Tag Archives: Robertson

Rodney’s Racer – Warrior Bristol

Between 1952 and 1953 Rodney Nuckley, believed to be related to one of the directors of the Warrior Tap & Die Company in Hertfordshire, was carving out a winning reputation as a driver of Cooper Cars in the open wheel Formula 3 and Formula 2 series, particularly in Scandinavia. He crashed his Cooper Bristol Formula 2 car at the end of season Snetterton meeting in October 1953.

Rodney, who had driven under the Ecurie Richmond banner, commissioned engineer and Ecurie Richmond mechanic Bernard Roger to design a 2 litre sports car chassis using the Bristol engine and transmission from the Cooper.

The Warrior chassis featured de Dion rear suspension and Cooper 4 lug wheels, the sinuous body is said to have been the handy work of Williams and Pritchard.

Warrior Bristol, Sonoma Historics

Known race records for the Warrior show that Formula 3 driver Roger Biss drove the Warrior on it’s debut at Siverstone in May 1954 to a 4th place finish.

Rodney’s only outing in the car, appears to have been, at the British Grand Prix meeting at the same venue two months later where he recorded a 9th place finish (3rd in class), soon after winning at least once more in a Formula 3 race run at Västkustloppet in Sweden in July 1954 Rodney appears to have stopped racing.

Roger Biss then appears to have taken over ownership and the driving duties of the Warrior scoring best finishes of 2nd at Brands Hatch and Silverstone in 1955.

Warrior Bristol, Sonoma Historics

By August of 1955 the Warrior was acquired by JD Lomas and from the only known results appears to have won the 2 litre sports car race at Aintree on the cars debut and finished at the some venue on the same day in the handicap event.

The Warriors next owner, Bernie Arnold, took the car to Macau where it appeared in the 1956,’57 and ’58 Macau Grand Prix and in 1960 Bernie won the Johore Coronation Grand Prix driving the Warrior.

When the Bristol motor expired Bernie replaced it with a Jaguar motor and in that form Tim Robertson drove the car to win the sports car event at the 1970 1970 Singapore Grand Prix.

Warrior Bristol, Sonoma Historics

The Jaguar motor was replaced with an original spec Bristol motor when the Warrior was restored by Ian Boughton in Western Australia after he bought it in 1978.

The Warrior painted red remained in Australia from the 1970’s until 1999 when Dick Willis sold it to Jack Perkins in California.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sharing his photo’s of the Warrior Bristol which were taken at Sonoma Historics earlier this year and to Dick Willis and everyone who contributed to the Rodney Nuckey thread at The Nostalgia Forum.

Thanks for joining me on this “Rodney’s Racer” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again for the story behind a unique Formula 5000 car tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !

PS Soon after this blog was posted Cooper997 posted a press cutting from Motor Racing December 1953 on The Nostalgia Forum which reports the build of the Warrior and goes on to say that Rodney and Bernard projected building a Formula One Car with a “modified Lagonda (David Brown type) engine.


Fuzzy Long Shot – Locomobile Old No: 16

A couple of weeks ago Steve e-mailed me “Those four slides were put in a “special place” by my dad for good reason. I scanned them, and they are fuzzy.  There’s no reason for me to send these outcasts to you.”

I replied in typical ‘Prisoner’ fashion “Fuzzy out casts or not I am curious, remember ‘we want information !’ :-)”

Here is one of those 54 year old fuzzy slides that Steve’s Dad Ed took at Bridgehampton on the 20th July 1957 and what a story it has to tell.

After a few adjustments and a little cropping, I posted some copies on a new ‘Fuzzy long-shot identity ?‘ thread at The Nostalgia Forum and it took all of twenty minuets to get a response from Tim Murray that we are looking at a 1906 Locomobile Old 16 now 105 years old.

The Locomobile then owned by well known motoring artist Peter Helck is probably being driven by George Robertson who manhandled this vehicle weighing less than 1200 kgs / 2645 lbs around 11 laps of a 23.4 mile road course on Long Island to cover a distance of 258 miles in 4 hours averaging 67 mph to win the 1908 Vanderbuilt Cup by nearly 2 minuets thus becoming the first American to win an international motor race.

Going into the white flag lap George held a lead of over 4 minuets but instead of easing the pace he pressed on so hard he lost control of Old No: 16 and left the track and damaged a tire. In order to return to the race it had to be replaced on the rim a feat George and his riding mechanic Glenn Ethridge, required as a living on board fuel pump to keep the fuel pressure up amongst other things, managed in ‘just’ 2 minuets 10 seconds !

Visit the excellent Vanderbuilt Cup Race website for more fascinating information and pictures on the Vanderbuilt Cup Races, as I understand it Old No: 16 is still a runner, it’s flame spitting 90hp 4 cylinder 16,200 cc 989 cui motor can still push the car to 90 mph. Here is a link to a video of the car running in 2008.

Old No: 16 became an instant legend in 1908 and has been kept in full working condition ever since, it has never been restored and currently resides at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn Michigan.

23 year old George Robertson won several races before driving with a journalist in preparation for the 1910 Vanderbuilt Cup. Entering a corner the Journalist panicked and clutched George causing an accident in which George’s right arm was so seriously injured he was unable to drive the heavy vehicles of the day competitively ever again.

My thanks to Ed and Steve Arnaudin for the photograph, Tim Murray, Doug ‘Meat and Drink’ Nye, Marticelli and D-type for all chiming in with useful information.

My thanks to Ed Arnaudin for a his fascinating series of sports car photographs it has been my privilege to research and share with you particularly over the last week or so, there are a couple more left that I will be sharing in due course, meantime I look to forward to sharing Ed’s real passion, for the Indy 500 in the coming weeks as we head into the 100th anniversary
of the running of the Indy 500.

Hope you have enjoyed today’s Fuzzy Long Shot edition of ‘Getting a lil’ psycho on tyres’ and that you’ll join me again tomorrow for a look at a truck built in the Australian outback so big it requires two General Lee tank motors to get up to speed. Don’t forget to come back now !