Tag Archives: Render

Versatile Winner – Ginetta Zetec G12 by DARE

A contemporary of the similarly mid engined Lotus Europa, the Ginetta G12 launched in 1966 was designed for the club racer which could be bought for £1,200 in component form.

Ginetta Zetec G12, Prescott

The car was built round a tubular space frame with the fibre glass panels bonded to the frame to make up the cockpit.

Ginetta Zetec G12, Prescott

Numerous motors were fitted to G12’s including the 1 litre / 61 cui Ford (Cosworth) SCA from formula junior, 1.5 litre 91.5 cui Coventry Climax pre 1966 Formula One Motor, 1.6 litre Lotus Twin cam as used in the Elan and Lotus Cortina models, 2 litre Martin V8 and in at least one instance a 3.5 litre / 214 cui all aluminium Buick V8.

Stephens, Ginetta Zetec G12, Prescott

In it’s first year of track competition was the most successful G12 driver winning 11 national races and setting 5 fastest laps in 1966. By the following year the new Chevron B6 provided stiff competition for the G12 and by 1968 it had been succeeded by the open G16. G12’s were raced internationally at Spa and the Nurburgring but without any notable results.

Stephens, Ginetta Zetec G12, Prescott

The G12’s were however good hillclimbers and sprinters with successes by Walter Flückiger won the Swiss Hillclimb championship in his SCA powered example in 1968 and repeated the experience in 1969 after chopping the roof off. Similarly David Render drove his Buick powered example, chassis 05, to the British Sprint Championship title in 1971.

Ginetta Zetec G12, Prescott

It is thought around 27 of these cars may have been built between 1966 and 1968, it appears several may have ended up in Japan. As with the Ginetta G4 production of the G12 was restarted by DARE.

Ginetta Zetec G12, Prescott

Today’s featured 2 litre / 122 cui Zetec powered example, built by DARE, is seen at Prescott where it was driven by Nick Stephens, it should be good for rest to 60 mph times in the region of 4.9 seconds with a top speed of 150 mph. Last time I saw it in November it was for sale, if you would like to speak to the owner do not hesitate to get in touch.

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


Please Sign e-petition To Save – Brighton Speed Trials

Happy New Year welcome to the first GALPOT blog 2014, this year we hit the track running as Brighton and Hove Motor Club is urgently in need of our help, in the form of a couple of minuets of your time to keep alive one of Britain’s oldest speed events namely the Brighton Speed Trial.

The Brighton Speed Trial was inaugurated in 1905 after Brightonian Sir Harry Preston managed to persuade Brighton Town Council to lay a track made of the recently invented “Tarmac” between the Palace Pier and Black Rock, now known as Madeira Drive. The first event was organised by the Council and Automobile Club of Great Britain and Ireland, which was later to become the Royal Automobile Club (RAC).

Levitt, Napier, Brighton Speed Trials

The July 1905 event was part of a speed week known as Brighton Motor Week which ran over 4 days during which Dorothy Levitt seen above at the wheel of her 80hp Napier became the fastest woman on earth achieving an average speed over a flying kilometer of 79.75 miles per hour. The first event was won out right by Clifford Earp in a 90 hp Napier.

Summers, Lotus Chevrolet 24, Brighton Speed Trials

The opposition of rates payers to the cost of the event meant it was not run again until 1923 before being subject to an erroneous police ban on speed events held on public roads interjected in 1925. In 1932 Brighton and Hove Motor Club discovered that Madeira Drive was actually not a public highway at all, but the property of Brighton Corporation and so the police ban did not apply and the event became annual until the outbreak of the 1939-45 war. Above Chris Summers fearsome Chevrolet Lotus 24 chassis #942 won the now standing kilometer event in 1965 and 1966. In the back ground a Farina designed Mk 1 Austin A40 Countryman sits on a trailer behind a large Mercedes Benz tow car.

Shepard, Lotus Europa, Brighton Speed Trials

By 2012 the last time the event was run all manor of vehicles had run at the Brighton Speed Trials including a twin Rolls Royce engined device in the 1950’s in the 60’s dragsters and funny cars became popular with the cars still running side by side and as can be seen below David Render managed to acquire the loan of a works Lotus Cosworth 76 for his sprinting in 1976 winning the Brighton Speed Trial with the car in the same year with the car to the nose of which David had added a large lump of lead to help keep the front wheels on the ground. Motorcycles and side car outfits have also been catered for since 1905 Above Leonard Shepard blasts of the line in his Lotus Europa.

Render, Lotus Cosworth 76, Brighton Speed Trials

By 2012 the Brighton Speed Trial run by Brigthon and Hove Motor Club and Brighton and Hove City Council with an army of volunteers was being run over a quarter mile with vehicles running individually rather than in pairs. Unfortunately during the last running of the event the front wheels of a side car combination crewed by Roger Hollingshead and Charlotte Tagg lifted after hitting a dip in the track which launched the occupants into a collision with a concrete bollard which severely injured Roger and killed the unfortunate mother of three Charlotte. The 2013 event was cancelled pending an inquest into Charlotte’s death.

Lotus Elans, Brighton Speed Trials

Late last year the inquest concluded that the death was accidental. After the inquest Charlotte’s brother Simon was quoted by The Argus as saying “We don’t blame anyone, but would like to see the council treat the road before the next event.” Charlottes 18 year old daughter added “We just want them to smooth it out.”

In anticipation of a decision on the future of the event to be made by the council’s Economic Development and Culture Committee at a meeting on 23 January Ruth Reynolds of the Brighton and Hove Motor Club has set up a petition on the Brighton & Hove City Council website requesting acceptance of the application by the Brighton and Hove Motor Club to run the 2014 Brighton Speed Trials on Madeira Drive.

I would strongly urge anyone who has ever enjoyed any kind of motorsports event as a competitor, organiser, volunteer, concession trader or spectator to spend a couple of minutes registering onto the Brighton and Hove City Council website linked here and supporting Brighton and Hove Motor Club in their efforts to revive the Brighton Speed Trials and encourage Brighton and Hove City Council to attend to the road surface. There is NO requirement for signatories to be resident in Brighton or even the United Kingdom, thank you.

My thanks to Simon Lewis of Simon Lewis Transport Books for permission to his photographs and Vitesse2 at The Nostalgia Forum for alerting me to the existence of the e-petition.

Wishing all GALPOT readers and contributors a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

Thanks for joining me on this “Please Sign e-petition To Save” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be starting a new short series on North American Law Enforcement vehicles. Don’t forget to come back now !


Stunning Seicento – Tornado FIAT 600D GT Lotus Twin Cam

Anyone one heading east along the A412 Uxbridge Road in to Rickmansworth would be forgiven for missing Fairway Tyres located in a building set back from the road with a forecourt.

Tornado FIAT 600D GT Lotus Twin Cam, Middle Barton Garage

It turns out this building is called Tornado House recalling Tornado Cars Ltd which once employed up to sixty people to manufacture around 600 sports cars from 1957 to 1964 that were marked under the Typhoon, Tempest, Thunderbolt and Talisman names.

Tornado FIAT 600D GT Lotus Twin Cam, Middle Barton Garage

Tornado went into liquidation in 1964 it would appear just after the introduction of a hot GT version of the FIAT 600D known as the Tornado FIAT 600D GT.

Tornado FIAT 600D GT Lotus Twin Cam, Middle Barton Garage

Around two and a half million FIAT (Seicento) 600D’s were manufactured between 1955 and 1969, powered by a water cooled straight 4 cylinder motor giving either 21 hp or 29 hp according to size, which lent itself to easy tuning with upgrades available from the likes of Carl Abarth.

Tornado FIAT 600D GT Lotus Twin Cam, Middle Barton Garage

The FIAT 600D, which sold for 590,000 lire new was also manufactured in Barcelona, Spain where it was marketed as the SEAT ( pronounced c @ ) 600, Kragujevac, in what is now Serbia where it was marketed as the Zastava 750.

Tornado FIAT 600D GT Lotus Twin Cam, Middle Barton Garage

As of 2011 it was thought only 65 road legal Seicento’s remain in the UK.

Tornado FIAT 600D GT Lotus Twin Cam, Middle Barton Garage

One of the Tornado FIAT 600D GT’s was acquired by David Render in 1965, readers, of the Lotus 76 and Lotus 77 posts, may remember that David was friends with Colin Chapman of Lotus Cars who suggested and arranged for Davids Tornado FIAT 600D to be fitted ….

Tornado FIAT 600D GT Lotus Twin Cam, Middle Barton Garage

… with a full blown Lotus Twin Cam motor normally found in the Lotus Cortina and Lotus Elan.

Tornado FIAT 600D GT Lotus Twin Cam, Middle Barton Garage

With over 100 hp on tap David’s little Tornado FIAT 600D GT became a pocket rocket…

Tornado FIAT 600D GT Lotus Twin Cam, Middle Barton Garage

with which he estimates he won over 50 trophies in the period he owned it. David’s car is seen here at the recent Middle Barton Garages silver jubilee celebration.

Please note Tornado Cars Ltd of Rickmansworth is not to be confused with Tornado Sports Cars of Kidderminster.

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


Electronic Clutch & Four Pedals – Lotus Ford 76 #76/1 (JPS 9)

I remember when I first set eyes on the publicity photo’s of the Lotus 76, my reaction was an instant WOW ! The two team cars which had been completed a little late were to replace the venerable Lotus 72 and be driven by Ronnie Peterson and Jacky Ickx in the 1974 season starting at the South African Grand Prix.

The new car was intended to be slimmer and lighter than the Lotus 72 which had helped Jochen Rindt and Emerson Fittipaldi to win World Drivers Championships in 1970 and 1972 and helped Lotus secure the World Constructors Championship in 1970, ’72 and ’73.

Lotus 76, Goodwood FoS

Innovations on the car included an electronic clutch operated by a button on the gear stick, except when starting from rest for smoother gear changes. Two brake pedals were fitted either side of the steering column operating a single split leaver to encourage left foot breaking to minimise the upset of the balance of the car when approaching corners and two thin, for the period, rear wings mounted one above the other.

Much to the consternation of the press and Lotus fans Colin Chapman sold the naming rights to the Lotus 76 which for the 1974 season was to be known as a John Player Special the chassis number of the car seen here at Goodwood was referred to as JPS 9 though the chassis was unofficially referred to in the press and by enthusiasts as 76/1.

Lotus 76, Silverstone Classic

A pattern of retirements set in at the South African GP which was to repeat itself until by the Monaco Grand Prix Lotus Team had decided to revive the Lotus 72 which Ronnie Peterson promptly drove to the first of 3 against the odds victories during the season.

Development of Lotus 76 was split between the ageing Lotus 72 during 1974, to generate more down force larger front wings and the larger rear wing of the Lotus 72 were fitted to the Lotus 76 which appeared in Belgium.

Lotus 76, Goodwood FoS

With the 76 having been observed to be popping wheelies after additional down force had been added the front nose cone was then replaced with a cut down version from the Lotus 72, the radiators moved from ahead of the rear wheels to behind the front wheels and horizontal boards were added along the top of chassis between the front and rear wheels as seen in this linked photo of 76/2 (JPS 10) at the 1974 British GP.

By now the 76 was being taken to races purely in case of an emergency and during practice of the 1974 German Grand Prix such such an emergency arose after Ronnie Peterson crashed Lotus 72/8. The team had no option but to press the by now overweight and unloved 76 back into service and did so by grafting the rear suspension engine and gearbox from the wrecked 72 onto the back of 76/2 (JPS 10). With the car now looking more like it’s predecessor Lotus 72 than a Lotus 76 Ronnie Peterson recorded the 76’s only finish with a forth place on the toughest circuit on the calender !

Lotus 76, Goodwood FoS

After confusion about Mario Andretti starting from 3rd place in the 1974 US Grand Prix, in his Parnelli, third Lotus driver Tim Schenken took the flag of the 1974 US Grand Prix only to be disqualified for being outside the top 26 qualifiers as Andretti had managed to get his car onto the grid, ironically only to be also disqualified for a push start away from the line ! This was Schenken’s and the Lotus 76 last Grand Prix start.

However this was not quite the end of the Lotus 76 story, Colin Chapman was a long time member of a motor club in North London and after a little badgering for ‘something a bit quick’ from fellow long time member, David Render, who participated in Sprints and Hillclimbs, Colin relented and told his friend to turn up at the Lotus factory at Hethel with a trailer.

Lotus 76, Goodwood FoS

When David turned up at Hethel early in 1976 he saw this huge black car with twin wings and asked who is this for ? He was quite surprised to learn that it was intended for him !

David drove what is believed to be 76/2 (JPS 10), in original lightweight form, for 2 years and among many victories won the 1976 Brighton Speed Trials when the event was run over a standing kilometer 0.6 miles and clocked a time of 18.77 seconds reaching a 118 mph as he crossed the line.

Lotus 76, Goodwood FoS

At a recent talk, David gave to the Bristol Pegasus Motor Club, he related how on finding the car suffered from terrible understeer / push he added a lump of lead, taken from his old Allard trials car, beneath the nose cone of the 76 and that solved the problem, though he never told Colin ‘Added Lightness’ Chapman what he had done.

The car featured in today’s post 76/1 (JPS 9) seen at Goodwood Festival of Speed and at the 2011 Silverstone Classic belongs to Andrew Beaumont. According to Classic Team Lotus during the first of two races at the 2011 Silverstone Classic meeting Andrew’s double rear wing got savaged, but it did not have much detriment to the performance of the car and he finished 22nd.

John Barnard eventually perfected a semi automatic electronic clutch and gearshift mechanism with a steering wheel mounted paddle shift for the 1989 Ferrari 640 which won first time out at the Brazilian GP in the hands of Nigel Mansell. This system is now de riguer in almost all top line racing cars.

My thanks to MCS, Gregor Marshall, and Tim Murray on the Lotus 76 thread at The Nostlgia Thread who helped identify a Lotus 76 at the Abbaye de Stavelot Museum as the possible home of the second Lotus 76 chassis #76/2 (JPS10).

Thanks for joining me on this ‘Electronic Clutch & Four Pedals’ edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’ I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at last weekend’s Auto Italia Day at Brooklands. Don’t forget to come back now !