Bill Thompson (racing driver)
William Bethel Thompson was an Australian racing driver. From Summer Hill, Sydney, he was active in motor sport from 1928 to 1936, his competition cars included various Bugattis, a Riley Brooklands and an MG K3. Although his career was not taken to the international level, he met with considerable successful in Australia, winning the Australian Grand Prix three times. Thompson died as a result of an aircraft accident on 12 February 1945 in the Marshall Islands, Pacific Ocean. At the time of the accident Thompson was serving in the Royal Australian Air Force and was travelling as an unauthorised passenger in a Consolidated PB2Y Coronado of the United States Navy
Formula Libre is a form of automobile racing allowing a wide variety of types and makes of purpose-built racing cars to compete "head to head". This can make for some interesting matchups, provides the opportunity for some compelling driving performances against superior machinery; the name translates to "Free Formula" – in Formula Libre races the only regulations govern basics such as safety equipment. In 1932, Louis Chiron won the Nice Grand Prix aboard a Bugatti T51 followed just 3.4 seconds behind by Raymond Sommer in an Alfa Romeo Monza with third place going to René Dreyfus in a Bugatti T51. In 1933, the race was won by Tazio Nuvolari in a Maserati 8C, followed by René Dreyfus in his Bugatti and Guy Moll in an Alfa Romeo Monza. In 1934, the race was again won by an Italian in an Alfa Romeo Tipo B, none other than the best driver of the season, Achille Varzi; the last season to feature a Grand Prix at Nice was in 1935, when the Alfa Romeo Tipo Bs dominated the circuit in the hands of Tazio Nuvolari and Louis Chiron, who placed second, René Dreyfus, who took third.
Most the British Open Single Seaters Formula has spawned EuroBOSS and USBOSS equivalents, signalling the re-emergence of Formula Libre events. Racing purists have come to embrace Formula Libre as an alternative to the increasing preponderance of spec racing series, a number of competitors' vehicles are cars orphaned by discontinued spec series. Formula Libre has provided some ambitious young drivers with an alternative to series with higher competitive costs and lower performance. Most the UK's British Racing Drivers' Club awarded their Rising Star award to 2004 EuroBOSS Champion Scott Mansell; the concept is arguably the oldest in motor racing: Grand Prix racing adopted Formule Libre beginning in 1928. Formula Libre racing is very popular in South Africa. Germany's Interserie runs as a Formula Libre, mixing single-seat formula cars with sports racing prototypes; the Watkins Glen Grand Prix Race Course hosted a Formula Libre race from 1958 through 1960 as a prelude to becoming the home of the Formula One United States Grand Prix.
USAC held a famous Formula Libre race at Indianapolis Raceway Park in 1962. Formula Libre is a popular class in vintage racing. Lime Rock Park held a famous Formula Libre race in 1959, where Rodger Ward shocked the expensive and exotic sports cars by beating them on the road course in an Offenhauser powered midget car considered competitive for oval tracks only. 1971's Questor Grand Prix was a well-attended inter-series race between Formula One, Formula 5000, ChampCar teams, featuring top drivers at California's Ontario Motor Speedway. The Rothmans 50000 race in 1972 permitted any kind of single-seater or sports-racer in a 300-mile race at Brands Hatch, competing for a £50,000 prize fund. Most of the grid consisted of Formula One and Formula 5000 cars, with some Formula Two machinery and the odd, more exotic vehicle. Formula Libre races closed the programme at British club meetings in the 1970s, allowing not only cars that didn't suit any of the classes racing that day to run but giving drivers of formula cars another chance to race
The Austin-Healey 100 is a sports car, built by Austin-Healey from 1953 until 1956. It was developed by Donald Healey to be produced in-house by his small Healey car company in Warwick and based on Austin A90 Atlantic mechanicals. Healey built a single Healey Hundred for the 1952 London Motor Show, the design impressed Leonard Lord, managing director of Austin, looking for a replacement to the unsuccessful A90. Body styling was by Gerry Coker, the chassis was designed by Barry Bilbie with longitudinal members and cross bracing producing a comparatively stiff structure upon which to mount the body, innovatively welding the front bulkhead to the frame for additional strength. In order to keep the overall vehicle height low the rear axle was underslung, the chassis frame passing under the rear axle assembly. Lord struck a deal with Healey to build it in quantity, bodies made by Jensen Motors were given Austin mechanical components at Austin's Longbridge factory; the car was renamed the Austin-Healey 100.
The "100" was named by Healey for the car's ability to reach 100 mph. Apart from the first twenty cars, production Austin-Healey 100s were finished at Austin's Longbridge plant alongside the A90 and based on trimmed and painted body/chassis units produced by Jensen in West Bromwich—in an arrangement the two companies had explored with the Austin A40 Sports. 14,634 Austin-Healey 100s were produced. The 100 was the first of three models called the Big Healeys to distinguish them from the much smaller Austin-Healey Sprite; the Big Healeys are referred to by their three-character model designators rather than by their models, as the model names do not reflect the mechanical differences and similarities well. The first 100s were equipped with the same undersquare 87.3 mm bore and 111.1 mm stroke 90 bhp 2660 cc I4 engines and manual transmission as the standard production A90, but the transmission was modified to be a three-speed unit with overdrive on second and top. Girling 11 in drum brakes were fitted all round.
The suspension used modified Austin A90 components in order to be as cost effective as possible, steering was by Austin's worm and peg system. Front suspension was independent, double wishbone using coil springs and at the rear a rigid axle with semi elliptic leaf springs. A BN1 tested by The Motor magazine in 1953 had a top speed of 106 mph and could accelerate from 0–60 mph in 11.2 seconds. A fuel consumption of 22.5 miles per imperial gallon was recorded. The test car cost £1063 including taxes. A total of 10030 BN1s were built from May 1953 until replaced by the BN2 model in August 1955. A 1954 BN1 is on permanent display in the Bonneville Salt Flats exhibit at the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia, PA, USA; the BN2 was fitted with a real four-speed manual transmission, still with overdrive on the top two gears. Other features that distinguish the BN2 from the BN1 are the larger front wheel arches, different rear axle and being the first 100 with optional two-tone paint.
In 1955, a high-performance 100M model was introduced, with larger carburettors, a cold air box to increase engine air flow, high-lift camshaft and 8.1:1 compression pistons. It produced 110 bhp at 4500 rpm; the front suspension was stiffened and the bonnet gained louvres, along with a bonnet belt. 70% of 100Ms were finished with a two-tone paint scheme, including one White over Red and another in Black over Pink for display at the 1955 London Motor Show. In all, 640 100Ms were built by the factory; the 100M components were available as the Le Mans Engine Modification Kit, which could be installed in either a BN1 or BN2 with the engine in situ, improving the power output to 100 bhp at 4500 rpm. The kit could be ordered from BMC; the BN2 was available in Carmine Red, replaced with Reno Red, Spruce Green, Healey Blue, Florida Green, Old English White, 50 Gunmetal Grey cars. Two-tone options were: White/Black; the final BN2 was built in July 1956, with a total of 4604 BN2s produced, including the 100M.
Many BN-2 and 100-M Austin Healeys compete in vintage events like the Pittsburgh Vintage Gran Prix. Built with racing in mind, the aluminium-bodied "100S" model developed 132 bhp at 4700 rpm. Only 50 production cars were made, plus an additional five works development/special test cars hand built by the Donald Healey Motor Company at Warwick. To minimize weight and improve performance the cast iron cylinder head was replaced by a Weslake designed aluminium one, the overdrive unit was not installed. Dunlop disc brakes were used all-round, the world's first production car to feature them both front and rear. To further lighten the vehicle and hood were eliminated, the grille reduced in size, the windscreen made of plastic. In all, weight was reduced by 200 lb; the majority of 100Ss were two-toned white with Lobelia Blue sides. A handful were produced in solid Spruce Green and red, a single one in black. An unrestored works racing team 1953 Austin-Healey'100S' Special Test Car, campaigned by factory drivers Lance Macklin, Gordon Wilkins and Marcel Becquart, sold for a world record £843,000 1 December 2011, at Bonhams' Decem
Automobiles Talbot S. A. was a French automobile manufacturer based in Hauts de Seine, outside Paris. The Suresnes factory had been built by Alexandre Darracq for his pioneering car manufacturing business begun in 1896, which he named A. Darracq & Cie, it was profitable. Alexandre Darracq built racing as well as “pleasure” cars and Darracq became famous for its motor racing successes. Darracq sold his remaining portion of his business in 1912. New owners renamed the Darracq business Automobiles Talbot in 1922. However, though its ordinary production cars were badged as Talbots, the new owners continued incorporating the Darracq name in Talbot-Darracq for their competition cars. Owing to the simultaneous existence of British Talbot cars, French products when sold in Britain were badged Darracq-Talbot or Talbot-Darracq, or simply Darracq. In 1932, after the onset of the Great Depression, Italo-British businessman Antonio Lago was appointed managing director in the hope that he might revive Automobiles Talbot’s business.
Lago began this process, but the owners were unable to stave off receivership beyond the end of 1934. The receiver did not close Automobiles Talbot, in 1936 Antonio Lago managed to complete a management buy-out from the receiver. For 1935, the existing range continued in production but from 1936 these were replaced with cars designed by Walter Becchia, featuring transverse leaf-sprung independent suspension; these included the 4-cylinder 2323 cc Talbot Type T4 "Minor", a surprise introduction at the 1937 Paris Motor Show, the 6-cylinder 2,696 cc Talbot "Cadette-15", along with and the 6-cylinder 2,996 cc or 3,996 cc Talbot "Major" and its long-wheelbase version, the Talbot "Master": these were classified as Touring cars. There was in the second half of the 1930s a range of Sporting cars which started with the Talbot "Baby-15", mechanically the same as the "Cadette-15" but using a shorter lighter chassis; the Sporting Cars range centred on the 6-cylinder 2,996 cc or 3,996 cc Talbot "Baby" and included the 3,996 cc 23 and sporting Lago-Spéciale and Lago-SS models with two and three carburettors, corresponding increases in power and performance.
The most specified body for the Lago-SS was built by Figoni et Falaschi, featured a eye-catching aerodynamic form. Lago was an excellent engineer who developed the existing six-cylinder engine into a high-performance 4-litre one; the sporting six-cylinder models had a great racing history. The bodies—such as of the T150 coupé—were made by excellent coachbuilders such as Figoni et Falaschi or Saoutchik. Although the proliferation of cars types and model names that followed Lago's acquisition of the business is at first glance bewildering, it involved only four standard chassis lengths as follows: Short Châssis: Minor T4 Junior 11 Baby-15 Baby 3 litres T150 3 litres Baby 4 litres Lago Spécial Extra short Châssis: Lago SS Normal Châssis: Cadette-15 Major 3 litres Major 4 litres Long Châssis: Master 3 litres Master 4 litres During the early years of the war Walter Becchia left Talbot to work for Citroen, but Lago was joined in 1942 by another exceptional engineer, Carlo Machetti, from the two of them were working on the twin camshaft 4483 cc six-cylinder unit that would lie at the heart of the 1946 Talbot T26.
After the war, the company continued to be known both for successful high-performance racing cars and for large luxurious passenger cars, with extensive sharing of chassis and engine components between the two. The period was one of economic stagnation and financial stringency; the company had difficulty finding customers, its finances were stretched. In 1946, the company began production of a new engine design, based on earlier units but with a new cylinder head featuring a twin overhead camshaft; this engine, designed under the leadership of Carlo Marchetti, was in many respects a new engine. A 4483 cc six-cylinder in-line engine was developed for the Talbot Lago Record and for the Talbot Grand Sport 26CV; these cars were priced against large luxurious cars from the likes of Delahaye, Delage and Salmson. Talbot would remain in the auto-making business for longer than any of these others, the Talbot name had the further dubious distinction of a resurrection in the early 1980s; the Talbot Lago Record T26 was a large car with a fiscal horsepower of 26 CV and a claimed actual power output of 170 hp, delivered to the rear wheels via a four-speed manual gear box, with the option at extra cost of a Wilson pre-selector gear box, supporting a claimed top speed of 170 km/h.
The car was sold as a stylish four-door sedan, but a two-door cabriolet was offered. There were coachbuilt specials with bodywork by traditionalist firms such as Graber; the T26 Grand Sport was first displayed in public in October 1947 as a shortened chassis, only 12 were made during 1948, the models's first full year of production. The car was noted for its speed; the engine which produced 170 hp in the Lago Record was adapted to provide 190 bhp or 195 bhp in the GS, a top speed of around 200 km/h was claimed, depending on the body, fitted. The
Stan Jones (racing driver)
Stanley Jones was an Australian racing driver. Today better known as father of 1980 World Drivers' Champion Alan Jones, Stan was a prominent racing driver himself, racing in the 1950s, he is one of eleven drivers to have won New Zealand Grands Prix. Jones raced the Maybach Specials, the last of the great Australian built specials to remain competitive against the imported European Formula 1 cars, before racing a Maserati 250F. An amateur racer, his career declined along with the ability of his business interests to fund it. After two strokes Jones moved to London to be with his son Alan, died just short of his 50th birthday
The Jowett Javelin was an executive car, produced from 1947 to 1953 by Jowett Cars Ltd of Idle, near Bradford in England. The model went through five variants each having a standard and "de luxe" option; the car was designed by Gerald Palmer during World War II and was intended to be a major leap forward from the staid designs of pre-war Jowetts. Just over 23,000 units were produced; the new Javelin, not yet in full production, made its first public appearance on Saturday 27 July 1946 in a cavalcade to celebrate 60 years of the British Motor Industry organised by the SMMT. Started by the King in Regent's Park the cavalcade passed through Marble Arch around London's West End and Piccadilly Circus and back up to Regent's Park. Series production was not underway until November 1947. In a 1949 road test report The Times' correspondent welcomed the Javelin's good performance and original design; the engine mounted ahead of the front axle briskly accelerates a body. The moderate size of the engine, the car's light weight and good streamlining all contribute to its excellent performance.
Controls were all light to operate and it was a restful car to drive. The flat four overhead valve engine of 1486 cc with a compression ratio of 7.2:1 was water-cooled and had an aluminium block and wet cylinder liners. It developed 50 bhp at 4100 rpm giving the car a maximum speed of 77 mph and a 0-50 mph time of 13.4 seconds. Two Zenith carburettors were fitted and PA and PB versions had hydraulic tappets; the radiator was behind the engine. A four-speed gearbox with column change was used. Early cars had gearboxes made by the Henry Meadows company. Jowett made the gearboxes, but the decision to make the gearboxes in-house proved to be a costly mistake. Though Jowett had some experience in transmission manufacturing, the project went disastrously wrong. Design features included aerodynamic styling with the headlights faired into the wings and, for the time, a steeply sloped, curved windscreen; the body was of pressed steel, incorporating a box-section chassis, was made for Jowett by Briggs Motor Bodies in their Doncaster factory.
The suspension used torsion-bars on internal gear-and-pinion steering. PA and PB models had mixed Girling hydraulic brakes at mechanical braking at the rear. Versions were hydraulic; the car had a track of 51 inches. Overall the car weighed about a ton depending on model and year; the car was expensive, costing £819 at launch.. The Jowett was competing against cars such as the Jaguar 1½ litre, Lanchester LD10, Riley RM 1½ litre and the Singer Super 12. A de-luxe saloon version tested by The Motor magazine in 1953 had a top speed of 82.4 mph and could accelerate from 0-60 mph in 20.9 seconds. A fuel consumption of 29.1 miles per imperial gallon was recorded. The test car cost £1207 including taxes. An early example won in its class at the 1949 Monte Carlo Rally and another won the 2-litre touring-car class at the Spa 24-hour race in the same year. In the 1952 International RAC Rally a Javelin again won its class and took the "Best Closed Car" award, in 1953 the International Tulip Rally was won outright by a entered Javelin.
A Javelin features in How to Irritate People sketch "Car Salesman". In the film Vera Drake, Vera's car is a Javelin. In episode 104, "Fallen Angel", of the television series Ballykissangel, Father Clifford inherits a Jowett Javelin; the car was used throughout the rest of Series One and all of Series Two, until it went off a cliff in episode 301 "As Happy As A Turkey On Boxing Day". The song "Jowett Javelin" appears on the Harvey Andrews album "Snaps" and describes a ride in the automobile. A Jowett Javelin is used in the Simple Minds music video for "See the Lights" from the album Real Life. Javelin video Jowett Car Club Limited Site Jowett North West Section Site Photograph of Jowett Javelin
Allard J2 (original)
The Allard J2 is a sports roadster, made by Allard. The J2 was intended for the American market. Since 1981, replicas of the J2X have been manufactured by a succession of companies in Canada; the standard J2 engine in Britain was the 3.6 L flathead V8 engine from the Ford Pilot, delivering 85 hp. A 4.4 L Mercury V8, delivering 110 hp was available. American enthusiasts modified their cars by fitting an Oldsmobile, Chrysler, or Cadillac V8. J2s exported to the United States were shipped without engines. An engine of the buyer's choice installed locally; this proved to be successful, the use of American components made it easy to find parts for Allard's customers. The front suspension was a swing axle with coil springs while the rear had a De Dion tube system with coil springs, inboard brakes and a quick-change differential. Ninety J2s were built between 1950 and 1951. In 1952 Allard replaced the J2 with the J2X, it was produced until 1954. In an attempt to improve handling, the J2X had redesigned front suspension arrangement that allowed its engine to be positioned about 18 centimetres further forward than the J2 engine had been.
This did a few things beside improving the weight distribution: it gave the driver more leg room, facilitated easy identification between the two models J2 and J2X. The longer nose sticks out beyond the front wheels and this is the easiest way to differentiate between the two; the J2X had side access panels for the engine and most models came with a standardized wide flat hood scoop, unlike the J2's where each one has a different custom built hood arrangement. Offered as an option was a differential with quick-change ratios, a larger fuel tank, its 170 hp engine could propel the car from 0-60 in 10 seconds and gave the J2X a top speed of 111.6 mph. 83 J2Xs were built. The interior remained simple with only a few gauges. Beginning their work in 1981, two Canadian enthusiasts in Ontario revived the J2X concept as the J2X2. Mel Stein and Arnold Korne, who owned the coachbuilding company A. H. A. Manufacturing Company Limited, characterized their effort as a revival rather than a recreation, although a number of changes were carried out compared to the original design.
The wheels on the J2X2 are smaller than period pieces, the bodywork is in a mix of aluminium and fibreglass, the steering rack was swapped to a rack and pinion unit, while the front suspension was changed to a more conventional wishbone design. The brakes were power assisted, the front drums were replaced by discs, it was available in kit form, or built. The built version received Chrysler's 5.2-liter V8 engine and a four-speed manual gearbox, although an automatic unit was available. The car received rudimentary protection from the elements in the form of loose side windows and a simple hood. There was a competition version without the intrusion of modern bumpers and with a shorter windscreen. A right-hand drive version was available for British buyers. Allard's son Alan approved of the car taking on the European distribution. A total of 250 units were planned. Roger P Allard's, Allard Motor Works, located in Montreal, Canada, builds what their website calls "a modern hand-crafted version of the famed British competition roadster that stirred crowds in Europe and North America", known as the J2X MkII.
While looking similar to the original J2X, its glass-fibre body is dimensionally dissimilar and the chassis and drive-train are different. Aside from the badges, few if any parts are transferable between this and a Sydney Allard built car. Roger Allard and Allard Motor Works are not connected or related to the original Allard company or Sydney Allard in London England. The'J2X MKII' is a fibreglass bodied lookalike in the spirit of the original 1951-1954 J2X. Allard engineers hand built the car at a rate of 100 per year, while keeping it in compliance with modern standards for automotive safety; the new J2X has a GM RAM Jet V8 engine that produces about 350 400 lb/ft of torque. Other engine choices include a 600-hp 6.1-liter Hemi, a Chevrolet 350, Cadillac Northstar or Ford 351. The 0-60 time is 4.5 seconds and the quarter mile time is 12 seconds at 110 mph. Power is transferred through a Tremec TKO five-speed manual transmission; the price for the J2X is $138,500. The J2X MkII is recognized by the Allard Registry, which has awarded the J2X MKII special serial numbers and a place in the Registry.
J2In 1951, Bill Pollack drove an Allard J2 with a Cadillac V8 to victory at the Pebble Beach Road Race. Sydney Allard and Tom Cole drove a J2 with a Cadillac engine to third place in the 1950 24 Hours of Le Mans, they achieved this though the first and second gears of the 3-speed gearbox were broken Of 313 documented starts in major races in the 9 years between 1949 and 1957, J2's compiled a list of 40 first-place finishes. Both Zora Duntov and Carroll Shelby raced J2's in the early 50's. J2XArriving during a time when sports racing car design was developing the J2X was not as successful in international racing as the J2, as it was not as competitive when compared to more advanced C and D type Jaguars with disc brakes, alongside Mercedes and Maserati works entries. Thus, it headlined less in major international races and of 199 documented major race starts in the 9 years between 1952 and 1960, J2X's garnered 12 first-place finishes. Overall, both cars epitomize the pinnacle of the Allard Motor Company and are the car design thought of