Tag Archives: Ralph Colmar

Gold Cup Stars – Oulton Park

For today’s post I thought it would be fun to revisit the Gold Cup meeting and see some of the stars who were not first to the checkered flag but nonetheless contributed significantly to the weekends entertainment.

AEC Reliance, Oulton Park, Gold Cup,

As Tim and I arrived at the circuit two AEC buses were being driven around the circuit with gusto, one even had Autosport club editor Marcus Pye entertaining passengers with a commentary, above a Devon General liveried 1963 AEC Reliance exits the Britten’s Chicane.

AC Greyhound, Oulton Park, Gold Cup,

Car of the day in the car park was this 1963 Ford Zephyr straight six powered AC Greyhound one of just 83 built.

Jaguar XJR9, Andy Wallace, Gold Cup, Oulton Park,

The day after our visit 1988 Le Mans winner Andy Wallace, on the right in the photo, gave a demonstration of the 1988 Le Mans winning #2 Jaguar XJR9 in front of him, this time completing his lap of honour unlike a previous visit in 2010.

de Tomaso Mangusta, Michael Eagles, Gold Cup, Oulton, Park

One of the cars that tempted me to visit on the Sunday rather than the usual Monday was Michael Eagles de Tomaso Mangusta, Michael started the Oni Plc Historic Road Sports race from 8th on the grid and got as high as 7th in the race before dropping back to finish 16th.

Sunbeam Alpine, Mike Foley, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

In the same race back marker Mike Foley produced the save of the day, after going into Old Lodge too fast and running wide his Sunbeam Alpine went into a nasty tank slapper upon regaining the track, just after this photo was taken, but some how Mike kept the car from spinning or hitting the barriers and continued to finish the race.

 Mallock Mk 20/21, Mark Charteris, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

The Giant Killer of the weekend award goes to Mark Charteris who qualified his Mallock U2 Mk20/21 Clubmans car for the first Derek Bell Trophy race fourth ahead an impressive collection of four more powerful Formula 5000 cars and was in third when the race was red flagged after Ian Ashley’s accident, the following day in damp conditions Mark beat both Neil Glover and Mark Dwyer aboard a Formula 5000 Chevron and Formula 2 March respectively that had finished ahead of him the day before.

Jaguar C-type, Ben Cussons, Gold Cup, Oulton Park,

Just finishing the Jaguar Challenge race proved a challenge too far for five of the 20 starters, smoke was seen issuing from beneath several cars including the #18 C-type driven by Ben Cussons who was classified 9th a lap down and the #15 E-type in the back ground driven by Paul Castaldini who managed to hang on to finish 2nd over 90 seconds down on the winning E-Type driven by Michael Wilkinson and John Bussel.

Ginetta G12, Chris Blewett, Gold Cup, Oulton Park,

Wheel lifter of the day went to back marker Chris Blewett driving the #44 Ginetta G12 in the Guards Trophy supported by Dunlop Tyres race whose car struggled to keep four wheels on the ground in the corners.

MG Arkley, Chris Fisher, Gold Cup, Oulton Park,

By 1970 there were loads of Austin Sprites and MG Midgets knocking about with seriously rusted bodies when John Britten in Barnet North London came up with the idea of recycling them with the aid of a retro look fibre glass front and rear ends that could easily be fitted to donor cars, thus the Arkley S with standard wheels and Arkley SS with wide wheels were born. Lawn Mower of the day award went to #27 Arkley SS driver Chris Fisher who during the 70’s Road Sports Bob Trotter Celebration race came out of the appropriately named Britten’s Chicane a tad wide and opted for the shortest route, with the least grip, before rejoining the track on the ascent to Hill Top.

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


Royal Presidential Film Star – Rolls Royce Silver Wraith #WVH4

The first post war Rolls Royce model was the Silver Wraith which was built from 1946 to 1959.

Rolls Royce Silver Wraith, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham

The initial 127″ wheel base chassis was similar to the pre war Wraith with independent front suspension and semi elliptical leaf springs for the live rear axle.

Rolls Royce Silver Wraith, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham

The 6 cylinder motor was fitted with a new cylinder head that featured overhead inlet valves and side exhaust valves, in 1951 the displacement was increased to 4566 cc / 278 cui as seen fitted to the vehicle built in 1952 featured today.

Rolls Royce Silver Wraith, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham

The Royal houses of Holland, Denmark and Greece all selected Silver Wraith’s for their automotive collections. Silver Wraiths were also chosen as Presidential vehicles by the Brazilian and Irish governments and I believe both are still in use.

Rolls Royce Silver Wraith, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham

Reassuringly expensive Silver Wrath models have landed roles in numerous films including The Return Of the Pink Panther (1975), Arthur (1981), a fine Sedanca de Ville by Hooper bodied example in Withnail and I (1987) and Batman Returns (1992).

Rolls Royce Silver Wraith, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham

Chassis #WVH4 was the last to be bodied by Rippon Bros, the Silver Wrath was also the last model to be offered as a powered chassis, and appeared at the 1952 Earls Court Motor Show. More recently after a restoration that started in 2002 this car appeared in the 2011 film The Deep Blue Sea.

Rolls Royce Silver Wraith, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham

In all 1883 Silver Wraith’s were manufactured 639 of them with a 133″ long wheel base option, that was available from 1951 and replaced the 127″ wheel base chassis completely in 1953.

Thanks for joining me on this “Royal Presidential Film Star” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for a look at the reincarnation of a World Land Speed Record Car that lay buried beneath the Pendine Sands for 40 years. Don’t forget to come back now !


Advancing Suspension – Petty Norton

Acknowledged Norton tuning expert Ray Petty, no known relationship to the Petty’s of Level Cross, NC, turned his attention to building a 500 Formula 3 car in late 1955.

Petty Norton, Oulton Park

The Petty Norton featured a space frame chassis and suspension with rocker arm actuated inboard coil springs and shock absorbers at the front and de Dion rear with a transverse leaf spring.

Petty Norton, Oulton Park

Powered by one of Ray’s tuned 497 cc / 30.3 cui Norton Motors Alan Cowley led on the cars debut at the Boxing Day Brands Hatch meeting, until he spun into retirement.

Petty Norton, Castle Combe

Alan continued driving the Petty Norton through 1956, with Ray Petty taking over for the Brighton Speed Trials and Freddie Campbell for the Commander Yorke 100 mile race at Silverstone in September 1956.

Petty Norton, Nigel Challis, 500 F3, Oulton Park

The Petty Norton is not known to have competed in 1957, though why remains a mystery since when Jeremy Menzies took over the wheel in 1958 he recorded at least three “Junior” wins at Brands Hatch and a respectable 4th in the Commander Yorke 100 run in August 1958.

Petty Norton, Nigel Challis, BAC MSA Challenge, Castle Combe

Dave Lecoq driving the unique Petty Nroton won the Earl of March Trophy at Goodwood in 2005.

Petty Norton, Nigel Challis, BAC MSA Challenge, Castle Combe

Seen at the wheel at Oulton Park in 2013 and Castle Combe two weeks ago is present owner Nigel Challis.

Thanks for joining me on this “Advanced Suspension” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l pscho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a 1936 ERA. Don’t forget to come back now !


Identificaion Variable – Nissan IDx Nismo

The Nissan IDx Freeflow and Nismo concept cars were first seen in 2013 hark back to the Datsun 510/Bluebird/1600 models built from 1968 to 1973.

Nissan IDx Nismo, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

The performance IDx NISMO variant seen here at Goodwood Festival of Speed is seen as a competitor to the similarly rear wheel drive Hyundai Genesis coupé, Scion FRS and Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86 models.

Nissan IDx Nismo, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

If the IDx Nismo goes into production it is believed that it will be powered by a 200hp turbocharged motor, similar to that found in the Juke Nismo.

Nissan IDx Nismo, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

Unfortunately the bad boy side pipes will probably not make it into production.

Nissan IDx Nismo, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

So far only a Constantly Variable Transmission (CVT) has been seen in the two IDx concepts.

Nissan IDx Nismo, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

It is believed the IDx Nismo will have a top speed of 130mph and will reach 60mph from rest in 7 seconds.

Nissan IDx Nismo, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

No date has been given for the IDx to go into production, but it is believed that it may replace it could replace either the Quest, Xterra, Cube or Juke should any of these models be discontinued.

Thanks for joining me on the “Identity Variable” 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 !


Wire Wheeled Voiturette – Bugatti Type 37A #37282

The Bugatti Type 37 was a 1.5 litre / 91.5 cui 4 cylinder vehicle, first seen in 1926, designed to compete in races run to 1.5 litre Voiturette rules.

Bugatti Type 37A, Bugatti Trust, Prescott

Type 37’s shared a common chassis with the 8 cylinder Type 35 race cars, but were not usually fitted with the distinctive alloy wheels of the 8 cylinder model unless they were supercharged.

Bugatti Type 37A, Bugatti Trust, Prescott

The Voiturette motor could be ordered either normally aspirated which produced around 60hp or with a supercharger which increased the output to 80 or 90 hp depending on how long one needed the motor to last. The 67 supercharged cars, like #37282 seen here at the Bugatti Trust, are known as Type 37As.

Bugatti Type 37A, Bugatti Trust, Prescott

The 290 Type 37s built between 1926 and 1930 cost less than half of the amount of the Type 35, the car seen here was originally supplied to Munich Bugatti dealer Omnia Kraftfahrzeug Handels GmbH for 48,938 French Francs.

Bugatti Type 37A, Bugatti Trust, Prescott

I believe this car may have been raced in the Eifelrennen at the Nurburgring by Richard Fuchs in 1937 a race from which he retired.

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


Classic & Retro Action Day – Castle Combe

The day after attending Goodwood Festival of speed David Roots invited me along to Castle Combe for the Retro & Classic Action Day which was a mixture of car show and track day.

MG TC, Classic & Retro Action Day, Castle Combe

In between the rain and thunder there was a fascinating array of vehicles to see like this 1946 MG TC.

Healey Duncan Drone, Classic & Retro Action Day, Castle Combe

Like some of the storied vehicles at Goodwood, some at Castle Combe had tragic tales to tell. The Healey Duncan Drone was built with a throw away body to keep the list price, and attendant 66% taxes, down on the domestic market. Extras for this car would have included a second seat and the spare wheel. This particular car took the start of the 1949 Mille Miglia at 6:25 am with James Cohen and Reg Hingett aboard. 35kms later Reg was dead after their car collided with a bridge and while James would eventually be repatriated back to the UK, he too would succumb to his injuries.

Ford Squire Cosworth, Classic & Retro Action Day, Castle Combe

In Latvia the Ford Prefect was built under licence as the Ford-Vairogs Junior I am not sure they would have had an estate / station wagon variant because the UK Ford factory was so busy they farmed out production of the Prefect Estate known as the ‘Squire’ to the coach builders Abbots of Farnham who were given brand new off the assembly line Prefect saloons / sedans to convert. This particular vehicle, built in 1960, is officially shown as no longer having it’s original 1,172 cc / 71.5 cui side valve motor good for 71 mph, but instead the official capacity is given as 1993 cc / 121.6 cui which is usually the sign of the presence of a 200hp motor taken from a Ford Sierra Cosworth or similar.

Datsun Fairlady 1500, Classic & Retro Action Day, Castle Combe

Before Datsun got the Jaguar E-Type inspired Fairlady ‘Z’ series up and running in 1970 their sports cars tended to follow the lines of the slightly more mundane MG’s and Triumph’s of the day. Above is a 1965 Fairlady with a 1500 cc / 91.5 cui 4 cylinder motor.

Ford Escort Cosworth Estate, Classic & Retro Action Day, Castle Combe

In 1969 I was lucky enough to travel overland from Durban in South Africa to Mufulira in the back of a Ford Escort Estate Mk 1 with my folks, over following holidays we made it as far as Malindi in Kenya in the same car. In 1977 when my folks came back to the UK they bought a Ford Escort Estate Mk II not unlike the one seen above. The gentleman who own’s the yellow car tells me it was his first car, unlike my folks, he has swapped out the original 1300cc / 79.3 cui motor for a 200hp Ford Sierra Cosworth unit which would probably get him from Durban to Malindi days if not a week faster than we could ever have hoped to do it.

ALFA Romeo 33 Cloverleaf 2, Classic & Retro Action Day, Castle Combe

My first visit to Castle Combe in 1987 is indelibly linked to the memory of friends race winning #143 ALFA Romeo 33 which got wrecked, after he had abandoned the car at Quarry, by an errant ALFA Sud. My friend was unhurt and he came back toward the end of the season with another car to score a win. Seeing the later Red ALFA Romeo Cloverleaf 2 33 above in the paddock brought those memories flooding back like it all happened yesterday.

TVR Tamora, Classic & Retro Action Day, Castle Combe

Finally I was parked opposite this lush Opal White Pearlescent TVR Tamora and couldn’t take my eye’s off it while sat in my car waiting for the thunder and rain to abate. The owner tells me that while the car was undergoing various mechanical upgrades by ex TVR factory personnel he had the car resprayed, at £300 pounds a tin the paint is not cheap the whole respray came in at an eye watering £7,500. About ten times the value of my Golf and probably two or three times the sum I have spent on every one of the twenty or thirty cars I have ever bought combined ! Still it was without question worth it, there is only one other Tamora painted the same colour.

My thanks to David Roots for inviting me along to Castle Combe.

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


LM Daily Driver – Ferrari 250 LM #6045

Unlike the previous Ferrari 250 LM’s I have looked at today’s featured car #6045 was never raced at Le Mans, on hillclimbs, or even stared in a film, in period, though it did feature in a piece of Don Simpson’s cine film to document the extent of some fire damage.

#6045 was the 19th of the 32 250 LM’s built and supplied to William Harrah through Ferrari’s US Agent Chinetti for his personal use in August 1964.

Ferrari 250 LM,  Cottingham, Goodwood Revival

2 years later William sold the car with just 800 miles on the clock and by the end of 1966 Dr. Harold Isaacs had bought it for $17500 from Thomas W. Barrett III.

In May 1969 #6045 won 2nd place in a special interest class at Pebble Beach and in September ’69, #6045 was involved in a road accident when leaving a Concours event at Griffith Park in Los Angeles.

Ferrari 250 LM,  Cottingham, Goodwood Revival

Unfortunately fuel spilled from a damaged fuel tank erupted causing considerable damage which was documented on cine film by the cars fourth owner Don Simpson.

Don never got around to repairing the damaged car and Ron Kellog the next owner sold the motor and chassis to separate new owners.

Ferrari 250 LM,  Cottingham, Goodwood Revival

By 1989 the chassis had followed a well documented path into the hands of Ulrich Guggisberg of Graber Automibole Limited in Switzerland who had a restoration completed.

Four owners later #6045 belonged to Luay Allawi who had DK Engineering in Chorleywood, just north of London, carry out further restoration which included painting it in dark red as seen in these photographs taken at Goodwood Revival with Jeremy Cottingham at the wheel.

Ferrari 250 LM,  Cottingham, Goodwood Revival

DK Engineering acquired a replica 250LM which had the original #6045 motor installed and soon after these photo’s were taken the original motor was reunited with it’s original chassis, while the replica chassis was “destroyed and cut into little pieces by Ferrarti S.p.A. Documented by Ferrari S.p.A. with photographs.”

Ferrari students in need of a little extra home work might like to try and solve the riddle of Ed Hugus and his contribution to the last Ferrari Le Mans victory.

As can be seen on this linked thread your mission, should you chose to accept it, is to find a verifiable photograph taken during the night of the 19th / 20th June 1965 that confirms Ed drove the ’65 Le Mans winning NART 250 LM.

Thanks for joining me on this “LM Daily Driver” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again when quelle surprise I’ll be looking at another Le Mans winning Audi. Don’t forget to come back now !