A Hillclimb Event Starts Up In Ontario

This week I got an email message from Harald von Langsdorff from Caledon, Ontario, Canada.  As many might know, Harald and I have done a lot of rallying together over the years.  This past weekend Harald participated in the inaugural Bracks Classic Hill Climb at Inglis Falls, near Owen Sound, Ontario.  As far as Harald knows, there has not been a hill climb in Ontario for at least 50 years.

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Hill Climbs Have Been Long Missing From Ontario Motorsports

This lack of a local hill climb competition was one of the main reasons for the organizer, Bob DeShane, to make the effort to rejuvenate the idea of a hill climbs in Ontario. For whatever political, socio-economic or ecological reasons, this racing activity has been absent on the Ontario motor sport calendar for too long.

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Harald von Langsdorff’s 2014 Mercedes-Benz GLA AMG Won The First Hill Climb Held In Ontario In Decades

Not only did Harald take part in the hill climb, he had the fastest times in all four runs up the hill against some very impressive cars.  Harald was driving his 2014 Mercedes-Benz GLA AMG.  This pocket rocket has a 375-hp turbo 2.0-liter four cylinder engine with 332 lb-ft of torque, a seven-speed automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive.   This car is fast!  This is the same car that Harald drove, with me as navigator, in the 2016 Rally Round The Erie Canal.

There was a wide variety of cars and motorcycles that entered this hill climb event in six categories.

  1. Vintage Cars (Pre 1963) V
  2. Historic Cars (1963 – 1972) H
  3. Historic Motorcycles (1963 – 1972) HM
  4. Classic Cars (1973 – 1989) C
  5. Modern Cars (Post 1989) M
  6. Modern Motorcycles (Post 1972)

Apparently the Modern Cars class was a last minute addition to the competition which then allowed Harald to enter his GLA AMG.

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Some Cars Waiting To Run Up The Hill

There were a wide variety of cars at the hill climb.  The car shown below is the development car that American Motors used to prepare the three-car team that won the Team Prize in the 1968 Shell 4000 Rally.

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American Motors Rambler Used As A Develoment Car For The 1968 Shell 4000 Rally

The new event coincides well with the Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance, held close by on the shores of Georgian Bay which is now in its fourth year.  In fact, the Cobble Beach organizers offered preferred entrance and exhibit space for all hill climb cars.  The Cobble Beach event promotes itself off the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance saying that it has “larger stones”.

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A McLaren CanAm Car At The Hill Climb

I was looking at the results and saw that a McLaren CanAm car has taken part in the hill climb.  That must have been quite a sight and sound to behold!  That is a very serious race car, but it could not match Harald’s times in the Mercedes-Benz.

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Big Block Chevy Power In The McLaren CanAm Car

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Wet/Damp Conditions With Slick Tires And Power Would Make For An Interesting Ride

As can be seen from above, the event attracted a wide variety of cars.  Also combining this event with the Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance should generate good synergy over the years.

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This Race Car Looks Like It Would Be Fast

I hope that this event thrives in the future and that the weather will be a little better next time.

The hill climb organizer, Bob is to be applauded to be able to unite local municipalities, sponsors, media and the neighboring public to support this project. The least of his worries were the competitors, who were eager to attend this reinvented motorsports event.

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Inglis Falls Gave It’s Name To The Hill Climb

I want to congratulate Harald and thank him for sending some notes and photos that I used in this post.

If you have any comments or questions about this post, then leave a message below or send me a private email message at the following address:  shanna12 at comcast dot net

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1963 Pontiac Tempest Convertible At Lime Rock Historic Festival

At this year’s Lime Rock Historic Festival I saw a nice 1963 Pontiac Tempest convertible. Generally Pontiac Tempests seem to be unappreciated classic cars.

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1963 Pontiac Tempest Convertible

The Tempest was Pontiac’s mid-size entry to challenge the mid-size marketplace with Chevelle, Ford Fairlane, and others.

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This Convertible Looks Like A Great Summer Car

This Tempest does not have the optional “LeMans” option.  The base factory price for the Tempest Convertible was $2,995 while the Tempest LeMans convertible was only $40 more at $3,035.  Perhaps this is why Pontiac sold 5,012 Tempest convertibles, while selling many more, 15,957, Pontiac Tempest LeMans convertibles.

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Pontiac Tempest Advertisement

In looking at the Pontiac Tempest advertisement above, it makes you wonder exactly what that fellow is/was actually taking a picture of?

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The Lack Of “LeMans” Badging Suggests That This Has Standard Tempest Trim

The 1963 Pontiac Tempest had many potential engines hat buyers could choose from.  These are listed below:

  • 195 cubic inch inline 4 cylinder, 1 barrel carb, 8.6:1 compression – 115 horsepower
  • 195 cubic inch inline 4 cylinder, 1 barrel carb, 10.25:1 compression – 120 horsepower
  • 195 cubic inch inline 4 cylinder, 1 barrel carb, 10.25:1 compression – 140 horsepower
  • 195 cubic inch inline 4 cylinder, 4 barrel carb, 10.25:1 compression – 166 horsepower
  • 326 cubic inch V8, 2 barrel carb, 10.25:1 compression – 260 horsepower

One engine that Pontiac dropped in 1963 was the 215 cubic inch aluminum V8 engine that had produced 185 horsepower with a four barrel carburetor.  This engine went on to a long life overseas where it became known as the Rover V8 which showed up in many cars.

Note that the 195 cubic inch 4 cylinder Tempest engines were literally half of the 389 cubic inch V8 engine that was in the full size Pontiacs.  Also the 326 cubic inch V8 engine was an underbore of the same block used for the 389 cubic inch V8.  With all of this, it is easy to see how the Pontiac GTO, which started the whole muscle car era, was created in 1964, when Pontiac put a high horsepower 389 cubic inch V8 engine in the 1964 Tempest LeMans with the GTO option.

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The Pontiac Tempest 

The 1963 Pontiac Tempest was about 5 inches longer than previous Pontiac Tempests.  It appears that the extra length was built into the rear quarter of the car.

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This Tempest Is Fitted With The An Automatic Transmission

There were three available transmissions possible with the Pontiac Tempest.  The standard transmission was a 3-speed manual transmission with an optional 2-speed automatic transmission or a floor-mounted 4-speed manual transmission.  This particular car had the two-speed automatic transmission.

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The Lever Below The Right-Most Circular Gauge Is The Transmission Shifter

The Pontiac Tempests were important cars as they were instrumental in starting the muscle car era.

If you have any comments or questions, then please leave a comment below, or you could send me a private email message at the following address: shanna12 at comcast dot net

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Another MG Arnolt Siting!

I don’t often see a MG Arnolt.  These were American/English/Italian cars which were made in 1953/54.  I posted some background information on these cars on this website back in April 11, 2012 and again on May 21, 2012.  I had not seen one since that time until last weekend when David West of Ontario brought his MG Arnolt to the Lime Rock Historic Festival.

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David West’s 1954 MG Arnolt

To reiterate the basic story of the MG Arnolt cars; they were the brain child of Stanley Howard Arnolt, who was a British car dealer in Chicago, Illinois.  The MG Arnolt cars began with a rolling chassis from a MG TD.  These chassis were sent to Bertone in Italy, where for final assembly a Bertone-styled body was added to the MG TD chassis.  The cars were then sent to Arnolt in Chicago for the retail market.

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The Lines Of The MG Arnolts Are Much Smoother Than The MG TD

Many references refer to Stanley Arnolt as “Wacky” Arnolt.  I don’t understand that.  Who would not want to own one of these cars?   In addition, I suspect that the vast majority of MG TD owners would trade their MG TD for a MG Arnolt.  These are very attractive cars.

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The Interior Has Only A Slight MG Look

This particular MG Arnolt has seen a lot of driving, but still has its original paint.  The storyboard placed with the car notes that it was driven coast-to-coast in 1986 and in 2012 it was used on a 2,000 mile trip around the Great Lakes.  It’s good to know that the car is driven, but it likely has seen no Ontario winters.  By the way, the story board states that this is the only MG Arnolt in Canada.

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This MG Arnolt Is Driven Frequently

Only very few of these cars were built.  A total of 103 MG Arnolt cars have been documented as being built between 1953 and 1954 (67 coupes and 36 convertibles).  The production of the MG Arnolt ended when the production of the MG TD was shut down for the production of the MG TF.

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The Styling Is Definitely Early 1950s Italian

I like these cars and I was pleased to see one of these cars again at the Lime Rock Historic Festival.

If you have any questions or comments about this post, then leave a comment below or you can send me a private email message at the following address: shanna12 at comcast dot net

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Mustang With Retro-Rally Set Up

At last weekend’s Lime Rock Historic Festival a 1966 Mustang caught my attention as a rally navigator.  The first thing that I noticed was the 1966 International 1000 Rally license plate mounted in the front grille.

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1966 Ford Mustang

The International 1000 Rally was a long-held rally that I believe originated in New York as the MG 1000 Rally in the 1950s.  Over the years, it morphed into the International 1000 Rally, which lasted several days and included some rally time in Canada, hence the “international” name.  Over time interest in this rally waned.  In the early 2000s, the rally was run out of the upstate New York area as the Finger Lakes 1000.  The rally eventually disappeared in about 2003/2004.   If anyone can offer more information on the history of this rally, I would be grateful.

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Notice The Rally Naviagtion Equipment On The Dash

When I took a look at the interior of this Mustang I noticed the rally navigation equipment mounted on the dash.  By the way, I also noted the size of the air conditioning unit mounted under the dash.  The image below is a closer view of the navigation set-up.  Unfortunately the side window was up when I took the photo which greatly reduces the quality of the image.

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Retro-Rally Navigation Set-Up

The rally equipment includes the following:

  • A Curta Type II mechanical calculator
  • An Avion adjustable odometer
  • Heuer stop watch calibrated in both 1/100 minute and seconds

This is a very good mechanical/analog set-up for rallying.  The Curta calculator is excellent for doing timing calculations when you need to be on time, all the time.  The Avion adjustable odometer can be calibrated by fine tuning the rotating dial on the right side of the Avion unit.  This type of odometer is not often seen in period rally set-ups, as most people in those instances mount a Halda Tripmaster or Twinmaster.  The Heuer stopwatch is also very useful in rallies, especially if it has the temporary stopping second hand feature. I have the same or similar equipment in my rally navigator’s tool box.  I did not see the owner of this car, therefore I was not able to talk with the owner about using this equipment, but it was interesting to see the retro-rally set-up.

If you have any comments or questions about this post, then leave a comment below or you can send me a private email message at the following address: shanna12 at comcast dot net

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The Lancia D50 At The 2016 Lime Rock Historic Festival

On June 30, 2016 I posted a story on this website about the Lancia D50 that was raced at the vintage races at the Thompson Motor Speedway this year in Thompson, Connecticut.  I was pleased that Bob Melhado sent me some photos of car that he took that day.  Bob Melhado, who is the Chief Steward of the racing at the Lime Rock Historic Festival told me that the Lancia D50 would be taking part in the racing at Lime Rock Historic Festival, so this was an extra special reason to attend the Lime Rock event this year.  I was not disappointed – the Lancia D50 was there.

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Lancia D50

I won’t reproduce all of the information about this car that I previously wrote, therefore I recommend that you check out my initial post about this car on June 30, 2016.

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The Side Tanks Are The Dominant Visual Feature Of The Lancia D50

Apparently the side tanks in this car are not used when racing this car these days.

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This Lancia D50 Has The Ferrari Prancing Horse On It

Due to financial difficulties at Lancia, Lancia was essentially forced to give all of their race cars to Ferrari and Juan Manuel Fangio subsequently won the World Driving Championship in a Ferrari-badged Lancia D50.

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The Side Tanks Help To Lower The Height Of The Car

I was not at Lime Rock for the racing part of the weekend, therefore I did not get a chance to hear this car, but I’m sure that it would sound Italian.

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The Lancia D50 Cockpit Has Minimal Gauges

For a front engine car, the Lancia D50 has a low profile.  The rather large open grille would be needed to help with engine cooling.

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Notice How The Side Tanks Line Up With The Wheels

Seeing this car was a special experience and I was glad to have the opportunity to do so. My thanks to Bob Melhado!

If you have any comments or questions about this post, then please leave a comment below or you can send me a private email message at the following address: shanna12 at comcast dot net

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Entry To The 2016 Motorcycle Cannonball At Lime Rock Historic Festival

I went to the 2016 Lime Rock Historic Festival yesterday.  This is primarily an automotive event, but there were a few motorcycles there.  On June 27, 2016 I posted a story about the upcoming Motorcycle Cannonball.  At Lime Rock one the competitors took some time out from his preparation schedule to display the Harley-Davidson motorcycle that he will be riding in the Motorcycle Cannonball.  His motorcycle is shown below.

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This Harley-Davidson Will Be Competing In The Motorcycle Cannonball

The cross-country Motorcycle Cannonball starts next weekend with all of the motorcycles being 100 years old.

Cannonball Run

This motorcycle was purchased specifically for the Motorcycle Cannonball.  The owner competed in the 2014 Motorcycle Cannonball on a 1936 BMW motorcycle, which was permissible under the rules for the 2014 event.  This year all of the entrants must be on motorcycles built before 1917.

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I was talking to the owner about the motorcycle.  The small round tank will be permanently mounted on the back rack and will be used as an auxiliary fuel tank.  One way to reduce the daily travel time is to reduce the number of fuel stops.

The owner will be his own service crew with his wife following in a chase vehicle.  The owner says crossing the country on a motorcycle, doing 260 to 300 miles per day at 45 miles per hour, is a great way to see the country, but it makes for a long tiring day.  Daily self-servicing of the motorcycle makes the day even longer.

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The Motorcycle Has Been Fitted With A Roller Navigation Notes Unit

The owner has fitted the motorcycle with a unit within which to fit the navigation notes for each day’s run.  This is similar to the units used by the Dakar motorcycle competitors.

The Motorcycle Cannonball promises to be quite an event.  Best wishes to all of the competitors!

If you have any comments or questions about this post, then please leave a message below or you can send me a private email message at the following address: shanna12 at comcast dot net

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Entry Submitted For 2017 Rallye Monte Carlo Historique

The entry for Dan Allven and I into the 2017 Rallye Monte Carlo Historique has been submitted to the Automobile Club of Monaco (ACM).  The ACM usually gets more entries into this rally than they have room for in the rally.  We are hopeful, but confident that our entry will be accepted.  We will find out if our entry has been accepted at the end of November when the entries close for the 2017 Rallye Monte Carlo Historique.

RMCH License Poster

For the 2017 Rallye Monte Carlo Historique, Dan has selected Bad Homburg, Germany as the starting city.  This is the same city that we started at last year in this event.  We enjoyed the hospitality that Bad Homburg laid out for the rally competitors and it appears that 2017 will be very similar.  The poster for Bad Homburg relating to the Rallye Monte Carlo Historique is shown below.

Bad Homburg Poster

An advantage for me with respect to selecting Bad Homburg as the starting city is that it is just a short distance from Frankfurt to Bad Homburg so getting to Bad Homburg is not particularly difficult.

In addition to the 80 cars that will be starting from Bad Homburg, we would be joined by 10 cars that will be starting from Stockholm and 10 cars that will be starting from Copenhagen.  All of these 100 cars would continue in the rally from Bad Homburg at the same time.  The Stockholm and Copenhagen cars will start on the road just before the Bad Homburg entered cars.

Dan’s rally car, a 1961 Volvo PV544, is in Sweden at this time having some refurbishing done to it.  Things seem to be moving along quite well.

For more about the rally, you can click on the following link to Automobile Club of Monaco website: https://acm.mc/en/rallye-monte-carlo-historique/2017-edition-rmch/presentation-rmch/

If you have any questions or comments about this post, then leave a comment below or you can send me a private email message at the following address: shanna12 at comcast dot net

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