Tag Archives: Wolf

Aeon Springs – Hesketh 308C #308C/1

For most of the 1975 season the dream of Lord Hesketh to run an independently funded Grand Prix team from the stables at his family pile, Easton Neston, Towcester, in Northamptonshire looked to be paying dividends which culminated with a win in the 1975 Dutch Grand Prix for James Hunt driving a Hesketh 308B.

Even as James was crossing the finishing line in Holland the finishing touches were being added to, what I believe is, today’s featured Hesketh 308C chassis #308C/1 that was built to conform to new regulations that were to be mandated from the 1976 Spanish Grand Prix onward.

Hesketh 308C, Silverstone Classic,

As well as having the increasingly popular low monocoque, a mandatory front cockpit roll over protection the 308C, conceived by Dr Harvey Postlethwaite, was notable for dispensing the the traditional springs and shock absorbers in favour of Aeon hollow rubber springs as first tried on the 308B.

James Hunt drove 308C/1 on three occasions finishing 8th from 11th on the grid in the non Championship Swiss Grand Prix, 5th form 8th on the grid in Italy and 4th from 15th on the grid at Watkins Glen in the US.

Hesketh 308C, Silverstone Classic,

A second 308C chassis was completed but during the off season Lord Hesketh had to call time and sold both 308C’s and the rights to Frank Williams who, with new backing from naturalised Canadian oil tycoon Walter Wolf, also picked up the temporarily out of work Dr Harvey Postlethwaite.

The Lord handed over the remains of his own team to his team manager Bubbles Horsley who continued running Hesketh until it folded for good in 1978 while James Hunt moved to McLaren where he achieved his ambition.

Hesketh 308C, Derek Jones, Silverstone Classic,

Despite starting the 1976 season with proven Formula One winner Jacky Ickx to drive the renamed FW05 with rookie Michele Leclere in the second car the FW05’s did not shine.

After Jacky posted a best 3rd, driving 308C/1 – FW05/1, in the non championship race of Champions and failed to qualify for four championship races he parted company with the team, who had already released Michele, after the British Grand Prix.

Hesketh 308C, Silverstone Classic,

For a few races Wolf Williams soldiered on with a solo effort for Art Mezario who failed to finish any of his six starts in the car. while

Second drivers Chris Amon, who wrote off the second 308C chassis in practice in his final Formula One appearance, Warwick Brown and Hans Binder all failed to impress in the last three races of the season.

Hesketh 308C, Derek Jones, Silverstone Classic,

At the end of 1976 Frank Williams and Walter Wolf parted ways, Frank went on to run a second hand March for Patrick Neve engineered by former Wolf man Patrick Head at Williams Grand Prix Engineering.

While Walter retained Dr Postlethwaite and hired Jody Scheckter to form Walter Wolf Racing who hit the ground running at the start of the 1977 season.

Hesketh 308C, Silverstone Classic,

#308C/1 went on to make an appearance at Brands Hatch in the 1978 Aurora AFX Series driven by John Cooper who finished 8th.

American Derek Jones, seen driving the 308C above at Silverstone, tweeted that this car was run by Simon Hadfield, who is said to have taken #308C/1 to Monaco for the Historic event earlier last year by formulajunior.com.

If you know different please do not hesitate to chip in below.

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


Estremamente Bella Donna – Lamborghini Countach 5000 quattrovalvole

When it was first seen at the 1971 Geneva Motor Show the prototype Lamborghini Countach LP 500 powered by a 5 litre / 302 cui V12 with a Bertone body designed by Marcello Gandini was like the Muira before it nothing short of sensational. Unfortunately despite featuring extensive use of honeycomb aluminium in it’s construction, ironically unlike the later production models, the prototype was destroyed in European Countach type approval tests.

Lamborghini Countach 5000 QV, Auto Italia, Brooklands

Appropriately the Countach name, Piedmontese slang for extremely beautiful women, lived up to the original, but production variants needed cooling intakes which broke up the smooth roof line. Due to a financial crises which resulted in founder Ferruccio Lamborghini selling a 51% stake of his company to Georges-Henri Rossetti in 1972 and the remainder to René Leimer in 1974. The first 1974 production iteration of the LP 400 Countach featured only a 4 litre / 244 cui longitudinal mounted V12 enough to give the car a 192 mph top speed though it was slightly slower 5.4 second rest to 62.5 mph time.

Lamborghini Countach 5000 QV, Auto Italia, Brooklands

The second production Countach LP400S launched in 1978 https://www.psychoontyres.co.uk/had slightly reduced power, and only 181 mph top speed, but wheel arch extensions first seen on two cars commissioned by Canadian oil magnate and Formula One entrant Walter Wolf in 1977.

Lamborghini Countach 5000 QV, Auto Italia, Brooklands

1982 saw the introduction of the 500 S with a 4.8 litre / 292 cui motor which took the top speed back up to 186 mph and acceleration times back to the same level as the original LP400.

Lamborghini Countach 5000 QV, Auto Italia, Brooklands

In 1985 the 5000 QV with four valve cylinder heads was launched and a larger 5.2 litre / 315 cui motor as used in the, LM 002 SUV, which increased the power to well over 440hp taking the rest to 62,5 mph time below 5 seconds to 4.9 seconds bettered only by the Evoluzione which managed the same test in 4.2 seconds and prototype twin turbo 400S which got to 62.5 mph in 3,6 seconds with over 700 hp available.

Lamborghini Countach 5000 QV, Auto Italia, Brooklands

Today’s featured car is a 1987 5000 quattrovalvole but without either the optional rear wing which took at least 10 mph off the top speed, or the dreadful seemingly Ferrari Testarossa inspired side skirts running between the front and rear wheels.

Lamborghini Countach 5000 QV, Auto Italia, Brooklands

For 1988 designer Horacio Pagani was commissioned to rework Gandini’s original Countach lines into a model celebrating Lamborghini’s first 25 years of production. The 25th Anniversary edition Countach remained in production until 1990 when it was replaced by the Diablo. By 1992 2,042 Countachs of all types had been manufactured it remains significantly rarer than the Ferrari 512 BB of which 2,323 were produced from 1973 to 1984 and Ferrari Testarossa variants of which over 10,000 were manufactured from 1985 to 1996.

Thanks for joining me on this “Estremamente Bella Donna” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at what is going on with Brighton Speed Trials. Wishing all GALPOT readers and contributors a Happy, Healthy and prosperous new year, don’t forget to come back now !

Brighton Speed Trials Under Threat of Permanent Cancellation !

In their infinite wisdom, Brighton & Hove City Council are seeking to ban the Brighton Speed Trials from 2014.

If you care about speed and or motorsport history, please sign this linked petition to save Brighton Speed Trials in 2014 and beyond.

It’s a faf to Register before signing, but relatively painless compared to loosing the event which has been run with few interruptions since 1905.

You do not need to be resident in Brighton or even the UK to sign.

Thanks and please spread the word through whatever social media you have at your disposal.


Long Lost – Wolf 1979 Series

Wolf Racing was founded by Canadian Oil Magnet Walter Wolf in 1977 after an ill feted start made in partnership with Frank Williams in 1976.

Wolf / Fittipaldi, Cotwold MM

The Wolf team with Dr Harvey Postlethwaite designing the cars came flying right out of the box in Argentina 1977 scoring a debut win with Jody Scheckter at the wheel of the Wolf WR1. Scheckter impressed further by driving to two more wins in 1977. The 1977 series Wolf design ran WR1 – WR3 same as the chassis numbers.

During the following season the second series Wolf WR4 – WR6, with ground effects side pods that were all the rage in 1978, was less impressive and Jody, who had been courted by Ferrari well before his Wolf contract was up, left to join the red team from Maranello.

Wolf/Fittipaldi, Cotswold MM

The third series Wolf, which ran WR7 to WR9, apparently seen here at The Cotswold Motoring Museum, was designed by Dr Harvey Postlethwaite who had been reunited with former Hesketh driver James Hunt for the 1979 season.

As ironic luck would have it former Wolf driver Jody Scheckter would go on to win the 1979 World Drivers Championship in his first season with Ferrari while ex World Champion James Hunt quit the Wolf Team after the Monaco Grand Prix having struggled to qualify better than 10th in seven races and scored one 8th place finish and six retirements.

Wolf / Fittipaldi, Cotwold MM

Keke Rosberg took over the driving duties for the rest of the year but with no improvement in the teams performance Walter Wolf sold his team onto the equally struggling Fittipaldi brothers at the end of 1979.

Walter Wolf kept one of the third series cars while Fittipaldi upgraded the remaining two cars into Fittipaldi F7 spec with a centre post rear wing and heavily revised side pods with out the rear flick ups and built a third F7 from scratch.

Wolf / Fittipaldi, Cotwold MM

The Fittipaldi F7 cars all but disappeared from public view in the early 80’s. According to the museum description provided by the cars owner Andrew Smith by 1982 the Fittipaldi Team was in administration and all of the teams assets were acquired by ADA Engineering.

Andrew a James Hunt fan, and former Mini racer, saw WR7 race, with Keke Rosberg driving, at Silverstone in 1979 and bought the car from ADA Engineering with a Cosworth DFV engine. Some of the third series Wolf style body work, and unique ’79 Monaco spec twin element front wings have been refitted to this chassis which still has F7 running gear, a Fittipaldi in Wolf clothing.

At this moment there are inconsistencies in the accounts as to which third series Wolf chassis became which Fittipaldi F7 chassis. Not having seen which, if any, chassis plate this particular vehicle, seen at the Cotswold Motoring Museum, is carrying I cannot be sure exactly which, of the two Wolf chassis or three Fittipaldi chassis this is.

If you have evidence as to which of the Wolf third series chassis were transformed into the Fittipaldi F7 series chassis please chime in below or send me an e-mail to the address which appears at the very bottom of the blog page.

My thanks to Steve Holter, and Norman Jones from The Nostalgia Forum for their contributions to today’s blog.

Hope you have enjoyed todays Wolf edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ and that you will join me again tomorrow for a look at a world champions daily driver that is coming up for auction on Saturday. Don’t forget to come back now !