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Classic Competition Cars – Classic Motor Show NEC Birmingham

Today’s blog is all about some of the classic competition vehicles at last weekends Classic Motor Show at the NEC in Birmingham.

Rosemary Smith,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

A couple of weeks ago I went to a talk at which Rosemary Smith, winner of the 1965 Tulip Rally driving the Hillamn Imp above, was to be the guest of honour, unfortunatley she had a fall and so could not make it so it was great to see her on her feet again at the Classic Motor Show despite the fact that some of her bones were still on the mend.

MG B Roadster,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

Rosemary drove a Ford Cortina Lotus on the 1968 London to Sydney Rally and finished 48th six places behind Jean Denton who drove the MGB GT Roadster seen above in need of some tlc, who finished 42nd.

Discovery Beetle,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

Among the taller vehicles at the show was the road legal Gulf liveried Discovery Beetle, above, built on a shortened 1996 Land Rover Discovery chassis and fitted with a 300 TDi which being lighter and more aerodynamic than a standard Discovey goes well on the road and is perfect for off road trials.

Cooper Daimler T87,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

Having acquired a 1966 Cooper T81 formula one car and fitted it with a 7.2 litre / 440 cui wedge engine for hill climbing Martin Brain acquired a 1967 Cooper T87 Formula 2 chassis and had it fitted with a 2.5 litre / 152 cui Daimler hemi V8, more commonly found in the SP250 and V8 250 Daimler models, for hill climbing on tracks with tighter corners. The car was rescued from a Swedish Museum in 2011 by Gillian Goldsmith better known as a successful equestrian and car racer Gillian Fortescue-Thomas who has since competed with the Cooper Daimler as has her daughter Samantha.

Gould NME GR61X,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

Powered by a 650 hp Nicholson McLaren Engines (NME) 3.5 litre / 213 cui development of the Cosworth HB Indy car engine the Gould NME GR61X is the most successful car ever to compete in British Hill Climbing with Scott Moran claiming 133 wins and Roger Moran claiming a further 16 and Alex Summers 8 since the cars first appearance in April 2005.

Empire Wraith,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

Successful Trike hill climber and Empire Racing Cars founder Bill Chaplin called Dutch born Formula One aerodynamicist Willem Toet, most recently at Sauber, to work on the Empire Wraith hill climb challenger which is powered by a 180hp Suzuki GSR K8 motor. This example built at the Empire factory in Stathe Somerset in 2013 is the first of three built to date and is driven by Clive Austin and Chris Aspinall.

Healey Westland,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

In 1948 Donald Healey and Geoffrey Healey drove the Healey Westland above to a ninth place finish on the Mille Miglia, the following year Tommy Wisdom and Geoffrey finished 10th in the same event in the same car.

Marcos Prototype,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

By 1959 former de Haviland aircraft engineer Frank Costin had a CV that included designing the Vanwall Grand Prix challenger that won the inaugural World Constructors Championship in 1958 and subsequent demand for his attention included that of Jem Marsh with whom he founded Marcos Engineering in Dolgellau, North Wales. The prototype Marcos, using the same plywood construction techniques de Haviland used to build the Mosquito fighter bomber the Vampire jet fighter, built in 1959 powered by a Ford 100E engine is seen above awaiting some well earned tlc having disappeared in Lincoln for many years.

Italia 2000GT,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

Only 329 Italia 2000 GT’s were built by Vignale and in 1996 Jorg Von Appen had #210, one of five Italia’s he owned converted to race spec to take part in the TR Race series, it survived four races and was recently purchased by the proprietor of Patterson’s Original Pickles.

Porsche 904 Carrera GTS,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

After withdrawing from Formula One at the end of 1962 Porsche built their first tube framed fiberglass bodied sports car which would culminate in the development of the 917 and later 936 models, originally known as the 904 Porsche badged the car Carrera GTS in deference to Peugeot’s ‘digit “0” digit’ numbering system. The GTS seen here was I believe used in competition by Claude Barbier and possibly later by Cyr Febbrairo.

BMW GTP,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

No doubt much to the annoyance of Formula Ring Meister Bernie Ecclestone the manufacturer who supplied the engines for his Formula One Brabham team split it’s efforts in 1986 between Formula One and the IMSA GTP series and invested in four March 86G chassis and fitted them with a 2 litre / 122 cui version of the BMW engine that had powered Nelson Piquet to the World Championship in 1983. A BMW GTP was driven to it’s only victory by Davy Jones and John Andretti in the Watkins Glen 500, while the Brabham BMW team scored on 2 championship points in the worst season for the team up to that time.

Eagle HF89,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

Dan Gurney’s All American Racers graduated to the IMSA GTP class in 1989, after claiming the driver’s and constructors’ championships in the GTO division Chris Cord in 1987, the teams all new HF89 was designed by Ron Hopkins and Hiro Fujimori and the following year Argentina’s Juan Manuel Fangio II drove HF89’s to three victories in the Topeka 300, Sears Point 300 with Rocky Moran and Del Mar Fairgrounds Road Circuit in November 1990.

Thanks for joining me on this “Classic Competition Cars” edition of Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a Carrera Panamericana challenger. Don’t forget to come back now !


Development & Publicity – Mercedes Benz 300 SLR # no.1

Earlier this year Geoffrey Horton kindly forwarded some of today’s photos taken by Otto A Rentsch a tool and die maker at Adam Stamping in Union, New Jersey.

Mercedes Benz 300 SLR, Adam Stamping, Union, New Jersey.

Adam Stamping was owned by Geoffrey’s uncle George Tilp who was selected by Mercedes Benz to run a highly successful team of works built and supported 300 SL’s driven by Paul O’Shea and Phil Hill from 1955 to 1957.

Mercedes Benz 300 SLR, Otto R Rentsch, Adam Stamping, Union, New Jersey.

In 1958 Mercedes Benz shipped a 1955 World Sports Car Championship winning type 300 SLR complete with the “Blue Wonder Rennwagen Schnelltransporter” to Georges facility in New Jersey prior to the vehicles being loaned to the Ford Museum in Michigan, Otto A’s son Otto R is seen above at the wheel of the car with it’s distinctive sign writing down the side.

Mercedes 300 SLR, Goodwood, Festival of Speed,

It turns out that the 300 SLR sent to the USA for the loan to the Ford Museum was none other than the original 300 SLR chassis no.1.

Mercedes 300 SLR, Goodwood, Festival of Speed,

No.1 was used for extensive pre 1955 season testing and later for practice on the Mille Miglia, where of course there was no qualifying, but according to Mercedes this car was never raced.

Mercedes 300 SLR, Goodwood, Festival of Speed,

Along the side of the car the five one – two victories scored by no.1’s siblings are recorded; the Stirling Moss / Denis Jenkinson partnership beat the solo Jaun Manuel Fangio on the Mille Miglia, Fangio then beat Moss at the Eifelrennen where Karl Kling finished fourth in a third 300 SLR behind a Ferrari 750 Monza driven by Marsten Gregory, Fangio also finished ahead of Moss in the Swedish Grand Prix.

Mercedes 300 SLR, Goodwood, Festival of Speed,

Moss partnered by John Fitch beat Fangio and Kling at the Tourist Trophy where Kling was joined by Wolfgang von Trips and André Simon in the third placed 300 SLR, before Moss teamed up with Peter Collins to beat Fangio and Kling again on the Targa Florio where Fitch and Desmond Titterington finished fourth behind the Ferrari 857 S driven by Eugenio Castellotti and Robert Manzon.

Mercedes Benz 300 SLR, Adam Stamping, Union, New Jersey.

The one omission from these results being of course the 1955 Le Mans race where the 300 SLR driven by Fangio and Moss was leading the Jaguars by two clear laps when it was withdrawn on the orders of the board of the Mercedes board of directors after parts of the sister car driven by Levegh ploughed into the spectator enclosures killing 82 spectators and injuring 100 more following an accident involving a slower car.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for initially forwarding Douglas Rentsch’s photographs and to Otto R Rentsch’s son Douglas for kindly giving me permission to use them, the remaining photo’s of no.1 were taken at Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Thanks for joining me on this “Development & Publicity” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a Renault. Don’t forget to come back now !


Tailor’s Superleggera – Ferrari 212 Export Touring Berlinetta #0088E

In 1913 Domenico Caraceni the father of Italian tailoring founded the bespoke made to measure tailors bearing his name that by the 1930’s expanded to include ateliers in Rome, Milan and Paris and would later count Italian, Greek and British Royalty along with Fiat boss Gianni Agnelli, shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis, and Hollywood actors including Humphrey Bogart and Cary Grant among it’s clientele.

Domenico named his son after his brother Augusto who opened the Paris atelier and by the time he grew up Dr Augusto Caraceni had acquired a taste for racing the products of Enzo Ferrari, who was ofcourse another Caraceni customer.

Ferrari 212 Export Touring Berlinetta, Silverstone Classic, Press Day,

Today’s featured car was the seventh Ferrari 212 Export chassis, of a total 27, to be built the frame being completed on 26th January 1951.

Walter Seghedoni and foreman Amos Franchini oversaw the completion of the rear axle assembley on February 14th and the race tuned engine with triple Weber carburetors on February the 16th.

Ferrari 212 Export Touring Berlinetta, Silverstone Classic, Press Day,

#0088E was the first 212 Export chassis, of a total 4, to receive a Superlegerra Berlinetta body by Touring.

A certificate of origin was issued on the 23rd of February and the next day the car was test driven at the factory.

Ferrari 212 Export Touring Berlinetta, Silverstone Classic, Press Day,

After the car was distributed to dealer Mambretti Sonzogni in Rome it was sold to Dr Augusto Caraceni on 20th April 1951.

In September 1951 Dr Augusto competed with this car on the Stella Alpina Hillclimb where he finished 5th overall and 2nd in class this was his only known competition at the wheel of #0088E.

Ferrari 212 Export Touring Berlinetta, Silverstone Classic, Press Day,

In 1952 Dr Augusto appears to have sold #0088E to Conte Antonio Naselli in order to make way for a more powerful Ferrari 225 Export which he drove in the 1952 Mille Miglia.

Conte Naselli is believed to have driven #0088E on the Giro di Sicilia and Stella Alpina Hillclimb in 1952 though there are no records available to confirm his results. Note the louvered window vents which Touring were using three years later on the body for an 1954 Alfa Romeo 1900 Super Sprint 2 which I looked at some years ago.

Ferrari 212 Export Touring Berlinetta, Silverstone Classic, Press Day,

It is believed the Conte had #0088E painted Amaranto as it appears today post a restoration in 2008.

After passing through seven more owners hands in Italy the car was acquired in 1963 by Lowell Musick an employee of the Douglas Aircraft Company in Long Beach California.

Ferrari 212 Export Touring Berlinetta, Silverstone Classic, Press Day,

Mr Musick entrusted the mechanical upkeep of #0088E to Charles Betz of Orange, California, a renowned Ferrari enthusiast and owner of many of early Ferrari’s.

While #0088E was in Mr Betz care his business partner Fred Peters took a shine to the car and eventually purchased it from Mr Musick and stored in a controlled state until 2008 when the restoration mentioned earlier commenced.

Ferrari 212 Export Touring Berlinetta, Silverstone Classic, Press Day,

Over a period of six years Steve Beckman’s Metalworks in Costa Mesa took care of the bodywork, Bob Wallace took care of the original 2.5 litre Colombo V12, Cork Adams took care of the wheels, South Bay Chrome looked after the bright work, MoMa the original instrumentation, Pete Engel installed a new period correct naturale lastico upholstery and Charles Betz oversaw the reassembly with a non original slip differential that was fitted to improve safety.

The bills for the above came to an estimated US$600,000 which was recouped in January 2014 when the car was sold for US$3.19 million including buyers premium at Bonhams’ Scottsdale auction to New Haven CT Pemier Classic Car dealer Dennis P. Nicotra of New Haven, CT.

After showing #0088E at Pebble Beach last year, where it was awarded third in class, the car was registered in the UK on the 14th of October presumably in the name of it’s new owner Austrian Martin Halusa.

Five days after these photo’s were taken at the Silverstone Classic Press day Mr Halusa competed on the Tour Auto with Nicola von Donhoff in the co drivers seat of 0088E.

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


All Time Greatest One-Two – Mercedes Benz 300 SLR # no.3

Due to strained financial circumstances at the Mercedes Benz factory Rudolf Caracciola and Wilhelm Sebastian had only a privately entered Mercedes Benz SSKL with Mercedes approval at there disposal when they became the first foreign team in the first foreign car to win the 1931 Mille Miglia and the first to ever do so at an average speed of over 100 km per hour.

When Mercedes Benz returned to the event in 1955 they left nothing to chance sending a team of 60 technicians based at their event headquarters with spares and sufficient for their four 300 SLR entries.

Mercedes Benz 300SLR, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

Team manager Alfred Neubauer insisted each of the drivers were to drive the 1000 mile course a minimum of five times in preparation for the event, Karl Kling is believed to have driven at least 30,000 miles in his preparations.

Following the death of his co driver Daniel Urrutia in 1948 while competing in Peru Juan Manuel Fangio never drove in a competitive event with a co driver again, and so Juan made his own preparations for the 1955 Mille Miglia driving a FIAT 1100.

Mercedes Benz 300SLR, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

Before the first six hours of the race had been completed both Karl Kling driving solo and the Hans Herrmann / Hermann Eger crewed 300SLR’s had crashed out of the race.

However Stirling Moss aided by directions from 1949 World Champion Motor Cylce side car passenger Denis Jenkinson, who had meticulously made course notes on 15 feet of paper all carefully rolled into a device devised for bomber command during WW2 came home winners covering the 1,000 miles 6 hours faster than Caricciola in just over 10 hours at a record average speed just short of 100 mph, having covered the stretch from Cremona to Brescia at just under 124 mph.

Mercedes Benz 300SLR, Stirling Moss, Goodwood Revival,

In second place 31m 45 seconds behind the winning #722 came Juan in today’s featured #658 chassis # no.3 despite the fact his eight cylinder 3 litre / 183 cui engine was only firing on 7 cylinders to complete in my humble opinion one of the all time greatest 1-2 finishes in all of sports car racing.

28 days after finishing the Mille Miglia Juan stepped back in to # no.3 to drive it to victory in the Eifelrennen at the Nürburgring.

Mercedes Benz 300SLR, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

In August 1955 having wrapped up his third World Formula One championship due to the cancellation of several Grand Prix in the wake of the 1955 Le Mans disaster Juan drove # no.3 for a third time to with the Swedish Grand Prix run for sports cars.

Wolfgang von Trips, André Simon and Karl Kling all drove this car in the Tourist Trophy in September 1955 run at Dundrod to complete a 1-2-3 victory behind the sister cars driven by Stirling sharing with John Fitch and the second placed car driven by Juan and Karl.

Finally in October 1955 Juan and Karl teamed up again this time to drive # no.3 in the Targa Florio to finish second behind the sister 300SLR driven by Moss and Peter Collins.

Stirling Moss is seen in the photograph above demonstrating #658 at the Goodwood Revival a couple of years ago and the connecting rod seen above was a gift from Mercedes Benz to Denis Jenkinson and comes from the Mille Miglia winning #722.

Thanks for joining me on this “All Time Greatest One-Two” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me for Mazda Monday tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


The Sure Bet – Lotus 22 #22-J-17

In 1962 Lotus built one of their more significant models, the Lotus 22, for competition in the 2nd tier open wheel Formula Junior in 1962. The 22 was an upgraded version of the Lotus 20 but now featuring disc brakes all round.

Cristoph Burckhardt, Lotus 22, Goodwood, Revival

The Lotus 22 dominated Formula Junior in 1962 with Peter Arundell and Alan Rees at the wheel of the works cars which dominated the European Junior scene.

Arundell won 75 % of his races including the Monza Loteria and was crowned British Junior Champion. Moises Solana won FJ races in Mexico.

The design of the 22 was also used as the basis of the two seat the Lotus 23 sports racer, which I’ll be looking at next week, the 22 design was given a second lease of life with the emergence of the third tier open wheel Formula 3 in 1964 which mandated single seat vehicles with space frame chassis like the 22 which was upgraded to Lotus 31 spec in F3 guise though the chassis numbers for Lotus 31 curiously ran 22-F3-xx. The 22 design had yet another lease of life when Jim Russel converted a couple of 22’s and 31’s into Ford Kent powered racing cars and inadvertently invented Formula Ford leading to yet another run of cars being built to the basic Lotus 22 design now upgraded to Lotus 51 spec.

It is thought 77 Lotus 22’s were built in their original Formula Junior spec between 1962 and 1963.

Formula Junior was open to cars weighing a minimum 400 kgs / 880lbs fitted with 1100 cc / 67 cui motors or 350 kgs vehicles weighing a minimum of 350 kgs / 770 lbs with 1000 cc / 61 cui.

Chritoph Burckhardt’s car, thought to be chassis 22-J-17 seen above at Goodwood Revival, like most FJ cars in 1962 is the heavier 400 kgs type with 90 hp Cosworth tuned Ford 4 cylinder engine with a mandated production based block, this one canted over at 30 degrees to lower the centre of gravity and minimise the frontal area of the car.

Other FJ engine options included a BMC and DKW two stroke motor as used successfully by a German Gerhard Mitter in his Lotus 22.

At this point I’d usually wrap up this post in the usual way but I’d be doing the model a grave injustice since the Lotus 22 is the stuff of legend that ultimately brought down hitherto respected Porsche racing driver Richard von Frakenberg who survived flying literally of the Avus track to become an equally respected journalist for Auto Motor und Sport one of Germany’s most successful motoring publications.

On Sept 30th 1962 there was a German Formula Junior Championship race on the short 5 mile Südschleife track at the Nurburgring. There was much rumor and gossip in the paddock that weekend about a simple way to increase the engine capacity of the stock block Ford Formula Junior motors by changing the Ford Anglia crankshaft for a crankshaft sourced from the larger capacity Ford Consul that used the same block with the same diameter cylinders but increased the combined swept volume of the blog by having a longer stroke.

The race was notable because the championship title was to be decided between two drivers, the aforementioned Mitter in his DKW powered Lotus 22 and reigning champion Kurt Ahrens jr driving a Cooper T59 with a Cosworth prepared Ford motor of the type which could be easily oversized.

To secure the title all Ahrens Jr needed to do was finish ahead of Mitter, if he finished just one place behind Mitter the two would share the title. bizzarely the latter is exactly what happened Ahrens trundled around behind Mitter’s DKW powered Lotus until the DKW lost one of it’s three cylinders when Mitter pitted Ahrens Jr drove as far as the Müllenbach corner at the back of circuit and promptly stopped his perfectly good car and waited for Mitter to affect his repairs and come past and then followed Mitter across the line to ensure a tie in the Championship.

Richard von Frankenberg absorbed some of the rumors, which should probably have been taken with a pinch of salt in the first place, from the meeting and the following week published a story full of scandalous accusations under the Title “The Biggest Disgrace in International Motorsport”.

In his exposé Richard pointed out that during the Formula Junior season none of the motors had been checked to measure their capacity during scrutineering either before or after races and alleged that some teams had taken advantage of the situation.

Specifically Frankenberg accused reigning champion Kurt Ahrens jr & Austrian Kurt Bardi-Barry winner of the race of running with an oversize engines on September 30th.

He also accused Alan Rees who was running in a work Lotus 22 with a Cosworth Ford motor of running in practice with an oversize motor during which he crashed and eliminated himself from the race.

Frankenberg then went on to report Alan had openly declared that his team (Lotus) had been running oversize motors through out the season.

Finally Frankenberg challenged Colin Chapman to send two cars to Monza to rerun the Lotteria race distance at the same average speed that the cars had achieved in June and then have the motors legality checked.

In the aftermath of the publication Kurt Ahrens Jr and Kurt Bardi Barry won civil actions against von Frankenberg and Auto Motor & Sport both presented motors which passed inspection well after the event but it was concluded that hear say in the paddock was not sufficient proof that either driver had cheated.

The ONS, governing body of motorsport took Ahrens Jr, Bardi-Brady and Mitter to task about events on the September 30th 1962 and concluded that the hear say evidence of Mitter was not proof positive that Ahrens or Bardi-Brady had cheated but they did find Mitter and Ahrens Jr guilty of conspiring to fix the race results for which they both had their licenses suspended for six months.

Colin Chapman accepted von Frankenbergs suggestion, offering to run one Lotus 22 Formula Junior car at Monza over the 30 lap distance of the Lotteria held in June and made a bet of £1000 that his car would not only achieve the same or better speed at Monza over the 30 race distance and be proved perfectly legal. In the event von Frakenberg and Auto Motor und Sport lost the bet they would pay Chapman £1,000 and publish a retraction of the accusations against the team.

All parties duly deposited their stakes and convened at Monza on December 1st 1962. Peter Arundell did some slow warm up laps and blew his engine, it was agreed this should be repaired for a second attempt the next day.

On December 2nd a new attempt was made after cement had been strewn across patches of ice found under the trees at the first Lesmo Corner. Despite another slow start Peter Arundell soon started lapping ahead of the target time eventually crossing the line for the 30th time 52 seconds faster than he had in June.

On completion of the race distance he did one final blinding flying lap and lowered his lap record of 1’50.9′ in June to 1’49.8′ in December.

It was noted at the time the cooler conditions gave Peter an advantage, as much as 4% extra horse power by my calculations, but his times by my calculations are only 1.5% quicker for the race and and 1% quicker for fastest lap.

Once Peter returned to the pits the car was meticulously weighed, the engine dimensions were measured, as 1092 cc / 66.6 cui, and so the car was declared fully compliant with the Formula Junior regulations to the satisfaction of all concerned.

Immediately after the technical inspection the “Monaza Lion” as the car became known was sold for £2,000 to a Sig. Motta, thereafter Richard von Frankenberg shook Colin Chapman’s hand and formally apologized in front of all those present and an apology with full retraction of the false statements was printed in the following issue Auto Motor und Sport.

Peter Arundell won a second consecutive British Formula Junior Championship in 1963 and looked to have a promising future until an accident in 1964 saw him thrown out of his car. Colin Chapman kept a seat for Peter until his return in 1966, however Peter showed none of his earlier promise during his comeback season and retired from the sport completely in 1969, after selling his Garage Business from which he and his family were lucky to escape from a serious fire he moved to Florida where he founded the notorious adult software gaming company Mystique.

Colin Chapman went from strength to strength his Lotus team wining the first of six World Drivers and seven World Constructors Championships in 1963.

Kurt Ahrens jr regained his German Formula Jr title in 1963 but never quite broke into the big time he did however win the 1969 Austrian and 1970 Nurburgring 1000kms races driving with Jo Siffert and Vic Elford respectively, the 1968 Austrian event was the first ever to be won by a Porsche 917, he also took two consecutive pole positions at Le Mans for the 24 hour races in 1969 and 1970 both in works Porsche 917’s. He retired in 1970 to look after his family’s car dealership and scrap metal business and still takes an interest in the historic racing scene.

Gerhard Mitter drove in seven Grand Prix but like Ahrens Jr never secured a permanent seat on the Grand Prix circuit, he won the 1969 Targa Florio driving a Porsche 908 with Udo Schutz. Gerhard was kiiled during practice for the 1969 German Grand Prix after either suspension or steering failure caused him to crash.

Soon after he lost the Monza bet von Frakenberg left his staff position at Auto Motor und Sport. He was killed in a road accident in 1973 aged 52.

My thanks to every one on The Nostalgia Forum particularly, Doug Nye, Arese, r.atios, Ralf Pickle and Charlieman, on the L’affaire Lotus/von Frankenburg thread, RWB, Macca & Rob on the How many Lotus 22s? thread, finally but not least Cheapracer and saudoso on the Ambient air temperature and car performance thread.

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

PS Don’t forget …

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Dino Remembered – Ferrari 246S #0784

At the end of 1955 Alfredo ‘Dino’ Ferrari proposed the idea of building a twin over head cam 1.5 litre / 91.5 cui V6 motor for use in second tier open wheel Formula 2 racing to his father Enzo. Soon afterwards ‘Dino’ was hospitalised with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, while in hospital ‘Dino’ discussed the technical details of his idea with legendary engineer Vittorio Jano.

Jano translated his disscusions with ‘Dino’ into what would become the first ‘Dino’ V6 which was used in Formula 2 races in 1957, by which time ‘Dino’ had fatally succumbed to his illness.

The motor had the two banks of cylinders unusually inclined at 65 degrees by 1958 a larger version of the ‘Dino’ V6 had been installed in Ferrari’s Grand Prix cars and used by Mike Hawthorn to win the 1958 World Drivers Championship.

A 2 litre / 122 cui version of the ‘Dino’ engine was installed in a sports car, s/n #0740, for Peter Collins to drive at Goodwood in the 1958 Sussex trophy where he came 2nd. The sports car was indistinguishable from the older Fantusi bodied 250TR apart from the 3 twin choke carburetors sticking out of the bonnet /hood where the larger engined 250 TR had 6.

Ferrari 246S, Bobby Verdon-Roe, Siverstone Classic

Several more variations of the Dino V6’s were built and raced including single over head cam versions with 60 degree inclinations between the cylinders. #0784 seen here in the hands of Bobby Verdon Roe at the Silverstone Classic was the last of the 246S models to be built in 1959.

#0784 was fitted with a twin cam V6 and uniquely with Formula One derived independent rear suspension. On it’s debut Phil Hill and Graf Berghe ‘Taffy’ von Trips drove this chassis into second place in the 1960 Targa Florio. This would remain the cars best result despite the best efforts Richie Ginther, Ludovico Scarfiotti, Ed Hugus, Alan, Cornell jr, Ricardo & Pedro Rodriguez, and Bob Grossman.

In 1962 the car was fitted with the high tail body seen on the car today. Among it’s many owners since the 1960’s was Nick Mason’s friend and Pink Floyd Manager Steve O’Rourke who was briefly the custodian of #0784 in 1997. More recently in 2009 Bobby Verdon Rowe and Nick Leventis took this 246S to victory lane in a one hour race at the Goodwood revival in 2009.

Thanks for joining me on the Dino V6 edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Under Austrian Influence – Aston Martin DB3S

Under Austrian Influence – Aston Martin DB3S #118

Its a great thrill to return to Ed Arnaudin’s photo’s from 20th July 1958 at Thompson CT thanks to his son Steve.

Today’s vehicle is a thoroughly British Aston Martin DB3S, a lightweight version of the DB3 originally designed by Austrian Robert Eberan von Eberhorst, a pioneer in vehicle dynamics who’s CV includes the design of the Auto Union D-type Silver Arrow, the Porsche project 356, which later became the Porsche 356 like the cabriolet in the background above, and the Jowett Jupiter while working for English Racing Automobiles. The DB3S was powered by a 163 horse power 2922 cc / 182 cui twin over head cam straight 6 fitted with three twin choke carburettors.

The vehicle seen here was driven into 7th place in the 7th race of the day at Thompson CT by Paul Hyatt who was doing double duty having finished last in race 6 driving his DB2-4.

I’d like to thank Ed Arnaudin for his wonderful photographs, Steve Arnaudin for sharing them with us and Terry O’Neil’s Northeast American Sports Car Races 1950-1959 for the stats.

Hope you have enjoyed today’s Aston Martin edition of ‘Getting a lil’ psycho’ on tyres’ and that you’ll join me tomorrow for a closer look at a vehicle of the same type as the black one seen in the back ground of the photo above. Don’t forget to come back now !


Thanks to Vince H the DB3S photographed by Ed has been identified as chassis #118 which can be seen being driven here by Chris Salyer at Laguna Seca in 2007.