Tag Archives: Robert

’69 Spoiler – Chevrolet Camaro Z/28

No sooner had Chevrolet announced the arrival of it’s Camaro model in 1967 to compete against Ford’s Mustang than racers in the USA were lining up to challenge the Mustang’s hegemony in the Trans Am series with the 302 cui / 5 litre Z/28 variant like the example seen here at a Silverstone Classic Press Day a couple of years ago.

Among those racing Z/28’s in 1967 way Bobby Brown whom records show raced a Penske Z/28 with George Wintersteen and Joe Welch in the 1967 Daytona 24 hours where they qualified 22nd but retired.

Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Silverstone Classic Test Day,

Bobby also raced a Robert Chevrolet entered Z/28 in the 1967 Sebring 4 Hour race in which he finished 6th from 9th on the grid.

Records show Bobby racing a Z/28 on two further occasions at Lime Rock in 1967 winning his class in a SCCA event in mid May.

Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Silverstone Classic Test Day,

Today’s featured car is believed to have been raced by Bobby in 1967 before being shipped to the UK in 1968 where Malcolm Wayne drove it in the British Saloon Car Championship the following season Mike Kearon did likewise.

In 1970 the car went to Bill Davis Racing where it was part of a two car stable that included a Z/28 built from scratch that was driven by Roy Pierrepont.

Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Silverstone Classic Test Day,

Adrian Chambers acquired the car in 1971 for his SCA Freight team that was joined midway through the season by Australian Frank Gardner who won two British Saloon Car Championship races with it.

Frank also raced the car in a couple of rounds of the Deutsche Rennsport Meisterschaft 1972 finishing a best 2nd at Diepholz.

Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Silverstone Classic Test Day,

After it was replaced in the SCA team by a second generation Camaro Frank had today’s featured car sent first to New Zealand and then to Australia where he raced it into 1973.

John Pollard appears to have been responsible for fitting the larger ’69 spec rear spoiler in preparation for his entry into Australian Super Sedan races somewhere around 1976.

Thanks for joining me on this “’69 Spoiler” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again for Ferrari Friday tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Français Essence – Silverstone Classic

Today’s post has a Gallic flavour focusing on the French cars at last weekends Silverstone Classic meeting.

Citroën 2CV6's, Silverstone Classic

Taking drivers twixt national and international paddocks was a fleet of Citroën 2CV6’s belonging to 2CV Adventures, an exciting new start up offering bespoke organised tours in a fleet of 15 Red and White 2CV6’s.

Martini Mk37, Jacobs, Brian Henton Trophy Silverstone Classic

The Brian Henton Trophy for Formula 3 cars brought me my first opportunity to see Martini Formula 3 cars in action, thanks to the control tyres used in British Formula 3, Martini Formula 3 cars rarely appeared in Britain except for the European Championship races. Above is a 1982 Alfa Romeo powered Martini Mk37, driven by Ian Jacobs, with body work indicating it may have been raced in period by Gerhard Berger for Josef Kaufmann to a third place finish in the 1982 German F3 championship on his meteoric rise to becoming a ten time Grand Prix winner.

Martini Mk39, Stretton, Brian Henton Trophy Silverstone Classic

For 1983 Martini tidied up the Mk37 in particular from the exterior the safety roll bar lost it’s long rear stay, the bodywork lost it’s perspex ‘window’ and the nose became more rounded to become the Mk39. Martin Stretton is seen above driving a Mk39 to second place in the Brian Henton Trophy, with bodywork indicating it may have been originally driven by 1983 French Formula Three champion Michel Ferté.

Renault, Vauxhall, Nissan, Jet Super Touring Car Trophy, Silverstone Classic

1999 was the final year in which Williams Grand Prix Engineering operated a Touring Car Team in the British Turing Car Championship for Renault. The 1999 #37 Williams Renault Laguna driven by Simon Garrad leads; the 1998 #98 Vauxhall Vectra driven by John Cleland and 1999 #23 Nissan Primera driven by Derek Palmer in a scrap for third place in the Jet Super Touring Car Trophy that was won by Cleland in the Vauxhall.

Talbot Lago T26SS, Pilkington, Maserati Centenary Trophy

Having competed in the 1938 Mille Miglia, Le Mans 24 Hours and French Grand Prix against no less an opposition than the Silver Arrows Richard Pilkington’s #5 Talbot Lago T26, which I looked at in June, can probably lay claim to being one of the most versatile international racing cars of all time.

Courage C26S, Kjallgren, Silverstone Classic

Finally representing French honour in the early evening Group C race was the 1991 Porsche powered Courage C26S driven by Georg Kjallgren, carrying body work suggesting it might be chassis #07 driven to an 11th place finish in the 1991 Le Mans 24 Hours by Lionel Robert, François Migault and Jean-Daniel Raulet.

Thanks for joining me on this “Français Essence” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for a look at the Silverstone Classic in further detail. Don’t forget to come back now !


Comic Discovery – Hudson Suburban Sedan

Back on Independence Day during the Rally organised by the Bristol Pegasus Motor Club I came across this delightful 1935 Hudson, unfortunately I did not get any details about the car from the owner at the time so I have had another carcaeology session to discover more.

Hudson Big Six, Model 53

This Hudson chassis #533370, with blue body work probably marketed as Surban Sedan model, was one of just four vehicles first registered in Dundee, where the strap line reads City of Discovery, on the 7th of May 1935.

Hudson Big Six, Model 35

The Hudson was registered to a Mr R D Low of Westleigh, Number 9 Nevill Street, Downfield, Dundee alongside a Morris Saloon, BSA Motorcycle and a 3 ton Commer Coal merchants truck.

Hudson Big Six, Model 35

Robert Duncan Low is known to have been a journalist to the Dundee City Archive, but as we know journalism can cover a multitude of sins and it would appear that Robert was no gum shoe rather he was employed by DC Thompson & Co in Dundee where he was responsible for launching a number of publications aimed at children including Adventure (1921) The Rover (1922) The Wizzard (1923) The Skipper (1930) and The Hotspur (1933).

Hudson Big Six, Model 35

In 1937 Robert became managing editor at DC Thompson and over saw the launch of The Dandy and the following year the Beano for which with artist Ken Reid he created Roger the Dodger in 1953, when he also oversaw the launch of The Topper. Earlier in his career Robert is also credited with co creating the Scottish vernacular comic strips Oor Wullie and The Broons with illustrator Dudley Dexter Watkins.

Hudson Big Six, Model 35

It is not at present known how long Robert Low kept this Hudson he died in 1980 aged 85. This car is reported to have been ‘knocking around the North West of England in the 1990’s’ before it was offered at auction in 2005 when the body was painted maroon and sold for £1,500. The history of the cars original ownership outlined above appears to have been unknown to the auctioneers at the time when the car was noted to have had 4 previous owners with 92,275 miles shown on the clock and the model name was given as Big Six Saloon, the chassis number indicated the car would have been known as a 53 model at the Hudson factory from whence it was probably sent as a knockdown kit for assembly in Brentford west of London.

Hudson Big Six, Model 35

According to the best source I have available 29,476 cars were shipped and it is thought that number included the knockdown kits.

My thanks to John MacDonald form ‘oldcarandtruckpictures.com‘, Jon B, Terraplane 33, Geoff C NZ, Alex ‘Hudsontech’ Burr, Old Fogey UK and Paul Butler over at Hudson Forum who helped me identify this car and finally to Richard Cullen at the Dundee City Archive who provided the final clue as to the original owners identity.

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


Worth Getting Up At Dawn For – Volvo 480ES

One day in April 1987 I spent the day at Donington Park where Volvo Concessionaires officially introduced the ’87 model range to members of it’s dealer network. This was the first opportunity many of us would have to drive the much anticipated Volvo 480ES.

Volvo 480 ES, New Covent Garden

Unlike Volvo’s previous coupé the P1800 which was based on an existing Amazon platform, the 480 was a completely fresh front wheel drive design by Robert Koch, John de Vries and interior by Corien Pompe. The 480 platform would then later be used for the 440 hatchback and 460 saloon variants.

Volvo 480 ES, New Covent Garden

The car bristled with idea’s new to Volvo including a Porsche tuned transverse 90 hp engine and front wheel drive, engine management by Electronic Control Unit, digital dash instrumentation, and a Lotus tuned suspension that gave the car staggering road holding.

Volvo 480 ES, New Covent Garden

By the time the car was launched the pop up head lights were not strictly necessary as the European Laws that had required them to meet a minimum head light height had been repealed, however this change in the law came so late the design remained unchanged.

Volvo 480 ES, New Covent Garden

During the course of the day I had the opportunity of driving the car around the Donington Park Circuit with a racing instructor at my side and I simply could not drive the car anything like fast enough to explore it’s road holding potential, it went every where I wanted it to go safely regardless of the speed I was doing.

Volvo 480 ES, New Covent Garden

Some weeks later I was given the 480 ES, seen here, for a week in exchange for getting up at some improbably early hour to go and drum up some business at New Covent Garden Fruit Vegetable Market in Central London.

From 1986 to 1995 80,463 Volvo 480 ES, Turbo and 2 litre / 122 cui variants were manufactured at the former DAF works at Born in the Netherlands.

Thanks for joining me on this New Covent Garden edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Butt Naked – Borg Warner Trophy

To round out my month of May centenary celebration of the first running of the Indianapolis 500 today I’ll be looking at possibly the most coveted prize in all of motor racing, the Borg Warner Trophy seen here in 1960 courtesy of Ed Arnaudin.

Borg Warner Trophy, Indianapolis Motor Speedway

1960 Photo by Ed Arnaudin

The Indianapolis 500 always run on Memorial Day weekend is full of traditions including the early morning explosion that signals the opening of the gates to The Brickyard at 6 am on race morning, the marching of bands starting at 8 am, which includes the Purdue University All American Marching Band who play the worlds biggest drum.

The National Anthem and Invocation are followed by a rendition of Taps in remembrance of the fallen complete with a military flyover.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway/a>

1961 Photo by Ed Arnaudin

Another traditional highlight since 1972 is Jim Nabors accompanied by the Purdue Marching band for a rendition of ‘Back Home Again in Indiana‘ during the performance of which thousands of balloons are released, a tradition that started earlier in 1946.

Then there is the call for the ‘Ladies and Gentleman’ to start their engines in the build up to the race before the pace car laps and first fall of the green flag that gets the race started.

Once the race is won the winner is ushered into Victory Lane and since 1936 in a tradition started by three time winner Louis Meyer the winner drinks milk, Meyer actually drank buttermilk.

Wilbur Shaw a three time Indy winner and President of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway who was not partial to milk interrupted the milk drinking tradition from 1947 to 1955 with a bowl shaped trophy filled with iced water for the winner to drink.

Since 1956 milk was reinstalled on the winners menu and only Emerson Fittipaldi, owner of several orange groves, in 1993 has broken the tradition by drinking orange juice. The winner is then photographed with the Borg Warner Trophy a tradition which also started in 1936.

The Borg Warner Trophy was designed by Robert J Hill and Gorham Inc of Providence Rhode Island at a cost $10,000 in 1935. A likeness of all the winners faces back dated to first Indy 500 in 1911 adorns the 52 inch 153 lb sterling silver trophy which had to have its base expanded in 1987 to accommodate the faces of the most recent winners.

Bobby Rahal’s face, sans spectacles unlike Tom Sneva, was the last drivers likeness attached to the original trophy since then likenesses of winners have been attached to the base which was last extended in 2004.

The trophy used to be displayed on the roll bar of the winners car however it is now so large and heavy that it is displayed along side the winners car.

Borg Warner Trophy, Indianapolis Motor Speedway

1960 Photo by Ed Arnaudin

One thing I discovered while preparing this blog and is verified by Ed’s photo is that the flag man atop the trophy is cast as a traditional ancient Greek athlete and is in fact butt naked.

Louis Meyer described winning the Borg Warner Trophy like “winning an Olympic Medal”. Prior to 1988 a 24 inch model of the trophy mounted on a walnut base was given to winners since 1988 winners have been given an 18″ replica during preparations for the following years race.

Also since 1936 the winner of the Indy 500 has taken home the Official Pace car, more on which will have to wait until next year.

Wishing all the competitors in today’s centenary running of the Indy 500 the best of luck.

Evidence provided by Tim Murray shows that as of 2005 the Johnny Parsons spelling error I mentioned in my blog on the Wynns Friction Proofing Special had not been corrected. Apologies for any confusion caused.

Thanks to Steve Arnaudin for the scans of his Dad’s slides also to Tim Murray and B² from The Nostalgia Forum for their help clarifying dates concerning the Borg Warner Trophy.

That concludes what for me has been a fascinating month of May looking at a potted history of the Indy 500, thanks for joining me on today’s ‘Butt Naked’ truth edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !