Monday, 31 March 2014

Kurtis SX500

Frank Kurtis, born in 1908, was an American racing car designer who founded the Kurtis Kraft company in 1908. He started by building midget cars, later going on to build many cars for the Indianapolis 500 race and a number of sports cars using Ford running gear. I remember particularly the Indianapolis cars from when I was beginning to read about motor sport in the early 1950s. Kurtis sports cars are occasionally seen at historic race meetings in England and the Kurtis SX500 pictured below took part in the Hawthorn Memorial Trophies race meeting organised by the VSCC at Oulton Park in June 2008.

Here's the car, driven by Kerry Horan, at Britten's Chicane during the Hawthorn International Trophy race for 1950s sports cars.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Friday's Ferrari

This is a photograph I took at the Christie's International Historic Festival meeting at Silverstone in July 1992 in the Ferrari Owners Club area.
The car appears to be an open version of the Ferrari 275 GTB and the only open version seems to be the 275 GTB/4 NART Spyder. Only ten of these cars were built and this is what Wikipedia has to say about the car:
'A 275 GTB/4 N.A.R.T. Spyder version was only available from a single American dealer, Luigi Chinetti. He asked Sergio Scaglietti and Enzo Ferrari to build a few Spyder versions of the 275 GTB/4, which he bought for approximately $8,000 each; N.A.R.T. stood for Chinetti's North American Racing Team. It was to be a custom run of 25 cars straight from Scaglietti, but just 10 were built in 1967 and 1968, making this one of the most valuable Ferraris. The ten NART Spiders used chassis numbers 09437, 09751, 10139, 10219, 10249, 10453, 10691, 10709, 10749, and 11057.
In August 2013, a 1967 275GTB/4 (chassis #10709), owned by the late Eddie Smith of Lexington, North Carolina, sold for US$27.5 million at auction in California. This was a one owner car that, while was not driven daily, was driven on a regular basis. It had remained in the Smith Family for 45 years.
The NART driven by Faye Dunaway in the 1968 film The Thomas Crown Affair, was serial number 09437, the first produced. It came second in its class in the 1967 12 Hours of Sebring before being repainted and used for the movie. In August 2005, it fetched $3.96 million at auction.'

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Austin 6cwt Pickup

This is a vehicle photographed in September 1995 at Heaton Park at the Trans Lancs Historic Vehicle Rally organised by the Greater Manchester Transport Society.
It appears to be a Morris ¼ ton Pickup, but you can see that it's got an Austin badge and is the much rarer Austin 6cwt Pickup. Both Morris and Austin were part of the British Motor Corporation (BMC) together with MG, Riley and Wolseley. The British car-buying public had a tendency of loyalty to a particular marque and most BMC models were marketed bearing the badge of more than one of the traditional marques.

Monday, 24 March 2014

American Fords

I've previously shown photographs of a 1958 Chevrolet Corvette and other Chevrolets which took part in the Independence Day Race at the HSCC Summer Race Meeting at Oulton Park on 4th July 1992. Here are photographs of some of the Fords which took part in that race.
This is a 1963 Ford Galaxie, entered and driven in the race by Rob Sherring
This is the 1964 Ford Falcon of Leonidas Voyazides
This is another 1964 Ford Falcon, this time that of David Courtley
Yet another 1964 Ford Falcon, this one belonging to Dennis Clark
The 1965 Ford Shelby Mustang GT350 of Ralph Avis
The programme shows a blue 1969 Shelby Mustang entered in the race by Mark Pollard, but whether this is that car before the race number '16' was applied I don't know.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Friday's Ferrari

This car appeared in the Visage Pre '72 Le Mans Car Race at the Coys International Historic Festival meeting at Silverstone in August 1996, entered by David Piper and driven by the singer Chris Rea. It's shown in the programme as a 1965 Ferrari P1 with an engine capacity of 3998cc. I've looked for this car in and it looks as if it's a 365 P2, serial number 0824, about which there's a note saying: 'David Piper owns two P1 with the chassis number 0824. One has a new frame (built in 90) and one uses the original frame (finished in 98)' 

That's David Piper standing at the side of the car

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Nissan R90CK

The Donington Park SeeRed meeting in September 2007 included a race for Group C and GTP Sports Cars. One of the cars which took part in the race was this 1990 Nissan R90CK.
In the pit garage before the start of practice
At McLean's Corner during the practice session, driven by Nick Randall
Nick Randall during the race, at Redgate Corner

Monday, 17 March 2014

Pacey Hassan Bentley

One of the cars contesting the Boulogne Trophy Race at the VSCC meeting at Oulton Park in May 2005 was the one pictured below.
It's a 1929 Bentley fitted with a 4½ litre engine and known as the Pacey Hassan Bentley. It was driven in the race by the owner Julian Majzub, shown below at Britten's Chicane.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Friday's Ferrari

I've mentioned before that the first race meeting I ever attended was the 1955 British Empire Trophy event at Oulton Park and in this race there were two Ferrari 750 Monzas, one driven by Mike Sparken and the other by Luigi Piotti. 
This Ferrari 750 Monza, which took part in the Louis Vuitton '50s Sports Car Race at the Coys International Historic Festival meeting at Silverstone in July 1995 was entered by Tom Walduck and driven in the race by Kerry McSwan. It's serial number is 0504M and is the car which was driven by Mike Sparken in that 1955 race at Oulton Park.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014


We spent a few days in Guernsey last week visiting our grandson Edward again and here are a few of the photographs of the trip.
Cobo Bay looking a bit more peaceful after the storms and high tides they've had there recently
The donkey and the cow are the national animals of Guernsey and here is Edward sitting on a donkey at Pembroke Bay on the north-east coast of Guernsey. Why it's disguised as a tiger I don't know.  Edward has just started to walk and here he's wearing his first pair of shoes.
He's managing very well with the new shoes and here he's on the beach running to daddy.
Don't know if he's trying to take mummy's sunglasses for himself or if he prefers her without them.
The following day we went to Pleinmont in the south-west of the island and here is La Table Des Pions, otherwise known as 'The Pleinmont Fairy Ring'.

For longer hikes, or when he doesn't feel like walking.
On the beach at Vazon Bay after lunch at La Grande Mare.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Frazer Nash Cabriolet

I saw this car at the Coys International Historic Festival meeting at Silverstone in July 1999 amongst the Frazer Nash Car Club vehicles. I didn't recognise the car as one of the standard Frazer Nash models and I see from the Frazer Nash Postwar Production record that the car is a Cabriolet model, originally delivered to an Alan L Marshall in November 1950. The chassis number is 421/100/116 and it's described as a 'Special long wheelbase car. Fritz Fiedler's "dream car".' Fritz Fiedler joined Frazer Nash from BMW in 1947 and was responsible for the development of the post-war Frazer Nash before returning to BMW 3 years later. The Cabriolet has apparently got a 1971cc Bristol engine.

Friday, 7 March 2014

Friday's Ferrari

This is a car which was entered in the Inter-Marque Championship race at the Aston Martin Owners Club's 'Autumn Historic Car Races' meeting at Oulton Park in September 1993.
It appears to be a Ferrari 250 GTO but the programme shows it just as a Ferrari GTO of 1971, and as the 250 GTO was only made between 1962 and 1964 it's presumably a replica.
The programme shows that the car was entered in the race by Ron Cody and driven by Gary Pearson.

This is Gary Pearson during the Inter-Marque Championship race at Foulstons Chicane (now known as Britten's).

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Aston Martin DB2/4 Mark II Spyder

On the Talacrest display at the Coys International Historic Festival meeting at Silverstone in July 1995 was this 1956 Aston Martin DB2/4 Mark II Spyder with bodywork by Carrozzeria Touring of Milan. It's one of three cars built by Touring which are detailed on these two websites, by and

Monday, 3 March 2014


I've shown several sets of photographs previously of cars which took part in the Thoroughbred Grand Prix Championship race at the SeeRed meeting at Donington Park in September 2006, and typing 'Thoroughbred Grand Prix Championship' in the 'search' box on the right will display all these. Today's photographs are of the two Tyrrell cars which took part in the race at this meeting and also one which was in the pit garage but didn't take part in the meeting.
This car, here in the parc fermé, is the Tyrrell 001 which Jackie Stewart drove in the latter part of the 1970 season, and this is what says about this car:
'In the 1969 F1 season the winning formula proved to be Ken Tyrrell as team manager, Jackie Stewart as driver, a Cosworth engine and a Matra chassis. For 1970 Matra refused to supply chassis to Tyrrell, and renewed their V12 program to field a complete Matra package for that season. Tyrrell was well aware of the advantages of the Cosworth DFV engine, and preferred it over the French V12. Fortunately Max Mosley's March had just launched a customer Formula 1 car, which Tyrrell prepared for his protege to drive in the opening rounds of the season. The performance of the March 701 was lackluster at best, but it bought the team some time to come with something more competitive.
In complete secrecy designer Frank Gardner worked on a completely new car for Stewart to drive. Halfway through the season the wraps were taken off the Tyrrell 001 at a non championship race at Oulton Park. It was a complete surprise to the attending crowd and Tyrrell's competitors for that matter, but a new Formula 1 constructor was born. In its design the first Tyrrell very much resembled the Matra MS80 used the year before, with its obvious coke-bottle shaped monocoque chassis. The most distinctive feature of the 001 was the hammerhead style front wing, which covered the radiator intake.
At the Italian Grand Prix, the Tyrrell 001 made its competition debut, but technical problems forced Stewart to turn to the March for the qualification and race. He used the Tyrrell for the final three races of the season, all of which he started from the first row. Unfortunately new car hiccups forced the Tyrrell to retire on all three occasions, but its potential was clear. Based on the 001, two new chassis were constructed for Stewart and Francois Cevert to drive in 1971. With these 003 and 002, respectively, Tyrrell won the first Constructor's and Stewart his second Driver's Championship.'
Here is the car, driven by American John Delane, at Redgate Corner during practice at Donington Park.

This is the other Tyrrell in the Thoroughbred Grand Prix Championship race at Donington Park, and it's the 1978 Tyrrell 008, seen here during a practice session at Redgate Corner driven by Andrea Bahlsen. says about this car:
'Tyrrell went back to 'normal' with the 008 after the six wheel P34 used in the 1976 and 1977 Formula 1 seasons. It was the first Tyrrell designed by Maurice Philippe and the last to feature the ELF sponsorship used on all previous Tyrrells.
Young French driver Patrick Depaillier took his first victory at Monaco in this chassis after finishing second in the season opening Kyalami Grand Prix. He went on the score another second place in the Austrian Grand Prix. It was replaced in 1979 by Tyrrell's first ground effects car, the 009.'

This is the Tyrrell at Donington Park that didn't take part in the race. It's the 1997 Tyrrell 025 which had such a disappointing season in the hands of Jos Verstappen and Mika Salo.