Tag Archives: Silverstone Classic

Silver Jubilee – Silverstone Classic

A couple of weeks ago I popped along to the Silverstone Classic Press Day to find out what will be happening at this years event that will be held on the 24th, 25th and 26th of July.

Benetton, Bentley, Silverstone Classic, Press Day,

This years event will see Silverstone Classic celebrating it’s own Silver Jubilee and a programme of races and demonstrations which will include prewar sports cars like the 1928 4 1/2 Litre Bentley driven by Clive Morley and Duncan Wiltshire and demonstrations by early 1990’s Formula One cars like Lorina McLaughlin’s ex Micheal Schumacher championship winning Benetton B192.

Silver Sunday, Silverstone Classic, Press Day,

One of the highlights of this years Silverstone Classic will be a parade for silver coloured cars of any age on “Silver Sunday“, might be tempted to enter my Golf IV for that one.

Maserati Quattroporte V, Silverstone Classic, Press Day,

Porsche, Maserati and Caterham Cars are official partners of this years event with Maserati having the honour of supplying the official pace car a Maserati Quattroporte V.

Lister Jaguar Continuation, Silverstone Classic, Press Day,

Above the first of the ten 2015 Continuation Knobbly Lister Jaguars is seen testing, this 1958 designed car is fully FIA compliant and should be taking part in the Stirling Moss Trophy for pre 1961 Sports Cars, I believe Stephen Bond may be the lucky owner of this one.

Alexis HF1, Silverstone Classic, Press Day,

Duncan Ragabliati holds the distinction of being the only driver to have competed in every Silverstone Classic since 1990 driving his 1959 #7 Alexis HL1 Formula Junior car seen above.

John Denis, Berliet Curtiss, Silverstone Classic, Press Day,

During the course of the day I took the opportunity of going on a couple of rides around the track, firstly aboard John Denis’s Curtiss OX5 V8 powered 1907 Berliet which was seriously sensational while sitting over three feet up with no windscreen when pulling all of 1,400 revs, fourteen hundred, hanginig onto a grab handle behind the drivers seat, on the Hangar Straight.

Talbot 105, Silverstone Classic, Press Day,

Equally sensational was Nicholas Pellet’s 1931 Talbot 105 team car which finished 3rd in the 1932 Le Mans 24 Hour Race, the cornering abilities of this car on the smooth Silverstone circuit have to be experienced to be believed.

VW Type 2, Silverstone Classic, Press Day,

Along with three days of on track entertainment Silverstone Classic will be hosting live performances from Paul Young, Status Quo with tribute perfomances by Fleetwood Bacs and The ZZ Tops, in what promises to be the most full on advance ticket only Silverstone Classic yet.

Thanks for joining me on this ‘Silver Jubilee’ edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psychoontyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for Geoffrey Horton’s first concours d’elegance of the year. Don’t forget to come back now !


Multi Spec Open Wheel – Cooper T71/73 #F1-3-64

When Bob Gerard hung up his helmet and gloves to become an entrant he continued to buy Cooper cars and enter them in a variety of specifications as he had done with his 1953 Cooper Bristol #CB-4-53.

In 1964 Bob had today’s featured Cooper T71 to all intents and purposes a 1 litre Formula Two car built up to 1.5 litre Formula One spec fitted with a twin cam 1.5 litre Holbay motor, the similar works Cooper T73 Formula One cars differed only in that they were fitted with 1.5 litre 91.5 cui Coventry Climax motors that produced 50hp more than the Ford production block based Holbay.

Cooper T71/73, Alan Baillie, Silverstone Classic

Bob entered #F1/3/64 for John Taylor in Formula Libre and non championship Formula One events in 1964 before giving John his Championship Formula One debut at the 1964 British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch.

John qualified 22nd and after gearbox repairs in the pits was running 14th, 24 laps down on winner Jim Clark when the flag fell in what turned out to be this cars only championship Formula One appearance.

Cooper T71/73, Alan Baillie, Silverstone Classic

Subsequently Bob continued to enter this car in Formula One spec for John and Alan Rollinson before running it with a 1 litre / 61 cui Formula Two motor for a couple of events in September 1964.

In 1965 John Rhodes drove the car with the Holbay motor and on other occasions Gerard Racings two mechanics were kept busy installing a Formula Two and a 1650 cc / 100 cui Formula Libre spec motor for John Taylor to drive.

1965 also saw Bob’s son Julian Gerard race this car with a stock 1 litre / 61 cui Formula Three spec Ford motor fitted.

In 1966 Bob entered the car in Formula Two spec in one event for Chris Lambert before turning it over to Formula Libre spec for his son Julian for the 1967 season.

At the end of 1967 Californian Bob Wenz bought #F1/3/64 and raced it for several seasons in SCCA Formula B events.

#F1/3/64 is seen in these photographs with current owner Alan Baillie at the wheel at last years Silvertone Classic.

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


One Seventy Four – Maserati Ghibli SS

In 1969, three years after the launch of the original Tipo AM115 Maserati Ghibli the Tipo AM115/49 Maserati Ghibli SS was introduced.

Maserati Ghibli SS, Silverstone Classic,

The major difference between was the increased displacement of the quad cam motor up from 4,719 cc / 288 cui to 4,930 cc / 301 cui which with the latest four vertical twin Weber 42 DCNF/11 carburettors pushed the power up from 310 hp to 330 hp.

Maserati Ghibli SS, Silverstone Classic,

Similarly the top speed was pushed up from 155 mph to 174 mph.

Maserati Ghibli SS, Silverstone Classic,

After 1,195 Ghibli Coupé’s and Spyders of both AM115 and AM 115/49 types had been manufactured Maserati dropped the Ghibli for a new Bertone designed Maserati Khamsin in 1974.

Maserati Ghibli SS, Silverstone Classic,

The Tipo AM115/49 seen at Silverstone Classic in these photographs was built in 1971 and is fitted with Borrani wire wheels that were optional when the car was new.

Thanks for joining me on this “One Seventy Four” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I will be looking at a vintage French car fitted with a vintage American aero engine. Don’t forget to come back now !


Junior Formula One – Heron Alfa Romeo

In 1960 Les Redmond and Syd Diggory built today’s featured Heron to compete in the Formula Junior Series and fitted it with a Formula Junior spec Ford 105E engine.

South African Tony Maggs bought the Heron and fitted it with a Coventry Climax Formula One spec engine with the intention of racing it in the 1960 South African Grand Prix.

Heron Alfa Romeo, Goodwood Revival

Having failed to qualify for the race due to mechanical problems Tony sold the Heron on to Ernest Pieterse who’s Scuderia Alfa Team fitted the car with the road car based Alfa Romeo twin cam engine that remains in the car to this day.

Ernest success with the car include a 6th in the 1961 Rand Grand Prix, 2nd in the 1961 Mozambique Grand Prix and a win in the 1961 Rhodesian, now Zimbabwe, Grand Prix.

Heron Alfa Romeo, HGPCA Test Day Silverstone

Team Valencia’s David Hume bought the car in 1964 and he continued to race the Heron for two seasons in South Africa without success.

In 1966 Andrew Smuts raced the Heron in its final race the Natal Winter Grand Prix.

Heron Alfa Romeo, Eddy Perk, Silverstone Classic,

Eddie Perk is responsible for reviving the Heron and he is seen at the wheel of the car at last years Silverstone Classic meeting.

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


Bearing His Own Name – Brabham BT3 F1-1-62

After winning the 1959 and 1960 World Drivers Championships driving 4 cylinder Coventry Climax FPF powered Coopers Jack Brabham went into business with fellow Australian engineer and designer Ron Tauranac to found Motor Racing Developments (MRD) was founded to build racing cars for customers and the Brabham Racing Organisation.

It is believed that the Brabham name was only applied to Motor Racing Developments cars after it was realised that the pronunciation of MRD was akin to the French expletive.

Brabham BT3, Donington Grand Prix Collection,

After building the initial MRD retrospectively known as the Brabham BT1 Formula Junior car a batch of 11 BT2 Formula Juniors was built before thoughts turned towards building a Formula One car today’s featured BT3.

Jack Brabham left Cooper at the end of 1961 and initially raced a Lotus Climax 24 #947 until today’s featured car was ready for the German Grand Prix.

Brabham BT3, Donington Grand Prix Collection,

Only the one Coventry Climax FWMV V8 powered BT3 was built and it was noted for having a roomy cockpit compared to it’s rivals in particular the svelte Lotus 25 built for the equally svelte Jim Clark.

Other notable features included; a Francis-Colotti Type-34, 6 speed gearbox, 9 inch disc brakes and external pipes to the front radiator to help keep the cockpit temperatures down.

Brabham BT3, Donington Grand Prix Collection,

Jack was the first person ever to start a Grand Prix in a car bearing his own name at the 1962 German Grand Prix where he qualified 24th after an engine failure and retired from the race when his improvised throttle linkage proved problematic.

After winning the non championship Danish Grand Prix in his Lotus, finishing third in the non championship Gold Cup in the BT3 Jack missed the Italian GP but returned to for the US Grand Prix and drove the BT3 now fitted with larger brake discs to finish 4th to become the first man to win World Championship points driving a car bearing his own name.

Brabham BT3, Donington Grand Prix Collection,

At the non championship 1962 Mexican Grand Prix Jack finished 2nd to the Lotus 25 shared by Trevor Taylor and Jim Clark and at the season ending South African Grand Prix Jack recorded another 4th place finish.

Jack drove the car in two championship rounds in 1963 finishing a best 5th in the Italian GP, but more importantly he won the non championship Solitude Grand Prix in Germany and Austrian Grand Prix at Zeltweg, finishing latter 5 laps ahead of his pursuers.

Brabham BT3, Donington Grand Prix Collection,

New Zealander Denny Hulme also drove the BT3 to a fourth place finish in the non championship 9th Kanonloppet race in Sweden.

The BT3 was then sold to Ian Raby who fitted a BRM V8 motor and entered it into four world championship rounds over the ensuing 2 seasons, his best result was 11th in the 1965 British Grand Prix.

Brabham BT3, Donington Grand Prix Collection,

David Hepworth bought the BT3 from Ian and fitted a Chevrolet V8 for use in hillclimbing. Tom Wheatcroft latter acquired the car and had it restored back to it’s original specification.

The car is seen at Tom’s Donington Grand Prix Collection prior to it being sold on in 2012.

01/03/15 Errarta the photo’s originally posted with this blog showed the intercontinental 2.5 litre, 4 cylinder Brabham BT4 driven by Jason Minshaw to victory in the Jack Brabham Memorial Trophy at last years Silverstone Classic meeting not the BT3 as I erroneously thought.

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


Hydropneumatic Directional Headlights – Maserati Quattroporte II Prototype

In 1968 Citroën took over Maserati from the Orsi family with Alfredo Orsi remaining as the companies nominal president.

Maserati Quattroporte II Prototype, Silverstone Classic

Although a couple of Maserati Type AM 121 Quattroporte’s built on the 1969 Maserati Indy chassis and drive train were built Citroën had scrapped the Type 121 with just two unit’s built and focused the companies attention on building the Type AM 123 Quattroporte II.

Maserati Quattroporte II Prototype, Silverstone Classic

The front wheel drive Type AM 123 used an extended Citroën SM floor pan and the 3 litre / 183 cui version of the Giulio Alfieri designed quad cam Maserati V6 that was used in the SM and later rear engined Maserati Merak, the 210 hp gave the futuristic Marcello Gandini styled Bertone body a top speed of only 124 mph.

Maserati Quattroporte II Prototype, Silverstone Classic

Additional Citroën inspired features included the hydropneumatic suspension which added a great deal of comfort to the ride, self centering power steering and swivelling directional headlights which turned with use of the steering wheel and were directed in the same direction as the front wheels.

Maserati Quattroporte II Prototype, Silverstone Classic

As per the Citroen SM the interior of the Quattroporte II featured an unusual for the period digital instrument panel, air conditioning, sun blinds on all window’s, electric door window’s, radio cassette and heated rear screen, the only options were a leather interior and electric sun roof.

Maserati Quattroporte II Prototype, Silverstone Classic

Unfortunately a combination of factors, fuel crisis, collapse of Maserati’s main market Italy, and lack of investment from Citroën meant that aside from the prototype AM 123, seen in these photographs with a unique to this car set of prototype magnesium wheels, which was first first shown to the public in 1974 just 13 examples were built up to 1978 by which time Citroën had long since divested itself of it’s interest in Maserati and left it in the hands of Alejandro de Tomaso with the help of the Italian Government.

I believe the unusual EMN888U licence plate ‘may’ have been issued by licencing authorities on the Isle of Man, if you know more please do not hesitate to chip in below.

Thanks for joining me on this “Hydropneumatic Directional Headlights” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at another Amilcar Special. Don’t forget to come back now !


Four Doors – Maserati Quattroporte

Like the first Maserati 5000GT which was built at the request of the Shah of Iran the first Maserati Quattroporte was built at the request of a customer, in the Quattroporte’s case the interested party was none other than Imam and business man Prince Shah Karim Al Hussaini Aga Khan IV who ordered a special Maserati 5000, chassis #103,060, with a body designed by Pietro Frua that was built by Vignale in 1962.

Maserati Quattroporte, Silverstone Classic

The following year Maserati commenced building production versions known as the ‘Tipo 107’ Quattroporte with 265hp 4,136 cc / 252 cui V8 motors and either five speed manual or 3 speed automatic transmissions.

Maserati Quattroporte, Silverstone Classic

Top speed for the first 230 Quattroportes built between 1963 and 1966 was claimed to be 143 mph.

Maserati Quattroporte, Silverstone Classic

In 1966 all Quattroportes were fitted with the US spec quadruple headlights as seen on this early 1968 example and from later in 1968 they were fitted with an upgraded 295hp 4.7 litre motor which increased the top speed to 160 mph which made the model the worlds fastest four door saloon / sedan.

Maserati Quattroporte, Silverstone Classic

500 Quattroportes were built between 1966 and the end of production in 1969.

Maserati Quattroporte, Silverstone Classic

Although production of the second generation Quattroportes did not commence until 1974 the Aga Khan and King of Spain took delivery of Quattroportes built on AM 121 Maserati Indy derived chassis in 1974. New Maserati owners Citroen pulled the plug on the Indy based Quattroporte before it went into full scale production.

Thanks for joining me on this “Four Doors” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at an air cooled Amilcar. Don’t forget to come back now !