#102 Making the Move to the Restoration Queue
The #102 car, an early 4B originally developed by Gene Beach and Fred Minning, has left it's long-time home in Central Florida, and has come to our shop for restoration.
Despite being one of the earliest Beach 4B sports racers, #102 was a perennial podium finisher in the SCCA SouthEast Division, making it to the National Runoffs four times, finishing 8th in 1965, and 6th in 1969.
Disassembled in 1976 for an unrealized motorcycle engine re-power, it had been retired into covered storage ever since. Early in 2013, it arrived at our shop, where we will give it the respect and attention it deserves with a long-awaited upgrade restoration. Stay tuned!
B.S. Levy drives our car
The first time semi-famous 'ride mooch' Burt Levy saw the yellow car at the 2012 Pacific Northwest Historics, he fell under its spell (don't they all!). The next weekend, at HMSA's Portland Historics, he took it for a ride. It didn't all go exactly as planned, but hey, all's well wot ends well, I always say! Look for an article in an upcoming issue of Vintage Motorsport.
FIA Certification for #105 Progresses
Real pre-1966 2.0 L. sports racers are hard to find, but those with FIA provenance are rare as hen's teeth, and we have one. This photo from the 1965 Bahamas Speed Weeks, sponsored by the RAC / FIA, was generously supplied to us by Terry O'Neill, author of a stunning book on the history of that race series.
Along with other documentation, such as entry lists and race reports which he also supplied to us, we met with the FIA inspector, Jeremy Hall in December of 2011, and were able to satisfy him that our car is one of a very few legitimate 2.0 L. BMW-powered cars eligible to race in Europe in the Under-Two Litre class at such vintage events as Goodwood, Spa, and LeMans.
Our next task is to rebuild it to original specifications so that the completed car can be inspected by the FIA and hopefully be issued its Historical Technical Passport and associated FIA papers.
Classic Motorsports Feature Article
The Reno Historics prompted an article about the H Modified race cars in Classic Motorsports. The H Modified class started in 1952, and morphed into D Sports Racing in 1967, a class that is still run in SCCA racing today. HM / DSR is the longest continuously operating sports car racing class in existence.
HMSA Reno Historics 2007
This was our first foray out of our home area with the yellow #104A car in HM configuration. It was a trying trip down, over the Siskiyous and through the Cascades of California in ever-deepening snow, but after a day-and-a-half pull, we finally made it.
We had a great time seeing all of our California racing friends, and were treated to dinners and trackside support by Paul and Sue Quackenbush, who were running their cars at the event as well. Everything worked great on the car, right up until the final, when the oil cooler broke at the inlet fitting an hour before the event. It was a frantic time, but we got the car on the track in time for the green, and finished the weekend by being the first car past the checker. What a blast!
Below is an account from Nat Sherril, stalwart of the HMod group.
H Modified Reunion 2007
Good Evening to you all,
In a word it was fabulous! Mom Nature really had her way with us
but we survived in spite of it. Where to begin . . .
On my way up on Wed. I was snowed out at Donner pass . . no I
didn't bring chains. Finally got to Reno too late to watch the
"parade of race cars" but got to see them all lined up downtown. A
really nice mix of cars and owners standing out in the 45 degree
weather talking to the hardy spectators. Downtown Reno has become a
very interesting place . . worth a visit in more temperate weather.
Things at Reno-Fernley got under way on Friday with track use for
those who wanted a bit of rental time. The fact that it was snowing
and COLD (45 deg. with 30 mph wind) didn't frighten off too many who
had signed up and it was money well spent as was the duct tape on
radiators and oil coolers.
For those of you who haven't been there this is a very technical
track! It is complex with much more topography than you would ever
guess from the maps or Google photos. The course pretty much
follows the ladscape which makes it much more of a real road course
than than the carefully sculpted stuff we often see. The pavement
has lots of grip but very little in the way of "follow the grove"
rubber that has been laid down so one needs really to pay attention
and learn what is next. The course was 2.3 miles long with a very
long straight crossing start finish. I can only guess how many under
one liter engines nearly had heart failure at the sight of that
For the Sat. practice and qualifying race hmod gridded 10 cars and
everything went very well given the fragile nature of the cars. A
couple of dnf's but nothing that couldn't be easily fixed. The
weather was still really dreadful but it wasn't snowing.
We had our "picnic" in the administration building in order to get
out of the weather. We had 36 people sign up as many folks who are
hmod members just wanted to come, meet and be part of the goings on.
People sort of came and went as it was still pretty cold and cars
needed TLC as we were the first run group after lunch. It was a
terrific gathering in lots of ways as many of us have never met and
there was a lot of "my God is that who you are . . how nice to see
you . . " Lots of pictures, address exchanges and stories told.
Exactly what this whole weekend was to be about.
Sunday dawned cool but clear and nil wind. All 10 cars made the
warmup grid and I believe all turned at least a few laps though
several came in in order to save the car. Our race went off right
after lunch and was not to be believed! I have been around hmod
racing for more years than you can believe and have never seen
anything like this.
John Rankin who was using a hacksaw in a serious way on the oil
cooler of his Mk4B Hillman Imp Beach earlier in the paddock simply
ran away from the field. The interesting stuff was going on just
behind him. Mike Cleary (Cleary Crosley) was storming along in
second while Don Racine (Ardvark) who started last due to an
electrical gremlin on Sat. was making a banzai charge to get up
front. Racine worked his way up to third and began to go after
Cleary. Hmod racing does not often get very exciting but this was
the best of the best. The track announcer picked up on it as did
every fence hanger. Those two went at it for over three laps with
Cleary holding off the old fox with barely enough speed. No monkey
stuff in the turns . . . just two very skilled guys doing what they
are VERY good at in cars that are very good. A sight to behold and
be rembered for a long time.
I won't belabor all the enterants and their placings for fear of
slighting someone. Nine out of 10 finished! When was the last hmod
race when that happened? Other stuff as it occurs to me. A group
picture was taken, tons of personal pictures were taken many of
which will be posted on the site, I think that Tom Clayton (who has
the sports racer site which is its own treat) has or will post some
stuff. More from me and hopefully others.
One last thing about the event. This track and its facilities are
still a work in progress but what the future holds is pretty
impressive. This is not a bunch of starry eyed dreamers but people
who have a plan and will make it happen. They have a staff who are
competent and helpful to a fault. At my age I am not easily
impressed but this place is going to be pretty neat. As far as Cris
is concerned the level of organization was beyond belief! A couple
of the so called professional organizations could learn from him.
Enough. Wish you were there! Nat
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Seattle, WA 98166
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