Jowett Jupiter

An prime example of eccentric British design and execution.

Who would expect to find this engine in a British car?



The engine was was Gerry Palmer’s (he of the Jowett Javelin design, and later the MG Magnette, Wolseley 4/44 and variants) first and last engine design. It is a horizontally opposed four cylinder unit bored 72.5mm x stroke 90mm swept volume 1486cc. (90.6cu-in). Compression ratio was 7.6:1 or 8:1 depending on the destination country’s gasoline.

The car had rack and pinion steering which was rare for that time.

Jupiters had what was probably the most advanced chassis of their time on a British car.


Le Mans 24-hour International sports car race
1950 class win (Standard Mk1) – Tom Wisdom, Tommy Wise (The Sagacious Two)
1951 class win (Standard Mk1) – Marcel Becquart, Gordon Wilkins
1952 class win (R1) – Marcel Becquart, Gordon Wilkins

RAC-TT International race for standard sports cars, Dundrod Northern Ireland
1951 Class win (Standard Mk1) – Bert Hadley
1951 Class 2nd (Standard Mk1) – Tommy Wise
During the race Tommy Wise was timed at 92.90mph through the measured kilometre

SCCA National Meet at the Thompson Speedway.

July 1951 The 1500cc race for production sports cars was won by a Jupiter

Swiss National race for standard sports cars, Bremgarten
1951 class win (Standard Mk1) – Gurzeler

Queen Catharine Montour Cup for 1.5 litre sports cars, Watkins Glen USA
1951 Cup Winner (R1) – George Weaver

International British Empire Trophy, Isle of Man

May 1952 a Standard Mk1 Jupiter was the first true production car home in the 1500cc class, at 7th overall.

Governor’s Cup, Arizona day of Races USA

May 1953 Standard Mk1 Jupiters first and second in 1500cc class

For more race results, read the books…


SCCA Burke Mountain Hillclimb, USA

June 1951 Class win by a standard Jupiter

Rheineck-Walzenhausen Hillclimb, Switzerland

June 1951 Class win by a standard Jupiter


Monte Carlo International Rally
1951 Class win, 6th overall (Standard Mk1) – Ellison/Robinson
1951 Class 2nd, 10th overall (Standard Mk1) – Wilkins/Baxter
1952 Class 2nd, 5th overall (Farina FHC Jupiter) – Becquart/Ziegler
1953 Class 4th, 36th overall (Grounds FHC Jupiter) – Grounds/Hay

International Rally of Portugal (Lisbon Rally)
1951 Outright winner (Standard Mk1) – Joaquim Filipe Nogueira

Rallye de l’Iseran

1951 National Rallye de l’Iseran. Outright winner Jean Armangaud (Standard Mk1)

Jupiters tried hard in the International Criterion des Alps 1951, 1952 and 1953. In 1951 Armangaud won his class in the Monza speed test on the first day, and on the third day Wise class-won the Falzarego ascent with Armangaud second. On the fifth day Wise class-won the Stelvio ascent with Armangaud third this time.
In 1952 Robinson lost no marks on the first two days before being forced out with brake problems.

Lake Tahoe Rally

August 1952. FCCA National Rally in the Californian high sierras. Outright win by a Standard Mk1 Jupiter

sc dash

sc rear view






Ghia 1500 GT

Ghia 1500 GT

Less then 1000 of these beautiful cars were built from 1962 to 1967.

Monocoque construction with a shortening of the rear overhang combined with a lengthening of the hood made a sports car out of this:

Fiat 1500

The converted 1,481 cc Fiat four cylinder engine provided the power with 84 bhp on tap at 5,200 rpm, feeding through a 4 speed manual gearbox. A top speed of 170 kph was possible.

1500 GT engine bay

The chassis is a creation of Gilco, the famed Italian frame manufacturer.


Wright 3430 3/8 drive in a 1/4 body.


A new compact 3/8″ drive ratchet wrench, Model #3430, is now available from Wright Tool Company. The ratchet’s compact head design makes it perfectly suited to tight, hard-to-reach spaces. The open head design enables the user to easily see if the ratchet teeth are dirty or failing to engage. The 4 3/4″ long ratchet is ideal for work on control panels, dashboards, and other tight jobs.


Craftsman Crossforce ratcheting wrenches

One of Craftsman’s better designs, now made even better. Though disliked by some I have always found the Crossforce series of wrenches have a place in my tool arsenal.

From rusted and over torqued bolts to hard to reach nuts. They have their uses. Now with the addition of a reversible ratcheting open end they are even more versatile. One problem I have found with them is their length. This can make them awkward at times. This also gives us the excuse to buy more wrenches in different styles and sizes.



As you can see in the above picture there is also a set that includes sockets to use in the ratcheting end. This seems to me to be another great ideal. Many of us have already used sockets like this in ratcheting wrenches for some time now.

Volvo to be made in China (rant)

Well it has been announced that Volvo will be made in China by Greely now.

With Jaguar owned by Tatra of India and now Volvo being owned by Greely of China. The selection of upper ranked cars is slowly disappearing.

Volvo made in China, I wonder how this will affect Volvo’s vaunted reputation for safety.

Considering the predominate problems we have seen from China this seems doubtful.

Jags new C type roadster.

jaguars new c type roadster
jaguars new c type roadster
Rear or Jaguars new C type roadster
Rear or Jaguars new C type roadster

It’s the sports car that every Jaguar fan has been desperate to see! This is the Big Cat’s all-new rival for Porsche’s Boxster – a compact two-seat roadster that promises performance and style at an affordable price.

Evoking memories of the legendary C-Type, it will lead a new wave of driver-focused machines, taking the firm into uncharted – but potentially very successful – territory. The compact sports market is huge and, as well as the Boxster, rivals include the Audi TT, BMW Z4 (tested on Page 50), Nissan 370Z and Mercedes SLK: Jaguar needs a slice of the action.

Drawing on the XK range’s strong following, the newcomer will feature head-turning styling and a thrilling rear-drive chassis. With a sub-£40,000 price tag, it’s a real recipe for success.

Ratan Tata, boss of Indian giant Tata Motors, which owns Jaguar-Land Rover, has made no secret of his desire for Jaguar to expand its sports car line-up – and this could be vital to securing the firm’s future. Thanks to insider information, we can give you the best view yet of how the machine could look.

It’s clear that the new model evolves cues from the XF such as the bold mesh grille, sharpened LED headlights and bonnet power bulge, making them more aggressive and sporty. Short overhangs, a steeply raked windscreen and muscular rear haunches are further highlights. The look is completed by a pert rear with slim tail-lights, an XF-style chrome strip and integrated chrome exhausts. In short, the vehicle takes the traditional British roadster shape and makes it completely modern.

As with the XK, the new sports car would use an aluminium monocoque with extruded body panels to maximise weight-saving and structural stiffness. A strict two-seater, it would feature an electrically operated folding canvas roof, to be stowed behind the occupants’ heads.

Under the bonnet there will be a wide range of engines all taken from the XF, with an entry-level 235bhp 3.0-litre V6 version and a 380bhp 5.0 V8 flagship. There’s also scope to offer the XF’s latest 3.0-litre twin-turbo diesel, which boasts 272bhp and the prospect of 40mpg. All models will feature Jaguar’s excellent six-speed automatic gearbox, complete with steering wheel-mounted paddles.

With such a lightweight chassis, even the entry-level 3.0-litre V6 will be enormously fast, boasting a 0-60mph time of around seven seconds. The 5.0-litre V8 version could slash two seconds off that sprint and accelerate on to 155mph.

As the XF has shown, Jag’s talented engineers can produce a saloon that corners like a sportster but offers a cosseting ride. So making a purer driver-pleasing roadster should be a task they will relish. But while the car will be agile, responsive and sporty to drive, it also promises to be extremely comfortable.

Of course, the firm is not without its problems: together with Tata, it is currently trying to secure financial assistance from the UK Government. And that means the new XJ saloon plus a forthcoming XF estate, as well as a convertible version of that car, are its priorities for now.

This Boxster rival, along with a replacement for the legendary E-Type and an Audi R8-style supercar, are on the drawing board, though, and would arrive in 2012 at the earliest.