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National novelties: Batmobile BMW and rear-engined Mini Buick

There were some interesting cars in action at last weekend's Historic Gold Cup meeting at Oulton Park and here are just a few that stood out

Blakeney Edwards

Batmobile brilliance: BMW CSL stars

Richard Bradley put in one of the Oulton Park Historic Gold Cup weekend’s stellar performances, bringing Patrick Blakeney-Edwards’ BMW 3.0 CSL home fifth in Saturday’s Historic Touring Car Challenge race.

“The power, grip and handling are fantastic,” enthused Bradley, the 2015 Le Mans 24 Hours LMP2 winner. Built by Schnitzer from a 1969 2800CS, chassis ‘2572’ was first used by European hillclimb champion Ernst Furtmayr then raced extensively in Angola and throughout Europe.

A veteran of the Nurburgring and Spa 24 Hours and Silverstone’s TT, drivers included Mario Cabral, Walter Brun - for whom Alpina rebuilt it to ‘Batmobile’ spec in 1973, then attracted Jagermeister backing - and Fredy Schnarwiler.

The Buick is back: Goodliff's Mini

It may not have been a success in period, but the Mini has sentimental value to Goodliff

It may not have been a success in period, but the Mini has sentimental value to Goodliff

Photo by: MAWP+SPORT

The extraordinary Mini Cooper-Buick created by B.R.T. Developments in Lancashire in 1964 was back at Oulton Park last weekend and joined Concours d’Esprit entrants in a Sunday morning lap of the circuit at the Gold Cup meeting.

Built by Jeff Goodliff and B.R.T. principal Harry Ratcliffe, its rear-mounted V8 engine drives 13-inch front wheels via a Jaguar gearbox and inverted E-type diff, sourced by Brian Redman from Red Rose Racing’s spares.

Ratcliffe raced it at Oulton, Mallory Park, Silverstone, and Croft, and contested a Shelsley Walsh hillclimb, then retired it having found its dynamics far from ideal for competition. A subsequent owner put it on the road.

“Its handling is diabolical, with bump steer and torque steer, but I love it,” said proud owner Simon Goodliff, Jeff’s career Ford engineer son. He sold his unique Formula Junior Nike to return the monster to the family fold, helped by project saviour Jonathan Buncombe.

Rare F2 Lotus: Fennell's Type 32

Fennell's car was raced by Spence in 1964

Fennell's car was raced by Spence in 1964

Photo by: Mick Walker

One-litre Formula 2 cars are rarely raced these days, thus Nick Fennell debuting his diminutive Lotus 32 in the Historic Grand Prix Cars Association feature races at Oulton Park was special, taking onlookers back to the 1964 Gold Cup.

Powered by Cosworth’s Ford-based SCA engines, the works Ron Harris Team Lotus squad ran three Type 32s. Jim Clark was denied a hat-trick of Oulton wins by 0.2 seconds, Jack Brabham triumphing in a BT10-SCA. Clark led home team-mates Jackie Stewart and Mike Spence, and Fennell’s car is Spence’s chassis 32-F2-4.

Pic of the week:

It all goes wrong for Geoff Cook's Standard 10 (left) in the Jack Sears Trophy

It all goes wrong for Geoff Cook's Standard 10 (left) in the Jack Sears Trophy

Photo by: Mick Walker

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