Tag Archives: Zasada

Star Cars – Classic Motor Show NEC Birmingham

Last weekend I popped up to Birmingham for the Classic Motor Show at the National Exhibition Centre NEC, where some 1,700 classic vehicles were on display with another 300 classic motor cycles.

Dodge Charger R/T, Ford Mustang GT, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham,

Many of the exhibitors went with a film & tv star theme, of the Highland Green Ford Mustang GT’s and Black Dodge Chargers these two above endeavoured to recreate the scene from Bullitt where Steve McQueen sends the baddies into a gas station to meet their maker.

Ford Cortina 1600E, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham,

When I bought my first car, a FIAT, it had no external mirrors so the first thing I added to it was a pair of these. These mirrors were not originally supplied with the Ford Cortina 1600E either but the casting crew for the film “Made in Dagenham” over looked this detail.

Ford Escort 1850 GT, Classic Motor Show, NEC Birmingham

Polish European Rally Champion Sobiesław Zasada and Marek Wachowski shared this #14 Ford Escort 1850 GT on the London to Mexico World Cup Rally in 1970 in which they finished 8th. It featured in the Ford documentary of the event “Five for the Fiesta“. This is one of two survivors from the six car Ford Escort team the other being the winning #18 car driven by Hannu Mikkola and Gunnar Palm.

Rover 827, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham,

This Rover 827Si entered service with the Metropolitan Police in 1990 and remained in service with them until after a 151,000 miles it was sold to a TV company. It has subsequently appeared in the TV crime series The Bill and Inspector Wexford. In 2001 it was sold to it’s current owner a serving Police Officer who took her advanced pursuit driving test in one of these and drove many just like it in the early years of her career. It is thought to be the last fully equipped Police Rover 827Si a model which was to become the last British built police car to serve in the UK, excluding Land Rover and Range Rover models.

Sunbeam Alpine Mk III, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham,

The side pipe on this Hillman Alpine Mk III caught my eye, the owner fitted it because the original pipes that wound their way around the back axle caused condensation to form under the body panels and when the condensation got warm it accelerated the rate of rusting. This car appeared in the films “Trial By Combat” with Sir John Mills, “After The War” TV mini series with Adrian Lukis and “The Moving Finger” Episode of Miss Marple with Emelia Fox.

Rolls Royce Silver Cloud 1, Classic Motor Show, NEC Birmingham

Finally the Rolls Royce Silver Cloud above appeared in the films The Fast Lady and Carry On Doctor, driven in both films by James Robertson Justice,when it was painted black and in the current two tone livery in the TV Series Heartbeat and The Royal.

Thanks for joining me on this “Star Cars” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me tomorrow when I’ll be looking at Junior Johnson’s ’63 Chevrolet Impala SS. Don’t forget to come back now !


The Striped One – Porsche 911 SC Safari

In 1978 the Martini sponsored works Porsche team produced two variants of the 911 to take outright victories in events which the model had not won, the first was the 750hp Porsche 935 78 known as Moby Dick which was designed to win the Le Mans 24 hours, it finished fourth, and the second was the 300hp Porsche 911 SC Safari, featured today, which was designed to win the Safari Rally in Kenya. The 911 SC Safari that stands nearly one foot off the ground is without question one of my favourite rally cars, it’s the one car in which James Bond’s Martini is guaranteed to arrive well shaken but not stirred.

Porsche 911 SC Safari, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

As we saw on Saturday by 1970 the 911 had proved itself in the snowy conditions of Sweden and the tarmac conditions of a dry Monte Carlo rally with Bjorn Waldegård at the wheel, it’s smaller 912 sibling had won the European Rally Championship with Sobiesław Zasada at the wheel, the only thing missing from the 911’s curriculum vitae was a win a respected ‘loose surface’ rally like the Safari Rally. This absence was not for lack of trying a 911 covered in ‘kanga’roo bars was driven by Sobiesław Zasada in the 1968 London to Sydney Marathon and sensationally worked it’s way up from 13th to 4th position on the final Australian leg of the 7000 mile rally.

Porsche 911 SC Safari, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

In 1971 Waldegård driving a works 911 looked set for a win on the East African Safari Rally until he was blinded by dust from his team mate Zasada while trying to over take him on the road and ended up crashing out while Zsada survived to finish 5th. In 1974 Bjorn came home second in the East African Safari driving a 911 RS and it was not until 1978 that Porsche returned to East Africa with a two car team that included today’s featured #14 car driven by Vic Preston Jnr. Team mate Waldegård, who won the 1977 edition of the Safari driving a Ford, returned to Zuffenhasen to drive the similar #5 911 SC.

Porsche 911 SC Safari, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

The roads used on the Safari in 1978 were mostly graded tracks, tarmac is rarely used because the population is sparsely distributed and the intense daily short bursts of rain in the rainy season would likely as not wash tarmac away in abrasive currents of subsequent surface water drainage. The ’78 Safari was run in wet conditions but the competition between the Porsche, Datsun now Nissan, and Peugeot teams remained close. Waldegård and H Thorszelius led the first leg but then a rock damaged the suspension and they could only recover a 4th place finish.

Porsche 911 SC Safari, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

Vic Preston Jnr and J Lyall finished second in today’s featured car behind the Peugeot 504 V6 of Jean Pierre Nicolas and Jean Todt J-C Lefebvre. The winners finished the timed sections with the fastest times overall only to crash in to an unexpectedly U turning vehicle on the untimed road section back to the ceremonial finish line in Niarobi. The Peugeot was badly damaged but the occupants unharmed. After repairs Nicolas managed to drive to the finish with a holed radiator.

Porsche 911 SC Safari, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

Ironically Jean Pierre Nicholas with Vincent Laverne win in the 1978 Monte Carlo Rally driving a superceded Porsche 911 Carrera RSR meant that Porsche maintained their lead in the World Rally Championship. By the seasons end a privately entered Porsche in San Remo had scored one additional podium finish for the Zuffenhausen marque in the World Rally Championship as the works team involvement was aimed solely at winning the prestigious Safari. The 4th place final championship placing was edged by 1978 champions FIAT, Ford, for whom Bjorn also drove in 1978 and Opel, each of these teams had elected pass on the extreme endurance test of the Safari in Kenya.

Porsche 911 SC Safari, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

The 1978 Safari was the last World Championship Rally the works team entered although some years later the Porsche name would return with Prodrive prepared cars. With no prospect of rallying regulations turning to favor a Porsche entry it would appear the marque which has dominated so many other area’s of the sport is destined to never win the Safari Rally. In 2011 Waldegård driving a 1972 Porsche 911 2.4 prepared by Francis Tuthill did win the classic version of the Safari Rally, a small consolation for the man and the marque.

The following season Martini shifted the main focus of it’s motorsports sponsorship to the Lotus formula one team.

Thanks for joining me on this “The Striped One” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at some Formula One Automobillia. Don’t forget to come back now !


Nathan D. Muir – Porsche 912

From the outset an entry level Porsche based on the 911 model was planed to be fitted with a four cylinder motor to replace the Porsche 356 when production of the older model ceased in April 1965.

Porsche 912, Bristol

The new model was originally known internally as the 902 but after problems with the 901 model designation with Peugeot the new model was always publicly known as the 912, not to be confused with the Porsche project number 912 which referred to the flat 12 racing motors used to power the Porsche 917 racing cars.

Porsche 912, Bristol

Initial ideas for the 4 cylinder motor to be used in the 912 model included building a four cylinder version of the 6 cylinder 911 motor and an enlarged version of the 4 cylinder motor used in the Porsche 356 but eventually it was decided to lower the compression ratio of the original Porsche 356 motor and fit Solex carburettors of the 1582cc / 96.5 cui motor to produce 90hp.

Porsche 912, Bristol

To keep the costs down some of the standard features of the 911 were deleted from the 912, which outsold the 911 until the 912s production facilities were turned over to the Porsche VW 914-6 for the 1970 model year.

Porsche 912, Bristol

Although not as potent as it’s bigger 130 hp sibling the 912s lighter motor meant the smaller engine car had slightly improved handling which proved useful to Polish Porsche privateer Sobiesław Zasada who won the 1967 European Rally championship in his Porsche 912 which included an outright win in the 1967 Polish Rally.

Porsche 912, Bristol

A Porsche 912 was also entered in the 1967 Spa 24 hours for Hans Finke and Jean Sage, it qualified 33rd but failed to finish after an issue with the oil radiator. In 1968 Swiss duo James Bernard Fortmann and Urs-Peter Dietrich could not get with in 10 seconds of the qualifying time set by Finke and Sage at Spa the previous year but still started the ’68 edition of the Spa 24 hours in 51st and managed to bring their 912 home in 25th place.

Porsche 912, Bristol

Fans of Robert Redford may remember him staring in the 2001 thriller Spy Game, in the film Redford’s character Nathan D. Muir drives a Porsche 912, though it appears to be dubbed with a 911 engine sound except in the alternate ending version on DVD. More on how the 912 came to be chosen for filming on this link.

Porsche 912, Bristol

Regular readers may remember that a couple of years ago I featured a Porsche 912 in need of some TLC, I caught up with the car seen above again at the end of last year.

Porsche 912, Bristol

The transformation from junk yard dog to a 912 Carrera looks cool, officially the car is still listed as having it’s original size 1582cc / 96.5 cui motor.

Thanks for joining me on this Nathan D. Muir edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be featuring a couple of 1966 French Porsche advertisements. Don’t forget to come back now !


Awaiting TLC – Porsche 912

From 1965 to 1969 around 30,000 entry level Porsche 912’s were sold, featuring the body of the then all new Porsche 911 with the 90 horsepower motor from the old Porsche 356.

In 1967 well known Polish Porsche privateer Sobiesław Zasada won the European Rally Championship in his 912 fitted with a factory supplied rally kit.

The 912 was replaced by the 914 allegedly built in a not so harmonious collaboration with Volkswagen from 1970 – 1976.

In 1976 914’s were temporarily replaced in the the Porsche line up by 2099 additional 912 E’s, with 911 G series bodies and 2 litre engines from the ill feted 914/4, built exclusively for the US market until the arrival of the water cooled Porsche 924.

Porsche 912’s are easily recognisable when looking at the engine, they only have 4 cylinders instead of the 6 of the 911.

This particular model was on it’s way to the Porschmode Specialist body shop for some long overdue TLC when I happened on it at the end of last year.

Hope you have enjoyed today’s in need of TLC edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ and that you’ll join me again tomorrow for a look at one of the most outrageous Porsches ever built by the factory. Don’t forget to come back now !