Tag Archives: Wiltshire

Still Friendly Still Great Value – Atwell Wilson Motor Museum

In 2011 I visited the Atwell Wilson Museum in Calne and found it to be friendly and great value a couple of weeks ago I took the opportunity to visit again and unsurprisingly found Wiltshire’s only Motor Museum to be just as friendly and still great value.

MG Midget, Atwell Wilson Motor Museum, Calne

Every year the friends of the Museum raffle a classic car, this year your one pound ticket could win you the immaculate 1976 MG Midget 1500 with federal spec bumpers above.

Ford Consul, Atwell Wilson Motor Museum, Calne

In the days before photocopying and scanning an army of tracers was employed by engineering firms to trace the technical drawings required for just about anything that was made to pattern, Trevlynn “Trev” Hildred joined her father at the Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft works in Coventry at 16 and rose to become Head Tracer at the company in 1960 and remained in the post until technology made here redundant in 1969, above is her 1954 Ford Consul “Connie”.

Austin Mini 5cwt Van, Atwell Wilson Motor Museum, Calne

In 1997 the Gaydon Motor Museum built this replica of of one of John Coopers Austin Mini 5 cwt Vans for the Frankfurt Motor Show restoring a 1962 van for the purpose with John Coopers full approval and cooperation, the 70th anniversary of Cooper Cars this year will be celebrated at Prescott on July 30th.

Mercury Monarch Ghia, Atwell Wilson Motor Museum, Calne

Ford introduced the Mercury Monarch in 1975 as an upmarket version of it’s (US) Granda both models being aimed at the downsizing US market in the wake of the early ’70’s oil crises which pushed the price of oil to new high’s, this Ghia version was the top of the range 1978 Monarch though only powered by a mid sized 250 cui 4.1 litre straight six.

Datsun Fairlady 1500, Atwell Wilson Motor Museum, Calne

The roadster above is believed to be the first Datsun to have ever been imported into the UK, this 1964 85 hp twin carburettor Fairlady 1500 was purchased by Standard Triumph for evaluation purposes and registered by them on the 2nd of April 1965.

Clyno Royale, Atwell Wilson Motor Museum, Calne

Finally in the space of 9 years Clyno became the third biggest manufacturer of motor cars between 1920 and 1929 when creditors called time on the company, the 1928 Clyno Royale above is powered by a 20hp Coventry Climax engine which powered the ash and fabric body up to speeds of 55 mph.

Further details about the Atwell Wilson Museum can be found on this link.

Thanks for joining me on this “Still Friendly Still Great Value” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a Targa top Camaro. Don’t forget to come back now !


Silver Jubilee – Silverstone Classic

A couple of weeks ago I popped along to the Silverstone Classic Press Day to find out what will be happening at this years event that will be held on the 24th, 25th and 26th of July.

Benetton, Bentley, Silverstone Classic, Press Day,

This years event will see Silverstone Classic celebrating it’s own Silver Jubilee and a programme of races and demonstrations which will include prewar sports cars like the 1928 4 1/2 Litre Bentley driven by Clive Morley and Duncan Wiltshire and demonstrations by early 1990’s Formula One cars like Lorina McLaughlin’s ex Micheal Schumacher championship winning Benetton B192.

Silver Sunday, Silverstone Classic, Press Day,

One of the highlights of this years Silverstone Classic will be a parade for silver coloured cars of any age on “Silver Sunday“, might be tempted to enter my Golf IV for that one.

Maserati Quattroporte V, Silverstone Classic, Press Day,

Porsche, Maserati and Caterham Cars are official partners of this years event with Maserati having the honour of supplying the official pace car a Maserati Quattroporte V.

Lister Jaguar Continuation, Silverstone Classic, Press Day,

Above the first of the ten 2015 Continuation Knobbly Lister Jaguars is seen testing, this 1958 designed car is fully FIA compliant and should be taking part in the Stirling Moss Trophy for pre 1961 Sports Cars, I believe Stephen Bond may be the lucky owner of this one.

Alexis HF1, Silverstone Classic, Press Day,

Duncan Ragabliati holds the distinction of being the only driver to have competed in every Silverstone Classic since 1990 driving his 1959 #7 Alexis HL1 Formula Junior car seen above.

John Denis, Berliet Curtiss, Silverstone Classic, Press Day,

During the course of the day I took the opportunity of going on a couple of rides around the track, firstly aboard John Denis’s Curtiss OX5 V8 powered 1907 Berliet which was seriously sensational while sitting over three feet up with no windscreen when pulling all of 1,400 revs, fourteen hundred, hanginig onto a grab handle behind the drivers seat, on the Hangar Straight.

Talbot 105, Silverstone Classic, Press Day,

Equally sensational was Nicholas Pellet’s 1931 Talbot 105 team car which finished 3rd in the 1932 Le Mans 24 Hour Race, the cornering abilities of this car on the smooth Silverstone circuit have to be experienced to be believed.

VW Type 2, Silverstone Classic, Press Day,

Along with three days of on track entertainment Silverstone Classic will be hosting live performances from Paul Young, Status Quo with tribute perfomances by Fleetwood Bacs and The ZZ Tops, in what promises to be the most full on advance ticket only Silverstone Classic yet.

Thanks for joining me on this ‘Silver Jubilee’ edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psychoontyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for Geoffrey Horton’s first concours d’elegance of the year. Don’t forget to come back now !


Katie – Morris 8 Series E

In 1935 Morris was keen to regain it’s position as Britains largest motor manufacturer when it launched the Morris 8 in response to the successful Ford Model Y which was first seen in 1932.

Morris 8 Series E, Atwell Wilson Museum, Calne

Four series of Morris 8’s were manufactured Series I from 1935 to ’37, Series II in 1938 and Series E from 1938 to 1948. Unusually the Morris 8 Series E remained in production for military and essential civilian use through out the war with civilian consumer production resumed in 1945.

Morris 8 Series E, Atwell Wilson Museum, Calne

The Series E Morris 8 is easily distinguished from it’s forbears by the semi integrated head lights and it’s absence of running boards.

Morris 8 Series E, Atwell Wilson Museum, Calne

The waterfall styled grill was much in vogue at the time with Hudson in the US and Triumph in the UK being among the more fanciful users of the waterfall styled grills.

Morris 8 Series E, Atwell Wilson Museum, Calne

The 29 horse power 6 volt 4 cylinder motor could propel the Morris 8 Series E to a top speed of 58 mph. The motor would remain in use in Morris Minor cars from 1948 to 1953 and would also find itself being installed in Centurion, Conqueror and Chieftain main battle tanks as an auxiliary motor.

Morris 8 Series E, Atwell Wilson Museum, Calne

Katie as the Morris 8 Series E,seen here at the Atwell Wilson Museum in Calne, is known was purchased new for £120 pounds by Mr And Mrs EA & WG Harris of Laurel Farm Chadstoke Somerset from Stringers Garage in Chard Somerset on the 1st of November 1948 having been built a week earlier on the 25th of October.

The car covered 10,500 miles when it was returned to Strigers in 1952. The car remained in the Stringers show room and was used to train apprentices until 1979 when a Stringers employee purchased the car and put it back on the road. Since then it was repainted from its original black to its present two tone scheme. The car now has over 30,000 miles on the clock and has been on show at the Atwell Wilson Museum since 2000.

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


Stepping Stone – Dallara Renault F304

The winner of the last two rounds of the Free Single Seater Series at Castle Combe was the aptly named Stuart Wiltshire in his Dallara Renault Xtec F304, though it turns out that Stuart is actually an Essex Boy born and bred.

Dallara F304, Castle Combe

Dallara was founded by Gian Paolo Dallara near Parma Italy in 1972 specialising in building sports racing and hillclimbing cars . After penning one of the wilder body work configurations for Walter Wolf‘s Can Am team in 1977, Dallara was commissioned by Wolf to build a third tier open wheel Formula 3 car. Built to similar regulations as the F304 seen here, the Wolf F3 car was driven by Bobby Rahal at Monaco.

Dallara F304, Castle Combe

During the 1980’s Dallara Formula 3 cars started winning championships in Italy then France and Germany before going on to dominate the most competitive series of all in Britain during the 1990’s.

Dallara F304, Castle Combe

Today Dallara is known world wide having briefly competed in Formula One and built a variety of sports cars for teams including Lancia, Ferrari, and Audi. More recently Dallara were one of the original suppliers of chassis to the Indy Racing League and now have an exclusive deal to supply IRL chassis and they have built a near monopoly in every series used as an entry by drivers trying to reach Formula One.

Dallara F304, Castle Combe

In 2004 the British Formula 3 Series was dominated Dallara F304 chassis like the one in these photo’s most were powered by Mugen Honda motors but Renault and Opel, the German GM division were represented with multiple entries.

Dallara F304, Castle Combe

Among those driving Dallara F304’s when they first appeared were British 2004 Champion Nelson Piquet Jr who after a brief tormenting career in Formula One today drives in the NASCAR Trucks division, Lucas di Grassi the Pirelli F1 tyre tester who last year drove for the Virgin Grand Prix Team and in 2004 drove a Renault powered F304 identical to the car featured today, Australian Supercar V8 contender Will Davison, fellow Aussie Will Power who today is part of the Penske IRL team, Venezuelan IRL driver EJ Viso and Karun Chandock who became the first driver to record a finish for the HRT Grand Prix team last year and is an occasional driver for the Team Lotus Grand Prix team this year.

Dallara F304, Castle Combe

Seven years on from it’s first appearance Stuart Wiltshire is competing in the MSV F3 Cup with his JSM Construction sponsored car being prepared by Mark Bailey Racing who started off in the Toyota Formula 3 Championship in 1989, with Mark Bailey taking the championship spoils and have participated in World Sports Car Championships with their own design the MBR 972.

Dallara F304, Castle Combe

Stuart a director of a construction company has competed in Formula 3 championships for older vehicles on and off since 2003 the highlight of his career was leading into the first bend at Donington Park earlier this year.

Dallara F304, Castle Combe

With a couple of wins behind him at Castle Combe, I wish Stuart all the best as he returns to the MSV F3 series and look forward to future appearances of Stuart and the immaculate Mark Bailey Racing Dallara Renault F304 at Castle Combe for the Free Single Seater Series.

Thanks for joining me on this stepping stone edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’, I hope you’ll join me again tomorrow for Ferrari Friday. Don’t forget to come back now !

10 11 11 Post Script – Since posting this blog it has been brought to my attention that Stuart Wiltshire has a Dallara F302 with 04 updates for sale. I can’t say for sure this is the same car as featured in this blog. The car in the blog was definitely described as an F304 in the MBR team blurb at Castle Combe when I saw it.