Tag Archives: Salmon

Wrecked Prototype Reincanated – Nimrod Aston Martin NRAC/1 #001

With a world caravan speed record in his pocket set with his twin turbocharged Aston Martin ‘Muncher’ Robin Hamilton came to an agreement with Aston Martin Chairman Victor Gauntlet to enter a partnership to form Nimrod in 1981 which set out to build Aston Martin powered prototype Group C and GTP racing cars.

Nimrod Aston Martin NRA/C2, Goodwood Festival of Speed

The design of the cars was credited to Eric Broadley, though I have always had my doubts about the extent of his involvement because the design does not feature ground effect aerodynamics that were de rigeur in Formula One and becoming rampant in prototype sports cars such as Eric’s contemporary Lola T600 Group C / IMSA GTP design shows.

Nimrod Aston Martin NRA/C2, Goodwood Festival of Speed

The Nimrod chassis tubs were certainly built by Lola, they were known in the Lola factory as T385’s and the cars do appear to bear a familial resemblance to the smaller open Lola T380 of the type Alan de Cadanet purchased in 1975. The heavily modified Aston Martin V8’s were prepared initially by Aston Martin Tickford and later by Aston Martin Lagonda.

Nimrod Aston Martin NRA/C2, Goodwood Festival of Speed

It is believed that the 1981 car, seen here at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, belonging to the Louwman Museum is the rebuilt wreck of the prototype that crashed before ever turning a wheel in open competition, that was never raced subsequently either.

Nimrod Aston Martin NRA/C2, Goodwood Festival of Speed

The Nimrods turned out to be underfunded and inevitably disappointed, the works cars best result, in second generation NRAC/2 guise that appeared in 1982, was a 5th place finish in the IMSA GTP series which fell to Reggie Smith, Lyn St. James and Drake Olson in the 1983 Sebring 12 Hours. At the end of the season Nimrod Racing folded.

The best Nimrod finish in the World Sports Car Group C series fell to Ray Mallock and Mike Salmon on the Nimrods debut at the 1982 Silverstone 6 Hours. This private entry by Viscount Downe was independently developed by Ray Mallock until 1984 and proved quicker and more reliable than the works entries scoring the marques only Le Mans finish in 1983 when Ray and Mike were joined by Simon Philips and finished 7th from 23rd on the grid.

In 1983 for the Daytona 24 Hours Nimrod manged to team up both 4 time Indy 500 winner and one time Daytona 500 Winner AJ Foyt up with fellow Daytona 500 winner and three time NASCAR Cup winner Darrell ‘Jaws’ Waltrip and an unknown Argentinian Guillermo Maldonado with Darrell’s sponsor Pepsi in their lead #11 car.

They qualified 13th, but retired with engine failure to be classified 54th. AJ who had not driven the car in the race moved over to join Preston Henn in the Henn’s Swap Shop Porsche 935 and shared a victory with Preston, “Brilliant” Bob Wollek and Claude Ballot-Lena.

Thanks for joining me on this “Wrecked Prototype Revived” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psychoontyres” I hope you will join me again for Maserati Monday tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


’64 Rebody By Scaglietti – Ferrari 250 GTO #4399GT

In May 1963 British Ferrari importer Col. Ronnie Hoare took delivery of a 250 GTO chassis number #4399GT and entered it for Mark Parkes to drive in the Whitsun Trophy at Goodwood and Martini Trophy at Silverstone and before the car was a month old it had visited victory lane, twice.

In July ’63 Jack Sears took a class victory with #4399GT at the British Grand Prix meeting, before Graham Hill won the RAC Tourist Trophy at Goodwood in August driving the same car.

Ferrari 250 GTO, Goodwood, Revival

In September 1963 Mike Parkes was back at the wheel at events in Monza and Snetterton finishing 2nd overall in both but with class victories.

Over the winter of ’63/’64 the car was sent back to Scaglietti where the original body was removed and a new 250 GTO ’64 style
body was fitted.

Ferrari 250 GTO, Goodwood, Revival

Graham Hill drove the rebodied car to wins in the Sussex Trophy at Goodwood and the International Trophy at Silverstone, with Mike Parkes adding a third season victory in the 500km race at Spa.

The hood scoop was fitted in time for the ’64 Le Mans 24 Hours where Innes Ireland and Tony Maggs drove the car to a 6th place finish, 2nd in class to the GTO shared by Belgians Lucien Bianchi and “Jean Beurlys”.

Ferrari 250 GTO, Goodwood, Revival

Mike Parkes and Ludovico Scarfiotti drove #4399GT to a class victory in the Reims 12 hours and Viscount Rollo Fielding scored the cars final in period class victory at Mallory Park in October 1964.

Mike Salmon drove #4399GT for Dawnay racing in early 1965 with his best result being a 4th place from pole in the Sussex Trophy at Goodwood.

In 1969 Anthony Bamford, now Sir Anthony, acquired #4399GT and it has remained in his possession ever since.

Thanks for joining me on this ’64 Redody By Scaglietti edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a diesel Audi. Don’t forget to come back now !


Salmon Over Metallic Grey – Ferrari 375 MM Ghia Coupé #0476AM

In 1955 Ghia built the body work for a new Ferrari for the last time, and one might well wonder if this had anything to do with the salmon over metallic grey paint job.

Ferrari 375 MM Ghia Coupé, Blackhawk Museum

Today’s featured Ferrari 375 MM Ghia Coupé chassis #0476AM, photographed by Greoffrey Horton at the Blackhawk Museum earlier this year, is not only the last Ghia bodied Ferrari it is also the only Ghia bodied 375 MM chassis making it unique among the 23 street and racing versions of 375 MM.

Ferrari 375 MM Ghia Coupé, Blackhawk Museum

This particular car was shown at the 1955 Turin Motor and New York Auto shows before it found a home with a family in Milwaukee, WI. By 1970 #0476AM had recorded just 12,000 miles, four years later it was sold to a Milwaukee doctor who kept the car for 10 years.

Ferrari 375 MM Ghia Coupé, Blackhawk Museum

In 1984 #0426AM appeared in the Blackhawk Museum for a couple of years before going on a sojourn to Switzerland which lasted at least until December 2002 when the car failed to sell at auction. I am not entirely sure when #0426AM returned to the Blackhawk Museum, if you happen to know please do not hesitate to chip in below.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton once again for saving Ferrari Friday.

Thanks for joining me on this “Salmon Over Metallic Grey” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at an open wheel Formula 5000 car. Don’t forget to come back now !


Dealer Pressure – Aston Martin DP 212

Following the success of the Aston Martin DBR1 at Le Mans and the 1959 World Sports Car championship the Aston Martin team refocused it’s attentions on an ill timed Grand Prix effort that folded by the end of 1960, by which time the front engined Aston Martin DBR4 and DBR5 were completely out classed by rear engined cars.

Aston Martin DP212, Goodwood Revival

Under pressure from dealers to come up with a new racing program David Brown sanctioned the development of the DP 212 for the 1962 Le Mans 24 hours.

The cars was built using an Aston Martin DB4GT frame with a 345hp 4 litre / 244 cui six cylinder motor and a sensuous slippery long body to suit the potential of 4 mile Mulsanne straight at Le Mans.

Graham Hill and Richie Ginther were engaged to drive the car at Le Mans where it had a brief moment of glory leading the opening lap of the 24 hour endurance race with Graham Hill at the wheel, however from there on the car dropped down the field over the next six hours until it retired from 9th place with piston failure following an oil pipe fracture.

The original bodywork was found to experience stability problems at speed and after aerodynamic tests was replaced with a Kamm tail of the sort that was later used on the back of the Aston Martin DB6.

Subsequently DP212’s only other appearance was at the 1963 Le Mans test weekend where Jo Schlesser, Bruce McLaren, Lucien Bianchi and William Kimberly drove the car which recorded 5th fastest time. By the 1963 Le Mans 24 hour race the DP212 had been replaced by the DP 214 and DP215 models.

DP212 was later converted to a road car with even larger 349 hp motor and driven in a variety of events by Hon.John Dawnay, later Viscount Downe, and Mike Salmon the later winning the 1974 Classic Car Championship with it.

Thanks for joining me on this “Dealer Pressure” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for a look at a Le Mans winner from Germany. Don’t forget to come back now !