced successfully in 1954.

Elva Mk III, The Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham

The Elva name is a mash up of the French “Ella va” which means ‘she goes’. By the time production ceased the Elva name had appeared on over 1000 vehicles.

Elva Mk III, The Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham

By 1958 Elva was manufacturing the Coventry Climax powered Mk III, known drivers of the cars back then included Charlie Kolb, Burdette Martin and William Jordan in the USA with Eugine Hall and Ian Raby representing the Marque in the United Kingdom.

Elva Mk III, The Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham

Of the 92 starts known for the model at Racing Sports Cars.com three were outright victories Kolb at Miami, William Bradley at Green Acres both in 1958 and the last recorded by George Ranney at Grayling in 1960, many additional class wins were also recorded.

Elva Mk III, The Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham

The history of the car seen here at last years Classic Motor Show is unknown, it is owned by Bexhill Museum who had the original aluminium body that had at various times been painted red, blue and white, replaced by a new one manufactured by the original suppliers Hastings Motor Sheet Metal now known as Moore & Tye in 2009.

Elva Mk III, The Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham

The Nostalgia Forum member Bloggsworth has kindly informed that the team that made the new body included Alan Jenner who worked on the original car. A small reunion of ex Elva employees took place when the restoration was complete. The Mk III can now usually be seen in the Technology Collection at Bexhill Museum.

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

PS Congratulations to Johnny Martinez who was awarded a trophy for his ’29 Ford Model A at the Grand National Roadster Show yesterday, John would also like to thank every one who has voted for him in the Cool Rides Online ® pole at goldeagle.com. The vote is still incredibly close, YOU CAN VOTE “John’s 1929 Ford Model A” ONCE A DAY ON THIS LINK until poling closes 31st January, please keep your daily votes coming in, thank you.