Today we rolled the Nash Metropolitan race car shell out of the paint shop. It looks absolutely fantastic. Some might say it was far too nice for a race car, but not us. We like ’em shiny.
Lumbertubs is at CCK for race preparation. We’ve put a new bonnet on the car with the classic BRM paint job so not to damage it’s original. We are building an engine for it and will also be setting up the suspension. Lumbertubs was built in the 60’s and features a custom made aluminium GT roof and a fibreglass Sebring bonnet.
The Nash Metropolitan has been painted. The colour chosen was the original Nash colour Berkshire Green over Frost White. 8 litres of 2k was ordered and expertly applied by our very own Ian Goodwright. Inside and out received a coat of GN08 Berkshire Green before getting masked off for the WT1 Frost white two-tone.
Racing driver Darren Turner and his good friend James Turner have brought their 1959 Ford Zodiac to CCK. This classic Ford is believed to have been a race car since the 1970’s and although it has been well prepared their are few things we will address in order to provide Darren and James with a competitive and reliable car for the up coming HRDC “Touring Greats” race series. Darren is most well known for his two class wins for Aston Martin at Le Mans, he says he enjoys historic saloon car racing as a relaxing weekend. We will be looking after the Zodiac and supporting James and Darren for the 2012 season.
James Turner said,
“Darren and I have known each other since we worked together at Aston Martin Racing in 2005 – he was one of the team drivers and I was commercial director. Since then we have had a lot of fun together and I guess that Darren’s first appearance at the Goodwood Revival Meeting (in the Mini and Cobra in 2009) sparked his interest in historic racing. We talked about getting a car together and the Zodey is the result. Julius Thurgood at HRDC could not have been more helpful in advising us and so we are keen to support his excellent HRDC series as much as possible. We only did a few things last year in what was my first season of racing but I did manage to luck into a class win on my solo debut at Brands – so it must be a good car! We had admired the CCK approach each time we saw them during the year and we were delighted when the chance to put the Zodey with them arose at the end of the season. We can’t wait to get the old girl back out again and doing some more races…”
Over the past couple of months I’ve been researching the history of our Volvo PV544. We knew it was raced in period and came from the states but we knew little more than that. My quest began by examining the stickers on the dash board. The car has numerous stickers from hill climb events in Pennsylvania USA ranging from 1964-1972. This lead me to the Pennsylvania Hillclimb Association and to their inhouse historian Ron Mann who helped me get in touch with the previous owners and dig up some of the car’s previous results. I also managed to acquire a stack of race programs from the period which show the car to have no less than 5 class records between 1969 and 1974, twice at the Topton hill climb in 1969 and ‘70, at the Duryea hill climb in ‘72, and twice again at the Tuscarora hill climb. The car’s original owner, John Flannery, campaigned the car on the hills of Pennsylvania throughout the 60’s and 70’s.
By 1966 Flannery had managed to claim two class victories at Rose Valley and Weatherly hill climbs. His career built from there and in both the 1969 and 1970 seasons John drove the PV544 to win 8 out of 10 races for back to back class championship titles. In the 1972 season John claimed a win at Pine Grove, Pagoda and Camp Shand where he achieved the FTD (fastest time of the day) and the first overall fastest time for a Saturday drive. I believe 1974 was the last season John drove the PV, claiming 3 wins, bettering his class record at Duryea and claiming another FTD.
John Flannery retired the PV544 for a Volvo 142. The car was stored until 1992 when Craig Danks, another Pennsylvania hill climber bought it. Craig carried out some work to the car and continued its hill climbing career for another 10 years achieving yet more wins. Fast forward to 2007 and the car was up for sale again. It was imported to the UK where we bought it and immediately began preparing the car for a new career as a historic touring car. The Volvo required a small amount of welding, where rust had gotten the better of it, before we could carry out a very sympathetic paint job. All of the original stickers were retained and carefully masked around for the exterior paint job. We left the interior as is to retain the patina that we love so much in a historic racing car. The mechanicals were all rebuilt with a new B18 engine to bring the car up to spec. It now puts out a very credible 200bhp and weighs just 920kg. The PV544 has continued its success with class wins at Brands Hatch, an outright win at Snetterton and 3rd overall in the St Mary’s Trophy at the 2008 Goodwood Revival. What is amazing is that we’ve been driving this car for years with no knowledge of its historical successes. Perhaps it’s good luck, perhaps it’s good drivers but either way this Volvo is used to winning and long may it continue to do so.