Tag Archives: Tatra

Almost Factory Catalogued Convertible – Citroën DS20 Cabriolet d’Usine

From 1961 Citroën commissioned Henri Chapron to build the DS19 Usine (factory) Convertible’s to order for distribution through the Citroën dealer network.

Citroën DS20 Cabriolet d'Usine, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham

The Usine unlike the earlier Chapron devised La Croisette Decapotable was based on Flaminio Bertoni’s drawings for a DS Cabriolet.

Citroën DS20 Cabriolet d'Usine, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham

As might be expected from the most expensive model in the DS range the Cabriolet d’Usine was kept up to date with all the latest DS face lifts which in 1968 included a reworked nose by Robert Opron who would go on to style on the Citorën SM and CX models.

Citroën DS20 Cabriolet d'Usine, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham

The DS third face lift by Opron included a pair of headlights in the front wing/fender cluster that swiveled up to 80° with the steering to improve the drivers vision when cornering.

Citroën DS20 Cabriolet d'Usine, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham

The swiveling headlight feature was pioneered on the 1935 Tatra T77a and copied by the 1948 MY Tucker 48, which never went into full scale production, both of which had a third central headlight that swiveled with the steering.

Citroën DS20 Cabriolet d'Usine, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham

This car is officially registered as having been built in 1969 when just 47 DS21 variants, with the original DS type hydraulically operated transmission and DS21 M with conventional manual clutch operated transmission were built.

Citroën DS20 Cabriolet d'Usine, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham

With a motor officially registered as 1985cc / 121 cui this model would be a DS20 Cabriolet d’Usine meaning either a clerical error as by 1969 only DS21 Cabriolet d’Usine’s with 2,175cc / 132 cui motors were built or this vehicle is no longer powered by it’s original motor, there never having been a factory catalogued DS20 Cabriolet d’Usine so far as I know.

Thanks for joining me on this “Almost Factory Catalogued Convertible” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be visiting the revival of the Chateau Impney Hill Climb. Don’t forget to come back now !


Encore – Classic Motor Show NEC Birmingham

Today’s blog takes one final look through the recent Classic Motor Show at the NEC in Birmingham.

Porsche 917K, Classic Motor Show, NEC Birmingham

It was difficult for sports car fans of a certain age to get passed the main entrance where this Porsche 917 Kurzheck, like the car which opened last Wednesday’s blog some of this one starred in a Steve McQueen film, in this case Le Mans, chassis #013 crashed during filming with David Piper at the wheel during filming and was rebuilt with a fresh chassis #034 to become #034/013. This car went on to win the Daytona 24 Hours with Pedro Rodriguez andJackie Oliver sharing the driving.

Tatra T97, Classic Motor Show, NEC Birmingham

The Tatra T97 featured a rear air cooled 4 cylinder boxer engine and influenced the design of the Volkswagen Beetle so much that VW made an out of court settlement with Tatra in 1961. Not copied by the Germans were the elegant Tatra door handles nor rear hinged front. suicide, doors as seen on the 1938 model above.

Commer QX TS3 Mk III, Classic Motor Show, NEC Birmingham

If you like engineering novelty you’ll love the 1955 Commer QX TS3 Mk III 7 ton truck, it is powered by a 3.3 litre 200 cui 3 cylinder motor with a pair of horizontally opposed pistons in each cylinder connected to a common crank, oh and it’s a supercharged two stroke diesel an was originally developed by the Germans for a bomber aircraft ! A cross section diagram of how the motor works can be found on this link.

Panther De Ville, Classic Motor Show, NEC Birmingham

On a more neo-classical note, but perhaps none the less bizarre, the crystals in the radiator cap of this Panther De Ville are real amethysts.

Aston Martin Vignale, Classic Motor Show, NEC Birmingham

Very much a work in progress was this unique 1954 Aston Martin DB2/4 with body work by Vignale which I understand originally belonged to the King of Belgium.

Jaguar D-Type, Classic Motor Show, NEC Birmingham

Rounding out today’s final visit to this years Classic Motor Show at the NEC in Birmingham is this 1956 short nose D-Type Jaguar used by the works supported Ecurie Ecose team. Ron Flockhart won two races at Snetterton and Goodwood with this car chassis XKD 561 and many years later it was used as a road car for nearly a decade by a Lancastrian owner.

Thanks for joining me on this “Encore” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be celebrating Kevin Harvicks Sprint Cup win. Don’t forget to come back now !


Goodwood Revival 2012 – #1 Track Action

I planned to get up at 4am on Friday and head to Goodwood at 5 prompt, the first part of the plan worked well but by the time I’d corrected a false start and gone back home to collect my ticket it was 5:30 am before I hit the road in earnest.

Daimler LQ20, Goodwood Revival

As I arrived at Goodwood the 8 O’clock news headline on the radio was about a controversy surrounding pictures of naked Royalty that had been published in France. I switched the radio off before the whole story had been told and headed off into a car park full of classic and cars where I found this mascot on a Daimler LQ20.

Make Up, Goodwood Revival

As I approached the bridge that acted as an entrance into the circuit I observed a tent full of people being transformed from 21st Century to mid 20th Century citizens for what is one of the worlds biggest, if not the biggest, three day Fancy Dress Nostalgia events.

Gurney For President, Goodwood Revival

Once inside evidence of the Dan Gurney for President campaign was hard to ignore, I bet the guy I would vote for is faster than any other presidential candidate that ever lived.

Paul Chenard, Goodwood Revival

On my way to the pits I popped by to say hi to Paul Chenard from Nova Scotia in Canada, Paul is seen above with one of the ten limited edition laser cut in steel Ferrari GTO’s he has recently been working on. Given that there were 15 250 GTO’s present to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the model which these day’s are conservatively valued at $20 million dependent on provenance I imagine Paul did not have to take too many of these cool pieces home with him.

Walker Climax Tec Mec 10, Goodwood Revival

Thanks to an armband kindly lent to me by the owner of the Porsche in this linked photo, I was able to get into the pits to see and hear some of the cars as they were being fettled ready for qualifying for the Goodwood Revival invitation races. Above the Walker Climax Tec Mec Tipo 10 apparently was commissioned by Rob Walker for Stirling Moss in 1960 but was never raced in period.

Tatra T603, Goodwood Revival

The Tartra T603 from the former Czechoslovakia easily won the unofficial biggest exhaust pipes in the pits competition, they are attached to an air cooled V8. The car qualified a respectable 8th for both rounds of the St Mary’s Trophy with John Haugland and Arne Berg driving in the first and second races respectively.

Siver Arrows, Goodwood Revival

After a short break for lunch, during which I caught up with acquaintances from The Nostalgia Forum, I started an anticlockwise walk of the circuit as Kenny Brack was securing pole for the Shelby Cup in a Shelby Daytona Coupé. I got to the Lavant Corners in time to see a demonstration of pre 1939 Grand Prix Cars which included V12 and V16 Auto Unions, Mercedes Benz silver arrows models running together for what is thought to be the first time since 1939. Unfortunately the poor commentators had no idea who was driving what and the programme notes are no help either. Above two V16 Auto Unions lead a Mercedes Benz, the V12 Auto Union an ERA and a pair of 8 cylinder Maserati’s.

Maserati 151/3, Goodwood Revival

As the autumnal afternoon unfolded a seemingly endless stream of storied automobiles passed by including this recreation of a 39 inch tall prototype Maserati 151/3 driven by Jochen Mass and owner Barrie Baxter, which was invited to join the GT cars in the TT Celebration race.

BRM P57, Goodwood Revival

After the many trials and all to few tribulations of BRM with it’s V16 P15 built in 1950 the team eventually evolved into Grand Prix and World Championship contenders winning the 1962 World Manufacturers and Drivers Championships with Graham Hill at the wheel of a V8 powered BRM P57, with 8 neat exhaust stacks, similar to the one above driven by David Clark in the Glover Trophy.

Aston Martin DBR 1, Goodwood Revival

The last time I remember seeing Brian Redman at the wheel of an Aston Martin was at Donington Park in 1989 when he was driving the brutal Aston Martin AMR 1 Group C car. Here Brian is driving a 1957 DBR 1 of the type which, unlike the AMR 1, won at Le Mans in 1959 with Carol Shelby and Roy Salvadori at the wheel. Brian is seen above on his way to 18th on the grid for the Sussex Trophy race.

Avro Lancaster PA474, Goodwood Revival

Having started the morning in the fog bound Channel Islands one of only two remaining Avro Lancaster PA474 bombers, powered by four Rolls Royce Merlin V12’s made a flyover of the track just before the day’s only scheduled race started.

Jaguar C-type, Goodwood Revival

Anthony Reid stormed off into what looked like an invincible lead for the 90 minuet Freddie March Memorial Trophy race as the evening drew to dusk. However a gear box fault meant that when owner Nigel Webb took over there was only one gear available, 4th and so the #24 C-type fell back to an eventual twelfth place. This meant that all Alex Buncombe had to do was keep his #12 Jaguar Heritage Racing C-Type,which had started with John Young at the wheel, on the road to keep the lead. Alex did take the win but only after a lawn mowing incident at St Mary’s corner which resulted in Alex loosing his head lights for a good half an our before remembering where the switch was.

Thanks for joining me on this Goodwood Revival 2012 – #1 Track Action edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be taking a look at some of the MG’s at Goodwood. Don’t forget to come back now !