Friday, 31 December 2010

Magnificent Seven - Ferrari F430 GTC

The F430 was in production from 2004 - 2009 starting with side vents harking back to the Ferrari 250 TR 61 Spyder Fantuzzi this car wreaks racing business from it's nose to Enzo inspired tail lights.

Particularly popular amongst sports stars and minor TV celebrities the F430 was tasked with going up against the teutonic might of Porsche in sports car classes GT2 and GT3.

These 4 litre F430 GTC photos are from the GT2 Class during the Silverstone 1000 kms last year.

Chassis #2408 Bruni/Bell, JMW Motorsport 23rd overall, 1st GT2.

Chassis #2636 Melo/Garcia/L Mansell, 26th overall, 4th GT2.

Chassis #2608 Kaffer/Montanari, Hankook Team Farnbacher, 27th overall, 5th GT2.

Chassis #2402, Rosa/Montermini/Cadei, FBR, 29th overall, 6th GT2.

Chassis # 2476, Basso/Tenchini/Plati, Easyrace, 34th overall, 11th GT2.

Chassis #2450, Daoudi /Hartshorne/Kutemann, JMB Racing, 35th overall, 12th GT2.

Chassis #2612, Farnbacher/Ehret/Beltoise, FBR, Not Classified.

Missing from this set is the Griffin / Bamford, Advanced Engineering car which came in 33rd overall, 10th GT2.

In case you have still not had enough Ferrari's I have updated last weeks 250 GTO blog with another photo I found of '250 GTO #3757' taken last year.

Wishing everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year.

Hope you have enjoyed my first 103 posts and you'll join me again tomorrow, don't forget to come back now !

Thursday, 30 December 2010

All about the anodised alloy - Triumph Vitesse 6

The Triumph Vitesse 6 was a four seat sports car available as a four seat convertible.

Styled like the Triumph Herald, with separate chassis and body panels, by Michelotti, the Vitesse 6 is distinguished by the twin head light bonnet, a 6 cylinder engine and up rated brakes and front suspension.

From the rear there is little to help distinguish a Vitesse from a Herald apart from the anodised alloy bumper bar in place of the white plastic covered item of the Herald and the chrome mid rift trim of the Vitesse goes all the way back to the tail lights.

The twin carb 6 cylinder engine of the Vitesse 6 can trace its origins back to the 4 cylinder Standard 8 of 1953, a weld seam on the block shows where the 'extra cylinders' were added.

This model registered in Guildford in 1966 with around 80 hp has a top speed of 91 mph. The Vitesse was superseded by the Vitesse Mk2 in 1968.

I'd like to round out today's edition with congratulations to 'Gettin' a lil' psycho on tyres' contributors Ed and Steve Arnaudin, father and son who celebrate their wedding anniversaries today, not forgetting to congratulate their undoubtedly better halves :-)

Hope you have enjoyed todays 6 cylinder edition of 'Getting a lil' psycho on tyres and that you'll join me tomorrow for Ferrari Friday any one for seven Ferraris on 7th day of Christmas ? Don't forget to come back now !

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Black Jack & Le Car - Renault 5

The Renault 5 was a versatile super mini launched in 1972, in Europe many countries ran a one make virtually stock Renault 5 Championship which brought many drivers their first taste of semi professional competition including Austrian Formula One driver Gerhard Berger.

In the States this vehicle known as Le Car dominated the 1977 SCCA Showroom Stock class C division and gained added notoriety when La Conner Washington police department traded in one of its full size cruisers for three Le Cars.

In 1980 three time world champion Sir Jack Brabham was persuaded to come out retirement for the first time in 10 years to take part in a British Saloon Car Championship race at Brands Hatch which took place on the same day as the British Grand Prix.

Though the car was giving away 200 cc 12 cui to the class leading Toyotas VWs and Audi 80's prepared by GTi Engineering, one of which was driven by the equally recently out of retirement Stirling Moss, it must be assumed that Black Jack was game for a laugh with his old sparing partner from the late 50's early 60's.

The Renault was woefully uncompetitive having neither the power or the handling to keep up with the class leading Audis but come race day Sir Jack Brabham had an ace up his sleeve, falling further and further behind the pack on the long Brands Grand Prix Circuit much to the amusement and in full view of 80,000 spectators Jack decided to take a 1 mile short cut by using the club circuit link road and so finished ahead of Stirling Moss on the road even though he was of course obviously disqualified.

Hope you have enjoyed today's Black Jack edition of 'Gettin a lil' psycho on tyres and that you will join me tomorrow for a 6 cylinder edition tomorrow. Don't forget to come back now !

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

4 Wheels & 4 Cylinders - Morgan 4-4

Morgan launched the 4-4 series in 1936 with a 2 seat body the first Morgan model to feature a 4 cylinder engine on a 4 wheel chassis.

The original 34 hp Coventry Climax engine was superseded by a 38.8 Standard overhead valve engine in 1939.

Four seat versions such as this are rarities introduced in 1937 just 99 were made until 1939 and 140 were produced from 1946 to 1950. I am not sure if this is one of the pre war or post war models.

Though it has undergone many changes the 4-4 series rebranded 4/4 in 1955 lays claim to being the motor car model with the oldest production run from 1936 to the present day only interrupted by WW2 from 1939 to 1946.

Hope you have enjoyed another ash framed edition of 'Gettin' a lil' psycho on tyres' and that you will join me tomorrow for a mix of French and Australian humour, don't forget to come back now !

Monday, 27 December 2010

Street Legal & Race Ready - Porsche 997 GT3 RS

The Porsche 997 GT3 RS is a road legal competition spec version of the 997 GT3 distinguishable from the 996 GT3 RS by its bug eye headlights.

Weighing 1,375 kg/ 3,031 lbs the 997 GT3 RS weighs 20 kgs / 44 lbs less than the 997 GT3 thanks to the plastic bonnet lid, plexi glass rear window and carbon fibre rear wing giving a power to weight ratio of 300 hp per tonne.

This 2009 version can accelerate from rest to 62.5 mph in 4 seconds, and on to a top speed of 193 mph.

The '09 997 GT3 is powered by a 415 hp 3.8 litre / 231 cui normally aspirated water cooled flat 6. Around 1,500 of these vehicles were built many being raced in Europe and the United States.

Hope you have enjoyed to days road legal racing edition of 'Gettin' a lil' psycho on tyres' and that you'll join me tomorrow for something a little more pedestrian.

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Sweet dreams are made of this - Connew PC1 02

Imagine a recently graduated 24 year old industrial designer, who knows nothing about motor sport, but with a passing interest in large American chromed land yachts sitting in an office designing record players in East London, i pods if your not sure of what a record player is, and the phone rings. His friends are calling to see if he would like to join them on holiday with the intention of taking in the 1969 Italian Grand Prix.

When his boss tells our hero that it is not okay to take the time of work to go on holiday our hero offers his resignation, and joins his friends anyway.

At the Italian GP our hero falls in love with the sound of V12 engines as they accelerate between the corners of the Monza track.

Upon returning to England he finds out about a vacancy in the drawing office of a newly established Grand Prix team owned by a former multiple World Motor Cycle champion and one time World Grand Prix champion.

Our hero's attitude 'that there was no problem in this world that common sense and application with half an ounce of intelligence can not overcome' wins him the job, starting out knowing absolutely zero about the design of racing cars within months he is working on the design of a Grand Prix car.

When our hero sees the red car his new design is going to replace wheeled out into the sunshine for the first time, in that very instant he decides he is going to build a Grand Prix vehicle of his very own.

Our hero starts working from home, his parents home that is, on his own Grand Prix challenger, a friend tells our hero he may use a spare bedroom and lock up to start building his car, other friends chip in with time, suppliers 'lend' him various bits and pieces to be getting on with. As the design our hero then takes a job with an engineering company where he uses his and colleagues lunch hours to fabricate parts he cannot otherwise afford for his own Grand Prix challenger.

12 months after deciding to build his very own Grand Prix car our hero completes his chassis and he shows it to his cousin, a wood work teacher, who agrees to to join the team to make the bodywork using materials he has never used before.

Using only our heros own wages, friends time, goodwill and what can be scrounged including a dummy engine, once used by Jochen Rindt to win the 1969 US Grand Prix, gearbox and wheels our heros team push their improbably completed Grand Prix car one Sunday night out of it's lock up, down the London Rd in Chadwell Heath to the only place with enough light to take a photo of their pride and joy, the forecourt of their local petrol station.

If this story sounds incredible then I'd like to welcome you to the incredible story of Peter Connew who in 36 months made the transition from record player designer to Formula One designer and constructor of the Connew PC1 02 Grand Prix car seen here in late 1971. To be continued....

With thanks to Peters cousin Barry Boor for the photographs if you'd like to read the whole story of how the Connew team came together over a period of two years and it's trials and tribulations the year after please read Barry's account of his part in this 'Boys Own' adventure here.

Hope you enjoyed part one of my all time favourate Formula One story which will be continued at some future date, and that you'll join me tomorrow for a look at some teutonic efficiency at 'Gettin' a lil' psycho on tyres'. Don't forget to come back now !

Saturday, 25 December 2010

My name is - #1 Carden Sport

One of the interesting things I have learned about Farnham the town closest to to my senior school this year is that it once appears to have had a budding motor industry. First I learned that it was home to the coach builders Abbots of Farnham when I was researching fourth blog on a BMW Fraser Nash, and now I find this cute little Carden cyclecar was originally designed by Sir John Carden, 6th Baronet who founded Carden Engineering in Farnham.

Sir John Carden Bt 6 is most famous for designing the Carden Loyd tankette which evolved into the well known WW2 Bren Carrier. He was also interested in building affordable light aircraft and cyclecars, this model, his side by side two seater, is his third and final cyclecar design. Readers of my previous Rowdy blogs might remember the AV Monocar which was his first design. Note the vehicle seen here has a semblance of independent front suspension a la Morgan, but no front brakes.

Despite being aimed at economy, the plan was for the car to cost just £100 on the road, notice the decorative brass electrical switches on the dash board.

The driver sits atop a 7hp 707cc / 43 cui two cylinder two stroke engine each cylinder sits either side of the transmission.

To get the motor started there is a kick start and being a two stroke apparently one can never be entirely sure which way the vehicle will proceed as the motor will happily spin the crankshaft clockwise or anticlockwise.

The bodywork was constructed of wood and fibreboard, the weight of vehicle is just 182 kgs / 400 lbs.

There seems to be a little doubt about what this little beauty is called, in the VSCC programmes Gerry Michelmore is listed as being the owner driver of the #1 Carden Sport, RM Auctions and others believe the model is called Carden Model 7 Cyclecar, Wiki makes reference to the car being called New Carden after the design was sold to Arnott & Harrison in 1922 and one owner R Dallas Brett painted the name Scarab on the bonnet of his which was purchased unpainted.

My thanks to TNFers Tim Murray, Vitesse2 and Markpde for helping me find out about the #1 Carden Sport.

Wishing 'Gettin' a lil psycho on tyres' contributor John Aibel a Happy Birthday and everyone who has played a part in this blog, however great or small, peace and goodwill.

Hope you enjoyed this 7hp edition of 'Gettin' a lil' psycho on tyres' on the first day of Christmas and that you will join me for a look at my favourite Formula One car tomorrow. Don't forget to come back now !

Friday, 24 December 2010

Mini Van from the Dark Side of the Moon - Ferrari 250 GTO #3757

The first time I saw one of these, reg no: 5 RU #3869 GT belonging to Dave Clarke formerly of the Dave Clark Five, was on a fabulous summer afternoon in the car park of the Hotel opposite school I must have spent a good hour sitting on a wall leering at it longingly.

This particular example, third overall in the 1962 Le Mans 24 hours and winner of the Spa 500 kms race in 1963, has been the property of Nick Mason since the late 1970's.

Allegedly one frosty morning this vehicle was the only one of his fleet that would start and so Nick ended up taking his kids to school in it, the rumour is that his kids never wanted to be driven to school in anything other than the 250 GTO thereafter which must qualify this car for the title worlds fastest mini van.

I did not know much about it until acquaintances on The Nostalgia Forum put me right some months ago. Ironically I have Nick Masons autograph from that day in my 1981 British Grand Prix programme.

Hope you have enjoyed todays edition of 'Gettin' a lil' psycho on tyres' from the Dark Side of the Moon and hope you'll join me again tomorrow for the first of my 12 vehicles of Chritmas series of blogs.

Slightly off topic I read this seasonal story yesterday and humbly recommend it to all.

With Seasons Greetings and best wishes for the New Year too everyone who has played apart in 'Gettin' a lil' psycho on tyres' no matter how great or small, thanks for being there to celebrate with.

PS 30 12 10 just found the photo above of #3757 taken at Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

2 miles a minute - 1905 Darracq 200hp

Using the profits from the sale of his Gladiator cycle factory, Alexandre Darracq founded Automobiles Darracq 1896.

In 1905 he built a 200hp V8 specifically for setting Land Speed Records.

Straight out of the box Victor Hemery set an LSR on the V8 Darracq at 109 mph at Aries in France.

The Darracq was then shipped to Ormond - Daytona where Hemery's belligerent behaviour did not go down well with officials so Louis Chevrolet was drafted in to drive the car to a 1 mile petrol powered LSR of 117.65 mph only 10 mph slower than Frank Marriott on his Stanley Steamer ! Finally Victor Demogeot set a 2 mile LSR beating the Stanley Steamer with an average speed of 122.5 mph becoming the first vehicle to cover 2 miles in less than 1 minute.

Sir Algernon Lee Guiness of the famous Brewing company became the next owner of the Darracq and he used it to set many records in the UK and France until 1909.

The car then fell into the hands of someone who scrapped the axles for no particularly obvious reason and somehow Sir Algernon retrieved the remaining car which was kept stored until 1956 when his widow sold the car to Gerald Firkins who recreated the vehicle as we see it today.

When the pistons were replaced it was found that the engine volume was 25400 cc / 1495.1 cui not 22.5 litres as had been thought for nearly 100 years !

Mark Walker purchased the vehicle in 2006 and has campaigned it regularly in hill climbs and races ever since. Notice anything missing from the front axle ? This vehicle has never had brakes acting on the front wheels yet still gets driven competitively in the rain !

Despite having no front brakes, or reverse gear, a rear axle recreated from a drawing in a 90 year old book and being well known for spitting flames the Darracq is road legal and Mark drives it to and from competitive events.

Hope you have enjoyed todays Edwardian edition of Gettin' a lil' psycho on tyres, looking forward to Ferrari Friday when I'll be presenting a Ferrari that allegedly served time as a mini van on the dark side of the moon ! Don't forget to come back now !

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Airways to Highways - GN JAP Grand Prix

A cycle car was a vehicle that weighed between 150 kg / 331 lbs and 350 kgs / 772lbs powered by an engine no larger than 1.1 litres / 67 cui that often qualified for reduced taxation. GN made such cars between 1910 and 1920 with proper wooden chassis.

On August 6th 1910 Britain's first qualified aviator E T Willows became the first man to fly across the Bristol channel in his dirigible airship the 30 HP JAP V8 powered 'Willow's No.2' on the way from his home town Cardiff to London. He accidentally dropped his packed lunch over Bristol. Willow's No 2 was rebuilt into Willow's No.3 'City of Cardiff' and became the first airship to cross the English Channel on it's way from London to Paris. Willow's celebrated his achievement on new years eve 1910/11 by flying his JAP powered airship round the Eifel Tower.

Richard Scaldwell brought together a 1919 wooden GN cyclecar chassis and E T Willows 1908 5112cc / 3111 cui JAP V8 to create the GN JAP Grand Prix special which he races in the Pre 1941 racing car class at VSCC events.

Amazingly after a days fun on the track Richard then drives his road legal racer home !

With thanks to Martin Squires for back ground information.

Hope you have enjoyed today's high flying edition of Getting a lil' psycho on tyres and will join me tomorrow for a look at a 200 hp Land Speed Record Breaker. Don't forget to come back now !