Return of ‘Old Number 1′

It was great to see the return to the hills at the weekend of one of the most illustrious single-seater chassis in the sport. 

Kenny Allen Pilbeam MP58

Kenny Allen at Shelsley Walsh in MP58-01 (thanks to Steve Wilkinson)


 Few would argue that the Pilbeam MP58 was the high-water mark for the Lincolnshire-based racecar manufacturer. The MP58 was a large, honeycombe chassis’d single-seater designed & built from the late 1980s onwards featuring a variety of engines from the 1600cc Cosworth BDA, right up to F1 V8s and even a 5.4l TVR/Rover V8.


After being commissioned by the late, great Roy Lane chassis number MP58-01 was built around a 4.0l Cosworth DFL Group C sportscar engine for the 1987 BHC season. Lane used the car until he purchased MP58-08 for the 1991 season.

When it left the Lane family, the chassis went to Scotland and had a 2.0l Hart engine and then later a 3.5l Judd EV for George Richie. After sharing the car with Kenny Allen for a couple of seasons, George joined forces with Roger Moran and commissioned a new MP72 to house the Judd from Pilbeam.

George Ritchie Pilbeam MP58

George Ritchie in MP58-01 with Hart power at Fintray in 1992 (thanks to Steve Wilkinson)


‘Old Number 1′ then passed into the hands of Deryk Young & Malc Orme who ran the car for a few years with the methanol Judd that Deryk still uses today in his Gould GR51B.

The rear suspension of MP58-01 was then converted to pushrod activation and used on Young’s hybrid DelLara F397 in the early noughties, before the Pilbeam chassis and suspension was sold on in the late noughties.

Cornish Van Diemen hillclimber Paul Crute acquired the lot and, being a keen engineer, decided to create something a bit different to use on the Westcountry hills.

Paul has combined the MP58-01 chassis, the hybrid/pushrod rear suspension, a Hewland FGC gearbox and a 3.0l Jaguar V6 engine.

Paul Crute Pilbeam MP58


The engine is very light for a production unit, but after modifications by Pete Willis still produces over 400bhp and over 250lb/ft of torque.

After a shakedown at Llandow last week Crute debuted the car at Wiscombe and despite a few gearbox hickups is loving the car.

Paul Crute Pilbeam MP58


It’s great to see the car out again Paul, we know that you are gonna have great fun with it!


  1. Andy kittle says:

    Sounds nice love to see it in action
    Always had a soft spot for Pilbeam mp58

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