Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Amilcar C4

I took this photograph in the Exchange Station car park in Manchester before the start of the Manchester to Blackpool Veteran and Vintage Car Run in May 1987.
It's a 1923 Amilcar C4, and the programme of the event said this about the car:

31      1923 Amilcar C4
          Reg: EL 1787  4 cylinder  8 hp
          (Mrs A M Park, Mirfield, Yorks)
Although Mrs Park is normally chauffeur-driven in this car when she winters in the Antibes, where she is a common sight on her promenade beat, she has driven it further north this year for this event, and to take part in the proposed "Twin Towers Tour" from Blackpool to Paris.

"Twin Towers" has, of course, had a darker connotation since the events of 11 September 2001.

Monday, 30 January 2017

Chrysler Viper

The Coys International Historic Festival meeting at Silverstone in July 1998 was sponsored by Chrysler, and amongst the Chryslers on show at the circuit was the one pictured below.
If it's what it appears to be, then the number '53' on the side of the car identifies it as the 8 litre V10 Chrysler Viper GTS-R of Viper Team Oreca that finished that year's Le Mans 24 Hour race in 11th position driven by Justin Bell, David Donohue and Luca Drudi.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

GN Cyclecars

These cars took part in the 2 hour long VSCC Team Relay Race for Pre-war Sports Cars at the VSCC's SeeRed and Richard Seaman Memorial Trophies meeting at Donington Park in May 2011.
They're both GN Cyclecars, number 32 is the 4.2 litre V-twin GN Thunderbug of Mark Walker and the other car is the GN Parker of Justin Maeers, with a 6124cc Gypsy Moth aircraft engine. The GN cyclecar was produced between 1910 and 1925, originally with a V-twin JAP or Peugeot engine, and later GN's own 1100cc engine. On 12 January 2016 I showed photographs of the GN Parker at the VSCC's 2008 meeting at Oulton Park.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Aston Martin Le Mans

This car appeared at the Aston Martin Owners Club's Autumn Historic Car Races meeting at Oulton Park in September 1993.
It's Robert Taylor's 1933 1½ litre Aston Martin Le Mans, and on 15 November 2016 I showed the same car at the 2011 Richard Seaman Memorial Trophies meeting at Donington Park.

Friday, 27 January 2017

Friday's Ferrari

There was a large display of cars at the Coys International Historic Festival meeting at Silverstone in July 1997 forming a tribute to Ferrari, and this was one of the cars featured.
It's a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO, chassis #3729GT, first owned by John Coombs and the board in front of the car reads:
RACED IN 1962/3 BY

In 1997 the owner of the car was Jack Sears. The car next to it is a 1955 Ferrari 555 Super Squalo.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Delage D8

This car was in the Vintage Car Park area on the inside of Redgate corner at the VSCC's SeeRed meeting at Donington Park in June 2008.
It's a 1930 4 litre Delage D8, a car produced between 1930 and 1933, and up to 1940 with different engine capacities and other modifications. On 4 April 2016 I showed a photograph of a 1932 D8S sports model.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Alfa Romeo P3

This car contested the Richard Seaman Memorial Trophy Race for Historic Racing Cars at Oulton Park in June 1993.
It's Rodney Felton's 1934 Alfa Romeo P3 (chassis #50009) with a 3.2 litre straight eight engine and designed by Vittorio Jano, who 20 years later , in 1954, designed the V8 2½ litre Lancia D50. On 27 April 2016 I showed photographs of an Alfa Romeo P3, probably the same car, at the VSCC's meeting at Oulton Park in 2005. Behind Rodney Felton's car here is the 1936 ERA R11B of Martin Morris.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Cooper Climax T45

This car is pictured in the paddock at Aintree in April 1960 where it took part in the BARC 200 race for Formula 2 cars.
It's the Scuderia Centro Sud Cooper Climax T45 and was driven in the race by Maurice Trintignant, finishing in fifth place. It's the ex-Rob Walker car and is chassis #F2-9-58.

Monday, 23 January 2017

Aston Martin Project 214

This car competed in the Coys of Kensington GT Race at the Coys International Historic Festival meeting at Silverstone in August 1996.
It's the 1962 3.8 litre Aston Martin Project 214 #0194/R - based on the Aston Martin DB4GT - and was driven in the race by Simon Draper and Mark Hales. This is the only remaining example of the Aston Martin DP214 - two cars were built and the other one (#0195/R) was destroyed in an accident during practice for the 1964 Nürburgring 1000 km race.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Cricket and the Romans

The origins of the game of cricket are unknown, though Wikipedia says that the general consensus is that it was 'probably created during Saxon or Norman times by children living in the Weald, an area of dense woodlands and clearings in south-east England that lies across Kent and Sussex'. It appears, however, that there may be a Roman connection. Below is part of a photograph I took in October last year of a statue of the Emperor Constantine that is outside York Minster.
You can see that he is holding a ball in his hand and looking a little puzzled, as if he's a bowler trying to work out the correct grip for either a leg-spin or off-spin delivery. The two illustrations below, courtesy of WikiHow, show the correct grip for these two deliveries.

The Emperor Constantine appears to be left-handed and it's possible that because leg-and off-sides are the opposite way round when compared to a right-handed bowler he's confused as to which grip he should employ. My theory is that the Romans brought cricket to England and taught the native people the game only to give the game up themselves because Constantine couldn't resolve this conundrum. The evidence for this is that the game is now virtually unknown in Italy; and the proof is that the game is hardly played in Scotland - and as everyone knows the Romans didn't conquer that country, and even built a wall to keep them out of England.

Historians in York claim that the statue of Constantine originally had him holding a sword with his left hand, but it was vandalised by the sword being broken away leaving him holding just the pommel, but quite frankly that story just sounds ridiculous.

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Motorcycles at Redgate Corner

This is the first corner of the first lap of the Lansdowne Classic Series race at the SeeRed meeting at Donington Park in September 2007.
The ones with visible race numbers are:
4     Vernon Glashier 1962 500cc Manx Norton
25   Mark Sharrock 1961 500cc Matchless G50
67   Gordon Russell 1961 500cc Manx Norton
85   Chris Swallow 1962 500cc Manx Norton
68   Mike Russell 1962 500cc Manx Norton
9     Tim Jackson 1958 500cc Matchless G50
6     Malcolm Clark 1962 500cc Matchless G50
50   Nick Roberts 1962 500cc Manx Norton
171 Patrick Walker 1960 500cc Manx Norton
8     Mick Hemmings 1962 500cc McIntyre G50
5     Mike Attrill 1963 350cc Aermacchi Ala d'Oro
77   Cliff Ransley 1961 500cc Manx Norton
30   Roger Ashby 1956 350cc AJS 7R
21   Andy Reynolds 1963 500cc Manx Norton
117 Andy Molnar 1961 350cc Manx Norton
56   Mike Dryden-Holt 1962 350cc Manx Norton
20   Jamie Donaldson 1960 350cc Manx Norton

The programme note about the race reads:

'The Lansdowne Classic Series is dedicated to preserving the sights and sounds of yesteryear, presenting a taste of Grand Prix motorcycle racing as it was in the 1950s and early 1960s when British and continental four-stroke machines ruled the roost. Evocative names such as Norton, Matchless, AJS, Moto-Guzzi and Aermacchi once more line up, with riders having to push start their Machines.'

Friday, 20 January 2017

Friday's Ferrari

I took the photographs of this car at the Aston Martin Owners Club's Autumn Historic Car Races meeting at Oulton Park in September 1992.
It's Paul Alexander's 1954 Ferrari 750 Monza, chassis #0470MD, and on 20 March 2015 I showed some more photographs of this car at that meeting.
Here's Paul Alexander approaching Lodge Corner during his race.

On 20 September 2013 I showed a photograph of the same car at the 1993 Coys International Historic Festival meeting at Silverstone, where the programme of the event shows the entrant and driver of the car to be Paul Alexander, but the record says that Brandon Wang was the owner at that time.

Thursday, 19 January 2017


Three Jensens at the Footman James Classic Car Show Manchester at EventCity in September 2016.
1970 Jensen Interceptor  Mk2
1973 Jensen Interceptor SP
1971 Jensen FF

There's a Jensen Owners' Club that caters for owners of all Jensen cars from 1934 to 1976.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Lotus 88

This car was part of a display of Lotus F1 cars at the Coys International Historic Festival meeting at Silverstone in July 1995.
It's the 1981 Lotus 88, a car which was banned by the FIA because the twin chassis design was deemed to circumvent the FIA's ban on the moveable skirts that teams had employed to increase the ground effect aerodynamics of their cars. It was never allowed to compete in any of the races in the 1981 season so Elio de Angelis and Nigel Mansell were forced to use the older Lotus 81B and 87 cars.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Lancia D50

At the SeeRed meeting at Donington Park in September 2006 this car was one of those on display in the Paddock Suite.
It's the Donington Museum's 1955 Lancia D50 recreation. The D50s were handed over to the Ferrari team when Lancia withdrew from racing towards the end of the 1955 season, and the cars were gradually modified over the next couple of seasons until, in the then usual Ferrari manner, the cars were scrapped when they reached the end of their useful life. In recent years the engines and many of the original components of the cars were recovered and several replicas constructed. Two of the original cars still exist in museums though, and on 2 January 2013 I showed photographs of one of these that was loaned to Silverstone in 1998 when they marked the 50th anniversary of the Silverstone circuit.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Halford Special

This car took part in the race for the Vintage Trophy at the Richard Seaman Memorial Trophies meeting at Oulton Park in August 1992.
It's James Cheyne's 1923/25 Halford Special, driven in the race by Iain Cheyne, and the programme of the event said this about the car:
'James Chelne has entered Iain Cheyne to drive the Halford Special, which features an Aston Martin chassis and a twin-cam supercharged engine. This motor was designed by one of Britain's most brilliant engine designers, Frank Halford. He qualified for his aviator's licence, No. 639, at the Bristol School at Brooklands on 2nd October, 1913. He went on to design famous piston engines over a period that spanned both world wars. Later, he designed jet engines, but was also an accomplished racer of both motorcycles and cars.'

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Scania 112

This was one of the entants in the Trans Lancs Historic Vehicle Rally at Heaton Park, Manchester in September 1996.
It's not shown in the programme of the event, but would have been entered in the 'Operating PSV's Buses' Class and is a Marshall bodied Scania 112. Black Prince Buses was a bus company based in Morley, West Yorkshire and this was one of the Scania buses the company acquired from Newport Transport.

Black Prince was taken over by FirstGroup in 2005.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Jaguar C-Type

This car replaced the car listed in the programme of the event in the Classic Car Sports Car Race at the Coys International Historic Festival meeting at Silverstone in July 1994.
It's Hugh Taylor's Jaguar C-Type, and the car it replaced in that race is Hugh Taylor's Willment-Climax, which is the car behind the C-Type in this photograph. There are three other C-Types shown here - car number 12 is that of Martin Morris, which was driven by David Morris in the race; number 7 is Aubrey Finburgh's car which was piloted by Paul Grist; and the only other C-Type listed in the programme is that of Burkhard von Schenk. Next to that car is a Maserati 300S, and what looks like another 300S behind the people of the right of the photograph.
Here's Hugh Taylor in the race at Luffield corner leading the Porsche RSK of Wessel von Loringhoven, and the Cooper Bristol Bobtail of Katherina Schmidt.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Friday's Ferrari

Here in the pit garage are two of the cars that took part in the Ferrari F1 demonstration at the SeeRed meeting at Donington Park in September 2005.
On the left is the 1997 Ferrari F310B of Uwe Meissner. It's a car that was driven in the 1997 season by Michael Schumacher and Eddie Irvine, Schumacher finishing second in the Drivers' World Championship, but being stripped of his place after causing an accident with eventual Championship winner Jacques Villeneuve in the last race of the season. Eddie Irvine finished the season in seventh place.
The car on the right is Shigeru Hoshino's 1995 Ferrari 412T2. This car was campaigned in the 1995 season by Jean Alesi and Gerhard Berger, who ended the season in fifth and sixth places respectively in the Championship.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Brabham BT36

This car took part in the HSCC Historic Formula Racing Car Championship race at the HSCC's Summer Race Meeting at Oulton Park in July 1992.
It's Peter Williams' 1971 Formula 2 Brabham BT36, originally driven by Tim Schenken for Rondel Racing, and is chassis #BT36/1.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017


This car was part of the 'British Racing Green' display at the Coys International Historic Festival meeting at Silverstone in July 1993.
It's the first BRM built, the National Motor Museum's P15, chassis #V16/01, and you can find details of all BRM cars on this site. I did a piece on 1 September 2015 about the BRM V16 cars, including this one, on display at the Coys International Historic Festival meeting in 1999.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Aston Martin

Photographs I took of four Aston Martins at the Footman James Classic Car Show Manchester at EventCity in September 2016.
1922 Aston Martin Standard Sports
1966 Aston Martin DB5 Superleggera
1989 Aston Martin V8 Vantage
1972 Aston Martin DBS

Monday, 9 January 2017

Alfa Romeo Bimotore

This car from the Donington Park museum was part of a display in the racing circuit's Paddock Suite at the SeeRed meeting in September 2004.
It's one of the 1935 Alfa Romeo Bimotores, a twin-engined car which was built and raced by Scuderia Ferrari against the German Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union cars. The programme of that Donington Park race included an article about the Bimotore that had earlier appeared in the Italian magazine Auto Italia:

'There's a rumour that Alfa Romeo's Bimotore, one of the most powerful racing cars of all time and preserved here at the Donington Collection, was the result of too much red wine one night in December 1934. At the time, Alfa's competition affairs were in the hands of Scuderia Ferrari and there was a desperate effort going on to stem the tide of German racing victories. The story goes that a drink-fuelled conversation between Alfa development engineer Luigi Bazzi and his long-time friend Enzo Ferrari led to a new project being born. Bazzi's idea was to redeem the Scuderia and Alfa's reputation by building a Bimotore, with one engine in the front of the car and the other behind the driver. 
Grand Prix races of the period were run to the weight-oriented 750kg formula, where the Italians could not hope to compete with Mercedes and Auto Union. But there were some races in which engine size and weight were unrestricted, and it was here that Bazzi hoped to make his mark with a new, hugely powerful car.
Two Bimotores were constructed, of 5.8-litres (two 2.9-litre straight eights) and 6.4-litres (two 3.2-litres) respectively. Each was based on a modified Alfa P3 frame, stretched by 15cm, with Dubonnet independent front suspension and semi-elliptics at the rear. The rear engine was fitted in the extended area behind the driver, driving forward to the gearbox, from which the drive was then split and transmitted to separate propshafts to each rear wheel. Because there was now an engine where the fuel tank had been, twin tanks were located outside the frame, giving a rather bulky but undeniably potent look.
The first Bimotore was tested on the closed public road between Brescia and Bergamo on April 4, 1935, with Tazio Nuvolari behind the wheel. Unfortunately the speed was not officially timed: if it had been, the Bimotore would still be the fastest-ever Alfa. But there was a problem. The car was so powerful that the tyres could not possibly cope with the forces being put through them.
Even so, Scuderia Ferrari pronounced they had a winner. In fact, since this unique and potent car carried a Ferrari prancing horse badge on the radiator, some journalists reported it as being the first Ferrari.
By mid-May, two cars were ready for the Tripoli Grand Prix: the larger 6.4 for Nuvolari and the 5.8 for French driver Louis Chiron. On the face of it the two Bimotores looked to have a distinct advantage, producing 540bhp and 510bhp respectively, when the Mercedes had 'only' 350bhp and the Auto Union 380. However, the Bimotores were much heavier and it was clear in practice that the Englebert tyres were not going to be up for the job.
As the starter's flag fell, Fagioli's Mercedes was first away but Caracciola soon got past him. On lap two, Nuvolari pushed the Bimotore into second place, only to come into the pits on the next lap for his first tyre change - and there were to be an incredible 12 more! The race settled into a classic fight between Varzi and Caracciola, with Caracciola winning in the end. Nuvolari could pass any of the other cars at will and, in spite of his 13 stops, he finished in fourth place. Chiron, who had driven cautiously, was fifth.
Only two weeks later, the two cars went to Berlin for the Avusrennen in two heats and a final. Yet again, Nuvolari did not restrain himself and was in the pits for a tyre change on only his second lap; by doing so he failed to qualify for the final. In heat two the canny Chiron stayed out of trouble, preserved his car and qualified for the final. There he played the same game, letting Fagioli and Varzi fight it out while holding his car back. In the end Fagioli's Mercedes won and Chiron had worked his way up to second: a superb result.
On June 15, 1935, Nuvolari took the 6.4 Bimotore to Altopascio on the Lucca-Firenze autostrada to make an attempt on the Class B International Speed Record. Running on Dunlop tyres, Nuvolari achieved 208mph, broke the record, got an award from Mussolini and perhaps wondered why no one had thought of the Dunlops earlier!
After that moment of glory, the project was abandoned and the 6.4-litre car was dismantled. However, in 1937 the ex-Chiron 5.8 was sold to Englishman Austin Dobson. With a revised front suspension featuring trailing links and coil springs instead of the Dubonnet ifs, the Bimotore took some lap records as well as sixth place in the Brooklands 500.
The car was then sold to the Hon Peter Aitken in 1938, who cut it in half, did away with the rear engine and fitted a new rear with quarter-elliptic springs, in which form it was raced as the Alfa-Aitken. Tony Rolt raced it between 1946 and 1949 but in the early 1950s it went to New Zealand, where it was eventually found in a terrible state by Tom Wheatcroft. It was restored over a long period by Hall and Fowler, after a replacement 2.9 engine had been found for the rear.
Rick Hall was one of the first people to drive the restored Bimotore and reported that the car was 'bloody frightening', with a tendency for the rear end to snap out wildly in corners. Stiffening the front suspension helped, while rear axle check straps made the handling more predictable.
The torque is so great that any sudden move on the accelerator will provoke wheelspin but once the knack of getting the power smoothly to the rear wheels has been mastered, it becomes much more of a pleasure to drive.
You have to admire Nuvolari's ability to pilot the Bimotore at race speeds, weaving around the Auto Unions and Mercedes before braking hard and then accelerating up to 200mph - on every lap. It may not have been the first Ferrari, but it's certainly worthy of the name.'

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Edwardian Cars

I took this photograph at the VSCC's Richard Seaman Memorial Trophies meeting at Oulton Park in July 1987.
On the right is Roger Collings' 1903 Mercedes 60hp, and the programme of the event said this about the car:

'The oldest car at the meeting, Roger Collings' 1903 Mercedes, is well worth inspecting, although it really needs a contemporary car of another make alongside it to show off its advanced features.
The use Roger Collings makes of his car today is quite amazing, the car is very successful in climbing muddy hills in trials, and is used a lot on the road. It has even been used as normal (if that is the right word) transport in London, utilising the M4 to get there and back. He has also driven it on the continent, and the car's racing number at this meeting is 207.'

On 5 November 2015 I showed a photograph of a similar Mercedes 60hp at Donington Park.

The car on the left isn't listed in the programme, but it's the 1908 Napier 60hp that was at the time owned by Trevor Tarring and Tony Jones. On 20 July 2015 I showed a photograph of this car at the 1992 Richard Seaman Memorial Trophies meeting at Oulton Park.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Humber 12/25

This car took part in the Manchester to Blackpool Veteran and Vintage Car Run starting at the Exchange Station car park in Manchester in June 1986.
It's a 1926 Humber 12/25 tourer, and the programme of the event had this to say about it:

95     1926 Humber 12/25 Tourer
          Reg: NP 9897 4 cylinder 11.9 hp
          (J.R. Walker, Broughton, Preston)
Restored in 1971, it has been in regular use
since then.

The Humber Register caters for owners of cars such as this, and you can read about it here.

Friday, 6 January 2017

Friday's Ferrari

Ferrari was the featured car at the Christie's International Historic Festival meeting at Silverstone in July 1992, and this was one of the cars in the special display.
It's Paul Horne's 1970 Ferrari 512 M, chassis #1002, and the programme of the event said this about the car:

26    512M
Mid-engined V12; 5 litres; 550bhp at 8500rpm; twin ohc
per bank, 4 valves per cylinder. Lucas fuel injection.
Independent suspension all round, A-arms/coil springs.
First seen Daytona 24 Hours race 1970. Developed as a
Group 5 Sports Car they were used by the works team
and by Ferrari concessionaire and private entrants
during 1970. There was almost no works use during
1971. The 512 S version of 1970 gave way to the 512 M
for 1971. A number of 'S' cars were converted to 'M'. 25
built. Ran as a Scuderia Montjuich car in 1970/71.
Subsequently bought by Robert Horne who set a British
flying mile record speed of 191.64 mph with it in 1977.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Cisitalia D46

This was one of the competitors in the HGPCA Race for Pre-1961 Grand Prix Cars at the HGPCA's Donington International Historic Grand Prix meeting in May 2004.
It's Richard Pilkington's 1946 1100cc Cisitalia D46, a car that competed in Voiturette racing in the immediate post war years. On 10 September 2014 I showed this car at another race meeting at Donington Park later in 2004.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Maserati Ghibli

I saw this car recently when I was walking down into Hyde town centre to do a bit of shopping.
It's a third generation Maserati Ghibli, introduced in 2013.
The '15' in the number plate says it was registered between 1 March and 31 August 2015.
As well as the Trident in the middle of the grille and on the badge it has this one on each of the rear quarter panels.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Lotus 72

This car took part in the HSCC Pre '71 Single Seater Championship race at the HSCC's Spring Historic Race Meeting at Oulton Park in May 1987.
It's John Foulston's 1970 Lotus 72, driven in the race by his wife Mary. This car is the first of the Lotus 72s built, originally chassis number 72/1 but renumbered 72/4 after a rebuild, and is in the Gold Leaf Team Lotus colours used by the team in 1970 and 1971. Jochen Rindt won the 1970 Drivers' World Championship in 1970 in one of these cars despite losing his life in an accident during practice for the Italian Grand Prix. In 1972 the cars sported the more familiar black livery as the John Player Team Lotus and Emerson Fittipaldi won the Drivers' World Championship that year. On 10 March 2013 I showed some photographs of Emerson Fittipaldi's car at the non-championship Gold Cup race at Oulton Park in 1972.
Mary Foulston at Lodge Corner during the race.

Monday, 2 January 2017

Frazer Nash Fast Tourer

This car was one of the entrants in the VSCC Bill Phillips Trophy Race at the Silverstone Historic Tribute meeting in June 2004.
It's Chris Chilcott's 1926/30 1500cc Frazer Nash Fast Tourer, and a brief history of the car can be seen in this article on the website of the Frazer Nash Car Club.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Maserati 250Si

This car competed in the 1950s Sports Racing Cars  race at the VSCC's Richard Seaman Memorial Trophies meeting at Donington Park in June 2003.
It's Jeremy Agace's 1956 Maserati 250Si, a car that started off life as a Maserati 150S #1660, but was converted into 250S #2411 in 1957.