Archive for January, 2016

w25

Luigi Fagioli’s Mercedes W25B attacks Bernd Rosemeyer’s Auto Union Type B whilst being pelted by rocks on the course covered with them…

The race was help on 22 September 1935 in the Gipuzkoa, Basque region of Northern Spain, Mercedes finished first to third; Caracciola from Fagioli and von Brauchitsch. All drove the 4.3 litre straight-8 engined car. Rosemeyer was 5th in the V16 5.6 litre mid-engined Auto Union.

Caracciola won the European Championship that year with 3 wins of 5 Championship rounds, his other triumphs at Spa and Bremgarten, Switzerland.

Credit…

motormania.tumblr.com

61 hill

Graham Hill and jockey Lester Piggott test the Lotus 61 Formula Ford at an incredibly frigid Hethel Airfield 20 March 1969…

How many times he spun the car at Lotus HQ is unrecorded! The event appears to be a promotion to boost the sales of Lotus Components latest Formula Ford. And a very competitive car it was, in fact all the Lotus FF’s were; 51, 61, 59 and 69, it’s a great pity Chapman took the marque up-market and left its enthusiast/grass roots racing background behind.

Graham Nearn did rather well with the Lotus 7 Series 3 too, proving there was life in the old beast yet, the 7 being the other product of Lotus Components in addition to the production racing cars, Chapman sold the rights of the 7 in 1971.

61 lester

On a more familiar type of mount; Lester Piggott takes the Queens horse ‘Carrozza’ back to scale having won ‘The Oaks’ at Epsom, Surrey on 7 June 1957. Queen Elizabeth leads (Popperfoto)

Credit…

Victor Blackman, Richard Styles

Tailpiece: Dave’s Lotus 61…

61 walker

Later Lotus GP driver, Aussie Dave Walker tests his JRRDS Lotus 61 at Snetterton prior to the start of his successful 1969 season. He won the British Les Leston FF Championship in this car in 1969 (Richard Styles)

 

louise

Louise Collins susses husband Peter’s fabulous Ferrari 335S in advance of the start of the ’57 Mille Miglia…

It was a victorious race for Ferrari but otherwise disastrous on every level given ‘Fon de Portago’s accident and it’s consequences, click here for an article about both this race and the big Ferrari;

https://primotipo.com/2014/12/17/peter-collins-mille-miglia-1957-ferrari-335s/

Credit…

Mondadori Portfolio

Tailpiece…

louise

stan jones

(Pat Smith/oldracephotos.com)

Stan muscling his big Maserati 250F around Longford in 1959 en-route to his one and only Australian Grand Prix win…

The win was timely, he was monstered all the way by Len Lukey’s Cooper T43 2 litre, the way of the future of course. ‘Twas the last AGP win for a front engined car, mind you Lex Davison came within metres of winning in an Aston Martin DBR4 at Lowood, Queensland in 1960.

Stan’s was a well deserved victory, he and his team lead by Otto Stone had a car which was consistently and reliably fast. Perhaps his driving now had a more measured approach to match the fire and pace which was never in doubt.

The Stan Jones story is an interesting one, click here to read it;

https://primotipo.com/2014/12/26/stan-jones-australian-and-new-zealand-grand-prix-and-gold-star-winner/

stan

Jones at the wheel of his Maser, 1956 AGP Albert Park. Lovely portrait of the guy and looking quite the pro driver he was! (unattributed)

Jones gave his Gold Star defence a red hot go in 1959 having won the title in 1958, he raced four cars in his quest.

He didn’t race in the season opening event in Orange, NSW. Jack Brabham won in a Cooper T51, but he wheeled out his Maybach for Fishermans Bend’s ‘Victoria Trophy’ on 22 February. He finished second t0 Alec Mildren’s Cooper T43.

Stan hadn’t raced the Maybach for years but had retained it. His friend and fellow racer Ern Seeliger evolved the car by replacing the Maybach engines which had been at the core of Maybach’s 1-3 with a Chev Corvette 283cid V8. The car also had a De Dion rear end and other clever modifications.

He swapped back into the Maser, winning the AGP at Longford on 2 March.

maybach

Stan in the big, now blue Maybach 4 Chev beside Alec Mildren’s Cooper T43 Climax at fairly desolate Port Wakefield, SA, March 1959. (Kevin Drage)

He switched back to the Maybach for the ‘SA Trophy’ at ‘Port Wakefield’ on March 28, winning the race. Crazily, the next round of the title was at Bathurst on 30 March, two days later. Very hard for contestants to make that trip from SA to Central NSW now, let alone with the road system of 1959!

Stan flew to Bathurst to drive the Maser. Whilst he won his heat he had engine dramas in the final and failed to finish, victory was taken by Kiwi Ross Jensen in another Maserati 250F.

He used the Maybach again at Lowood on June 14, he was third, then swapped back to the Maser for the next round, again at Lowood on 30 August, hitting a strawbale and failed to finish.

The reasons for the choice of car at each meeting would be interesting to know but are probably a function of vehicle availability and suitability. Which was the primary and which the secondary factor meeting to meeting no doubt varies…

‘Mid-engined inevitability’ was clear though despite none of the Australian Cooper exponents being able to secure a full 2.5 litre FPF Coventry Climax engine…yet. The ‘mechanical mice’ as Lex Davison christened the Coopers were only going to get quicker.

Whilst his fellow competitors were back at Port Wakefield for the 12 October meeting Stan was doing a deal with Bib Stillwell to buy his Cooper T51 2.2 FPF, chassis ‘F2-20-59’, the first of several T51’s Stan raced.

stan

Stan Jones, Cooper T51 Climax, Caversham, WA October 24 1959. (Dave Sullivan Album)

He soon got the hang of the car, after all he had been an ‘air-cooled’ Cooper exponent earlier in the decade, finishing second to Len Lukey’s Cooper at Caversham, WA.

jones and lukey

The Jones #3 Cooper T51 beside Len Lukey’s earlier model T43, Caversham August 1959. Lukey the Gold Star winner in 1959 driving both Cooper T43 and T23 Bristol. (Dave Sullivan Album)

The final rounds of Australia’s longest ever Gold Star series were Phillip Island’s ‘Westernport Cup’ and ‘Phillip Island Trophy’ races on 22 November and 13 December respectively.

Jones brought his ‘roster of cars’ to four for the year when he drove Ern Tadgell’s Sabakat (Lotus 12 Climax) after damaging his Cooper in a collision with Lukey. The Cooper was too badly damaged to start, as was Lukey’s but Stan, very sportingly was lent the Sabakat by Tadgell.

Lukey won the 1959 title from Alec Mildren by 2 points with Jones a distant third. Mildren’s time would come in 1960 with fabulous AGP and Gold Star wins in a new Cooper T51 Maserati he and his team built over the summer.

Sadly it was the ‘last full-blown’ Gold Star campaign for Jones, economic pressures from 1960 on meant he did a few title rounds but was not a serious title contender, although still a tough competitor in any individual race he entered.

jones cooper

Stan settles into his Cooper T51 at Caversham. (Dave Sullivan Album)

Photo Credits…

Pat Smith/Oldracephotos;  http://www.oldracephotos.com/content/home/

Dave Sullivan Album, Kevin Drage

Tailpiece…

equipe stan

Equipe Jones at Albert Park during the 1956 AGP won by Moss’ 250F. International truck and the ‘Rice Trailer’, was the ‘ducks guts’, still a few of these around and highly prized (unattributed)

Finito…

 

vukovich

Billy Vukovich leading the Indy 500 in his Kurtis Kraft Offy, he won the race from the similar cars of Art Cross and Sam Hanks…

Vukovich dipped out on victory in 1952 with a steering gear failure several laps from the end, in ’53 he led from lap 1 and 195 of the 200 laps in total. The event was run in searing heat which required the use of 16 relief drivers, Billy drove the race himself in a tough, gritty display.

32 of the starters used the DOHC 4 cylinder Meyer-Drake ‘Offy’, the other engine the famous Novi V8, finally Kurtis Kraft supplied 22 of the 33 chassis which contested the race.

Credits…

Max Staub, Racing One

image

Vukovich rejoins the race after a pitstop, Kurtis Kraft, Indy 1953 (Racing One)

 

watson

John Watson, Penske PC4 Ford, Austrian GP August 1976. Watson and Penske’s first GP wins.

Given the junk ‘Tilke Tele Circuits’ on which the circus races too much these days the old tracks, not that the ‘Red Bull Ring’, goes back as far as Monza or Spa, are important for their own sake as great ‘theatres’ but also to remind us of the heritage for which we are all responsible.

I’m not suggesting F1’s Venture Capital Fund owners, CVC give a ‘Rats Toss’ about heritage mind you.

austria

Pastor Maldonado, Lotus E23 Mercedes, Austrian GP June 2015. Pastor was 7th in the race won by Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes F1 W06. (reddit.com)

Etcetera…

It was Tilke’s work to shorten the fast, long Osterreichring, used for the Austrian GP from 1970-1987 to the shorter A1-Ring used for the race from 1997-2003 aka Red Bull Ring now. The Styrian Mountains setting to start with was so good even he couldn’t bugger the thing up completely in its transformation to the modern age…

Photo Credit…reddit.com

 

redman

That Brian Redman had replaced Peter Revson for the Monaco ’72 weekend didn’t seem to make much difference to the presence of the fairer sex in the McLaren Team’s pit…

Revvie was contesting the Indy 500, Redman did a great job in the unfamiliar M19A Ford qualifying it 10th and finishing 5th, Jean-Pierre Beltoise took the win in his BRM in streaming wet conditions.

Revson’s Indy started well, he qualified 2nd but only lasted 23 laps before gearbox failure, Mark Donohue won in Roger Penske’s McLaren M16B Offy, so not an altogether bad weekend for McLaren.

redman cornering

Redman during dry practice on Saturday. McLaren M19A Ford, rising rate suspension front linkages clear (Brian Watson)

Credits…

Rainer Schlegelmilch, Brian Watson

Tailpiece: ‘I could get used to this F1 caper?!’ In fact its not what BR wanted at all…

redman quay

 

mc l m8

McLaren M8A at rest 1968. (unattributed)

I re-read Mark Donohue’s excellent biography not so long ago, in it he refers to his Lola F5000 as a ‘little car’ which made me laugh! I’ve never seen F5000’s as anything other than ‘big cars’ but i ‘spose its all relative. When your frames of reference include McLaren M16 Indycars and Porsche 917/30 CanAm racers they are…

spankers

The ‘brand spankers’ M8A out front of McLaren’s ‘salubrious’ David Road, Colnbrook facilities in early 1968. A contrast with the opulence of Woking today (unattributed)

There is nothing small and subtle about CanAm cars, everything is BIIIGG!

They were built for 200 mile races, GP distance. The engines 7 litres and up, the chassis had to be big and strong to carry the engine and its fuel, they used a lotta fuel! The dimensions were unrestricted, the bodies large to provide downforce. Big engines; lots of power and torque needs a big gearbox and driveshafts, the shot above of a 1968 McLaren M8A in all its naked glory illustrates the point.

Denny Hulme took the ’68 title from teammate McLaren with 3 wins to Bruce’s 1 in 6 races.

mc and team

The team; Tyler Alexander left and Gary Knutson right, sorting an M8A engine drama at Bridghampton 1968. The car ran a bearing in the race so problem not sorted! Denny’s broke a rod, Donohue won in an M6B Chev. Bruce patiently awaits. Few racing drivers as intelligent, analytical and thoughtful. Or quick (Pete Lyons)

M8A’ s vital statistics; 7 litre/427 cid McLaren modified aluminium blocked Chev ZL-1 engine. Bore and stroke 108mm x 95mm, pushrod OHV, Vertex magneto, Lucas fuel injection the package giving circa 620bhp@7000rpm. Hewland LG500 4 speed transaxle.

Monocoque chassis of rivetted and bonded aluminium with fabricated steel bulkheads, the Chev engine was a stressed member of the chassis at the rear. Wheelbase 94 inches, front and rear tracks 57.5 and 54.5 inches, length 153 inches and height to the top of the roll bar 36 inches. Weight circa 1350 pounds.

denny

Hulme in the workshop prior to the M8A’s departure to the ‘States. Engine extractors, Lucas injection trumpets, (horizontal) fuel metering unit and (vertical) Vertex magneto, Hewland gearbox casing and brake ventilation ducts all clear. The rear wheels are fabricated magnesium, McLaren had 2 attempts at making these work and both failed. Its a top shot, Denny spent a lot of time in the workshop when not racing (Jabby Crombac via ‘kayemod’ TNF)

Rear suspension; single top link, reversed lower wishbones, twin radius rods, coil spring/damper units and adjustable roll-bars. Front by unequal length wishbones, coil spring/damper units, adjustable roll-bars.

Brakes, Lockheed outboard front and rear, McLaren cast magnesium wheels of 15 inches diameter and up to 11 inches wide and 15 inches and up to 16 inches wide at the rear…Big, like everything else!…

m8 cutaway

McLaren M8A Chev cutaway drawing. Specs as per text above. An incredible successful series of cars, the M8 family; M8A, M8B, M8D and M8F won the CanAm title in 1968-’71 respectively. (unattributed)

cars loading

All hands on deck to load the cars for shipment to the US. Teddy Mayer on the trailer with Bruce’ car, note the standard 4 spoke cast wheels on the front of Hulme’s car and experimental fabricated ones on the rear. (Nigel Beresford Collection via ‘kayemod’ TNF)

denny m8a

Denny Hulme, M8A Laguna Seca practice 1968. John Cannon won this race, famously held in very wet conditions when so many ‘fell off the Island’. Cannon’s old McLaren M1B Chev won from Hulme and George Eaton’s McLaren M1C Ford (tamsoldracecarsite.net)

Credits…

‘Cars in Profile No8 McLaren M8 Series’ by David Hodges, Pete Lyons, Jabby Crombac and Nigel Beresford Collection via ‘kayemod’ TNF, tamsoldracecarsite.net