Tag Archives: Wild

Formula One Cabriolet – Ferrari 342 America, Vignale Cabriolet, #0232AL

Between late 1952 and early 1953 Ferrari built six 342 America chassis powered by a 200hp 4.1 litre / 341 cui version of Ferrari’s latest atmospheric induction V12 designed by Aurelio Lampredi and raced with success in the Ferrari 375 Formula One cars.

Ferrari 342 America Vignale, Blackhawk Museum

Five of the 342 chassis went to Pininfarina where 3 were fitted with coupé bodies and two with cabriolet bodies, the first chassis #0232AL, featured in today’s photographs by Geoffrey Horton taken at the Blackhawk Museum, was sent to Vignale where it was fitted with a cabriolet body.

Ferrari 342 America Vignale, Blackhawk Museum

Upon completion Herr Otto Wild of Muri in Switzerland. Before the end of the 1950’s were out the car is thought to have made it’s way to the USA, from 1971 until at least 2000 the car was kept in single ownership.

Ferrari 342 America Vignale, Blackhawk Museum

The 342 America was said to be capable of 115 mph, not quite on a par with the contemporary Jaguar XK120 in it’s original aluminium bodied form.

Ferrari 342 America Vignale, Blackhawk Museum

The Lampredi V12 motor would continue in production until the 1960’s powering Ferrari’s large engine America series cars up to and including the 500 Superfast of which the last was built in 1966.

Thanks for joining me on this “Formula One Cabriolet” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be loocking at the first of this months big banger Formula 5000/A open wheel racing cars.. Don’t forget to come back now.


So You Think You Know Your Sports Cars – Palos Verdes C d’ E

Thanks to photo’s sent by Geoffrey Horton, I am pleased to bring you another dose of California sunshine from the Palos Verdes Concours d’ Elegance held last weekend.

Palos Verdes Concours

About the most difficult vehicle to identify in this over view is the Mazda Como Sport unless like me you have wasted a little time playing Grand Turismo 4. Easiest vehicle to identify for regular GALPOT readers should be Geoffrey’s Jaguar XK140 FHC, which was up against a Mercedes Gullwing this time out. Shocking to me was that Geoffrey sent me photo’s of five vehicles who’s manufacturers I had never heard of.

Coachcraft 'Yankie Doodle' Roadster, Palos Verdes

Oldest of the five was this 1940 Coachcraft ‘Yanke Doodle’ Roadster, a one off with a chassis frame built from Hudson Essex and Ford models by 17 year old Seward Allan with a body by Coachcraft of West Hollywood and modifications by Frank Kurtis.

Maverick Sportster, Palos Verdes

My favourite of the five is this this 1952 Maverick Sportster, a 210 lbs boat tail fibre glass body built by Sterling Gladwin sitting on top of a Flathead Cadillac powered LaSalle chassis. This particular vehicle appears to be the prototype which is recognisable by the absence of any doors.

Woodhill Wildfire, Palos Verdes

Next up we have a car of the type that starred in the reckless and thrilling film ‘Johnny Dark’ namely a Woodhill Wild Fire built by California Dodge dealer Robert ‘Woody’ Woodhill, who dreamed of owning a Jaguar XK120 and ended up building two fibre glass specials. With Willys running gear and tailor made Glasspar bodies, Woodhill was unsuccessful at selling his sportscar to Kaiser, owner of Willy’s, and after modifying his car to run with Ford running gear he then built similar Buick and Cadillac examples. Again failing to gain manufacturer support Woodhill settled for building his sports cars with Ford running gear and selling then as kit cars that could be assembled in 14 hours, famously demonstrating a 4 hour build on TV.

Glasspar G2, Palos Verdes

The company that started the glass fibre revolution in US sports car production appears to be Glasspar a company specialising in building fibre glass fibre boats who built a, Bill Tritt designed, special, the Brooks Boxer, for USAF Major Ken Brooks. The mould for the Brooks Boxer was then used to produce the Glasspar G2 of the type seen here. A modified version of the G2 body was supplied to Robert Woodhill for his Wild Fire kits.

Hirsch Roadster, Palos Verdes

Finally the fibre glass body vehicle above is known as a 1960 Hirsch Roadster, sources on the internet suspect the date since the car is described as having Fiero steering, Datsun 280Z rear axle, and a 1966 289 Ford V8 connected to a similarly sourced 5 speed transmission. The owner believes the cars roots lie in a business that failed to get off the ground in Orange County. If you know anything about the Hirsch or indeed about any of the cars above please do not hesitate to either leave a message or get in touch be e-mail, my address is on the bottom of the page.

My thanks again to Geoffrey Horton for sharing his photographs from Palos Verdes.

Thanks for joining me on this glass fibre edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a Rover. Don’t forget to come back now !