Tag Archives: Serrano

Dual Cowl – Packard 1104 Super Eight Sport Phaeton

Production of Eleventh Series Packards commenced August 1933 with 120 hp Eight, 145hp Super Eight and 165hp Twelve engine options available on three different chassis lengths with 17 custom body options by LeBaron and Dietrich.

Packard 1104 Super Eight Phaeton, Niello Concours at Serrano

The Super Eight powered 1104’s were all built on the 141 7/8ths inch wheelbase chassis and were available with 11 different body styles.

Packard 1104 Super Eight Phaeton, Niello Concours at Serrano

New features for the 11th series included and oil cooler and fuel filler hidden in the tail light assembly, while a vacuum tube radio was offered as an option.

Packard 1104 Super Eight Phaeton, Niello Concours at Serrano

Today’s regular Concours award winning featured 1104 was built with a rare, now most highly collectible, dual cowl Sport Phaeton body.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sharing these photographs taken at last years Niello Concours at Serrano.

Thanks for joining me on this”Dual Cowl” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a modified FIAT 500. Don’t forget to come back now !


Unknown History – Ferrari 250 GT/E #3509

Today’s featured 1962 Series 2 Ferrari 250 GT/E chassis #3509, was supplied to a person or entity known only as Berlet in Italy.

Ferrari 250 GT/E, Niello Concours at Serrano

Exactly when current owner Bill Finkbeiner bought the car, or even who from, is not known at this time, if you know any further history about the car please do not hesitate to chime in below.

Ferrari 250 GT/E, Niello Concours at Serrano

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sharing these photographs of #3509 taken at Niello Concours at Serrano last year.

Ferrari 250 GT/E, Niello Concours at Serrano

Thanks for joining me on this “Unknown History” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres.” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I will be looking at a one off Formula 5000 car. Don’t forget to come back now !


Intercooled IMSA GTO Racer – Porsche 934/5 930 770 0954

Two years after the introduction of the Porsche 930 street car marketed as the 911 Turbo Porsche manufactured a run of 400 Porsche 934 street cars mandated by a set of rules known as Group 4 in order that it’s customers could compete with a 550 hp race version of the 934 in 1976.

In 1977 Porsche built a further 10 white 934/5’s for it’s US customers who raced to the more liberal IMSA GTO series, aside from differences in the front and rear wheels arches and the rear wing which supplemented the tea tray spoiler the 934/5 was fitted with an intercooler which helped cool the combustion charge and raised the output to 600hp at 7000 rpm.

Porsche 934/5, Niello Serrano Concours d’Elegance

George Dyer took delivery of 934/5 #930 0954 in 1977 to supplement the non turbo charged 911 Carrera RSR which he had been racing since 1973 and co drove to victory in the 1977 Sebring 12 Hours with Brad Frisselle.

Records at RacingSportsCars.com show George raced the 934/5, which I believe to be today’s featured car, on nine occasions in 1977 with a win in the 250 mile Paul Revere race at Daytona being the cars stand out success.

Porsche 934/5, Niello Serrano Concours d’Elegance

Current owner Bruce Canepa raced #0954 once in 1978 finishing 7th at Sears Point before driving the car with Rick Mears and Monte Shelton to a third place finish in the 1979 Daytona 24 hours which seems to have been the cars final race appearance.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for arranging for me to share these photo’s of the car taken by Karl Krause at Niello Serrano Concours d’Elegance a couple of years ago.

Thanks for joining me on this “Intercooled IMSA GTO Racer” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a Jaguar powered special that anticipated the arrival of the E-Type Jaguar. Don’t forget to come back now !


Cobra Hi Riser – Shelby Mustang GT 350

In order for Ford’s new 4 seat Mustang to compete in the SCCA’s B Production class Carroll Shelby set about building a series of Shelby Mustang G.T. 350’s to meet the series regulations which stipulated a requirement for a minimum 100 examples of a “2 seat sports car”.

Shelby Mustang G.T. 350, Niello Concours At Serrano

To power the new “sports car” Shelby used the K-Code 271 hp 4.7 litre / 289 cui V8 modified with the aid of the Cobra “hi riser” intake manifold fed by the scoop in the fibre glass bonnet / hood and dual side exhausts, to produce 306 hp.

Shelby Mustang G.T. 350, Niello Concours At Serrano

Having opted for limited engine modifications the SCCA permitted more radical race suspension options which in the G.T. 350’s case ran to lowered A arms, heavy duty shock absorbers and upper arms, a heavy duty Ford Galaxie rear axle and “over rider” traction bars fitted above the rear leaf springs.

Shelby Mustang G.T. 350, Niello Concours At Serrano

The space where the back seat had been was taken up by a full size spare wheel comprising Goodyear Blue Spot tyre on either a 15″ steel wheel or a 15″ cast magnesium Crager Shelby item.

Shelby Mustang G.T. 350, Niello Concours At Serrano

34 G.T.350 R race spec cars were built and between them they captured 3 consecutive B Production class SCCA titles from 1965 to 1967 with Mexican Freddy Van Buren winning the ’67 title along with the 1966 and 1967 Trans Am titles.

Shelby Mustang G.T. 350, Niello Concours At Serrano

The rest of the Shelby G.T. 350’s, including today’s featured car were built for road use though the owner of this one confesses that “Driving a 1965 Shelby Mustang G.T.350 is a blast for the first 20 to 30 minuets… after that it starts to hurt”.

Shelby Mustang G.T. 350, Niello Concours At Serrano

All 562 Shelby Mustang G.T. 350’s were painted Wimbledon white and had the Guardsman Blue rocker stripes with the G.T. 350 logo, only 28% had the full length Guardsman Blue Le Mans stripes from new, though now nearly all of them do.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sharing his photographs taken at Niello Concours at Serrano a couple of years ago.

I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at one of my all time favourate FIAT’s. Don’t forget to come back now !


Shelby Pierce Arrow – Niello Concours at Serrano

The weekend before last Geoffrey Horton took his Jaguar out of it’s garage for the last time this year to attend the Niello Concours at Serrano. He kindly sent today’s featured photographs for us to enjoy.

Pierce Silver Arrow, Niello Serrano Concours d'Elegance

The achievements of Pierce Arrow and Carroll Shelby were being celebrated at Niello, above a 1933 Pierce Silver Arrow one of only three such 115 mph V12’s known to exist.

British Salmson S4C, Niello Serrano Concours d'Elegance

Suffering from slow sales of aero engines made under license from (French) Salmson in 1934 British Salmson extended it’s license deal to include local manufacture of Salmson cars. Above is a 1936 S4C similar to it’s French counterpart except that it has syncromesh on the top two gears of the gearbox. Around 250 S4C’s were manufactured from 1934 to 1938.

Delahaye, Niello Serrano Concours d'Elegance

For a Delahaye the vehicle above is pretty tame, by Delahaye standards, I’m not sure of either the year, model or coachbuilder, looks most likely a 135 which could have been built 1935 and 1954. If you know which more please do not be afraid to chime in below.

Jaguar XK140 MC DHC SE, Niello Serrano Concours d'Elegance

As regular GALPOT readers will know Geoffrey Horton restored a rats nest back into a 1955 Jaguar XK140 FHC SE / MC which he now enters in Concours events. The 1956 example above has been in the same family since 4th January 1956, it is totally original and unrestored, as the owner says “cost of $90,000” and “cost of to keep it original, with sentimental value = priceless”

FIAT 1200 TV Spider, Niello Serrano Concours d'Elegance

Not sure what this one is at the time of writing looks a little like a Mk 1 Triumph Spitfire with a lot of additional chrome, the wheels look like they come from a Berkeley. If you know what this one is please chime in below, it’s certainly not in my I-spy book of cars.

Shelby King Cobra, Niello Serrano Concours d'Elegance

Carroll Shelby ordered two new Cooper Monaco’s beefed up to carry Shelby’s 289 Ford V8’s for the 1963 URRSC sports car championship.
Chassis #CM/1/63 seen here was driven by rapidly rising star Dave MacDonald to victories in both the 1963 Los Angeles Times Grand Prix at Riverside and the Monterey Pacific Grand Prix at Laguna Seca which along which helped MacDonald secure the 1963 URRSC sports car championship.

Shelby GT.350, Niello Serrano Concours d'Elegance

The 1965 Shelby GT 350 was built to compete in the SCCA National B Production Championship with full race suspension larger oil pan and straight through exhaust side pipes. It was fitted with ‘only two’ seats to comply with the SCCA regulations. This particular copy, one of 562 built in 1965, has been in the same family since new.

Mercedes Benz 280 SE, Niello Serrano Concours d'Elegance

For 1970 the US Department of Transport demanded extra visibility over the bonnet / hood of all cars and so all post 1970 model year Mercedes 280 SE’s received a lower grill than in previous years. The Low Grill 280 SE Cabriolet above is one of just 237 built in 1970.

Ford Gran Torino, Niello Serrano Concours d'Elegance

Capable of reaching 60 mph in six seconds and covering the quarter mile in just 14.4 seconds the Ford Torino GT introduced in 1970 could be ordered with sports deck, hideaway head lamps and reflective side stripes, just like the one seen above.

Triumph TR8, Niello Serrano Concours d'Elegance

The English Corvette as the Triumph TR8 was known was manufactured 1978 to 1982. This one would appear to be one one of the 2400 dropheads built between 1980 and 1982.

Panoz Esperante GTLM, Niello Serrano Concours d'Elegance

The Panoz Esperante can be ordered in GT, GTLM and GTS specs with an after market JRD upgrade available if you need the speed and have the budget to satiate it. The car above is a 2005 model is the first of 80 Supercharged GTLM models. Amongst Wild Bills other vehicles are an amphibious Amphicar and Messerschmitt Kabinen Roller !

Jaguar XK140 MC DHC SE, Niello Serrano Concours d'Elegance

And so it’s time to thank Geoffrey one the last time this year for his fabulous Concours d’Elegance contributions to GALPOT this year, there will of course be further contributions about individual vehicles, and hope that his Jaguar stays safe over the off season in anticipation of the 2013 California Concours d’Elegance season.

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

PS Since writing this Geoffrey has informed me that the unidentified car that looks like a cross between a Triumph and a Berkeley is a 1956 FIAT 1200 TV Spider. We live and we learn ! Thanks again to Geoffrey.


Road Legal Ferrari’s A Brief History – Niello Serrano Concours

For Ferrari Friday GALPOT continues yesterdays perusal of vehicles on display at the Niello Serrano Concours thanks to Geoffrey Hortons photographs.

Ferrari 250 GTE 2 + 2, Niello Serrano Concours

First up a Ferrari 250 GT/E 2+2, one these models was Enzo Ferrari’s daily driver, early GALPOT readers may remember such a vehicle appearing in a previous blog, albeit modified into a replica 250 GT SWB Competizione.

Ferrari 275 GTS, Niello Serrano Concours

More exclusive, one of just 200 models built between 1965 and 1968, is this Ferrari 275 GTS powered by a 3.3 litre / 201 cui V12.

Ferrari Dino, Niello Serrano Concours

The V6 Ferrari Dino had been in production for two years and two distinct series from 1969 to 1971 before the first Series III Dino’s were manufactured for the US market, this is one of 1,431 Series III Dinos produced between 1971 and 1974.

Ferrari 365 GTC/4, Niello Serrano Concours

Manufactured between 1971 and 1972 the Ferrari 365 GTC/4 is a 2+2. One of the 500 examples produced appeared in the 1977 film Herbie Goes To Monte Carlo alongside several other Ferraris including a slightly more powerful 365 GTB/4 Daytona with which the GTC/4 shares a common chassis.

Ferrari 328 GTS, Niello Serrano Concours

Representing Maranello’s prancing black horse for the 1980’s at Niello Serrano was this Ferrari 328 GTS of which some 7400 were manufactured between 1985 and 1989.

Ferrari 550, Niello Serrano Concours

Ferrari returned to manufacturing motor cars with the engine in front of the driver in 1996 with the beefy 550. With a boot / trunk large enough to carry a set of golf clubs the Ferrari 550 was turned into a handy racer at Le Mans by the likes of Prodrive.

Ferrari 360, Niello Serrano Concours

Twentieth model in Ferraris catalogue of street legal exotics is the Ferrari 360 a model produced from 1999 – 2005 which you may remember from an earlier blog was made available with an optional Tubi Style exhaust to provide extra horsepower and amplify the sound.

Ferrari F430, Niello Serrano Concours

With a 200 mph top speed the Ferrari F430 that replaced the 360 in 2004 arguably had no need of gimmicks like optional Tubi Style exhausts. It looks good, sounds good and goes fast, pretty much everything one could want from a Ferrari except of course it’s replacement the F458 Italia.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sharing the delights of the California Concours season with us at GALPOT, I look forward to seeing what motoring delights he will find next year.

Thanks for joining me for Ferrari Friday, I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at an innovative Lotus with a body designed by Peter Kirwan-Taylor. Don’t forget to come back now !


US Convertibles – Niello Serrano Concours 2011

Thanks to the generosity of Geoffrey Horton today’s images come from the 2011 Niello Serrano Concours held the weekend before last in the El Dorado hills of sunny California. Today I’ll be focusing on a fabulous array of American made convertibles seen at the show.

Cord L29 Phaeton, Niello Serrano Concours

Vehicles manufactured by Cord Corporation were the feature Marque of the event so it was most fitting that grandson of the Cord Corporations founding father E.L. Cord should be seen here in one of the companies original models the 1929 Cord L29 Phaeton, which was the first US built front wheel drive car offered to the American public.

Cord L29 Coupé, Niello Serrano Concours

Of all the photo’s that Geoffrey sent to me this one of a 1930 Cord L29 Coupé with it’s bizarre, even by todays standards headlights and racy two tone paintwork, gets my nomination for car of the show. The front wheel drive L29 was the brainchild of Carl Van Ranst who had previously worked on the successful front wheel drive Miller open wheel racing cars that won that won the Indianapolis 500 on four occasions between 1926 and 1932.

Cord L29 Coupé, Niello Serrano Concours

Continuing on a vaguely Indianapolis related theme Geoffrey tells me this 1931 12 cylinder Cadillac 370A Roadster, was an Indy pace car in 1931. It was pulled out of a barn and restored by the owner 18 months ago.

Auburn Boat Tail Speedster, Niello Serrano Concours

One, of many, things I have learned thanks to these photo’s is that Cord was a brand name of cars manufactured by Auburn a company that ueber salesman E.L. Cord turned around during a leveraged buyout, above is a 1935 Auburn 851 Boat Tail Speedster manufactured just two years before both names went bust in the wake of the Great Depression.

Cord 812 Convertible Coupé,  Niello Serrano

The last model developed by Cord was the headlight popping 810 which had onlookers standing on the running boards of rival manufacturers cars when it was launched in New York in 1936. Rushed development and production schedules meant it gained a bad reliability reputation. For 1937 front wheel drive Cord 810’s were rebadged 812’s and although they had ironed out all of the reliability issues of the previous year the 812 series could not save Cord from financially tanking. This 1937 Cord 812 Convertible Coupe is particularly rare, if I have understood Card lore correctly, it is one of only six that were ordered without the exterior chrome exhausts sticking out of the sides of the bonnet.

Packard Super 8 Convertible, Niello Serrano

Despite the now give away giant bonnet ornament it took me a good half hour to work out that the car above is a 1949 Packard Super 8 Convertible with a pre WW2 bathtub body style.

Dual Ghia, Niello Serrano

I’ll let you see if you can guess what this mystery car is before you reach the end of this blog, this car was highly rated by Time and Life magazines, Good Houskeeping described this model as a ‘social phenomenon’. Designed in Italy but not built by one of the ‘big three’ the car is said to have had 50/50 weight distribution about the axles and counted amongst it’s star owners Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin drove one in the film Kiss Me Stupid and Ronald Reagan allegedly lost his to President Lyndon Johnson in a poker game. This is one of the 99 cars built from 1956 to 1957 from a planned production run of 300.

Buick Le Sabre Convertible, Niello Serrano

I know the designer of my all time favourite Formula One car is a fan of the 1959 Buick Le Saber Convertible all though he would probably prefer the Invicta version in bright red.

Lincoln Continental Convertible, Niello Serrano

Representing the swinging, in the UK anyway, sixties at Niello Serrano were the slab sided 1963 Lincoln Continental Convertible with it’s rear suicide doors, which are all the rage at Rolls Royce these days,

Dodge Dart Convertible, Niello Serrano

and the infinitely more modest 1964 Dodge Dart Convertible, which in optional automatic form had push buttons to select the gears.

The mystery car is the Dual Ghia, designed by Ghia in Italy and built by Dual motors in Detroit with Chrysler running gear.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for his excellent photographs without which todays post would not have been possible.

Thanks for joining me on this US convertible edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil psycho on tyres’ I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at some of the Ferrari’s at Niello Serrano Concours. Don’t forget to come back now !