British Stock-Car Racing in the 1950s-1970s
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Now for something different:
Some different auto-related oddments that I like:

Look for UPDATE labels: new additions.

The rest of my website is fairly 'exclusive' and unique, because the photos and stories are mine or those of fans who have personally sent me donations.  In this section I have collected oddments from everywhere: the InterNet, newspapers, books, magazines, etc.  

Banger Heaven  :-)

banger

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Two World Champions: Graham Hill and his son Damon

graham

Damon Hill's autobiography WATCHING THE WHEELS was published in 2016

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She raced with Fangio and Moss:

maria  maria t

Okay, she didn't win races, but bless her, Maria Teresa de Filippis has the smile that says it all. She raced a Maserati 250F in 1958, along with Juan Manuel Fangio and Stirling Moss. Maria Teresa died in January 2016.

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Compare Maria's  dignified racing experience with this:  A professional drag racer in the USA. Alexis de Joria, races a Funny Car and wins; when she won at the NHRA races in Las Vegas and collected her well-deserved trophy, wearing her racing suit, see what she had to share the podium with:

alexis


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The world moves on:  I never thought I'd see this mix of people in the restricted pit area of an F1 Grand Prix. This is the 2016 Canadian GP. In the early sixties I was made to feel embarrassed among the posh 'county' crowd in the Silverstone pits at club races, me in my Woolworths plastic mac and paper bag of jam sandwiches, and my 'common' village accent.
Lewis Hamilton's success has encouraged people who'd never have dreamed of being "in" the world of Grands Prix.

changes

Williams Grove, the legendary Pennsylvania 1/2 mile clay oval, which today is lapped at AVERAGE speeds of 120mph. This was 1968 and two sprint cars have snagged wheels.  The flyer came down the 'bad way up', but the driver survived, albeit with serious injuries.

safety

The Man Who Fought Sugar Ray

A terrific piece of writing --- about the shock of being a good race driver and coming up against the best. It's a pdf file of an article in Road & Track magazine from 1972. Read it!

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Strong women


These are big lists, so don't expect to remember or recognize names.  But you will be surprised by the sheer number and variety of young and adult women who race cars and motorcycles, on and off-road.  Scrolling through these pdf slides will give you a new perspective.  My daughter accompanied me to the races when she was young, and it was one of the influences that inspired her to be adventurous and open minded. Try it.

Women mechanics at work

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Women who race speedway and flat-track motorcycles

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Women in Karting

Women who race in motocross

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Women in Motorcycle Trials

Women rally drivers

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Women sidecar racers: are they crazy?

Women who road-race cars

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Mothers and their Kids   [yes: mums who race]   :-)

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Women at Bonneville Salt Flats: motorcycles


 
Women at Bonneville Salt Flats: cars


 Four drivers who have won the Formula Renault championship:
three were recruited onwards to fame and glory --- why not the fourth?





Laleh Siddegh: "against the rules"

laleh

This Iranian woman competed and won in rallying and circuit racing, and became Iran's 2005 GT champion, but first she cleverly got official 'permission' to race from a mullah by explaining that in motor sport all parts of the body and head are covered (fire suit ;-), and that competitors do not touch each other.  But angry officials intervened at the national championship award ceremony. Laleh was ordered to put on a heavy top coat over her racing suit, and to wear a headscarf ---- unlike the two men on the 2nd and 3rd podium spots. In addition, Iranian Television blacked-out the award ceremony.  Here are 7 slides in a pdf file.

 

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Whose BRM is this, with a four-cylinder motor? Photographed at Ragley Hall hill climb in 1964

BINGO, a quick response tells me this was driven by hillclimb champ Tony Griffiths, was chassis BRM 487, making it a P48 Mk2. model.   It had a 2.5 litre BRM four-banger, went eventually to the Donington Motor Museum, and today appears in historic races at the hands of Barrie Baxter.

brm 2.5

brm 2

The big bike is a New Imperial

(Birmingham-made, 1912-1939)

big bike

"When I get old, -----"

The late Jack Lord was racing stock cars in 1963 --- there's a Belle Vue photograph of Jack on the SENIORS IN THE SIXTIES page --- and the photo below, courtesy of his son Glenn, was taken in 2013 at Warton, testing his Outlaw car --- that's sixty years apart! What a man.

jack lord


MYSTERY ENGINE

Can anyone tell me what engine and/or intake manifold is under the hood of "Darkie" Wright's stock car?

Bingo: thanks to a car forum, it is identified as a Ford 429 "shotgun" hemi, rare motor built around the late 60s and early 70s.  Wonder where Darkie found it?

Is Darkie's helper trying to siphon water or petrol, or trying to guess Top Dead Centre by the air pushing-pulling in cylinder #1 ---- anyone?

WHAT MOTOR


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Oddity:  Loggers enjoy working with oddball equipment.  This log skidder --- forestry's equivalent of the farm tractor --- was a prototype built by the Texan company Le Tourneau.  It's a diesel-electric.  The big diesel motor only drives a generator, which feeds current to the four electric motors, one in each wheel hub, and to the log-hauling winch.  This one was abandoned by MacMillan Bloedel on "Haida Gwaii" (formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands) off the coast of BC in Canada. 

skidder

 

December 2012: (A big-Mb high-res file) Heavy-duty mechanics, please --- can someone predict what's gone wrong with this log skidder?  I can see a new bearing-race under the white cloth. Do these tractors have a reduction gear in the hub?  The photo was taken at Salmon Bay, BC, Canada.  That operator looks mighty tee'd off and is probably looking at a day's work lost.

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UPDATE September 2013:  Wild modified flathead motor.  This photo appeared in the excellent newsletter of New Zealand's HISTORIC STOCK CAR CLUB.  

Raced in 1960 by Gary Wike, this Ford flathead V-8 is described as having Hogan cylinder heads, using twin spark plugs per cylinder, fired by twin coils, and drinking from four carbureters standing on "twisted-leg" intake runners. The distributor was probably a Nash, as Nash used twin-plug heads and a "16-cylinder" distributor for their straight-8-cylinder engines in the 1930's.  "Hogan" refers to a chap called Garth Hogan, and his farther, who made custom finned cylinder heads in the old days.

nz modified flathead


UPDATE  March 2013: The weirdest Indy car ever was brought to the Brickyard by Smokey Yunick in 1964.  Duane Carter managed at the risk of his life to put in some 150mph practice laps before another driver crashed it.  It did not race, but has since been rebuilt for shows. Have a look at these old and new photos, and imagine yourself in that seat at 160-170mph on the backstretch.

Stock car bumpers 2012:  They don't mess about these days, do they?!

Beefy: a sprint car rear axle with quick-change gear (it's not a true differential, just a ring gear on a solid axle)

UPDATE  January 2012:  A visit to Lynmouth in Devon brought back the history of of the terrible 1952 flood that came down the West and East Lyn rivers after 9 inches of rain fell on Exmoor in 24 hours.  This rare car was recovered from the sea.


 UPDATE  January 2012: How  wild can a 1956 Ford Zephyr family saloon get?  This wild.

UPDATE  July 2011:  In approx 1963 at Silverstone I saw this beast:  a Ford Cortina rebuilt and raced by "Doc" Merfield, an Australian dentist.  It had a 300-inch Chevrolet V-8 kitted out with three Stromberg carbs.  To keep it from tearing itself to pieces, it had a Jag XK-150 rear axle, and wheels from a Ford Zephyr.  It was wild, and I bet the Doc had a lot of fun fighting it.

In 1964 I photographed a tasty Ferrari 250 GTO --- This car was owned by Peter Clarke, but was snapped up by Pink Floyd's Nick Mason in 1978.
Here is Nick at the wheel recently, lucky man: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Nick_mason_goodwood.jpg

This Ferrari, in 1963  was being raced by Mike Parkes for the UDT team.  It bears a typical Modena number plate.  It later belonged to Jack Sears, and then possibly, to MicroSoft pres. Jon Shirley.
When new in 1962, if you had $18,000 and if Enzo Ferrari approved of you, could could buy one of only 39 GTOs ever built.  Today "$18,000" sounds like peanuts, but in 1964 my first job paid the equivalent of $1260 a year at 1962 rates.
Fourteen times my annual salary.  Besides, Enzo would have said No.
In approx 1963 racer Innes Ireland was invited to buy the team GTO that he had raced, for about list price, and he turned it down as too expensive.  In 2008, a 250GTO auctioned in the UK for £15.8 million, which is silly money whichever way you look at it.  On top of that, admitted replicas, and unadmitted replicas exist: for example, of the 33 250TR's Ferrari built, 46 documented examples exist today ---- you work it out!

UPDATE    April 2011:  In about 1963 I took this snapshot in the pits at Silverstone, where the new "LOLA GT" car was appearing --- a year later it would be known as the all-conquering Ford GT40, as FoMoCo simply snapped it up and went on to dominate Le Mans.  Here, with the rear bodywork off, you can see the Ford 4.6 litre single-carbureter V-8, and those gorgeous spongey rubber joints in the rear axles. Lotus F1 cars used them as well. The massive gearbox behind the rear axles was a Colotti, I believe. This car was revolutionary in having a monocoque chassis, but still happily pre-computer, and you can see a good old fashioned socket wrench and rubber mallet on one of the bulkheads.
lola 

 UPDATE March 2011: Crazy racers: straight-line drag racers can choose to race pretty much whatever they like on whatever straight surface they like.  Here's an "altered" on sand.  Here's an incredible Australian drag bike on sand.

"Experimental" is a good word for this.  It never got further than test runs  Dynasphere 1;  Dynasphere 2.  

Old cine film (copy the url):  http://www.britishpathe.com/record.php?id=2766

Another film clip (copy the url):  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNakXjGNjIY

Novelty picture from the wild world of banger racing: Demo-Derby Rolls-Royces on their way to the big bang.  I believe this photo is by the late Dave "Smiffyman" Smith, one of the sport's top track photographers.

Can a dumper truck at high speed crash through a military compound wall?  Watch the video clip with sound on.

Why are Turkish pedestrians and drivers so polite and obedient in the presence of police?  I took this photo in Istanbul a couple of years back.  Would you give the young cop any "lip" if he stopped you?  Click through this sequence of 5 photos and see why Turkish drivers and pedestrians stop politely when the motorcycle cops say so.

Rebels racing is fun:  One, Two, Three.

Motorcycle mayhem: Four dragbike riders say OUCH.  


tmp1  tmp2

tmp4   tmp3


Gravity racers. Look at the "street luge" brigade on these PowerPoint slides.  

How fast can you make a snowmobile go?

Off Britain's North-East coast lies Lindisfarne Island (Holy Island), site of an early Christian monastery and home to these two Citroen 2CV's, one metal and the other -----
2cv

Low tyre pressures are common in drag racing, and they often result in noticeable  

Tire distortion;  

Really scary tire distortion  [photos at Santa Pod Raceway]

The late Gilles Villeneuve (here with his son, champion-to-be Jacques) remains a Canadian hero --- when he died in Belgium, the Canadian government sent a Boeing 747 to transport his coffin back, and Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau attended his funeral.  Gilles was simple: he drove every car, good and bad, at and over its limit on every corner of every lap of practice, qualifying, and race, throughout his career until he was killed in the final minutes of qualifying at the Belgian Grand Prix in 1982  --- doing exactly what he loved. 

Canada Post issued a commemorative set of stamps, and here they are:    front cover; back cover; sheet of stamps.

Years ago at a Silverstone GP practice I snapped this lucky photo of Ricardo Patrese in a Williams F1 car as he braked for Copse corner at the end of the fast pit straight;  I understand modern F1 drivers tap the brakes for less than half a second, so this was a lucky shot -- his brakes back and front are glowing bright red.    I think they were still using steel discs back then.

Mystery motorcycle: Someone sent me a card, featuring a photo from the 1940's or 1950's, and apparently taken in France.  What on earth is the tiny motorcycle?  The tank badge says "RZ", and it is not a toy --- see the primary chain and clutch and tele shock absorbers.  Anyone?  "R.Z." may just be the name of the one-off builder.  What's the 2-stroke motor?  September 2014: Tom McFarland suggests a Francis-Barnet motor, maybe a 150cc. Certainly the FB "Fulmar" model had that forward-canted cylinder angle.  Drop me an e-mail.

  You have to love the North American sprint cars:

unwinged

Unwinged sprint cars weigh around 1200lbs / and their 410 cu.in. motors on methanol, routinely make 750bhp but when tuned to near destruction for a high-paying race, with compression ratios raised to a scary 17:1, put out about 825bhp, which is good for an outdated pushrod two-valve design.  Wheelbase can be as short as 7 feet (84 inches), direct drive with no clutch between the engine and the rear axle.  In this photo you see the right-front wheel has no brake, only the left one ---- a hard poke is enough to snatch the car into the left-turn-only bends.   Solid beam front axle, and solid no-diff rear axle with a single inboard disc brake. To see fifteen and more of these open their throttles from a rolling start will knock you off your seat and give you a heart attack. Look at the one below 'digging in' and trying to peel off its 15-inch wide rear tire:

bite

Can you get more "opposite lock" than this?

Fancy a passenger ride in a full-blooded sprint car?  In the US and in New Zealand rides are sometimes available in two-seater sprinters --- One;  Two.   In Britain you can ride shotgun in an F1 stock-car, which includes receiving a couple of significant "taps" from another car.

When people argue about "women racers", I just think back to the nineties when I watched Shawna Wilskey race her 360 cu.in Sprint car at Skagit Speedway. She won three regional championships, competed in several western US states, woke up in hospital once or twice, and just flew into Turn 1 like nobody's business.  Now she builds and sells sprint cars.

More sprint car technology:

  • Rear axle "stagger" and offset.
  • Disc brake on solid tube axle; note, this is the left side SMALLER tire you can see!
  • Spare axle showing the quick-change gears --- NOT a differential, just an under-and-over arrangement like a shotgun!  The axle here has the incoming driveshaft section pointing down.

Love the old ones, too (Parnelli Jones in action)

parnelli 1


Two more photos from the classic era of Indianapolis "roadsters":  Billy Vukovich kicks up the clay;  and   A.J. Foyt and Parnelli Jones run dangerously close on a fast banked oval.  

A.J. Foyt  gassing it on the half-mile Terre Haute dirt oval, Indiana.  Foyt raced the hard way.

 
 

A dangerous era: US sprint cars in the 1960's

Williams Grove Speedway is a 1/2-mile banked clay oval in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.  Today a winged sprint car can average 120mph for a lap, which must mean 160mph on the short straights. Cars were slower in 1968 but they had no wings to keep them down, and little protection for the drivers.  Here is a sequence of nine photographs, in PowerPoint slides (click to advance --- this big file will probably take 20-30 seconds to 'load').  The flipped driver survived, with injuries.  Crash sequence.

This is a beautiful action shot.  Here are two classic racers side by side on the straight.

Lastly, a uniquely-American formula, the "Supermodifieds" are so extreme that they virtually cannot turn anything but left:  look at the engine and axle layout on this red devil Frame builders hang the big V-8 motors off the left hand side of the chassis, and the driveline runs down the car's left side to a diff that has the left rear wheel bolted directly to its stub axle — no visible half shaft at all.   Supermod 1Supermod 2, Supermod 3.  These cars have lapped one-mile asphalt ovals at speeds approaching 160mph average.     

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Fifty years before the SMART car, post-war European countries, and especially Germany, were devising the smallest econo-cars imaginable. Someone passed on to me this PowerPoint slide show, thirty photos taken in a car museum, and most of these cars had single-cylinder 2-stroke motors of 200-400cc.  

The following two scans are of a restored Indianapolis roadster from 1960, a beautiful car:  Front view.  Overhead view.  Imagine the sound of the full-race Chevy (de-stroked from 283 to 255 cu.in. and tilted 18 degrees) through that long exhaust.  Incredible as it seems to us today, in 1960 the builder used a 1939 Ford 3-speed transmission with Lincoln-Zephyr gears.

Big motor for a motorcycle:  the builder, C.F. Leonhardt, calls this machine Gunbus, and the air-cooled V-twin engine displaces an astounding 410 cubic inches (just under 7 litres), and puts out 523 ft/lbs of torque.  "Boom - boom - boom - boom".

Of course, you could simply intsall a BMW V-12 car engine in your bike.

But if you prefer English engines, you could slip a Jaguar V-12 into your motorbike.

While we're on Jags, why do they have to have only four wheels?  Here's a Jag with SIX wheels .

Back to more reasonable bikes:  Bad Dog Cycles has designed a V-twin of 3500cc, DOHC, 4-valve fuel-injected beauty, and is considering a larger 4500cc version.

In 1956 a wooden-boat builder tried his hand at car building, and came up with this lightweight sports car powered by a rear-mounted Aerial Square Four m'cycle engine.

If you're my age you remember when motorcycle-sidecar racing used motorcycles connected to sidecars. Here are two of today's sidecar outfits, at Brands Hatch, minus their bodywork ---- .

sidecar 1

and another ----
sidecar 2

"The Garlits Explosion":  Front-engined dragsters were a vicious breed that had a dozen ways of killing their drivers.  Big Daddy Don Garlits had already been burned by an exploding supercharger, but the really scary event took place on the start line at Lions drag strip in Califronia in 1970.  The clutch and flywheel exploded and the shrapnel cut the chassis in half and badly injured Don.                                           The entire roll-cage/cockpit parted from the frame, rotating in the air.  

Do you like "oddball" engineering?  Here are some beauties, from various internet sources:  

What I'd call BIG turbochargers, on a Ford big-block motor, in this  'technically street-legal'
Mustang.  It has run 202 mph in the quarter mile, and generates a wonderful "whistle" under full power. However, on my local 1/8 mile dragstrip (in BC, Canada) it was still spinning the tires as it went through the 1/8 mile lights.


"Stagger" is the difference in diameter between rear tyres, and this one is pushing it to the limit. Imagine gassing it with these wheels on the ends of your locked axle. "Stagger" at Skagit Speedway

The Modern British Stock Car:  The rest of my website is "nostalgia", so this fabulous car --- Frankie Wainman Junior's monster, photographed in April 2008 by top stocks photographer Colin Herridge, has to go in this section.  

Most of us have fantasized driving a racer on the road:sprinter on road

[Photo from a Sprint Car calendar by Paul Oxman publishing in California.]

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Oddments:  In about 1964 I photographed this daring experiment: a little KIEFT "Formula Junior" single-seater loaded with a 4.34 litre (265 cu.in) Chevrolet V-8.  The hill-climb driver was Ian McLaughlin of Stockland Garages in Birmingham, and the brilliant mechanic who built the car --- fabricating many parts from scratch --- was Jack Clewer, visible in the photographs working on the car. Jack and Ian are still with us today, and provided the information.  The Chevy motor came from a garage outside London, and it was mated to a Lotus F1 gearbox.  Ian McLaughlin and his cousin John competed in 13 Monte Carlo rallies.

kieft



It was running at a hill-climb at Ragley Hall in Warwickshire when I took the two pits snapshots. 

Later, Jack Clewer built a new intake manifold and fitted four SU carburetors and a higher-lift camshaft.  Eventually it was dismantled and the V-8 engine went to a stock-car driver

Kieft cars were built in Wolverhampton.  Industrialist Cyril Kieft built and designed the single seaters, and his great-grand-daughter today, Savannah Courtenay, is today a world class teenage kart racer.  The Kieft was originally one of just five built for the Formula Junior category, with an Anglia 105E four cylinder engine.

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Two more Oddments:  First, the golden days of "Formula Libre" in England, when you could bring almost ANY darned thing to the track and flog it round, with "Libre" usually meaning "monster/big/outrageous". In this case Chris Summers took a tube-framed Lotus 24 and dropped in a fuel-injected Chevy V-8 that he'd got from BP Research branch.  This snapshot was taken in (approx.) 1962-64 at Silverstone.  The "ack-ack gun"-like exhausts sounded wonderful.  I saw this car launch from the front row down the straight to Cope Corner, and his tires were "hazing" all the way — something that was very rare in those days.  

Second one, which I don't know anything about, is a prototype Diva Valkyr sports car, rear-engined, aluminium-bodied, and using the then-popular alloy Hillman Imp motor.  Photo taken same time as the Summers one.  Additional facts / corrections are welcome.  Jack Reynolds has identified Mike Aired on the left, and Mike Walton in overalls, and pointed out that a Valkyr was also built, experimentally, with a honking great Coventry Climax 2.7 litre (4-cyl) motor from a 

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Gurney-Weslake F1 car.

Holy!  In 1988 the Pope visited Ferrari's workshops and blessed one or more of their current Formula 1 Grand Prix cars.  I don't know whether some supernatural agency helped with subsequent races. 

Glory days: when Grand Prix drivers could switch from an F1 car to a saloon to have some fun.  Here is a gaggle of three saloons in 1966 at Snetterton, four-wheel-drifting through a fast bend: a Mustang, a Galaxie, and hard on their tails the tiny Lotus Cortina of world champion Jim Clark.

Three more GT's photographed at Silverstone sometime in 1963 or 1964: Tojeiro-Buick GTRacing under the Ecurie Ecosse team colours, this  rear-engined car had the then-new Buick alloy V-8.                         Here is the rear view.   The Tojeiro originally had a Climax 2.5 litre 4-banger engine.  A second Tojeiro was built along these lines and raced briefly by Jackie Stewart.  

2009 update:  One of the two cars still exists, and was advertised for sale in 2009; here are two InterNet photos of the nicely-restored Tojeiro:  one,  and two.   John Tojeiro was a brilliant ex-Fleet Air Arm engineer who also designed the A.C. Ace chassis --- the basis of the legendary AC Cobra.

Sleek:  This prototype Costin-bodied Lister-Jaguar was built for Le mans.  It may have been used in the racing film "The Green Helmet", as an open-bodied sports racer.  Hand-beaten aluminium bodywork.

46 years after I took that b/w snapshot at Silverstone, i discovered that Lister Jag still exists, and is being worked hard .

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Is this the biggest engine ever installed in a competition vehicle?  A German tractor-pull special called "Dragonfire" uses a massive 42-cylinder Russian submarine engine.  With seven banks of 6 cylinders each, it is 8,665 cubic inches, or 144 litres.  When the tranny locks up, Europe moves East—.

Thanks to keen-eyed Alistair Howarth, I can add this info (quoted direct):

Weight 3200kg with gearbox, 3.7m long. Here are scores of photos of the build:  http://picasaweb.google.de/tractorpulling.sascha/BuildingDragonFire#

Zvezda M503 engine in the Dragonfire
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zvezda_M503 

Here's a tractor with three V-12 Allison aero engines (1,710 cu.in. each.)  

And one with an old air-cooled radial engine probably from a WW2 bomber.  

Here are some more tractor-pull engines:  

Unusual drag engine:  I took this photograph about 1983 at Seattle International Raceway.  The engine was in in Gene Snow's nitro Funny Car, and it's the only turbocharged nitro-fuel racer I've come across.  The motor was built by Nick Arias, and although the valve covers are from their 8.3 litre automotive design, this engine is actually a custom built Arias powerboat V-8 of a huge 10 litres capacity.  

Gene Snow was a typical drag-racer:  although this motor ran fine, the exhaust turbos smothered some of the noise and in Gene Snow's  opinion  --- "it didn't sound as tough as a fuel car should"  ---, so he abandoned the project.  [Arias is still building top quality race engines today.]

The "Michigan Madman", E.J.Potter had among his many weird and scary machines, a "Double-V-12" Allison aero engine, which naturally he put in a tractor.   Allison built only 150 of these prototype bomber engines, but ol' E.J. got himself one.   

It has 56 litres — 24 cylinders — Turbo-and-supercharged — two crankshafts in one crankcase — Over one ton in weight.   E.J. reckoned it was one of the most beautiful engines ever made. 

How low can you get?  These karts are called "laydowns" or "enduros", and the driver peers between his feet. I took this photo in 1985, at the now-defunct Westwood circuit near Vancouver BC.

low slung   If you think that kart is "low", have a look at these:

kart 1

dixon

How would you like to take off the valve-train cover of your engine and see this?   It's what drives the sleeve-valves on a 14-cylinder Bristol Hercules engine.  Just don't drop a spring-clip in there —.  The beast (they built tens of thousands of them) was a two-row radial with 14 cylinders.  Until March 2010 I had labelled this a 12-cylinder, but my thanks to Fred van der Horst of the Netherlands for spotting my error.

January 2010:  Since I am now living in Canada, this item caught my eye; on the back of a 1954 stock-car programme from Belle Vue, is an advert for a dramatic staged display  "THE STORMING OF QUEBEC".   This refers to the 1759 battle of the Plains of Abraham (sometimes called the Heights of Abraham), when a British force seized Quebec City from French occupation.  At Belle Vue, this was accompanied by fireworks, performed on Saturday nights.  

That reminds me of being a little kid, taken to the circus in Northampton. The show included a battle with charging horses and blazing six-guns, between "Davey Crockett and the Indians", and I was completely spellbound.  Leaving the big top, at the end of the evening, I had a terible childhood let-down when I spotted Davey Crockett getting onto his BSA, with one of the 'dead' Indians on the pillion.                             My father laughed:  "Ha, they're off to the pub", and I burst into tears.  

 


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