April 12th 2012 – Auto of the day – Something different to go racing in







Racing Coupe




Group 44 livery of white with green stripes


1 of 2 built, 8 race wins to this chassis, 1 to the other


4.0 Liter fuel injected Rover alloy block and head V8 with 350 BHP


Triumph close ratio 5 Speed


2200 lbs.


Bob Tullius’ Group 44 team was the British Leyland (Jaguar) factory USA racing effort. They won the Trans Am title with the Jaguar XJS in 1977 and 1978. In 1979 British Leyland backed the Group 44 team in its development and racing program with the Triumph TR8. Bob Tullius realized the potential of the lightweight, aerodynamic V8 powered TR8 and proved that it was a race winner. In its debut race at the Watkins Glen 6 Hour the TR8 dominated the class against the Corvettes and Camaros and finished 1st in class and 7th overall. It was so successful in SCCA competition that the SCCA continued to give the TR8 added weight penalties. Tullius took the TR8 to the IMSA series where it finished 1st in class and 6th overall at the Sebring 12 Hours. The TR8 continued to dominate the GTO class over the Chevrolet Corvettes and Porsche RSR’s placing second in the IMSA GTO championship. The British Leyland factory backed Group 44 team is one of the most recognizable in motorsports having gone on to race in the GTP category with the Jaguar powered GTP cars. The Triumph TR8 was one of the most successful SCCA and IMSA production based racing cars built. With 8 class wins in the 1979-1980 seasons and second place in the 1980 IMSA GTO points championship.

Race History:

– 7/7/79: 6 Hr Watkins Glen- 7th Overall, 1st in class
– 8/5/79: Trans Am Watkins Glen- 4th Overall, 1st in class
– 9/2/79: 500 Mile Road America- 6th Overall, 1st in class
– 9/23/79: 100 Mile Road Atlanta- 13th Overall, 2nd in class
– 10/14/79: Trans Am Laguna Seca-11th Overall, 1st in class

– 3/22/80: 12 Hr Sebring- 6th Overall, 1st in class
– 5/4/80: 100  Mile Laguna Seca- 9th Overall, 2nd in class
– 5/26/80: 1.5 Hr Lime Rock- 4th Overall, 2nd in class
-7/4/80: 250 Mile Daytona Paul Revere- 6th Overall, 1st in class
– 8/17/80: 6 Hr Mosport, 8th Overall, 1st in class
– 8/31/80: 500 Mile Road America, 7th Overall, 1st in class
– 9/21/80: 50 Mile Road Atlanta 1, 12th Overall, 2nd in class
– 11/30/80: 250 Mile Daytona Finale- 8th Overall, 2nd in class

Of Note:

Surviving in stunning original race condition as it left the race track at its last race the Sebring 12 Hours. Still with paint, body and mechanics from March 1981. This TR8 stayed with Bob Tullius and the Group 44 team until 2008 when selling to its present owner. This is an opportunity to acquire one of the most recognizable, successful and original IMSA racing cars of the era. It is eligible to race today in most historic venues and would be a show stopper and race winner once again.




Price: ???
Value: US$250,000 ???

Comment: An awesome SCCA/ IMSA Racer that would be lots of fun, it does have history, will get you invited to lots of events, whats not to like ?

Being offered here: http://www.grandprixclassics.com/FactSheets/1979%20Triumph%20TR8%2079-289_factsheet.html


The Milhous Collection
Friday, February 24, 2012 – Saturday, February 25, 2012


1949 Rounds Rocket Race Car

LOT: 817





$250,000-$350,000 US

Chassis No. 269  
Offered Without Reserve  
AUCTION RESULTS: Lot was Sold at a price of $275,000  




350 (est.) bhp, 270 cu. in. Meyer-Drake Offenhauser DOHC inline four-cylinder engine, two-speed manual transmission, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 99.75″

• First mid-engine, rear-drive Indianapolis racing car
• Commissioned by Nathan Rounds and constructed by Lujie Lesovsky and Emil Diedt
• Provenance including Howard Hughes and William Harrah Collection
• Professional restoration followed by Pebble Beach entry in 1993

In auto racing, as in life, some innovators are game changers while others are dead ends. Still others, however, while not immediately successful, point the way. The Offenhauser dual overhead cam engine and the rear-engine Lotus-Fords are examples of game changers that transformed Indianapolis 500 racing. The archetypal Indy car pathfinder is the Rounds Rocket.

Nathan Rounds was a mysterious Los Angeles personality. Variously described as a “sportsman” and “mechanic,” at the time of his death in 1990 he had become a recluse. News reports said his estate, valued at a million dollars, was left to charity. By his own account, he had been a close friend of the equally eccentric Howard Hughes, the famed eccentric millionaire, aviator and industrialist. In 1949, Rounds commissioned race car constructor Lujie Lesovsky to build a mid-engine roadster for the Indianapolis 500.

The design began as a sketch from Rounds, a rudimentary layout drawing that ended just aft of the cockpit. It was said that he was enamored with the prewar Auto Union cars designed by Porsche, although he also had the later 1930s Gulf-Miller mid-engine racers, which re-emerged postwar as the Tucker Torpedo Special, to draw on. The Miller cars differed from Rounds, however, in being four-wheel drive.

Rounds reportedly gave Lesovsky a $3,000 retainer. Emil Diedt was engaged to perform the metalwork. The car came together at a slower pace, as Lesovsky and Diedt had other projects on the go. As a result, the Rounds Rocket was late to the gate, being completed with barely enough time for testing at Bonneville. It is said to have been timed at 140 mph before leaving for Indianapolis.

At the Brickyard, it was driven by Bill Taylor, then a rookie but later to become racing director for Mobil Oil and eventually head of USAC’s stock car effort. Taylor managed to get the car up to 124 mph but did not qualify for the race. The car was then lightened somewhat and returned in 1950. Sam Hanks and rookie Bill Vukovich made honest tries but were unable to make the grid, getting up to speed before the car suffered a half-shaft failure. Rounds took the car back to California and stored it in his mother’s Beverly Hills garage, still on the trailer. Although there is no documentation to that effect, because of Rounds’ claimed close ties to Howard Hughes, his racing team felt certain that Hughes money was behind the project. Indeed the money invested in the project in the late 1940s was certainly a very substantial sum. Furthermore, given its storage in Beverly Hills and perhaps even Howard Hughes’ close connections to the film industry, it is no surprise the car made a cameo appearance in the 1949 film The Big Wheel starring Mickey Rooney.

The car returned to Rounds’ mother’s garage and remained there until 1969, when Bill Harrah discovered and bought it. Appreciating its role in the development of Indianapolis racing, he had it restored, and it took its place in his vast collection. After Harrah’s death, the car was acquired by a Mr. Lee in 1987, who had had Bob Smith Coachworks of Gainesville, Texas perform a show-quality nut-and-bolt restoration. The car appeared at the 1993 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and was kept in climate-controlled storage until its purchase by the Milhous Collection in 1998, where it has been similarly cared for.

The Rounds Rocket remains in excellent condition. Its blue paint is unblemished, and the car wears the number 51, under which it raced in 1949. The cockpit is upholstered in red leather and equipped with a black crackle-finish instrument panel. The engine and its compartment are very clean and well detailed. The 6.00-6.50 Lester tires appear new.

An important stepping stone to the mid-engine, rear-drive cars that have dominated Indianapolis since the mid-1960s, the Rounds Rocket stands as a bridge between the Indy roadsters and the March Cosworths: Meyer-Drake power with mid-engine architecture. The fact that it constitutes yet another Howard Hughes mystery only adds to the intrigue.


Price: SOLD US$275,000

Value: ???

Comment: A great car for just US$275,000, you wouldn’t want to race it, as you could lose its originality BUT would make a great museum piece. And really US$275,000 is just the first of many MANY bills if you do drive it.

Sold here: http://www.rmauctions.com/CarDetails.cfm?SaleCode=MH12&CarID=r127


1965 Bobsy SR 3  SN 86
1600 Alfa (Marvin-Beck) with 2 x 45 DCOE Webers and Hewland-Taylor 5 speed. 
Has set of Panasport wheels (6-inch and 8-inch x 13), and a set of original cast Bobsy logo wheels.  Two nicely upholstered black/red piped seats.
Added 1-inch square tube steel frame inside car and nice roll bar – 6 gallon fuel cell – fire system – EGT gauges – MSD ignition/Centerline electronic distributor – upgraded discs and calipers.
Located in Houston, Texas and maintained by professional race shop.  Sitting but mothballed/checked for three years.  Current belts, etc.   Ready to race.
Won SVRA, HSR, CVAR enduro, ran the Wine Country, ran at Watkins Glen Alfa reunion, and has SCCA and Runoffs documents from 1960s (Maybe 2nd or 3rd as CSR in Runoffs one year). 
Have large file of history and restoration in 1998-1999.   Mong factory-built car originally with 1500 Ford engine for buyer in Connecticut.

Being offered here: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Bobsy-SR3-Vintage-Race-Car-/280859804551?pt=Race_Cars_Not_Street_Legal_&hash=item41648c8387#v4-48

Asking US$45,000

Value: About that

Comment: A cool little Alfa powered racer, SCCA history, would be lots of fun for not much money. Well worth it.

1954 Panhard PMS Panhard, one-off, front-wheel-drive/mid-engine racer, unique in History

This very original racing barchetta is a survivor of the fifties/sixities, a very active and creative period for motor racing. The manufacturer is Paul Ménissier, a racing driver and Citroën dealer, based in the South of France.

This PMS (Paul Menissier Special) was built on a modified Panhard Dyna X coupé chassis, and raced by Paul Ménissier himself, among other events, at the famous Course de Côte du Pin (picture). Power came from an Alfa Romeo twin can engine, then by a Ford.
The most original feature of the car is its mid-engine / front -wheel drive structure, probably unique in History. The car is fitted with an interesting rear suspension including spring coils. The front wheel train receives power from a transmission shaft running through the cockpit. A very unique car.

Ménissier chose the mid-engine configuration for a better balance, whilst retaining the front-wheel drive road-holding qualities of the Dyna-X. The mid-engine technology was really new at that time in 1959-60(Ferrari only moved from front-engine to rear-engine sports cars in 1963…). Matched with the front-wheek drive, the PMS is really revolutionnary.

The first bodywork was designed following advanced aerodynamics conceptions, inspired by racing Porsche spyders. The bodywork was eventually further refined with a longer front part (probably designed to generate more downward force), as well as rear “fins” not far from the contempoorary state-of-the art cars (Stanguellini).

Sold as it is, in original and authentic condition, this racing PMS (for Paul Pénissier Spéciale) is a fascinating automobile, ready for a restoration, that should be relatively easy, affordable, and very exciting.

Our research revealed that this extremely interesting racing car was built by Paul Ménissier, in the South of France in the late 50s, probably in 1958-59.

Originally the car has had a Panhard, then a VW engine. After a while, a more powerful twin-cam Alfa Romeo engine was fitted.

 The PMS history file includes a coudment from the French Registration Authorities dated 1959, about the modification of the car, as a “Transformed Panhard X84”.

 It was raced in French competitions, including the famous Course de Côte du Pin, in 1962, and later in 1965, where it finished 7th of its class. The car had then more rounded bodywork, reminding of the Porsche Spiders of the fifities.

 It was eventually modified, the Alfa engine beeing replaced by a Ford, still in the same amidship position, and still with front-drive wheel system.

 It was sold to a collector in the Netherlands, and was more recently bought by Autodrome.

EURO 38,000

Value: Who would know

Comment: A real one off, never to be repeated, would be cool to turn up and confuse everyone, but really the EURO 38,000 asking price, is almost certainly the smallest of many many bills. BUT what a cool car.

Being sold here: http://www.anamera.com/en/detail/car/59648/index.html?no_cache=1&ret=63



Chassis No.










To be auctioned on
Saturday, May 12, 2012


195 bhp, 2,418 cc Ferrari 246 Dino DOHC V-6 engine with three twin-choke carburettors, Rover gearbox, independent front suspension, and chain-driven live rear axle.

• Designed by Piero Taruffi and piloted by him to seven official speed records from 1951-52
• Radical twin-boom “bisiluro” design and advanced engineering features
• Displayed for many years in Italian and Australian museums
• Ferrari 246 Dino V-6/Rover gearbox for ease of operation; maintained in running order

Piero Taruffi is rightly considered one of the greatest drivers and most innovative engineers of his era. Beginning with motorcycles, his stellar career included “Works” drives for Alfa Romeo, Bugatti, Cisitalia, Ferrari, Maserati and Mercedes-Benz, with victories including the 1951 Carrera Panamericana and the final Mille Miglia. His achievements, including several dozen speed records, have filled volumes of books.

Alternately known as “Italcorsa” and “Tarf II”, this amazing vehicle was designed by Taruffi and followed “Tarf I”, which set six 500 cc and two 1,500 cc speed records. Its radical “bisiluro”, or twin-boom, design was built in 1951 for the 2,000 cc class. Power was by a 1,720 cc Maserati four-cylinder engine with two-stage supercharging developing 290 bhp. A chain drove the rear axle, and steering was via simple control sticks. Adjustable rudders compensated for prevailing winds.

On 20 March 1951, Taruffi drove “Tarf II” to a pair of speed records for the “flying mile” and the “flying kilometre” at 298.507 kph (185.49 mph) and 290.552 km/h (180.55 mph), respectively. On 15 January 1952, Taruffi broke the 50-mile record at 231.744 km/h (144.00 mph). On 3 April 1952, four more records were achieved: 50 km at 226.700 km/h (140.87 mph), 100 km at 224.747 km/h (139.66 mph), 200 km at 219.833 km/h (136.60 mph) and a one-hour record at 217.414 km/h (135.10) mph.

After 1952, “Tarf II” remained within the collection of Dott. Ing. Taruffi, followed by a museum display at Monza. It later made its way to Australia, and then, in 1986, it was acquired without engine by Mr T. Valmorbida of Victoria, for display at the York Motor Museum. It was restored for the Museum by Mike Rodsted, who also fitted the present Ferrari 246 Dino V-6 engine. Demonstration runs followed in March 1987 at the Vintage Sports Car Club’s Speed Classic Event in Fremantle. Between 2002 and 2008, “Tarf II” was displayed at the Fremantle Motor Museum. The car was recommissioned for racing, in anticipation of the 2007 Lake Gardiner Speed Week, and whilst the event was rained out, “Tarf II” has been maintained in running order ever since. Striking and impressively documented in Tarf II: World Land Speed Record Breaker by Graham Cocks, Tarf II is a fascinating and important part of engineering and motorsports history.


Please note the final historic photo in the catalog is in fact of Tarf I, not Tarf II.



Being sold here: http://www.rmauctions.com/FeatureCars.cfm?SaleCode=MC12&CarID=r337&fc=0

Est. EURO 160,000+ (Approx. US$200,000)

Value: It’s a one off so ????

Comment: An amazing car, definitely the only one, apart from the Series 1, and the only one likely to be offered for sale. Would also make a wonderful piece of art. Definitely my AUTO OF THE DAY.


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