Tag Archives: Sebring

4th Autumn Classic – Castle Combe

Last Saturday saw the 4th action packed Autumn Classic at Castle Combe which saw large numbers of fans entertained with nine races and several demonstrations most notable for this observer of which were a pair of BRM P160’s from 1972 and a 1973 which regaled the Wiltshire countryside with the awesome sound of a couple of unsilenced V12’s.

Frazer Nash Super Sports, Patrick Blakeney-Edwards, Castle Combe

Patrick Blakeney-Edwards had a moderately successful day as a driver, above he is seen scampering away from a delightfully varied field to win the VSCC Sports Car Race aboard his Frazer Nash Super Sports.

Jaguar Mk 1, Williams, Butterfield, Dorlin, Castle Combe

The JEC Norman Dewis Trophy for Pre 66 Jaguars was won by Martin Hunt driving a Blakeney Motorsports prepared E-type Jaguar while one of the most entertaining battles of the day was fought by Grant Williams and Richard Butterfield both in Mk 1 Jaguars and Peter Dorlin in his Mk2 after Andy Wallace also in a Mk2 retired from third at the half way stage, Grant hung on to finish first saloon home in the #12 seen above.

Austin Healey 3000 Mk1, David Grace, Castle Combe

David Grace driving the #17 Austin Healey 3000 Mk1 won the first of the two Healey Driver International Challenge 25th Anniversary races from second on the grid beating pole sitting white and blue #46 driven by Healey Specialists Bill and Jack Rawles by just under 4 seconds.

Cooper Bristol T24/25, John Ure, Castle Combe

Steve Brooks starting from third on the grid in the #34 Aston Martin DB3S is seen above about to go into the lead on the opening lap of the Fiscar Historic Intermarque race, he looked set for a win until the race had to be called on lap 12, before the compulsory pit stops had cycled through, which meant Stephen Bond in the #95 Lister Bristol starting from 8th on the grid was declared the winner after an accident involving three cars without injury to the drivers blocked the track at Quarry.

Staride Mk3. Xavier Kingsland, Castle Combe

Andrew Turner in the white and red #2 Cooper Mk VI led the opening 8 laps of the BAC Motor Sports Club Challenge for F3 500’s race from 3rd on the grid until he was caught and passed by Xavier Kingsland in the silver Staride Mk 3 two laps from home, pole sitter Darryl Woods in the Cooper Mk XII kept the two race leaders honest and finished 3rd just less than 1 second behind the winner !

Ford Falcon, Chris Clarkson, Castle Combe

Michael Squire easily won the HSCC/HRSR Historic Touring Cars race from pole driving a flame spitting Ford Mustang, but second place finisher Chris Clarkson had a very busy time keeping eventual third place finisher Chris Saunders in the white #77 Ford Cortina and Bob Bullen in the yellow #69 Ford Anglia behind.

Lotus 20/22, Jack Woodhouse, Castle Combe

Jack Woodhouse made a great start from 2nd to lead the opening 9 laps of the FJHRA/HSCC Millers Oils Formula Junior race in the white #84 Lotus 20/22 before yielding to the faster #53 Lotus 20/22 driven by 3rd place starter Sam Wilson seen in third place at Quarry above. Sam however tripped up behind a back marker on the final lap to let Jack back into the lead which was just .2 of a second over Sam at the finish line.

Elva Courier Mk4T. Sean Kukula, Castle Combe,

Having been unlucky in the Fiscar Historic Intermarque race Stephen Brooks easily won the Jon Gross Memorial race in his DB3S leaving Sean Kukula and Jonathon Loader to squable over second place in their #149 and #46 Elva Courier Mk4T’s respectively, Sean won the Elva battle which was fittingly once raced by American Jon Goss.

Austin Healey Sebring, Richard Woolmer, Castle Combe,

Finally the Healey’s came out for a second race which again provided plenty of thrills with third place starter Marc Campfield making the running for the opening 8 laps until his car ground to a halt which left pole man David Grace to claim a 4.5 second victory over the Healey 3000 shared by 5th place starters Jack and Oliver Chatham, above as in the first race the Healey Sebring of Sprites of Richard Woolmer #38 and Gordon Elwell #33 kept spectators entertained further down the field on their way to 9th and 10th place finishes less than 2 seconds apart.

Thanks for joining me on this “4th Autumn Classic” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a six cylinder Plymouth. Don’t forget to come back now !


Tipo AM 101/10 – Maserati Sebring Series II

Introduced in 1965 the Maserati Sebring Series II, Tipo AM 101/10, featured a host of minor detail changes from the 348 Sebring Series Is produced from 1962.

Maserati Sebring Series II, Silverstone Classic,

From the front the head lights were now paired in chrome clusters, and a more cumbersome design was introduced for the front indicators and side lights.

Maserati Sebring Series II, Silverstone Classic,

From the side the engine bay vents were raised with more elaborate detailing and a chrome strip was run between the wheel arches.

Maserati Sebring Series II, Silverstone Classic,

The rear bumper was simplified and the taillights were now horizontally aligned.

Maserati Sebring Series II, Silverstone Classic,

245 Sebring Series IIs were built up until 1968 and today’s featured car seen at Silverstone Classic last year is one of just seven right hand drive models built.

Thanks for joining me on this “Tipo AM 101/10” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for a short appreciation of the life and times of Jean Pierre Beltoise. Don’t forget to come back now !


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 !


Wacky and Bertone – Arnolt Bristol Bolide #404X3086

In 1906 Stanley Harold Aranoff was born into a family of bookbinders living in Chicago. After studying engineering he changed his name to Arnolt as part of an unsuccessful bid to break into the motor industry in 1936.

Arnolt Bristol Bolide, Bristol Concours d'Elegance, Greenwich

While looking for business opportunities he bought the rights to the Sea Mite Marine engine which he attached to a 13 ft rowing boat and sailed from St Joseph in Michigan across Lake Michigan to Chicago as part of a publicity stunt which earned him his “Wacky” nickname.

Arnolt Bristol Bolide, Bristol Concours d'Elegance, Greenwich

The Sea Mite proved a wise purchase after “Wacky” Arnolt won a contract to supply the motors to the US NAVY for their small vessels during the ’39-’45 war.

Arnolt Bristol Bolide, Bristol Concours d'Elegance, Greenwich

After the war “Wacky” held franchises to distribute MG, Riley and Morris cars and at the 1952 Turin motor show a MG TD with bodywork designed by Franco Scaglione form the financially struggling Bertone Coachworks caught his eye.

Arnolt Bristol Bolide, Bristol Concours d'Elegance, Greenwich

Wacky immediately placed an order for two hundred of the distinctive Bertone MG’s and Mr Bertone apparently nearly fainted. Only 103 Arnolt MG’s were built because MG switched production to the new TF model.

Arnolt Bristol Bolide, Bristol Concours d'Elegance, Greenwich

Impressed with the sales of the Bertone MG Arnolt, “Wacky” commissioned Bertone to develop a body for an Aston Martin and a total of eight these cars are thought to have been built by which time Aston Martin has long pulled the plug on the project.

Arnolt Bristol Bolide, Bristol Concours d'Elegance, Greenwich

Wacky then commissioned a one off Bertone Bentley for his personal use before entering an agreement with Bristol to supply 200 type 404 chassis with 125 hp six cylinder Bristol motors which would then be shipped to Bertone for the bodywork as seen on today’s featured 1954 example chassis #404X3086.

Arnolt Bristol Bolide, Bristol Concours d'Elegance, Greenwich

Today’s featured car, which is seen at the 2012 Bristol Concours d’Elegance at Greenwich, was the original European demonstrator and was displayed at the 1954 Motor Shows held in Geneva, Turin, Brussels, Munich, and finally Paris where it was sold to an American owner.

Arnolt Bristol Bolide, Bristol Concours d'Elegance, Greenwich

To help market the Arnolt Bristol “Wacky” entered three cars in the 1955 Sebring 12 hours and they finished 1st, 2nd and 4th in the 2 litre / 122 cui class with John Panks and Ernie Erickson sharing the honours. The following year the team finished second in the Sebring 12 hours to a Ferrari and in 1957 the team withdrew from the race after team member Bob Goldrich was killed during the race.

Arnolt Bristol Bolide, Bristol Concours d'Elegance, Greenwich

In 1960 Max Goldman and Ralph Durbin shared a second Sebring 12 hour class win driving an Arnolt Bristol which finished 14th overall. Other class and race winners driving Arnolt Bristol’s included team owner Wacky himself, Ed Rahal, Carl Grassman and Tom Payne.

Arnolt Bristol Bolide, Bristol Concours d'Elegance, Greenwich

Production of the Arnolt Bristol is thought to have come to an end in 1959 with 142 vehicles built, of those 12 were destroyed on Wacky’s premises in a warehouse fire.

Arnolt Bristol Bolide, Bristol Concours d'Elegance, Greenwich

Three versions of the Arnolt Bristol were built striped down Bolide like the one seen here, several Bolides also had aluminium bodies, Deluxe Roadster with Connolly hide seats full windscreen and full weather protection and a couple of coupes. At least one Arnolt Bristol is known to have been sold new as late as 1966.

Thanks for joining me on this Wacky and Bertone edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at the first of this months Indy Cars. Don’t forget to come back now !


“4535” – Tec Mec F415

After Juan Manuel Fangio won the 1957 World Drivers Championship driving for Maserati the company turned it’s attention to recouping it’s investment in racing through the sale of road cars and the works racing team turned it’s attention to sports models.

Tec-Mec F415, Goodwood Revival

The remaining 250F racing cars that had been accumulated were dispersed amongst privateer teams, however there was one unnumbered chassis that had been started and 250F designer Valerio Colotti had plans for a revised version of the 250F to be built around the chassis for the 1958 season.

Tec-Mec F415, Goodwood Revival

Colotti managed to secure the unfinished chassis and take it with him along with his drawings and set up his own design business called Studio Tecnica Meccanica where the new car, known officially as the Studio Tec-Mec F415 and unofficially as “4535” was completed with a Maserati 250F motor to power it.

Tec-Mec F415, Barrie Baxter, Goodwood Revival

Funding for the car appears to have come from Gordon Pennington jr and Lloyd Perry Casner who’s Camoraldi team entered the car in the 1959 season ending US Grand Prix run at Sebring for Brazilian Fritz d’Orey to drive in what turned out to be his third and final championship Grand Prix race.

Tec-Mec F415, Tony Wood, Goodwood Revival

The new front engined Tec-Mec had long since been outdated by the rear engined Coopers and Fritz qualified 17th out of 19, possibly the only person more disappointed was Roger Ward who qualified last in his Offy powered Kurtis Kraft midget. Fritz was spared too much humiliation retiring with an oil leak after completing just 6 of the 42 laps in the race which was won by Bruce McLaren driving a Cooper.

Tec-Mec F415, Tony Wood, Silverstone Classics

Today the Tec-Mec makes a fine racer against other front engined race cars from the same era, above owner Tony Wood leads the, equally uncompetitive in period, Offy powered Scarab of Julian Bailey for honors in a race for front engined Formula One cars run at Silverstone Classic last year. The Tec Mec is also seen sans roll over hoop driven by previous owner Barrie Baxter at Goodwood in 2011.

In 2008 Former Grand Prix driver turned Grand Prix pundit Martin Brundle took the Tec-Mec for spin round Silverstone, he perpetuates the myth that the Tec-Mec is a proper Maserati 250 F which it never was but the wheel cocking footage is worth a watch despite this factual error.

Thanks for joining me on this “4535” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


More Than I Expected – Ferrari P4/5 by Pininfarina

In March 2005 Andrea Pininfarina grand son of Battista Farina founder of Pininfarina asked James Glickenhaus if he would be interested in commissioning a one off car to which James replied that he would like a modern version of the mid sixties Ferrari P series sports racing car. Three months later a deal was concluded in which James would receive his dream car for a cost of $4,000,000 (US$ Four Million).

Ferrari P4/5 by Pininfarina, The Quail

James bought the last Ferrari Enzo 2003 US spec and took it along with his 1967 Ferrari P3/4 chassis #0846 which won the 1967 Sebring 12 Hours to Pininfarina for them to have a car to work on and from. Today’s unique vehicle still carries it’s Enzo identity plate.

Ferrari P4/5 by Pininfarina, The Quail

The body Pininfarina came up with is in my humble opinion a huge improvement on the original Enzo, it has a drag coefficient of just 0.34 which powered by a 660 hp version of the Enzo’s V12 motor will allow the car which is some 595 lbs / 270 kgs lighter than the original Enzo to reach 60mph from rest in 3 seconds and on to a top speed of 233 mph.

Ferrari P4/5 by Pininfarina, The Quail

The interior leather trim was chosen by James’s daughter and the seats tailored to fit James and his son after their bodies were scanned to get the most accurate measurements known to man.

James publicly took delivery of this unique car in August 2006 at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, and has said subsequently “The price was agreed to in advance and if anything I feel they gave me more than I expected.” Ferrari and Pininfarina similarly probably also got far more than $4 million dollars of publicity from the project as nearly everyone who has seen the car since, myself included, has wanted to get in a newspaper story about it.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sharing today’s photographs which were taken earlier this year at The Quail.

Thanks for joining me on this “More Than I Expected” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at the final incarnation of the Connew. Don’t forget to come back now !

Brighton Speed Trials Under Threat of Permanent Cancellation !

In their infinite wisdom, Brighton & Hove City Council are seeking to ban the Brighton Speed Trials from 2014.

If you care about speed and or motorsport history, please sign this linked petition to save Brighton Speed Trials in 2014 and beyond.

It’s a faf to Register before signing, but relatively painless compared to loosing the event which has been run with few interruptions since 1905.

You do not need to be resident in Brighton or even the UK to sign.

Thanks and please spread the word through whatever social media you have at your disposal.


Ferrari Covers & Ad – GALPOT Automobilia

This weeks Ferrari Friday features a couple more Ferrari related items from the 1970’s currently on offer from my lightpress e-bay listings.

MotorSport Cover 05/70, Andretti, Ferrari 512S, Sebring

First up a MotorSport cover from May 1970 featuring an image depicting Mario Andretti on his way to winning the Sebring 12 Hours driving a Ferrari 512S which he shared with Ignazio Guinti and Nino Vaccarella.

Mario Andretti cited this drive as the drive of his life in the British magazine Autosport many years ago because he was co opted into the #21 Ferrari after the #19 he had qualified on pole with Art Mezario had retired with gearbox trouble while 11 laps to the good over the rest of the field.

To win the 12 Hours Andretti had to catch and pass the Solar Productions Porsche 908, shared by actor Steve McQueen and pro driver Peter Revson, when he stepped into the #21 with just an hour of the once round the clock race to go. Having passed McQueen for the lead Andretti had to come in for fuel and as he left the pit lane he was but a few seconds ahead of the famous actor and remained there just 22 seconds ahead at the flag.

Michelin Ad, 12/73, Ferrari Dino

The Michelin advertisement above depicting a Ferrari Dino comes from the back cover of MotorSport in December 1973.

MotorSport Cover, 06/74, Niki Lauda, Ferrari 312 B3, Jarama

Finally the another MotorSport front cover from June 1974 depicting Niki Lauda at the wheel of a Ferrari 312 B3 on his way to winning the 1974 Spanish Grand Prix, this was Niki’s first Grand Prix win.

Thanks for joining me on this “Ferrari Covers & Ad” edition of Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for a look at a Ford Thunderbird with an unusual paint job. Don’t forget to come back now !