Tag Archives: Safari

AWDC Britpart Safari Championship R7 – Walters Arena, Neath

Last October I popped across the Severn Bridge to visit Walters Arena, Neath a disused quarry, for the 7th round of the All Wheel Drive Club (AWDC) Britpart Safari Championship, due to a number of circumstances immediately after the event I managed to loose my camera’s memory card before I had down loaded the images somewhere between Neath, London and Bristol which were my next ports of call in the following 24 hours. Last weekend the memory card turned up so here is my belated blog.

Land Rover Tomcat, Rob Bool, Walters Arena, Neath

I was alerted to the AWDC Britpart Safari Championship at last years Castle Combe Rally Day where several competitors gave impressive demonstrations on a make shift off road course. Above the Land Rover Tomcat of Rob Bool is seen on his way to a second place finish in class.

MG Metro 6R4, Ivan Dudley, Walters Arena, Neath

I believe Ivan Dudley has built several space frame MG miniMetro 6R4’s with BMW M3 engines for different off road competitions, he is seen above on his way to a 14th place overall finish.

Mitsubishi Milner, Colin Davies, Walters Arena, Neath

There are several chassis manufacturers I have not heard of before I believe the vague interpretation of a Mitsubishi Pick Up above sits on a Milner chassis built in Derbyshire which could be powered by any number of motors different motors including, 5 litre / 302 cui Ford Coyote or BMW M3 to name a few, Colin Davies is seen above on his way to a 10th place finish overall.

Land Rover Milner Evoque, Wyn Williams, Walters Arena, Neath

The Range Rover Evoque likeness above driven by Wyn Williams to a 4th place finish overall also sits on a Milner chassis.

Peugeot Simbugini, Oliver Arnold, Walters Arena, Neath

Oliver Arnold is seen above heading for a 3rd place finish in his Peugeot 206 likeness I have no idea what kind of chassis the car has, if you know please do not hesitate ti chip in below.

Mitsubishi Milner R5, Chris Bird, Mitsubishi Milner, Chris Bird, Britcar Safari Championship R7, Walters Arena, Neath

Chris and co driver John Bird are seen above on their way to a win in their Mitsubishi Milner V8 after recovering from a stop on the opening stage.

Two participants were taken to hospital with non life threatening injuries from the event, emphasising how tough a discipline the AWDC Safari Championship is, details of this years series which kicked off on March 20th can be found on this link.

Thanks for joining me on this “AWDC Britpart Safari Championship R7” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at the last in the current series of Camaro’s. Don’t forget to come back now !


Load Bearing Steel Roof – Citroën DS23 Familiale

Three years after the launch of the Citroën DS series a Estate/Station Wagon variant was launched in 1958.

The major difference between the Estate / Station Wagon and Saloon / Sedan, aside from the vast cargo capacity was that the new variant was built with a steel roof to which a standard roof rack was fitted.

Citroën DS23 Familiale, Goodwood Festival of Speed

All of the Estate / Station Wagon DS’s had three rows of seats, with the middle three all folding down to allow access to the rear.

Different markets were supplied with different variants with different names in France the down market ID based and higher spec British and Australian DS based le “Break” were fitted with two side facing seats in the cargo area where as the Estate in the UK, Wagon in the US and Station Wagon in Australia were all fitted with a forward facing third row of seats.

Citroën DS23 Familiale, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Ambulance versions of the Familiale were also built with a 60/40% fold down split in the 2nd row of seats to accommodate a stretcher and at their Slough plant in the UK a three door hearse was also built.

Fans of horse racing in the UK became particularly familiar with a 1974 DS 23 which was converted by the British Broadcasting Corporation into a Colour Roving Eye.

Citroën DS23 Familiale, Goodwood Festival of Speed

The Colour Roving Eye comprised a colour television camera and cameraman on the roof, a Band V transmitter within the cargo area, with a small generator on a trailer in tow to provide the necessary electrical power for the equipment.

The heavily laden vehicle, chosen for it’s smooth ride over uneven terrain such as that found next to race courses was ideal for live transmissions.

Citroën DS23 Familiale, Goodwood Festival of Speed

It was regularly seen in long shots during live transmissions at the start of horse races being driven at speed alongside race courses before the transmissions cut to close up shots as the races were in progress.

The Italian registered DS23 Familiale example seen in these photo’s at Goodwood Festival of Speed was built in 1973 and fitted with both a factory fit sun roof and factory fit air conditioning options.

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


Safari, Trekker, Kurierwagen, Thing – Volkswagen Type181

The Volkswagen Type 181 was born out of the incompetence of the Governments of West Germany, France and Italy to bring the Europa Jeep project to fruition. While the German military were waiting for this all wheel drive wonder mobile in 1968 the German Government approached Volkswagen to come with an interim vehicle which became the Type 181 seen today.

Volkswagen Type 181, Summer Classics, Easter Compton

The Type 181 is based on a Karmann Ghia floor pan, a little wider than that used for the Beetle, and had running gear from the Volkswagen Type 2 which included reduction gears for the driven rear wheels that helped raise the ride height of the Type 181 to give it some off road capability.

Volkswagen Type 181, Summer Classics, Easter Compton

Military Type 181’s were adopted my several NATO forces apart from Germany once the Europa Jeep project was abandoned in 1979.

Civilian versions of the Type 181 were first seen in Europe, Kurierwagen, and Mexico, Safari,in 1971 with US versions, Thing, appearing the following year. In 1975 Trekker versions of the Type 181 were sold in the UK but they were not popular and soon withdrawn from the UK market.

90,883 Type 181’s were built in Wolfsburg 1968–1974, Hannover,1974–1983, Puebla, Mexico 1970-1980, and Jakarta, Indonesia 1973 – 1980.

Note the Hannover built 1976 example seen in today’s photographs features a Porsche steering wheel and Porsche alloy wheels.

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


Gatso’s Monte Carlo – Ford Zephyr 6

The largest British Fords from 1950 to 1972 were marketed as the Zephyr and Zodiac models. The first Zephyrs, built between 1951 and 1956, were a longer version of the 4 cylinder Ford Consul fitted with a 70 hp straight six motor.

Ford Zephyr 6, Goodwood Revival

The Zephyr 6 above, seen at the Goodwood Revival, is the reshelled remains of the car that Maurice ‘Maus’ Gatsonides and Peter Worledge drove to victory in the 1953 Monte Carlo Rally.

Many drivers may well have heard of the Gatso speed camera, this was developed by Gatsonides originally so that he could measure and improve his cornering speeds in competition.

When ‘Maus’ drove ‘VHK 194’ to his Monte victory it was a Left Hand Drive car that was reshelled into a Right Hand Drive model after sustaining comprehensive damage in an accident.

Richard Dredge drove VHK 194 a couple of years ago. In his amusing report Richard stated the motor has good torque, but not much top end and that the ergonomics appeared to be an after thought, describing the bench seat as giving ‘all the support of a water bed.’

In 1955 Vic Preston Sr and DP Marwaha drove a similar Ford Zephyr 6 to victory on the East African Safari Rally.

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


Nissan’s Fairlady – Datsun 240 Z

Datsun 240 Z

BRDC are the initials of the British Racing Drivers Club and signify that the owner of this vehicle, well known rally and racing driver Barrie ‘Whizzo’ Williams, is a member.

Datsun 240 Z

The Datsun 240 Z, featuring styling cue’s taken from the E-Type Jaguar, was in production from 1970 – 1973.

Datsun 240 Z

Unknown to me until I wrote this, in Japan 2 litre / 122 cui in line 6 cylinder versions of the 240 Z, known locally as the Nissan Fairlady Z, were available with single and double overhead cam options.

Datsun 240 Z

For the rest of us the 150 hp 2.393 cc / 146 cui single overhead cam six cylinder is the more familiar motor. This vehicle is easily identified as a second series model by the Z in the circle on the C pillar.

Datsun 240 Z

Amazingly in 1971 and 1973 Datsun 240 Z’s driven by Edgar Hermann and Shekhar Mehta respectively won the gruelling East African Safari Rally proving this was no flimsy boulevard cruiser.

Datsun 240 Z

In 1996 Nissan launched a programme to buy 240 Z’s back and restore them to factory specifications and sold them for $24,000.

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