Tag Archives: Ford GT

Wisdom around the Fountain

The past two summers have been very strange while life has been put on hold but, as we approach autumn, things are beginning to return to normal. A sure sign of this is a post in our very popular series, Rare and Interesting, an exclusive from David Blumlein. Today he looks back to the Concours of Elegance in 2020.

The coming of production of unit-construction cars, for example the Citroën Traction Avant in 1934 and the Opel Olympia (Berlin Show 1935), sounded the death-knell for the many coach-builders and those which survived (as well as manufacturers themselves) continued to make bespoke special cars for wealthy customers. One such is this Aston Martin Victor, named after Victor Gauntlett, Aston’s former executive chairman. It is a full-carbon fibre one-off with a 7.3-litre V12 engine.

This writer firmly believes that the original Bentley Continental by H.J. Mulliner is the most beautiful of all Bentleys. The model was introduced in 1952 and this car was delivered in February 1953 through Franco Britannic Automobiles, the French Rolls-Royce agent. The car’s prototype “Olga” (registered OLG 490) acted as a Course Car at the Le Mans 24 Hour race. Soon the Company “spoilt” the original design by adding more luxury (and therefore weight) and changing the aerodynamics.

This MGA Twin Cam was one of a team of three sent by the Abingdon Competitions Department to the 1960 Sebring 12 Hour race where it finished fourth in class, driven by Jim Parkinson and Jim Flaherty. The MGA was very successful in North America – of just over 101,000 made 81,401 were sold in that market.

Sir Malcolm Campbell owned lots of cars and this Rolls-Royce Phantom II was his third Phantom.

With coachwork by Barker, this 1933 Sports Saloon had a 7.6-litre six-cylinder overhead valve engine of 120bhp.

This was the first public showing of Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s Ineos Grenadier, a 4×4 rival to the Land Rover Defender.

The Brabham BT62R was designed for track use but is now ready for the road.

In its long history the Ford Motor Company has embraced every aspect of the motoring world,  from the Tin Lizzie, making lorries for the Wehrmacht to winning Le Mans four times! This is the third iteration of its splendid GT40 concept, complete with V6 engine now, and a racing version won its class at Le Mans in 2016, the 50th anniversary of its spectacular triumph at the famous race.

McLaren keeps making lots of new cars and this Speedtail recalls the Porsche 908 “Langheck” which ran at Le Mans in 1968. Like Gordon Murray’s F1 the Speedtail has a central driving position.

David Blumlein, September 2021                                                                                                              

NEC Magic

Mea Culpa, the Special Correspondent sent me this piece ages back. It got lost in what passes for my filing system but has popped back into view and is too good to waste……..so a quick look back to the 2016 Classic Car Show at the NEC.

The 6/80 and its 4-cylinder counterpart, the 4/50, were the first new post-war Wolseleys, having much in common with Nuffield’s new range of Morris cars presented at Earls Court in 1948 – the Minor, Oxford and Six. They used the same 4-door monocoque body, the newly-introduced torsion bar independent front suspension ( a first for both Morris and Wolseley), the fashionable steering-column gear change and even the pull-out door handles. The Wolseleys, however, used overhead camshaft engines and the Morris Six shared the 6-cylinder unit of the 6/80.

The first public awareness of the future MGA was the appearance of prototypes under the code EX 182. Ken Wharton and Dick Jacobs carried out testing in April 1955 at Silverstone and three cars were entered for that year’s Le Mans 24 Hour race. Ken Miles and racing motorcyclist Johnny Lockett finished 12th in the car shown above and Ted Lund and Swiss Hans Wäffler came 17th. The third car was crashed at the White House corner and burnt out, Dick Jacobs being seriously injured, bringing to an end his racing career.

Three cars also raced in the Tourist Trophy at Dundrod, one with an experimental twin-cam engine.

Singer launched their 1100 c.c. Ten in 1912, the first proper light car (as distinct from the cyclecars), and forged a fine reputation with it. This was enhanced with the introduction of their excellent Junior in 1926, by which time Singer was Britain’s third largest manufacturer behind Morris and Austin. The Junior was given an 847 c.c. overhead camshaft engine, the smallest British car so equipped, although Wolseley and Rhode had been using this layout beforehand. The little Singer came with a variety of body styles from the outset.

On December 4th 1928 Bill Deeley of the Aylesbury Motor Company and Ernest Wood of the Singer dealer in Exeter took a Singer Junior Sports Model to the notorious Porlock Hill in Somerset where the gradient was as much as 1 in 4.5 and where there were two very sharp hairpin bends, and made 100 ascents and descents in 15 hours, all under R.A.C. observation. In recognition of this achievement Singer renamed the boat-tail Sports model the Porlock in January 1929.
This is one of them.

This is a 1936 Rover Speed Twelve Sports Tourer. The Sleaford, Lincolnshire Rover agent, Billy Maidens, entered the car for the 1937 R.A.C. Rally in March and achieved 924.4 points out of 1000. The car also ran in the Scottish and Welsh rallies that year.

It was specially prepared (probably at Rover’s Seagrave depot in London) and had twin downdraft S.U. carburettors.

Good to see the latest Ford GT which won the LM GTE PRO class at Le Mans in 2016.

This Triumph was one of three specially built Gloria four seat Tourers with lightened chassis, all aluminium body construction, a 17-gallon slab tank and twin spare wheels entered for the 1934 Monte Carlo Rally. John Beck and Reg Tanner finished 27th overall. The design became the prototype of the popular sporting “Monte Carlo” model.


This is an authentic example of the Military version of the Austin Seven of which about 150 were built in 1929-31 with bodies by Mulliners of Birmingham. They were useful transport for junior officers and NCOs.

David Blumlein, June 2017

Reflections from the South Downs

The Special Correspondent paid his annual visit to Lord March’s Goodwood Estate for the Festival of Speed. He found much to admire and pass comment on, and he favours us with his reflections.
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How better to start a visit than to be confronted with the new Bugatti Chiron?
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One is not at Goodwood very long before one sees a rare gem such as this KTM X-Bow GT4. Developed by Reiter Engineering it uses an Audi 2.0 TFSI 4-cylinder engine.
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This 1924 Vauxhall Wensum is an example of the bespoke coachbuilt body styles fitted to the popular 30/98 chassis. Vauxhall’s works driver, A.J.Hancock, kept a fast motorboat on the River Wensum near Norwich, hence the boat tail and wooden marine decking interior.
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Following his Lambda masterpiece, Vincenzo Lancia created in 1931 the Astura with a brand new 2604 c.c. V8 engine for fast touring.

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This is a 1933 example with Pinin Farina bodywork, one of a batch of five cabriolets for Lancia dealer Ernesto Bocca.

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After the records by the 40CV cars in 1925 and 1926, Louis Renault asked his engineers to create a new record breaking car, the Nervasport, this a faithful recreation as the original has disappeared. It had a straight 8 side-valve engine and 3-speed gearbox. At Montlhéry in April 1934 it covered a record-breaking 5000 miles.

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2016 DB GeneralThis Mercedes-Benz W25 R attained over 230 m.p.h. in 1936.
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This is the 1940 Mille Miglia-winning BMW 2-litre, driven by Huschke von Hanstein and Walter Baumer.
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This unusual version of the Lotus Europa has a turbo BDA as used in the Zakspeed Capri. The car’s only noteworthy result was a sixth place at Hockenheim in 1979, driven by Harald Ertl.

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It took Ford three years to win Le Mans, achieving it with the 7-litre GT40 Mk 2 in 1966.
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They repeated their success in 1967 when Dan Gurney and A.J.Foyt drove this Mark IV.
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Ford returned to Le Mans this year with their new GT and successfully won the GTE Pro class.

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Here is their trophy:
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The 1936 Auto Union C-type warming up in the paddock.

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Here is its 6-litre supercharged V16 engine.
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An 1898 Stephens Dog Cart – note the independent front suspension!

David Blumlein, July 2016