Tag Archives: Trojan

Super Bug – Volkswagen Trojan Chevrolet Beetle

After successfully racing super saloons that included a race winning Jaguar powered Ford 105E Anglia called “Janglia”, a championship winning Gurney Weslake V8 powered Boss Ford Capri and championship winning 6 litre / 366 cui Capri Mick Hill turned his attention briefly to racing a Formula 5000 March in 1975.

Volkswagen Trojan Chevrolet Beetle, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

On May 9th 1976 Hill announced his return to Super Saloon racing with today’s featured liberal interpretation of a Volkswagen Beetle body which sits atop a chassis fitted with Trojan T102 Formula F5000 front suspension and rear end including a 530hp 5 litre / 302 cui Formula 5000 Chevrolet motor in the back.

Volkswagen Trojan Chevrolet Beetle, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

Mick raced the car for two seasons with sponsorship from fellow Super Saloon Competitor Tony Hazelwood’s Templar Tillers business.

Volkswagen Trojan Chevrolet Beetle, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

At the end of 1977 Doug Niven bought the Super Bug who went on a winning rampage recording 47 Super Saloon victories up until the end of 1979 when it was sold on to Jeff Wilson.

Volkswagen Trojan Chevrolet Beetle, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

Mick went onto race the ex Tony Hazelwood Can Am powered Jaguar XJ8 before building a championship winning Skoda known as Phoenix using the Can Am engine from the Jaguar and a chassis of his own devising, his last project was a race winning BMW M1 again powered by the Can Am engine now fitted to a Lola T400 Formula 5000 chassis and with a BMW M1 clone body.

Volkswagen Trojan Chevrolet Beetle, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

The Super Bug, seen in these photo’s at Goodwood Festival of Speed in it’s original colours in the top three photos and in Doug Niven’s colours in the bottom 2 photos is currently owned and looked after by Dave Taylor who has started a facebook page for the car linked here.

My thanks to Mr Taylor for inadvertently giving me the courage to go with this months Super Saloon Saturday blogs.

Thanks for joining me on this “Super Bug” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a Mini Cooper Panda Car. Don’t forget to come back now !


Five Classic Moments – Silverstone Classic

Continuing an ad hoc series celebrating Silverstone Classic’s Silver Jubilee this weeks post features five race highlights from the last three Silverstone Classic Super Saturdays.

Peter Arundell Trophy, Silverstone Classic,

The Formula Junior cars vying to win the Peter Arundell Trophy traditionally are the opening act for Super Saturday above the #53 Lotus 20/22 of Sam Wilson and #79 Lotus 22 of Andrew Hibberd squabble behind the leading #1 Cooper T59 driven by Jon Melicevic in 2013 when Andrew won the trophy by just half a second.

Sir John Whitmore Trophy, Silverstone Classic

The Sir John Whitmore Trophy for under 2 litre / 122 cui touring cars always provides close racing down the field between the Ford Cortinas, above last year British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) regular Gordon Shedden and Richard Meaden kept us entertained with door handle to door handle racing for half an hour before the #157 retired with an overheating issue leaving Richard and Grant Tromans to win in the tyre smoking #63.

Peter Gethin Trophy, Silverstone Classic

Simon Hadfield and Micheal Lyons provided the early entertainment in the Peter Gethin Trophy race for stock block open wheelers in 2012, unfortunately Simon spun the brown 1973 Trojan T101 to leave the win to Micheal in the red and white Lola T400 seen above hounding the Trojan.

Mustang Celebration Trophy proudly presented by Pure Michigan, Silverstone Classic

Ironically last years Mustang Celebration Trophy was dominated by the model the Ford Mustang was due to replace, Leo Voyazides driving the #1 Ford Falcon is seen above sweeping into a lead, past the #37 Falcon driven by Mike Gardiner, that he did not relinquish for the rest of the race.

Froilan Gonzalez Trophy, Silverstone Classic

The Froilan Gonzalez Trophy for HGPCA Pre’61 Grand Prix Cars proved another thriller two years ago when Bristol’s Julian Bronson driving the blue Scarab #30 had a great to and fro battle with the Tec-Mec of Tony Wood and came out the winner to record the Scarab marques second ever open wheel victory.

Silverstone Classic is an advance ticket only event and the race cards are never the same two years running, for further details about this years Silver Jubilee event see this link.


Sherman’s M12 – McLaren M12 #60-14

Following the success of his ’67 and ’68 Can Am unlimited sports car programmes, which would net championship success from 1967 to 1971, Bruce McLaren turned his attention to building a GT Coupé version of his Can Am winning Chevrolet powered M6 roadster.

McLaren M12, Goodwood Festival of Speed

According to McLaren designer Gordon Coppuck the initial idea was for the M6GT to become a racer against the likes of the Ford GT40, later Ferrari 512 and Porsche 917 before McLaren realised they could not meet the minimum production requirements for the World Sports Car series.

McLaren M12, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Bruce and Gordon then continued working on the project as a road car project and the Prototype was finished in 1969 and received much adulation as Bruce proceeded to use it as his daily driver.

McLaren M12, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Unfortunately Bruce was killed testing his new 1970 Can Am Challenger at Goodwood and plans to put the M6GT into production also died with it until Trojan, who built the McLaren customer Can Am racers, had a go at test marketing the M6GT and built two further M6GT cars before abandoning the idea.

McLaren M12, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Since then any number of replica M6GT’s have been built using everything from Volkswagen Beetle chassis to full race spec McLaren M6 and M12, Trojan production variant of the M6 chassis, with everything from flat four Beetle power to race spec 700hp plus Chevy aluminium big blocks.

McLaren M12, Goodwood Festival of Speed

The chassis of today’s featured car is Trojan built McLaren M12, chassis 60-14 one of two that appear to have passed through Holman Moody to the Great Western Champagne team for Gary Wilson to use in the 1971 Can Am championship season.

McLaren M12, Goodwood Festival of Speed

It is not known for certain that Gary used chassis 60-14 in 1971 but the following year Pete Sherman acquired the car and raced it in the Road America Can Am race where he qualified 22nd and finished 17th.

McLaren M12, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Pete is known to have raced 60-14 on at least one further occasion in 1972 at Donnybrooke where he started 27th and finished 9th.

McLaren M12, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Lawrence Crossan is said to have bought 60-14 in 1977 and during his decade of ownership he had the race spec M12 and 8 700 hp 8 litre 488 cui Chevy fitted with an M6GT type body.

McLaren M12, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Note that the windscreen wiper appears far too small compared to that fitted to Bruce McLaren’s original which also featured a pair of pop up headlights.

McLaren M12, Goodwood Festival of Speed

60-14 now has a Swiss owner and it is registered in France as what must be one of the wilder street legal machines with a genuine 1972 Can Am race history.

Thanks for joining me on this “Sherman’s M12” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Son Of Lobster Claw – Trojan Cosworth T103 #T103/1

After the successes of the 1973 Trojan T101 Formula 5000 car, particularly in the hands of Jody Schekter in the USA, the company Chairman Peter Agg asked Ron Tauranac to design an all new car for 1974 which would be suitable for F5000, the T102, and Formula 1, the T103 although the Chevy V8 in the former would not be able to be fitted as a fully stressed member as the Ford Cosworth DFV used to power the latter.

Trojan Cosworth T103, Silverstone Classic, Silverstone

Both the T102 and T103, seen above at last years Silverstone Classic, bore a strong resemblance to the Brabham BT34 Lobster Claw formula one car which Ron designed for the 1971 season.

Trojan Cosworth T103, Bonny, Silverstone Classic, Silverstone

Powered by the, as good as, ubiquitous Ford Cosworth DFV with an equally, as good as, ubiquitous Hewland DG300 gearbox the T103 attracted a minimum of sponsorship from Suzuki GB and Australian Tim Schenken was signed up to drive the car.

Trojan Cosworth T103, Silverstone Classic, Silverstone

Like the Amon Cosworth AF101 I looked at last week the Trojan T103 made it’s debut at the 1974 Spanish Grand Prix where Tim qualified 25th, 2 spots behind Amon, but stayed in the race for 54 more laps than Chris before spinning off on oil on lap 76, eight laps early, to be classified 14th.

Trojan Cosworth T103, Silverstone Classic, Silverstone

At the Belgian Grand Prix Tim brought the car home 10th and at Monaco Tim qualified 24th on the 25 car grid only to be involved in an incident that removed seven cars from the race on the opening lap. The team was refused an entry for the Swedish Grand Prix, failed to qualify for the Dutch Grand Prix, missed the French Grand Prix and turned up at the British Grand Prix with a new cockpit surround and Ferrari 312 B3 style single piece front wing.

Trojan Cosworth T103, Silverstone Classic, Silverstone

Tim qualified 25th for the British Grand Prix but but was sidelined with a suspension problem on lap 6. Tim and the Trojan proved unequal to the task of qualifying for the German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring, but bounced back by qualifying 19th in Austria where he finished a season equal high 10th. The cars final appearance before the money ran out was at the Italian Grand Prix where Tim qualified 20th and completed 15 laps before the gearbox cried enough.

That was pretty much the end of Trojan too, a company that founded in 1914 survived as a manufacturer in it’s own right until the the 1960’s when it started manufacturing first Heinkel bubble cars, then Elva sports racing cars and later McLaren Sports and open wheel racing cars under licence and then manufacturing a hand full of open wheelers of it’s own devising. The company was not dissolved until 2013.

Tim Schenken’s final Grand Prix appearance came in the 1974 US Grand Prix where he failed to qualify the unloved Lotus 76 27th but took to the grid when it looked like Mario Andretti’s Parnelli would not start but eventually turned up late grid to take his rightful place. Tim took the start only to be disqualified.

Tim eventually hooked up with Howden Ganley to found Tiga a successful company making racing cars for the junior open wheel and sportscar classes. A Tiga chassis tub was started for a Formula One car but it was never finished. Tiga would also become a successful Group C2 and IMSA Lights manufacturer.

The T103 is seen being driven by owner Phillipe Bonny at last years Silverstone Classic above.

Thanks for joining me on this “Son of Lobster Claw” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow for Maserati Monday. Don’t for get to come back now !


Going It Alone Again – Trojan Chevrolet T101 #T101-102

This month’s Saturday posts will feature 4 Formula 5000 cars built for the 1973 season. Formula 5000 was an open wheel Formula for vehicles fitted with stock block motor up to 5 litres / 302 cui which ran from 1967 in the USA 1969 in Europe and 1970 in the Antipodes coming to a stop in 1975 in the Antipodes and 1976 in the US and Europe.

With the fall in competitiveness of the McLaren Can Am and Formula 5000 programmes, in 1972, McLaren Cars focused it’s attention on it’s Formula One and USAC Champ car programmes with the McLaren M23 and McLaren M16 respectively.

 Trojan Chevrolet T101, Race Retro, Stoneleigh

This left Trojan in a difficult spot since their business had been increasingly built on manufacturing McLaren Can Am and Formula 5000 open wheel cars under licence since the demise of their own Elva branded operations in 1964.

 Trojan Chevrolet T101, Race Retro, Stoneleigh

A compromise to keep Trojan going was reached which saw Trojan fuse an open wheel Formula 2 McLaren M21 chassis with a strengthened rear bulkhead to the rear end from the 1972 McLaren M18/M22 Formula 5000 car with a ubiquitous Chevrolet small block for power. McLaren Cars would not countenance the use of their name with the new car so it was called the Trojan T101. Former Brabham designer Ron Tauranac was brought in to help develop the model once it was built.

 Trojan Chevrolet T101, Race Retro, Stoneleigh

In all six T101’s were built and of the first five built for the 1973 season, the first four were driven to race victories in the UK and USA by the likes of Keith Holland, Brett Lunger, Jody Scheckter and Bob Evans. Scheckter won four races in the USA on his way to becoming L&M Champion in the SCCA Series.

 Trojan Chevrolet T101, Race Retro, Stoneleigh

Today’s featured car #T101-102 was sold new to Sid Taylor, for Brett Lunger, Brett won on his debut in the car at Snetterton and set an all time 124 mph outright lap record, on the old long circuit in the 4th round of the Rothmans European Formula 5000 championship. Brett also won the 10th round at Mallory Park. Vern Schuppan raced #T101-102 in the opening four races of 1974 and thereafter it was driven by a variety of drivers of increasing obscurity in events of equally increasing obscurity in to the 1980’s which included, Leen Verhoeven, Damien Magee, Jim Kelly, Robin Hamilton, Jon Bradburn and Anthony Taylor in 1982.

 Trojan Chevrolet T101, Race Retro, Stoneleigh

Simon Hadfield acquired the remains of #T101-102 in 2006 and has restored it, as seen here at last years Race Retro, with the livery and #11 originally seen on Alan McKechnie’s T101-104 raced by Bob Evans to victory at the second Snetterton round of the 1973 Rothmans European Formula 5000 championship.

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

18/12/13 My original post inadvertently incorrectly implied that Trojan #T101-102 was jointly entered by Sid Taylor and Jerry Entin for Brett Lunger, in fact Brett’s car was solely entered by Sid Taylor, however Sid and Jerry did jointly enter the Trojan #T101-103 driven by Jody Scheckter in the 1973 L&M Series. Apologies for any confusion.


Traffic Yellow Customer Racer – McLaren Chevrolet M8 C

The 1969 season saw the Canadian American Challenge expand to an eleven race series, the most run in any year of the challenge, but only the McLaren Cars Team cars with New Zealanders Bruce McLaren and Denny Hulme recorded wins. Bruce won six of the races driving his McLaren M8B and with Denny recording the remaining five.

McLaren M8C/D, Race Retro

For 1970 McLaren Cars updated the M8B to a design known as the M8D while offering a production version of the M8B built by Trojan known as the M8C, of the type featured today. Confusingly Trojan also built 15 McLaren M12’s featuring updated M6 chassis running with M8 size wheels and adapted M8 bodywork in 1969. The most successful exponent of the customer M8C in the 1970 Can Am Challenge was Canadian Roger McCaig who recorded 3 5th place finishes and an eventual 10th place in the 1970 Challenge standings.

Lothar Motschenbacher who drove one of the 1969 Mclaren M8B’s, a 1969 McLaren M12 and an M8C during the 1970 Can Am Challenge recorded one 5th place in his M8C at the last race of the season to finish a distant 2nd in the 1970 Can Am Challenge, to Denny Hulme who won 6 of the ten 1970 Can Am races in his M8D to secure his second Can Am Championship.

McLaren M8C/D, Race Retro

According to the Bruce McLaren Trust website Trojan built 15 M8C’s which were also raced in Europe and South American series. The Ford Cosworth DFV powered M8C driven by Chris Craft won the 1970 Swedish Grand Prix run for sports cars including a couple of Porsche 917K’s.

The most successful McLaren M8C appears to have been chassis #70-08 which was driven to three victories in Argentina by; Nasif Estéfano at Buenos Aeries in April 1971, Carlos Pairetti at Buenos Aeries in August 1971 and Osvaldo López at San Martin in March 1973. The car was listed on each occasion as being powered by a Ford motor.

McLaren M8C/D, Race Retro

The only other in period victory recorded for an M8C is the Chevrolet example driven by Siegfried Rieger at Hockenheim in November 1971, his car featured an M12 chassis with M8C bodywork.

The last ‘in period’ race recorded for any M8C, thought to be for today’s featured car M8C #30-25, was driven by Richard Dotkins at an Interserie event run at Zolder in August 1992, where the car finished 6th in Heat 2. Since then #30-25, which would never have run in the works McLaren Traffic Yellow colour scheme as seen here, is thought to have recorded at least 5 race victories in sundry (primarily classic/historic) events through the 1990’s; 2 by Richard Dotkins, 2 by Richard Eyre and 1 by Geoff Farmer.

McLaren M8C/D, Race Retro

The #30 series chassis number of the car would more normally be associated with a space/tube frame Trojan built McLaren M1B. The history of McLaren M1B #30-25 is, like the history of M8C/D #30-25 prior to 1992, also unknown at the time of writing.

The car featured to day was seen at Race Retro and is raced by Harry Reed.

My thanks to raceanouncer2003, Belmondo, David McKinney and Duncan Fox at The Nostalgia Forum for their help in identifying today’s car and it’s history.

Thanks for joining me on this “Traffic Light Yellow Customer 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 Can Am BRM. Don’t forget to come back now !


Dan’s McLeagle – McLaren Chevrolet M6B # 50-10 (Trojan)

The inaugural Can Am Challenge run in 1966 had been a huge successes with four different drivers winning the six races, two of them world champions, and Lola winning 5 of the races with Chaparral winning the other. For 1967 the complexion of the series would change completely as what became known as the Bruce and Denny steamroller gathered momentum with the Traffic Yellow McLaren M6’s.

Denny Hulme won the opening 3 races of the series leading team owner Bruce McLaren home in the second and third. Bruce then won the forth and fifth rounds by which time Bruce and Denny had secured first and second places in the championship. At the last race of the 1967 Can Am season the Traffic Yellow steam roller came to a temporary if grinding halt when Bruce and Denny both retired to leave 1966 Can Am champ John Surtees to take a consolation victory in his one year old Lola T70 MkII.

For 1968 Bruce McLaren stepped his team up another gear with the McLaren M8, while offering a production version of the previous years winner known as the M6B which was manufactured by Trojan, the same company that had once built bubble cars under licence from Heinkel and taken over the Elva racing car business, prior to building production versions of the Mclaren M1.

McLaren Chevrolet M6B, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Dan Gurney, who won the second race in the inaugural 1966 Can Am Challenge with his Ford Powered Lola T70 MkII, decided to replace the aging car with a McLaren M6B for himself and a Lola T160 for his team mate Swede Savage, both cars remained Ford small block (under) powered running with Westlake heads for the 1968 season.

To try and beat both the works Chevrolet powered McLaren M8’s and the customer M6B’s run by Penske for Mark Donohue with Chevrolet Power and the Ford 427 cui big block powered Shelby McLaren M6B of Peter Revson and the Motschenbacher Racing Enterprises example driven by Lothar Motschenbacher Dan’s All American Racers (AAR) team embarked on a continuous programme of development centered mostly on the M6B #50-10 featured today.

As well as lightening the M6B with exotic materials as used in the Eagle Formula One programme they continually upgraded the body work.

McLaren Chevrolet M6B, Goodwood Festival of Speed

AAR missed the opening round of the 1968 Can Am challenge where 1967 World Champion Denny Hulme led his countryman and team mate Bruce McLaren home in yet another Traffic Light Yellow walk over. At the following race run at Bridgehampton Denny and Bruce both retired with broken motors having started 1st and 2nd on the grid leaving Mark Donohue to win in his Chevrolet powered Penske M6B from Jim Hall in his Chaparral 2G.

Motschenbacher came home third in his Ford powered M6B ahead of Swede Savage in the small block Ford powered AAR Lola T160 which had started just 17th. Dan qualified 6th and finished 6th on his debut in the M6B. The Bridgehampton result would remain the teams best finish of the season as AAR experienced a variety of ills including chronic unreliability from the underpowered Gurney Westlake developed motors for the remainder of the 1968 season, Gurney and Savage even swapped cars for the last two races of the 1968 season with no appreciable difference in the results.

Denny and Bruce McLaren again topped the points standings this time Denny was Champion with three wins to the single win for Bruce. Mark Donohue finished the season third with one win. Canadian John Cannon won at Laguna Seca to score the only Can Am win in the now three year old McLaren M1B model at Laguna Seca.

McLaren Chevrolet M6B, Goodwood Revival

For 1969 Dan persevered with just the #M6B-50-10 which was by now so heavily modified it became known as the McLeagle, the reliability of his motors did not improve and midway through the season he missed a couple of races in order to install a big block Traco Chevrolet. Ironically when Dan returned to the fold with his M6B at Michigan his Bow Tie power developed an oil leak in practice and he ended up taking Jack Brabham’s intended drive in a third works McLaren M8B alongside Denny and Bruce.

Having failed to set a time in practice Dan started from the back of the field and finished third behind Bruce and Denny in a 1-2-3 finish for the McLaren team. At Laguna Seca Dan was back in his own car in which he qualified 4th but retired with a blown piston. Dan’s best ever result driving #50-10 after nearly two seasons of trying came at Riverside where he qualified fifth and came home 4th.

Dan skipped the last round of the 1969 Challenge at Texas motor speedway and ended the season equal 11th in the standings with Mario Andretti who had driven a Holman Moody entered M6B powered by a big block 427 Ford. The Challenge title went to Bruce McLaren who won six races of the expanded 11 race series with team mate Denny Hulme winning the remaining five races in what had been another Traffic Yellow wash for McLaren.

McLaren Chevrolet M6B, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Dan sold the #50-10 to Bob Brown for the 1970 Can Am Challenge, Bob also scored a couple of 4th place finishes which with 3 other minor points finishes in the further modified car was enough to secure 9th in the Challenge table.

With the death of Bruce McLaren in a testing accident at Goodwood, before the 1970 Can Am challenge got under way, Dan was drafted into replace the McLaren team founder and ended up winning the first two races of the season while Denny Hulme was driving with severely burned hands received while practicing for the Indy 500. Denny went on to win six of the remaining 1970 Can Am races to secure his second Can Am title and Mclaren’s third consecutive title.

By 1971 Dan had retired from race car driving, while Bob Brown soldiered on in #50-10 scoring a season high 6th place finish at Mosport. Bob sold the car onto RS Enterprises for the 1972 season during which Frank Riemann and Dave Causey were entered into at least three events Causey finishing a best 16th in the Can Am round held at Donnybrooke.

#50-10 is known to have been driven by Jigger Sirois in the Can Am race at Road America in 1973 and by Bob Svast at Road Atlanta in a US Champions event in 1974, from which the car was retired on both occasions. The car has been restored to it’s high wing 1969 spec as seen in these photo’s, taken at Goodwood last year, with owner Andy Boone at the wheel.

My thanks to TNF’ers raceanouncer2003 Vince H, for enlightening me about the development of today’s M6B and Gurney’s Lola T160 and to kayemod Rob for showing me a tin of the Traffic Yellow 11040 LR Rylands Polyester Colour Paste used to pigment the works McLaren fiber glass body work.

Thanks for joining me on this “Dan’s McLeagle” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for a look at a McLaren M8 C/D. Don’t forget to come back now !