Tag Archives: Wedge

Americana – Hillsborough Concours d’Elegance

Geoffrey Horton kindly sent me the images for the next three posts which were all taken at the Hillsborough Concours d’Elegance, today’s post will feature selected American cars, tomorrow selected Ferrari’s and Saturday’s more selections from Europe.

Phantom, Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance

When it comes to revolutionary one off designs few can match the 1938 (Nineteen Thirty Eight) Phantom Corsair which was the brain child of ketchup heir Rust Heinz and Maurice Schwartz that had the driver sit next to one passenger on the left and two more to the right with just two more in the back. The gull wing doors were push button operated as was the electrically operated four speed automatic transmission, the whole car being built on a Cord Front Wheel Drive chassis and powered by a 190 hp Lycoming V8.

Devin D, Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance

The 1959 Devin D was so successful on the race track that Porsche refused to sell Bill Devin motors forcing his customers to acquire their own Porsche motors and install them themselves.

Chrysler 300F, Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance

After the low sales volumes for the Chrysler 300D in 1958 and 300E in 1959 sales picked up again in 1960 for the Chrysler 300F which was powered by a new 413 cu in (6.8 L) Wedge V8 engine that produced 375 hp.

Pontiac GTO, Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance

If one wanted to hop up ones 1964 Pontiac Tempest for US$ 295 one could opt for the GTO options as seen on the example above that included a 325 hp 6 litre / 389 cui V8, dual exhausts, chromed valve covers and air cleaner, three speed Hurst floor shift manual transmission a raft of handling improvements, but standard Tempest steering and drum brakes.

Shelby Cobra, Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance

The #19 competition 427 Shelby Cobra chassis CSX 3010 appears to have been built in 1965, the only in period racing history I have been able to verify for it thus far pertains to the 1968 US Champions race at Riverside which was won by a Peter Consiglio for whom I have also been unable to establish any other results, if you know more about Peter please do not hesitate to chip in below.

Chevrolet Corvette, Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance

Finally I believe the 1967 Chevrolet Corvette above was judged the best in Corvette through to 1989 class.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sharing his photographs more of which can be seen on Ferrari Friday and on Saturday.

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


Under The Hood Details – Niello Concours at Serrano

On October 5th Geoffrey Horton took his Jaguar XK 140 to Niello Concours at Serrano where it was shown in the special display class.

Jaguar XK140, Niello Concours at Serrano

Any one interested in what is under the hood of Geffrey’s Jaguar can see it by following this link.

National, Niello Concours at Serrano

Today’s post will focus on what was lurking under the hood of some of the other vehicles on display, above the 1911 National Indy 500 car only had 4 cylinders but with a displacement of 7.5 litres / 460 cui they still packed a 100 hp punch.

Allard K2, Niello Concours at Serrano

I beleive this is the third appearance of this particular 1951 Allard K2 on this blog, but the first appearance of it’s 5.4 litre / 331 cui Cadillac overhead valve motor with three original Stromberg carburetors that produce around 160 hp.

Plymouth Fury, Niello Concours at Serrano

The 281st, off the production line, 1956 Plymouth Fury above boasts a 5 litre / 303 cui polyspherical head V8 with optional twin 4 barrel carburetors which combined to produce 270hp.

Chrysler 300F, Niello Concours at Serrano

For 1960 Chrysler introduced the 6.8 litre / 413 cui wedge motor for the 300F seen above. To maximise power in low to mid rpm range the motor was fitted with tuned 30 inch intake pipes which were fed by the carburetors from opposite sides.
The air resonances inside the air intake pipes helped to force air into the cylinders at low to mid range rpm and thus increase the power which topped out at 375hp.

Lotus 27, Niello Concours at Serrano

Not completely off topic I was reading some information about the early days of racing recently and discovered that while Voiturettes were generally restricted to 1.5 litre / 91.5 cui motors there was a smaller class known as Cycle Cars which were restricted to 1.1 litres / 67.1 cui which would make the much later 1963 Formula Junior Lotus 27 above the equivalent of a cycle car in Veteran times. The motor for this Lotus is clearly a Ford production block with a Cosworth head. Power for these motors has risen from 36hp in original side valve production form to 115 hp quoted by some tuners for a competitive Formula Junior with the Cosworth head.

Lotus 19, Niello Concours at Serrano

In late 1963 Lotus built the last Lotus 19 B chassis #966 uniquely powered with a 4 carburetor 4.7 litre / 289 Ford V8 motor for Dan Gurney. The car was quick, but unreliable and Dan never recorded a win with it although it’s next owner Steve Diulo managed a win at the SCCA Willow springs race in December 1965. The cars last appearance was at Texas International Speedway in November 1969 where Bruce Campbell was running but unclassified in chassis #966 by now rebranded as a BVC Mk 1 and with a Chevrolet motor installed.

Ford Mustang GT 350, Niello Concours at Serrano

Finally, for this week, above is another Ford V8 this time a 306hp 4.7 litre Shelby tuned Ford HiPo 289 inside one of the 252 “carry over” 1965 Shelby Mustang 350 GT’s which feature ’65 Ford VIN numbers and ’66 Shelby VIN numbers.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton once again for sharing his photographs from the California Concours d’Elegance scene through the year.

Thanks for joining me on this “Under The Hood Details” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psychoontyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a 3 ton pickup that gets up to 60mph from rest in just 5 seconds. Don’t forget to come back now !


Foot Warmer – TVR 400 SE

The story of the TVR 400SE begins with Oliver Winterbottom who, after designing the wedge shaped Lotus Eclat and second generation Lotus Elite models launched 1974, was responsible for designing the wedge shaped TVR Tasmin launched in 1980.

TVR 400 SE, Castle Combe

Over the years the Tasmin which was originally available with 2 litre / 122 cui or 2.8 litre / 170 cui Ford sourced motors grew into a second incarnation with a 3.5 litre / 215 cui V8 that traces it’s history back through the Rover 3.5 litre Coupé to the aluminium V8 Buick 215 designed by Joe Turley for Buick Oldmobile and Pontiac vehicles launched in 1961.

TVR 400 SE, Castle Combe

Launched in 1983 the TVR Tasmin 350i which became the plain TVR 350i in 1984 had a 190 hp and a 130 mph capability. With it’s Rover power the 350i became marketable in the middle east where there was, and is, a resistance to anything associated with Ford due to it’s dealings with Israel. In 1984 a 390 SE engine package was offered to 350i customers with a blueprinted version of the V8 motor with 3905 cc / 238 cui cylinder capacity, high lift cam shaft large valves and Cosworth machined pistons which brought the power up to 275 hp.

TVR 400 SE, Castle Combe

In 1986 further improvements offered 300 hp from the 420 SE spec which could be ordered with a lighter and slightly more rounded 420 SEAC spec body. For 1988 introduced the 3948 cc / 240 cui 400 SE which offered marginal performance improvements over the 390 SE and used the Series 2 390 SE body with asymmetrical near side louvers in the bonnet and a slightly more tidy nose as seen on the example above.

TVR 400 SE, Castle Combe

With the increase in engine size and output from 100 – 160 hp for the Tasmin models to 275 hp for the 400 SE seen here the transmission tunnel was increased in size to accommodate ever larger transmissions required to cope with the extra horsepower and so the foot wells have decreased in size. The extra heat generated by the more powerful motors allegedly also means occupants feet are more exposed to heat soak than was the case in the original Tasmin.

TVR 400 SE, Castle Combe

Equipped with 8J x 15 inch wheels and ventilated disc brakes the 400 SE could reach 60 mph from rest in 5.6 seconds or 100 mph in 14.8 seconds and max out at 145 mph. In 1989 a final version of the TVR Wedge was introduced the 320 hp 450 SE good for 150 mph.

TVR 400 SE, Castle Combe

The rear deck spoiler on this 400 SE appears to have been sourced from the ’86-’88 420 SEAC which had up to 20% of its body panels made from light weight kevlar. The 400SE is renowned for making a phenomenal noise and exhilarating acceleration.

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