2021 Bulletin #1 for drivers and owners

Rob Manson writes:

Gentlemen, As we all begin (optimistically) to plan our racing calendars for the upcoming season, Doug and I felt that it would be a good opportunity to put out this first Del Monte Trophy Race Group 2021 Bulletin. The new Season will be the 70th Anniversary of the first European-style Road Races in California and on the Monterey Penninsula. For those of you doing mental calculations, this was to have happened in 2020 but… The upside is that everyone has had a bonus year to plan for a truly extraordinary celebration.

Download the Bulletin here… DMTRG 2021 bulletin 1 10 Jan 2021. The topic include:

  1. The 70th Anniversary
  2. Racing Calendar
  3. The California Road Racers Multi-Media Art Project
  4. Drivers Photo Gallery

Download the Bulletin here… DMTRG 2021 bulletin 1 10 Jan 2021

As always we welcome your suggestions and offers of help. We will be sending out further 2021 Bulletins as developments occur.

Rob Manson [email protected]

Doug Sallen [email protected]

Jaguar XK120 vs. Allard J2X . . . Déjà Vu at Sonoma

In the halcyon days of the early 1950s, you could go to a sports car race and watch real cars race on real roads—places like Golden Gate Park and Pebble Beach reintroduced European style road racing to Americans.

Close roads to ordinary traffic, put a few hay bales on corners, wave a green flag and the race would be on. And they raced on airport venues too. Airplanes had the right of way, of course. Racing would be stopped to allow scheduled flights to use the runways. It worked fine.

We stood beside the road and cheered as sleek Jaguars and Allards roared past at unbelievable speeds. The exotic smell of burning rubber and Castrol R motor oil hung in the air. Spectators were asked not to cross the track during events—there were no concrete barriers or safety fencing in those days.

And that, my friends, was road racing before the insurance companies and attorneys had their way.

Peter Darnall’s year end message 2020. Thank you!


Peter Darnall is a photographer, historic race car writer and fervent supporter of the Del Monte Trophy Race Group. He’s a fifth generation Californian and traces his roots to Berkeley and to the community of Ocean View which preceded it. He is now retired, married and living in Sacramento. On his love of writing about and photographing great racing cars from a bygone era, Peter says “My life seems to have come a full circle as I race to the finish line: I started out intending to be an automotive journalist and spent several years demonstrating that one couldn’t make a living in this esoteric venue. The financial arena was more promising: half a century—and two companies—later, I retired. Hoping to delay the onset of age-related dementia, I returned to my original efforts as a free-lance journalist and photographer. Years of benign neglect and good wine had taken a toll, but the creative side of my brain is staging a comeback.”

News Blog 9: 2021 Covid-19, cancellations and alternative events

Message about the Monterey Motorsports Reunion from Doug Sallen and Rob Manson (2020 Bulletin 2) …

Hello All, after what has truly been a long strange Spring-into-Summer which in most of our cases has facilitated some serious garage time. We likely have our 1947-1955 race cars prepared like never before – all dressed up but with nowhere to go … perhaps “current license plates and open road at sunset”! There are hopeful signs for an active late summer and fall schedule in Northern California. Here is a list of events that could get us back on track. These organizers are our friends … get out on the track if you can …

CSRG Sonoma 7/10…
Laguna Seca Recreational Area Mangement Company Laguna Sea 8/8…
Sonoma Speedfest 9/3…
CSRG Sonoma 10/2…
CSRG T’ Hill 10/30…
SVRA Laguna Sea 12/3 …

Those of us who received invitations to this year’s August Monterey Motorsports Pre and Reunion and who are on their mailing list ( not necessarily the same thing … hmmm! ) will have received communications from Laguna Seca in the past week … copy below.

Laguna Seca Recreational Area Management Co …. the event organizers … in the end the intention as we all understood … was to hold the Pre and Reunion event “as a Club event” collapsed recently … county health and volunteer organization issues. The details are summarized in an article from Vintage Motorsport … below!

A consolation event … Drivers Appreciation Weekend … has been offered for the traditional 8 – 9 August Pre-reunion weekend for those entrants accepted for either or both of the Pre and Reunion. It will be organized by our friend HMSA / Cris Vandergif in adherence to the Monterey County guidelines for track day and private rentals for Laguna Seca Recreational Area / The Race Track. Recent weekends have held events including SCCA. Effectively, this means seat time for our vintage race cars at a reasonable / club price on our “home track” Laguna Seca. “No pool, no pets, no cigarettes” – paddock camping but no social events, no spectators and limited crew in the paddock. We’ll fly solo more or less … but fly all the same.

We would like to gather 10-15 of our Del Monte Trophy Race Group for the weekend and will stake out paddock space best we can given the “times” and work with Cris re group sturctures. This would ensure that we have someone to race with without too much hassle and enjoying beautiful Monterey Penninsula race track. Most importantly, it’s an opportunity to get our group together for a bit of socially distanced celebration of our great cars and the friends who keep them on the track.

Please tell us when you apply for the event so we can do a bit of organization in these turbulent times. All the best, Rob & Doug

From “The Track Mgmt Co”…..

Dear Participants,

We deeply regret to inform you that the Pre-Reunion and Monterey Motorsports Reunion August 13-16 are canceled due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation and its impact on public social gatherings. The health and safety of you, your crews and family are our utmost concern. After much discussion and consultation with local health and government officials, and feedback from many of our participants, we cannot envision a suitable way to provide for the wonderful race and social settings for families of all ages to enjoy.

CAL/OSHA still mandates as of June 5 that, “All public events or concentrated gatherings, including musical or other performances, at these facilities must be canceled or postponed.”

This has been a very difficult decision to make and we are truly disappointed. The entire team wants to thank you for your calls, email messages and feedback. You have been extremely supportive of the event and our attempts at finding a way to get you back on track.

You will receive a full refund of entry fees. Please contact [email protected] to begin the process.

In an effort to still get you on track, we will be hosting a Driver Appreciation Weekend to replace the Pre-Reunion dates of August 8 and 9, with load-in occurring on Friday, Aug. 7. This will be a private track rental where you will be able to enjoy driving in a low-key club-like affair. We empathize with many of you who remain dedicated to coming to Monterey, and this event is for you.

Please complete the attached simple pdf entry and return it to [email protected] by July 1. We want to make this process as easy as possible. Once entries are received Cris Vandagriff of HMSA will begin assembling the groups and developing the schedule to maximize your track time.

The attached press release will be distributed within the hour, as we wanted to ensure you heard the direction that we are taking firsthand.

Again, we cannot begin to thank you enough in words. But we hope to provide a suitable thank you when we return in 2021. We will keep in touch about run groups, opening of registration and other important matters in the coming months. Your patience and understanding during this time have been greatly appreciated.

Please continue to stay safe, healthy and happy.

Most sincerely, John V. Narigi , Barry Toepke, & Francesca Flores

News Blog 8 – plans for 2020

If you race with us or would like to, please read the newsletter from Doug Sallen and Rob Manson which you can download here:

Our 2020 Bulletin #1

With a lot of changes in “our vintage racing world” we are all primarily concerned with two things:

  • What is the Del Monte Trophy Race Group up to for us all?
  • What is different this year vs. last year for the Venues and Events that we participate in?

We have three events that we’re targeting for our DMTRG for 2020 and our Bulletins will be focused on developments related to those: RMMR,  Sonoma Speed Festival and SVRA Laguna Seca.

Among the gems therein…

• Update on Laguna Seca Recreational Park
• What’s different for RMMR 2019 vs 2020
• DMTRG: 1947 – 1955 Race Group re RMMR
• HMSA Rules re RMMR
• 70th Anniversary of first Pebble Beach Road Races and the first Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance
• DMTRG is targeting THREE EVENTS for 2020!
▪ SVRA Laguna Seca: April 30 – May 3
▪ Sonoma Speed Festival: 29 May – 31 June
▪ RMMR @ Laguna Seca: 8 – 9 August & 13 – 16 August
• Car “bios” and DMTRG recruiting initiatives


Updates to the Del Monte Trophy Group register


Big news. It has only taken me four years to catch up, but we are now pleased to inform all drivers, owners and friends of the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion – 1947-1955 Sports Racing & GT Cars group – the Del Monte trophy race group – that the cars and their owners have been brought up-to-date on the web site. You can look at the listings in two ways

By image: http://www.dmtrg.com/cars/

By text list: http://www.dmtrg.com/cars_list/

The number of each entry is in order of the cars going up on the web-site, nothing more significant. Cars and drivers which are not represented here are those where you have not sent us details, so please email [email protected] with a copy to Rob Manson ([email protected]) with the following details…

• Two photos of your car (or many more if you like) between 150kb and 1mb in file size
• Two photos of you, in race gear or in civvies
• Year of manufacture
• Manufacturer and type
• Engine and other details, laid out as follows if it’s convenient
o Engine: (Overhead/Side Valve) # of Cylinders (Flat 6, V8 etc)
Displacement in cc
Horsepower x bhp @ y rpm, torque z ft-lb at w rpm
Induction: carburettor type, intake type
Gearbox type, # of gears, final drive, diff, axle
Running gear and chassis; source and mods
o Brakes: Drum or disc brakes from what car type?
o Normal tyres: Blockley / Dunlop/Avon/ Hoosier Vintage TD / Hoosier Speedster / Goodyear Blue Streak / diameter in inches
Where is the car based? Who is the entrant?
• History of the car, designer, engineering development and special features
• History of the owner/drivers and race successes (especially the first)
• Web links to any sites or pages referring to the car
• A short bio on each car entered in this year’s RMMR, 150 or so words
and suitable to be “read” by an announcer as we grid for our races
and during the race as time permits.

Each car and owner (and/or driver) has also been posted on our Facebook page over time, facebook.com/hotrodroadracers/

With warm (today wet) regards from London

Marcus Bicknell

October 14th  2019

Joe Calleja – 1953 Allard-Cadillac J2X

#26 in our series of cars and drivers in the Del Monte Trophy race group…

This splendid Allard was purchased by Australian Joe Calleja in about 2018 and driven to victory in the 2019 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion – 1947-1955 Sports Racing & GT Cars group – by John Bowe, also Australian. We turn to the text of a useful article from 2015, credited at the bottom of this page…

One of the fastest Group 1 racing cars circling Road America during the recent Elkhart Lake Vintage Festival was a 1953 Allard J2X. Carroll Shelby drove the Allard for Texas businessman Roy Cherryholmes back in the ‘50s. Nowadays the car belongs to Augie Grasis III, of Kansas City, who seems to like old racing cars that were owned by famous people and have links to his hometown. Grasis also owns a ’33 Studebaker 2-man Indy car that was driven by Tony Gulotta, a legendary racer who just happened to hail from Kansas City.

Carroll Shelby was a through-and-through Texan, but his co-driver in the Allard during the 1954 World Championship Argentine 1000 Kilometer race was Dale Duncan who, like his brother-in-law Maston Gregory, was from Kansas City.

What a signature… “To Dr McKee. All the best. It takes me way, way back. Carroll Shelby”

Grasis says he didn’t buy the car because Shelby drove it. “They don’t come up that often,” he says. “People typically buy them and keep them, so I probably would have bought it no matter who was connected with it. The fact that Carroll Shelby drove it was just the icing on the cake.”

A history of Shelby by Michael T. Lynch says that he drove Allards owned by Charles Brown and Roy Cherryholmes, but it doesn’t say which car came first. Auctioneer Dana Mecum knows the answer to that question. According to Mecum and his friend Kevin Caulfield, Shelby’s road racing career began in 1952 in an MG TC. He then caught the attention of Charlie Brown a Louisiana businessman who owned an Allard J2 chassis number J2179. Later that season, Brown wanted a driver for his J2 and turned to Shelby.

The following season Shelby was invited to drive Cherryholmes’ J2X/3146 that was then owned by Augie Grasis. It competed in about 10 races and won nine. “Most were SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) races in Texas,” Grasis said. “But in January 1954 they took the car to Argentina to compete. Aston Martin team manager John Wyer saw Shelby race and offered him a job.

“The Allard was kind of the start of Shelby’s professional career,” Grasis e

Carroll Shelby at the wheel. What date would this have been? 1952?

xplained. After Shelby raced it, it went into a barn and resurfaced around 1970. After a string of owners, a man named Peter Booth ultimately got the car and re-restored it to the exact livery it was in when Shelby raced it.

Booth took the car to the 1990 Monterey Historic Races at Laguna Seca where Carroll Shelby drove it. He signed the car, too. Grasis bought it in about 2013. “It’s a lot of fun and we’re having a lot of fun racing it,” he said. “We brought it here to Road America and this is only the second race we’ve had it at. It’s going to be a few years before we get it all sorted out.”

Grasis said he looked forward to taking his J2X to the Colorado Grand and other rallies because it’s a fast, powerful, wind-in-your-face type of car. “It is something that we are going to enjoy and treasure,” said Augie. “We will try to get out to a lot of events so people can see it and enjoy a piece of racing history.”

John Bowe waiting for the off – Rolex Monterey 2019
Augie Grassis in the paddock at Elkhart Lake 2015
Augie Grasis approaches the Corkscrew – Rolex Monterey, probably 2017
Augie Grasis – 1953 Allard-Cadillac J2X – at the Rolex Monterey in 2017














With thanks to Racing Junk for the  fine article above.

The Allard Register wrote up the 2019 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. John Bowe drove Joe Calleja’s Allard Cadillac J2X to victory in the second race so we reproduce, with thanks to Colin Warnes, their article here in full…

Four Allards made up a part of the thirty-car race group 1B for 1947-1955 Sports Racing and GT Cars. The Allards were up against a strong group of California Specials, Jaguars, Mercedes, MG’s, Triumphs, Porsches, and a few flyweight H-Mod specials.

October 1952

Sunday’s morning race was action packed. As the green flag waived, John Bowe rocketed past the third and second place cars and was challenging Rob Manson’s GMC Tatum Special for the lead by the first corner! After a few laps of trying to get past the Tatum, Bowe dropped back a few places with fading brakes. John Mote in his Buick K2 held his own starting and finishing 11th. Jon LeCarner had a good race in his K2 moving from 21st to 16th. Bernard Dervieux put on a show in J2-1513 (one of the first J2’s built) demonstrating the finer points of Sydney’s divided axle front suspension finishing 26th.

Sunday’s afternoon race was another thriller. While two of the race’s nine laps were run under a full-course yellow, drivers and fans were treated to a tight contest among the five leaders – the Allard J2X against four California specials; the Parkinson Jaguar Special, a Chevy-powered Austin Healey, a Kurtis Dodge, and the Streets Manning Special.

Monterey 2019 – John Bowe turning into the Corkscrew on his way to his outright win in the Sunday afternoon race.

John Bowe of Melbourne Australia was first to take the checkered flag at the wheel of Joe Calleja’s Allard J2X-3146. This is the very same ex-Carroll Shelby Allard that has been a familiar sight at Laguna Seca for the past 20+ years at the hands of Peter Booth and Augie Grassis. Joe has been working diligently to bring this Allard into FIA specs, with plans to race it in Europe and Australia in 2020. Driver John Bowe has some previous racing history in Australia having won the infamous Bathurst 1000 twice; needless to say, Shelby’s old J2X was in good hands. The J2X had a close race with the Parkinson Jaguar, but in the end the John Bowe made it to the checkered flag first – another Allard victory!

John LeCarner finished in 15th spot with his Cad-powered K2, and Bernard Dervieux’s J2 crossed the finish line in 23rd place. John Mote ran strong until lap 5, when his oil pressure gauge suggested that he prudently ‘call it a day’. All three cars will be undergoing refurbishment over the next year and we hope to see them back on track in 2020.

John Bowe driving Joe Calleja’s car in 2018 at Philip Island, Australia

The Allards were pitted among a wide array of cars of similar vintage. Foremost in this group were a number of California-engineered built by names like Hagemann, Tatum, Baldwin, and Kurtis – cars that were not only fast, but quite able to hold their own on road courses against the sophisticated cars from post-war Europe. One could argue that many of the California Specials owe their existence to the production hot rods built by Allard.

The cars of Group 1B have adopted the moniker, Del Monte Trophy Race Group – cars that either raced in the Pebble Beach Road Races in the early ‘50’s, or would have been eligible to have raced there.

The entrance to this paddock area is fittingly decorated with rows of snow fencing and hay bales which were deemed to serve as protection for spectators back in the day, along with several historic black and white race photos from the early ‘50’s. This provided an ideal setting for a gathering after Friday afternoon’s practice, with all 38 cars from Group 1B on display. A more casual affair was held Sunday afternoon where the Del Monte Trophy was awarded to Tim Barnes (over 2L) and his 1951 Jaguar XK120 and to Kaiden Marouf (under 2L) and his 1951 supercharged MG TD.

Monterey’s ‘Car Week’ formally starts with Thursday’s Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance, when more than a hundred rare and elegant competitors in Sunday’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance embark on a 70-mile tour on public roads around the Monterey area. This provides a unique opportunity for the general public to witness these show cars mix with Highway 1 traffic down to Big Sur, before returning to gather for along Carmel’s Ocean Avenue for lunch.

We again welcomed the opportunity to join Martin Allard in his biscuit-colored Allard K3 as we enjoyed the show cars along Highway 1. A part of this included a special surprise to see Ted Springstead at the wheel of his green Allard K3. Ted was one of the thirty Concours entrants to participate in the ten-day, 1500-mile Pebble Beach Motoring Classic run from Kirkland Washington to Pebble Beach. Aside from a minor fender-bender along the way, it was a great and memorable trip.

Three Allards were ‘on the block’ at two of the six (yes – 6!) auctions underway during Monterey’s Car Week. The Carroll Shelby J2 from his 1952 racing season was for sale at Mecum’s, and two Allards were consigned to Goodings. One was the red, Chrysler-powered J2X LeMans veteran of the Pebble Beach and Golden Gate races in the early ‘50’s, and the other was a very nice black K2. Neither the J2 nor the J2X LM made their reserve, while K2 was sold for a very reasonable $84,000.

We’re looking forward to 2020 which will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Pebble Beach Road Races. We hope to see you there!

View the video of the race at https://youtu.be/d9LvvPR10rc

Article found at http://www.allardregister.org/blog/tag/Specials

Jack Perkins: 1954 Warrior-Bristol

Race No. 7, 71 or 17

A rare shot of the Warrior Bristol at Goodwood (at speed, in period)
The Warrior Bristol in the paddock at the Singapore GP 1970








Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, 19-20 August 2017 at Laguna Seca. The Del Monte Trophy Race Group for cars, group 5A, and the spirit of Pebble Beach. Sports racing cars and production racing cars 1947-1955… the cars and drivers:

No.25 in the series.

Rod Nuckey was a young English driver whose family owned the Warrior Tap & Die Company in Hertfordshire. In 1953 he acquired a Cooper-Bristol Formula 2 Mark II, chassis CB Mk23153. Nuckey won several races during 1953, in the Cooper racing for Ecurie Richmond. However at the final Snetterton meeting of the year the car was seriously crashed, ruining the chassis. The engine and transmission were removed from the Cooper and used in a new car to be run in sports car races.

The new car was known as the Warrior-Bristol. Its designer, Bernard “Bernie” Roger, was a talented 35 year old engineer who designed and built a number of one off specials in the 1950’s. The Warrior is believed to be his first from the ground up. Roger had spent his early years apprenticed with Alta Car and Engineering Company. He later became chief mechanic for Mike Hawthorn in 1952 and Ecurie Richmond in 1953 working primarily on Cooper MkI and MkII formula 2 cars. In 1953 he designed and built the first Cooper-Bristol sports car, utilizing the Alan Brown Cooper Mk I chassis with a Ferrari Barchetta style body by Wakefield’s of Byfleet. It had a De-Dion suspension and preceded Cooper’s own prototype Cooper-Bristol sport car by several months. Roger was later associated with Francis Beart, constructing the Beart-Roger sports racer in 1956. Later Roger was connected with the design of the Peerless GT and the ill-fated Gordon Keeble.

As Rod Nuckey wanted a sports racer, Bernie Roger obliged by creating the Warrior-Bristol with an entirely new chassis, of the tube frame Superlegerra type. It was similar in many respects to the H-frame tube chassis built by John Tojeiro in 1953 for Cliff Davis. The Tojeiro chassis eventually became the basis for the A.C. Ace. However the Roger design utilized a De-Dion rear suspension with torsion bars, a lighter tube frame and Cooper 4-lug wheels. It was bodied by Williams and Pritchard of North London who also developed similar bodies for the Tony Crook-Jack Walton ex-Cooper MkII and the Bristol 450 sports racers. Originally the front suspension utilized a transverse leaf spring. However it was soon changed to torsion bars. The head faring and wrap around screen were added in 1955. The car was registered SAR 336.

The Warrior was raced extensively in 1954 and 1955 by Nuckey, Roger Biss and J.D. Lomas at Silverstone, Crystal Palace, Aintree and Snetterton. At the 9th British Grand Prix for sports cars in 1954 the car was driven by Nuckey to 9th place overall, third in the 2 liter class. He placed behind such drivers as Peter Collins (Aston Martin), Roy Salvadori (Aston Martin), Carol Shelby (Aston Martin), Reg Parnell (Lagonda) and Archie Scott-Brown (Lister Bristol).

The car was sold in 1955 to Bernie Arnold who shipped it to Malaysia. It participated in the Macao Grand Prix driven by Arnold in 1956, 1957 and 1958 (10th place in 1956). In 1959 Arnold set a course record for 2 liter cars at a sprint meeting in Malaysia. The car was still being raced by Arnold in 1960 when he took 1st place overall at the Johore Coronation Grand Prix. The car was registered NA3.

At one point Arnold powered the car with a Jaguar 2.4 liter engine following the demise of the original Bristol. This particular motor was an experimental motor which had disappeared from Jaguar’s shops years prior. In that form it won the sports car event at the 1970 Singapore Grand Prix driven by Tim Robertson.


Bernard Arnold died in 1964 and the car passed through no less than four owners before being restored by Ian Boughton of Western Australia in 1980. After restoration the car passed through another four owners and engaged in intensive historic racing in Eastern Australia before being brought to the United States in 1999.

The driver today… Jack Perkins is a retired Barrister/Solicitor who has been involved in vintage racing since 1993.

“I was a “car guy” since even before my high school days, and enjoy the chance to “wrench” on my own car projects. My first project was transplanting an early Chrysler “hemi” into my 1952 Ford. I currently own and race the Warrior, a 1958 AC Ace-Bristol and an Alfa Romeo GTA. My other collectable cars include a 1949 Bristol 401, a 1930 Packard Phaeton, A 1932 Packard Club Sedan, a 1997 Jaguar XK8 and a 1997 Toyota Supra Twin-Turbo.”


Jeff Abramson: 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial Spider

Race No.22

Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, 19-20 August 2017 at Laguna Seca. The Del Monte Trophy Race Group for cars, group 5A, and the spirit of Pebble Beach. Sports racing cars and production racing cars 1947-1955… the cars and drivers:

Ice racing in Sweden

No.24 in the series

About Jeff’s Mille Miglia car… a 1954 Pinin Farina S I , Chassis # 0408 MD

• The 3rd of 22 Series One 500 Mondial Spiders built
• The 3rd of 16 Pinin Farina Spiders built
• Completed by the factory on March 23, 1954.
• Ice racing in Swed Raced in the 1954 Mille Miglia by Paolo Pineschi and co-driver Mirko Landini.
• Sold by the factory to Swedish Ferrari importer Tore Bjurström, who sold it to its first private owner Valdemar Stener, resident of Sweden.
• Road and ice raced in Sweden, Finland and Denmark from 1954 to 1959 at the Helsinki Grand Prix, Swedish Grand Prix, Ljungsdalbacken, Hedemora, Skarpnäck Airfield, Freden and Hindas ice races, Varpen ice race, Hindasloppet ice race, Kristianstad, Copenhagen Grand Prix and Kanonloppet.
• Swedish national ice-racing champion 1957.
• Actively raced since new and currently raced by Jeff Abramson.

About the Ferrari 500 Mondial Spider…

Though Ferrari is best known for its prodigious front-engine V-12 road cars, the manufacturer actually produced several models of four-cylinder sports/racers during the 1950s that are every bit as breathtaking as their more muscular siblings. During the 1950 Formula Two races, Enzo Ferrari noticed that four-cylinder race cars from manufacturers like HWM and Cooper were hot on the tails of his 12-cylinder cars on the handful of twisty circuits that generally lacked long straightaways.

At Kristianstad in 1956

The fact was that the four-cylinder engines developed peak torque at a much lower rpm band than the 12-cylinder cars, enabling them to maximize their potential in a far shorter distance. By contrast, the high-revving V-12 cars were only developing a fraction of their power when the next set of turns required braking. Aware of this inherent flaw in the V-12 on such winding courses, Ferrari assigned Aurelio Lampredi to develop a four-cylinder motor, which eventually debuted during the 1951 Bari Grand Prix as a 2.5-liter unit that could develop 200 horsepower.

Ferrari’s foresight turned out to be quite prudent, as Formula One racing was essentially cancelled during the 1952 and 1953 seasons because Alfa Romeo withdrew from

Stener Helsinki 09/05/1954

competition, leaving Ferrari as the only remaining entrant of note. Therefore, Formula Two events became the basis of the Driver’s Championships during those two years, and the Lampredi engine was ideally poised to dominate. Scuderia driver Alberto Ascari had little trouble in securing consecutive championships in the four-cylinder F2 monoposto, bringing Ferrari the title in 1952 and 1953.


Mille Miglia 1954 (both photos)

Once it became clear how effective Lampredi’s four-cylinder motor was, experimentation with sports/racing chassis was inevitable, and various combinations involving all three iterations of the new engine, which had been developed in 2-liter, 2.5-liter, and 3-liter forms, were eventually attempted. In early 1954, Ferrari finally offered the four-cylinder sports/racer to customers as a two-liter model, with each cylinder displacing almost 500 cubic centimeters. The car was dubbed the 500 Mondial, in recognition of Ascari’s back-to-back World Championships.

Starting with chassis 0404MD, 18 spiders and two berlinettas were built over a run of first-series cars, most of these bodied by Pinin Farina. A second series of 10 Scaglietti-bodied cars with slightly more powerful engines followed, resulting in a total of just 30 examples of the 500 Mondial before it gave way to the three-liter 750 Monza. Unlike the prototype four-cylinder sports car that placed 2nd at the 12 Hours of Casablanca in late 1953, which had a standard frontally located gearbox, the customer cars featured a rear-mounted transaxle that further optimized weight distribution and handling. In addition to its rarity and notability as the customer car commemorating the 1952–1953 Ferrari Championships, the Series One 500 Mondial Spider is also significant as one of the final Ferraris to feature the elegant barchetta-style coachwork that defined Maranello’s early sports cars.

Jon Le Carner: 1951 Allard K2 Cadillac

Jon Le Carner, 1951 Allard K2 Cadillac – Race No.51 or 47

Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, 19-20 August 2017 at Laguna Seca. The Del Monte Trophy Race Group for cars, group 5A, and the spirit of Pebble Beach. Sports racing cars and production racing cars 1947-1955… the cars and drivers:

No.23 in the series

Notes from Jon Le Carner, August 2017…

This Allard K2, chassis # 3035, was originally setup for a Ford Flathead V8, then later converted to Cadillac power. It was sold in 1978 by then owner, Tony Krivanek, and the next owner place a classified ad in the Los Angeles Times in 1983, at which time James Degnan spotted it for sale. Jim, having seen an Allard while attending the 1982 Monterey Historics, was keen on driving one in anger himself and had been on the lookout for such a car.

The Allard was in a rough state and in need of quite a bit of work to bring back to running order. Jim then proceeded with the completion, including a bare aluminum respray and made the necessary modifications for vintage racing, fuel cell, fire system and the like. Jim began racing the K2 in 1984 and for the next 25 years he campaigned it at many of the West Coast racetracks (over 100 times). In addition to participating at Laguna Seca, the K2 ran at Willow Springs, Riverside, Fontana, El Toro, Coronado, Portland and the Los Angeles Times GP, to name a few.

In early 2001, I met Jim while he was visiting family that happened to be neighbors of mine at the time. When he learned that I had been attending the Monterey Historics for many years he kindly invited me to stop by his paddock space that summer. Over the course of the next few years we became friends and I would occasionally help as a “crew member” on the Allard and was educated on its workings. I was also introduced to a few of Jim’s fellow racers. One of those was Michael Sharp, who had participated in La Carrera Pan Americana several times. Michael, seeing that I had an interest, asked me to be his navigator in 2006 in the Historic A class. For anyone that has not participated in a high speed closed course rally, it is truly one of the most exciting events in motorsport. After completing the event I was hooked. Michael and I then built up a Ford Falcon Sprint for Historic C in 2007, and spent the next few years sharing driving and navigating duties in the Pan Am and Chihuahua Express, including a stint at Pikes Peak. By this time, I was looking to go vintage racing and Jim offered up his Lotus 51. Three years later he asked if I would like to race the Allard at the Reunion. Of course, I accepted this gracious offer. We came to an agreement where I would acquire the K2 in 2015, and I proceeded to prepare it for the 2016 racing season. Most of the heavy lifting had been done prior, so it was a matter of a few upgrades to the cooling, brakes and fuel systems. It still wears the patina of 25 years of continuous track duty, which I intend to preserve. While the steering precision and braking ability are still a bit lacking, the car is a pleasure to drive (slide) around a racetrack and the Cadillac engine provides plenty of motivation. In time, I hope to learn the early history of the car and track down its previous owners.

Most vintage racing organizations share a motto…” It’s all about the cars”, or something similar. Meaning, it is not about the current drivers or custodians. It is all about seeing these living, breathing pieces of automotive history doing what they do best. Of course this is true, however, our sport is also about the people, the comradery and the friendships made along the way. It is these things that will keep it alive for the next generation of enthusiasts.

Some generic information about the Allard K2…

1952 Allard K2 Roadster

180 bhp, 331 cu. in. Chrysler OHV V-8 engine with two-barrel Carter carburetor, four-speed Muncie manual transmission, coil spring split-beam axle independent front suspension, coil spring De Dion rear suspension, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 106 in.
• Rare example with Chrysler Hemi power from new
• Perhaps unique Hemi with side-mount spare and De Dion rear axle
• Older restoration presents superbly
• Archetypal Anglo-American sports racer; a terrific event car

Sydney Allard was a stouthearted racing driver and car constructor. In the 1930s, he had built a dozen Ford-based specials for British trials competitions, some with Lincoln engines and many with a split-axle independent front suspension developed by Leslie Ballamy. During World War II, his London garage rebuilt Ford vehicles for British forces. In 1946, with plenty of engines and parts on hand but no government contracts, Allard introduced the K1, a two-seater on a box-section frame with transverse leaf springing and Ballamy’s independent front axle. Either Ford or Mercury flathead V-8 power was available. Light and powerful, the K1 boasted excellent acceleration. It was succeeded by the J1, a shortened K1 intended for trials and sprints, and a four-seater, the M1.

As the J1 became the J2, so the K1 evolved to a K2 version in 1950. The aluminum body was redesigned, adopting a smoother look with a Healey-inspired grille. The Ballamy front suspension was changed from leaf springs to coils, and De Dion rear suspension was optional, as were wire wheels. Although normally built with Ford or Mercury flathead V-8s, K2s could be ordered to accept more powerful engines, usually installed at destination prior to delivery. Most Allards destined for the United States, llike the batch of 18 Allard K2s in 1952 were shipped to R/P Imported Motor Car Company in New York City, where engines were installed. They were then sent to dealers, like Max Hoffman in Manhattan. This car, however, was invoiced direct to Jack Pry in Washington, D.C. Pry was one of the early D.C. dealers in imported cars, handling at one time or another Rolls-Royce, Jaguar, and Rootes Group cars. He later became the major Volkswagen dealer in the District.

See also http://allardregister.squarespace.com/

Peter Giddings – 1954 Lancia D24 Spider

Peter Giddings – 1954 Lancia D24 Spider – Car No.24

Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, 19-20 August 2017 at Laguna Seca. The Del Monte Trophy Race Group for cars, group 5A, and the spirit of Pebble Beach. Sports racing cars and production racing cars 1947-1955… the cars and drivers:

No.33 in the series

Vincenzo Lancia (1881-1937) founded the Lancia Automobili S.p.A. motorcar company in 1906. He had been a successful racing driver of Fiat cars, but his Lancia company concentrated on innovative sports and touring cars. The Theta of 1913 was the first European production car to feature a complete electrical system as standard equipment. Lancia’s first car adopting a monocoque chassis – the Lambda, produced from 1922 to 1931 – featured “sliding pillar” independent front suspension that incorporated the spring and hydraulic damper into a single unit (a feature that would be employed in subsequent Lancia’s, up to the Lancia Appia that was replaced in 1963). Lancia in 1948 produced the first 5 speed to be fitted to a production car (Series 3 Ardea). Lancia premiered the first full-production V6 engine, in the 1950 Aurelia, after earlier industry-leading experiments with V8 and V12 engine configurations. It was also the first manufacturer to produce a V4 engine. Other innovations involved the use of independent suspension in production cars (in an era where live axles where

2017 at Watkins Glen

common practice for both the front and rear axles of a car) and rear transaxles, which were first fitted to the Aurelia and Flaminia models. This drive for innovation, constant quest for excellence, complex construction processes and antique production machinery meant that all cars essentially had to be hand-made. With little commonality between the various models, the cost of production continued to increase greatly, while demand did not.

After the death of Vincenzo, his wife Adele took over and kept Lancia afloat during WW II. At the young age of just 24 years old, Vincenzo’s son Gianni Lancia (1924-2014) took over the Lancia motorcar company in 1948. Gianni Lancia was assisted by the brilliant engineer Vittorio Jano. With the expertise of Jano, Gianni Lancia decided to renovate the already existing Ardea and Aprilia and in doing so hit upon a new model, the Aurelia B10. The powerful Aurelia, with the first production 2 liter V6, was a powerful, superb-handling dream. It wasn’t long before some clients begun using them in hill climbs and other competitions. When the B20 version hit the market, it was an instant success. It had a 2 liter V6 engine, a short-wheelbase, and a Ghia designed and Pinnenfarina-built 2-door GT coupe body. The Aurelia B20 coupe, although designed as a sports touring car, was used by owners in racing. When the 2 liter B20 Aurelia GT coupe, driven by Bracco and Maglioli, finished second in the 1951 Mille Miglia (beaten only by the 4.1 liter Ferrari America of Villoresi) Giannia Lancia decided to build a purpose-built sports-racer.

Gianni’s enthusiam for racing led to the development of the Lancia D24, which was built regardless of cost. Introduced in 1953, the sophisticated design of the D24 was leagues ahead of anything produced by rival manufacturers at the time. The D24 had a steel tubular space frame and an aluminum body by Pinninfarina. The D24 featured large inboard front and rear drum brakes, a four-cam, twin-plug, dry sump V6 engine and a 5-speed rear-mounted transaxle. The car had near-perfect weight distribution and low unsprung weight. It weighed just 830 kg and the 3.3 liter engine produced some 265 bhp at 6200 rpm and a top speed of 162 mph.

Major race wins include:

Passo della Raticosa, Bologna – 1st, Felice Bonetto; 2nd, Eugenio Castellotti
Carrera Panamerica, November – 1st, Juan Manuel Fangio/Gino Bronzoni, in D24 s/n 0004; 2nd, Piero Taruffi

12 hours of Sebring – 2nd, Luigi Valenzano/Porfirio Rubirosa
Giro de Sicilia, April – 1st, Piero Taruffi, in D24 s/n 0005
Mille Miglia, May – 1st, Alberto Ascari, in D24 s/n 0006
Targa Florio, May – 1st, Piero Taruffi, in D24 s/n 0005
Oporto Grand Prix, June – 1st, Luigi Villoresi, in D24 s/n 0005
Bolzano-Passo Mendola – 1st, Eugenio Castellotti
Aosta-Gran San Bernardo – 1st, Eugenio Castelliotti
21st RAC Tourist Trophy – 1st in class, Juan Manuel Fangio/Piero Taruffi; 2nd in class, Robert Manzon/Eugenio Castelliotti
Catania-Etna – 1st, Piero Taruffi
Treponti-Castelnuovo – 1st, Eugenio Castelliotti
Coppa d’Oro di Sicilia – 1st, Piero Taruffi
Coppa Firenze-Siena – 1st, Eugenio Castelliotti

There are two surviving original D24s, one in a major European museum, the Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile in Turin. There are four reconstructed cars using many original parts including original engines, reconstructed in the 1980s by Luciano Basso, the Lancia museum’s official restorer, and by Guido Rosani, a highly regarded engineer whose father was a director of Lancia in the 1950s. These four D24s were built exactly to the original drawings as Basso and Rosani had the aid and support of Lancia and Pininfarina.

Peter Giddings has owned a Lancia Lambda for years. His interest in Lancia resulted in his acquisition of the Lancia D24 and a D50A.This car, chassis number D24R #0002, uniquely fitted with engine number D25 #0001 (the only D24 fitted with a D25 engine), is perhaps the most successful of the four reconstructed cars. It has competed in many international historic events during the past twenty years.

… at the Goodwood Festival of Speed

The car Bruce is driving today, has one of the later D25 motors, so the ultimate example of this model. At the end of 1955, Lancia retired from racing and the racing department while being disbanded was instructed to scrap the cars and most of the parts, so with the exception of a car gifted to Juan Peron of Argentina, the cars ceased to exist.

In 1980, with permission and assistance from Lancia, and with the help of Pinin Farina four cars were reconstructed in Turin with most of the work done by Basso, a long time supplier of parts for vintage Lancias, using the drawings to make the mechanical parts substantially as they were originally constructed. This is one of those cars.


…and a parting note from Bruce Trenery:

The car belongs to Peter Giddings of Danville, and is driven this weekend by Bruce Trenery. Bruce has been driving since 1969 and has been coming to Laguna Seca since the mid 1960’s to watch the CanAm, TransAm and other races. Bruce has raced everything from most SCCA classes, to Lola 70, and various IMSA classes like GTS and World Sports Car over the years. During the first years of the historic races at Monterey, Bruce drove his Lancia B24S Aurelia, which is still in the family. It is an honor to be allowed to drive this wonderful car, that I remember reading about as a boy. Sometimes boyhood dream, do come true.

chassis no. D24R 0002, engine no. D25-0001
Tubular steel space frame
2-door spyder aluminum body by Pinninfarina
Front suspension – lower trailing arms, transverse semi-elliptic leaf spring, telescopic shock absorbers
Rear suspension – DeDion axle, quarter elliptic leaf springs, telescopic shock absorbers
Inboard drum brakes, front 380 mm diameter, rear 320 mm diameter
Length – 3790 mm (149.2 in) Width – 1440 mm (57.6 in) Height – 970 mm (38.2 in)
Wheelbase – 2400 mm (94.5 in) Track- front 1298 mm (51.1 in) / rear 1250 mm (49.2 in)
Wheels – front 5.0×16 in, rear 5.5×16 in. Tires – front 6.00×16, rear 6.50×16
Fuel tank – 110 liters
Drag coefficient = 0.5
Weight – 1675 lbs
Top speed – 165 mph

ENGINE (Lancia D25):
Configuration – V6 – 60 degree, longitudely mounted
Alloy block and heads
Capacity – 3,749 cc (228.8 cu in)
Bore – 93.0 mm (3.7 in) / stroke – 92.0 mm (3.6 in)
4 main bearings 69.9mm diameter, big end bearings 57.5mm diameter
Compression ratio – 9.0 : 1
Valvetrain – chain-driven DOHC, 2 valves per cylinder
Ignition – firing order 1-4-3-6-5-2, two spark plugs per cylinder
Fuel – three Weber 46 DCF 3 carburetors
Power – 305 bhp @ 6500 rpm
Oil – dry sump, Water cooled
DRIVELINE: Five speed manual transaxle

Final drive options: 4.200:1 (10/42), 4.444:1 (9/40), 4.667:1 (9/42), 4.100:1 (10/41), 3.700:1 (10/37), 3.900:1 (10/39), 4.000:1 (10/40), 5.000:1 (9/45)
Single, dry plate clutch
Limited slip rear differential

The two new race photos posted today are courtesy Peter Darnall. Thank you!