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Alta racers


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#101 Terry Walker

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 12:43

The car in the Fremantle Motor Museum has, I understand, rubber suspension, not coils. Suggests it was a new postwar car, not a rebodied prewar model.

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#102 Dutchy

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 14:49

Originally posted by RAP
Can any one tell me which Alta Peter Moores had in the UK in 1970. According to a programme it was a 1936 2.0 litre.
Thanks
RAP


That was the ex Hugh Hunter car now owned by Martin Redmond.

I'm surprised the name Hugh Clifford hasn't emerged from this thread. Back in the 60s he was very much the torch bearer for Altas and several of them passed through his hands including the Peter Moores car and, I think, the Jucker/Abecassis car.

#103 David McKinney

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 19:48

Originally posted by Terry Walker
Just to confirm: the Gib Barrett car was Chassis 101, circa 1948.

It was a 1948 type, Terry, but I'm not sure if it was actually built then.
Three F1-type cars were laid down, the last not being completed, but rebuilt as an F2 model. The first three are all accounted for, though 010 could be the one converted to F2, converted back for Barrett's use.
The replica F1 car built in the 1970s, which used to be in the Donington Collection, is a different car again.

#104 fivestar

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 23:17

It is most interesting to read the threads on the F1 car currently owned by P. Briggs.

As David said it is a post war type chassis and according to DSJ's book, although chassis # 010 does not seem to fir in?, the engine number is 1111.

GP4 was not completed and was converted to F2/3 with an unsupercharged 2-litre car built for A.J.Stokes.

The only other "unaccounted" F2 car is F2/4 which was originally raced by Oliver Simpson.

Following on from this, the next question is whether the A.J.Stokes and Oliver Simpson cars are still in existence.

With regards to the nose badge, it is a genuine Alta badge since on a query to an Alta owning friend, I was advised that he has invoices from Alta in the mid 50s showing this design of badge on the invoice. Therefore Terry's theory on the new badge is probably correct.

#105 Terry Walker

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 06:09

Early in the coming week I'll go down to Fremantle and have a good look at the Briggs car - I know the museum curator well - and see what engine and chassis numbers it has, what type of suspension (torsion bar or rubber), etc, and report back.

#106 Xian

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 06:38

In the sixties Tony Foley, an intriguing arms dealer, master silversmith and collector of antiquities, who lived in London's Maida Vale next to the garage of an absolute arse appropriately named Butt, owned an Alta. Somebody may know which one. I believe he gave it some club outings.

#107 GIGLEUX

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 08:53

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And what about this one?

#108 fivestar

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 21:57

It is interesting to note that DSJ in his Historic Racing Car Book refers to the post war Altas chassis numbers as: GP!, F2/3 etc, but no detailed chassis or engine number.
Some time ago I came across an advert for a Alta-Jaguar sports car MVS 351 which had been converted from an Alta F2 chassis 090 and was originally sold as a package by a Mr. Adams of Pulnam with the ex Gordon Watson car now owned by Andrew Fletcher, to a Mr.Horris Capauldi.
Perhaps Graham Gauld could check with Andrew Fletcher the chassis and engine numbers of the ex Gordon Watson car.
Likewise may be some one could check with Martin Peterkin what is the chassis number of F2/5 which is the last F2 car built and has the bugatti style wheels.

#109 fivestar

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Posted 11 March 2006 - 00:18

Hi Terry,
if you look at your photos of the Gib Barrett car, especially the one of Syd Anderson winning the WASCC race in 1957 #4, it would appear that the nose badge even in 1957 was different to the normal Alta badge.
The first photo is not so clear.
Maybe your photo can verify if my first para is correct.
Thanks

#110 Terry Walker

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Posted 11 March 2006 - 01:42

Here are some pictures of the Briggs Alta, enlargements of the badge area from higher-res scans than the 800 pixels cross ones I used on the Around the Houses CDROM.

Don't know if this clears or muddies the water

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#111 fivestar

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Posted 11 March 2006 - 04:38

Many thanks Terry,
if my eyes are still OK, it would appear the badges on all the cars are the same. If you look at photos of the F1 cars in the late 40s or F2 in early 50s, the badge is more Ved.
It could be that when the car was sold to Barrett, it had the new style badge added so that it appeared to be a new car.
The big query is still which chassis was used.
The engine could well have come from GP3 the Joe Kelly car which had a two stage supercharged layout. Kelly removed the blown 1.5L engine and replaced it with a 2L Bristol engine inorder to use the car in F2 events. Maybe he sold the engine back to Alta when he installed the Bristol unit.

#112 Terry Walker

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Posted 11 March 2006 - 16:05

Here's another pic from my files to muddy the waters - the front suspension of the Fremantle Motor Museum Alta. Is this a rubber front end or torsion bars?

I'll get down there in the next few days and check the beast out.

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#113 humphries

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Posted 12 March 2006 - 18:31

Lady Mary Grosvenor sprinted and hill-climbed an Alta in 1949 and 1950. Lady Mary, who was an accomplished equestrienne and who could also swear like a trooper, was reportedly at the wheel of an "ex-Basil Tye" 1500cc s/c car. The car had the modern Alta body.

#114 fivestar

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Posted 12 March 2006 - 22:17

Terry, The photo you posted of the Briggs car shows a rubber front end end.

Answering Humphries question, Lady Mary originally owned #69, which was owned and raced post war by Cowell and Watson. The car originally had a pre war style body but was re bodied after the war with a body style similar to the post war F1 and F2 Altas.
I am not sure but I believe Lady Mary used this car in hillclimbs etc.

#115 Terry Walker

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 02:22

Rubber suspension makes it probable that the Briggs car is a postwar car, rather than a rebodied prewar torsion bar car.

I'll don my anorak, visit the museum, and get the actual numbers for you. With photographic proof if possible.

#116 David McKinney

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 06:03

Originally posted by fivestar
Lady Mary originally owned #69, which was owned and raced post war by Cowell and Watson. The car originally had a pre war style body but was re bodied after the war with a body style similar to the post war F1 and F2 Altas.
I am not sure but I believe Lady Mary used this car in hillclimbs etc.

I don't think her ladyship ever drove #69, which she acquired in 1939. Having got rid of it, presumably as a wartime measure, she subsequently bought #62, which had also been rebodied, and it was this she used in hillclimbs etc

#117 GIGLEUX

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 07:34

Wasn't it the car used by JH Williams in 1946?

#118 fivestar

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 07:42

Many thanks David, does that mean that#62 was rebodied post war to replace the original(rather ugly) body built by Hugh hunter, before being rebuilt by Martin Redmond in its current configuration.

#119 David McKinney

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 17:12

I believe so
(Rebuilt for Martin Redmond rather than by...)

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#120 Terry Walker

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Posted 15 March 2006 - 05:07

I went down to the Fremantle Motor Museum this morning and found the following;

Alta: Engine No 1111
Chassis Number 010-GS4819

Gib Barret bought it direct from Geoffrey Taylor at Alta.

Before he sold it to Barrett, Taylor had previously offered it, in 1955, to Mr R Fielding of Moray, Scotland, as a "twin stage supercharged car we were building for a customer but have now found that he is unable to pay for it ... car is basically a 1952 single-seater ... rubber suspension ... new frame (tubular). Sold to Robert Cowell who used it twice only since when it has been on our hands."

Fielding didn't buy, and protracted negotiations began with Barrett in Australia, who had Charles White of Motorworks inspect it for him. "Chassis quite new ... engine standing in store for two years ... body secondhand with a few bruises."

Chassis 010 is a postwar F2 chassis (but there was little difference between the F1 and F2 frame), and the two-stage supercharged engine is also postwar, so it is not a rebuilt prewar car. The car was apparently built to order for Cowell, more or less as a duplicate of the Joe Kelly F1 car.

So the provenance is:

1 Built for Cowell (but not paid for)
2 Back with Alta
3 Gib Barrett (Aust)
4 Sydney Anderson (W Aust)
5 Jim Ward (W Aust)
6 Jim Harwood (dealer)
7 Hon John Dawson-Damer
8 Peter Briggs


I took a few extra photos of it at the Museum, with the bonnet off.

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#121 David McKinney

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Posted 15 March 2006 - 06:06

That would seem to make it F2/3, which Cowell raced once or twice in 1951 but which was apparently owned by A J A Stokes. It was reputed to have been built from frame GP4. AFAIK that's the only F2 Alta Cowell raced. His former associate Gordon Watson raced F2/2 but I don't have Cowell's name linked to that car (and its subsequent history is known)

#122 Terry Walker

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Posted 15 March 2006 - 07:03

"Doug Nye, the well known automotive historian, has confirmed that Joe Kelly's car was fitted with a two-stage supercharged engine and that a second two-stage supercharged car was apparently laid down for A J A (Tony) Stokes of the Cowell-Stokes consortium, but Stokes later allegedly pulled out of the deal. A Formula 2 Alta was also built for the Cowell-Stokes consortium ..."

Quote from a Museum report.

101 appears to be the supercharged car, while the F2 car's whereabouts are currently unknown.

Oh, and the Museum's car was in a Hammer film called Mask of Dust , starring Richard Conte. before Barrett bought it, along with another Alta. Racing scenes were filmed at Goodwood.

#123 fivestar

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Posted 15 March 2006 - 07:48

Great work Terry and luv the photos, as David says it would infer the chassis was originally GP4, which was converted to F2/3 and owned by Stokes, who must have sold it back to Alta who put the original 1.5 litre twin supercharged engine back in and then sold it to Barrett.
What we need to know is the chassis number of the Gordon Watson car F2/2, since it exists essentially unchanged. F2/1 was #090 and F2/3 is 010??
David can you kindly advise at what races R. Cowell raced it in 1951, since I can't find any reference in my files. Tks.
If my memory is correct Ray Fielding owned GP3 the ex Joe Kelly car which in 1958 he fitted with an ex works 1950 HWM 2 seater F2 body(ex FB103-Baring) and a Jaguar D-Type engine and registered it as ND4040.

#124 Dutchy

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Posted 15 March 2006 - 09:12

Originally posted by fivestar
[If my memory is correct Ray Fielding owned GP3 the ex Joe Kelly car which in 1958 he fitted with an ex works 1950 HWM 2 seater F2 body(ex FB103-Baring) and a Jaguar D-Type engine and registered it as ND4040. [/B]



I'm afraid I can't add anything in terms of a chassis number but I recall Chris Stewart finding a GP Alta in the 1970s and it was supposedly the ex Joe Kelly car. I've no idea of it's subsequent movements.

ND4040 - is that the car later owned by NIck Jerromes or the Terry Grainger car?

James Holland

#125 fivestar

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Posted 15 March 2006 - 09:48

Dutchy,
ND4040 is/was the Nick Jeromes car ex GP3

RPG418 originally owned by Phil Scaggs was based on GP1 the ex Abecassis GP Alta.

OK so what happen to GP2, the ex G. Crossley GP Alta?, is that the car Chris stewart found?

#126 fivestar

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Posted 20 April 2006 - 22:19

Some time back I raised the question of whether the swap of an Alta for a Mercedes Benz W 154 with the Cech Motor sports Club in 1945 ever took place. Doug Nye was kind enough to post a photo of the MB outside Rowlands Garage which proves the MB arrived in the UK, but nothing has been said whether a swap took place.
Can anyone confirm that an exchange actually took place or was the MB obtained by other methods.

#127 Dick Willis

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 03:18

Referring to previous posts by Doug Nye (28/12/03), T54 (23/1/06) and Fivestar (recently) regarding the fate of F2/4, the unaccounted for Oliver Simpson car, I can confirm that it is the car, or the remains thereof, bought from South America by Daid Woodhouse.

By an amazing coincidence he located the original body on a Ford V8 Special in Australia owned by Peter Kenny who has provided me with this information. The body came to Australia mounted on a Cooper Bristol chassis and powered by an Aston Martin engine ! around 1957. The Cooper Bristol was eventually rebuilt to something like its original configuration in the early eighties and the discarded body which was always known as an Alta body, passed to David Reid who built it into the Ford Special. The Special was subsequently bought and raced by Peter Kenny from whom David Woodhouse eventually located the body and acquired it. On being reunited with the chassis it was found that everything lined up perfectly leaving no doubt that the body originally belonged to F2/4.

F2/4 will have an Alta engine which also has an Australian connection. In the late fifties Jack Pryer and Clive Adams built an attracive sports car called the PRAD, as were the several other cars they built, which was powered by an Alta engine which was supplied from Jack Brabham. Rumour (unconfirmed) has it that it was the engine from the Cooper Alta he bought from Peter Whitehead when he first went to the UK in 1955 and quickly discarded in favour of a Bristol powereplant with which he was more familiar. Soon after completion the PRAD had serious accident and was rebuilt with a slightly different shaped body and a Holden motor. The Alta motor stayed with Clive Adams for many years until the owner of the Prad at the time ( about seven years ago ), Ian Cummins persuaded Clive to sell it to him. Eventually after selling the Prad, still with Holden motor fitted, Ian sent the Alta motor to the UK for sale and eventually wound up with David Woodhouse. The pieces of the jigsaw were falling into place !

#128 Graham Gauld

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 06:24

Reference fivestar :

Ray Fielding originally hill climbed the ex-Abecassis Alta

The HWM Fielding owned and ran was one of the original three team cars that doubled as sports cars and single seaters. It was sold to Edinburgh driver John Brown who ran it one or two times and even loaned it to Reg Parnell to race. John then sold it to Ray. I have photos of both Brown and Fielding with the car.

I do not recall Ray ever owning the Joe Kelly car but it was a regular visitor to Scotland in Joes hands.

Reference the Gordon Watson car I will try and find out the chassis number of it from Andrew Fletcher as this car has been in Scotland with Andrew for about thirty years.

#129 Ted Walker

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 07:46

Regarding the fate of "ND 4040" Dealer Nigel Dawes ended up with it and removed the Reg No (for obvious reasons !!!! ). I believe he might have sold the car to Australia ????

#130 RAP

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 08:21

The body came to Australia mounted on a Cooper Bristol chassis and powered by an Aston Martin engine ! around 1957. The Cooper Bristol was eventually rebuilt to something like its original configuration



This tends to confirm that the Cooper was the ex-Ron Searles car which the Autosport report of the 1955 Boxing Day Brands meeting described as
".....swept past tail ender Ron Searles (Cooper Alta). The oil pressure gauge on this car (a rebuild of Bert Roger's pranged sports Cooper bristol, with an Alta body and Rover engine installed soon gave urgent recommendations to halt, bringing Searles in to become the sole retirement" .
"
Oliver Simpson was associated with the Ron Searles Racing Team so it is logical that it would be the body of his Alta that found its way onto the rebuild of Bert Rogers' ex-Tony Crook TPD 1 Cooper. Searles ran the car in 1956 with as Aston Martin engine for various drivers including L Hunt .

RAP

#131 fivestar

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 12:11

Reference Graham Gauld,

My info came from an advert by RodLeach's Nostalgia, which stated" Ex Joe Kelly/Ray Fielding Grand prix Alta chassis(no GP1003) fitted in 1958 by Fielding with ex works HWM 2 seater F2 body -Baring(Fielder) and a semi D type engine.
Presumeably Fielding purchased the ex Joe Kelly chassis which by that time had a Bristol engine and when he broke up the HWM fitted the body to the Kelly car.
What happened to the chassis and engine of FB103 would be interesting to know.
One would have thought it would have been just as easy for Fielding to have inserted a Jaguar engine into FB103, unless FB103 was somehow damaged.

#132 Dutchy

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 13:52

I've realised I was talking absolute tosh when I first referred to the ex Joe Kelly Alta being discovered in the 1970s by Chris Stewart - five star's latest post has reminded me that the Joe Kelly car became the I.R.A. and it's subsequent history appears to be well documented.

So the car we are looking for is Geoffrey Crossley's GP2

#133 fivestar

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Posted 23 April 2006 - 22:25

Reference Dutchy,
It would be interesting to know what became of GP2.
In DSJ's book it states it was broken up and the parts used in a special also David McKinney in an earlier post says the subsequent history of GP1,GP2 and GP3 are known.

#134 David McKinney

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Posted 24 April 2006 - 04:55

Originally posted by fivestar
It would be interesting to know what became of GP2.
In DSJ's book it states it was broken up and the parts used in a special

That's your answer :)

#135 fivestar

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Posted 24 April 2006 - 22:14

Ok, so now the question is what SPECIAL?, we know GP1 was used for the first Phil Scaggs car and GP3 for the Ray Fielding/ Nick Jerome car.
Does anyone know how GP2 was rebodied, etc???

#136 David McKinney

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 04:54

I believe it was the Berkshire Special

#137 Dutchy

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 06:01

Never heard of that one - what did it consist of?

JH

#138 fivestar

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 23:52

Attached a couple of interesting photos courtesy of OLD CLASSIC CARS UK,
one I think is the same car in the Motor Sport advert posted by Gigleux on the 10th March 2006.
the second a photo of the Norris Special in its early days.
Can anyone identify when and where these pictures were taken.
There is also a photo of a pre war offset car at Brighton with #32 on the side and also a post war GP car with #22 on the Old Classic car web site. definitely worth a visit.
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#139 Ted Walker

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Posted 28 April 2006 - 07:53

I dont think it was the Berkshire Special. I saw this in the early 7os when it was raced by Chris Renwick with a Jaguar engine. Its now in France

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#140 humphries

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Posted 28 April 2006 - 11:12

Could it be that GP2 was the car raced by Luis Manduca in 1952-1953?

#141 David McKinney

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Posted 28 April 2006 - 11:20

Originally posted by humphries
Could it be that GP2 was the car raced by Luis Manduca in 1952-1953?

Completely OTTOMH here (I'll check later) -
but I think the Manduca car was a rebodied pre-war model

#142 Paul Taylor

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Posted 28 April 2006 - 16:18

Here's a little something that'll appeal to you guys. I lived in a house up the road between 1995 and 1997 and soon after we moved in, we started to get jobs done, like the wiring and the plumbing as we'd bought it off an old person.

Anyway, as we pulled up the floorboards, we found dozens of pages from old newspapers dating mostly from 1948 and even one from 1933. I decided to flick through, and this is what I found on the front of the Daily Graphic, from Tuesday 25th May 1948:

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Thought you might be interested :)

#143 fivestar

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Posted 29 April 2006 - 03:13

Ref Berkshire Special.

The only reference to the Berkshire Special I can find is as follows:

GLOVER TROPHY 11th April 1955
Geoffrey Crossley #22 Berkshire Special - Lea Francis -DNS

Referring to an earlier post of mine and again courtsey of OLD CLASSIC CARS, below is a picture of an ALTA entering I assume the Paddock can any one identify it and also the car on its right with #30.

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#144 David McKinney

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Posted 29 April 2006 - 05:23

Looks like Cowell's F2 car at the September 1951 Goodwood meeting
Car 30 is the Laystall Cromard, driven on that occasion by Ken Wharton and the one behind is John Webb's Turner
An interesting picture of some rare beasts :up:

#145 Ted Walker

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Posted 29 April 2006 - 07:35

The Manduca car was or is the missing Lady Mary G pre war car.

#146 David McKinney

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Posted 29 April 2006 - 08:26

Thanks Ted
I forgot to check (after saying earlier I would)

#147 fivestar

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Posted 29 April 2006 - 08:56

Excuse my ignorance, but who was Luis Manduca?, I have never come across his name before. Also who was Albert Wake, I note that he drove Joe Kelly's GP3 in its later Alta Bristol guise.

#148 EDWARD FITZGERALD

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Posted 29 April 2006 - 14:06

Who was Manduca ? Could be a new thread , he was listed at the Curragh , very little seems to be known about him.

#149 Doug Nye

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Posted 29 April 2006 - 20:30

From memory he was referred to here as 'Laurie' Manduca, not Luis.

DCN

#150 Ted Walker

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Posted 30 April 2006 - 08:31

Doug I think it was Loui because a friend of mine bought an ex works Lancia Aurelia from him via Dan Marguilis in the 60s (they might have been partners)I think he moved back to Malta.