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Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Lancia Lambda

This is a car seen at the start of the Manchester to Blackpool Veteran and Vintage Car Run on 3rd June 1990 and organised by the Lancashire Automobile Club. It's a 1925 Lancia Lambda and it was owned by John Muschamp of Keighley, West Yorkshire.
The website auto.howstuffworks.com says this about the 1923-1931 Lambda:

'The 1923-1931 Lancia Lambda pioneered the unit body method of car construction which today is used by the majority of automobiles.
"No one can look at the history of motoring without seeing the Lancia Lambda as a major technical milestone," wrote the late Michael Frostick. "Leaving aside its novel engine, its independent suspension, and a whole host of other minor innovations, its unique unitary construction, in which body and chassis were one, came a good ten years before Mr. Budd succeeded in selling his idea for a monocoque to Andre Citroen."
Exactly where Vincenzo Lancia, that brilliant pioneer, got the idea of a unit body-chassis is unknown. The only tale commonly repeated is that it glimmered aboard ship on the Atlantic, possibly from the way a ship's hull holds its structure together -- which is probably about as true as the one about Isaac Newton and the apple.
No matter, for the fact is that on the last day of 1918 Lancia filed for Italian patents on a car in which the body was "a self-supporting shell without a separate chassis," and had it in production four years later. If the Lambda represented a tremendous risk on the part of his company, it also emphasized Lancia's clean-slate approach to design.
One of his objectives was an extremely low center of gravity while retaining adequate ground clearance and suspension movement. Such a layout precluded the conventional separate chassis and body as known at the time. Lancia adopted a welded and riveted steel shell with a central open-bottom tunnel for the driveshaft and another tunnel at right angles to it for the rear axle, which simultaneously strengthened the overall shell.
The tunnels in turn allowed for low-mounted seats, and footwells designed so that the seat cushions could rest even lower. The shell was made stronger by extending the sides upward -- with the smallest possible doors -- to form the body, while a removable hardtop provided weather protection and more rigidity.
The independent front suspension was a sliding pillar system with a transverse leaf spring; the engine a narrow, long-stroke V-4 of 2.1 liters developing 49 horsepower. The first Lambdas had three-speed gearboxes, but a four-speed was developed in 1925.'
This is the same car passing under Cathedral Approach, from where it started, after turning left onto Deansgate then left again onto Chapel Street, the A56.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Salford Quays - The Dock Cranes

When the Salford Quays regeneration project started in the 1980s two of the giant cargo cranes which had been on South Dock 6 since 1966 were moved to a new position at the head of Ontario Basin as symbols of the industrial heritage of the docks. I'd read some time ago that the cranes should be scrapped as they had become too expensive to maintain, and despite protests Salford Council decided in November 2012 that they were to go ahead with the demolition. I decided that I must take some photographs of the cranes before it happened but had never got round to doing so until I read early last week that the demolition was to take place on Saturday 26th October. Consequently, on Wednesday of last week I managed to take a few photographs  of the cranes in the early evening sunlight and this is what they looked like:
On Saturday, the day of the demolition, I went along again to see how the work was progressing and came across this sight:
One of the cranes was being supported by a massive mobile crane and a couple of men were in a cherry-picker at the top of the base.
A closer look showed that they were using an acetylene torch to cut through the base just underneath the cab of the crane.
When the cutting had been done the upper part of the crane swayed slightly as it separated from the base.
The cherry-picker was then moved away and lowered and the giant mobile crane began to turn the upper part of the dock crane round ready to be lowered to the ground.
This continued, with a bit of delay whilst the ropes steadying the structure were manoeuvred over the cables running above the Metrolink Tramway track running alongside the site, until it was safely on the ground awaiting removal......
......like some massive dead beast.

And where are the birds going to roost now in the evening.....

Friday, 25 October 2013

Friday's Ferrari

On 27 September 2013 I showed some photographs of Ferrari F355s at the Ferrari & Maserati Festival of Racing at Donington Park in May 2003. Here are some Ferrari 360s from the same meeting.
Entered and driven by Peter Sowerby of Lincoln

Entered and driven by Marco Attard of Guildford

I'm not sure whether this car took part in the racing or not. It doesn't seem to match any car shown in the programme of the meeting unless it's Martin Lanting's car.

This car was entered and driven by Oliver Morley of Altrincham

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Morgan Plus 4 Plus Coupe

It must have been in the 'Observer's Book of Automobiles' of about 1963 that I first saw a picture of the Morgan Plus 4 Plus Coupe, which was at the time a radical departure from the then current Plus 4 sports car. And in the fifty years since then I've only ever seen one of them - but then there were only 26 of the cars actually built. The one I saw was at the SeeRed meeting at Donington Park in September 2007, and it is pictured below.


Monday, 21 October 2013

Frazer Nash

It's always interesting at the historic and classic car meetings to have a walk round the areas set aside for the different owners clubs members' cars. These three photographs are from the parking area of the Frazer Nash Car Club at the Coys International Historic Festival meeting at Silverstone in July 1995. There's another site I've found here which records Frazer Nash post-war production with details of each vehicle, from where I've got the bits of information underneath each of the photographs.

This is a 1952 Targa Florio, originally owned by Briggs Cunningham, which took part in the 1953 Sebring 12-hour race.

This is a later Targa Florio, a 1953 model, and the first owner was someone called Patel from Pakistan.

This is a 1954 Sebring model, originally owned by a Col. O'Hara Moore which competed in a sports car race at Silverstone in 1954 and in the Dundrod TT of that year.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Friday's Ferrari

Entered in the GT race at the Coys International Historic Festival meeting at Silverstone in July 1993, this is a 1963 Ferrari 250GTO. The official Ferrari website says about the 250GTO:

The overall shape of the aluminium bodies designed and built by Scaglietti changed very little during the production period from 1962 to 1964, apart from a one-off example bodied in the style of the 330 LM Berlinetta. The last three cars in the series received Pininfarina-designed and Scaglietti-built bodies of a style very similar to that used on the mid-engine 250 LM sports racing car. Four earlier cars were also re-bodied in the later style during 1964. Although the overall body shape didn't alter to any great degree, the detail differences during the production run certainly did. The early cars in the series had a small elliptical radiator opening, bounded by rectangular driving lights, initially with brake cooling ducts under the nose, which then changed to vertical brake cooling slots in the nose alongside the driving lights, with the sidelights mounted below the Plexiglass shrouded headlights. The rear spoiler was bolted to the tail panel, and there were cabin exhaust air slots in the sail panels. The brake cooling ducts soon became circular, and the side lights moved to a semi-recessed location in the wing sides; a little while after these modifications the tail spoiler, still of the same profile, became an integral, riveted part of the body construction.

This is a 1963 model and is one of the cars that were re-bodied in 1964, its serial number being 4399GT and you can read the history of the car here. In 1993 the owner of the car was Sir Anthony Bamford and it was driven in the race by Frank Sytner.


Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Ecurie Ecosse

Ecurie Ecosse was a Scottish motor racing team founded in 1952 and best known for its exploits at the Le Mans 24 Hour race, winning the event in both 1956 and 1957 with their Jaguar D-types. Former Ecurie Ecosse cars were well represented at the Coys International Historic Festival meeting at Silverstone in July 1995:
This is one of the Jaguar D-types,a 1955 car, owned and driven in the 1995 race by John Harper

A 1956 D-type, driven in 1995 by Frank Sytner and owned by J C Bamford

The 1959 Tojeiro-Jaguar, owned in 1995 by the Altera Corporation and driven by Barrie Williams

The Tojeiro again, and behind it is the 1960 Ecurie Ecosse Commer transporter

In 1957 a Race of Two Worlds was organised at Monza for teams from the Formula One World Championship based in Europe to compete against American Indianapolis cars on the banked oval part of the Monza Autodrome. Apart from an entry from Maserati and a privateer Ferrari the only European cars entered were three Ecurie Ecosse Jaguar D-types. The race was run again in 1958 and this time Ecurie Ecosse entered two D-types and a specially built Lister-Jaguar with a single-seater body, which is the car shown above, although the aluminium body remained unpainted for the 1958 race. After that race the event was discontinued due to both the costs involved and safety concerns. The Lister was owned and driven in 1995 by Ric Weiland.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Fiat 'Mephistopheles'

In 1923 Ernest Eldridge created a car using the chassis of a 1908 Fiat SB4 Grand Prix car with a 6-cylinder 21.7 litre Fiat A12 aeroplane engine in an attempt to break the World Land Speed record. In 1924 he achieved that record at a speed of 146.0 mph at Arpajon in France. 

This photograph of the car was taken at the Richard Seaman Memorial Trophies meeting at Oulton Park in 1960:

The car is now in the Fiat museum in Turin, and you can read about it here. (NB: That article says that it's got an 18 litre engine, but the Wikipedia article and other sites I've looked at agree that it's 21.7 litres)

Friday, 11 October 2013

Gill Langlois

No Ferrari photograph today.
On September 25th our daughter-in-law's mother Gill, Edward's Grandma, died suddenly whilst on holiday in Greece and the funeral is today. Beryl and I can't be there, but our thoughts and prayers are with Martyn, Anna and Louise, and all the rest of the family there in Guernsey.



Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Pallot Museum, Jersey - More Tractors

Two more tractors from the Pallot Museum at Jersey:
A 1923 Fordson Model F

A 1938 Fordson Standard

Monday, 7 October 2013

Bugattis at Donington Park

The second race at the SeeRed Richard Seaman Memorial Trophies meeting at Donington Park on 21st May 2011 was the 'Williams Trophy Race for Pre-1934 Grand Prix Cars'. Taking part in this race were several Bugattis and below are photographs of five of the cars taken at McLeans Corner.
Duncan Pittaway in a 1925 Type 35

Bruce Stops in a 1928 Type 35

Stephen Shoosmith in a 1931 Type 51

David Hands in a 1925 Type 39

John Horton in a 1930 Type 35B

Friday, 4 October 2013

Friday's Ferrari

This is the 1956 Ferrari 410S of Brazilian Carlos Monteverde seen at the Coys International Historic Festival meeting at Silverstone in July 1998. You can read here what the official Ferrari website says about the 410S and this site gives you the history of this particular car which is serial number 0596CM.
Also in this photograph you can see five more Ferraris, (from the left) two 365 Daytona GTB/4s (15667 & 15681), a 500 TRC (0682MDTR), an 860 Monza (0604M) and a 250 GTO (4153GT).

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Bristol 450S

The Bristol 450S was built specially to take part in long distance sports car races, in particular the Le Mans 24 hour race and the 12 hour one at Reims. You can read the history of the cars on this website. Interestingly, David Blakely, builder and driver of the Emperor HRG, was due to join the Bristol team at Le Mans for the 1955 race in June, probably as a reserve driver, but was shot dead by Ruth Ellis in April of that year.
After the 1955 Le Mans race, possibly as a result of the dreadful accident involving Pierre Levegh, Bristol withdrew from racing, the best components of the three cars were used to create one vehicle and the remaining ones were scrapped. That car has occasionally taken part in historic car races and was present at the Coys International Historic Festival meeting at Silverstone in July 1993 where I took the photographs below.
Despite what the board behind it says this is the Bristol 450S
Later in the day the weather had improved somewhat and here the car waits in the paddock to go out for a practice session
A rear view showing the distinctive tail fin