Tag Archives: Vanwall

Worth Travelling 200 miles To Hear – Autumn Classic Castle Combe Preview

Next Saturday Castle Combe will be marking the 60th Anniversary of it’s one and only International Formula One race that was won by Harry Schell driving a Vanwall with some of the cars that took part in that race present for a fantastic selection of displays, demonstrations and and most importantly races.

The track will also be celebrating the 60th Anniversary since the last in period Formula 500 F3 race was run at the track.

Blue Bird Sunbeam 350hp, Don Wales, Pendine Sands

The National Motor Museum will be bringing along a mouth watering selection of vehicles including Sir Malcolm Campbell’s Blue Bird Sunbeam V12 which 90 years ago became the first car to set a World Land Speed Record of over 150 mph, seen above with his grandson Don Wales at the wheel earlier this year, the NMM will also be bringing along the 1955 Connaught Type B Tony Brooks drove at Castle Combe in 1955 prior to winning the 1955 Syracuse Grand Prix and a 1966 Lotus 49 chassis R3.

Other exhibits and vehicles to look out for will be Nick Mason’s 1957 Maserati 250F, of the type Bristols Horace Gould drove to second place at Castle Combe in 1955, and the Pink Floyd drummers distinctive 1953 Ferrari 250MM.

Gordon Keeble, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe,

Expect to see many motor clubs in attendance with pre 1970’s vehicles, a rare Gordon Keeble is seen on the Bristol Pegasus Motor Clubs stand last year, this year their stand will feature a couple of Abarth’s from Tony Castle Millers Middle Barton Garage.

Owners clubs confirmed this year will represent Alvis, Bristol celebrating 60 years since the marques last 1-2-3 class victory at Le Mans, Gordon Keeble, Lotus, Marcos and Reliant.

Cooper Mk X, Steve Jones, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

60 years after the very last all 500 F3 race run at Castle Combe in period, the Bristol Pegasus Motor Club will again be sponsoring the BAC MSC Challenge Trophy, won last year by Steve Jones driving the #74 Cooper Mk X after a close race with the pursuing George Shackleton driving a slightly older Cooper Mk 8.

Look out for some rare cars to take part in the races like Richard Bishop Miller’s successful in period Revis and other on display only including the locally built 1950 Milli Union and the Swedish built Effly the owners of these cars all have wonderful stores to tell about them.

Volvo 122, Gavin Watson, Oulton Park

New for this year at the Autumn Classic meeting will be the Terry Sanger Trophy for pre 1966 Saloons like the Lotus Cortina of the type the much missed Terry drove back in the day and the Volvo 122 seen above driven Gavin Watson seen at Oulton Park last year.

Terry drove some incredible machinery including a Ford GT40 V8 powered Cortina with outsize wheels and the 1971 Harrier F5000 car which he designed and built, the latter will be present next as a static display next Saturday, other races will be for fifties sports cars, VSCC pre war sports cars, look out for the ever entertaining Patrick Blakeney Edwards in his Fraser Nash, the ever popular Healey Challenge, Formula Junior and Historic Aston Martin’s in which Nick Mason’s daughters Holly and Chloe driving a pair of Aston Martin Ulsters were stars last year.

05-Jaguar D-type_1947sc

The life and times of two time Le Mans winner Ivor Beub will also be celebrated at the event Ivor born in East Ham but later resident from nearby Cheltenham won Le Mans driving Jaguar D types in 1955 with Mike Hawthorn and 1957 with Ron Flockhart, cars present in the ‘Danco Dream Garage’ that Ivor drove will include a 1955 Cooper T39 Bobtail sports car 1959 Cooper T51 formula two car along with some of the cars already mentioned.

Other cars present in the dream garage will include event sponsor Bristol Forklifts Julian Bronson’s Scarab which has been rendered hors d’combat after it’s recent outing at Goodwood Revival, also lookout for Andy Wallace in the The Norman Dewis Trophy race for pre ’66 Jaguars, last year the 1988 Le Mans winner drove a Jaguar D-type, at Oulton Park Andy was seen at the wheel of a rather more pedestrian but equally effective class winning Mk 1.

BRM Type 15, Doug Hill, BRM Day, Bourne,

Finally the piece de resistance of the day, and worth making a 400 mile round trip to hear in my opinion will be the National Motor Museum’s BRM Type 15, the sound of which is quite unlike any other you will hear in motor racing and will be demonstrated on the track where such a machine was last raced in anger in a Formula Libre event at Castle Combe 60 years ago.

Castle Combes charity of the day will be the National Motor Museum Trust’s BRM Preservation Appeal which will go toward’s keeping the Type 15 in full running order.

Full details of the action packed Autumn Classic day can be found on this link where tickets can also be purchased online, for those who want a sneak preview of the racing action there is usually a test day for competitors on the Thursday before the event.

Hope to see you there.

Thanks for joining me on this “Worth Travelling 200 Miles For” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a hot Mercury Convertible. Don’t forget to come back now !


Grand Prix City – Donington Park Museum

Donington Park Museum

(Ayrton Senna & Juan Manuel Fangio)

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to drop in to the Donington Park Museum, home to the Donington Park Grand Prix Collection. Donington Park dates back to at least the Doomesday Book compiled in 1086 and is one of the longest established deer parks in the UK.

Auto Union Type D, Donington Park Museum

(1939 Auto Union Type D)

After serving as a Prisoner Of War camp for German officers in World War 1, a race track was built in 1931 for £12,000. The track played host to Grand Prix races featuring the Mercedes and Auto Union ‘Silver Arrows’ Grand Prix cars, Tazio Nuvolari driving an Auto Union during practice for the 1938 British Grand Prix fatally struck a stray deer.

Trippel SG6, Donington Park Museum

(1942 Trippel SG 6)

During World War 2 Donington Park became home to 50,000 vehicles as the largest military transport depot in Europe. In 1971 local building magnate Tom Wheatcroft took over the Donington Park circuit and 8 years later racing was resumed after a nearly 40 year break. The highlight of the resumption of racing at Donington was almost certainly the 1993 European Grand Prix.

Vanwall VW9, Donington Park Museum

(1958 Vanwall VW9)

Tom Wheatcroft alongside his property developing business had a passion for racing, collecting vehicles associated with the circuits pre war history, vehicles used in WW2, during which Tom served in a tank regiment and British built Grand Prix cars.

March BMW 732, Donington Park Museum

(1973 March BMW 732)

He also sponsored and entered talented drivers, including Derek Bell, Richard Morgan and in particular Roger Williamson whom Wheatcroft financed in Formula 3 and 2 and an ill fated Grand Prix drive in which Roger met his untimely demise in a horrific accident during the 1973 Dutch Grand Prix.

McLaren M15, Donington Park Museum

(1970 McLaren Offy M15)

The Donington Park Museum houses the largest collection of McLaren

Williams FW02, Donington Park Museum

(1973 Williams – Cosworth FX3B)

and Williams vehicles outside of these two prestigious manufacturers own collections.

Hill GH2, Donington Park Museum

(1975 Hill – Ford GH2)

I spent several memorable hours going round the museum housing a veritable feast of some of the highs and low’s of British Grand Prix endeavour. Situated just of the M1 near Nottingham, at just £8 a visit, I’ll look forward to dropping in again when the opportunity next presents it’s self.

Slightly off topic, wishing all GALPOT readers in the USA and US readers abroad Happy Independence day.

Thanks for dropping today’s Donington Park edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil psycho on tyres’ i hope you’ll join me again tomorrow for a look an Independence day cruise in the UK. Don’t forget to come back now !