Sunday, 5 December 2010

The Rowdy Racer - #187 1960 Daimler SP250

Today it's a great thrill to introduce the famous Rowdy Daimler and its pilot Ryan Smith known as Racer 187.

Ryan was wrenching for father in law John Aibel and his Le Mans Crosley Hotshot Sport at the Pittsburg Vintage Grand Prix in July 1995. In the paddock next to the Crosley was John Putnam who was having trouble with his red Dailmler SP250 a recently restored 'barn find'.

Ryan spent much of the meeting helping out John’s son, John Jr., replacing parts and eventually finding and temporarily fixing a fuel tank sludge problem. At the end of the meeting Ryan asked John Putnam that if he ever wanted to dispose of the Daimler to call him first.

Six years later Ryan got the call and has been running the Daimler ever since. With his wife Chief 187 acting as crew chief Ryan recalls fabulous family days out and having great fun racing in the VSCCA 'Preservation' Class with Dick Rowley in a Porsche 356 for two seasons until they were both kicked out into separate faster race classes.

The Daimler SP250 is based on a heavily modified Triumph TR3 chassis with a fiberglass body and fitted with a 140 hp 2,547 cc / 153 cui hemi head V8 designed by Edward Turner. The vehicles were in production from 1959 - 1964.

The Daimler has touched the lives of many Rowdy acquaintances, from left to right, Racer187, Chief187, MIL187, Kerry, front row Christi, RockinRouschMan, in the Daimler, ScottinCT's daughter and ML187, to the right of the Daimler, left to right, Sadie, Lauren and ScottinCT.

Ever the devoted faithful father and now with three children, left to right Rosie187, GS187 and ML187 to groom into the future generation of NASCAR winners, Ryan has taken some time out of his own racing activities while still maintaining a role within the VSCCA as Event Co-Chairman for VSCCA Vintage Races & Racing School at Pocono.

I look forward to taking up the invitation to joining the #187 crew as team windscreen washer upon Ryan’s return to the track.

I'd like to thank Ryan for kindly taking time out to sending me his photo's and story and the many members of the Daimler and Lanchester Centre Forum who have visited in anticipation of this blog.

Hope you have enjoyed today's #187 edition and will join me again tomorrow at 'Getting a lil' psycho on tyres' for some seriously big stuff in honour of all those who work hard to keep us moving in all weathers when the unexpected happens while we are in transit.


  1. I miss Rowdy meet-ups at the track!

  2. Well, it's no secret I'm one of the biggest fans of this blog and have been since the beginning (I'm follower #1 and #2), but I must say, this is my favorite one to date!

    Great job, as always, telling the history, sharing the stories, and incorporating some fantastic pictures. Thanks for giving me a mention, too!

    Although this may remain my all-time favorite, I'll be sure to tune in each and every day to see what other great cars you'll be bringing us.

    Thank you, Art!

  3. What a great tribute to the 187s. The pictures are perfect. Thanks for some Rowdy fun, Art.

  4. Art, this is a wonderful read about our friend, Racer187, the 187 family and the Daimler. While I've seen these photos before, you have made them new and fresh.

  5. I've spent years looking in old barns for a BRG Dart or Cobra. Glad Ryan found it first.

  6. Great fun and great memories! Plenty more to look forward to!

  7. Ditto Ryan :-)

    Not a biased opinion I hope Chief :-)

    Your welcome Cheryl & Steve :-)

    I'd be a happy fastest loser in that race JC :-)

    Lets hope so Vroom Vroom :-)

  8. That car is some kind of awesome. I love this selection of photos.

    I can't wait to see Racer187 on track again.

  9. It was always so much fun! Love that car!!!

  10. Your not alone lovin' The Daimler Lauren :-)

  11. I hear a faint yearning in my heart every time I see photos of that car.

    Awesome ride, Ryan!

  12. Racer 187 was the best help I ever had at a race track. He just knew before I did what needed to be done, and then did it! He also was great at settling my nerves down. It is with great pride that I now watch him now control a very fast race car. He never forgets the principles of vintage racing,ie. the cars are the stars not the driver. Yet he is smooth, fast, and safe.
    He is as adept at changing a diaper, then hopping into the Daimler and cut some fast laps, or show students the correct line to take.
    It is truely a pleasure to see Ryan on the track, and know that I had a small part in getting Ryan into the sport.
    Dad J2Allard

  13. Thanks for your additional comments J2A, seems like Racer 187 was just made for vintage racing.

    Love your comment 'He never forgets the principles of vintage racing,ie. the cars are the stars not the driver. Yet he is smooth, fast, and safe.'

    Quite a few folks I can think of who might learn a thing or two from that comment :-)