Monday, 25 February 2013

Porsche 550 RS

The Porsche 550 RS was the first Porsche which was specifically designed to be raced and was produced from 1953 to 1956. I came across two of the cars in July 1994 at the Coys International Historic Festival meeting at Silverstone. The first, and older car was amongst the group of cars destined for the auction which took place on the Saturday evening of the weekend-long event:

The second car was in the Porsche Owners Club area:

This Wikipedia article tells you about the car, and as it says it was a Porsche 550 RS which film star James Dean was driving when he had his fatal accident on 30th September 1955.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Friday's Ferrari

This is a car seen at the Silverstone Classic meeting in July 2010 - a recreation of the 1961 Ferrari 156 F1 car, usually referred to as the 'sharknose'.
In the 1950s and 1960s it was common for Ferrari to destroy their F1 cars once they had come to the end of their useful lives and this is what happened to the 'sharknose' cars of 1961 and 1962. This car was recreated by the Belgian Jan Biekens and why and how he did so is told in this YouTube video.
The car is painted in the yellow racing colours of Belgium to represent the car driven by Olivier Gendebien in the 1961 Belgian Grand Prix in which he finished fourth - the Ferrari team cars filling the first four places.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013


Manchester appears to be at a crossroads of air corridors passing north-south and east-west across Britain. On a clear day there's usually a few contrails to be seen and here's a photograph I took at about 7.30 last Saturday when the otherwise cloudless sky appeared to be covered with them. I think it's the atmospheric conditions which determine how long they last and I counted over 30 ranging from ones in the process of being formed to some which had spread out and had obviously been there for a considerable time.
The view is looking more or less due east from the old railway bridge on Dowson Road in Hyde.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Alfa Romeo BAT concept cars

The BAT here is nothing to do with Batman and Robin, it stands for Berlinetta Aerodinamica Tecnica and refers to a trio of cars built in 1953,1954 and 1955 in a joint project by Alfa Romeo and the Italian coachbuilding firm Bertone. I remember seeing photographs of these cars in the mid-1950s and how futuristic they looked compared to the likes of the Morris Oxford, Ford Anglia and Vauxhall Velox which were around at that time. Nearly forty years later, at the Coys International Historic Festival meeting at Silverstone in 1994, I photographed the three cars when they were part of the auction which Coys held on the Saturday evening of the weekend-long meeting.
The BAT 5 from 1953

The BAT 7 from 1954

The BAT 9 from 1955

This Wikipedia article tells the story of the three cars, and also the BAT 11 which was built many years later in 2008.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Friday's Ferrari

Today's photograph is one taken at the Ferrari Owners Club area at the Coys International Historic Festival meeting at Silverstone in July 1994.
The car on the right is a 1951 Ferrari 340MM and the one on the left has the looks of a Ferrari 750 Monza or a 500 Mondial from the mid-1950s, but is possibly a replica.

Note April 2015: says that the car on the right is a 1951 Ferrari 340 America Coupe Vignale, serial number 0082A.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013


Deuteranomaly is apparently the most common type of colour blindness. According to Wikipedia: "These individuals have a mutated form of the medium-wavelength (green) pigment. The medium-wavelength pigment is shifted towards the red end of the spectrum resulting in a reduction in sensitivity to the green area of the spectrum." Which means that these people have problems differentiating between red and green. The following photograph was taken at the Coys International Historic Festival meeting at Silverstone in July 1999.
Both cars were built (early 1930s and early 1960s) at a time when, by and large, racing cars were painted in their national racing colours. The green car is an Italian (racing colours: red) Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza, and the red car is a British (racing colours: green) Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Friday's Ferrari

Today's car is the Ferrari 250GT California Spyder. As the name suggests, it was built for the North American market.
This car is pictured at the Coys International Historic Festival meeting at Silverstone in July 1999, although it's not shown in the programme as being entered in any of the races.

Note April 2015: This car is serial number 2383GT.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Guernsey Folklore and Grandson Edward

This is really just an excuse to post another photograph of our grandson Edward, born on 14 December last year.
If you're wondering what Guernsey Folklore has to do with little Edward, read what his mother, Anna, wrote in her daily blog on 12 March 2012 (particularly the final paragraph) just 9 months and 2 days before Edward was born.

Makes you think, doesn't it?

Monday, 4 February 2013

Sadler Sports Cars

The Sadler was a sports car designed and built by Canadian born Bill Sadler in the 1950s. This is the Sadler MkIII of Julian Mazjub pictured in the paddock at Oulton Park after winning the Hawthorn International Trophy race at the Hawthorn Memorial Trophies race meeting organised by the VSCC at Oulton Park in June 2008.
And here is Julian Mazjub pictured at Britten's Chicane during his victorious drive.

I remember what was probably the first occasion on which a Sadler participated in a race at Oulton Park, in the late 1950s I think, although my memory doesn't tell me which meeting it was or the date. I seem to recall that it was a club meeting, either the Mid-Cheshire Motor Racing Club or the Lancashire and Cheshire Car Club, and was probably in 1957. I took the grainy photograph below with my trusty Brownie 127 camera.
Judging by the information here it appears to be the original Sadler MkI, probably after the original Triumph TR2 engine had been replaced with a Chevrolet V8 engine.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Friday's Ferrari

This is another of the cars in the special Ferrari display at the Coys International Historic Festival meeting at Silverstone in July 1997. The board in front of the car reads:

FERRARI 712 Can-Am

This article, originally in and reproduced in the Ferrari Owners Club site, gives the history of the car. The serial number of the car is 1010.