Tag Archives: Rhodes

Multi Spec Open Wheel – Cooper T71/73 #F1-3-64

When Bob Gerard hung up his helmet and gloves to become an entrant he continued to buy Cooper cars and enter them in a variety of specifications as he had done with his 1953 Cooper Bristol #CB-4-53.

In 1964 Bob had today’s featured Cooper T71 to all intents and purposes a 1 litre Formula Two car built up to 1.5 litre Formula One spec fitted with a twin cam 1.5 litre Holbay motor, the similar works Cooper T73 Formula One cars differed only in that they were fitted with 1.5 litre 91.5 cui Coventry Climax motors that produced 50hp more than the Ford production block based Holbay.

Cooper T71/73, Alan Baillie, Silverstone Classic

Bob entered #F1/3/64 for John Taylor in Formula Libre and non championship Formula One events in 1964 before giving John his Championship Formula One debut at the 1964 British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch.

John qualified 22nd and after gearbox repairs in the pits was running 14th, 24 laps down on winner Jim Clark when the flag fell in what turned out to be this cars only championship Formula One appearance.

Cooper T71/73, Alan Baillie, Silverstone Classic

Subsequently Bob continued to enter this car in Formula One spec for John and Alan Rollinson before running it with a 1 litre / 61 cui Formula Two motor for a couple of events in September 1964.

In 1965 John Rhodes drove the car with the Holbay motor and on other occasions Gerard Racings two mechanics were kept busy installing a Formula Two and a 1650 cc / 100 cui Formula Libre spec motor for John Taylor to drive.

1965 also saw Bob’s son Julian Gerard race this car with a stock 1 litre / 61 cui Formula Three spec Ford motor fitted.

In 1966 Bob entered the car in Formula Two spec in one event for Chris Lambert before turning it over to Formula Libre spec for his son Julian for the 1967 season.

At the end of 1967 Californian Bob Wenz bought #F1/3/64 and raced it for several seasons in SCCA Formula B events.

#F1/3/64 is seen in these photographs with current owner Alan Baillie at the wheel at last years Silvertone Classic.

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


Drawin To It – Little Hotrod

In 1947 a two year old Charlie Lindmar was taken by his Dad to the races at New Jersey bullrings that included Hinchcliffe and Dover. He claims not to remember anything about these events as around that time he fell out of a 2nd story window and landed on his head !

The flowing year his Dad built a race car up around a red ’37 Ford with yellow wheels on to which Charlie’s Mom painted the #69, it was around this time Charlie got into drawing race cars an activity he has continued to this day.

Charles Lindmar, Limited Sportsman '37 Ford

While the car was being prepared Charlie would sit in the seat making car noises and it was not long before the crew working on the car gave Charlie the “Little Hotrod” nick name.

Limited Sportsman '37 Ford

Charlie’s Dad, who worked at an oil terminal near Linden airport only raced the #69 once and after starting and finishing last he decided to enter the #69 for better drivers most often at Rupert Stadium where he once earned $140 after a particularly good meeting.

'37 Limited Sportsman Ford

After moving the #69 had to take a back seat while Charlie’s dad was busy making a living, but even then Lindmars kept going to see the races. In 1953 Charlie’s Dad registered to enter his ’37 Ford as the #56 to race on the new 1 mile Old Bridge dirt oval, but he never did get around to taking the #56 car to the track, although the family regularly spectated at events there.

While a Senior at High school, where Charlie was especially good at art, he started drag racing a ’53 Mercury and working at a Sunoco gas station before taking a course in auto mechanics which got him a job at the Linden GM plant. By 1964 the 19 year old Charlie started building a race car up from a rough ’37 Chevy Coupé and like his Dad picked the #69 to go on the doors.

'51 Ford Pickup, '39 Chevy Limited Sportman.

With a ’52 Ford, Bonus Built F1, Pick Up that ran on only seven cylinders to tow the car Charlie’s first couple of meetings were steep learning curve experiences. He broke a drive shaft first time at Wall Stadium and forgot to check the transmission fluid the second time at Weissglass Stadium on Staten Island in New York.

At Ft Dix Charlie finally made the races and eventually had a career best 2nd place finish in a semi feature there. One time Charlie arrived early at Ft Dix and his truck overheated while waiting for the pit boss to show up, when he did eventually show Charlie had to push the truck, which refused to start, into the garage area with his race car !

In 1965 Charlie took his #69 Chevy to the Garden State Classic at Wall Stadium where he started his heat from the front row, but was punted off when his motor would not pull cleanly on the green flag. Later in the summer Charlie had the most fun when he raced at East Windsor.

Last time out at East Windsor Charlie qualified for the 100 lap final, even though he had not taken any account of the centrifugal forces acting on a new fuel tank in the turns which resulted in the tank slipping through it’s longitudinal securing straps and on to the track. He retired from the race because he ran out of time to secure the fresh race battery properly.

Joe Racz Headstone By Charles Lindmar

When Uncle Sam called on Charlie he joined the US Marines and the #69 Chevy was sold after Charlie’s Dad insisted he would not look after it. Charlie became a tractor trailer instructor before his enlistment ended in 1969.

Charlie never got back behind the wheel of a racing car, but instead got into making a living driving tanker trucks, getting married and starting a family. Eventually Charlie took his son to Wall Stadium.

After retiring from long haul driving Charlie returned to drawing old race cars, after cleaning his truck while waiting for lab tests and paperwork during loading or unloading for short hauls.

One day he was at Racz’s Garage which had been home to Joe Racz’s yellow #41 cars that Charlie had seen as a kid. A friendship between Joe’s nephew, Tom Rhodes and Charlie ensued which led Tom to commission Charlie to make a drawing for the headstone of his Uncle Joe’s grave many years later.

Charlie now has a web site for his art and his interest in drawing scenes from early stock car racing has led to him being invited to see the France, as in NASCAR dynasty, family archive.

Charles Lindmar, '39 Limited Sportsman Chevy

In 2010 Charlie was reunited with his old #69 Chevy, which in his dreams he had never sold or stopped racing, at an Old Bridge reunion after it had been sold for a $1,000 to the good home of the Allen family, some of whom Charlie had met long before the sale.

My thanks to Ray Miles at the Limited Sportsman Racers site and Chalie Lindmar, who’s erudite and unexpurgated story can be found in the “Articles” section of the lsracers site.

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


RR two is company – Rhodes Ridley Road Train Tractor.

Todays blog comes courtesy of Ken Devine a Nostalgia Forum acquaintance from in Australia who posted this fabulous photo of the truly ‘unique’ Rhodes Ridley truck built in Western Australia in 1955.

The story goes that Don Rhodes was a mining, haulage and road building pioneer around the Pilbara, in Western Australia and that his fleet of British 40 ton trucks were not up to the rough dirt roads which Don’s men were constantly regrading just to keep them open.

Don & Harold Ridley a workshop manager for DFD Rhodes Pty Ltd conceived a fleet of road train vehicles that could carry between 4 – 6 times the iron and manganese ore loads their existing trucks could carry, there were no drawings as such anything that needed to be built for the Rhodes Ridley was drawn in chalk by Harold on his work shop floor.

Construction started in 1955, using custom made axles, a chassis fabricated from 5/8″ steel plate 16″ deep and 4″ wide. Two army surplus 200 hp 6/71 GM diesel motors designed for the M3 General Lee medium tank which had in this instance been originally fitted into a tank landing craft, as had the five speed gearbox and twin differentials fitted to give the vehicle a 32 mph capability.

The truck measuring 33 ft long and 11 ft wide weighed 21.5 tons with a 230 ton carrying capacity was the largest road vehicle in the southern hemisphere when it was completed in 1958.

During the period of construction the laws governing most of the roads intended for use by the Rhodes Ridley had changed, with a restricted area in which to operate plans to build further examples were scrapped and the Rhodes Ridley was reassigned, fitted with a powerhouse on it’s back, an ore screening trailer and a jaw crushing trailer to process freshly recovered ore for further transportation.

It’s not clear exactly when the Rhodes Ridley was abandoned but it’s resurrection came about thanks to former Rhodes employee Terry Joyce who formed a club for people to help him with his enormous task of putting the abandoned vehicle back on it’s wheels at the turn of the millennium.

The vehicle still needs a ‘wide vehicle’ permit to go to shows, more photo’s and the rest of the story can be seen at the Rhodes Ridley website linked here.

My thanks to Ken Devine for bringing this fascinating twin engined vehicle to my attention and for letting me share his photograph of it with you.

Hope you have enjoyed today’s two is company edition of ‘Getting a lil’ psycho on tyres and that you’ll join me tomorrow for the first in a short series of home built vehicles. Wishing all the romantics out there a happy Valentines Day, don’t forget to come back now !

PS slightly off topic Pocono Raceways Solar Photovoltaic System has turned the motor sports facility into the largest Solar Powered sport facility in the world, Pocono has been nominated to receive the 2011 Excellence in Renewable Energy Readers’ Choice Award at the 2011 Renewable Energy World North America Conference & Expo on March 8th. Voting for this event closes today February 14th if you have not voted do so now at http://awards.renewableenergyworld.com/readerschoice/ select ‘Vote’ button and then go down the list and click ‘Pocono Raceway Solar Photovoltaic System’, no registration required no unpleasant advertising either. Thanking you in anticipation of your response. Go Pocono !