Tag Archives: BMW 328

image_pdfimage_print

Straight, No Chaser

My local track is Brooklands, racing there was suspended at the outbreak of the War in September 1939 and never resumed. In recent years there have been considerable efforts to restore Brooklands to some of its former glory. Our Special Correspondent was on hand to witness the re-opening of the Finishing Straight last month. Naturally he found some of the Rare and Interesting to keep us entertained and informed……………


A superb example of a French Bédélia cyclecar which dates from 1910. The owner had just brought it over from France and it is a Type BD2 with a 990 c.c. V-2 Train air cooled motor. The driver sits at the back with the passenger in tandem in the front. One of these cars won the Cyclecar Grand Prix at Amiens in 1913.


The outstanding sports car of the late Thirties – the BMW 328. This is a Frazer Nash–marketed version and is the ex-Hugh Hunter car, albeit re-sprayed German white instead of the grey it was pre-war. It has a rich competition history including coming 4th in the Brooklands 3-Hour production Car Race on the Campbell Circuit in 1938.


Enjoy the view through the windscreen over the long bonnet with the recessed headlights; these cars from Eisenach dominated the international 2-litre class in their time.


This is the pre-war 2-litre Aston Martin that was raced in the 1948 Spa 24 Hour race by Jack Fairman and Richard Stallebrass. Fairman came in to hand over to his co-driver during the very wet early Saturday evening of the race and the inexperienced Stallebrass lost control on his out lap on the long sweeping bend to Malmédy somersaulting off into a field and sustaining fatal injuries.


This is a Frazer Nash-BMW 319 saloon.

It had a 6-cylinder engine, an ordinary pushrod version not the special head used for the 328.


It is always pleasing to see Babs back where she was born.


We do not often see a 4-seater tourer version of the Alvis front-wheel drive cars, and rarely with the hood up! This is a 1929 long chassis car with bodywork by Carbodies and was raced at Brooklands by Edward Farley.


Geoffrey Taylor made a series of advanced sports and racing Altas with advanced suspension and 4-cylinder twin-cam engines he made himself. This single-seater is the one raced by George Abecassis to good effect.


A 1914 Chater Lea. It used a Singer engine tuned by Lionel Martin who had great success with Singers before launching Aston Martin.


This beautiful Austin Seven Ulster ran in the 1931 Double Twelve race at Brooklands, driven by Phillip Marriage and HJ Searle.

This was the race where the Austin Sevens were finally outpaced by the new Montlhéry C-type M.G. Midgets and this little Austin finished 24th and last.


Here we see Lord March with Alan Winn, the Director of the Brooklands Museum, behind giving his address at the opening ceremony.

For the first time since 1940, we see the Finishing Straight.
TAILPIECE


Where motoring began – a lovely little Léon Bollée Voiturette made in Le Mans.

David Blumlein, July 2017

A Vintage Crop at Silverstone

The Special Correspondent visits Silverstone for the Spring VSCC meeting, rare and interesting is his quarry…………….

2016 JB General
A beautiful spring morning tempted me to drive up to Silverstone to this event where there is always an abundance of interesting cars especially when the sun shines to lure owners out with their treasured possessions. Before leaving the car park I came across this lovely Lea Francis.

It is a 2.5-litre Sports – they made 77 between 1950-53. Lea Francis was active in competitions before the war, particularly in the late Twenties when they won outright the 1928 Tourist Trophy and scored two class wins at Le Mans in 1929 and 1930.

2016 JB General
A very unexpected visitor! A 1913 Morris Oxford, representing the start of the extraordinary William Morris story. These early cars had the White and Poppe engines.
2016 JB General
Here at the other end of the scale! This is a 1928 4.5-litre Bentley, one of the Team cars. It came 7th in that year’s Tourist Trophy, never a race to suit the big cars of W.O. In the first Double Twelve at Brooklands in 1929 it retired but redeemed itself at Le Mans by completing the quartet of Bentleys which dominated that year’s results at La Sarthe. In the final Brooklands Six Hour race it came 3rd and managed 5th in the Irish Grand Prix.
2016 JB General
This is the Nash-Healey which finished 3rd behind the two Mercedes-Benz 300SLs at Le Mans in 1952, driven by Leslie Johnson and Tommy Wisdom, winning also the 3,000-5,000 c.c. class.

2016 JB General

Known as X8 and was hurriedly put together to replace the Le Mans Coupé (X6) which was badly crashed in the Mille Miglia.
2016 JB General
The big 4.1-litre 6-cylinder pushrod Nash engine.
2016 JB General
I loved this 1929 Amilcar Type M, completely unrestored.

2016 JB General

Amilcar, of St Denis in Paris, is chiefly remembered for its little sports two-seaters, rivals to the Salmsons in the Twenties but at the time of this saloon the company was giving up competitions and concentrating on touring cars.

2016 JB General

Here is its side-valve 1244 c.c. motor.
2016 JB General
A Kurtis 500 with solid front axle and Chevrolet small-block V8 – all very American!

2016 JB General

There were masses of Frazer-Nashes at Silverstone. This is a Sebring model, the last of the Isleworth-built two-seaters – this one made in August 1954, the first of just three.
2016 JB General
This Riley is a mixture! It has a Sprite chassis but is allegedly powered by the engine from Raymond Mays’s “White Riley” which had developments leading to the E.R.A. engines which were of course Riley-based.

2016 JB General
TAILPIECE
2016 JB General
Appropriately for this meeting some BMW 328s with right-hand drive marketed as Frazer-Nash-BMWs to reflect Isleworth’s involvement with the Munich company.

David Blumlein, May 2016

Retro Retro

2013 Retromobile

It is safe to say that the Classic Car Season really kicks off when the Retromobile comes round.

2013 Retromobile

Held at Pavilions 2 and 3 at the Parc des expositions, Porte de Versailles, Paris, the Retromobile has grown in stature and importance, as well as size, reflecting, perhaps, the general rising level of interest in automotive heritage.

2013 Retromobile

The Show is a cocktail of many ingredients, from the flea market to the top dealers, car manufacturers to the car clubs, enthusiasm abounds and there is much to see for even the casual visitor, let alone the dyed in the wool enthusiast.

2013 Retromobile

This Delahaye is typical of the quality that was found throughout the Retromobile.

2013 Retromobile

Despite the difficult trading conditions that prevail in Europe’s car market, especially for the French, there were prominent stands from Peugeot, Citroën and Renault, the latter having a well designed circular effort with the stars being

2013 Retromobile

a 1937 Renault Nerva Grand Sport

2013 Retromobile

and, from 1968/69, an Alpine Renault A220 that ran at the Le Mans 24 Hours.

2013 Retromobile

I also liked the contrast between the Renault 8 and Renault’s first modern day F1 car.

2013 Retromobile

The 70’s graphics are still striking.

2013 Retromobile

I witnessed the Renault RS01’s first race at Silverstone in 1977, the turbo era had arrived, though we did not appreciate it that day. We were more concerned with James Hunt and John Watson, and some crazy Canadian, Gilles Villeneuve making his debut.

2013 Retromobile

As with every show, anniversaries and birthdays are celebrated, any excuse and the Retromobile was no exception. So 30 years of the 205, one the quintessential hot hatches, was a focus on the Peugeot stand.

2013 Retromobile

Citroën’s DS19 did not have any obvious celebration to make, except being about as Gallic as is possible for a car. There were many fine examples of this ground breaker to be seen.

2013 Retromobile

The Germans occupied a big slice of Parisian territory with one of the show’s highlights being the Mercedes-Benz stand.

2013 Retromobile

Leading the fine selection of Mercedes rarities was  a joint exhibition with the Louwman Museum of the pair of recently restored Prince Heinrich 1910 Benz. The pair of cars had left in store room for decades, and recognising the importance of these cars, the two organisations decided to pool their efforts at restoration.

2013 Retromobile

“Since the beginning of the twentieth century, a large number of car races have taken place in Europe. Sons of wealthy families and rich sportsmen were the main competitors. One of these races was the Prince Heinrich, named after a keen sportsman who was the brother of Kaiser Wilhelm II. It was restricted to four-seater touring cars.”

2013 Retromobile

“On 10 June 1910 no less than 10 Benz cars took part in a 1,900 kilometer race across Germany and part of France. They had 80HP and 100HP engines with lubrication pumps, drive shaft transmission replacing the old chain system, and elegant ‘tulip’ bodywork. A month later, some of these cars took part in the ‘Kaiser Nicolas’ race in Russia covering 2,800 kilometres in eight days.”

2013 Retromobile

Speaking of the Louwman Museum, they had as a companion to the Benz a 1903 Spyker as they describe it. “This was the first car in the world to be equipped with a six-cylinder engine, and the first petrol-driven car with four-wheel drive and all-wheel brakes. This Spyker 60-HP is therefore one of the most significant cars in motoring history.”

2013 Retromobile

Rounding off the display of Mercedes Benz’ rich heritage was the “Blitzen Benz”.

One of the key goals in those early years of the 20th century was to break the then magic speed barrier of 200 km/h. Benz was the first company to do so, with a petrol-engine automobile: the 200 hp racing car took to the track at the Brooklands circuit in England in 1909, achieving an average speed of 202.7 km/h. This record-breaking racing car, with its massive four-cylinder engine, would however go on to achieve its greatest successes in Florida, USA. In 1911, Bob Burman reached the amazing speed of 228.1 km/h on the sand track at Daytona Beach, so making the “Lightning Benz”, as the model became known in the US, the fastest vehicle in the world – faster even than any aeroplane or train. It was a record that would remain unbeaten for eight years.”

2013 Retromobile

Porsche began the first of many celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the 911 with a fine selection of examples of the model through the years. Yes I know it’s a 935…………….

2013 Retromobile

BMW’s stand was frankly disappointing with some strange concept cars paying homage to the 328 and the M1, must have sounded better on paper than it looked in reality.

2013 Retromobile

Bentley had a small stand with the amazing Embiricos 4¼ Litre Pourtout Coupé on display, the impact of this important car only slightly diminished by obscure location and lighting of the stand. This will be the last appearance of this Le Mans’ veteran on this side of the Atlantic for a while.

2013 Retromobile

Sharing with the men from Crewe were fellow VW Group members, Bugatti, who brought out a Type 59 Grand Prix racer from 1934. I drew encouragement from the fact that it sported a tax disk, meaning that someone drives it on the UK roads.

2013 Retromobile

Skoda displayed an interesting array of rarely seen competition cars dating back to the 60’s including this sports prototype, the 720.

2013 Retromobile

There are always a selection of quite obscure vehicles at the top shows, tucked away in a corner was a stand celebrating Germain Lambert, an enterprising engineer who ran Automobiles Lambert from the 20’s through to 1953. This is the Lambert 6CV.

2013 Retromobile

Lambert was also an enthusiast, who raced his own creations, this is the CS Cabriolet Sport

2013 Retromobile

The output of another French engineer, Marcel Leyat, was also exhibited at the Show. His idea was to have a lightweight wooden chassis powered by a propeller, a plane without wings.

2013 Retromobile

During the 20’s he managed to sell around 30 of these strange contraptions but the concept never really caught on.

2013 Retromobile

One of the delights of shows such as the Retromobile  is finding the unexpected, here I encountered the Scuderia Filipinetti Ferrari 512S as driven at Le Mans in 1970 by Mike Parkes and Herbert Müller. They were eliminated in the notorious accident early in the race that took out the three 512s of Regazzoni and Wisell, as well as Parkes, I am sure it made for an interesting debrief.

2013 Retromobile

Another 70’s Ferrari present was this immaculate 512 BB LM

2013 Retromobile

And Paul Knapfield’s 312PB, with extra air intake to cool the F1 spec engine.

2013 Retromobile

And one last Prancing Horse, from the early days, a Ferrari 340/375 MM Berlinetta Competizione, promoting the Villa d’Este Concours.

2013 Retromobile

Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera had a stand to show off their skills and it contained a rarity from Lamborghini, dating back to 1966, the Flying Star II prototype. This was a collaboration with the factory and based on a Lamborghini chassis.

2013 Retromobile

The Retromobile had a wide range of automobilia for sale, from the likes of Hortons Books to several stands offering fine wines, and of course there are the ART stalls.

2013 Retromobile

Steve McQueen still has a power to fascinate……………..

2013 Retromobile

Someone’s wall is incomplete without this

2013 Retromobile

The Lukas Huni stand had several outstanding cars, the pick of which was this Type 57 Bugatti

2013 Retromobile

And this Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza

2013 Retromobile

I might be a bit biased but to my mind the two stands that were head and shoulders above the others came from across the English Channel.

2013 Retromobile

The sheer quality of the cars on Hall & Hall and Fiskens, or Fiskens and Hall & Hall, depending on whose stand you were on, was staggering.

2013 Retromobile

Highlights at Fiskens were two Le Mans’ veterans, the 1926 Bentley 3L Le Mans and Scuderia Filipinetti Ferrari 275 GTB/C that was a class winner in 1967, these endurance classics were just part of a fantastic set of cars that the well known London based dealer had in Paris.

2013 Retromobile

I caught up with Gregor Fisken who gave his thoughts on the 2013 Retromobile.

2013 Retromobile

“Every year it gets a little bit bigger, a little bit better, I think the show has really found the right balance. It is important that it still has elements of a flea market, it is important that the modern manufacturers can come in and embrace their heritage as well. It is important that there is wonderful art, models, parts but it is also important that it is Europe’s pre-eminent début event of the year. It kicks off the year and everyone leaves here motivated, they see old friends, they make new friends, they plan for the season and they have the opportunity to review what they are going to use in the future.”

2013 Retromobile

“What we have here on the stand today, I think, is a little bit of something for everyone. We have arguably one of the most important Le Mans’ Bentley team cars to come on the market in recent years and we have a Bugatti T37A that has had 50 years of one family ownership, so that is a special opportunity. Of course with the Ferrari 275 GTB/C there is an opportunity to purchase a car that raced in Les Vingt-Quatre Heures du Mans three times and it won its class. We had Claude Sage on the stand, from Scuderia Filipinetti, who ran the car in period. He remembered driving the car from Geneva to Le Mans, the car running in the race and then being driven back afterwards, absolutely fantastic.”

2013 Retromobile

I think cars from this period, the 60’s GT era, were the last that could be genuinely driven from the factory to Le Mans, win their class and be driven home. I think for a lot of new people that are coming into the market they find the opportunity to use such a car on the road and on rallies, events and races is very attractive. They can go to the Le Mans Classic and have a pretty prestigious way to travel down the Mulsanne.”

2013 Retromobile

It is hard to imagine but this impressive array of classics were matched by the Hall & Hall display. Endurance Racing was again well represented with Porsche 956/001 supporting Jaguar XJR-12 chassis 288, with the unique record of a victory in both the Le Mans and Daytona 24 Hours. Another flash from my misspent youth was a Lotus 49C in Gold Leaf Team Lotus livery, this being an unraced spare built for Ford.

2013 Retromobile

Rob Hall gave me his views on the Retromobile. “We have been attending the Retromobile for seven years now, it starts the season off for us really, it is a good shop window for the selling side of the business, a few of the cars here are not for sale but they add to interest to the exhibit and it gets our name noticed. It costs us certainly but during the rest of the year we recoup the outlay, either through picking up work or picking up sales.”

2013 Retromobile

“I had a quick look round the Show early today before things got busy and it is clearly a great event. There is something for everyone, whether it is old, new or something to help you work on your car.”

2013 Retromobile

“The Show is quite a big commitment but what has made it a lot easier is that it is now condensed into one weekend and a few days as opposed running over two weekends as it did in the past. The cost of hotels and travel and having staff on site has been reduced and that acts as an incentive for us to come to Paris. So both parties benefit.”

2013 Retromobile

A show would not be a show without an auction taking place and Artcurial provided the necessary ingredients, with many fine lots. The hammer came down the loudest when a 1936 Talbot Lago T150C Roadster went to a new owner for just under €1,500,000, despite the financial storms that rage in Europe there is still some money about for a classic car.

2013 Retromobile

The 2013 season is now underway having been launched at the Retromobile, it is worth a visit and especially as Paris is but a short train ride away, it can be done in a day and enthusiasts should be making their plans for February 2014.

John Brooks, February 2013