Thursday, 31 March 2016

Cooper T53

This is a photograph taken on practice day for the Aintree 200 race in April 1961.
It's the Cooper-Climax T53 (chassis #F1-7-61) of Rob Walker, driven (but only briefly) in the race by Stirling Moss. He had bearing troubles in practice, only qualifying in 23rd place on the grid, and his race only lasted till the second lap when the bearings eventually caused him to retire.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Aston Martin DB3S

Here's a scene in the pit lane during practice for the 2¼ hour long Gentleman Drivers GT and Sports Endurance Race at the HGPCA's Donington International Historic Grand Prix meeting at Donington Park in May 2004.
It's the 1956 Aston Martin DB3S shared in the race by David Bennett & Ted Rollason, and behind it are the 1964 MGB of Brian & Mark Lambert and the 1958 Elva MK IV of Simon Peach & Shaun Bromley. The DB3S is chassis DB3S/10 and I showed a photograph of it on 19 December 2012 at a race in 1993 at Oulton Park, when it was owned by Tony Smith, and on 21 January 2015 I showed a photograph of the Elva at this meeting. DB3S/10 wasn't one of the Aston Martin team which I pictured on 9 February 2015 at the Daily Herald International Trophy meeting at Oulton Park in 1956.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016


This car took part in the Chopard Grand Prix Cars Race at the Coys International Historic Festival meeting at Silverstone in July 1993.
It's a 1958 Vanwall, chassis VW10, owned at the time by Vijay Mallya - who later became leader of the consortium which ran the Force India F1 team.
The programme of the event said this about the Vanwall:

In 1957 and 1958 British Racing Green finally became the dominant colour in grand prix racing, thanks to the efforts of the Acton-based Vanwall team. After winning three of the last four world championship grands prix of 1957, the Colin Chapman designs were successful in six 1958 races, giving Tony Vandervell, the car's sponsor, the world F1 constructors' championship.
Only one of the original team cars was kept, and it is here at the Coys International Historic Festival. Acquired recently by Vijay Mallya, the Vanwall is entered at Silverstone with the incomparably experienced John Harper as driver, and he will be striving to ensure that its reputation among Formula 1 cars of the era is preserved.
For many racing enthusiasts at Silverstone today, the sight of the Vanwall being raced in anger once again will alone be worth the price of admission, and will bring memories flooding back to those who lived through the years when Britain was struggling to make her mark in the international grand prix arena.
There was a special display of cars, including the Vanwall, to mark the meeting's theme of British Racing Green.
I was fortunate enough to be at Aintree in 1957 when Stirling Moss and Tony Brooks shared the winning drive in a Vanwall when it became the first British car to win a World Championship Grand Prix.
This is the view other drivers most frequently got of the Vanwall in the 1958 season.
Here's John Harper in the race following closely behind the 1958 Maserati 250F of Lindsay Owen Jones at Luffield corner.

Monday, 28 March 2016

Maserati V8RI

On 3 June 2015 I showed a photograph of a Maserati V8RI that was in the Donington Park museum in May 1989. Only 4 of these cars were built, and the Donington Park car is serial number 4504. Here's a photograph of one of the other cars which I took six years later.
I took this photograph at the Richard Seaman Memorial Trophies meeting at Oulton Park in June 1993, and this one is chassis 4503, owned at the time by Doug Marr and driven on the day by Tony Merrick. This car was originally delivered to Phillipe Etancelin in February 1936 who drove the car to win the Pau Grand Prix in its first race and competed with it in most of the European Grands Prix that year. At the end of 1936 Etancelin took the car to the USA to compete in the Vanderbilt Cup where he finished in eighth place, but soon afterwards sold the car which remained in the USA until it was eventually brought to England and ended up in the hands of Doug Marr in the late 1970s.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Rolls Royce Phantom II

Here's a photograph taken of a car going up to the start line in the Exchange Station car park in Manchester at the start of the Manchester to Blackpool Veteran and Vintage Car Run in June 1991.
It's a 1930 Rolls Royce Phantom II and looking out of the front passenger seat is the late Les Dawson. The programme of the event said this about the car:

159.     1930 Rolls Royce Phantom II
             Reg: USV 694   6 cylinders    7668cc
             (Les Dawson, Lytham St Annes)
This Rolls is owned by Industrial Control
Services and Les Dawson will c0-drive it
on the Run with Peter Hall.

On 5 February 2015 I showed photographs of Les Dawson and this car at the 1987 Run.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Talbot 105

This car competed in one of the races at the VSCC's Richard Seaman Memorial Trophies meeting at Donington Park in May 2011.
It's Nicholas Pellett's 1931 Talbot 105, one of four cars (GO 51, GO 52, GO 53 & GO 54) campaigned by the Fox & Nicholl team in 1931 and 1932, finishing in 3rd place in the Le Mans 24 Hour Race in 1932. The car was sold in November 2006 by H&H Classic Car Auctions, in preparation for which they produced this history of the car.

Friday, 25 March 2016

Friday's Ferrari

Here's a photograph I took at the Christie's International Historic Festival meeting at Silverstone in July 1992.
It's a model I've featured a couple of times previously, on 9 November 2012 and 1 May 2015, and it's a 1956 Ferrari 860 Monza, serial number 0602M, owned at that time by David Cottingham. The photographs I showed previously were at the 1995 Silverstone meeting, but the 1992 event featured a Ferrari display, and the programme said this about the car:

25   860 Monza
In-line 4-cylinder engine; 3.4 litres; 310bhp at 6200 rpm;
ifs/double wishbones/transleaf springs. De Dion
rear/transleaf springs. Introduced 1955 for use by works
drivers. Following on from the 3-litre 750 Monza some of
the 860's were re-engined 750's but three, this car
included , were built as 860's. This car was instrumental
in bringing to Ferrari the 1956 World Sports Car
Championship in the hands of such drivers as Musso,
Castellotti, Fangio, Hawthorn.

Behind the 860 Monza is one of Ferrari's Fiat transporters, used by Scuderia Ferrari from 1959.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

MV Snowdrop

I took this photograph at Salford Quays in August 2015.
It's the Mersey Ferry, Snowdrop, in dazzle livery designed by Sir Peter Blake for the Liverpool Biennial Festival. Ships were originally given a dazzle camouflage livery during the First World War, not to hide them away, but to make it difficult for enemy U-boats to estimate their distance, speed and direction of travel. Snowdrop made a series of cruises from Liverpool to Salford Quays in August and September 2015.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Kieft F3

I've posted previous items about the 500cc Formula 3 racing cars from the 1940s and 1950s (type 'Formula 3' into the search box on the right) and here's another one from the HSCC's Historic Race Meeting at Oulton Park in June 2001.
It's Reg Hargrave's ex-Don Parker 1954 Kieft F3. Stirling Moss had a Kieft F3 at one point, and also a Cooper F3, but was beaten by Don Parker more than by any other driver. Statistically Don Parker was the most successful F3 driver of them all.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Japanese Cars

I've referred previously to the 'Observer's Book of Automobiles' that I had when I was much younger and assumed that it had been lost/given away sometime in the last 60 years or so. I came across it recently, however, and leafing through it again brought back a lot of memories. It's the 1955 edition and the vast majority of the manufacturers detailed in the book are from Europe or the USA but out of the 107 entries there's only one for Japan, that for Toyota as shown below.
Since then, of course, Japanese cars have become more and more popular and common on British roads, but below are photographs of some that I've seen on the roads of Hyde recently which are not quite so common.

This is a Mitsubishi GTO, and the registration plate suggests that it was first registered in 1993 or 1994.

Here's a Subaru WRX STI, and it would appear to be much younger than the (1999) 'T' registration plate suggests.

A Nissan 200SX from 1998/99, though the badge on the bonnet of the car suggests something different:

This is a Mitsubishi FTO, and the 'W' plate suggests it was first registered in 2000.

Monday, 21 March 2016


This is a photograph I took at the SeeRed meeting at Donington Park in June 2008 in the Vintage Car Park area on the inside of Redgate corner.
It's an Ansaldo, but apart from that I don't have any information about it - I knew the name but I'd never seen one before, and haven't seen one since either. The cars were made by the armaments concern Gio Ansaldo & Co from the end of the First World War until 1931, and this site gives you a bit of information about them.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Gordini T15

This car took part  the racing and also a track demonstration at the Coys International Historic Festival meeting at Silverstone in July 2000 to mark 50 years of Formula 1.
It's John Foster's 1949 Gordini T15, a Simca engined car that competed in Formula 1 racing from 1950 to 1953.
Here's the car setting out from the pits on the track demonstration run driven by former Matra and BRM driver Jean-Pierre Beltoise.

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Falling Educational Standards (4)

This is an update on the posts of 21 May 2014, 24 August 2015 and 13 January 2016 about numbers fixed to the fencing round a local school to help teach the children how to count. I noticed recently that there has been a new development since my last observation, as can be seen in the photograph below.
The number '1' and '3' are still there, but have been joined by what appear to me to be three shapes. They could just as easily be the numbers '1', '2', and '3' in some obscure language of the Indian subcontinent. According to Wikipedia, the Census of India 2001 found that India had 122 major languages and 1599 other languages.

Friday, 18 March 2016

Friday's Ferrari

On 23 October 2015 I showed photographs of a Ferrari Dino 246 GT that I had taken at the Aston Martin Owners Club's meeting at Oulton Park in May 2015. Here's a couple of photographs of another Ferrari Dino 246 GT I took at the same meeting.
Here's what the official Ferrari website has to say about the Dino 246 GT

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Stanley Steamer

The SeeRed meeting at Donington Park in September 2007 featured a race for Edwardian Racing Cars, but the car shown in the photograph below didn't take part in that race.
It's a 1907 Stanley Steamer H5, chassis number 3708 which took part in an Edwardian run on the Saturday of the 2-day meeting. The programme of the event didn't list the cars taking part in the run, and just gave this information:

At 9.30am on Saturday up to 15 Edwardian Cars (1905-19) will leave the main paddock on the third 40-mile Grand Prix Run. The run, organised by Ron Birkett, was set up in 2005 to mark the centenary of the first GP at Dieppe.

Behind the Stanley Steamer is an Itala, but I don't have any other information about that car.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Leyland National

This was one of the entrants in the Trans Lancs Historic Vehicle Rally at Heaton Park, Manchester in September 1996 organised by the Greater Manchester Transport Society.
It's a 1972 Leyland National and the programme of the event said this about the vehicle:

Leyland National 1151/2R, 1972                                                                                                      TXJ 507K
Entered by                                 Greater Manchester Transport Society
The Leyland National was designed to be the standard bus of the 1970's.  This bus was the very first
to come off the production line and was numbered as an experimental bus by S.E.L.N.E.C. Only the
early examples had two doors. Withdrawn 1983.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Bentley 4½ litre

I took this photograph at the Silverstone Historic Tribute meeting in June 2004.
It's one of Stanley Mann's cars and is shown in the programme of the event as a 1929 Bentley 4½ litre Le Mans VDP. It apparently started off life as a 3 litre Vanden Plas 4 seater which was delivered to an Air Commodore Webb Bowen in December 1924. It was later rebuilt as a 4½ litre.

Monday, 14 March 2016

Honda RA106

This is one of the display cars at the SeeRed meeting at Donington Park in September 2006.
It's the Honda RA106 that Rubens Barichello drove in the 2006 season, finishing in seventh place in the World Championship.
Rubens Barichello's team mate Jenson Button finished in sixth place in the Championship, and won the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Speedway: Belle Vue Aces v King's Lynn (17 July 1976)

Challenge Match: Peter Collins (red) v Chris Morton (white)
(There should have been a race between Peter Collins and Mal Simmons of Wolves for the Golden Helmet, but presumably Simmons was indisposed)

Alan Wilkinson

Heat 1: Terry Betts

Heat 3: Michael Lee (yellow/black), Ray Bales (white) & Chris Morton (blue)

Heat 5: Terry Betts

Heat 6: Kristian Praestbro (blue), Alan Wilkinson (red), Ian Turner (white) & Pete Smith (yellow/black)

Match result: Belle Vue Aces 47 King's Lynn 31

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Connaught A Type

I showed two photographs a couple of days ago of David Wenman's ERA R12B at the Gold Cup meeting at Oulton Park in August 2002 and said that although the ERA wasn't listed in the programme of the event, he had entered two Connaught A Types in the HGPCA Pre-1961 Grand Prix Cars race. Here are photographs of one of those cars.
You can see ERA R12B alongside the Connaught, which was driven in the race by Barrie Williams.

Friday, 11 March 2016

Friday's Ferrari

On 22 February 2013 I showed some photographs of a Ferrari at the Silverstone Classic meeting in July 2010, and here are some more photographs of the same car.
It's Jan Biekens' recreation of the 'Sharknose' 1961 Ferrari 156 F1 car.
As Jan Biekens is Belgian the car is finished in the yellow racing colours of Belgium and represents the car driven by fellow Belgian Olivier Gendebien in the 1961 Belgian Grand Prix.