Latest update: 21.10.12
I have been building series of old F.1 cars for over ten years now and two years ago, with the 1958 F.1 and F.2 series being well established and the 1961-2 series being completed, I embarked on a project to construct a series based around the Grand Prix cars that ran in the first two years of the World Championship, i.e. 1950 and 1951.
As this was several years earlier than the 2.5 litre series that I called the Pre-historics, I would have a completely new set of cars to produce, with nothing usable from any of my previous series. The attraction was that there were several types of car that could be made that were never again seen on the circuits of the world, or at least, for many years. I speak of things like Talbot Lagos, Alfa Romeos and pre-WW2 vehicles that were still around after the war - E.R.As and Delages (well, one Delage anyway.)
It was in the Autumn of 2007 that I began the build, the Alfa Romeos being the first cars to be constructed. Those cars have now been replaced with these:
I am delighted to be able to show my new Alfa Romeos, built using Dave Jones' new shell. Dave makes arguably the best slot race shells anywhere and I am proud to use his shells rather than the crude things I made back in 2007.
Here are two brand new V.16 B.R.Ms, completed on 20th October 2012, using bodyshells obtained from the excellent Mac Pinches. The shells represent the older version of the V.16 car but I decided to paint mine in the traditional B.R.M colour rather than the very light green that was used initially by the Bourne team.
Earlier in 2012 I bought a new Talbot-Lago shell from George Turner. It was way better than the old one I was using which came originally from a commercially produced vac formed shell. I now have eight of these fine old French racers. The cream one and the yellow one are Belgian-owned, while the green one belongs to Duncan Hamilton - Lewis' granddad (not).
These are brand new Ferrari 375s, rebuilt in February 2010 to replace the horrible things I built a couple of years ago.
Included in the series are two British Altas, one of which is pictured here:
There are now ten Maserati 4.CLTs in my collection, including a green one that was owned by the Scot David Murray who later started the Ecurie Ecosse sports car team:
Then the problems begun. I purchased a beautiful E.R.A shell from Pendle Slot Racing in Lancashire and as a result was able to build myself a quintet of these evocative British pre-war racers. Unfortunately, I rapidly discovered that the car body is just too narrow to be able to accept the Johnson large can motor that virtually all my cars use. After much searching a solution was found. I won't go into it here because should you really need to know about it you will find the whole story here.
Once the problem was overcome, the cars were rapidly completed:
At the time of photographing, I had not solved the problem of getting driver figures in these tiny cockpits. I have now.
Having said that nothing could be used from earlier sets of cars, I did use my 1955 body pattern of a 2.5 litre Gordini, with modifications, to build the three tiny cars for this series:
There are a couple of rarities included in this series. This is the aforementioned Delage:
This is not really the right body shape for the car run by Rob Walker and driven by Tony Rolt, but it's as near as I can get for the moment.
Then there is this:
Prophetically, referring back to the last paragraph, I have already added a couple more cars to the list. Another Maserati 4.CLT has been produced, in plain red, to be driven by Nino Farina, when his Alfa Romeo committments allow; and a red and white Ferrari for the Swiss privateer Rudi Fischer. Back in the day, Fischer's car was actually a Ferrari 212 not a 375 but the body shapes of the two were sufficiently similar for me to get away with calling this Swiss-entered car a 212. Here is the Fischer Ferrari:
It's certain that I will add other cars to the series as the months pass but this is, theoretically, the final different car that I shall be building. It was actually a Formula 2 car but was often raced, with some success, against far more powerful machines. This is the H.W.M, team - one of which was a regular mount for the extremely talented but very young Stirling Moss.
Giving the lie to the comment above about different cars, I discovered that a gentleman named Tony Condon produced an excellent shell of the spectacularly unsuccessful E.R.A E-type that was 'raced' just before and just after WW.2. I bought one as I thought it would be a nice addition to my series, especially in the mainly British events - so here it is.
If you are a regular visitor to my website you will see details of this event and the subsequent 50 or so races that I have lined up for these cars throughout the coming years.
Thanks to David Lawson, the brilliant scratch-builder of slot cars from Essex, I obtained an OSCA shell which I painted up in the Siamese blue and yellow for Prince Bira. At the same time I moulded up another from David's superb shell, removed a lot of the intakes and produced the factory OSCA that was campaigned occasionally with Italian Franco Rol at the wheel.
As many of the races I run in my Titans series are events that took place after WW.2 but before 1950, I thought I had better have some older French cars to include in some races. I settled on the Delage D6.70 which was driven by various people, including Maurice Trintignant. The buck for these cars was carved out using many photographs that exist on the web although I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the dimensions of the car. Never mind, eh?
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