Found in the Archive — Lola Works Slough

Working on some research for a publisher we came across this really interesting press shot of mechanics working on a Lola T70 Coupe at the Lola works in Slough, England. I say ‘Press Shot’ as I question if there really would have been seven mechanics working on a car at one time! I think this photo was taken around April of 1967 but can’t be sure. If anyone can help with and information on when this might have been taken, the car, or who any of the people in the image are, please do email us. It would be nice to put some names to the faces!

Found in the Archive — Scarab Transporter

We came across this very interesting image hidden in our archives. It shows the Scarab race team transporter parked outside the Lotus factory in Cheshunt Hertfordshire. We think the photo was taken in mid 1960 but can’t be sure exactly when. The 1959 Fiat truck based Bartoletti transporter was commissioned by Lance Reventlow to ferry his Scarab racecars (first American Formula 1 cars built) around Europe during the 1960 and 1961 seasons and was briefly used by Team Lotus before later passing to the Alan Mann Racing team.

The Scarabs didn’t have a particularly good season in 1960, and when the engine formula rules changed to 1.5-litres in 1961 they had nowhere to race. The best result for the Scarab F1 team in 1961 was at the International Trophy race held at Silverstone in May. Usually run for Formula 1 cars, in 1961 the race was open to cars running in the newly devised, but short-lived Inter-Continental series. The #17 Scarab was driven by Chuck Daigh to seventh place. (image copyright Peter Darley).


CAR OF THE MONTH – 1957 Byers SR100

With a little of Italian design houses Bertone, Farina, Vignale, and even Touring in this car, it may come as a surprise to learn that the design and execution of the Byers SR-100 is all-American, and in fiberglass. By late 1955 Jim Byers of El Segundo, California had considerable experience in working with the new “wonder-material,” fiberglass, and accordingly, when he decided to go into limited production of a sports car body, he felt that only this material could offer the selling price which most of his po- tential market could afford. Many consider that his Italian-inspired Byers SR-100 that actually looks like it was influenced by the BMW 507 represents one of the finest designed American sports car bodies of the 1950s.

The Byers SR-100 body was designed to fit a wheelbase of 100 inches and a track width of 56 inches and was intended primarily for the special builder who wanted to use easily affordable American passenger car components. Obviously, the answer to building an inexpensive sports car was to use a domestic engine and chassis, but other benefits of this route besides low cost were easily accessible parts, near overwhelming performance, and handling characteristics that could match or exceed those of most European sports cars.

The often difficult problem of finding a windshield for a ‘Special’ build was solved by designing the body cowl to receive a 1955 Corvette windshield assembly. This gave a high-quality finished touch which many “specials” of the day often lacked, and was surprisingly inexpensive.

Geordie Prodis has owned the Byers SR-100 on display at Hagerty in Golden this month for over 20 years. This very original car retains its historic 365 cubic-inch Cadillac V8 (now fitted with a single 4-barrel Edelbrock carb), 1954 GM Chevy 4-speed Hydramatic automatic transmission and all the running gear that it was originally built with back in ‘57. The car was built in 1957 using a modified 1940 pre-war Ford chassis. This extremely ridged tubular frame may not have been the most sophisticated platform but it fitted the SR-100 body dimensions perfectly. Unusally this car was fitted from new with a Ford Tunderbird windshield. The front end sports a solid beam axle and leaf spring which can be seen through the wide grill opening at the front of the car.

The front end has been rebuilt, as well as the trans- mission, steering box and column, and the original exhaust has been replaced with tuned headers run- ning out through side pipes just behind the doors, which have been bolted shut. The rear end of this particular SR-100 was built around a 1950 3/4-ton Pontiac truck, but cars built by other customers had a wide range of differing rear end specifications.

When it was restored in 2007 the Prodis Byers received some mild upgrades to improve driver feedback and safety. The fiberglass body which some people think looks similar to the British designed AC Ace and its cousin the Shelby Cobra, appears to even share some curves with the Italian built Siata 208. The surface finish and integral strength of a body coming out of the Byers shop back in the mid-50s was outstanding by any stan- dards and has stood the test of time well. The body required very little major preparation prior to paint- ing for it’s 21st century restoration. The white paint with blue racing stripes chosen by Prodis gives a nod to Cunningham, and a small air dam up front is the only modification to the stock body shape.

Back in 1957 all this added up to a very smart yet practical sports car body, which started as low as $395 according to the ultra rare 8×6-inch, 4-page two-colour Fiber-Craft brochure that was produced for 1957. The brochure and envelope, showed the name of the company as “Fiber-Craft” and the pro- prietor as as J. E. Byers of 118 Sheldon Street, El Segundo California. This is the first address Jim Byers worked and lived at. Within a year, he would expand to a second location about a block away at 607 E. El Segundo Blvd, El Segundo, California.

Car of the Month — 1967 McLaren-Elva M1C

The red M1C is owned by Denver McLaren afficianado Harry Mathews. It was the first car in his McLaren collection which at one time numbered 18 cars, and was originally owned and run by Jerry Hansen of Minneapolis. He entered it in the 1967 Can-Am series and it made its debut in the first race of the season at Road America in Wisconsin. That race also marked the first outing for Team McLaren’s two new M6A car. This would be the first episode of what became known as the “Bruce and Denny Show”, where either Bruce McLaren or Denny Hulme  would win every race of the championship. A field of 32 cars started the race at Road America, no fewer than 17 of them various different models of McLaren; M1C drivers that year included Skip Scott, Peter Revson, Chuck Parsons and Bob Bondurant.

For 1968 it was a case of more of the same for McLaren and the M1C, Canadian store magnate George Eaton in a car which was certainly becoming outdated, drove to an impressive third place at Laguna Seca, helped in no small part by torrential downpours, to give the M1C its highest placing in a Can-Am championship race. Incredibly, the M1C was still going strong in 1969, and a trio of customer cars raced confidently and competitively throughout the season. The spaceframe chassis era might finally have ended, superceeded by the aluminium monocoque, but at McLaren it certainly enjoyed a long run.


Goodwood in Golden 2017

On 9th of September Auto-Archives held an exclusive fund-raising event that celebrated the Goodwood Revival Meeting which tooking place the same day in the UK.

This very special fund-raising event, an evening of fun and entertainment titled “Goodwood in Golden.” was the first of what will be an annual gathering. The event at the Hagerty showroom in Golden, from 5:00-9:00pm, had plenty of action with Slot-Car Racing (with prizes) on a replica Goodwood Circuit, Live Streaming (in delay) of the Goodwood Revival Meeting races, a Silent Auction, Car of the day Competition, Best Dressed Guests, Racing Displays & Decor. There was of course also good British food (Fish & Chips and Bangers & Mash), and drinks (Beers, Fine Wines (well maybe not British!) & Soft Drinks) were served.



This exclusive event was limited to just 75 guests and two lucky guests won a year membership as a ‘Fellow’ of the Goodwood Road Racing Club. This new GRRC Membership was announced just a month ago.

Dress Code for ‘Goodwood in Golden’ was as for the Revival Meeting – Period Clothing – Pitlane, Paddock & Party Attire and all the guests dress appropriately. Val Carney took the prize for “Best Dressed Lady” and Chris Beuhler who looked rather dapper in his waistcoat and bowler hat the Best Dressed Gentleman.



The selection of Collector Cars for the informal Car Show was pretty impressive, and the “Car of the Day” award went to the 1929 Rolls Royce of Kurt Furger.



Tickets which were only available in advance by a donation to the Auto-Archives 501c3 non-profit were sold out pretty quickly and many of the guests have already booked for next year!  Additional donations to the archive were  gladly accepted, and the event was a great success and at the end of the evening over $3000 had been raised for the Archive. Thank you to all those who joined us on Saturday night for our first “Goodwood in Golden” Goodwood Revival Celebration Meeting. We hope that you enjoyed the evening and all it’s festivities.

We would like to thank Lord March at Goodwood for sending over his welcome video supporting our event. We are pleased and honoured to be working with Goodwood and the GRRC (Goodwood Road Racing Club) to help promote the newly announced ‘Fellowship’ membership of the club, of which we gave two memberships away on Saturday.

Click here for a short message from Lord March: Lord March 2017_IMG_1999

We would also like to thank Jack Kahler for lending us his superb MG Double Twelve which was on display in our ‘Goodwood Paddock’ display and Peter Darley for letting us display his terrific period images from Goodwood around the building.



We were fortunate to receive donations from local businesses; Bonefish Grill, Carrabba’s, Ferrari of Denver, Coterie Press, Table Mountain Inn, La Encantada Estates, Wine Country Motorsports, 5280 Magazine, DiningOut Magazine, Les Schwab Tires, Diecasm, Classic Team Lotus, Swissvax, Applejack and Advance Auto Parts. When you frequent these businesses, please be sure to mention that you saw them at Auto-Archives.



Car of the Month — 1988.5 Lamborghini Countach LP5000 QV

The ‘Nero’ black Countach LP5000QV (QV: fourvales per-cylinder) on display here is a late 1988 model year car actually designated as a 1988.5 car. It is one of only 52 produced for the US market and was fitted with the highly desirable ‘optional’ rear wing ($7000), the distinctive Gold Campagnolo “Bravo” wheel package and the much needed A/C Climate Control system. These later models QVs (and the final ‘Anniversary’ models are easily identified by the ‘straked’ side skirts below the doors. Equipped with the fuel-injected, high compression version of the Lamborghini V12 motor that lifted the power output to 455bhp, this highly recognizable and iconic car can sprint to
60mph in 5.2 seconds and hit a top speed of 182mph. The completely original, 5-speed manual transmission matching numbers car was in the hands of its first owner for 27 years and has still only covered a fraction under 10,000 miles, making it probably one of the most original, low-mileage examples of the Countach QV in existence.



McLaren the movie – Screening news

7th August 2017

Screenvision Media, in partnership with Gunpowder & Sky, today announced a one night only screening event in dozens of U.S. cities for McLaren, the captivating story of Bruce McLaren, the legendary racing champion, designer, engineer and founder of the iconic supercar that bears his name. Theater information and tickets can be found at with additional locations added daily.

The name McLaren is synonymous with motor racing excellence, and stands today as a symbol for automotive superiority. Yet what is less known is the brand’s origins. McLaren recounts the New Zealander’s life, from his humble beginnings at his father’s auto shop in Auckland, to revolutionizing Formula One racing by becoming the youngest driver ever to win a Grand Prix, to his death at 32. Featuring interviews from his closest friends and family members, the documentary is an unprecedented window into the life of a true genius.

“Auto enthusiasts across the country have been eagerly awaiting the release of McLaren, and we’re so pleased to be pairing up with Gunpowder & Sky to bring this documentary to the big screen this summer,” said Bernadette McCabe, SVP, Business Strategy, Screenvision Media. “With lots of original racing footage and interviews, this documentary will transport you back in time and leave you feeling both moved and inspired.”

McLaren will hit theaters in select markets on August 17, 2017. For additional information, film trailers and tickets visit

Founder of Auto-Archives William Taylor was honored to attend the US Premiere of ‘McLaren’ in Indianapolis, prior to this years Indy 500 where McLaren F1 driver Fernando Alonso thrilled the crowds and very nearly won! “I sat next to Bruce McLaren’s daughter Amanda for the screening and found the whole experience quite emotional. The movie was captivating and gave me a new perspective on Bruce McLaren. Even though I have written the definitive book on all the McLaren cars, the movie was all about Bruce and I learn’t so much about the man behind the badge. What a hero!”

The Denver screening will be at the Alamo Theatre at Aspen Grove, Littleton on the 17th Aug at 7:00pm

Car of the Month — 1969 Oldsmobile Toronado

The Oldsmobile Toronado was a unique, a front-wheel drive coupe introduced by the Oldsmobile division of General Motors in 1966. At the time, it was the largest and most powerful front-wheel-drive car ever produced, and one of the first modern front-wheel-drive cars equipped with an automatic transmission. Designed to compete with the Ford Thunderbird and GM’s own Buick Riviera, the original 1966 model Toronado was powered by a 425 CID Super Rocket V8 engine rated at 385bhp, mated to a three-speed Turbo Hydra-Matic transmission. In 1966  the Toronado was voted the Motor Trend magazine ‘Car of the year’. The Toronado also placed third in the 1966 European Car of the Year contest, a distinction no other American car had achieved before.

The unusual Toronado powertrain, which combined an engine and transmission into an engine bay no larger than a conventional rear-wheel drive car, was dubbed the Unitized Power Package (UPP) and was used basically unchanged in the 1970s GMC motorhome. The Toronado was GM’s first subframe automobile, which means it was partly unitized, and used a subframe that ended at the forward end of the rear suspension leaf springs, serving as an attachment point for the springs. It carried the powertrain, front suspension and floorpan, allowing greater isolation of road and engine harshness.



In 1969 Frank Peterson of Lakewood Colorado took a stock 1968 model Toronado and built the car you see here to run in the Pikes Peak Hillclimb. Frank was already a regular at the “Race to the Clouds”, one of America’s greatest races, where the course begins at just over 9,000 feet, and finishes at the 14,110-foot summit, and climbs to an altitude that leaves any car’s engines gasping for breath. In the mid-1960s Frank and Kaye began a long and fruitful partnership with Oldsmobile. The Toronado looked like a natural for the mountain, with its grippy front-wheel-drive layout and monster motor. For Frank, it was a pipeline into the factory that boosted him into the top tier of competitors. Frank built two Toronados for Pikes Peak in 1966, and in 1967 finished second after running out of gas in the last mile. In 1968, Frank had a hand in Toronados that finished 1-2-3.

And then there was our feature car, a highly developed ’69 model Toronado, that ran in the 1969 (second in class for Frank), ’70 and ’71 Hillclimbs, including a famous class win in the Stock car division for Frank in 1970.

“I had Oldsmobile sponsorship for 26 years. They used to help us a lot with engineering. On the ‘69 car, they built the motor and Hydra-Matic transmission for it,” he said. “They even built a special final drive for the car with 5.12:1 gearing. They had to make those gears, which was quite a process. I think at the time they cost about $20,000 each to make those gears, because I think they only made five sets of them, something like that.” The standard bore and stroke 455ci motor for the ’69 Toronado was built with titanium valves, Carrillo rods and Venolia pistons. Hooker custom-built a set of headers for the car. There were other factory goodies. “Oldsmobile had some experimental aluminum drums made,” Frank told us, “and we used those with sintered metallic linings. That also has a giant radiator. It’s really hard to cool cars at Pikes Peak because the air is so thin.”



After the Toronado was retired in 1971, it went into storage for several decades while Frank continued racing other Oldsmobiles. Still owned by Frank and Kaye, in 2009 it emerged to be given fresh paint and stripes by Gary Riley and Marvin Galbraith from Level One Restoration. The distinctive lettering was recreated by Joe Broxterman of Speedway Graphics in Denver. Remarkably, the engine started and ran with no drama.

Car of the Month — 1975 Porsche 911 RSR

Throughout the late 1960s and early 70s, the factory Porsche race team was extremely successful with their 908, 917, 917/10 and 917/30 models. However, these larger capacity prototypes were extremely expensive for the small Porsche factory team to build and develop, and, as a result, Porsche did not have a competitive car ready for the new, 1973 endurance championship class being run for 3.0-litre cars.

Up against the prototypes such the Ferrari 312, the Matra-Simca MS670, and the Alfa Romeo Tipo 33, the old Porsche 908 and the aerodynamically handicapped 911 had no real chance, so Porsche Racing concentrated it’s efforts on the next generation 911, and it’s development for the upcoming world endurance championship for Group 5 cars. Amazingly, 1973 would however, see two outright victories for a 2.8-litre Porsche RSR in the World Championship for Makes. Peter Gregg and Hurley Haywood took victory at the Daytona 24-hours, and later in the year, the pairing of Herbert Müller and Gijs van Lennep scored an historic win at the Targa Florio race, held on the tortuous, 45-mile circuit that wound its way round the mountains of Sicily.



For 1974 Porsche developed a 3.0-litre version of the RSR, and in 1974 and 1975 they built 59 examples of the Carrera RSR racecar that would be sold to privateer race teams while the works were developing the new Group 4 and 5 racecars, the 934 and 935. The car on display here is RSR chassis no. 005 0005 (1975, fifth car), amongst the most successful of the RSRs built and raced in that two year period. The bright-orange, Jägermeister sponsored car, designated an RSK (K for Kremer) by the team, may look like any one of those 59 RSRs, but it is actually a very special chassis, one of two cars developed for the 1975 racing season by the famous Kremer brothers, Manfred and Erwin of Porsche Kremer in Cologne, Germany. Built to race in the German Rennsport DRM Championship the three main drivers of the instantly recognisable, bright-orange car were Helmut Kelleners, Hans Heyer, and Bob Wollek. Kelleners drove in all but three of the 19 races the car competed in during 1975, taking one race victory, two second place finishes and three third places. All three drivers were in the car for a hugely significant class win at the Nürburgring 1000km in June, and Heyer also took second at the Nürburgring Super-Sprint race in September. Josef Brambring, who drove the car just the once during 1975, finished third at the final race of the season at Hockenheim.

For the 1976 season, 0005 was sold to Edgar Doren, repainted white with red and blue striping, and driven by him throughout the year. He finished the 1976 DRM season in 15th place with 55 points. The car then passed through the hands of several other European teams before being sold and shipped to a US-based owner Charles Slater in 1994. After having owned and raced the car for 18 years, in 2011 Slater decided to end a long and successful relationship and the car moved to a new owner and underwent a full, bare-shell restoration. In 2014 this significantly historic, and now highly-valuable car passed into the ownership of Colorado based collector Andrew Larson. He has raced the car at several Vintage events throughout the country and in September of 2015 the car was seen at Rennsport V with none other than works Porsche driver and winner of the 1977 Le Mans 24-hours, Jürgen Barth behind the wheel.






Car of the Month — 1958 Packard Hawk

The Packard Hawk was the sportiest of the four Packard-badged Studebakers produced in 1958, the final year of Packard production. In 1956, the Studebaker-Packard company was in financial trouble and the Curtiss Wright Corporation was put in charge of management. Everything was consolidated to the Studebaker plants in South Bend, Indiana. The 1957-1958 Packard models were essentially rebadged and retrimmed Studebakers. With a top speed of 125mph, the fastest Packard ever built, the 1958 Hawk was constructed around the 1957 Studebaker Golden Hawk 400, with a re-styled fiberglass front hood and nose, bonded to the stock steel fenders.

Instead of the Studebaker Hawk’s upright Mercedes-style grille, the Packard Hawk had a wide, low opening just above the front bumper covering the whole width of the car. Above this, a smoothly sloping nose, and hood—reminiscent of the 1953 Studebakers, but with a bulge as on the Golden Hawk—accommodated the engine’s McCulloch supercharger that gave the Studebaker 289in (4,700cc) V8 a total of 275bhp. At the rear, the sides of the fins were coated in metallized PET (Mylar) film, giving them a shiny metallic gold appearance and a fake spare-tire cover adorned the 1953-style, Studebaker deck lid.Widely spaced PACKARD lettering appeared across the lower section of the nose, and a gold Packard emblem in script—along with a Hawk badge—on the trunk lid and enormous tailfins. The interior was fully equipped with a striking leather design, and a full compliment of instruments was installed in an turned-aluminum dash. A swept-spoke Packard-branded wheel was also fitted. As on early aircraft and custom boats, padded armrests were mounted outside the windows, a rare touch.

The styling which was definitely controversial, and often described as ‘vacuum-cleaner’ or ‘catfish’ by detractors has come to be appreciated much more today, than on its debut. Only 588 examples of the 1958 Hawk were built, with Packard’s impending demise a likely contributing factor, rather than a lack of interest from the buying public. Most examples were equipped with the Borg-Warner three-speed automatic transmission, but something approaching 28 cars were produced with the B-WT85 3-speed w/overdrive manual transmission.

Studebaker-Packard was the first manufacturer to popularize the limited slip differential, which they termed Twin-Traction, and most Packard Hawks came with TT. It was certainly the fastest Packard ever sold, since it shared the majority of its components with Studebaker’s Golden Hawk. The list price with taxes and delivery was $3995, about $700 higher than the Studebaker model, but certainly value for money considering the more luxurious interior. Electric window-lifts and power seats (fitted on the car you see here) were optional extras.

Its rarity and status as the best-regarded of the ‘Packardbaker’ final-year cars have in recent years certainly made the Packard Hawk a highly sought after collectible classic. Values are roughly double those of the equivalent Studebaker, and because a Studebaker drivetrain was used, the mechanical parts needed to keep a Hawk on the road are more readily available. The Hawk is now a realistic car to put serious money into a restoration, and without doubt, is a unique car, worthy of a place in any significant collection of 50s vehicles.



The stunning 1958 Packard Hawk on display here is owned by Carey and Peggy Dietz of Arvada, Colorado. They have been caretakers of the car since 2007 when Carey’s father, who had owned the car since late 2000 decided it was too much of a responsibility for him to drive his “Baby” any more. Carey tells us the story of how his father came to own such an unusual car. “Back in 1982 my roommate showed me a magazine called Car Collector and Car Classics that featured a beautiful Packard Caribbean Classic on the cover. An eternal optimist, he went on to tell me “That’s what my car is going to look like when it is done.” Considering his car had rust holes everywhere I was somewhat skeptical to say the least. Well he did do it, eventually, and it really is beautiful!

Moving forward to 2000, my father called me and told me he was looking for a classic car to keep at his Florida residence for 6-months a year, and, since Packard had always been his favorite car, that is what he wanted. I pictured him driving a stylish 1930s open car, but before you knew it he had bought the one-owner Hawk from a widow in Las Vegas! The partly restored car needed to be painted and have the chrome re-fitted, but needed little else to bring it up to the sleek, stylish, show standard car you see here. On a visit to Denver my dad happened to stop in an antique store and find a copy of that very same magazine. It features a Packard Hawk on page 19!