Tag Archives: Vickers

MGJ Engineering Winter Stages Rally – Brands Hatch

After dropping off a nurse around 5am at a hospital in Plymouth a couple of weeks ago I got it into my head that I could just about make it home to Bristol swap my ambulance for my car and make it to Brands Hatch which was hosting the MGJ Engineering Winter Stage Rally in time for the 10:30 am start.

Ford Focus 05 WRC, Nigel Mummery, Fiona Scarrett, MGJ Engineering Winter Stages Rally, Brands Hatch

Despite the fact that it rained almost the entire 276 miles I made it just in time to see the #9 Ford Focus 05 WRC crewed by Nigel Mummery and Fiona Scarrett make a bit of a hash of the Druids Hairpin, which was being used in the opposite direction normally used circuit racing, on their way to a 35th place finish.

Darrian T9, Jeremy Straker, Simon May, MGJ Engineering Winter Stages Rally, Brands Hatch

As on the Brean Stages Rally a week earlier a Darrian T9 was present, in this case driven by Jeremy Straker with co driver Simon May seen above from the inside of Druids hairpin on their way to 64th place, last but one.

Peugeot 206, Mike Askew, James Baggott, MGJ Engineering Winter Stages Rally, Brands Hatch

The #49 Peugeot 206 crewed by Mike Askew and James Baggott is seen above under steering off track limits coming up Graham Hill Bend on it’s way to a 53rd place finish.

Nissan Micra, Matt / Suze Endean, MGJ Engineering Winter Stages Rally, Brands Hatch

I first came across Muriel the 1994 Nissan Micra at last years Autosport International and then again at the Hullavington Sprint, here she is again with Matt and Suze Endean aboard on her way to a 40th place finish, 2nd in Class A.

Subaru Impreza Wagon, Gary / Tom Bollands, MGJ Engineering Winter Stages Rally, Brands Hatch

Regular readers will know that I am a huge wagon fan (is anything that cannot accommodate a lawn mower in the back really a car ?) so I always back anybody driving a Subaru Impreza Wagon like the example driven, off track limits between the end of a stage and time control above, by Gary and Tom Bollands on their way to 44th place overall.

Ferrari 308 Michelotto Gr.4, Neil McMahon, Dave Mellett, MGJ Engineering Winter Stages Rally, Brands Hatch

There were two Ferrari’s on the rally, organised by Chelmsford Motor Club, above the example driven by Neil McMahon and Dave Mellett is seen opposite locking it’s way to a 55th place finish.

MGJ Engineering Winter Stages Rally, Brands Hatch

Despite the cars being started at 30 second intervals things got a bit hectic among the lower order runners, above the #69 Peugeot of 50th place finishers Trevor and Louise Gilks made a mess of the first corner of the Rally School section of a stage in front of the #73 Subaru Impreza crewed by Chris Surman and Adam Quinn which finished 48th and the second Ferrari 308 GTB crewed by Kevin and Lee Jones which was disqualified for transgressing Regulation 24.4.5 which is not known to me at this time.

Ford Escort Mk2, James Sharrock, Stuart Faulds, MGJ Engineering Winter Stages Rally, Brands Hatch

James Sharrock and Stuart Faulds piloted their #6 Ford Escort Mk2 to a fine 3rd overall behind the 2nd placed Darrian T90 GTR driven by Ashley Field and Ryan Vickers.

Peugeot 306 Maxi, Chris West, Steve McNulty, MGJ Engineering Winter Stages Rally, Brands Hatch

The winning #3 Peugeot 306 Maxi is seen above heading through the paddock crewed by Chris West and Steve McNulty.

The final rounds of the Motorsport News Circuit Rally Championship will be at Anglesey Circuit on March 20th, Cadwell Park on April 10th and Snetterton on a date in May to be confirmed.

Thanks for joining me on this “MGJ Engineering Winter Stages Rally” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at another competition Camaro, don’t forget to come back now !


Cars, Buses and Aeroplanes – Brooklands Museum

Late last year my appetite was whetted by the William Boddy Tribute Day at Brooklands for a second visit to the museum.


Brooklands lays claim to being the Worlds first purpose built motor circuit, it was the built, along with one of the Englands first purpose built airfields by Hugh Locke King on 330 acres of his estate at Weybridge in Surrey.

Halford, Brooklands

Among the many innovative exhibits is the Halford Special built on an Aston Martin chassis with a Halford 6 cylinder motor designed and built by Major Frank B Halford with a turbo charger in 1925. The turbocharger did not prove to be successful and was eventually replaced by a super charger with which the Halford Special recorded at least three wins at Brooklands. Halford was responsible for designing the air cooled de Havilland Gypsy and working on the Napier Sabre piston aircraft engines and the de Havilland Goblin ‘Gas Turbine’ jet engine.

Humber 14/40, Brooklands

I’m not sure if this late 1920’s Humber 14/40 is an exhibit or someones daily driver, it was one of numerous vehicles that are obviously still in regular use dotted around the museum.

Morgan, Brooklands

Above The Clive Lones Morgan was used by Clive at Brooklands from 1929 to 1935 winning 37 world records during that time, it was the first ‘Light Car’ to lap Brooklands Outer Circuit at an average speed of 100 mph in 1930. This car was also used in an experiment to test the viability of pits to driver radio contact, the loudspeakers eventually proved unequal to the task of competing with the noise from the JAP motor.

Napier Railton, Brooklands

The Napier Railton was comissioned by John Cobb in 1933, designed by Reid Railton with a 24 litre / 1461 cui 500 hp W12 Napier Lion motor the car was driven to the all time lap record at Brooklands in 1935 of 143 mph. It broke 47 World Records at Brooklands, Montlhéry and Bonneville Salt Flats. Capable of 168 mph the Napier Railton, which is regularly driven at Brooklands and Goodwood events, has rear wheel brakes only !

AEC Regent One, Brooklands

Brooklands is also home to the London Bus Museum which houses a splendid collection of public transport vehicles that have graced the streets of London for over 100 years. Above an early double deck 1933 AEC Regent 1 that was converted into a single deck use for attending break downs from 1949 until 1971. Apparently in double deck form it was hit by a flying bomb in 1944 and rebuilt as a double decker only to be rebuilt as a single decker.

Wellington, Brooklands

Flying has been apart of Brooklands history since 1907, AV Roe started trials with his first planes at Brooklands in 1908 during the Great War the Sopwith Pup and Camel were developed at Brooklands and during the Second World War Hawker Hurricane fighters and Vickers Wellington Bombers like the one above were built at Brooklands. Apparently my Grand Mother was involved in pre assembling parts for Wellington’s often bringing home parts which my Dad and Uncle helped put together after school. This is the only surviving Wellington built at Brooklands, it was recovered from Loch Ness in the 1980’s after some Loch Ness Monster hunters found her.

AEC Militant Mk 1, Brooklands

Miss Milly Tant is a six wheel drive AEC Militant built for the British Army in 1954, she spent most of her time in storage and was sold off as surplus to London Transport in 1966. Converted with to a Master Breakdown Tender with a ten ton lifting capability by Boughton’s of Amersham she was used by London Transport until 1980. In 1983 she was acquired by the National Rescue Group and based at Brooklands and regularly used to attend incidents on the A3 and M25 and has been on loan to Brooklands since the 1990’s.

Vickers VC10, Brooklands

From 1962 to 1970 Vickers manufactured 54 VC10 passenger aircraft at Brooklands. Capable of take off and landing from much shorter airfields than the rival Boeing 707 the VC10 was ideal for flying to Britain’s former colonies in Africa, indeed from 1970 to 1977 I clocked up well over 200,000 miles as a VC10 passenger with BOAC / BA and BUA / British Caledonian flying from London to Lusaka in Zambia. The VC10 was particularly quiet as a result of it’s 4 Rolls Royce Conway engines being mounted beneath the tail plane. The VC10 still holds the subsonic speed airliner record for a London to New York Atlantic crossing with only Concorde being faster.

Meteor, Brooklands

The 4 x 4 1987 Gloster Saro Meteor airport fire engine, above, is powered by a 12 litre / 732 cui motor and served at Heathrow Airport. The Meteor can carry a crew of 4 along with 600 gallons of water 50 gallons of foam concentrate amongst several tons of additional kit required to deal with airport fires.

I look forward to returning to Brooklands and exploring the collections of cars, commercial vehicles and aircraft in greater detail.

Thanks for joining me on this Cars, Buses and Aeroplanes edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Comfortable presence or large and in charge – Bentley Azure

This was the first time I saw and indeed heard of a Bentley Azure, though all I heard when I first became acquainted with this one was a faint whisper of a seemingly far off air conditioning unit, I was surprised when I turned around and found this gargantuan vehicle pulling up right next to me.

Since 1998 Volkswagen have been the owners of the Bentley marque having purchased it from Vickers and in the process separated Bentley from, former owner since 1931, Rolls Royce which was sold to the Bavarian Motor Works.

This second generation (2006 – 2009) Azure is powered by a 450 hp 6,750 cc / 411 cui, twin turbo V8, with origins that can be traced to the V8’s used in the Rolls Royce Silver Cloud II, Phantom V and Bentley S2 of 1959. The power is transmitted to the rear wheels with the aid of a 6 speed automatic gearbox made for this model only.

Handling of this 2,801 kg / 6,175 lb vehicle is said to be free of pitch and roll.

The engine is capable of propelling the Azure up to 60 mph from rest in just 5.6 seconds, and on to 168 mph. Unsurprisingly the Azures fuel consumption is amongst the worst on record at between 9 – 15 miles per US gallon, if you need to ask these figures I guess you do not own the requisite oil field or two to keep the Bentley Azure in motion anyway.

This vehicle is longer wider and obviously taller than an Audi R10 TDI Le Mans race car in fact it is larger than several mini buses with an overall length of 5.342 m / 210 inches, a width of 2.057 m / 81 inches, and wheelbase of 3.061 m / 120 inches. More than comfortable for four adults and their luggage to waft down to the South of France for a weekend on the beach.

Hope you have enjoyed today’s XXXL edition of Gettin’ a lil psycho on tyres and that you’ll join me for a look at a slightly more modest black model built in the foot hills of the Zhiguli Height mountains in Toliatti tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !