Tag Archives: Richards

Speedway To 500 F3 – JBS Norton Mk 1 #RAC/002/51/AC

In 1950 Alf Bottoms switched from being a two wheel Speedway star at Wembley to a racing driver with James Bottoms & Sons being responsible for modifying the 1947 Cowlan 500 Formula Three car, originally built by R.L. Coward and Geoff Lang, with help from Chris and Noel Shorrock into the first JBS.

JBS Norton Mk 1, Richard Utley, Silverstone,

Alf and brother shared the driving duties with Alf being the more successful scoring several out right wins as did Miss Elisabeth Store who drove the JBS to victory in the ladies race in October.

JBS Norton Mk 1, Richard Utley, Oulton Park,

For 1951 JBS not only updated it’s design to incorporate double wishbone front suspension and adonised aluminium body, but also put the design into production building somewhere between 13 and 20 cars.

JBS Norton Mk 1, Richard Utley, Castle Combe,

During the season JBS drivers included Alf, Ron “Curly” Dryden, Les Leston, Don Parker, Winco Frank Aikens, Dick Richards, Ron Frost, Jack Westcott, Ken McAlpine, Peter Collins, John Habin, Allan Moore, John Coombs and André Loens.

JBS Norton Mk 1, Richard Utley, Castle Combe,

Despite the deaths of Alf, in an accident at the Luxembourg Grand Prix, and Ron “Curly” Dryden in an accident at Castle Combe JBS scored 120 podiums during the year with Peter Collins and Don Parker finishing 3rd and 4th in the 1951 British F3 Championship behind Cooper drivers Eric Brandon and Alan Brown.

JBS Norton Mk 1, Richard Utley, Castle Combe,

Chassis #RAC/002/51/AC is seen in these photographs with Richard Utley at the wheel, Silverstone top, Oulton Park second and Castle Combe the remainder, Richard who raced a Frazer Nash Le Mans Replica, Tojeiro 1100 and Lotus XI between 1955 and 1962 also worked with John Tojeiro on the 1100 and later Bob Hicks on the MK1 Caravelle Formula Junior car.

Since returning to historic racing in 1987 Richard has also co founded C&R Engines with Charlie Banyard Smith to re-manufacture long stroke Manx engines of the type that powers his JBS.

Thanks for joining me on this “Speedway To 500 F3” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


RIP – Hill Cosworth GH2

After serving an apprenticeship with Smiths Instruments and rising to the rank of Petty Officer in the Royal Navy Norman Graham Hill passed his driving test aged 24 in 1953.

The following year he got the motor racing bug driving a 500 Formula 3 Cooper and joined Team Lotus as a mechanic where he eventually talked his way into the cockpit, in 1956 Graham, as he is better known, made his Grand Prix debut at the wheel of a Lotus 12.

Hill Cosworth GH2, The Donington Grand Prix Collection

By 1962 Graham Hill was leading BRM to their one and only Formula One World Constructors Championship and became World Drivers Champion for the first time.

Hill Cosworth GH2, The Donington Grand Prix Collection

After winning the Indy 500 driving a Lola in 1966 Graham Hill rejoined Lotus in 1967 to partner Jim Clark and the following year he won his second world championship in the Lotus 49B.

Hill Cosworth GH2, The Donington Grand Prix Collection

A year after winning the Le Mans 24 Hours sharing a Matra MS670 with Henri Pescarolo, Graham decided to go it alone and set up his own team in 1973 running a Shadow in 1973 and Lola’s and a derivation thereof in 1974 and 1975.

Hill Cosworth GH2, The Donington Grand Prix Collection

Having retired from driving in 1975 Graham put all of his efforts into supporting a rising British star Tony Brise who scored the teams first constructors championship point at the 1975 Swedish Grand Prix at the wheel of the Lola derivative Hill GH1.

Hill Cosworth GH2, The Donington Grand Prix Collection

For 1976 Graham was to run fellow Londoner Tony in a one car team for which Andy Smallman designed the all new Hill GH2 powered by a Cosworth DFV, the development of which Graham had been an instrumental part of in 1967 while at Lotus.

Hill Cosworth GH2, The Donington Grand Prix Collection

On the 29th of November 1975 the team tested the new car, seen in these photographs at The Donington Grand Prix Collection, at Paul Ricard in Southern France and at the end of the test the core members of the team; manager Ray Brimble , mechanics Tony Alcock and Terry Richards, designer Andy Smallman and Tony Brise boarded the Graham’s Piper PA 23-250 Turbo-Aztec which he then piloted back to England.

Hill Cosworth GH2, The Donington Grand Prix Collection

At 10pm in heavy fog while attempting to land at Elstree Airfield the plane crashed with the loss of all on board.

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


Coffee, Croissant & Cars 08/15 – Avenue Drivers Club

On the second Sunday of the month I managed to briefly pop by Queen Square for the Avenue Drivers Club meeting and by 8am the Square was already quite busy.

Corvette, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

Among the vehicles present this ’66 Chevrolet Corvette C2 which was imported into the UK earlier this year.

Ford Consul, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

It was great to see Mark Richards Ford Consul 375 back in one piece after an unscheduled ground up restoration has been completed. Mark is planning on offering his services with this car for weddings, ffi please contact Mark on FB or leave a message below.

Nissan Stagea, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

I’m not sure Nissan Stagea’s were ever imported by the manufacturer into the UK, this 1997 example with UV Cut Glass was first registered in the UK in March 2009.

Volkswagen Scirocco, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

Another car first registered in this country in 2009 was this Volkswagen Scirocco which I have been watching becoming increasingly “modded” over the last few months as it lives not more than a mile from me, looks like the owner has it fully equipped to take everything including the kitchen sink on holiday with him to the Sweetshop Automotive Summer Showdown in Cheddar on Bank Holiday Monday.

Dodge Dart Swinger, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

From 1970 a Dodge Dart Swinger that is shown as officially being powered by a 5.4 litre / 329 cui V8 which I do not believe was a standard size for this model, 318’s and 340’s being the nearest manufacturer supplied size I could find.

Smart Crossblade, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

Finally just before I left this cute li’l 2002 Smart Crossblade pulled in, a limited edition model which again I don’t believe was a manufacturer import into the UK even after pop star Robbie Williams bought one.

Thanks for joining me on this “Coffee, Croissant & Cars 08/15” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a Cougar. Don’t forget to come back now !


Light Rally History – Race Retro

Today’s blog features some of the tremendously storied rally cars that appeared at the recent Race Retro exhibition.

Austin Healey 3000 Mk1, Race Retro, Stoneleigh,

From 1960 comes this ex BMC works Austin Healey 3000 Mk 1 among it’s achievement’s was a 17th place overall and first in class driven by Pat Moss, Stirling’s younger sister, and Ann Wisdom on the 1961 Tour Of Corsica.

FIAT 131 Abarth, Race Retro, Stoneleigh,

When FIAT introduced the 131 Miafiori Abarth in 1977 the company went on a rampage of the World Rally Championship winning the titles in 1977, with the Olio Fiat colours seen here, 1978 and 1980 winning 20 World Championship Rallies over that period, I am not entirely sure of the history of this car registered in Jersey it appears in 1977 colours but with a 1980 head light and grill arrangement.

Ford Escort RS1800, Race Retro, Stoneleigh,

The original STW201R a works Ford Escort RS1800 was driven to victory in the 1977 East African Safari Rally by Björn Waldegård and Hans Thorszelius, the car was subsequently handed to Ford Heritage only to loose it’s identity original works colour scheme and be crashed at the hands of a TV Journalist. This car appears to be a replacement painted in the Rothmans Rally Team colours as worn by Ari Vatanen’s cars when he won the World Rally Drivers Championship with Dave Richards in 1981.

Toyota Celica TC, Race Retro, Stoneleigh

Björn Waldegård and Hans Thorszelius won the Safari Rally again in 1984 and with Fred Gallagher in 1986 driving the Toyota Celica TC models like the 1986 winner seen here, Finlands Juha Kankkunen with Fred Gallagher in the passenger seat won the Safari Rally in 1985 to make it a hat trick for the rear wheel drive Celica TC model.

Peugeot 309 Gti, Race Retro, Stoneleigh,

Englands only World Rally Champion Richard Burns drove this Group A front wheel drive Peugeot 309Gti to a 16th place finish with Robert Reid on his second Lombard RAC Rally start in 1991.

Ford Focus WRC, Race Retro, Stoneleigh,

Finally this 2001 all wheel drive Ford Focus WRC has won four Rallies outright, with Colin McRae winning the 2001 Cyprus and 2002 Acropolis Rallies with Nicky Grist, Jari Matti Latvala the 2003 Tempest Rally with Miikka Anttila and Nejat Avci winning the Pirelli Turkey Rally in 2005 with co driver Memisyazici Batuhan, today this car is owned by Steve Rockingham.

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


The Bosses Car #2 – Aston Martin Rapide

Regular readers may remember a couple of months ago when i visited the Morgan factory I happened across Charles Morgan’s limited edition Aeromax.

01 Image2911sc

A couple of weeks ago I happened across Dave Richards, personal transport this fabulous ‘large and in charge’ Aston Martin Rapide while visiting Prodrive.

02 Image2912sc

The Rapide is Aston Martin’s top of the range 4 door saloon, a successor to the Aston Martin V8 based Series 1 Aston Martin Lagonda of 1974/74 of which just 7 were built.

03 Image2914sc

The 2010 Rapide is powered by a 470 hp 5935cc / 362 cui V12 …

08 Image2919sc

that is shared in common with both the DB9 and V12 Vanquish.

05 Image2917sc

This is only the second Rapide I have ever seen and it still surprises me how graceful this four dour DB9 looks.

07 Image2916sc

Surprisingly this range topping model of of a well known British Marque is actually assembled at a dedicated Magna Steyr plant in Graz, Austria.

06 Image2915sc

The standstill to 62mph performance time of 5.2 seconds and top speed of 184 mph will undoubtedly helped a near standard Rapide take second in class during the 24 hour race at the Nurburgring in 2010.

More on Aston Martin and the Rapide Luxe can be seen up the Drive Channel.

Hope you have enjoyed today’s Austrian built edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres, and that you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Sick Bag Not Included – Prodrive P2

In 2006 David Richards tasked every department in the Prodrive Group with developing the Prodrive P2 into a fully functional concept car in order to demonstrate ” the perfect manifestation of what happens when our inspirational ideas combine with our innovative approach.”

01 Image2792sc

Development from designs by Peter Stevens, whose portfolio includes the Jaguar XJR 15 and McLaren F1, to fully functioning vehicle took just 9 (nine) months.

02 Image2791sc

Prodrive started by using a much modified All Wheel Drive Subaru R1 platform around which to build the P2.

03 Image2790sc

Under the hood lurks a 345 hp turbocharged Subaru flat four taken from the Subaru World Rally Championship (WRC) programme complete with Prodrives Anti Lag System (ALS) tuned for the road that minimises turbo lag by burning fuel in the exhaust system at low rpm which keeps the turbo turbine spinning at high speed. Such systems which increase the throttle response of turbocharged vehicles were banned from Formula One in 1981.

04 Image2807sc

The P2 also uses a modified version of the Subaru (WRC) drive train which features Prodrives ATD™ system which compares what the driver is expecting with what the vehicle is providing. The system modulates torque to individual wheels using a differential control system.

In a four wheel drive application such as the P2, if the car is understeering / pushing, then the system will deliver more torque to the back wheels, making it behave more like a rear wheel drive car; if the car is oversteering / loose then more torque will be delivered to the front wheels. ATD™ enables the car to be driven through corners at much higher speeds.

05 Image2796sc

When a well known large presenter of a well known motoring programme tried the P2 with the ATD™ switched on he apparently drove the P2 in such a tight circle at such high speeds he made himself ill and had to stop the car and open the door to spill his diced carrots and peas on the tarmac.

05 Image2795sc

With a power to weight ratio of 350 hp per tonne the P2 can reach 62 mph in 4 seconds and a top speed of 174 mph.

Prodrive estimated that it would have been able to retail the P2 for around £40,000 / $ 65,000 in 2006, but declined to manufacture the vehicle themselves.

Hope you have enjoyed the ride in today’s ATD™ edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ and that you’ll join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Inspiration and Innovation – Prodrive Factory Visit

I was privileged to join fellow members of the Bristol Pegasus Motor Club and Barrie ‘Whizzo’ Williams on a factory tour of the Prodrive Factory over the weekend.

01 Image2789sc

David Richards a qualified chartered accountant and 1981 World Championship Winning Rally co-driver who started his business as a motor sport consultant in the middle east, says of his company that it’s purpose is to ‘inject excitement’.

02 DSCN0546sc

That injection of excitement is backed with 25 years of Championship winning motor sports success that includes rallying

03 DSCN0542sc

and racing …

04 Image2869sc

to the very highest levels including two spells in which David Richards ran teams in Formula One.

05 Image2796sc

In 2006 Prodrive built a fully working concept car, but declined to put it into production,

06 Image2861sc

After numerous successes running Aston Martin racing teams …

07 Image2889sc

David Richards led a consortium of investors in a $925 million take over of Aston Martin in 2007,

08 Image2919sc

a company of which he is now the Chairman.

It was uplifting to see British engineering is alive and well in Banbury, Oxfordshire with a fascinating range of activity including the assembly of a range of competition vehicles, computer operated machining of a huge variety of items from solid blocks of material, and truly mind boggling assembly of competition spec wiring looms, if your into engineering and or motor sport the Prodrive tour run by the effervescent Jackie Irwin, who has petrol running through her veins, is an absolute must.

My thanks to everyone at the Bristol Pegasus Motor Club who organised the tour including Andy who kindly did the driving honours.

Hope you have enjoyed today’s excitement injected edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ and that you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !