Archive for October, 2014

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Hill landing after one of  the Nurburgrings’ jumps, he won the race, on the way to his first World Championship…

Wonderful bit of composition on the part of Jesse Alexander! In fact cameras were a big topic of conversation and consternation on this weekend as Hill had an ‘off’ avoiding a TV camera which fell off  Carel de Beauforts’ Porsche in practice.

BRM P57 Chassis…

Graham Hills’ 1962 championship winning mount was a BRM V8 engined variant of the space-framed chassis, Climax engined car used in 1961. Hill fought a season long battle with Jim Clark in Colin Chapmans’ revolutionary monocoque Lotus 25 Climax. The P57 was both reliable and fast, and prevailed in 1962.

Hill famously the only driver to win motor racings’ Triple Crown’; an F1 Championship, Indy’ 500 and Le Mans. (in 1962/8, 1966 and 1972 respectively)

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Start of the 1962 German GP, Nurburgring, August 1962 (Pinterest)

BRM Type 56 V8…was a 90 degree V8, it had a bore and stroke of 68.5mmX50.8mm for a capacity of 1498cc. Lucas port fuel injection was fitted, compression ratio was 11.5:1, the engine developed 190BHP at 10250RPM. Customer versions were also sold, these used Weber carburettors and developed at least 180BHP at 9750RPM.

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This shot shows the T 57 in ‘ultimate form’ with six speed Colotti gearbox and low level exhaust system on its Type 56 engine (Automobile Year 10)

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Hill being tended to by BRM Chief Engineer Tony Rudd on the British GP grid, Aintree, July 1962. Hill finished fourth in the race won by Clarks’ Lotus 25 Climax. Note ‘stack exhausts’, upper and lower wishbone front suspension. Body made of electron, fibreglass the ‘norm’ by 1962. (Pinterest)

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Hill and Bruce McLaren, Cooper T60 Climax , Aintree 1962. Bruce finished third with John Surtees second in a Lola Mk4 Climax (Pinterest)

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Hill victorious at Zandvoort, Holland 1962. BRM P57 (The Cahier Archive)

p57 cutaway

1962 BRM P57 drawings. Spaceframe chassis, wishbone front and rear suspension with coil spring/ damper units. 1498CC DOHC 2 valve, V8. Circa 190BHP @ 10250 RPM. 5 and sometimes 6  speed gearbox. Body made of electron, ‘stack exhausts’ shown replaced by conventional setup later in 1962 (Pinterest)

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High level view of the Type 57 chassis shows the standard of finish, upper and lower wishbone suspension front and rear and later low level exhaust system (Automobile Year 10)

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This shot of the Type 56 BRM V8 shows the earlier ‘chimmney or stack’ exhausts, intake trumpets for the Lucas injection system, rear of the spaceframe chassis, rear wishbone and adjustable sway bar (Automobile Year 10)

Porsche 1962 German GP

Finish shot similar to the opening one…Jo Bonniers’ Porsche landing German GP 1962. (Jesse Alexander)

Photo Credits…

Jesse Alexander, Pinterest, The Cahier Archive, Automobile Year # 10

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Brivio won the race, 7 laps of the 72Km ‘Piccolo Madonie’, 504Km, in his Scuderia Ferrari entry, ahead of 4 other ‘Monzas’…

He took 6 hours 35 minutes to complete the race at an average speed of 76.3 KMH, an endurance test to be sure!

Scuderia Ferrari had a busy and victorious weekend, running three Monza’s at the Eifelrennen at the Nurburgring, Nuvolari winning and another three in Targa.

Borzacchini lead the Scuderia Ferrari Targa assault in a Monza 2.6 but retired after hitting a wall near Collesano, Brivio winning with Carraroli third in the other SF entry, both 2.3 Monza’s .

One of Vittorio Janos’ greatest designs, the supercharged straight-eight ‘Monza’ is one of the most successful racing cars of all time.

Vittorio Jano…

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Vittorio Jano and Phil Hill later in Janos’ life. Pictured in Maranello in 1962, Jano designed the V6 engine which powered Hills’ 1961 World Championship winning Ferrari 156…the car was a ‘slug’ in 1962, the problem the chassis not Janos’ engine…Jano died by his own hand aged 75, frustrated by illness and his diminishing powers. He was 65. (Klemantaski Archive)

Alfa ‘pinched’ Jano from Fiat, where he was a key designer of their 804 and 805 GP cars. He was the leading figure in the design of Italian racing cars for over 30 years, Fiat in the 20’s, Alfa in the 30’s and Ferrari in the 1950’s, mind you his ‘Dino’ derived V6 engines were still winning rallies in the Lancia Stratos well into the 1970’s.

As soon as he joined Alfa he worked on supercharging the P1 GP car whilst also designing the very successful straight-8 P2 for 1924, the car immediately victorious in the French GP.

Alfa won the ‘World Championship’ in 1925 but withdrew from racing in 1926/7, allowing Jano to concentrate on a new series of road cars, the revered 6C 1500/1750 cars the result.

Alfa wanted to return to outright success in motor racing, the first step was the creation of the 8C2300, ‘unquestionably the ultimate sports car of its time and marked the pinnacle of the era for sports cars with cart-sprung flexible chassis and crash-gearboxes..’ according to marque expert Simon Moore.

Context of The Time…

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The world was still in recession as a consequence of the collapse of the global economy after the 1929 Wall Street Collapse, Bentley were going through liquidation, Mercedes were entering the market for ‘mass-produced’ cars, whilst Alfa introduced this upmarket car.

Alfa themselves were not immune to any of this, passing through and into the hands of government agencies to make grants to aid industry, ultimately being taken over by the ‘Instituto Ricostruzione Industriale’ in 1933.

8C2300 Design…

monza outline

Jano laid down a chassis which was conventional for the period in having channel side and cross members with semi-elliptic leaf springs and friction shock absorbers.

The ‘Corto’ had a wheelbase of 9 feet, and the ‘Lungo’, 10 feet 2 inches. Rod operated drum brakes were fitted of 15 3/4 inches internal diameter and were very powerful by the standards of the day. Knock-off wire wheels were standard competition fare , 5.5 inches wide and 19 inches in diameter.

The rear axle and 4 speed gearbox were of the same design as the 6C 1750.

The engine was both the heart of the car and it’s outstanding design feature.

A straight 8, with a bore and stroke of 65x88mm, the cylinders were cast in two identical blocks of four to allow for a train of auxiliaries to be placed between them. The crank was supported by ten main, plain bearings.

The crank was made of two halves, with two helical gears bolted between them in the centre, one driving the (two) camshafts by two intermediaries, and the other the supercharger, oil and water pumps.

The cylinder blocks were fitted with dry liners, and had separate, alloy detachable heads. The engine was dry-sumped.

A ‘Roots type’ two lobe blower was mounted low down beside the alloy crankcase, fed by a Memini carburettor . The fuel system used two Autovacs from a twenty-four gallon rear mounted tank.

Ignition was by Bosch coil and distributor with the manual control in the centre of the steering wheel.

The engine developed between 165 and 178 BHP at 5400RPM.

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Scuderia Ferrari workshop in 1933. Eugenio Siena left, and Giulio Ramponi right, working on an 8C2300 engine on the test bed. Ramponi a notable figure as a mechanic, riding mechanic and driver for Alfa. He also had a key role in the ascent of  both Whitney Straight, and Dick Seaman as drivers, preparing their cars (@Zagari)

Race Record…

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The ‘Monza’ won 2 championship Grands’ Prix, the Italian Grand Prix in 1931, a 10 hour epic won by Nuvolari and Campari, the victory from which the car took its name, and the 1932 Monaco GP. Nuvolari is pictured in his Monza in that race, he won it over a duration of 3.5 hours from Rudy Caracciola, by only 2.7 seconds!, in a similar car. (Unattributed)

The 8C2300 sports cars were incredibly successful winning Le Mans 1931-4, the Spa 24 Hour in 1932/3, Targa 1931-3, and the Mille Miglia 1932-4.

Alfa developed the P3 as it’s pure racing car, during the same period, a straight 8, twin-supercharged , fixed cylinder head car which was incredibly successful in 1932-5. As a consequence the 8C2300 based racing cars won only two championship Grands’ Prix (Italian GP in 1931 and Monaco GP in 1932) as well as many second tier events, not bad for a ‘sports car’ all the same!

Minoia was also crowned European Champion in 1931 driving ‘Monzas’.

Production History…

188 or 189 cars were produced from 1931 to 1934, in three series, with ten ‘Monzas’ officially built by the factory. The number built by Alfa according to Simon Moore is greater than that, ten works racers and a number of customer racers built to similar specifications…where definition of a Monza is ‘ a 2.3 racer with a narrow body, outside exhaust pipe, short front springs and a tail comprising a fuel tank with a pointed crush cone’.

Without doubt a landmark car and one of the very few to be both a great sports car, sports racer and Grand Prix winner…a GP car in which to do the shopping!

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Antonio Brivio beside his Monza. He won the Targa twice, in 1933 and ’35, the Mille Miglia in 1936 and Spa 24 Hour race in 1932. He was also a world class bobsledder competing in the 1936 Winter Olympics in Garmisch. (Pinterest)

Etcetera…

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monza engines by 2

Both sides of the 2.3 litre DOHC straight-8 and 4 speed gearbox. Roots type 2 lobe blower mounted low on RHSide, fed by Memini carburettor. Engine comprised 2 blocks of 4 cylinders with centrally mounted drives from 2 piece crank visible (Alfa Archives)

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Section of the 8C2300 engine showing how it was divided into 3 levels; one piece cast crankcase, 2 blocks of 4 cylinders in line, and the heads. Both the cam drive, and 2 piece crankshaft are clearly seen (Simon Moore/ Alfa Archives)

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Photo and Other Credits…

‘The Legendary 2.3’ Simon Moore, ‘Alfa Romeo’ Hull & Slater

Pinterest unattributed, tintoyslife, @zagari, Klemantaski Archive, Alfa Romeo Archive

Finito…

 

Mercedes Benz T80…

Posted: October 6, 2014 in Obscurities
Tags:

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The Mercedes Benz T80 1939 World Land Speed Record contender on test in 1939…

Pre-War Grand Prix Ace Hans Stuck Senior was keen to take the WSR, convincing Mercedes to build him a car, the program approved by Der Fuhrer as another of the technological triumphs of the Germans young Adolf was keen to show the world.

It was to be the first outright WSR attempt in Germany but the Nazis had World Domination in mind so the program lapsed as World War 2 commenced.

Designed by Dr Ferdinand Porsche…

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Car design by Ferdinand Porsche. Steel body, three axles, rear two driven. Drum brakes front and rear. weight 2896Kg, length 8.2 metres, width 3.2 metres, height 1.7 metres. Drag coefficient 0.18

The car was powered by a massive Daimler-Benz DB603 44.5 inverted V12 giving around 3000BHP. It had three axles, two driven, weighed 2.7 metric tons, was over 8 metres long and had a projected top speed of 470MPH.

Aerodynamicist Josef Mickl designed the body which had a drag coefficient of 0.18, astonishing even now.

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Daimler-Benz DB 603 Aero engine. 44.5 litre, fuel injected, supercharged V12. Circa 3000BHP@ 3200RPM

Record Week…

Stuck was to take the record on a length of autobahn between Berlin-Leipzig, the road 25 metres wide and 10 Km long in January 1940, the car nicknamed “BlackBird’ by Hitler himself.

The event was cancelled, the car stripped of its engine was stored during the war in Karnten, Austria and is now on permanent display at the Mercedes Benz Museum in Stuttgart.

It took untill 1964 for Art Arfons to exceed the projected speed of the T80 in 1940, the turbo-jet powered ‘Green Monster’ attaining 544MPH on the Bonneville Salt Flats.

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Hans Stucks’ far forward driving position, hefty steel girder frame chassis, drum brakes and tyres of the day designed to cope with projected speeds of the T80…

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T80 in Mercedes Museum, Stuttgart (Dylan King)

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Photo Credits…

Pinterest, Dylan King Photography

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Mauro Forghieri asks Jacky Ickx about his wonderful creation on the Belgian GP grid, Spa 1970. Inboard front suspension, top rocker actuating a spring/shock, lower wishbone. Twin radius rods at rear in evidence. Single top link, and lower wishbone also used at rear. Well protected Lucas fuel injection trumpets, and low nature of engine clear (R Schlegelmilch)

Jacky Ickx awaits the start of the Belgian Grand Prix, he finished eighth amongst a fantastic battle between Pedro Rodriguez and Chris Amon on this spectacular, fast and oh-so-dangerous classic circuit in the Ardennes…

Amon left Ferrari at the end of 1969 , a team he adored and had raced for since 1967. He had been very competitive throughout in F1, Sports Prototypes, and the Tasman Series, but the Championship F1 victory he sought had eluded him.

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Spa vista 1970 (Bruce Thomas)

Mauro Forghieri designed the all-new 312B for 1970…

The core of the design was a horizontally opposed 12 cylinder engine utilising only 4 main bearings to minimise power-sapping frictional losses. The ‘Boxer’ engine layout allowed a very low centre of gravity and cleaner airflow for the rear wing amongst other benefits.

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Engine ‘Type 001’. 180 degree, DOHC, four valve, Lucas fuel injected ‘Flat 12’. Distributor, coil and Dinoplx electronic ignition. Very oversquare at 78.5×51.5 Bore/Stroke, 2991cc. 11.8:1 compression ratio, circa 460BHP at 12000RPM in 1970, rising to over 525BHP throughout the 70’s (unattributed)

Chris tested the car late in 1969, several massive engine failures convinced him to leave the team to drive a competitive car powered by the dominant, powerful and reliable Ford Cosworth DFV V8. And so it was that his Cosworth DFV powered March was beaten throughout the season by the 312B’s and in Belgium by the BRM P153 V12 of Rodriguez.

Chris’ Ferrari departure proved to be another of Amon’s poor timing decisions, his capacity for being in the ‘right place at the wrong time’ was legendary. Forghieri’s design was both reliable and fast in 1970, Ickx won three races and newcomer Clay Regazzoni one- Ferrari narrowly missed the drivers and constructors titles to Jochen Rindt, posthumously, and Lotus.

In fact the engine was brilliant, one of the greatest in F1, powering cars which took Niki Lauda (1975 and 1977), and Jody Scheckter (1979) to world titles, and in endurance form winning all the classic endurance events but the two 24 Hour races at Le Mans and Daytona. In its early form the DOHC, four valve, Lucas injected, 2991cc engine developed around 460BHP at a time the DFV developed circa 435BHP.

The chassis of the 312B was also new and whilst not a ‘full-monocoque’, the combination of aluminium reinforced space-frame tubing was very effective and forgiving to drive.

Newcomer Ignazio Giunti was the best placed Belgian GP 312B in fourth, Ickx having a variety of problems. The race was won by Rodriguez by a second from Amon with Jean Pierre Beltoise third, a further 1.43 minutes adrift, such was the pace of Pedro and Chris.

Amon set a new lap record in his chase of Rodriguez at 152MPH, but Pedro was ‘Spa fit’ having set a 160MPH lap in a 4.5 litre flat 12 Porsche 917 the week before…oh to have seen either race!

There was a chicane at Malmedy for the Grand Prix which was unused during the 1000 Km classic but all the same, 160MPH was the fastest ever lap-time of a road circuit anywhere in the world at the time.

312 b cutaway

(W Buhrer)

 

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Jacky Ickx, Ferrari 312B, La Source hairpin, Spa 1970 (R Schlegelmilch)

 

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The very cosy, comfy cockpit of Ickx’ Ferrai 312B. Lockout for reverse gear in the gated 5 speed ‘box plain to see , Momo steering wheel, Veglia instruments, just luvverly in every way (R Schlegelmilch)

Etcetera…

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An all Ford DFV powered front row at the races start: Jochen Rindt’s Lotus 49 wedged by Amon’s March 701 on the nearside and Stewart’s similar pole winner on the outside…Ickx the best of the 12’s on this ultimate power circuit on the second row (unattributed)

 

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Out into the Ardennes Forest …Rindt from Ickx, Beltoise, Brabham in the distance and the yellow speck Peterson…Lotus 49 DFV, Ferrari 312B, Matra MS120 V12, Brabham BT33 DFV, and March 701 DFV (unattributed)

 

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But Pedro Rodriguez won the day in the BRM P153 V12…over the years there have been rumours the BRM engine was ‘fat’ that day, but these have been scotched by Doug Nye amongst others. Also, Pedro was supreme at Spa and Tony Southgates’ P153 and ’71 P160 BRM’s were fast, if not always reliable race-winners (unattributed)

Photo and other Credits…

Bruce Thomas, Rainer Schlegelmilch, Illustrations by Werner Buhrer

Checkout Allan Brown’s great oldracingcars.com description of the cars and chassis by chassis history; https://www.oldracingcars.com/ferrari/312b/

Finito…

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Reg Hunt, Kevin Neal and Lex Davison launch their ‘Italian Stallions’ off the line at the start of  Albert Parks’ 150 mile ‘Argus Trophy’…

Hunts’ #2 Maserati 250F won the race from Davisons’ #4 Tipo 500 Ferrari with Neal #3 third in Hunts’ old Maser A6GCM. Thats Tom Hawkes in the ex-Brabham ‘Redex Special’ #7 Cooper Holden Repco making its debut with that engine at this meeting. Arthur Griffiths in the ex-Davison 1954 AGP winning #5 HWM Jaguar is on row two. Further back is Bill Wilcox in the ex-Jeff Scorer, ex-works/Gaze #9 Alta and Bill Craigs’ ex-Whitehead, Holden engined and rebodied # 11 Alta.

There were two racing carnivals at Albert Park in 1956. This ‘Moomba’ Meeting (Moomba is still a marvellous annual Melbourne late Summer festival) in March and the Australian Grand Prix meetings after the Melbourne Olympic Games in the last weekend of November and the first in December. Similarly, the ‘Moomba’ meeting was held over two weekends, race days were Sunday 11 and 18 March 1956.

In  many ways the image symbolises an era of single seater racing just underway in Australia, the dominance of the current ‘Red Cars’ from Italy ending a period when the Australian Special, and older ex-works European cars held sway.

Racing at Albert Park…

Barry Green in his wonderful book ‘Glory Days’, writes that their was a strong push to race at Albert Park in 1934. The Light Car Club of Australia, (LCCA) the promoter of race meetings at Phillip Island were aware of the ‘Islands growing unsuitability with its loose gravel surface as speeds increased. Extensive negotiations secured Albert Park as the venue for a race meeting to celebrate the Centenary of Victoria in 1935.

The ‘Sun News Pictorial’ one of the Melbourne daily tabloids, and then as now a good thing in which to wrap ones fish n’ chips, announced the event on June 4 1934.

In doing so the ‘paper lit the fuse of naysayers who brought about the events cancellation, but not before racers Arthur Terdich, Bill Lowe, Barney Dentry, and Cyril Dickason in Bugatti, Lombard, and Austins respectively, lapped the track with mufflers fitted to prove noise wasn’t the issue…

Post war things were a little different and a partnership between the LCCA, the Army who had a facility at Albert Park, and Victorian Labor Senator Pat Kennelly were more successful.

The three provided the combination of race organisation and promotional ability, logistical capability, the Army being able to ‘man’ Albert Park, a site of some 570 acres, and political power and influence.

For all three groups the ability to raise funds in the aftermath of World War 2 was important. For the army funding for war widows and orphans, for Kennelly the ability to finance much needed improvements to the park to improve the local amenity for the working class community, and for the LCCA, the improvement of motor racing.

And so, the 1953 Australian Grand Prix held at Albert Park over 64 laps, 200 miles in total was won by Doug Whiteford in a Lago-Talbot, the last AGP win for French Racing Blue…

1953 was the commencement of Albert Parks ‘first phase’ as a race track lasting five short years until November 1958 when the naysayers again held sway…until 1996 when again the political pendulum swung in the sports and business’ favour, Victorian Liberal Premier Jeff Kennett ‘snatching’ the race from Adelaide…

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Lex Davison #3 HWM Jag, Stan Jones #2 Maybach, and Doug Whiteford in the winning Lago-Talbot at the start of the 1953 Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park, the venues first race meeting on November 21. Cec Warren #6 Maserati 4CLT, Frank Kleinig #7 Kleinig Hudson 8, W Hayes #10 Ford V8 Spl, and a badly smoking  Ted Gray #11 Alta Ford V8 (AGP website)

The Big Red Italian Cars…

I wrote about Reg Hunt a while back, https://primotipo.com/2014/07/19/reg-hunt-australian-ace-of-the-1950s/ .He was an Englishman with a family background in the motor-trade, who came to Australia in 1949. By 1953 his ealerships were doing well enough to return to the UK for a season of F3, in a 500cc  Cooper Norton Mk8 in 1954. He did well against the best and arrived back in Oz, razor sharp and with a big, red, modern, ex-works Italian car…

His ex-Gonzalez Maserati A6GCM started life as 1953 2 litre chassis # 2041 but was renumbered # 2503 after a 250F engine was fitted for the new 2.5 litre F1 which commenced in 1954. Sold to Harry Schell for that season it arrived in Australia late in the year and was first tested by Hunt at Fishermans Bend before being raced at Ardmore for the 1955 NZGP where he popped it on the front row along with Prince Biras’ 250F. Bira lead the race from start to finish, Hunt fifth in a field which included the Whitehead and Gaze Ferrari 500/625’s.

Hunt was stiff not to win the 1955 Australian Grand Prix in the A6GCM at Port Wakefield, a broken cam-follower slowing him and handing victory to Jack Brabhams Cooper Bobtail.

Not to be outdone, and needing to remain competitive, Lex Davison, the 1954 AGP winner acquired his good friend Tony Gazes’ Ferrari 500/625, the car fitted with a 625 engine enlarged to 3 litres. These Lampredi designed, big-bore 4 cylinder DOHC engines a mainstay of Ferrari single-seaters and sports cars throughout the 50’s.

In recent years, having passed into the ownership of the ‘Wheatcroft Collection’ in the early 60’s, the car has been identified as Tipo 500#5, Alberto Ascaris’ 1952 and 1953 World Championship winning chassis, the ‘winningest’ chassis of all time with at least ten Grands’ Prix victories…but at the time Davo had just acquired a competitive car which would be very kind to him in years to come.

It was Lexs’ first meeting in the car, a change in gearing a mistake in set-up which blunted the cars performance, but the promise of the combination was undeniable.

Having made such an impression with the A6GCM Hunt had no trouble convincing Maserati to part with a more recent mount, securing Jean Behra’s 1955 factory 250F, chassis #2516, the car winning non-championship Grands’ Prix in Pau and Bordeaux in that year.

Hunt won both the feature racing car events of the Moomba meeting. Davison second in both and Neal third in one, DNF in another, in the car the Melbourne transport business man was to buy from Hunt.

Before long Stan Jones also acquired a 250F, a more recent spec car than Hunts’.

The mid-engined F1 Coopers were not far away, but for the moment, a wonderful era of modern ‘Big Front Engined Red Racing Cars’ had arrived in Australia…ending with the 1959 Australian Grand Prix, but we will come to that !

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Reg Hunt leads Lex Davison , Maserati 250F and Ferrari Tipo 500, Albert Park ‘Moomba Races’ March 1956. Check out the trees, kerbs, and very thick chain wire fence on these everyday suburban roads within the park! Crowd of over 70,000 in attendance (museumvictoria.com.au)

 

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Albert Park Road Circuit 1950’s. Length 3.13 miles, direction of travel the opposite to the modern circuit which is true to, if not identical to the spirit of this fabulous, historic venue. Barry Green ‘Glory Days’

 

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Alberto Ascari #5 in the Gaze/Davison Ferrari Tipo 500/5, alongside Froilan Gonzalez #24 in the Hunt/Neal Maserati A6GCM/2041/2503 at the start of the 1953 British GP at Silverstone which Ascari won. #8 is Mike Hawthorn, behind him #7 Luigi Villoresi both in Ferrari Tipo 500’s. The wheel on the far right is Fangio in a Maser A6GCM. The blue car beside Hawthorn is Onofre Marimon also in a Maser A6GCM. The green car behind Villoresi is Tony Rolts Connaught Lea Francis , and beside him the green car with white noseband is Ken Whartons’ Cooper Bristol. (Mirror Archive)

Credits…

‘Glory Days’ by Barry Green; oldracephotos.com, museumvictoria.com.au, AGP Website, Mirror Archive

Finito…