Cars in sheds

Well, hardly call it a shed, and,… more than just “cars”

20150813_144103As I was leaving Prague, I touched base with Burkhard List about visiting to see the sister car to the Emeryson Experimental ELFIN Mk1, the Ford 105E powered Mk2.
And off to Bad Erlach in Austria was I, off like a long yellow streak.

Burkhard and his father Rheinhardt (photo above) gave me a tour of the many cars they have in the garages at the headquarters of the List company.
There, they design and build custom fitouts for top tier boats (well yachts actually), planes, or boardrooms.
A couple of truly top guys.
If you read this guys, thanks SO much again for the hospitality and generous tour of the garages.
And Yep,…. that is a 3 litre 6 cylinder Alfa that does get a bit of road use.

(click or double click photos to get the full size version, then use the ‘back’ button or arrow to return to the blog)

They gave me a tour which I wasn’t expecting and quite frankly, simply overwhelmed me.
I was expecting to look at the Elfin Mk2, which I did, but,………… the 30 or more other cars we looked at rolled me over.
So many cars and in such delicious states of originality, reconstruction or patina’d all the way from the 30’s, 40’s or 50’s, each with its turn waiting for attention scheduled ‘all in good time’.
And it’ll be done maintaining as much of the original as it is possible to do.
Alloy bodywork showing the bings and bashes of 50 or 60 years in battle? Check!
Original chassis rails, springs/shocks and wheels. Check!
Fabulous and so much in the spirit of how we enjoy it in NZ. “As it was, so it shall be”

Where would we like to start,… the Amilcar(s), Fraser Nash(s), the supercharged Alfa, Alta engined GP car(s), Osca sports, Emeryson GP car or the Emeryson Sportster?
Didn’t even photograph the numerous F3 500’s and assorted heavily stripped cars.

How about 20150813_143447the Alta straight 8 (?), or, 20150813_152012 the Bugatti 51 straight 8.
Or the Amilcar, 1500cc 4 cyl supercharged 20150813_152602

Rheinhardt is such an enthusiast, he just can’t stop himself saving more cars and I doff my cap most respectfully to this wonderful fellow and his son Burkhard (now running the List ship), who only occasionally gets to exercise some of these wonderful beasts on the track.
I really should offer to help out there, make myself a bit more available.
With this Emeryson GP? 20150813_144921 Or, the wee tease on the right.
What could that be?20150813_145044
First correct answer wins a chocolate fish.
20150813_145333 Mmmmmmmm.
It was all quite intoxicating, especially after a hustling 4 1/2 hr drive in the non A/C equipped Transit from Prague in 35′ heat. I can’t believe that I didn’t get photos of some of the grand cars, but there you go,….

Properly motorised, but not a motorcar.
Whaddya reckon about this?? 20150813_154247
Completely designed and built in house as a marketing and promotional exercise.
Carbon fibre mated to mahogany.
About 30 – 33 ft, two primary seats and a pop up dickie seat.

This is so ultimate cool. It is like the Samurai sword of speedboats.
A breathtaking design and executed so perfectly.
Retro Riva riviera speedster out of the 50’s, wrapped in 2015 high tech.

Styled and shaped so delicately with such a pure and high quality finish, it belongs in a gallery.
Except it also belongs in Burkhards garage for him to take his wife and kids out for the most stunning and show stopping Cote d’Azur outing.
Probably doesn’t hurt that Rheinhardt mentioned it is VERY loud with “some ridiculously large American V8 under the forward decking somewhere”. Oh YESSSS!

Righto boys, I’ve just got myself too excited again reliving the visit, so need to hit a cold shower.

But take this one with you.  20150813_152523
For when you want to appear (or disappear) with the ultimate in style and noise, how can you top a Delahaye?.
Isadora Duncan anyone?

Cheers n ciao for now


Comin Down Again

Ferrari Transporter   Merc Transporter
Uber Cool Transporters. Who sees the Ferrari, who sees the Transporter. Hahahaha. Same with the Merc

The adrenalin and the buzz of a race meeting ‘keeps on keeping on’ through the weekend.
There’s only the now and get on with it.
The past 5 weeks/weekends have been a blur and it has been a huge buzz to have done it.
MInd you, I also take my hat of to Iain Rowley and others like him who prep many cars, get several loaded into a truck and do the long drives and ferry crossings week after week AND make the return to England to make the repairs and collect an alternate car for customers.
There is an addictive element to it. You want it to kick in again. The urgency to prepare and get there (a one, two or three day drive?). The anxiety to learn a track you’ve never been to. Coming down is harder for the longer you’re ‘up’.
Its not easy being normal     };>))

Getting on the road again, I headed to Prague. no particular reason except that the beer is supposed to be good and I’d never been there before.
Or HAD I?  
Prague Old Square
The special clock in the Old Town Square looked rather familiar.

I suppose it was a part of the beer fueled blur of that Contiki Tour in 1980.
49 days of bus, booze and ABC (another bloody cathedral) which with 35 years of hindsight again raises the question of whether travel is wasted on the young.
Prague DOES have lovely beer and most reasonably priced too after France and the UK.
500ml of beer at NZ$3.50 is most attractive, especially served cool but not frozen at midday temperatures of 35’C.

But not for everybody!
Some need to suffer a little,… Hot_no shade_no beer here
Jeez. the look on that poor buggers face.
Uphill in the sun over St Stephens Bridge. Probably has been walking since 9am in Wencelas Square. Nobody with a cool cloth for his face or hot and dusty feet.
But wait!!!,…. hang_on_a_m.i.n.u.t.e.
Wasted Space There’s a real job going begging for this ‘waste of space’ who was also on the bridge.
Excuse the pun but I just couldn’t resist it.
Give the lazy beggar a squeege bottle of cool water and a few towels and he’d make a fortune!

Off to the side, the Kafka Museum.
Kafka Museum_Pacifist Duelling Pacifist duelling?
More likely just the old East West struggle put into perspective.

Nurburgring. Woo Yaaa.

If just the name of this place doesn’t give you a shiver, you probably haven’t got the history of ‘the ring’. In truth, we are racing the GP circuit, not the Nordschleif (??) but all the same, it is a helluva track.
Fast, flowing and with lovely up and down sections, it is a ball.
It seems to be that you get through the corners fast and ok, so try it faster.
And faster, until I guess it throws you over a fence.

20150807_121539A sample of the regular miscreants, especially Chris and Val Merrick, Iain Rowley, Michael Ashley Brown and Michael … (of the Lairy Fairy Escort fame), with Dietrich Merkel.

I have to make apologies here, because I made reference to the Lola (green and number 2) in the videos as being an Elva.
Aaaargghh. I know what to do. Give me the pistol. I’ll go outside now.

20150807_121252Lovely Faccioli.

And for Alfa fans (who have been a bit neglected, a caravan of cars!
20150806_104823 and a more unusual and particularly gorgeous one 20150806_190622 For sale at a price I didn’t want to ask but has a motor from a Tipo 33/3 apparently, although I thought that those were 4 valve and twin spark 20150806_190431

More time to tease before we get to race vids?
How about,…. 20150807_121301 the Rayberg. Floris-Jan’s beautifully rebuilt car which I chase a fair bit in the vids, with Chris Merrick’s “as sweet as sweet can be” Cooper T59 in background.
20150807_121309Alex Morton’s Ausper T3
20150807_123504Bruno Ferrari’s Branca with Danielo Saladini’s Taraschi behind.
Is this getting like old man’s porn?

Ok, race vids.
I split these into 3 sectors to get the size down to where I don’t need to be up till 2am downloading them. OK, so it took until 2:15am even in the smaller sizes.
Laps 1 and 2. Nurburgring Lurani 2015 R1 Lap 1 & 2

Laps 3,4,5.  Nurburgring Lurani 2015 R1 Lap 3,4,5

Laps 6,7,8. Nurburgring Lurani 2015 R1 Lap 6,7,8

Enjoy. All comments, Oooohs, Aaaaaahhhs, and Woooooaaahh’s appreciated.
For all the front engined boys at home, your cars are all competitive here. One way or another, there will be people to race with. I was racing this one with the ignition timing way off (like 20 degrees instead of 37 degrees advance).

In race 2, car much snappier with the timing right, but then lost a plug lead off the distributor cap just as I was about to have a crack at Danielo in the Taraschi so pulled in. We’d done three laps behind a safety car so the video is a bit dull. Hope you enjoy these even just 1/10th as much as I enjoyed making them.

Copenhagen Historic GP. (The race bit)

So good people, you have waited patiently.
The Copenhagen Historic Grand Prix.
I think it is worth waiting for.

Thanks again to Jac and his team for putting on such a wonderful show and to all the fine folk of Denmark who came out to support it.
They were a wonderful crowd and some with extraordinary knowledge of cars and the drivers of the day.

Arie Riis was on hand to help with camping allocation but regaled me with stories of his racing all manner of cars back in the day; in Denmark, the UK and around Europe.
He immediately suggested some mods I should make to the SU carb mountings on the Elfin.
20150731_204908 Jac Nellermann on the left, hosting us at the Roof Farm restaurant, Stedsans Pa Oestergro, with the FJ immigrants.
Also there, from the left, Elva 100 couple (sorry, mind a blank), our irrepressible Duncan Rabagliati, Graham and Mrs Barron, Dave Innes and lastly Karen and Richard Bishop-Miller (the same Karen who so generously provided life saving cups of tea in the morning after the night before).

I got adopted by a couple of families who became my local fan club, one each on Saturday and Sunday. Hopefully, they will send me some of the photos they took of the kids and the car, that I can share them here. There are a few Danish kids with NZ flags fixed to the back of their shirts who are now ‘good keen Kiwi kids’. With any luck, I’ll find a way to send them a Weetbix and a Marmite sandwich each.

I was laughing my head off at one point, as coming on to the bottom straight, before the cobblestoned chicane (bus stop?), there were 4 of the kids there on the left, leaping up and down (and apparently screaming) for me. Most touching and a helluva lot of fun meeting the family who got such a buzz out of it.
You Good Things!!

OK, the track, the race.

The track is very bumpy in places and in others it is just quite bumpy, but that’s the go on a street circuit. The concrete is big and close but not many touched it up thankfully.
Along the way, it feels like you are getting a Peter Plumley Walker, especially when your rear springs are at 300lb/inch. Pity I didn’t have the camera pointing rear as Richard Bishop-Miller was having a cracking duel with the Elva 100. His weight and lack of power being offset by great driving skill to hold the Elva off right to the end.
For me, I got swamped at the start but came back at the Elva and the 3rd of the Swedish brigade (I really MUST get the entry list out of the van and edit this). Getting a decent run into turn 1 and finding that my 2nd and 3rd gear really did suit this circuit allowed me to chase down those, but by then the battle up front was going red-hot. Tim Bishop in the DKW engined car was a bullet, starting from the back but closed down 2nd place in the end even with the residual problems of plug lead/connectors dropping a cylinder out and back in intermittently through the race.

Enjoy the bobbles and bangs of Ollie’s helmet on the two laps. There are a couple of crackers where the helmet pops up and back down very sharply given that I am strapped in  as tight as a Scotsman’s wallet.

Sorry that the lens got a bit dirty. Think I was following a car that threw out oil or water in the earlier session and didn’t see it on the camera lens. The starter lights are just about above the left front tyre of the blue lotus 20/22 in front of me.
OK, so enough of the blather, get into it,……
Copenhagen Historic. 2 Hot laps

Copenhagen (2)Historic Grand Prix

There are some fabulous cars here.

If it weren’t for all the grass (and men in shorts with women all tall, blonde and blue eyed) the number of wild supercars here would make you think you are in Dubai.

Sorry fans, but didn’t take a single picture of one of those, as they didn’t push my buttons, however, I do regret I didn’t get a picture of Graham Barron’s beautiful Aston Martin DB5 which he has built a tow bar for, hooked up to his equally lovely Gemini Mk2, which he pulled behind from the UK (and took it back on Monday too).

However, when you want a special photo, how about Harry Lund?
20150731_160504Auto Union 2 cylinder 2 stroke from 1936.
God knows what Formula it was, but what a cracking cool car! Wheelbase about the same as an average bath.

When he is driving (no disrespect intended Harry), he looks like nothing less that a vision from the flash Gordon serials of the 30’s (that I used to see at the movies in the late 50’s and early 60’s). Is it Flash Gordons Starfighter, or,………
Flash Gordon Starfighter  Flash Gordon Starfighter_2
Is it the “Death Ray” fighter of Ming the Merciless?
In the background, the DB5 and wait for it, the Chevrolet Classic a non wood clad Woodie.
A 7 seater from the 30s which Jac Nellermann used to take us to a very delightful dinner on Sunday.

Dinner. Glad we made the effort to go after a late race (6pm start) and then a hurried load and lock of tools, parts and cars.
Thanks also to Duncan Rabagliati for organising this and his unflagging enthusiasm for all things ancient, artistic, eclectic, quirky or plain interesting. A Brazillian Churrasco bbq, salad bar to die for, craft beer (birch or beech beer) that is worth coming back to Denmark for on its own, all enriched with a sunset over the lake that seemed to take an hour or so to complete with a thousand iterations of ‘red sky at night’.
Fabulous and the third of three cracking good nights out courtesy of our host Jac.

As an aside, also on the way through Germany, might be a migrant worker way to find accommodation wherever the work is, but I could drive this into the back of my van, and live in a van, that lives in a van. It was like a body built on one of those 3 cylinder mini ute farm vehicles.

OK, so enough of the tease. I know you all want a Copenhagen Historic Grand Prix race report so will get over to cutting a vid or two and post that for you in episode 3.
Hey, it was the Flash Gordon movie serials idea that got me going on this one.
Be patient people      };>))

Copenhagen (1)

Phew,…… it has been a tough week people.

Have been sweating it out like a Turkish wrestler in a steam bath getting the ‘Wee Warrior’ rebuilt for Copenhagen, but we cracked it.

The Copenhagen Historic GP is a great event. Setup is excellent with lots of places to park up the van, lush grass cut just right. After a stormy and wet trip on the last leg across from Germany to Denmark, beautiful clear and warm weather.20150730_161931
The rebuilt ‘Wee Warrior’ (with new but at the time unpainted) nose cone in the background. Painting the nosecone took the next 1.5hrs so that we’d get through scrutineering in the morning.

After relocating the van to the better area by the pits we’d been provided, parking up with David Innes, Alex from A.R.E.,  Richard and Karen Bishop-Miller with their son Ian, Dave thought they should lift the profile a bit;
20150731_094713  The “Claridges Copenhagen”?
I reckon the Bel Air Bellahøjvej

The event organiser, sponsor and host, Jac Nellemann, has treated us most generously here, particularly as an FJ group.
Friday night we went to a most unusual dinner, STEDSANS PÅ ØSTERGRO .
This is a ‘rooftop farm’, with restaurant attached that serves straight from the gardens and from local source suppliers of meat and other ingredients.20150731_223729


We also got the invitation to make the parade into the town hall to meet the Mayor of Copenhagen and the Prince of Denmark (who also drove in the event in a Lotus Cortina with the pre-65s, finishing 2nd I believe), and then have pancakes.
Unfortunately we weren’t travelling quite fast enough and Dave boiled up in the Lotus 27 and had to pull over. When he got going again, the whole parade had gone and he drove the bus lane in the general direction until he got to the square but couldn’t get across the intersection. As cocky as a musterer’s dog, he stuck it on the zebra crossing and went over with the pedestrians. Classic.20150731_125913This was after the 500 people moved on.
They came back when the Prince and his son re-emerged form the town hall. Quite a scene.

Cracked it! Off to Copenhagen

The Wee Warrior is complete. 7pm Tuesday.
You good thing!
By the time we are loaded and locked it is 8pm in Kimbolton and nothing for it but to head for Dover.
Ferry booking is for 07:30am. Operation “Stack” still has the M20 closed, trucks everywhere and delays inevitable.

I had Tony from Adelaide with me, who needed a drop off near Brands Hatch so it was good to have some company for a change, especially as he made cracking good bread rolls before we left and that made for lunch and dinner on the run.

Dropped him off and found a spot to parkup about midnight.  At 5am, up and hunting for an exchange Camping Gas bottle. Man,… you’d think they were an item on the homeland security list. No matter where I went, they had stopped doing the bottle swaps an hour beforehand. Finally at 5:15am I find a service station with some.
Brilliant. Just have to wait for the guy to finish taking petrol payments and selling breakfast for all the early starting road workers,……………………..  so finally at 5:45am we unlock the cage and all his bottles are empty.  Aaaaaaaarrrggghhhhh!

On to Dover (just 10 minutes away) and there is a queue of trucks and cars MILES long coming in from the M20 side. Fortunately I come down the A20 slip road and on to the roundabout, one point to the right of their entry, and drive straight in.
BONUS points for the big yellow eyesore!

Hit the boat an hour early, good trip over, on the road at Calais about 10am.
Staring down the tube of 931 kms to Puttgarden and the ferry from Germany to Denmark with a known peak speed of 111kph foot mashed to the firewall, and a cruising speed at half throttle of 110kph.
Boys and girls, its going to be a long day.
The iPod and music with less blues and more singalong, singalong, singalong to keep me going. 6 meals a day keeps the blues (and sleepy time) away, but a couple of 15 minute catnap stops help.

Travelling through Germany and got caught in a 2 1/2 hr traffic jam. I need this like a(nother) hole in the head.
I see this coming up.
Big n Brick 1Jeez, but she’s big. And brick.
And seems to have ‘half of bugger all’ in the windows department.

No,……. C’mon. Seriously???

,.. bricked up windows?  Big n Brick 2
Someone out there with more time on their hands than me, has got to be able to google this and tell me that this  is art, Bauhaus or something.
But please people, someone tell me it isn’t the headquarters of Deutsche Gaz.