Tag Archives: SWB

Tom Meade Special – Ferrari 250 GT SWB NeMBo Spyder #3771GT

Today’s featured Ferrari started life as a 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta with a steel Berlinetta body that was supplied to E Molozzi.

By this time a Californian Tom Meade had hitched from Norway to Rome in pursuit of a dream to own an Italian exotic car with his savings from a four year stint in the US Navy.

Tom eventually got to the Maserati factory at Modena where he managed to procure an old Maserati 350S sans engine and fit it with a Corvette motor that was surplus to Lloyd “Lucky” Crasners requirements.

Ferrari 250 GT SWB Nembo Spyder, Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance

With input from Gentilini and Fantuzzi Tom’s first special was completed and sent to San Fransisco where Tom briefly settled until some friends landed the car in a Marin County tree top.

With the proceeds from the sale of the wreckage Tom returned to Italy in 1963 where he bought two less than perfect Maserati’s and made them roadworthy before acquiring chassis #3771GT.

It is not clear why #3771GT needed a rebody but it may have been due to flood damage from the 1966 disaster that struck Florence, it appears that a William Dixon was involved in commissioning Tom to rebody the car to his own specifications which included fitting a Ferrari 250 GTO/64 windscreen.

Ferrari 250 GT SWB Nembo Spyder, Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance

My understanding is that Neri & Bonaccini got the car mechanically back on it’s feet by 1968 two years after William Dixon from Seattle bought it.

The contraction of the Neri Mead and BOnaccini names that gives #3771GT it’s NeMBo sorbriquet which coincidentally is also the Italian name given to the Superman cartoon character and equally coincidentally means ‘coat’ in Swahili.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sharing these photographs of #3771GT taken at Hillsborough Concours d’Elegance last year.

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


Der Großer Ultra Luxury – Mercedes Benz 600 SWB

So here is a little teaser question to start the week, what do American actor Jack Nicholson, Cambodian totalitarian dictator Pol Pot and Colombian drug dealer Pablo Escobar all have in common ? Answer at the end of this blog.

In order to compete with Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Cadillac, Lehmann-Peterson stretched Lincolns and the Chrysler Imperial Crown Ghia in the Ultra Luxury market segment Mercedes Benz built the 600 also known as “Der Großer” which was launched in September 1963.

Mercedes Benz 600 SWB, Brooklands Double Twelve

Since the biggest Mercedes Benz 3 litre 183 cui was never going to be up to the job of propelling this heavy weight, Mercedes Benz developed it’s first V8 engine, featuring single overhead cam shafts, with a capacity of 6289 cc / 383cui that produced 250hp.

To ensure the silent operation of the air conditioning, power window’s, sunroof, seats, auto door and boot/trunk closure and the suspension damping Mercedes Benz eschewed complex electrics and developed a complex hydraulic system that operates at a nominal 3200 psi, all well and good until it develops a leak and or the system gets refilled with synthetic automatic transmission oil, which eats the all rubber seals, instead of the correct mineral based oil.

Mercedes Benz 600 SWB, Brooklands Double Twelve

The windows are hydraulically activated by door switches that have a variable rate of closure depending on how hard one presses the switch, whack it inadvertently and someone could loose an arm, similarly if one touches the open boot/trunk lid it will close automatically, try and push it shut and one will likely as not break the hinges.

To keep ones hydraulics in order Mercedes Benz thoughtfully equipped the car with a hydraulic spares kit that contains brass spacers to keep the power seats from collapsing in the event of hydraulic system failure, three hydraulic blocks, three line connections, a set of hydraulic line plugs and clips, four wooden wedges to insert in to the window channels to keep the windows up, a spare hydraulic flex line, an oil container and an instruction manual to help you use all of the above correctly.

Mercedes Benz 600 SWB, Brooklands Double Twelve

The design of the 600 is credited to Italian Bruno Sacco, German Friedrich Geiger and Paul Bracq, the latter allegedly helped in the design of 600 pick up and hearse conversions that were built by Karl H. Middlehauve in the United States.

In all 2,677 Mercedes Benz 600’s were built up until 1981 they include; 2,190 Saloons, like the 1965 example seen at Brooklands Double Twelve a couple of years ago in these photographs, 304 4 door Pullmans, 124 6 door Pullmans and 59 Landaullets and 2 Coupé’s one of which was given to Mercedes Benz 300 SLR designer Dr. Rudolf Uhlenhaut upon his retirement.

By now you have probably guessed that Jack Nicholson, Pol Pot and Pablo Escobar have all owned a Mercedes Benz 600, the latters was destroyed in an attack in an attack in 1988 five years before his death. Other entertainers who owned a 600 include; Elizabeth Taylor, John Lennon, George Harrison, Karen Carpenter, Elvis Presley and Rowan Atkinson, politicians who owned 600’s include; Josip Broz Tito, Nicolae Ceaușescu, Francois (Papa Doc) Duvalier, Jean-Bédel Bokassa, F. W. de Klerk, Leonid Brezhnev, Idi Amin, Fidel Castro, Ferdinand Marcos (times 4 !), Kim Il-sung, Kim Jong-il, Saddam Hussein and Chairman Mao Tse-tung / Zedong, no other drug dealers are recorded as having owned a 600.

Thanks for joining me on this “Der Großer Ultra Luxury” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a vehicle said to be responsible for the cancellation of a rivals model amid accusations of industrial espionage. Don’t forget to come back now !


Ferrari Friday – Silver Jubilee Silverstone Classic

Welcome to another Ferrari Friday edition of “Gettin’ a l’il psycho on tyres” this week brought to you from last month’s Silver Jubilee Silverstone Classic.

Ferrari 365 GTB/4, Silverstone Classic,

There were plenty of disguised Ferrari’s present such as this 1973 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 chassis #16643 which left the factory as a 2+2 Berlinetta and was converted into a Spyder in 1988, this car is reported to have recently been upgraded with a Traffic Master tracker, Autowatch immobiliser and iPod stereo connection.

Ferrari 365 GTB/4, Silverstone Classic,

Still carrying it’s original Scaglietti 2+2 Berlinetta body above is the 1970 365 GTB/4 chassis #13775 that was owned by “20th Century Boy” Marc Bolan who famously never learned to drive fearing premature death only to be tragically killed when a passenger in a Purple Mini 1275GT driven by his partner in 1977.

Ferrari 275 GTS, Silverstone Classic

Another Ferrari with a famous owner is the 1965 Ferrari 275 GTS chassis #07395 seen above which once belonged to 1980 Australian Formula One world champion Alan Jones.

Ferrari 250 GT SWB, Halusa/Halusa, Silverstone Classic

Also no longer carrying the body it left the factory with is the famous 250 GT SWB chassis #2819 which Count Volponi had hastily converted to a GTO spec with Breadvan body by Giotto Bizzarini and other ex Ferrari personnel. The car was shared by L & N Halusa and is seen during qualifying for the Sunday TT race in which it finished 17th from 16th on the grid.

Ferrari 250 GTE, Silverstone Classic

I have not yet been able to discern a chassis number for the 1961 Ferrari 250 GTE above, if you know it don’t hesitate to chime in below.

Ferrari 250 GTE, Silverstone Classic

The replicated TR body above also sits on a V12 250 GTE which I believe is the 1963 chassis #4873.

Ferrari 246S, Gregor Fiskin, Silverstone Classic

Finally congratulations to Gregor Fisken who is seen above dancing the, GALPOT site banner car, 246S #0784 through Chapel on his way to a win in the Stirling Moss Trophy.

Thanks for joining me on this Ferrari Friday edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres, I hope you will join me tomorrow for more highlights from the Silver Jubilee Silverstone Classic. Don’t forget to come back now !


Ferrari Friday – Hillsborough Concours d’Elegance

Welcome to another Ferrari Friday this week brought to you courtesy of Geoffrey Horton who took today’s photographs at the recent Hillsborough Concours d’Elegance.

Ferrari 166 MM, Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance

Regular GALPOT readers might remember the 1949 Ferrari 166 MM chassis #0022 M as a Hillsborough regular having appeared there in 2012.

Ferrari 340 Vignale Mexico Berlinetta, Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance

In 1952 Vignale built 3 Berlinetta bodied and one Barchetta bodied Ferrari 340 Mexicos for the Carrera Pan America, above is the first Berlinetta bodied chassis #0222AT which started the 1952 and 1953 events and retired from both.

Ferrari 342 America, Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance

This gorgeous, even in black, Ferrari 342 America with bodywork by Pinin Farina was delivered to King Leopold III. of Belgium in May 1953, he appears to have kept it for only a year or so.

Ferrari 750 Monza, Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance

From 1954 this Ferrari 750 Monza chassis #0462MB above was the first to be delivered into private hands and it allegedly ended up being covertly inspected at the Jaguar factory before being sold to Jack Brabham in 1955.

Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa, Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance

Geoffrey first sent me a photo of this 1958 Testa Rossa chassis #0754 TR in 2009, but I have never heard anyone complain of looking at a Testa Tossa too often.

Ferrari 250 GT SWB Nembo Spyder, Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance

A completely new to me builder of bodies for Ferrari’s is “Nembo” otherwise known as Neri and Bonacini of Modena who built this Spyder body, styled by Californian Tom Meade, on a 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta chassis #3771 GT between 1966 and 1968, only two other Ferrari’s received a Nembo body.

Ferrari 250 LM, Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance

Carrying the #8 it wore at Reims in 1964 for the 12 hour race above is the 1964 Ferrari 250 LM chassis #5909 which was driven to, it’s greatest success on it’s third outing, a 2nd place finish by works drivers John Surtees and Lorenzo Bandini.

Ferrari 500 Superfast, Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance

After being taken to the 1966 Brussels Motor Show in Belgium this Ferrari 500 Superfast chassis #8019 was purchased by Judge Samuel Simon Leibowitz, Glen Cove, NY, USA from US dealer Chinetti later the same year, since then I believe it may have had only three other owners.

My thanks to Geoffrey for supplying so many photo’s for future Ferrari Friday blogs.

Thanks for joining me on this “Ferrari Friday” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be visiting Hillsborough for a third time to look at another selection of European Cars at the event. Don’t forget to come back now !


Ferrari Friday – Classic Motor Show NEC Birmingham

Among the 1700 classic cars on display at last weeks Classic Motor Show at the NEC Birmingham there were at least a dozen Ferrari’s and for Ferrari Friday I have selected half a dozen of the best.

Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham

Having survived the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake and the 1992 Hurricane Iniki this Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta has a few stories to tell, amazingly it’s history is known right back to the individual Ferrari employees names at the factory responsible for putting individual components together.

Ferrari 275 GTB/2, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham

By way of complete contrast this 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB/2 has had a quiet life it was sold originally to an owner in the UK and in 1982 was transfered to German ownership until October 2013 when it was acquired by restoration experts DK Engineering on behalf of it’s now third owner.

Ferrari 365 GTB/4, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham

Anyone carrying £625,000 pounds in their back pocket could have bought this 1973 Ferrari Daytona, one of 158 original right hand drive examples that can whisk the occupants up to 60 mph from rest in just 5.4 seconds and on up to 174 mph.

Ferrari 512BBi, Classic Motor Show, NEC,

Only 42 RHD Ferrari 512BBi’s were built and after a £45,000 recommissioning this 1982 example with 16,700 miles on the clock was being offered for £260,000 a veritable bargain if one is not in the market for a V12 powered Ferrari aside from the bargain basement 400/412 models which rarely fetch close to even £50,000.

Ferrari Testarossa, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham

Looking like it might have just come off the Miami Vice set, yes I know it’s the wrong colour, was this 1989 Ferrari Testarossa with just 13,000 miles on the clock.

Ferrari F40, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham

Surprisingly given the models reputation for being one of the all time greatest drives the 1991 Ferrari F40 above has covered just 1,100 miles with it’s owner in Italy and more recent collector in Japan.

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


Danville Detailing – Danville Concours d’Elegance

Last month Geoffrey Horton took his trusty Jaguar XK140 to the 10th anniversary Danville Concours d’Elegance, an event designed to raise funds for Parkinsons research and patient care.

Jaguar XK140 FHC, Danville Concours d'Elegance,

Above Geoffrey’s nephew’s Luke and Jack help out with a bit of detailing as the show get’s underway.

Bentley Mk VI, Danville Concours d'Elegance,

As we saw earlier this year most of the 4000 odd post war Bentley Mk VI’s fell victim to inferior steel supplied for their bodies by government edict. Above is the interior of the only Bentley Mk VI, a 1948 example, fitted with an opulent Sautchick body in France.

Maserati 250F, Danville Concours d'Elegance,

I believe Juan Manuel Fangio drove the Maserati 250F above to two race victories on home soil in Argentina in the space of two weeks in January 1957, his fifth and final World Championship winning season.

Aston Martin DB 2/4 Mk III, Danville Concours d'Elegance,

Between 1957 and 1959 Aston Martin produced 84 DB 2/4 Mark III Convertibles powered by a six cylinder motor, it is believed only 10 of these vehicles were fitted with optional triple carburetors, as seen above, which boosted the output from the standard twin carb 162hp to 195hp.

Land Rover 88, Danville Concours d'Elegance,

The 1963 88″ short wheel base Land Rover at our school was an oft over abused vehicle that used to carry the sailing kit for upto seven dinghies plus up to fourteen school boys plus a member of staff. It might have been a considerably faster vehicle if, like the one above it had been fitted with a a post 1989 200Tdi motor like the one above. The high turbo installation indicates this motor was originally sourced from a Defender rather than the SUV Discovery, in which the iron block aluminium head 200Tdi first appeared with the turbo mounted much lower down in the engine compartment.

RS Design Corsa Spyder, Danville Concours d'Elegance,

Most difficult to identify was this gorgeous red vehicle, from the front it looks a tad like a Maserati and from the rear not unlike a Ferrari P4/P412, but the pushrod motor, possibly a Ford, going on the depth of the rocker covers, gives the game away that this vehicle was unlikely to have been built in Italy. In fact the car is a one off special, made to exceptionally high standards and is known as an RS Design Corsa Spyder. Unfortunately all links to further info on RS Design and the Corsa Spyder built in 2009 have expired so if you know more, please do not hesitate to chip in below.

Geoffrey tells me he had the good fortune to enjoy spending a considerable amount of time with Alma Hill widow of 1961 World Champion Phil Hill who also drove for Geoffrey’s Uncle George Tilp. My thanks to Geoffrey for sharing his photographs, more of which will appear on Friday.

Thanks for joining me on this “Danville Detailing” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me tomorrow when I’ll be looking at what the Dodge Boys cooked up for the . Don’t forget to come back now !


Moka Express – Ferrari 250 GT SWB Competizione #1905

In 1933 inventor Luigi De Ponti patented his design for an aluminium stove top coffee maker known as the Moka Pot for Alfonso Bialetti who sold 70,000 of them locally in Italy up until the start of ’39-’45 war.

In 1946 Alfonso’s son Renato took over the business and focused it’s attention entirely on manufacturing and marketing the Moka Express so that by 2001 over 220 million units had been sold.

Ferrari 250 GT SWB Competizione, Concours on the Avenue, Carmel by the Sea,

In 1960 Renato paid 5.5 million Lira for today’s featured Ferrari 250 GT SWB Competizione chassis #1608 which was delivered appropriately enough for someone involved in the coffee industry painted white with a black interior.

Chassis #1905 has no known in period competition history and it was sold to it’s fifth owner RM’s Scottsdale auction in January 2013 for US$18.14 million including buyers premium.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sharing today’s photograph which was taken at Concours on the Avenue in Carmel by the Sea in 2011.

Thanks for joining me on this “Moka Express” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I be looking at a cabriolet built by Bertone. Don’t forget to come back now !