Tag Archives: Willis

Rodney’s Racer – Warrior Bristol

Between 1952 and 1953 Rodney Nuckley, believed to be related to one of the directors of the Warrior Tap & Die Company in Hertfordshire, was carving out a winning reputation as a driver of Cooper Cars in the open wheel Formula 3 and Formula 2 series, particularly in Scandinavia. He crashed his Cooper Bristol Formula 2 car at the end of season Snetterton meeting in October 1953.

Rodney, who had driven under the Ecurie Richmond banner, commissioned engineer and Ecurie Richmond mechanic Bernard Roger to design a 2 litre sports car chassis using the Bristol engine and transmission from the Cooper.

The Warrior chassis featured de Dion rear suspension and Cooper 4 lug wheels, the sinuous body is said to have been the handy work of Williams and Pritchard.

Warrior Bristol, Sonoma Historics

Known race records for the Warrior show that Formula 3 driver Roger Biss drove the Warrior on it’s debut at Siverstone in May 1954 to a 4th place finish.

Rodney’s only outing in the car, appears to have been, at the British Grand Prix meeting at the same venue two months later where he recorded a 9th place finish (3rd in class), soon after winning at least once more in a Formula 3 race run at Västkustloppet in Sweden in July 1954 Rodney appears to have stopped racing.

Roger Biss then appears to have taken over ownership and the driving duties of the Warrior scoring best finishes of 2nd at Brands Hatch and Silverstone in 1955.

Warrior Bristol, Sonoma Historics

By August of 1955 the Warrior was acquired by JD Lomas and from the only known results appears to have won the 2 litre sports car race at Aintree on the cars debut and finished at the some venue on the same day in the handicap event.

The Warriors next owner, Bernie Arnold, took the car to Macau where it appeared in the 1956,’57 and ’58 Macau Grand Prix and in 1960 Bernie won the Johore Coronation Grand Prix driving the Warrior.

When the Bristol motor expired Bernie replaced it with a Jaguar motor and in that form Tim Robertson drove the car to win the sports car event at the 1970 1970 Singapore Grand Prix.

Warrior Bristol, Sonoma Historics

The Jaguar motor was replaced with an original spec Bristol motor when the Warrior was restored by Ian Boughton in Western Australia after he bought it in 1978.

The Warrior painted red remained in Australia from the 1970’s until 1999 when Dick Willis sold it to Jack Perkins in California.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sharing his photo’s of the Warrior Bristol which were taken at Sonoma Historics earlier this year and to Dick Willis and everyone who contributed to the Rodney Nuckey thread at The Nostalgia Forum.

Thanks for joining me on this “Rodney’s Racer” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again for the story behind a unique Formula 5000 car tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !

PS Soon after this blog was posted Cooper997 posted a press cutting from Motor Racing December 1953 on The Nostalgia Forum which reports the build of the Warrior and goes on to say that Rodney and Bernard projected building a Formula One Car with a “modified Lagonda (David Brown type) engine.


Company Number 00787446 – Mercedes F1 W04

On the 9th of January 1964 Ken Tyrrell a wood merchant and amateur racing driver turned his attention to managing his own team and duly registered Tyrrell Racing Organisation Limited at companies house where it was given the Company Number: 00787446.

After winning World Constructors & Drivers Championships in 1969 with Jackie Stewart and the Matra Ford in 1969, with the Tyrrell Ford in 1971 and the drivers Championship in 1973 the team continued competing until 1998 when Company Number: 00787446 was renamed British American Racing Grand Prix Limited who’s defining season came in 2004 when they finished 2nd in the World Constructors Championship despite never winning a race.

Mercedes F1 W04, Hamilton. British Grand Prix, Silverstone

By degrees British American Racing Grand Prix Limited morphed into Honda Gp Limited by 2006 when the Handa team won the Hungarian Grand Prix after which the team underperformed until Ross Brawn organised a management buyout at the beginning of 2009. Using Mercedes motors the Brawn GP won 8 races to secure the World Constructors Championship and Jenson Button’s six wins were enough to win the World Drivers Championship.

At the end of the 2009 season the financially strapped Ross sold out to Daimler AG who were withdrawing their financial interest in their partnership with McLaren. Luring seven time champion Michael Schumacher out of retirement to join hot shot Nico Rosberg the future of Company Number: 00787446 looked rosy but somehow the new team did not gel and between 2010 and 2012 the Mercedes GP team scored 3 podiums in 2010, none in 2011 and one victory and a 3rd place finish in 2012. Michael Schumacher retired from the sport at the end of 2012 and was replaced by 2008 champion Lewis Hamilton.

Mercedes F1 W04, Rosberg, British Grand Prix, Silverstone

The design of the F1 W04 was overseen by Geoff Willis showed good speed but was at odds with the tyres for which it was designed, Nico Rosberg seen above, won two consecutive pole positions in Bahrain and Spain but could only finish in 9th and 6th, with Lewis complaining that he was “racing a Williams” out of the point in Spain.

After some secret testing, for which the team was subsequently penalised by being barred from an open test, for Pirelli the teams showed improved form at Monaco where the Nico took pole from Lewis and won with Lewis 4th. At the British Grand Prix Lewis took the first of four consecutive pole positions but thanks to a variety of issues including tyres managed to convert only one of them in Hungary into a victory. Nico ended up winning the British GP after Lewis suffered and survived a high speed puncture.

Mercedes F1 W04, Hamilton. British Grand Prix, Silverstone

After the Hungarian Grand Prix Lewis managed just a single 3rd place in Italy after which the teams performance plummeted to top ten finishes for both drivers interrupted by a 2nd and 3rd for Nico in India and Abu Dhabi respectively.

Lewis finished 2013 4th in the drivers standings despite scoring only one win against the two scored by team mate Nico who finished 6th in the standings behind Kimi Raikkönen who finished his season two races early. Mercedes meanwhile finished 2nd in the constructors championship.

Mercedes F1 W04, Rosberg, British Grand Prix, Silverstone

Through out 2013 there were rumours that the position of Ross Brawn, who saved the team from closure, was under threat and at the end of the year Ross left the team and has allegedly retired from the sport, though he himself has been quoted as saying never say never. His place has been taken by Paddy Lowe for 2014 who will oversea the development of the F1 W05’s that Lewis and Nico will drive.

You can follow the progress of, the highly touted for 2014, Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One™ Team, Company Number: 00787446, on their website linked here, on their facebook page linked here and twitter feed linked here.

Thanks for joining me on this “Company Number 00787446” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I be looking at the first in a series of US vintage vehicles. Don’t forget to come back now !