Guest Photo on “Name That Car!”

Friend, fellow car guy, and frequent commentator here John “Mad Dog” Morrow sent me this photo in the hopes of being able to identify the cars. He says:

Hi Chuck,

Recently I found some old negatives in my basement. I had them printed, digitally speaking, and some treasure were revealed. Several were from a car show at the Brooklands race track, c1967/8 taken by me with my Dad’s Zeiss Ikon camera. The cars are very interesting and there are some I can’t identify. Like the two (or three if you’re really good) in the attached pic. I’m really curious as to what these are and would be grateful if you could shed any light on this…


I replied that I see 4 cars (so I must be REALLY REALLY good!) and that two of them are certainly Bugatti’s. (Though I am not sure of the exact models on the Bugs.) The main “#18” car with the modified nose remains a mystery (though I suspect it could be a Bug too?), as does the Sprint-looking racer with the Brooklands Windscreen in the far background. I figured that the ace car spotters here (Roger, Paul, Shaun, etc) should be able to positively ID just about every car here. How about it guys?

Car Photo of the Day: I still love this car.

OK, not the best of photographs, as the background is way too busy, but I have to admit I still like this shot. Perhaps it is my life-long lust for Jim Hall’s Chaparral Can-Am cars. I saw them in the flesh, being driven in anger at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin when I was a small boy. While Hall was a perennial 3rd place to the McLarens and their Kiwi drivers (as Jerome will no doubt remind us in the comments) the SBC-powered winged white little Texas cars were my heros. Every year something radical and new.

To stumble upon this blast from my past at the Amelia Island Concours was a real treat. I spent easily 30+ minutes staring at it from every angle. I even touched it now and then. I’m sure other people there thought I was some oddball stalker… no… I was just seeing an old and admired friend.

Car Photo of the Day: A green race car on the green.


A legendary Vanwall VW5 F1 car in BRG. The real thing. The “chuck connection” here is the place this car was built: Acton. This is where I worked when in the UK in ’97/’98.

Now, if you live in the UK and have a huge pile of cash, you can actually buy a street-legal replica of a Vanwall VW5, though with a bit more engine (a Jaguar V-12!) than the original. Check it out on Top Gear:

Ariel Atom

So Nick J finally figured out the “other British car” that was parked next to me at last weekend’s car show. The only hint I gave was that it had an alliterative name.

I’ve always wanted to see, and DRIVE one of these. I knew that there was one somewhere nearby as I’ve caught glimpses of an Atom now and then. Sure enough, I find out that this one lives literally a stone’s throw away from me(!)

Unfortunately I had all that deck repair work to do this weekend, so I had to leave the 65E all alone at the show and catch a ride home. The show was scheduled to run until 4 pm, so I planned to head back in the early afternoon. I guess they wrapped up early as nearly all the cars were gone when I came back a bit before 3. Oh well. I chatted very briefly with the Ariel owner. We both said “I’ve always wanted one of those” to each other so I said we should get together and drive each others’ cars. The timing was not good that day however. I had to run back and keep plowing along on the deck. (sigh)

Someday soon. Of course the guy who I had arranged to swap drives in his Lotus Elise seems to have vanished (hey, if you are out there…!)

Anyway, some impressions: The Atom is much larger in real life than in photos. Of course, the E-type is always much smaller in real life than people imagine (at least the short wheelbase versions like mine) so side-by-side they make an odd pair. The Atom is about the same length, but MUCH wider than the E-type. The tube frame is actually very thick… I was expecting something like a Lotus Seven, but this stuff is seriously beefy. This version is driven by a GM Ecotec 4-banger. It did not have any particularly amazing note to it, but I’m sure this car is more about handling and quickness than aural sex.

I really wish I’d had more time to spend at the show… I’m sure I would have found out more. It will have to wait.

T-minus 10 days to the GTTSR by the way.

The Moron Mechanic Strikes Again!

I recently performed an oil change on my wife’s Jeep Liberty CRD, as I’m an almost total “do it yourself-er” when it comes to car maintenance (NOT that I have any real skill… I’m just too cheap to pay for this sort of thing!) Usually that is a good thing. Today, I wonder however. It seems that when I pulled off the oil filter the rubber gasket stayed behind, and I installed the new filter right over it. This created a poor seal which as you can imagine, leaked oil.

Thankfully this condition was caught before things went REALLY wrong, but boy… what a mess. Sort of tossed a huge monkey wrench into my day’s schedule too.

Of course being a cheapskate once I realized that there was no damage done I was ticked off that I’d just wasted a few quarts of brand new oil! 😉

No photos sorry. I didn’t have my camera with me but if you do a google image search for “Exxon Valdez” and mentally erase the water, you should get a pretty good idea of what the scene looked like. Thankfully I had just bought a 50lb bag of “Oil-sorb” for use out in the BioDiesel home brewery in the barn and it was still in the back of the pickup truck! I think I used up 1/3rd of it.

Something like this... just subtract water.
Above: Just subtract water!

At least I’ll not make THIS mistake again!

Car Photo of the Day: Yet Another Race Car

Another race car from the Indy 500 display at Amelia Island Concours a few years back. Know what it might be?

(should be easy as there’s a couple of badges and labels here. 😉 )

Working on the deck today… expect an update about the car show and a reveal of the other British car soon. Keep on guessing in the “going against the grain” post though!

Going against the grain? What do you think?

I’m thinking about bringing the 65E to a small car show this weekend. It is not a big-time Concours d’Arrogance. It is not a serious round of competitive car washing. I doubt any q-tips will be harmed. It is just a little show put on by my local NAPA store, Stilly Auto Parts. (“Stilly” is short for “Stillaguamish” the name of the river valley we sit in… say it three times fast and you’ll understand why everyone shortens it to “stilly” from “stil-la-gu-wa-mish”!) The staff there are true “car people” and are very helpful. Despite the fact that several discount chains inhabit the valley, I always go to the NAPA first. Great people, so I’m happy to support them by showing my car there, despite my normal aversion to car shows.

So, by “going against the grain” I was thinking of specifically NOT washing my car before I brought it there. Mind you, it is not looking as bug-splattered as it does in the photo above, it still wears it’s Monte Shelton rally tag decal, and a nice collection of road grime. The last time I washed it was the brief hose-down at the end of the rally.

There is a good chance that it will be the ONLY non-American car at this show. But I’m thinking that showing up looking a little saddleworn might lend it some gravitas… a bit of street-cred. On the flip side though, some folks might see this as “slumming” or just being disrespectful.

Do you have an opinion? I’m all ears.