Archive for the ‘Obscurities’ Category

Graham Hill with his new Doppelganger, London, 10 October 1968…

With him is Austrian actress Loni Von Friedl who appeared in ‘Doppelganger’, a movie which is the subject of this promotion, an activity which seems quite agreeable to the great Brit. The car, also a movie-star was ‘designed and built by Alan Mann Racing, has a Ford engine and chassis, is 44 inches high and is capable of 144 mph’.

The film, also called ‘Journey To The Far Side Of The Sun’ in some countries has a screenplay written by Gerry and Sylivia Anderson of ‘Thunderbirds’ and other 1960’s ‘Supermarionation’ puppet TV series fame- well known to those of us of a particular generation.

Set one-hundred years into the future, the film is about a joint European-NASA mission to investigate a planet in a parallel position to Earth and ends in disaster with the death of one of the astronauts- his colleague discovers that the planet is a mirror image of earth. Click here for some more detailed information about the movie which first screened in 1969; https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0064519/

Who gives a rats about the movie for most of us! As to the car, I can find out a little bit, Alan Mann Racing has a great website but the car does not rate a mention there so I am intrigued to know more about the detailed design.

It seems the styling of the futuristic car (three were built for the film) was the work of Derek Meddings, the machines were ‘redressed slightly’ for a subsequent movie named ‘UFO’. The donor chassis was a Ford Zodiac Mk4 with the shapely aluminium body draped thereon. The gull-wing doors did not actually work, someone such as Hill G, or off camera during the movie was required to support a door.

‘The actors reported that the cars were very unpleasant to drive in, as there was not enough headroom, engine exhaust fumes spilled into the interior…and the cars were not fast, so many scenes were sped up to simulate a fast-moving vehicle’. The bones of the car still exist and will no doubt make an interesting curio at race/concours meetings when completed.

Photo and Other Credits…

PA Images/Joe Bangay Getty, projectswordtoys.BlogSpot.com

Tailpiece: Another of Doppelganger’s cars, Loni and a bloke…

Finito…

Panther GT clay model, at the October-November 1968 Turin Motor Show…

Scuderia Brescia Corse was founded by a group of racers disaffected by their local governments refusal to reignite the Mille Miglia. The outfit, named after the town where the Mille started, prepared cars of any type for privateers wealthy enough to use their services. The roll-call of their top drivers down the years is impressive and includes Carlo Facetti, Teodoro Zeccoli, Giampiero Moretti, Umberto Maglioli and Nino Vaccarella. The variety of cars raced is also mouth-watering- Porsche 906, Ford GT40, Ferrari 206S, 512M and Alfa T33’s included. By the late sixties the team had become quite successful in regional, national and international events.

At the Bertone stand in Turin Scuderia Brescia Corse showed a model of a car the team intended to build to contest the World Sportscar Championship- shortly thereafter at the Geneva Show the stunning prototype was unveiled.

The car had some quite original thinking including an alloy and titanium monocoque (also described as a spaceframe in some sources) chassis, hydraulically controlled rear spoiler and 24 volt electrics to allow the use of smaller, lighter conductors.

BRM were the intended engine provider- their 3 litre V12 was initially to be the cars motor but in the end the team courted Maserati instead. In time honoured fashion sufficient funding could not be secured so the car withered on the vine- a shame, it would have been a welcome addition to grids awash with variety in the immediate pre-1970 period.

 Credits…

 Getty Images, Petrolicious, Pinterest

 

Brrrm-Brrrmm…

Posted: June 3, 2018 in Fotos, Obscurities
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Love this post by Australian racer/enthusiast Ed Holly on Facebook the other day. He happily reported he still has the record but not the turntable upon which to play it…

The Spotify (you can’t beat it mind you) generation really struggle with records and turntables, mind you vinyl is staging a comeback of sorts.

Didn’t we all have Scalextric sets or a mate who had one? The image gave me all kinds of happy flashbacks. School holidays in the sixties were a blur of train sets, slot cars, a Yogi Bear or Flipper movie with mum at Balwyn Cinema (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia) with WH Lowe’s Ferrari showroom opposite in Whitehorse Road to drool over, choc-top ice cream in hand afterwards- and billy-cart manufacture of course.

Ken Holt, the Caltex Servo owner at Greythorn never did crack the shits no matter how many ball-bearings me ‘an me mates cadged in our quest for ultimate, super steep Fintonia Street speed.

Pram wheels at the front and ball bearings at ze rear was the gun setup which provided speed, plenty of front end bite and bulk oversteer of which Kevin Bartlett would have been proud.

After a couple of hours of that it was time to go inside, sort the brushes on the Chaparral and go Scalextric racing- I never did have that record mind you…

Credits…

Ed Holly, Getty Images

Tailpiece: Christmas shopping 1968- that could be mine…

 

 

(Mirrorpix)

The Coventry Climax ET199 was said to be the first British produced forklift truck, 8 October 1946…

‘Seen here being demonstrated by a girl worker at the Coventry factory that produces the truck. The demonstration included lifting a racing car weighing nearly one and a half tons’ the Getty Images caption advises. I wonder what the ‘racing car’ is?

So, there you go, a Coventry Climax trivia question the answer to which you have always been waiting for!

Post war ‘Climax changed its focus away from car engines into other markets including marine diesels, fire pumps and forklift trucks. The ET199 was designed to carry a 4,000 lb (1,800 kg) load with a 24-inch (610 mm) load centre and a 9 ft (2.7 m) lift height for those with a particular interest in these devices.

The fire pump market and race adaptations of that engine proved rather successful for the company!

(Mirrorpix)

In another bit of trivia Prince Phillip paid the lads in Coventry a visit on 21 June 1966 and is doing his best to show some interest in a 2 valve Climax FWMV V8. Those with a keen knowledge of the company’s history will recall the only works Climax engines deployed in F1 that year was the special 2 litre, 4 valve FWMV Leonard Lee built for Colin Chapman to tide Jim Clark over until the BRM H16 engine was ready to pop into Col’s Lotus 43 chassis. Click here for a short article on the Lotus 33 which used this engine.

https://primotipo.com/2014/09/28/jim-clark-lotus-33-climax-monaco-gp-1967-out-with-the-old/

Credits…

Getty Images, Digby Paape

Tailpiece: Clark in the 2 litre Lotus 33 Climax FWMV V8 at Levin, New Zealand in 1967, he won the race and the series in ‘R14’…

(Digby Paape)

Clarks Lotus 33 ‘R14’ was a chassis which had been kind to him. He first raced it at Brands Hatch in July 1966, and, fitted with the super, trick, only 2 litre version of the Coventry Climax FWMV V8 it had served him well, he drove the car when the heavy ‘H16’ engined Lotus 43 was unsuited to the circuit or circumstances. His best result against the new 3 Litre F1’s was a strong third in Holland.

He won the Tasman series in ‘R14’, assisted greatly by the unreliability of the Brabhams and the BRM P261’s which had been so dominant the year before. He raced a Lotus 43 in South Africa, the first GP of 1967, then ‘R14’ for the last time at Monaco, finally getting his hands on the Lotus 49 at Zandvoort. By that time he was a British Tax exile so the first time the Scot saw the car was when he drove it in Holland, he hadn’t even tested the thing!

Finito…

The Vauxhall 30/98 was an iconic high performance, light touring car despite the relatively small number, circa 596, built.

Such was the build quality and the fact that ’old car people’ saw the intrinsic merit of the Laurence Pomeroy design a large proportion of those constructed between 1923 to 1927 still exist. They were popular in Australia, we have a lot of 30/98’s in Oz in relative terms, the cars are a very welcome and admired part of the historic car scene. This short article is about two Velox bodied fast tourers shipped to Australia in 1924, chassis numbers OE86 and OE100.

In some of my history of Australian motor racing articles i’ve mentioned the grip on the publics imagination transcontinental or city to city record breaking had in the formative motoring years of this great sun-bleached land. Vauxhalls featured heavily in these achievements in the hands of Boyd Edkins and others.

30/98 at the Queensland/Northern Territory border fence (unattributed)

John Balmer was the scion of a well to do Victorian family, his mother acquired 30/98 chassis number OE100 as a gift for him. He competed in various motorsport events with it, and together with co-driver Eddie Scott set the transcontinental Darwin to Adelaide, Fremantle (Perth) to Adelaide, and Adelaide to Melbourne records during 1936 in the car.

OE100 was somewhat bruised by this experience so its core components- 4224cc 112 bhp four cylinder engine, gearbox and front end wheel to wheel were fitted into OE86, another 30/98 owned by RS Robinson, a friend of Balmer’s from their Melbourne University and Citizen Air Force training days.

With sponsorship provided by Shell, Dunlop and Repco, Balmer and Richard Kent established a new 9326 mile circumnavigation of Australia record of 24 days, 11 hours and 58 minutes in 1938. The Repco advertisement at this articles outset recognises that remarkable achievement of grit and endurance.

Crossing the Katherine River in the Northern Territory (unattributed)

John Balmer was killed on a bombing mission over Berlin in 1944 but left his share of the car to Robinson’s wife Janet. The car was retained by the Robinson family in Victoria’s Warrnambool area, little used other than in occasional VSCC events until sold in 2016- and restored by Paul Chaleyer in Blackburn, Victoria.

Bibliography…

ausauto.com, MossGreen auctions

Tailpiece: The transcontinental adventurers, John Balmer and Richard Kent, ‘Boys Own’ stuff isn’t it? Blackall is in central Queensland…

 

 

(Popperfoto)

Stirling Moss does his thing…

Here he is gently hoisting Miss Heathrow, Carol Marshall, into the cockpit of Peter Wardle’s Lotus 59 Formula Ford outside the Savoy Hotel on 16 April 1970.

Its the press launch of the Johnson Wax Euro Formula Ford Trophy with Stirling present in his capacity as ‘Director of Racing for Johnson Wax’- Claude Bourgoigne won the 1970 championship in a Lotus 69F.

I was researching the winner of the series and found this gem by Marcus Mussa on tentenths.com. Its British Formula Ford and Formula Atlantic champion, Grovewood Award winner and ‘Vanwall’ Tony Vandervell heir Colin Vandervell providing his recollections of the 1970 ‘EFDA European Formula Ford Championship’ series- he was second in the ‘Magic Merlyn’, the Mk11A chassis also raced by Emerson Fittipaldi and Jody Scheckter.

Colin Vandervell pensive, atypical it seems (ESPN)

‘The series was run initially by Nick Brittan and I seem to remember Tony Dron was involved (maybe he was Nick Brittan’s assistant at the time). I spoke to Colin Vandervell, who is blessed with an incredible memory- who told me a bit about the 1970 season. The series was sponsored by Johnson Wax. First prize was a F3 Lotus, with Holbay engine and a full budget for 1971!
First round – Zandvoort. Nick Brittan would not let Colin enter as he considered him not experienced enough! Race was won by Tony Trimmer.
Second round – Zolder. Colin got in and finished 2nd, miles behind Claude Bourgoignie, thanks to a lot of cars dropping out/crashing etc.
Third round – Anderstorp. Colin won
Fourth round – Salzburgring. Colin won
Fifth round – Hockenheim. Colin finished 4th. The first 20 cars were inside and all over each other- no chicanes at the time! Colin describes the race as “highly dangerous”. He was in the lead for most of it with Trimmer then the main pack caught them two laps from the end and they were swamped.
After Hockenheim there was a hill-climb in Switzerland, which Bourgoignie won.
Then at Imola Colin was 1.5 secs quicker than anyone in practice but (Colin) Chapman arranged for a bunch of Lotus drivers to enter with instructions to take Colin out! At the first corner two Lotuses (Loti?) hit him, Mo Harness barrel rolled 15 times and ended up in a ditch, bits of his rear suspension ripping off one of Colin’s brake lines.
Imola and Hockenheim were very, very fast tracks at the time. Colin says he used a 25/25 (24/24?) top gear at these tracks, higher even than Silverstone.
The final was at Brands Hatch and Colin won again.
In the end Bourgoignie was champion by only 3 points by virtue of winning or being well placed every time. Colin is sure he would have won if Brittan had let him into the first race.
Colin was of course driving his Merlyn (ex Emerson Fittipaldi, future Jody Scheckter and Frank Sytner!). In those days FF ran on road tyres – Avon crossplies in the dry and Firestone radials in the wet (for the wealthier drivers!).’
1970 EFDA/Johnson Wax Series Results
I’ve included the full list to enable you to cast your eyes over the array of talent, many of whom came through into the professional ranks in the coming years if not F1.
1. Claude Bourgoigne (B) Lotus-Holday 69F
2. Colin Vandervell Merlyn-Rowland Mk11A
3. Tony Trimmer Lola-Steele T200
4. Tom Belso (DK) Hawke-Lloyd DL2A
5. Jac Nelleman (DK) McNamara-Steele
6. Ian Taylor March-Spence 708
7. Hans Meier (A) Hawke-BRM L2A
8.Peter Lamplough Palliser-BR MWDF2
9. Brian Nelson (IRL) Crossle Nelson 16F
10. Huub Vermeulen (NL) Lotus-Holbay 61M
11. Tom Strous (DK) Lotus-Holbay 61M
Charles Carling Crossle Lucas 16F
Bob Evans Palliser-BRM WDF2
Derek Lawrence Titan-Lucas Mk6
Hakan Dahlqvist (S) Lotus-Holbay 61M
Peter Wardle Lotus-Holbay 69F
Vern Schuppan Palliser BRM WFD2
Mike Fraser Royale-RP RP3
Giancarlo Naddeo (I) De Sanctis
Mo Harness Lotus-Holbay 69F
Theo Koks (NL) Lotus Holbay 61M
Crystal Palace F3 Final, 10 September 1971…
Before and after!
The plunge for the lead coming into the kink before North Tower. Jody Scheckter, Merlyn Mk21 Ford, Dave Walker, Lotus 69 Ford and on the right Colin Vandervell, Brabham BT35 Ford. Jody has plunged down the inside just as Walker popped out of Vandervell’s slipstream with the Lotus and Merlyn about to lock wheels- all three cars made contact.
Roger Williamson won that day in Tom Wheatcroft’s March 713M Ford.

(unattributed)

Walker, Scheckter, Vandervell- the long walk home! (unattributed)

Check out this summary of Colin Vandervell’s career written by Andrew Marriott…

http://en.espn.co.uk/f1/motorsport/story/9325.html

Photo and other credits…

Popperfoto, ESPN, f3history.co.uk

Finito…

ballila ad

Fiat ad for the Balilla Berlina circa 1932…

‘The new Balilla, for everyone, women’s elegance’.

The Balilla was a 1 litre, 4 cylinder, 4 seater built at the Lingotto plant and also assembled in Poland, Germany and France from 1932-37. With a 3 speed ‘box, the car did around 50mph. Not normally primotipo material but the ad caught my eye!

Credit…

Fiat