Monthly Archives: August 2013

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A Day on the Downs

2013 Goodwood Galaxie Test

“Pop down to Goodwood next Friday, I am testing the Galaxie.”

2013 Goodwood Galaxie Test

A siren call from my old mate, Bill Shepherd, purveyor of England’s finest Mustangs and a noted driver of Cobras and similar wild things. Bill acquired a very special example of the Ford, a 1963 “Lightweight” one of only 211 built. Four cars found their way across the Atlantic to go circuit racing, rather than head towards the Speedways or Drag Strips.

2013 Goodwood Galaxie Test

This is one of that quartet, having been properly restored by the current owner and now he has his sights set on the St. Mary’s Trophy at the Goodwood Revival in a few weeks. More about the car later in a special feature…………..what else was whizzing around Glorious Goodwood?

2013 Goodwood Galaxie Test

Quite a few classics getting in a bit mileage before the main event including this lovely Shelby Cobra which has been in the wars during the past two appearances at the Revival.

2013 Goodwood Galaxie Test

Olly Bryant, up and coming GT driver, was giving the Cobra a run out.

2013 Goodwood Galaxie Test

Another current sportscar star, Karun Chandhok, was out in a Lightweight E-Type.

2013 Goodwood Galaxie Test

Plenty of cool cars in the paddock, this Aston Martin DB2/4 standing out.

A great way to spend a day.

John Brooks, August 2013

The Last Lap

1998 ISRS Misano

British Racing Motors aka BRM had an illustrious motorsports history, the peak was winning the 1962 Formula One World Championships with Graham Hill. The driver roster over the years included Fangio and Moss, Siffert and Rodriguez, all legends of the sport. After several disappointing seasons the team folded in 1977. For BRM it was generally a case of what might have been, right from the early days of the V-16.

1998 ISRS Misano

The racing aspect of the brand was resurrected by John Mangoletsi in 1992 with an attempt to race in Group C. The project was not a success and eventually the single chassis, designated P351, was sold on to Pacific Racing. They modified it, removing the roof and adding a rollbar and entered the car, now a P301, in the fledgling International Sports Racing Series, run ironically enough by John Mangoletsi.

Success eluded the new owners and though the end came after non-qualification at Donington in 1998, the final race of BRM was just four laps of the Misano 2½ Hours earlier in the month. A disappointing end. Above is Tim Sugden in Qualifying putting the car up in 9th place. More potential unfulfilled.

John Brooks, August 2013

 

Indian Summer

2012 Salon Prive

2012 was weird time to live in and around London, the coincidence of Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee and the staging of the XXX Olympiad meant that there were many events occurring that would never be seen again in the lifetimes of those who witnessed them.

2012 Salon Prive

Given the strong heritage that the automobile enjoys in Britain it came as no surprise that there would be some form of motoring celebration that would pay tribute to the Queen’s anniversary.

2012 Salon Prive

The question would be where, as any concours would have to be in suitable surroundings at least the equal of Villa d’Este or Pebble Beach.

2012 Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance

The answer was really rather obvious, although actually getting permission to use it would have required great diplomacy on the part of the organisers.

2012 Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance

Windsor Castle’s Upper Ward was the final choice, a private area in the largest inhabited castle in the world and the longest occupied palace in Europe. It does not get much better than that.

2012 Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance

So that is how I found myself in the Queen’s palace, reputed to be her favourite, last September. I was not really sure what to expect as this was new event and usually it takes a few years to get matters up to speed.

2012 Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance

I had been to Pebble Beach and Amelia Island a few years back and knew how high they had set the bar. However nothing prepared me for the astounding display of automotive treasure arranged on the lawn.

2012 Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance

Within the castle walls there were 60 of the world’s greatest cars, chosen with great care by the organising committee, one for each year of the monarch’s reign.

2012 Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance

Although all present were worthy inclusions we all have favourites, so here are a few of mine starting with the Embiricos Bentley 4¼ Litre Pourtout Coupé, an absolute gem of a car.

I have written about this unique creation HERE

2012 Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance

It was not just the French coach builders who overwhelmed our senses in the 1930’s, this Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Touring Berlinetta, one of six built with a roof, was not just a pretty face, similar models won the Mille Miglia and the Spa 24 Hours outright.

2012 Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance

A more modern Italian is this Lamborghini Miura SV in a dramatic yellow livery.

2012 Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance

And what concours would be possible without a contribution from Maranello? This Ferrari GT SWB Berlinetta is a fine example.

2012 Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance

Let us not forget contributions from the locals, a Jaguar E-Type and an AC Cobra sit in the shadow of the Round Tower.

2012 Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance

Aston Martin in the shape of this DB6 Volante, owned by HRH Prince of Wales, was also on display.

2012 Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance

And when it comes to perfection of outline it is hard to imagine anything more sublime than the Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato Berlinetta

2012 Salon Prive

More elegant luxury is found with this Bentley Continental S Type with HJ Mulliner bodywork.

2012 Salon Prive

Arguably the most imposing vehicle on display was the Rolls-Royce Phantom I Jonckheere Coupé, brought over by the Petersen Automotive Museum in California. The art deco style bodywork with oval doors is absolutely stunning.

2012 Salon Prive

It is not a car for mere mortals, only a Maharaja or a Hollywood star of the 1930’s could really carry off being seen with such a creation.

2012 Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance

So looking back at last year’s event the question is will there be a repeat?

Thankfully the answer is in the affirmative.

I quote the release from the Concours’ organisers.

Sixty of the world’s rarest historic cars will gather on the Royal lawns of St James’s, Central London from September 5-7, 2013.  Some of these cars have never before been seen and the public is not normally allowed access to this area of St James’s.

In addition to the amazing Concours cars will be a line-up of Lamborghini’s to celebrate the marque’s 50th anniversary plus the Royal Automobile Club is bringing its Spirit of Motoring Tour.
On the opening morning, our Royal Patron HRH Prince Michael of Kent will lead the convoy of Concours cars as they leave the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace to travel down The Mall before turning into Marlborough Road and into the Concours.
Members of the public who own a historic, GT or sports car can also be part of this display of automotive sculpture as they will be allowed to park along part of the Mall just outside the Concours.
Tickets and more information from www.concoursofelegance.co.uk.
My recommendation is that if you can attend, do, the quality will not be surpassed anywhere and the cost of a ticket is very reasonable considering what is on offer.
In the meantime here is a gallery from 2012.
I looked at the cars that were parked outside the castle walls earlier HERE
John Brooks, August 2013

 

A Touch of Class

2012 Salon Prive

There are many celebrations of the automobile taking place in every corner of the globe, inevitably some are better than others. So the top table would be composed of the likes of the concours at Amelia Island, Villa d’Este and Pebble Beach to name but three. Here in England we could advance the charms of Goodwood’s twins, the Festival of Speed and the Revival, which stand comparison with any. However until recently London, one of the true world cities, did not have a motoring event to match, not even a domestic motor show.

2012 Salon Prive

That omission has now been put right and we now have not one, but two world class events within reach of the capital. Even better they are at around the same time, early September. The first of these is Salon Privé, currently held at Syon House, the London residence of the Duke of Northumberland, a truly magnificent setting and less than ten miles from the center of town.

2012 Salon Prive

Held over three days the event combines a passion for automobiles with a taste of the finer things in life, all very agreeable. There is something for everyone at this festival of the car.

2012 Salon Prive

The 2013 edition will take place on 4-5-6 September and details, tickets etc., can be found HERE

2012 Salon Prive

The highlight of the event is the Concours d’Elegance, which is judged on the first day, by the likes of Le Mans legend, Derek Bell, and design guru, Peter Stevens.

2012 Salon Prive

There are also Hyper and Super car exhibitions and a number of new cars will be shown in the UK for the first time. It is a top class affair and well worth the time and expense. The tickets are not cheap but you get very well looked after in the refreshments department and it certainly beats the crowds at Goodwood or the misery of Silverstone. Go, you will not regret it.

John Brooks, August 2013

 

Classical Gas and Thunder Road

The Professional

No it is not a call for Mason Williams or Ryland Cooder, however timeless they are, but it is mid-August so the Monterey Peninsula is buzzing with automotive gold. Whether it is down on Pebble Beach or up at Laguna Seca there is something for every kind of petrolhead and I hope to bring you more during the coming weeks. Here is a bit of the real stuff. Jürgen Barth in a 911 sporting Catalan colours, courtesy of our friend David Soares.

2013 Brooklands Mustang

Meanwhile on the other side of the world I popped over to my local track, Brooklands. The reason was to see the Mustang and other Americana event and well worth the time it was too. More from that later……………OK it was not The Quail but the same spirit is found here around the Byfleet Banking, Percy Lambert’s ghost still races his Talbot and with the right kind of imagination you can feel that Certain Sound.

John Brooks, August 2013

I Can Carry a Toon

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I recently exchanged emails with the great Jim Bamber, who tells me that he has been under the weather recently. Very unfortunate as he is in a class of his own when it comes to illustrating motorsport and its shortcomings and absurdities. I have been lucky enough to feature in a small way in one or more Jim’s Toons. Here I am riding the bomb bound for Sebring in a reprise of the classic Major T.J. “King” Kong role, of course Morse gets to be the hero pilot. Ah well, Hollywood looks after its own.

John Brooks, August 2013