The old 'Vintage Racing' page
We have had some wonderful race seasons, over the past few years and we look forward to some fun 'track times' this season. We have been entering our 1970 Mallock in historic races (post 1959) and Lotus Super 7 Series 1 in vintage racing (pre 1960). With a high degree of reliability and a satisfying level of competitive performance.
Have had the good fortune to have owned and raced a reasonable variety of vintage racers. Including (and pictured) a Stanguellini Fm Junior, a Ginetta G-4, several Lotus Mk 6s, Lotus Elite and Lotus Eleven, a Tojeiro Sports/racer, a very quick Royale Formula Super Vee, Jaguar XK-120M, Healey 100-M LeMans, Turner Mk I...even had a chance to race a friend's 3 liter Bentley (circa 1928), a few different Formula Fords, Elva sports/racers and Couriers, and lots of others.
My ol' Lotus 18 (21 seasons of happy motoring) has been an absolute delight. Eight straight first place finishes at the demanding Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix, maybe one or two DNFs during the past dozen seasons (that is...2 non finishes in, oh, maybe 60 or more races!). Fast, superb handling, reliable, and historically significant (Lotus' first mid engined car, Cosworth's first engine), but I guess the time came to move on. Hence this wonderful car now sold. It was fun but time to move on..........
Five years ago, on a whim, we purchased a 1970 Mallock Mk XIB and were thrilled to get a first place finish, first time out, at the one hour endurance race at the Jefferson 500 at Summit Point. In 2002. And what fun...starting on the front row next to LeMans winner Hurley Haywood. In a very potent Porsche 914/6 race car with who-knows-how much horsepower. (rumor in the Paddock was 300-350)
Followed by an overall win in the 2003 Jefferson 500...this time lapping the class and IN THE RAIN! Both my co driver and I discovered that handling was quite good on a very wet track and, for some unknown reason, we continuously braked prematurely going into turn one. Every lap. That is, there didn't seem to be any difference in braking between a dry and a wet track. Odd. But very impressive. And part of the 'Mallock Legend.' (PS IF you would like to be part of this 'Mallock Legend,' I am selling one of my fabulous Mallocks...see info on this site...available to some future Mallock owner....)
We also had a great time at the world class 'Legends' race at recently resurfaced circuit Tremblant in the beautiful Laurentian mountains of Quebec. At the inaugural race in 2002, we were thrilled to finish 2nd in a competitive field, only being beaten across the finish line by a 450hp Corvette...and a very well driven Corvette at that. With lap times as low as 1:51.
2003 wasn't very good in Canada. Blew a head gasket on the first session, replaced it before the second session, blew it again...and gave up. After all, with the beautiful sites, great food and warm hospitality, sitting in the hot tub outside every day, and putting several hundred miles on the Morgan (a super rare, in the U.S., Ford powered Morgan 1600 four seater) we brought with us, I must say it was not a total loss. With, perhaps, a highlight being turning some fast laps at a local go kart track and LAPPING my nine year old son three times in one session.
He might be young and strong but I have the advantage of experience.
We came back in 2004 and found they had placed the poor little Mallock in the class with all of the out and out sports/racers. I mean...the Mallock is a dandy little car but its 135hp moderately tuned 1600cc Ford push-rod engine is really not in the same class as a fleet of 195hp Lotus 23Bs and Elva Mk 7s. Or, leading the pack, a Formula 1 engined Brabham.
As the weekend unfolded, I did a quick survey of the field and 'rated' the Mallock as 8th fastest. A bit of a disappointment over the first year but, oh well, this is just supposed to be fun.
Practice went on pretty well and we found the Mallock was able to dice with the fastest sports/racers. And by the second day, we qualified 6th on the grid. Which is where we started for the qualifying race on Saturday.
Busy times in the paddock and it was easy to be a bit distracted. Being that my 'pit crew' was an 83 year old mother, a 10 year old son, and a -- year old girlfriend. With my mother being the most informed about cars of the group (she had two older brothers). You might say, I was a one man 'team.'
And as I sat on the starting grid, squeezed into the tight Mallock cockpit, this 'one man team' suddenly realized that the dzus fasteners on the leading edge of the bonnet were undone. Which would have made my alloy bonnet into a quickly detached flying wing long before the first corner of the warm up lap.
I yelled to Laura (the girlfriend) 'RUSH BACK to our paddock spot AND GET A FLAT BLADE SCREWDRIVER.'
Well, the 'start your engines' signals came out, the first cars started to pull out on the track, Laura was rushing back to the car...and I saw some other driver's crew guy and I yelled (through my helmet), "DO YOU HAVE A SCREW DRIVER?"
HE did. And I started last.
But, in a way, it is sort of fun starting last. I mean, you get to pass a lot of cars.
And I did.
With mother, son, and girlfriend watching, I guess you might say 'I had the Mallock really singing.' With fantastic handling (on a set of Formula II wheels and racing tires), incredible braking (the best Formula III four wheel disc brakes prior to going to four pot calipers), and ample straight line performance (I guess there are little and big horses...my 135 were feeling their oats that day), I managed to pass the entire field other than the Formula I powered Brabham. And that was how we finished..1 - 2. A great race, a fun time, and I was so happy the entire family was there to share in the thrilling moment.
I did notice something a bit different about the car, however. Seemed a lot louder than normal. So rolled the car under our tent and pulled the bonnet off. And there it was...about six inches of one side of one exhaust manifold pipe...peeled away.
Yuk. Here I was about 3,000 miles from the Mallock factory, a country away from our workshop, with an engine with three and a third exhaust manifold pipes.
We did a quick trip over to Canadian Tire in St. Jovite (a word about our form of transport...we came to Canada not exactly traveling light. Laura and my son were in the Mercedes E320 wagon pulling an alloy trailer with the Mallock on board while my mother and I were in my somewhat ancient Chevy G20 conversion van pulling a dual level trailer with the Lotus 18...as a spare, to avoid the disappointment of 2003... on top and our 1974 Morgan 1600 four seat tourer on the bottom. And a motorbike strapped to the side. It was in the Moggie that we rushed over to Canadian Tire) and found an 'exhaust repair kit' which consisted of a bit of aluminum and some hose clamps.
Hey, at least it was cheap.
Now, lucky me, a buddy who is an experienced fabricator/race mechanic was around at the track and he pulled some portable welding equipment over to the car. Did a quick tack job, I wrapped the exhaust with the aluminum, affixed it all together with the hose clamps, and gee, it sounded pretty good. Most of the exhaust actually seemed to be exiting from the end of the exhaust pipe.
And that was how we started...now on the front row of the grid...in the feature race on Sunday. The Mallock didn't disappoint and ran a strong race. So close to the tail of the Brabham that I was frequently in danger of flattening the Mallock's nose as we slowed for the tight left hand turn under the bridge.
We continued that way, lap after lap, until a very fast Lotus 23B nudged by me just before the end and I was thrilled to get a third place finish. Even with the exhaust held together with a few tack welds, some thin aluminum, and a few hose clamps.
Ah, Mt. Tremblant. Can't wait to go back.
A word on the 'back up car' of the collection....my dandy little 1959 Lotus Super 7 Series 1. Have been racing it on and off since 1978 with most of the racing between 1978 and 1983 when the Lotus 18 sort of took over as the 'race car du jur.' But the 7 has been sitting in the barn, a happy little street car, longing for another opportunity to get back into action.
In 2003, for some reason, we decided to bring it to Pittsburgh for the VSCCA's 'round the city streets annual event. Ran the Lotus 18 in practice but for some reason, chose to park it for the race. I guess the idea of trying the 7 was too strong a lure. Maybe the idea of simply retiring the 18 after eight straight wins and twelve wins in sixteen starts sounded good to me. Sort of 'quit while you are ahead.' Or maybe 'don't push the envelope...too far.'
Now, the 7 is not exactly 'race prepared' with its soft suspension, inadequate brakes, modest compression ratio and mild cam. But 2003 was its chance to run with the fastest production cars.
And boy, did it run...started on the pole, was passed going into turn one, out-dragged a very serious looking Elva Courier race car going down the main straight, out-braked him going into the hay bale chicane, and ran cool, fast, and flawlessly for ten hard laps. Lapping only four or five seconds slower than the Lotus 18s best laps. And finishing first. At its first time racing at Pittsburgh.
So as much as I might miss the Lotus 18, I guess the Lotus 7 will be a worthy replacement for any VSCCA events we care to attend this season. Now, I might add, with fantastic brakes...big lightened 9" finned alloy drums on all four wheels and a new set of special Kevlar lined brake shoes. Add dual master cylinders with a balance bar and I am hoping for braking approximating the Lotus 18's excellent brakes.
Have owned the car for 29 years. Gee, how time flies when you are having fun.
When I first found it in England, in 1977, it was fitted with 15" steel wheels, stock cast iron drum brakes, and an incorrect 1500cc Ford engine, twin Webers, and a Ford trans.
Read some books, found the BMC powered Series 1 came out in October of 1959 (before the VSCCA's December 31st, 1959 cutoff) and applied for the club to accept the car. Which they did...the first Series 1 ever accepted.
Ran it for years with a variety of 948cc BMC engines. From dead stock (42hp) to rip roaring (oh, maybe 95 or more). And then, a few years ago, installed a dead stock 1097cc Coventry Climax FWA engine. Which was okay but no better than the 948cc BMC engine.
Several years of development and we have 'seen the light' with the result being a lot of horsepower, a wide torque band, and a very high level of performance.
Quite adequate in an under 900 pound car.
Connected to a BMC trans with straight cut close ratio gears and back axle with a Salisbury LSD and hardened steel axle shafts.
Add the innate good handling of a Lotus 7 (on 500L15 Dunlop racing tires) and our essentially state of the art (for the era, at least) braking system, and the result is a fairly good little car. Sufficiently fast to turn 2:21s at Pittsburgh.
Now, that is the basis of our plans for 2006. Oh, almost forgot. Ya see, now that I can see some gray in my temples, the idea of going vintage racing in a REAL vintage race car sounds appealing. And I have this lovely '53 Morgan flat rad competition car with front cycle fenders, no running boards, and nicely prepared for rapid road motoring. Dark blue with a tan leather interior.
When acquired, its single Solex-carbed 2088cc Standard Vanguard engine offered smooth running, incredible flexibility, and with only 36,000 miles on the car, it had perfect compression, perfect leak down, and perfect oil pressure.
However, lots of torque was not coupled to lots of horsepower. 68 to be exact. Which encouraged us to do some 'tweaking' last winter. A big valve high compression head, fully balanced bottom end, forged pistons, polished con roads, a very light racing flywheel, a special intake manifold with twin HS6 SU carbs, tubular headers...we guess around 100 to 110hp. Or, around double the stock horsepower of a 'T' Series MG. With tons of torque.
So the idea sounds appealing of adding catch bottles and a battery switch to the already installed racing seat belts and fire extinguisher such that it would pass the minimum requirements for VSCCA tech inspection and get me (and the Morgan) on the track. Maybe some time during the 2006 season.
Ya know, it might be a fun experience. With the flexible chassis, skinny 16" Michelins on very narrow original steel wheels, drum brakes (at least they are hydraulic, this being the first Morgan model to move from cable brakes to hydraulics). Oh well, we shall see as the season unfolds.
As a reader can see, if viewing our web site, we always have an interesting variety of vintage and historic racing cars. And we offer both race preparation and transport/track side service for our race customers. Even to the point of having a VSCCA vintage racer in one of our workshops that we sold ten years ago...and for those seasons, have provided storage, prep, and transport/race support for its owner. Who has had a ball at minimum cost and with minimum effort.
2005 is now a fond memory but a brief chat about the fun we had last year. With the Jefferson 500 at Summit Point being our first race event. With my good friend Neil over from England as a co driver.
A word about Neil...around ten years ago, he wandered into the showroom having just moved to the U.S. from England. I was out and one of the staff mentioned an Englishman had been wandering around.
He returned the next day to inquire whether he should bring his TR3 over and I suggested he sell it there as it was clearly worth more in Europa. We began to chat and, just by chance, we were testing a just-arrived MG Midget historic racer. Vroom Vroom. Lots of noise.
So I said...'would you like to take it for a little blast down the road?' And he did. And on the spot, after a bit of a conversation about the fun of historic racing, bought it.
I will never forget his words, as he left that day. "I can't believe I just bought a race car...I don't even have a place to live yet!"
And the Midget gave way, a year later, to a Lotus 7 Series 1. And then an Elva Formula Junior. And then another Fm. Junior. What fun. And we have shared rides in my Ginetta and Lotus 7. And, this Spring, the Mallock.
So.........see you at the races.
Oh, oh....back from Summit Point and the 2005 Jefferson 500..... (this part added in the Spring of 2005)
After sleeping for nearly a year, we uncovered the Mallock and did some basic prep: new disc pads, new oil, cleaning, new battery, new race gas, new plugs, and ready to load on the trailer. This year, with a bit more company than expected.
Ya see, it started this way. I invited ol' Neil over from the U.K. for a co drive in the Mallock. And seeing that we was coming a long way, he said 'how about a back up car?' Clearly meaning the Lotus 7. Which didn't seem to need much. Install the racing tires, straight pipe, and roll bar, remove the windshield, new oil, new race gas, clean and polish, and that was it.
But then I thought, why not add another driver? So I called my good fiend Anno who had driven my 7 for a season when we were a 'couple.' Back when. And knowing that our mutual good buddy Neil was due over, she said 'yes' and now we were up to two cars and three drivers.
But then, two weeks before the event, we talked to our friend and customer Jim who had purchased an Elva some time ago. A beautiful ex SCCA National Courier that had not turned a wheel on the track since 1990. And I thought, hey, with three drivers, why not take the Elva and see if we could get a fourth to go along.
Entered the Elva and then called my friend Craig Chima, SCCA National champion in an ancient Elva Courier in 2002. Craig thought the idea of running at an historic race sounded fun and Jim was thrilled to have his Elva driven by such a well known Elva driver. Alas, Craig had an SCCA race and we were back to three.
And that is how we did it...three race cars, three drivers, three entries for the one hour endurance race. With all three cars in the same group.
So this is how the weekend went............
Friday was a washout. A driving rain all day and only four cars out on the track in our group. A nice, closed BMW and 'we three dummies.' Boy, was it wet. But at least I got a dozen laps on the Elva and was thrilled it maintained oil pressure, ran cool, and actually was sort of fun.
But all three cars got a good cleaning. The same with the drivers.
Saturday was a perfect day. And each of us had a morning practice and an afternoon qualifying race. The Mallock performed perfectly once we got it started (a slight problem with some dirt in the back Weber's fuel filter). Same with the Elva and same with the 7. All ran well and never missed a beat. Neil had a good run in the morning and I got pole after finishing 1st in the afternoon qualifying race.
Dinner was at the Cork Street Tavern, a cute 1830s tavern turned restaurant. I would bet 80% of the patrons were racers and the food and drink were excellent and plentiful. I might add that going to Summit Point and eating at Cork Street is a ten year old tradition with our little team.
So now it was Sunday. Morning warm ups, cars all set for the one hour enduro, all three of us quite excited.
With only one pace lap, my tires were ice cold as the Mallock took the green flag. Got off to a great start, the Formula III brakes hauling the super light Mallock down into turn 1 well ahead of the rest of the pack. And even with some sliding on cold tires, the Mallock flew through the corners opening up 3 seconds on the #2 car in just the first lap. This went on, 3 seconds more on lap two, 3 more on lap three but then.......rattle, rattle.......coming past the pits, the gearbox failed and that was it. Turned into pit out and pushed the car back into our paddock space.
But the race was still running and, with Nomex still on, I ran back to pit lane.
Neil was doing well in the Elva as was Anno in the 7. So I felt bad telling Neil, when he came in for the driver change...there was no Mallock.
So we refueled him and got Neil and Elva back out on the circuit. And when Anno came in, I took over the 7.
Now, I knew our finishing position was kinda fixed in the Elva as there were only two cars in the class. So when Neil came in, I pulled the 7 in for Anno to go back out and hopped in the Elva in possibly the world's slowest pit stop.
Did, oh, maybe six or seven laps in the Elva and then came back for Neil to finish out the race. And in the end, Neil came in early with a non functioning clutch and Anno took the checkered flag in our one remaining racer.
You might call it 'mixed results.'
'Cause it was. In the end, the Mallock had taken the fastest race lap even on cold tires. Without a doubt, in anyone's mind, that had the gearbox not packed it in, the car would have lapped the field easily.
The Elva took its predicted second place in class even with our many pit stops and driver changes. And surprise surprise, Anno and I took a deserved 2nd place in class against far more modern cars (Alfa, Mini Coopers, etc.).
So, pole position, fastest race lap, and two second place trophies (one now back in England with Neil). A successful first test run with the Elva, the ol' Seven doing well against more modern opposition (remember, my ancient 7 has skinny tires, drum brakes, and cycle fenders which certainly limit the speeds down the main straight). Mixed but good results. And not a single scratch on any of the cars.
So now, back in the workshop with the Mallock, due for a trans rebuild. The Elva came through fine with the only intended improvements being a bias adjustment, stiffer rear springs, and a Supertrapp muffler for Lime rock events.
The 7 is home, back in my barn, looking rather ferocious with its roll bar and racing tires. And the trophy is with Anno. She deserved it.
Another race. Another season. And the next race is just ahead of us at Pittsburgh.
............Ugh. Forget Pittsburgh this year. M'heart just wasn't in it. Took the GENERALLY dead reliable 7 only to have one minor screw up after another. First the oil pressure line from the block to the gauge began leaking on the starting grid. Requiring the only plug we could find, a lube fitting, to stop the leak. Then the car died on the circuit in the second practice. Traced to the same Holley fuel pressure regulator I have used for 25 years.
Then........well, you get the point. I simply said 'good bye' and left. Went home. And began thinking about the next races......... (a postscript...when we got home, we found a new crimp on the oil pressure line had failed, a wire was loose on the back of the Superstarter, and the wires behind the fuel pump switch were loose. All now corrected and with the car looking nice and shiny for its winter sleep)
Back out racing in September. At Circuit Tremblant in Quebec. With the newly prepared Mallock. Took a long time to get the gear set we needed from Jack Knight Engineering in England but, during the wait, we checked the engine's bottom end only to find rod bearings down to the 'copper.' Thus requiring and receiving a new set of rod and main bearings. The only 'bottom end' work we have done on the Mallock in four years of racing.
When we got to the track, we discovered we were running in the midst of some huge Canadian professional sedan racing event. Tons of Hondas, Toyotas, others of difficult identification. And a bunch of GT cars such as Porsches.
And, surprise of surprises....in the historic category were a good number of 1980s ('Modern' by historic standards) racers. Starting with a Lola Sports 2000, Porsche 911, Porsche 944 Turbo, and some ferocious looking BMW M Series cars including an M3 that my Canadian friends suggested might have an M5 engine.
And some of them on slicks.
Oh well....the Mallock never seems to be afraid of any competition so it was a 'wait and see' situation.
Ran fairly slowly on Friday due to being tired, a bit ill, and wanting to 'save' the Mallock for the following weekend in West Virginia. In Saturday's qualification session, I thought I was running pretty well only to discover, on Saturday afternoon, the Mallock was gridded in seventh. A definite disappointment and confirmation that I was gonna be running with some very fast cars. Which included the Sports 2000, a 500hp Camaro what went around corners very quickly, and a very aggressively (and well) driven Porsche 944 turbo race car. From the late 1980s.
We came down the main straight on the pace lap with my eyes on the starter's tower and I noticed the green flag pointing straight down. Clearly indicating another pace lap (hey, at Lime Rock, this would be the normal punishment for someone trying to jump the start).
And suddenly, it seemed as if the entire pack was passing ME! Just as I saw a green flag waving on the right...across the track from the tower. So I put my foot down and realized I was now starting, oh, maybe tenth or eleventh.
Over the first hill, down to the second and third corners, through the essess and then on to the fast part of the track. And within a lap or two, managed to get back up somewhere near the front. Not so sure exactly where as by the middle of the race, there was nobody in front or behind me.
Then I saw, in the distance, the Camaro following, in a close dice, the turbo 944. And lap after lap, I was able to gain a few seconds and reel them in. Finally, out-braking the Camaro and then the Porsche to eventually wind up twelve seconds in front and in 3rd overall only behind the M3/M5? BMW and the Sports 2000. Which to me, was a first place finish amongst the historic racers.
It was a fun race, I was feeling much better after a post qualification nap and lunch, and being only 2 seconds slower than the BMW and 7 seconds slower than the Sports 2000 (and 4 seconds off my usual Tremblant pace), I figured it was about as good as I was gonna do for the weekend.
And on Sunday, after a warm up session, I prayed for rain. Prayed and prayed. And, sure enough, as the cars were lining up for the 'slow' session, the little drizzle intensified and I figured...time to pack it in for the weekend. Which is exactly what I did. Packed up, went back to the Condo, sat in the hot tub for a while, had a delicious lunch in St. Jovite, and watched CNN for the rest of the afternoon. With the Mallock, happy with its 1st or 3rd place finish (depending on your point of view) sitting in my enclosed trailer.
Back to the shop the next week...cleaned down the engine, checked all of the fluids, checked the disc brake pads, charged the battery, and little else. And now sitting at my house waiting to go to Summit Point for our first look at the new Shenandoah circuit.
We took a car for a friend in Indianapolis and looked forward to our favorite bar-b-que dinner at the Cork Street Tavern. And curious to see how the Mallock will do having been placed with all of the Formula cars for the event.
So........returned from a wonderful event at the 'new' Shenandoah circuit at the ever expanding Summit Point motorsports park. A very nice experience.
Certainly we approached this new circuit with some apprehension 'cause on the map we received, it looked like either a miniature golf course (minus the windmill) or a West Virginia version of Germany's famous Nurburgring. With, as best as I could count, eighteen corners.
The new paddock and facilities turned out to be first class and, after the first practice session, the course was more fun than expected. Sure, very twisty but fun to drive, a few good straights, and some interesting features.
Like a steep banked 'keyhole' with a high, a low, and a middle 'lane' which is like NOTHING I have ever come across. And am wondering 'what were they thinking?' The top and bottom lanes flat with the middle lane at what appeared to be a 45 degree angle.
To think how much fun it was to hear that all of the Formula Fords were so softly sprung that they would bottom on the middle lane (the 'fast lane') even to the point of one rubbing a hole through the underside of its nose. But the Mallock? Never bottomed and was able to zip through the fast lane effortlessly.
What I also discovered by the second session was that the Mallock was perfectly geared for the circuit...only used third gear at two points and ran the rest of the course in second. Thus, only four shifts per lap...like driving an automatic transmission car. Easy on the left arm, easy on the car, and allowing me to spend more time learning the race course.
The third session was a 'mini enduro' of half an hour. And the Mallock not only left all of the Formula Fords (and a couple of Juniors) in the dust but was able to lap most of the field. I guess a combination of superior power, superior handling (yes, even with the engine 'up front') and superior brakes. An easy race, an easy win, and a fun time. With the engine running very cool, using remarkably little fuel, and ending the weekend (I decided to 'quit while I was ahead') and the season with the gratification of doing well in back to back weekends in two different countries. And being able to put away a perfect running Mallock. Ready for the 2006 race season.
So....in the end, a mixed season. Only four race events, a broken transmission while in the lead at Summit Point in May, a series of minor annoyances at Pittsburgh in July, a flawless run in Quebec against very potent, rather modern racers, and finally an easy win against a brace of mid engined formula cars.
And now, with their cooling systems filled with anti freeze, batteries removed, the ol' Lotus Super 7 and Mallock sitting inside the barn, about to enter their sleeping phase for the winter, and both ready for spring, 2006. Along with the newly acquired MGB racer...fun zipping around the neighborhood (for now), ready for whatever will be its first race event of the upcoming season.
More to follow.....................in 2006.
With plans to continue racing the Mallock...no changes, improvements, or additions planned for the winter. The Super 7 is looking much better after its dismal performance in July and is sitting in the barn, looking like a polished aluminum gem. Tow cars, trailers, spares and tools...all ready to arise from their sleep over the winter and get ready for a quick check over prior to our first event of the next season.
It has been fun engaging in a sort of 'turn over' of cars in my own collection. Thus, during 2005, selling the Lotus 18 (23 years/seasons of racing), my Lotus Elan Sprint Drophead (20 years of ownership), Morgan 4/4 1600 four seater (4 years), Merkur XR4Ti (4 years), and Volvo PV544 (ten years, almost to the day). All great cars, had a lot of fun, covered a lot of miles, and didn't have the slightest regret as they all left in the hands of happy new owners.
Of course, the most fun in selling a car is finding a suitable replacement. And, to that end, was able to acquire a super low mileage show condition '65 Morgan Plus 4 Drophead, a restored '65 MGB with overdrive, a restored '68 MGB GT Mk II with overdrive, a (yes, I am surrendering to luxury, ease of operation, and performance) a 1997 BMW Z3 2.8 (like new with 18k miles) and a 1999 Miata with performance suspension options and a sticky set of 50 series Avons. The first in red and the second in....BRG (of course).
Couldn't resist a 1952 Morgan Plus 4 flat rad...a nice, clean, older restoration that arrived with a rod knock. But ran quite nicely. Now, with the crank turned, a set of headers fitted, and a high lift cam, the car is ready for a fun season of countryside driving.
As if owning four Morgans wasn't enough...a friend offered his gorgeous Plus 4 four seater to us in trade for one our sports cars. A great Morgan (I know...we restored it two years ago). New chassis, perfect wood and body panels, slightly de-tuned race engine, Webers, BRG with new tan interior....how could I resist?
So now...five Morgans. What fun.
.....and just purchased a restored 1977 MGB...yeah, I know, a 1977 B?????? But, lowered, chrome bumper adaptation, wood dash, leather seats, stayfast cloth top, rust free California car, new paint....and a freshly rebuilt 240hp aluminum Buick 3.5 liter V8, new 500cfm Edlebrook 4 barrel, headers, and a rebuilt c/r Ford T5 five speed gearbox. I guess, in a way, a potent alternative to the Merkur...only two seats but lighter, more nimble, and with the MG Octagon on the front.
As for racing, the Mallock and Lotus 7 sleep quietly awaiting their Spring awakening and a fun season of racing. Odds are the first event will be the Jefferson 500 at Summit Point in May and I guess the time has come to send out inquiries to my three friends who have co driven with me over the past four Jeff 500 endurance races. Frank and I winning the first year, Frank and I screwing up dreadfully the second, Dave and I winning the third year and Neil and I pulling away by three seconds a lap from the second fastest car, last year, when 3rd gear lost most of its teeth.
So we have had fun, done well, and are coming into our fifth running with a 2-2 record. Oh well.
Going over the different schedules, it is looking good for running the Mallock at Summit Point with HMSA in May and (hopefully) VRG in October...Tremblant possibly in July and again in September, running the 7 at Pittsburgh, maybe Camden.
And this for someone (moi) who wanted to basically give up racing.
Hard to resist.
With the fresh gearbox in the Mallock and a quick rod bearing change this summer, hopefully the Mallock is ready for four race events (still haven't touched the rings in four long seasons...who said vintage or historic racing need be expensive?) and the 7 is still sounding good, now with a lot of road and race miles on its Coventry Climax engine. And a few good running tow cars, some race trailers with working lights and properly greased wheel bearings....and let the races begin!
I have been resisting the thought of entering one of my three old sports cars, all of which are eligible and more or less prepared for VSCCA racing. The best would be the Morgan Flat Rad in that it goes quite well, seems to handle and stop pretty well, and cycle fenders looks the part of an old competition car.
I actually did run my Healey 100-M LeMans at Lime Rock, many years ago. As I recall, ran it in a four car relay race (which we won...in truth, the race was rigged by the event chairman...me), found its impeccable road manners were not exactly demonstrated with equal grace on the track, and now with new paint, it ain't gonna be run in ANY race for the near future.
And the 'new' Morgan Flat Rad? Hmmmm. Maybe stick to the Mallock.
Soon, as winter has now turned to spring, it will be time to roll out the 7 and the Mallock, see what is sticking after a long, cold, winter's sleep, fire 'em up and see what they sound like.
See you at the races..................................
MEANWHILE....SPRING 2006.........well what could I do? I mean, I COULDN'T help myself! The devil made me do it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
WHAT COULD IT BE?
So, here is the scoop. I am not a proud 'two Mallock family.' Yeah, came across a sister car to my old favorite. Mine being '008' and the new car being '009.'
A gorgeous restored Mk XIB, the nicest I have ever seen. Truly in show condition. With a state of the art all steel 1300cc Phil Jones engine (billet crank, steel Cosworth rods, forged JE pistons, Cosworth A6 cam, huge valves in the head, front mounted dry sump pump, twin 45 DCOE Webers, AP racing clutch on a super light flywheel, Quaife 4 speed dog box, LSD, 10 1/2" front and 11" rear Revolution alloy wheels, immaculate body and chassis, AP calipers, adjustable sway bars, Carrera shocks and springs, everything chromed, everything BEAUTIFUL.
So, did a practice session at Summit Point...a bit disappointing. I mean, sure, fast for a 1300 with safe revs to 9,000, 10,000, 11,000 rpm? But lacking in torque.
Hence our immediate plans. With its Formula Atlantic AX block, we are gonna bore and O ring the block, fit a billet BD crank, have JE make up some pistons, use a special Dave Bean cam, hope for every bit of 180hp.....CAN'T Wait.
Added, of course, to ol' #008. Which is still up and running quite nicely. Amazingly on an engine that was well used before I purchased it five years ago and is still running the same set of rings and pistons. Talk about reliability! Seven or more seasons? And still sufficiently quick to run very quickly....read on......
Just got back from our fifth Jefferson 500 with the Mallock. With a win in 2002 (and lapping all of the other cars in our class), a win in 2003 (again, lapping our class), a screw up in 2004 (damned radiator cap!), pulling away from the pack by 3 seconds a lap in 2005, and now....2006.
Upon arrival at the circuit we were told a special class had been made up for us. And even if we won overall, no trophy, no podium, no nothing. Which was okay, hey, I love the event, and don't need any more trophy for the cardboard boxes in my basement. To be candid, I thought it was quite an accolade.
Went out on Friday morning to find the Mallock was not quite as omnipotent as in past years. Gee, there were a lot of fast Porsches, Lotus, others. VERY fast down the main straight. Not too bad in the corners either.
Now, the Mallock as a fairly mild engine. And if any of my competitors think this is the usual race BS, well, watch us fuel the car. 50-50 Cam 2 and normal premium gas. Which I cannot imagine any of our competitors use. With a modest compression ratio, fairly mild cam, a low rev limit BUT a wide torque band and faultless reliability.....has seemed sufficient for the past five seasons.
Well, this year...gulp...only qualified 5th on Saturday morning and my co driver, Frank, didn't get higher than eleventh on Saturday afternoon. Quite a disappointment.
Clearly our four year old tires weren't sticking too well, clearly our modest engine was outclassed, and clearly our larger rolling radius tires were resulting in gearing far too high for this circuit.
So...........Sunday practice went well and the car demonstrated its superb balanced, handling, and braking. But, nevertheless, we were still back in eleventh place. Far from the front row start we were accustomed to.
Anyway, the green flag dropped and I put my foot down. Hard to keep up with the faster cars on the straights but never worried about being out-braked by anyone and the car was (and is) a dream in the corners. Almost impossible to spin, easy to drift, and 'goes where it is pointed.'
Managed to get up to 3rd place in fifteen laps, was gaining on the leaders, and wasn't having much of a problem in traffic. And there was TRAFFIC! For some ungodly reason, two groups were combined forcing around forty five cars to be out on the track at the same time. Yuk! What a great variety of cars, drivers, and performance.
Pulled into the pits for our refueling and driver change, Frank hopped in, went back out in fourth place, moved back up to third and that is where we finished. Third overall, a podium finish, and a trophy. Quite a difference from what we expected IF we ran as we usually did and finished first after lapping the field.
So, in the end, we had a great race, set some fast laps, had a great time, and walked away with both some good memories and a trophy. Far more than we thought possible, considering the stated exclusion we faced at the beginning of the event.
The Mallock never missed a beat. We added fuel, checked our tire pressures, re-torqued our wheel nuts, never had to top up the oil or turn a wrench on a single nut or bolt. Unlike most of our other competitors.
A great weekend. Perfect weather, fairly cool, and went home with a trophy. Great stuff!
And later in the season? Well, 009 will be ready soon and I think 008 is gonna get a few extra horses at some point. What fun. Can't wait.
But 'till then...008 is ready to go racing again and it will soon be time to remove the road equipment from the 7 and get it ready for Pittsburgh. In July.
Will update this soon...............
...........and on the subject of 'what cars do I enjoy?' just purchased a dandy Lotus Elan Series 2 Roadster. Certainly appears to be as nice an Elan as I have seen in thirty two years of dealing in classics, new Spyder tubular space frame chassis, rebuilt suspension and brakes, new Spax shocks, adjustable ride height front and rear, restored body and paint, excellent interior, rebuilt twin cam, close ratio trans, new top, all new wiring and electrics, virtually every accessory I could imagine, a great car.
Had a 1972 Elan Sprint European model (with Webers) for twenty years but sold it a year and a half ago. Had a wonderful time with the Elan but decided it was time to move on. Not that the result of the sale was all that bad...the funds paid for a restored 1965 MGB with wire wheels and overdrive AND a 1999 Miata with performance suspension AND half the cost of a restored MGB GT.
But as excellent as the Miata is (and it IS), the Elan definitely has a specific character that cannot be duplicated by any other car. To paraphrase a British Magazine writer...'the ultimate in squirtability, the ability to squirt through traffic.'
And it does.
Feels like a combination of Lotus 7, MG Midget, and Mallock racer. Quick, incredible response to steering input, sure braking, lovely sound, and very close ratios that allow one to drop the 'box into first gear for a 25 or 30 mph corner. And such light, precise steering! Unlike anything else on the road.
Now, the first thing I was gonna change was the ridiculously small 10" diameter racing steering wheel. But now, after spending a couple of weeks driving with my wrists, I find it to be one of the more endearing aspects of the 'package.' And, curiously, I measured and found my Mallock's steering wheel was...10."
I think it is going to be a 'keeper.'
Crude and simple in its weather equipment, my needs for a more 'all round' all weather sports car are amply filled with the Miata and a newly acquired BMW Z3 2.8. So, I guess, the Elan is half way between those two and the road going Lotus 7 I have owned for (CANNOT BELIEVE IT) thirty years.
NOT BY CHANCE the cars in my own little collection reflect the cars we sell. Ya see, if I really like a car, one frequently finds its way into my collection while two or three or a dozen show up in our showroom.
I never owned an MGB before last summer. I enjoyed it a lot, drove it nearly every day (to the exclusion of driving most of the other cars I own), have a wide variety of Bs for sale (see the entries in the web site). Have been driving Morgans for 32 years and cannot find a better, more versatile, less fussy, more esthetically appealing sports car.
Bought a pair of Triumph TR4s recently. Took one out for lunch the day it arrived and by the time I returned, I was 'sold.' Great car. Especially when I realized (stretching the point, perhaps, a bit) that it has a 'Morgan engine.'
The TR went back to my barn and is now sitting next to the MGB. Both great older not-to-expensive classics.
The Healey hasn't seem much use for the past few years but I am determined, this year, to do some cruising. 'Cause lets face it, hard to imagine a better classic for a nice two or three hour drive (ah, the distance from my front door to southern Vermont?) than in a well tuned Healey 100-M LeMans. Gettin' up to cruising speed, switch on the overdrive, sit back and enjoy the scenery going by.
Looking forward to some fun driving this summer. With two Mallock on the track, the 7 entered at Pittsburgh, the four Morgans, Healey, MGB, TR4, Elan, 7 (in road form), BMW, Miata, the ol' Porsche 911, and even the Saab turbo convertible (for those days when two seats are just insufficient). All capable of a top of fun 'top down' motoring.
And, as you can see on our web site, we are more than willing to share our 'likes' with potential customers. Cars we have found that more or less duplicate the fun I have with my own cars.
Had a wonderful time at the 2006 running of Brian Redman's Jefferson 500. Entered (for the fifth year) the Mallock Mk XIB and took my friend, real estate agent, and at times professional race driver Frank with me as co driver. He and I had a great run in 2002 starting on the front row next to Hurley Haywood and finishing just behind him, an hour later. 2nd overall, 1st in class.
Frank and I also drove the car in 2004 to utter despair and defeat caused by an ill fitting radiator cap which cause no end to problems with running hot. But, now in 2006, it was him and I back at the event.
When we arrived, it was announced to us that a special class had been created for us...and no matter how we finished, first overall presumably, we were NOT getting a podium finish or trophy. Seems the Mallock has annoyed too many of the competitors. And, in all fairness, the real problem lies in an event organizer trying to class the car. I mean, it certainly isn't a FIA 2, 3, or 4 liter Sports/racer, isn't a formula car, and the only thing left is a hazy presumption of the car's similarity to a Lotus Super 7, hence our placement in the production class.
Anyway, no bother, we didn't come from a trophy, rather, to have a good race.
Seems a lot of the other cars in the class have been doing their homework as all of our competitors were incredibly fast. And we were suffering from old racing tires AND the wrong size...seems the larger 22" rolling diameter of our cars is great on long straights but gives us far too high an overall gearing for the twisty sections of Summit Point. Hence our lap times being down a few seconds from a few years ago when we ran on 20" diameter tires in 2002 and 2003 (with 1st place finishes both years).
I managed to qualify in 5th for the qualifying race but had to go to the airport to pick up my friend Beth and Frank wound up a mere second slower than me but in 11th place. A disappointing starting position for the ol' Mallock.
On Sunday, I got off to a pretty good start, made my way up through the pack, pulled the car into the pits for the driver's change and gave Frank a more competitive position in 3rd place. Which is where, a half hour later, we finished. Car running flawlessly, tires on their last outing, and (amazing and totally unexpected) a podium finish and a third place trophy! Second in class.
As always, a wonderful dinner on Saturday night, Frank got to use my ticket to the security presentation where he was able to fire an AK47, M16, Glock, and others on the firing range, AND...........we took delivery of another Mallock at the track. A gorgeous, restored, immaculately presented Mk XIB...#009 (my other car is #008). Two book ends.
Ran the car in two practices, found it was gutless and ill handling, and then the center ripped out of the clutch disc, we retired it from the event. But it is in our workshop having a Formula Atlantic bottom end built up which could very well give us some serious horsepower and revs later in this season.
Next on our schedule........the VSCCA Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix.
Having sold my Lotus 18 Formula Junior (a wonderful car which won the event 12 times out of 16 starts...including eight in a row), my only VSCCA car was the old Lotus 7. Really a road car fitted with a mild Climax engine (compression ratio sufficiently low to run on premium gas), old Dunlops, heater, radio, and when home, even with rull road and weather equipment.
Our only race prep was to add a second 'back up' fuel pump, tighten the rear shocks a bit (3 clicks), and chance the oil filter. Then...off to the Pittsburgh street course.
Beautiful weather, this year. No rain, just sunny and seasonably warm. Not even 'hot' and, in the past, we have seen track temperatures of 110 degrees.
Perhaps as 'revenge' for past successes, the 7 was re-classed (hardly fair when one considers the drum brakes, solid back axle, cycle fenders, and road equipment) and grouped with the Formula Juniors and Sports/racers. REAL race cars, even if they are 45 years old.
With dreadful brakes, a heavy cast iron back axle thumping around on the uneven road surface, BUT with a flawless running Climax engine, the car qualified 5th and finished 4th...with a 1st place in class. Whatever class it might have been. And never missed a beat. Not one. Ran cool, ran strong, and finished behind a fast Lotus XI, two Lotus 18s, and in front of all of the other 18s, XIs, Lola Mk Is, and Elvas.
Of course, the really neat thing about the car is that when I got it home, I removed the roll bar, fitted the road wire wheels/radial tires, switched to the muffler, turned the headlights around and drove it to work. A true dual purpose car that can run with the fastest VSCCA racers yet is sufficiently tractable to putter along on city streets. Even away from the Pittsburgh road course.
And that, as they say, is our 2006 race season. So far. With a test session at Pocono in a week (for the Mallock's new tires) and a our newly acquired Turner for Beth to drive. And then, if things go right, we will be racing at Tremblant in late September followed by another event a the new Shenandoah circuit at Summit Point.
..........did the 'back to back' races last year, found it absolutely fantastic. So...did it again this year.
A week before our departure for Tremblant, bought a 1999 Chevy Suburban which was sitting in front of a local body shop. The 3/4 ton 2500 model with a 454 engine, LSD, towing package, leather seats, 42 gallon tank, 16" medium truck tires....my 'new' tow car. FINALLY retiring the 1979 Chevy G20 conversion van that got me around the northeast for the past fifteen race seasons. And, at the same time, junked my 1980 Chevy van which towed my cars to and from Miami (and Freeport in the Bahamas) from the two Speed Weeks we did in the mid/late 1980s. Yeah, the passing of the flag, so to speak.
Great trip to Quebec...the Suburban is so quiet and refined, it is almost eery. Stable, comfortable, and effortless to maintain any speed even pulling the dual trailer (with the Mallock on the bottom and my friend Steve's Turner on top). The miles passed quickly and by mid day, Wednesday, we were at the track, setting up tents, unloading the two racers, and getting ready for a yummy lunch in downtown St. Jovite.
We got my favorite paddock space...on the banks of Lac Moore...what a sight, looking at the track in front of us, seeing the ski trails of Mt. Tremblant in the distance, Lake Moore behind us, occasionally watching a seaplane over head. To us, this was 'race paradise.'
Wednesday and Thursday was allotted for shopping, dining (ah, those wonderful crepes!), hangin' out, and enjoying the sights. But Friday was the first track day.
Mallock started flawlessly (always a good sign) and it was great being on this world class circuit again. A year after our last run. It seemed as if the only real competition would be from a V8 powered Lotus 62 (aka Europa) replica and some Canadian V8 Special. Both of which were very quick but not really in the same league as the Mallock, even with its 135hp 1600cc Ford engine.
Actually, this was a bit of test for the Mallock. When purchased, it was running Avon 20" overall diameter tires. And was virtually omnipotent in its class. Winning first time out. But, a few months, later, on the recommendation of the local vintage race tire guru/dealer, we switched to 22" tires. Was still fast but lacking a bit of power coming out of corners due to the higher gearing. So, for the past few years, we were around 2 seconds a lap slower, at least in the dry.
So, with the tires getting a bit worn, we got a new set of 20" Avons and I was curious to see how they would go.
Now, Friday was just a warm up/practice session so there didn't seem much point in pushing the car very hard. And we didn't. But, SURPRISE-SURPRISE...they were timing the two sessions. Which was quite a surprise. But, curiously, our lap times were only two seconds slower than my fast laps at the 2002 Tremblant Legends race where we finished 2nd overall with only a 450hp Corvette finishing in front.
So, yeah, MUCH faster now on the 20" tires. And without running out of revs on the straight, the overall gearing seemed to be back to perfection.
Alas....Saturday was wet. Wet and slippery. So we went out, did the session, and called it quits for the day. A day spent in the hot tub, eating crepes at my favorite creperie in St. Sauvier, watching DVDs, and generally relaxing.
Sunday...just as wet, even slipperier...again, the best part of valor was spent off the track. With my crew, holding the official lap time on Friday as full justification for declaring my car the winner. At least in our eyes.
So that was Quebec this year. A bit wet. A bit slippery. And my car returned home in the same condition as it went up. UNDAMAGED.
A classic case of using 'restraint.'
So the car went back to the shop, had its battery recharged, fuel cell filled with Cam 2/premium (a cost saving advantage of running a fairly low compression ratio), had to replace one wheel stud, did a quick interior and exterior cleaning, and reloaded the car for the trip to Summit Point.
Left Friday morning before 6am with my 12 year old son, Josh, as my pit crew. Not his first race but the first one he and I went to alone. Again, the Suburban was a dream to drive and by 2pm we were at the new Shenandoah circuit where we unloaded, set up tents, and then retired to the hotel. One I selected for its indoor heated swimming pool (for Josh) and hot tub (for moi).
Had a wonderful day of driving on Saturday. A moist track for the first two sessions but a dry, perfect track for the two afternoon races. Where, again, the Mallock was a dream, easily outhandling and out-accelerating all of the Formula Fords. Making for easy races. Much as they were last year, the first time we ran on this new circuit.
And what a delight to head back to the hotel and hot tub after a long day at the track. Perhaps without the lovely outdoor ambiance of the hot tub at our condo in Quebec but a wonderful way to relax after four track sessions during the day.
Sunday was dry, the Mallock showed up on the starting grid for the first practice session only to find...no Formula Fords. Where could they be?
So went out, ran the entire 20 minute session without every seeing another car (only three others went out, a Fm Junior or two, maybe one Ford). And what fun to have the ENTIRE TRACK to myself. Fun, relaxing, and a wonderful opportunity to try different lines.
Afterward, Josh and I discovered the three fast Fords, the three that had been snipping at the Mallock's heels, ARE WERE BROKEN! One with a broken rocker shaft, one with a damaged distributor, and one with a broken exhaust manifold. And, I might add, all sitting under their tents in the paddock. While the Mallock and me had fun out on the circuit.
A long trip back, had five good session 'round the track, technically a sixth session when the event chairman allowed Josh and I to take the Suburban around for a few laps at the 11am to 12 noon 'quiet time,' and we figured...time to head home. Packed up, 'broke camp,' and were on the road by noon.
Again, a wonderful drive in the latest tow car and, taking our time for extended lunch and dinner, got back to Connecticut by 8pm. I don't think any more than five and a half hours of actually driving.
And, yup, the Mallock returned home, safe and sound, a great run at Summit Point in May, starting 11th and finishing 3rd...a fun run around Pocono in August, Tremblant in September, and the Shenandoah circuit in early October. No problems whatsoever, three successful runs on the new race tire, ending the season with perfect leak down, perfect oil pressure, a perfect working gearbox, and needing virtually nothing for the 2007 race season.
Now, a week after the return from its last race, we finally finished the engine for the second Mallock, had it set up and broken in on the dyno (hp figures are 'secret' for now), got it in the car, and have it ready for either a practice session at Lime Rock OR, possibly, a run at some track in the Northeast.
NOT MUCH RACING IN 2007...............a cousin's wedding in NYC in May precluded going to Summit Point for the Jefferson 500 ('blood is thicker than...Cam 2?'), was in the Middle East in June and early July and just couldn't imagine heading north to Quebec for the Legends race....so, headed west for the PVGP (Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix).
The Seven seems to run and run and run. We did the engine, oh, maybe seven or eight years ago and haven't touched it since. I think the sum total of our prep was tightening the rear shocks a bit, making sure all of the wheel cylinders were 'free,' changing the filter (with Redline synthetic oil and the limited use the car sees, why even bother changing the oil?), and installing a new set of Dunlops (hard to believe my old Dunlops were heading to 'race tire heaven' after a mere ten or twelve years).
Pittsburgh is, as always, a delight. Yeah, the steel mills (and black smoke) are long gone, the city is now a wonder of fine hospitals, excellent educational facilities, and high tech/finance/and service industries. And, will wonders never cease, this fine city closes Schenley Park for a vintage race each year.
For at least seventeen or eighteen years, I had a blast driving my Lotus 18 at this venue. And with twelve first place finishes, the 18 always seemed to be designed specifically for this tight, winding, 'Monaco Grand Prix-like' race. With only one fairly short straight-a-way, a few 1st gear corners, uneven pavement and LOTS of walls (stone, of course), curbs (concrete) and trees (the wood kind). Certainly an event that concentrates one's mind and tests one's ability to drive the entire race, error free.
While the Seven is a simple, somewhat crude, basic little car, the powers-to-be at Pittsburgh have deemed my car to be somewhat unsuitable to race with its appropriate class (the under 2 liter production cars). Even to the point of the car actually having the all out lap record in that class YET not listed in the annual program (oh well, at least I placed 2nd runner up to Al Gore in the Nobel prize awards this year).
2007 was a good run...was in with the Lotus XIs, Elvas, Lotus 18s, even a Cooper Fm I car. The fastest of the VSCCA and even post VSCCA racers. And ran fairly well to qualify 6th.
Without pushing too hard, the car stayed together, was either behind the leaders or in front of the rest of the pack. But in the end, finished 1st in class and fourth overall...behind an Elva Sports/racer, a Lotus 18, and some non VSCCA car (re: more modern, more powerful, and more...faster). A great a race, an even greater event, and a good run for the Seven. Now in its thirtieth year running with the VSCCA.
Needless to say, it came back to the barn, race tires and race straight exhaust pipe traded for road tires and a muffler. And then, a quick drive through my neighborhood. A wonderful car and the ultimate in versatility. Now with its fourth PVGP win.
..................was planning to do Watkins Glen but didn't, might have considered a Lime Rock event...but didn't....bought a nice MGB racer in California and did a test weekend at Pocono and another at Lime Rock, and FINALLY got to run my Mallock at my favorite venue, Circuit Tremblant, at the end of September.
MY FAVORITE PLACE TO RACE. With a lot to do with the language, scenery, food, and warm hospitality of the Canadians.
Must say, we didn't exactly travel light. Our trek north consisted of the Suburban pulling the twin level trailer, Mallock on top, Morgan 4 seater on the bottom, a motorbike (on specially fabricated racks) on one side and the other.
Two people going to Canada for a week of vacation with one big SUV, one fun open four seater, a great little racer, and two motorbikes.
Details are probably unimportant BUT lets say, the crepes were superb, the shopping was fun, we enjoyed the hot tubs every day, parked the Suburban in the race paddock and cruised around every day in the Morgan.
Actually, a car we restored, sold, took back in trade on a Healey 3000 Mk III, sold again, and finally bought back for my own collection. A beautifully restored, rebuilt '64 4 four seater. New chassis, all new wood, excellent body, new interior, a modified 2.2 liter TR engine done to SuperSports specs (forged pistons, balanced, lightened flywheel, twin 40 DCOE Webers, tubular headers), fast, fun, and quite comfortable.
(I always mention, to prospective buyers...'I am not only the owner but the company's best customer!')
PERFECT weather for the entire week. Not a drop of precipitation, temperatures every day in the 70s, pleasant evenings (which afforded us the opportunity to, on a few evenings, go out to dinner on his and her motorbikes), and a good turn out of some of my favorite (and fastest) Canadian competitors.
However, the Mallock ('ol faithful....by this Spring we had finished Mallock #2....probably an extra 40 or more horsepower from its state of the art Ford engine....we did an open practice session at Lime Rock, in April, and found it quicker on the straight but, perhaps, not quite up to the first Mallock in the corners) was up the task and ran flawlessly in every session.
An easy win in the Saturday race after qualifying in second spot. But on Sunday, in the feature race (in front of thousands of cheering Canadians...our historic race was part of an end of the season series of pro races), we started on the front row, fell back to second for a few laps, got back up to first, had a fun dice with a V8 powered Lotus Europa (no so sure this car's modifications were ever done with Lotus' blessings but a fast, great handling, beautifully prepared car driven by a very pleasant chap who, unfortunately, didn't speak English). The Mallock in front and then behind. Tailed the Lotus for much of the last third of the race.
BUT two laps from the end, and after taking the measure of its weaknesses, managed to get around him coming out of Namerow (the last corner before the front straight), opened up a small lead and at the checkered flag, won by 1.6 seconds. A close, very competitive race. And a second win for the weekend.
Since then...quiet. The racers are sleeping for the winter, all ready for a fun 2008 race season. Not so sure if we will race the MGB (now listed on the site and available for sale....nothing wrong with the car, actually it really flies, but too many race cars in the barn and insufficient time to enjoy all of 'em) but I feel certain the Seven will again be at Pittsburgh and maybe BOTH Mallocks will see some action next year.