Friday, 31 January 2014

Friday's Ferrari

I've shown photographs previously from the Ferrari & Maserati Festival of Racing Meeting at Donington Park in May 2003, showing the Ferrari F355, F360, and 308 & 328 models. Here are photographs showing two Ferrari 348s which also competed in races at the meeting.
This is the 348 entered by and driven by Ian Tuite-Sterling in the Pirelli Maranello Ferrari Challenge race
This is the 348 entered and driven by Nick Taylor in the Ferrari Formula Classic race

Wednesday, 29 January 2014


Founded in 1979 by Giancarlo Minardi, the Minardi competed in the Formula One World Championship from 1985 till 2005 and you can read the story of the Minardi team here. Giancarlo Minardi sold the team in 2001 and it eventually became what is currently Toro Rosso, half of Red Bull's four-car team. One of the original Minardi F1-185 cars took part in the Thoroughbred Grand Prix Championship in 2006 and the two photographs below were taken at the Donington Park SeeRed meeting in September 2006. Other cars in this Championship I've previously shown are Arrows, Brabham, Lotus and McLaren.

Here is the car in the pit garage at Donington
At Redgate Corner driven by Rodrigo Gallego and followed by Dean Lanzante's McLaren MP4/1-6 and Nico Bindels' Lotus 87B/3

Monday, 27 January 2014

ERAs at Donington

In the programme for the SeeRed meeting at Donington Park in September 2004 is a piece about the ERA which starts off as follows:

'Considering the English Racing Automobiles only made 17 cars over a five-year period in the 1930s - plus a couple of not-altogether-succesful grand prix designs - the mystique that surrounds the three-ringed ERA logo might appear disproportionate. But the fact that all but four of those 17 cars are present this weekend is a clue to what makes the ERA story so unique. Like that other British design icon, the Supermarine Spitfire, the ERA has come to symbolise success in the face of fearsome odds. But unlike the Spitfire, the ERA has continued to do its job almost without a break since its genesis in the 1930s, and ERAs have been raced in every decade over the last 70 years.'

On 29 October 2012 I showed photographs of five ERAs at Oulton Park and mentioned the ERA website detailing the history of all the cars. Here are three photographs I took of some of the cars at the Donington meeting and although I didn't make a note of which of the cars they were at the time, I've tried to identify them now. One of the events at the meeting was 'A 70th Anniversary Race for ERAs and ERA-engined Racing Cars', but not all the cars took part in the race.

The cars in the above photograph appear to be (from right to left):
R2B    One of Prince Bira's White Mouse Stable's cars and given the name 'Remus'. R2B wasn't entered in the 70th anniversary race at the meeting and was owned at that time by Narissa Chakrabongse.
R12B   Another of the White Mouse Stable's cars and this one is 'Hanuman II'. In 2004 it was owned by David H Wenman, and driven in the ERA race by Tony Stephens.
R11B   Named 'Humphrey', owned in 2004 by Martin Morris and driven in the race by David Morris.
R4A     Driven in the ERA race by the owner Jost Wildbolz.
R5B   The third of the White Mouse Stable cars and named 'Remus', as the twin of 'Romulus'. Driven at Donington by the then owner Ludovic Lindsay.
NB: The three White Mouse Stable cars have the Siamese flag on the front corner of the engine cover, and R2B and R5B have a white mouse on the rear-view mirror fairing.

Here we've got (from left to right):
GP1    This E-Type ERA also took part in the race driven by the then owner (who still owns this car) Duncan Ricketts.
GP2    The second of the E-Types, but this one didn't take part in that day's race. It was then (and is still currently) owned by Ms L & Ms N Chapman according to the ERA Club website.
R12C   This car is named 'Hanuman' (have a look at the ERA website referred to above for the difference between 'Hanuman' and 'Hanuman II'). It was owned at that time by Bill Morris but driven in the race by Gregory Snape.

This photograph shows:
GP2     again.
R12C   again - this photograph was actually taken some time before the one above and seems to be R12C before it had the number '78' applied.
R9B     Then owned by Peter Mann but driven in the ERA race by John Ure.
R6B     A bit of a guess this, but it's a dark coloured car and I've come across a photograph of R6B at this meeting in approximately the position of this car in my photograph. It's a dark blue, almost black car which was driven that day by the owner, Ian Landy.
AJM1  The ERA website says about this car: 'Anthony J. Merrick prepared and raced R1A until its then owner sold the car.  Being without a car the resourceful Merrick shuffled his stock of genuine ERA parts and came up with AJM1. The 1980s brand new 1930s car is said to be an 80% original ERA B-type car using a 1.5litre engine and light green early works colour scheme.' It has since been painted red and was driven at Donington by the then owner, Rainer Ott.
ERA-Riley Special  Shown in the race programme as a 1936 car with a 2000cc engine and driven by the owner Keith Knight, but the only information I can find about this car is this reference to a book called 'Sporting Rileys, The Forgotten Champions' by David G Styles:
'The ERA / Riley
Keith Knight’s (in conjunction with Geoff Richardson) beautifully crafted, authentic, resurrection/re-creation of the later version of the Maclure/Richardson car is shown in the John Bateman article with ERA engine. (see also Dennis Jenkinson, Directory of Historic Racing Cars).'

Friday, 24 January 2014

Friday's Ferrari

On 6th December 2013 I showed photographs of a Ferrari 750S Monza displayed by Talacrest at the Coys International Historic Festival meeting at Silverstone in July 1995. Behind it was a 1975 Ferrari 312T and here are a couple of photographs of that car which I took on that day.

The car is serial number 024 75

The official Scuderia Ferrari site has this information about the car.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Ascari Ecosse

This is a car seen in the pit lane a Donington Park at the Richard Seaman Memorial Trophies meeting in May 2001. It's an Ascari Ecosse, designed by Lee Noble and made by Ascari Cars between 1998 and 1999. Ascari Cars was established in Dorset in 1995 and was named after the Italian racing driver of the 1950s, Alberto Ascari.

Monday, 20 January 2014

United Arab Emirates Airlines

Here's a couple of photographs I took of two aeroplanes on Wednesday last week within a couple of minutes of each other, one landing at, and the other taking off from, Manchester Airport. Aircraft landing at the airport come over our house at about 3,500 feet, and when going to eastern Europe and beyond double back after taking off and pass over at about 10,000 feet.

This is the first photograph, taken at 1:52pm. It's the Etihad Airways flight EY21 from Abu Dhabi and it's a Boeing 777-3FXER, registration A6-ETD.

This is the second photograph, taken at 1:54pm, and it's the Emirates flight EK18 to Dubai. This is an Airbus A380-861, registration A6-EDT.

What struck me about these planes was the similarity of the registration numbers, so much so that I had to check that I'd not written one of them down incorrectly.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Friday's Ferrari

This is a photograph of a car in the pit garage at Donington Park at the Richard Seaman Memorial Trophies meeting in June 2003.
It's a 1955 series 2 Ferrari 500 Mondial, serial number 0536MD, and you can read about it on this Kidston Cars website. At the Donington Park meeting it was entered in the Shell Historic Ferrari Maserati Challenge race by the Belgian owner Jan Biekens (although the programme entry says that he's from the Netherlands).

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Ford Model 'Y' Mistral

On the stand of the Ford Y & C Model Register at the 12th Northern Classic Car Show at G-Mex in Manchester in August 1993 was this car:
It's a 1935 Ford Model 'Y' Mistral and this is what the Ford Y & C Model Register says about the Mistral:

Model “Y” special bodied cars.
The launch of the Model “Y” coincided with the depth of the Great Depression following the Wall Street Crash of 1929. Money was scarce and Ford dealers faced major competition from traditional English makes. Their plight was not helped by Ford’s decision not to make an open-topped version of the Model “Y” as it was felt that, with a ladder-type chassis, the doors would fly open and the rigidity provided by an enclosed body was the only answer. In order to attract potential customers into their showrooms, the major dealers purchased rolling chassis from Dagenham and commissioned local coachbuilders to produce attractive open-topped bodies. As the coachbuilders were also suffering in the Depression, they were only too willing to take on the work. Some 24 different body styles have been identified. The more attractive ones created a demand and were sold in significant numbers, some of which have survived. The introduction of the cheaper, massed-produced Morris 8 Tourer in 1934 killed off the demand for these relatively expensive hand-built specials. Survivors include the Mistral tourer, built by Jensen Bros. Ltd. of West Bromwich and marketed by Bristol Street Motors, Birmingham.

Monday, 13 January 2014

A Car on the ASDA Car Park

Now that it's so easy to look up facts on the internet it's surprising where you can be led when you spot things that look a bit out of place and investigate them on your computer. I spotted a car in the car park at the local ASDA store the other day and whereas at one time I'd have just thought 'That's odd', on this occasion I decided to have a dig round to see what I could find out. What I saw was this Nissan Micra with an unusual looking number plate:
Here's an enlarged view of the number plate:
It doesn't appear to be a UK registration plate and the 'Belleville Bulls Ice Hockey Canada' seems to imply that it might be a Canadian plate. A look at the rear number plate, however, tells you otherwise:
This plate tells you that the car was registered in Northern Ireland, and 'CZ' is the county code for Belfast.

So far so good, but I decided to see what I could find out about the Belleville Bulls and found that they're a junior ice hockey team based in Belleville, Ontario and this site tells you all about them. 'Where's Belleville, Ontario?' I then asked myself and this Wikipedia article shows you that it's on the northern shore of Lake Ontario and gives you a great deal of information about the city, one of the 'notable residents' being Avril Lavigne.

There's also a sticker in the rear window of the car:
Manchester Phoenix are, not surprisingly, a Manchester ice hockey team based in Altrincham and formed in 2003 after the demise of Manchester Storm. I remember in the 1960s making occasional visits to watch the Altrincham Aces ice hockey team play at the old Altrincham ice rink in Devonshire Road.

Thanks to the owner of the car for allowing me an interesting couple of hours researching all this, and if you're from Belleville, Ontario you might be pleased to know that you've got a fan in this distant part of the world.

Friday, 10 January 2014

Friday's Ferrari

The first Ferrari 250TR (Testa Rossa) that I saw was one entered in the British Empire Trophy race at Oulton Park in April 1958 by the Equipe Nationale Belge. Here are photographs of two Testa Rossas seen in the pit garage at the Coys International Historic Festival meeting at Silverstone in July 1998.

This is the 1958 Testa Rossa of the Brazilian Carlos Monteverde. The serial number is 0738TR.

Also a 1958 model (and also left-hand drive) Italian Pietro Brigato's car, driven at Silverstone by Paolo Bozzetto. This car's serial number is 0758TR.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Ford GT40

I've previously posted photographs of the Ford GT40 on 27 November 2012 and 18 November 2013. Here are three more GT40s this time seen at the Silverstone Classic meeting in July 2010.

This is the 1965 model of Adrian Newey

This one is Chris Ball's 1969 model

Chris Buncombe's 1965 GT40

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Phil Everly

Phil Everly died last Friday. Phil and his brother Don, the Everly Brothers, were part of my middle-to-late teenage youth. Rest in peace Phil, I hope you've been reunited with your 'Ebony Eyes'.

The above video courtesy of YouTube

Monday, 6 January 2014

Lamborghini 350GT

Ferruccio Lamborghini was a manufacturer of tractors who was apparently so disappointed with the reliability of his Ferrari 250GT that he decided to set about making his own version of a supercar. The first model he produced was the 350GT and you can read about it in this article. The photograph below is one which I took of a Lamborghini 350GT at the SeeRed meeting at Donington Park in June 2003.
I don't know if it had an International Country Code Licence Plate on the back, but the vehicle registration number plate appears to be a Belgian one.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Friday's Ferrari

This is one of the cars at the Coys International Historic Festival meeting at Silverstone in July 1997 where the featured marque was Ferrari.
It's a 1947 Ferrari 166 Corsa Spyder, serial number 002C and, as this article by says, was converted in December 1947 from the Tipo 159 which won the 1947 Gran Premio di Torino.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

New Year's Day

Happy New Year to everyone!

When I first started work in 1960 New Year's Day most people worked on that day as it wasn't a Bank Holiday in England, although it was in Scotland. In Scotland New Year's Day has been a Bank Holiday since the Bank Holiday Act of 1871, and January 2nd was also made a Bank Holiday in 1974. So New Year has always been much more of a festive occasion in Scotland than in England.

I've spent several holidays in Scotland and in August 1996 we had a short holiday there, staying at Cleish near Edinburgh. Below is a drawing of Edinburgh Castle seen from The Grassmarket that we bought in Edinburgh that week.
If I remember correctly the drawing was done by a student at one of the Universities in Edinburgh who, as this paper attached to the back of the drawing says, was named Tan Jia En.
I didn't take a photograph from that point but below is a photograph I took from Castle Street which is just about opposite The Grassmarket on the other side of the castle.

And this is a photograph taken from almost the same place in 1963

Incidentally, my job when I started work was in the Civil Service and as well as the Christmas Day and Boxing Day holidays we had an extra day's leave which we could take on either Christmas Eve or the day after Boxing Day. A few years after I'd started work New Year's Day became one of the optional days Civil Servants could take at Christmas and was then made a Bank Holiday in England in 1974.