Tag Archives: Roland

Stovebolt Special – HWM Chevrolet #49 ?

HWM Stovebolt Special, Pebble Beach, Carlyle Blackwell

Photo Carlyle Blackwell, Publised Courtesy Blackwell Archive, for sales enquiry’s please e-mail infoATpsychoontyres.co.uk and your contact details will be forwarded to the Blackwell Archive.

On Wednesday when I started today’s blog I thought lovely black car rare make, probably not too much history. As you’ll see below I could not have been more wrong in my assessment of the task ahead.

Hersham and Walton Motors (HWM) acquired an Aston Martin Dealership in 1951 reputedly making it the oldest such franchise.

Racing drivers & HWM owners George Abecassis and John Heath first built a streamlined body on an Alta sports car chassis in 1948.

The first proper HWM’s were also 4 cylinder Alta powered and built for the second tier European open wheel series called Formula 2 in 1950.

This is one of those 1950 open wheel cars allegedly driven by none other than Sir Stirling Moss at the start of his career.

Thanks to information passed on by David McKinney, it appears that this vehicle still fitted with an Alta engine was purchased in 1953 by 20th Century Fox and used in the film ‘The Racers‘ staring Kirk Douglas and Bella Darvi, this film was also known as ‘Such Men Are Dangerous’ in some countries.

During filming the car was heavily damaged, later Tom Carsten purchased all the vehicles from the film, selling most of them on, but keeping the HWM because it had independent suspension and fitting it with a 302cui /4900 cc Chevrolet V8 which was then bored out to 4994 cc / 305 cui by Edelbrock.

The car was also fitted with a quick change rear axle and experimental disc brakes by Hallibrand.

Bill Pollack, seen in this photograph by Carlyle Blackwell, confirmed as having to be at Pebble Beach by Bill himself, is known to have driven the at least twice in 1956 during which time chassis acquired the nome de course ‘Stovebolt Special’.

Bill was a regular winner at events such as Pebble Beach (two times), Golden Gate Park, Reno, Torrey Pines, Stockton, Madera, Willow Springs, Palm Springs, and the Santa Barbara road races, the most famous of which was in an Allard J2 at Pebble Beach from which his book ‘Red Wheels and White Sidewalls‘ takes it’s title.

JB Miltonian informs me that a version of this photo with the driver in an obviously retouched red shirt appeared on the cover of Sports Car Illustrated in September 1956 with the caption “Rounding the last turn at Pebble Beach is Bill Pollack in the latest Carstens bomb, the HWM-Chev V8. A complete breakdown of the car starts on p12. Ektachrome is by Carlyle Blackwell.”

The Stovebolt Special is known to have been raced until at least 1963.

In 1980 John Matherson restored the car which appeared in the Pebble Beach Concours in 2003.

HWM Stovebolt Special, Alan Raine

As seen in this photo by Alan Raine most recently the Stovebolt Special has reappeared in the UK driven by Simon Taylor.

According to one source Simon’s car is now listed as having a 5737 cc / 347 cui motor.

There is some disagreement as to the chassis number of the Stovebolt Special with options including #49 – 001 ,49/02 and even FB 102, should Simon Taylor get in touch I’ll ask him and add a post script.

My thanks to Carlyle Blackwell for the photo, Ed and Steve Arnaudin who kindly sent it on to me and TNFers David McKinney, Alan Raine, fnqvmuch, Tim Murray, Roger Lund, Mark Godfrey, JB Miltonian, and Vince H, who helped reveal the story behind the ‘Stovebolt Special’.

Please keep the Arnaudin family in your thoughts and prayers at this time.

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

28 07 12 PS My thanks to Pamela Blackwell who has kindly retrospectively given me permission to post the photo’s her father took.


Intelnet Carceaology Detective Agency – Ferrari 375 Pininfarina America #0319AL

Today’s Ferrari Friday blog is a real team effort and I’d like to start by thanking four people without whom you would be staring at a funky photo of a Meridian Bridge in Spain. First thanks must go to the amazing Mr Ed Arnaudin who took today’s photograph nearly 54 years ago in 1957, second thanks must go to Ed’s son Steve who took the time and patience to sort through his Dad’s slides scan them and then send them to me 3,500 miles away.

Third there are two people at Ferrari Chat who deserve a special mention, first Kare in Helsinki Finland for having the patience to answer each of my dumb *ss questions before convincing myself that what he said in the first place id correct and finally special thanks must go to Boudewijn Berkhoff who took it upon himself to bring a faded 54 year old slide back to life.

Ed’s photo is not the easiest to analyse because if you search Google Images you’ll find several vehicles similar but frustratingly with completely different names in particular the 250 Pininfarina Europa and the 375 Pininfarina America.

This only makes sense when one learns that in 1953 Ferrari launched two cars one at the European market the 250 Europa with a 3 litre 183 CUI Colombo designed short block V12 and the other aimed at the US market with a later 4.5 litre 274 CUI Aurelio Lambredi designed long block V12, both cars looked more or less identical with body work by Pininfarina, however they were not assembled on a production line so each differed from the other with varying degrees of obviousness.

In all 21 Europa’s were built mostly with Pininfarina bodies while 45 300 hp 150 mph 375’s were built from 1953 to 1955, just 8 of those 45 had Pininfarina bodies and one of those was a one off coupe with a wrap around windsceen which makes the car in Ed’s photo just one of seven. But which one ?

Once the car model was identified it was relatively easy to find out the whereabouts of those seven Pininfarina bodied cars today; three are red, one is two tone silver, another is silver but with a much larger chrome grill, one is green, another blue and the last is black.

Thanks to the aforementioned Kare I found out that the black 375 was originally grey with red interior delivered bearing the chassis number #0319AL to a Mr Carpenter. Thanks to Tom Roland we have 21st September 1957 as the probable date this photo was taken.

I’d also like to thank Aardy, tx246, Motob, of2worlds, and Ed Niles for chipping in with opinions that hopefully has seen an approximation of the truth emerge.

Hope you have enjoyed today’s detective mystery trip in an extremely rare motor car and that you’ll join me in thanking everyone who helped make today’s blog possible.

Join me again tomorrow for a look at another Italian vehicle photographed by Ed, don’t forget to come back now !