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Peter Whitehead's Super Squalos


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#1 sandy

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Posted 30 August 2004 - 00:11

Could someone kindly assist with this query: In 1956 Peter Whitehead took 2 Super Squalos to Australia. They had 3.5 litre sports car engines (4Cyl) (the previous year he took a 625 with a 4cyl 3.00 litre engine). Were these engines as powerful as a GP engine, if not why not, if so why did they not effortlessly out perform the 250F Maseratis at the time , with their extra litre capacity.

T

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#2 WINO

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Posted 30 August 2004 - 00:38

Perhaps because the 250F had better brakes, better roadholding and in general, better balance?


WINO

#3 David McKinney

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Posted 30 August 2004 - 05:53

I suspect the cars were heavier than the 250Fs and, as WINO says, did certainly not handle as well.
Also, I don't think Peter Whitehead or Reg Parnell, who drove the Ferraris, would have claimed to be in the same class as Stirling Moss :lol:
In the New Zealand races, Horace Gould, who wasn't in the Moss class either, was rarely as fast in his 250F as either of the Supersqualos

#4 Patrick Fletcher

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Posted 30 August 2004 - 09:12

Mention of Horace Gould brings the saying "when the drivers were fat and the tyres were skinny" to mind. He was on pole at the fast Ryal Bush circuit though with Whitehead alongside. Parnell was next with Jensen and behind was Roycroft. Jensen must have had good power to be ahead of Roycroft!

#5 David McKinney

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Posted 30 August 2004 - 12:06

Which is why I said 'Orace was "rarely" as fast as the Ferraris :lol:

#6 Graham Howard

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Posted 07 September 2004 - 12:58

Those Squalos were fast on fast circuits - Whitehead was faster than Jones and Hunt's 250Fs at Albert Park in 1956, and Tom Clark was as fast as any of his local rivals up Mountain Straight at Bathurst. Their Albert Park performance is probably why Australians were keen to buy them after Albert Park, tho' subsequently Davison (who was one of the disappointed customers) decided he hadn't missed out too badly after all.
They certainly looked heavier that a 250F - big snouts, bulgy sides, fat tail - but a lot of the bulk was empty because there were only tiny side-tanks, nearly all the fuel was in the back, and the chassis was still basically two oval tubes, with just some added superstructure. They seemed to understeer, everywhere - they could look quite ponderous sometimes - but they came out of corners pretty well, which would be expected from a 3.5-litre version of what was considered a very torquey engine as a 3-litre. They probably were no heavier than an F1 2.5 Squalo, and possibly lighter given the smaller tankage. But jeez they were ugly.

#7 ry6

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Posted 07 September 2004 - 17:46

In early 1955 Peter Whitehead and Tony Gaze brought 2 Ferraris to race in South Africa.

An extract from the program for the 3rd International Queenshaven Motor Race Meeting at Palmietfontein on 26/3/55
says
"These cars are basically 1954 Formula I Grand Prix cars which, in the interests of reliability have installed 3 liter sports car engines instead of the 2 1/2 G.P. engine.
The 3 liter motors are running on 100 octane avaition petrol and develop approx 225 bhp against a reputed 260 bhp of the GP engine.

These figures are of necessity approximate, because the competition of Grand Prix racing on the Continent of Europe is so great that manufacturers seldom disclose exact figures.

The cars weigh a mere 1,485 lbs and should be capable of an estimate 140 mph - NOT the fantastic speeds mentioned in some press reports."

#8 sandy

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 06:29

This is probably not really in keeping with my original query on the Super Squalos in Australia in 1956 but it is related in a way - if Fangio had turned up at Albert Park in 1956 with a Lancia Ferrari, as was expected (the Ferrari team just did not appear) who is likely to have been his team mate to match Moss and Behra in their 250F Maserati's. Collins perhaps or Musso?

What a race that could have been; both Moss and Fangio at the height of their powers on the long and fast Albert Park circuit, hardly a straight, just a series of long curves, four wheel drifts pretty much the whole way.

Perhaps the race of the Century.

#9 sandy

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 06:33

I left off the last sentence of my previous reply

......the race of the Century.

And I would have seen it!

Damn.

#10 Ray Bell

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 10:21

Just wait till I get this movie of Hunt and Neale and the boys in their Masers earlier in the year through those long sweeps...

I might even get it into an mpeg format and put it online for you.

#11 Patrick Fletcher

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 11:18

Mr, Mrs Reg Hunt were at Broadford about three weeks ago and I was chuffed to show them around Reg Hunt Park.
Our INFO Centre is coming together and we hope to have an everchanging display of interesting items for the enthusiast.
Anything you have Ray or others - please let us know - a copy of any tape/film would be great.

#12 Ray Bell

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 11:42

Well, it's not mine, you see... but I have it somewhere...

There's 20+ minutes of the 16mm movie, by the way, and it covers two Albert Park meetings... with Reg Hunt cars predominating. I'm hoping Channel 10 will put it onto DVD for me in return for the right to use it in the AGP broadcast some time.

You'll know when it's done... my avatar will change dramatically.

#13 sandy

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 11:54

Ray, that sounds like a dream that could come true. Please find that film ASAP.

#14 starlet

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 12:10

Sorry, but as we speak about the Albert Park race in 1956, may I ask if it is true that Parnell drove there a 250 F rather than its new purchase, the super squalo ?

I believe that Whitehead took the two modified Ferrari for this meeting ; he drove his, but not apparently Parnell.

Somebody knows why ?

#15 Patrick Fletcher

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 12:12

Ray - if you have any problems "when you locate the reel "- we have good contacts that can help if you want. I will pm their address to you and you can veiw some of their work.

#16 Catalina Park

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 12:34

I have seen the film and it is great! The sight of a 250F drifting past the camera...... and then another one, with even more angle of attack :eek:

#17 David McKinney

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 15:20

Originally posted by starlet
Sorry, but as we speak about the Albert Park race in 1956, may I ask if it is true that Parnell drove there a 250 F rather than its new purchase, the super squalo ?

I believe that Whitehead took the two modified Ferrari for this meeting ; he drove his, but not apparently Parnell.

Somebody knows why ?


Not true at all.
Whitehead and Parnell both entered Ferrari Supersqualos, and both raced them.
Perhaps you're getting mixed up with the other English entry, Ken Wharton, who had a Ferrari for the TT and a 250F for the GP?

#18 starlet

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 17:41

Thank you David for the reply.

Indeed, it was what I thought, but as I didn't have a lot of sources about this race, I could not check the veracity of this information ( second last paragraph ).

#19 Ray Bell

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 21:09

Originally posted by starlet
.....I could not check the veracity of this information ( second last paragraph ).


Neither, aparently, did MAJ...

However, it seems he's got that from the result panel in the AGP book mentioned above. Which is in error, obviously (check Graham Howard's comment about proofreading on the '1960 Lowood' thread).

But the result panel also shows the entry list and the grid... both of which put Parnell in the Ferrari. And, of course, the text of the report mentions him racing the Ferrari as Whitehead's team mate.

Thanks for the offer, Patrick, we'll see how it goes... I am keen to do what I want to with my avatar!

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#20 sandy

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Posted 09 September 2004 - 05:55

Going off on a tangent a bit (and getting completely carried away) but relating this reply more or less to the original thread, how about this for a grid based on the 1956 Melbourne Grand Prix, ie Formula Libre. Enzo realised the possibilities when talking to Peter Whitehead re 3.5 engines in the Super Squalos.

Lancia Ferrari 4.9 litre V12
Fangio and Musso

Maserati 450F V8 4.5 litre
Moss

Maserati 350F 6cyl 3.5 litre
Behra

BRM V16 (1956 4 cylinder type but with 1.5 litre V16 engines)
Hawthorn
Collins

Vanwall Novi V8 s/c
Schell
Trintignant

Cooper 2.5 litre V8 Gordini in Jack Brabham's Bobtail Cooper
JB

Lotus 1.5 litre 8 cyl S/C (borrowed from 158 Alfa)
CC


etc etc

#21 Ray Bell

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Posted 09 September 2004 - 09:05

Originally posted by sandy
.....how about this for a grid based on the 1956 Melbourne Grand Prix.....


I'm not altogether certain, but I'm fairly sure there was no 1956 Melbourne Grand Prix.

#22 David McKinney

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Posted 09 September 2004 - 11:53

I'm sure you're right, Ray.
Nor was there an Olympic Grand Prix, though some contemporary reports liked to give the race that name

#23 Ray Bell

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Posted 10 September 2004 - 10:49

Yes, I've heard that one too...

There was a Melbourne Grand Prix in 1958, IIRC. But wasn't it already regulated by the CAMS that there only be an Australian Grand Prix? Or was it only State GPs they banned?

Or was it just a case of it all happening under their noses and so they missed it all?

#24 VAR1016

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Posted 10 September 2004 - 11:05

Originally posted by sandy
Going off on a tangent a bit (and getting completely carried away) but relating this reply more or less to the original thread, how about this for a grid based on the 1956 Melbourne Grand Prix, ie Formula Libre. Enzo realised the possibilities when talking to Peter Whitehead re 3.5 engines in the Super Squalos.

Lancia Ferrari 4.9 litre V12
Fangio and Musso

Maserati 450F V8 4.5 litre
Moss

Maserati 350F 6cyl 3.5 litre
Behra

BRM V16 (1956 4 cylinder type but with 1.5 litre V16 engines)
Hawthorn
Collins

Vanwall Novi V8 s/c
Schell
Trintignant

Cooper 2.5 litre V8 Gordini in Jack Brabham's Bobtail Cooper
JB

Lotus 1.5 litre 8 cyl S/C (borrowed from 158 Alfa)
CC


etc etc


Hmm; you'd need a mighty big shoe-horn for some of those :D

PdeRL

#25 David McKinney

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Posted 10 September 2004 - 14:21

Originally posted by Ray Bell
There was a Melbourne Grand Prix in 1958, IIRC. But wasn't it already regulated by the CAMS that there only be an Australian Grand Prix? Or was it only State GPs they banned?

You've got me there.
There was certainly an NSW Grand Prix, but that was several years before.
The term 'Queensland GP' is ringing faint bells but I haven't got the time to check right now.
Maybe CAMS made a one-off dispensation for the Melbourne race which, with Moss and Brabham taking part, was obvioulsy going to be a high status affair.

#26 Ray Bell

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Posted 10 September 2004 - 21:07

Originally posted by VAR1016
Hmm; you'd need a mighty big shoe-horn for some of those :D


Indeed...

The wheelbase on the Lotus might be a tad long!

David, you're right. There was a NSW Grand Prix, and I think (John Medley?) that might have precipitated the rule against such things.

#27 Graham Howard

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Posted 14 September 2004 - 08:39

The restriction of the title "Grand Prix" went back a long way, I think to AAA (pre-CAMS) days, as part of the move to make the AGP the premier event. The exemption given to the 1958 "Melbourne Grand Prix" was part of the manouevering to show the opponents of racing in Albert Park that this was a major race. Non-Mexicans might also feel that, since it was being run in Victoria, it should by right have had the title Grand Prix in any case, but a comment like that is typical non-Victorian churlishness, I know.

#28 275 GTB-4

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 08:55

Interesting reading today that Jack Brabham won the NSW Grand Prix, the one and only time it was run.