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RogerH
08-10-2011, 04:15 AM
At Steve's suggestion I've started a new thread on George Smith who is best known for the GeeCeeEss but was also involved in earlier racing cars and later racing power boats.

George was involved with NZ motor sport from the late 1920s to the late 1960s and with a series of cars from the ex-works Austin Seven single seater (Rubber Duck) through to the Chrysler Firepower V8 powered Alfa Bimotore he was one of the more successful drivers.

He was most famous for his GeeCeeEss which he and Tom Sheehan (father of "Jandels" Sheehan) built. George also had a period as the Western Springs promoter and although he had a rough and ready style he was successful at wide range of motorsport.

Here are some photos to start off the thread :

http://img835.imageshack.us/img835/8351/gc7w.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/835/gc7w.jpg/)

http://img33.imageshack.us/img33/6235/gc5k.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/33/gc5k.jpg/)

As good as George was in the GeeCeeEss - here he is about to be caught and passed by Ron Roycroft in the Alfa.
http://img840.imageshack.us/img840/1372/gc15a.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/840/gc15a.jpg/)

Steve Holmes
08-10-2011, 04:20 AM
Fantastic! This will be an interesting thread Roger. Just out of interest, was the Chrysler Firepower V8 that Smith ran in the Alfa Bimotore the same engine used in the GeeCeeEss?

RogerH
08-10-2011, 04:35 AM
Fantastic! This will be an interesting thread Roger. Just out of interest, was the Chrysler Firepower V8 that Smith ran in the Alfa Bimotore the same engine used in the GeeCeeEss?

Yes, it was evidently the same motor. George thought the Alfa Bimotore would be an improvement on his self built GeeCeeEss but he had all kinds of trouble with it and even though he also named it the GeeCeeEss he hated it and soon passed it on. It would now be worth millions.

I have a photo of the Bimotore GeeCeeEss but it is promised to one of the forum subscribers for a possible book on NZ motor sport. It looked a lot smarter than the "old" GeeCeeEss - but looks aren't everything .....

Steve Holmes
08-10-2011, 04:47 AM
The Bimotore was certainly a handsome car, but theres a lot to be said for character in a race car, and the GeeCeeEss had that in bucket loads. I actually thought Smiths earlier Chevrolet V8 special was a good looking car too. But that could just be the hot rodder in me coming out!

AMCO72
08-10-2011, 07:13 AM
Am really looking forward to this thread, as are I hope most of the folk who subscribe to this forum. George was a larger than life character, right up there with Ron Roycroft, although I dont think George was QUITE as polished a driver as Ron. They both had a similar attitude to how their cars looked.....pretty rough I think would be a fair assessment, but who cares so long as they did the business, and they certainly did that, and were entertaining to watch......they put a smile on your face. I'm going to ask a stupid question here but I'm serious......those BIG Ardun heads...were they an OHV conversion of the side-valve V8? 'Go and stand in the corner'!!

Steve Holmes
08-10-2011, 07:47 AM
Gerald, yes thats correct, the Ardun heads were an OHV conversion for the Ford side-valve V8. They were designed and made by brothers Zora and Yura Arkus-Duntov, the name Ardun being a play on their last name (AR)kus (DUN)tov. Zora of course would go on to become the father of the Corvette. The Ardun heads were created mostly for the hot rod and drag racing crowd, which had exploded just prior to and following WW2, with several speed equipment companies such as Edelbrock, Meyer, Offenhauser, Bell, etc, being established to build and/or sell speed equipment for hot rodders, and in particular for the Ford flathead V8 motor.

There are thought to have only ever been around 400 sets of Ardun heads produced, and original sets can fetch upwards of US$10,000 on the rare occasion they come on the market.

pallmall
08-10-2011, 07:57 AM
The Ardun heads were actually designed to be fitted to flatheads in Ford trucks to give more power.
Hot Rodders, of course, picked up on the potential straight away.

Steve Holmes
08-10-2011, 07:59 AM
Here are some NOS Ardun heads sold by RM Auctions in 2009. These heads sold for US$26,000! RM Auctions description says there were actually thought to have been no more than 275 sets made, so ever rarer than I thought.

2906

Steve Holmes
08-10-2011, 08:00 AM
The Ardun heads were actually designed to be fitted to flatheads in Ford trucks to give more power.
Hot Rodders, of course, picked up on the potential straight away.

Yes thats right Gavin, and to solve overheating issues. I wonder how many sets were actually used for truck applications.

bob homewood
08-10-2011, 08:02 AM
Steve ,you better start looking for those ones I saw ,because they were definately the same as those ,exhausts and all

woody
08-10-2011, 08:37 AM
Check out www.ardun.com

RogerH
08-10-2011, 08:39 AM
Here is a copy of a letter (I have the original hand written version) from Tom Sheehan to Bill Clark (who owned the GeeCeeEss at that time). It explains the original construction of the car and motor :

http://img534.imageshack.us/img534/3553/gcsletter1.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/534/gcsletter1.jpg/)

Steve Holmes
08-10-2011, 08:34 PM
This letter makes for interesting reading Roger. I like how Tom Sheehan described the Ardun heads as truck heads. He is correct of course, as Gavin has already pointed out. In 1971 when this letter was written Ardun heads would have still been quite desirable in certain circles, but for a race team they would have just been trying to make as much power as they could with what was available, and when the Chrysler motor was available, the Ford motor would have been put out to pasture. I wonder what became of it.

woody
08-11-2011, 06:43 AM
A chap in Dunedin (Bill Patterson) in the late 60s built a vee bottom boat (Aquanaut) powered by a Allison V12 super charged aero engine, 1710 cu. in. developing 1500hp at 3300rpm. The boat won the Masport Cup in 70 at Picton. In 71 Bill defended the cup at Otago harbour but lost to Bill Stokes with Voodoo. Bill owned Highcliff Motors and had Rolls Royce Merlin engines 2000hp as spares. The boat has never been seen since late 71. Anybody around Dunedin that could see if the boat is still around.

David McKinney
08-11-2011, 08:20 AM
...when the Chrysler motor was available, the Ford motor would have been put out to pasture.
Not entirely, Steve. The Chrysler - initially at least - wasn't the most reliable, and was frequently taken out and replaced by the Ford between practice and a race

Unfortunately, it's not possible to work out exactly which engine was used when

RogerH
08-11-2011, 10:37 AM
George in the GeeCeeEss (with Ardun heads) - CWF Hamilton Trophy 100 Mile Road Race 1951

http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/6664/1stcwfhamiltontrophymai.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/204/1stcwfhamiltontrophymai.jpg/)

RogerH
08-11-2011, 10:45 AM
GeeCeeEss in a later form with what looks like the Chrysler Firepower motor.

http://img143.imageshack.us/img143/1262/gcs8a.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/143/gcs8a.jpg/)

Steve Holmes
08-11-2011, 10:11 PM
Post #16, at Hamilton in 1951. It looks great here with the sprintcar style nose.

What is car #30 in post #17 Roger? Is that the Stanton Special?

pallmall
08-11-2011, 10:48 PM
I understand that at some time in the late 90s the original nose was found, and the then owner had plans to put the car back to its early configuration. Is the original nose still in existence? And if so in the right ownership?

Steve Holmes
08-11-2011, 10:49 PM
Which is the original nose Gavin?

pallmall
08-11-2011, 10:55 PM
Good question, perhaps not the original nose! I understood it to mean the one in post 34 of the other thread, Sitting in someones Workshop.

RogerH
08-11-2011, 11:24 PM
The car #30 in post #17 is the Stanton Cropduster with the Gipsy Major aero engine.

As far as the original nose of the GeeCeeEss goes, the earliest one is in the photo on the "Workshop" thread (In post #34 as pointed out). I've reproduced that photo here :

http://img819.imageshack.us/img819/5278/gcs2j.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/819/gcs2j.jpg/)

In this photo the car has an aero screen which was soon replaced with a larger more wrap-round screen. George tried many different nose and radiator combinations primarily to try and combat overheating. The car always overheated and still does.

The last grill was lost when it was stolen at a party but George had kept one of the grills as a memento when he sold the GeeCeeEss (as reported in "Sports Car World" September 1968 and the "Auckland Star" 13 July 1963). I understand that it this grill that was eventually reunited with the car and is on it now.

RogerH
08-11-2011, 11:28 PM
Here is an interesting letter about George by Dick Messenger :

http://img838.imageshack.us/img838/1057/dickmletter.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/838/dickmletter.jpg/)

Steve Holmes
08-11-2011, 11:47 PM
Thanks Roger. Did the car overheat with the Hemi as well? That early nose is certainly the best looking, though also the narrowest, so I can understand why the nose was continuously modified with ever wider radiator openings. Do you know the origins of the grill? Was this something George made (or had made) for this car, or was it a speedway grill? Its quite intricate. Would you happen to know what the badges on the grill are?

These old photos are as interesting for the cars in the background. Parked next to the GeeCeeEss is a '32 Ford Roadster, a very desirable car now, and one that would easily fetch 80K is good condition.

RogerH
08-12-2011, 12:53 AM
Thanks Roger. Did the car overheat with the Hemi as well? That early nose is certainly the best looking, though also the narrowest, so I can understand why the nose was continuously modified with ever wider radiator openings. Do you know the origins of the grill? Was this something George made (or had made) for this car, or was it a speedway grill? Its quite intricate. Would you happen to know what the badges on the grill are?

These old photos are as interesting for the cars in the background. Parked next to the GeeCeeEss is a '32 Ford Roadster, a very desirable car now, and one that would easily fetch 80K is good condition.

I understand it overheated with all the engines George tried. With the grill I'm not sure but I presume it was something made for George. I don't think it came from the speedway midget as Tom Sheehan said only the tail came from the speedway car. As far as I know there were no badges remaining.

Here is a photo of the GeeCeeEss with no grill and a big radiator to try and deal with overheating.

http://img641.imageshack.us/img641/2599/gc6g.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/641/gc6g.jpg/)

RogerH
08-12-2011, 01:17 AM
The 1968 Sports Car World article - hope its readable.

http://img28.imageshack.us/img28/1552/scw1.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/28/scw1.jpg/)

http://img850.imageshack.us/img850/806/scw2.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/850/scw2.jpg/)

http://img109.imageshack.us/img109/2779/scw3.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/109/scw3.jpg/)

http://img35.imageshack.us/img35/6690/scw4.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/35/scw4.jpg/)

http://img811.imageshack.us/img811/5707/scw5.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/811/scw5.jpg/)

woody
08-12-2011, 02:27 AM
2965

woody
08-12-2011, 03:23 AM
2966

RogerH
08-12-2011, 03:56 AM
2966

Thanks Woody - it sure has changed from what I remember. It would be all too neat and tidy for George. George's garage spilled out onto the road and I recollect seeing a car parked with one side on the footpath and the other side on the road with what I assumed to be George lying underneath it in the gutter - I suppose it saved jacking it up.

RogerH
09-06-2011, 03:39 AM
Here are some photos of the GeeCeeEss as it is today. Bruce's query regarding the hook under the dash to hold it in gear - its still there but not fitted in these overhaul photos.

http://img651.imageshack.us/img651/4871/imgp2522j.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/651/imgp2522j.jpg/)

http://img683.imageshack.us/img683/5224/imgp2519r.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/683/imgp2519r.jpg/)

http://img801.imageshack.us/img801/279/imgp2521x.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/801/imgp2521x.jpg/)

http://img26.imageshack.us/img26/5324/imgp2525a.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/26/imgp2525a.jpg/)

http://img607.imageshack.us/img607/5029/imgp2527g.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/607/imgp2527g.jpg/)

Steve Holmes
09-06-2011, 03:50 AM
Great photos Roger. And a real neat thread. I love that you've maintained the cars character, warts and all. It just wouldn't look right beautifully restored with everything straightened out and perfected. Perfection can be bought. Character can't.

For those who missed Trevors questions in another thread about the GeeCeeEss, as answered by Roger above, here they are: "I hope it still has two authentic features which assisted greatly with its successes, i.e. a piece of wires on the dash/scuttle to fasten the gear lever into second and strings on each spark plug tying on the lead. George's efforts looked rough as, but a good look revealed a lot of careful detailed preparation".

RogerH
09-06-2011, 04:31 AM
Another "warts and all" car is the A40 Special. This was built by my great uncle Des Herrick in 1947 as a speedway car but converted into a circuit car in 1950 by Ralph Watson (Lycoming Special fame). It was rebuilt in 1956 by a young Bruce McLaren after a major prang in a Wellington hillclimb and was Chris Amon's first race car in 1959. I got it back into family ownership about 6 years ago. Here is Chris in it at the Festival at Hampton Downs - first time he had driven it for over 50 years.

http://img707.imageshack.us/img707/7205/chrisamonfestival2ndwee.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/707/chrisamonfestival2ndwee.jpg/)

Trevor Sheffield
09-06-2011, 05:37 AM
Great photos Roger. And a real neat thread. I love that you've maintained the cars character, warts and all. It just wouldn't look right beautifully restored with everything straightened out and perfected. Perfection can be bought. Character can't.

For those who missed Trevors questions in another thread about the GeeCeeEss, as answered by Roger above, here they are: "I hope it still has two authentic features which assisted greatly with its successes, i.e. a piece of wires on the dash/scuttle to fasten the gear lever into second and strings on each spark plug tying on the lead. George's efforts looked rough as, but a good look revealed a lot of careful detailed preparation".

Steve,

Georgeís character was not easy to penetrate, but I became aware of the inside man as a result of my wife at the time, doing his lady partnerís hair. My wife worked part time hairdressing from home. As a result I was able to talk to George on a personal level.

Quite contrary to the image he presented while in well worn overalls, George was a good business man, had very sound engineering common sense and was a gentleman. However he certainly did not suffer fools gladly and was not one for idle conversation. I for one have never heard anyone speak badly of him and I include those closely associated with him in the pre-war period. Pity that very little about those days was recorded.

I gleaned a lot about George from Merv Hardy and Gerry Matherson, when talking to them in the very late forties. Prior to that I was cycle racing and the cycling clubs dealt with George over using western Springs Speedway as a venue. He treated the clubs very fairly and when another promoter took over things went bad.

Likewise the GCS had more to it from a technical point of view than is perhaps obvious, and I will come back to that in another post.

Meantime the restored car has another vital detail missing.:eek: The springs, particularly the rear, should be very tightly bound with shrunk on binder twine as a means of dampening. This was I time honoured and effective device from way back and George was aware that it worked.:)

Trevor Sheffield
09-06-2011, 07:09 AM
As good as George was in the GeeCeeEss - here he is about to be caught and passed by Ron Roycroft in the Alfa.
http://img840.imageshack.us/img840/1372/gc15a.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/840/gc15a.jpg/)

At this point in time, the old war horse's ex domestic car Ford V engine could give no more in the way of horsepower and the very expensive specially race engineered Alfa power plant naturally had it beaten, but only just and in a straight line.

Look closely at the two cars and consider each in respect of, weight distribution and centre of gravity. Nothing wrong with the GCS, are but the Alfa has independent front suspension some will point out, as well as a fancy rear drive set up. I will argue that that the Dubonnet suspension was an awful design in every way and any reduction in unsprung weight afforded by the complicated divided rear drive set up was certainly debatable. The arrangement was also claimed to provide a lower seating position for the driver, the photo also renders this debatable.

George imported an Allard J2 based on the reputation the car gained in hill climb events in the UK. He was quite focussed on hill climbs and reckoned the Allard would be the bees knees and what is more it had the sort of power plant he understood. He told me of his disappointment and how badly it handled when compared with the old GCS. George was not one to bad mouth anyone, however he made it clear that he did not think very highly of the Allard divided axle front suspension. :rolleyes:

The GCS was a very well conceived design costing damned all and it had no vices and could always be driven on the absolute limit. This was so often demonstrated in hill climbs and often on a circuit, but here George always wisely had the need to finish in mind.

Crude, yes. Badly engineered, no. Cheap, yes. Uncouth, debatably. Nasty, no. Pedigree, not likely. But what a great old bastard it was and is. Let us give George and the old GCS full marks. The GCS was a truly successful, genuine Kiwi special and carries top marks in all respects. Hooooooooray. :)

P.S. Again check the photo and note the quite straight arm driving position adopted by George and the cramped wheel- in-chest attitude within the Alfa.

Sincerely, Trevor.

David McKinney
09-06-2011, 08:32 AM
Good to see you here with first-hand observations such as these, Trevor

I look forward to many more!

jim short
09-09-2011, 04:51 AM
i got some parts of him yrs ago 1961 he had a place top newton rd. the story i liked best was when he took up speedbots i believe he couldent swim but he had a lifejacket and back in the 50s the Sandspit at Waiuku held races on nearly every hightide up to 50 boats would turn up even Redhead one day though he stayed out in the deep ,the time georges boat sank ,he was bobing around with a lot of mice as they had a nest in the boat a true story i believe

Steve Holmes
09-12-2011, 08:46 PM
At this point in time, the old war horse's ex domestic car Ford V engine could give no more in the way of horsepower and the very expensive specially race engineered Alfa power plant naturally had it beaten, but only just and in a straight line.

Look closely at the two cars and consider each in respect of, weight distribution and centre of gravity. Nothing wrong with the GCS, are but the Alfa has independent front suspension some will point out, as well as a fancy rear drive set up. I will argue that that the Dubonnet suspension was an awful design in every way and any reduction in unsprung weight afforded by the complicated divided rear drive set up was certainly debatable. The arrangement was also claimed to provide a lower seating position for the driver, the photo also renders this debatable.

George imported an Allard J2 based on the reputation the car gained in hill climb events in the UK. He was quite focussed on hill climbs and reckoned the Allard would be the bees knees and what is more it had the sort of power plant he understood. He told me of his disappointment and how badly it handled when compared with the old GCS. George was not one to bad mouth anyone, however he made it clear that he did not think very highly of the Allard divided axle front suspension. :rolleyes:

The GCS was a very well conceived design costing damned all and it had no vices and could always be driven on the absolute limit. This was so often demonstrated in hill climbs and often on a circuit, but here George always wisely had the need to finish in mind.

Crude, yes. Badly engineered, no. Cheap, yes. Uncouth, debatably. Nasty, no. Pedigree, not likely. But what a great old bastard it was and is. Let us give George and the old GCS full marks. The GCS was a truly successful, genuine Kiwi special and carries top marks in all respects. Hooooooooray. :)

P.S. Again check the photo and note the quite straight arm driving position adopted by George and the cramped wheel- in-chest attitude within the Alfa.

Sincerely, Trevor.

That is an excellent post Trevor, and perfectly described. Did George ever consider pulling the Cadillac motor from the Allard and putting it in the GCS?

pallmall
09-13-2011, 04:52 AM
According to my nearly finished research on Ardun engines in NZ, the Allard is where the Ardun came from, so I assume the Caddilac was a replacement engine fairly early in its life.

Trevor Sheffield
09-13-2011, 08:27 AM
That is an excellent post Trevor, and perfectly described. Did George ever consider pulling the Cadillac motor from the Allard and putting it in the GCS?

Thanks Steve,

What I report is based on memory and many passing years are involved. Therefore I remain open to correction, but then only on the basis of solid evidence. ;)

I have no recollection of George being associated with a Caddilac engine, either in regard to the Alard or the GCS. As far as I am aware the Alard came with the factory option of a Ford V8 fitted with Ardun heads.

As I recall it, Chrysler came out with the first domestic V8 with an overhead valve arrangement and George somehow imported one of these engines for the GTS immediately they became available. It is interesting that at the time overseas funds and an import license would have been required. I think he used this engine for the 1954 Ardmore NZIGP where it subsided during practice, with I believe bearing problems. One way or another the Chrysler never proved a real success. In order to fit the Chrysler it was necessary to cut away part of the chassis rails, which at the time did not impress the scrutinisers. When I last saw the car the rails had been restored. P.S. The solid mounting of the engine constitutes major stiffening in respect of the front end of the simple ladder frame.

Likewise I can not remember the Ardun heads bringing George any real joy. As I see it the GCS became uncompetitive along with the flat head Ford V8 engine, i.e. the car was involved with the conclusion of a distinct era within NZ motor sport.

I have always been intrigued with the overheating problems which George appears to have experienced. Was he not aware that the dual water pumps required quietening when high RPM became constant? He was not one to openly discuss technicalities in respect of his cars. Having attended to the water pumps, I ran a Ford V8 in all sorts of competition without the need for even a radiator fan.

Cheers, Trevor.

RogerH
09-13-2011, 09:36 AM
Hi Trevor,
Could you please elaborate by what you mean with "Was he not aware that the dual water pumps required quietening when high RPM became constant? He was not one to openly discuss technicalities in respect of his cars. Having attended to the water pumps, I ran a Ford V8 in all sorts of competition without the need for even a radiator fan". The GeeCeeEss still overheats so what you are talking about could be a remedy but I don't quite understand what modification to the water pump is required.

Cheers
Roger

Steve Holmes
09-13-2011, 07:43 PM
Sorry Trevor, I've managed to confuse things. I was making the assumption the Allard Smith drove was Cadillac powered. Sounds like it was Ford powered?

Trevor Sheffield
09-13-2011, 11:16 PM
Hi Trevor,
Could you please elaborate by what you mean with "Was he not aware that the dual water pumps required quietening when high RPM became constant? He was not one to openly discuss technicalities in respect of his cars. Having attended to the water pumps, I ran a Ford V8 in all sorts of competition without the need for even a radiator fan". The GeeCeeEss still overheats so what you are talking about could be a remedy but I don't quite understand what modification to the water pump is required.

Cheers
Roger

Greetings Roger,

The known fix for flat head Ford V8 engines was to knock back the output from the dual water pumps by drilling quite large holes in the rotors, or by simply breaking off part of every second rotor. Alternatively and without even removing the engine, to fit large washers in the top water outlets so as to restrict the flow.

The theory was that at higher than normal RPM, the water did not spend sufficient time within the radiator to enable the proper transfer of heat. There was also the possibility of excessive turbulence being created within the heads. Whatever, the crude fix was certainly effective.

Cheers also, Trevor.

Trevor Sheffield
09-14-2011, 12:38 AM
Sorry Trevor, I've managed to confuse things. I was making the assumption the Allard Smith drove was Cadillac powered. Sounds like it was Ford powered?

Greetings Sreve,

No apology required or called for, as a completely confusing and unconfirmed issue is involved.

After rattling all of this around in the old brain box I now can not get rid of a recollection that the Allard was actually imported without an engine. Otherwise how did he get around the strict regulations then current?

At the time, I was within my working environment constantly involved with Customs Dept. and import licensing matters, so was specially interested in this aspect of things. Importing a car was extremely difficult at the time due to import and overseas exchange restrictions. I seem recall that George was able to clear the Allard through customs based on it being an incomplete vehicle due to having no engine.

Based on a past history of importing vehicle spare parts, George could well have had access to a basic import license for spares but not vehicles as such. Without an engine the car could have been classified as being parts only, or alternatively a CKD (completely knocked down) vehicle. Either way, provided he had overseas funds on hand, Customs could have been sympathetic. There were various ways of obtaining overseas funds at a cost. Furthermore, at the time Allards were routinely being exported to the States less engines, so that exporting one in this form to NZ would have not created any logistical problems.

The alternative would involve importing the car via another person who had visited the UK and as result had been eligible for special import license. In this event the car would first have been registered in that persons name and could only have been legally transferred to another owner, after the required elapse of a considerable period. The original registration documents would prove the point either way.

Trevor.

RogerH
09-14-2011, 04:06 AM
Greetings Roger,

The known fix for flat head Ford V8 engines was to knock back the output from the dual water pumps by drilling quite large holes in the rotors, or by simply breaking off part of every second rotor. Alternatively and without even removing the engine, to fit large washers in the top water outlets so as to restrict the flow.



The theory was that at higher than normal RPM, the water did not spend sufficient time within the radiator to enable the proper transfer of heat. There was also the possibility of excessive turbulence being created within the heads. Whatever, the crude fix was certainly effective.

Cheers also, Trevor.

Thanks Trevor - much appreciated.

Steve Holmes
09-14-2011, 10:00 PM
Greetings Sreve,

No apology required or called for, as a completely confusing and unconfirmed issue is involved.

After rattling all of this around in the old brain box I now can not get rid of a recollection that the Allard was actually imported without an engine. Otherwise how did he get around the strict regulations then current?

At the time, I was within my working environment constantly involved with Customs Dept. and import licensing matters, so was specially interested in this aspect of things. Importing a car was extremely difficult at the time due to import and overseas exchange restrictions. I seem recall that George was able to clear the Allard through customs based on it being an incomplete vehicle due to having no engine.

Based on a past history of importing vehicle spare parts, George could well have had access to a basic import license for spares but not vehicles as such. Without an engine the car could have been classified as being parts only, or alternatively a CKD (completely knocked down) vehicle. Either way, provided he had overseas funds on hand, Customs could have been sympathetic. There were various ways of obtaining overseas funds at a cost. Furthermore, at the time Allards were routinely being exported to the States less engines, so that exporting one in this form to NZ would have not created any logistical problems.

The alternative would involve importing the car via another person who had visited the UK and as result had been eligible for special import license. In this event the car would first have been registered in that persons name and could only have been legally transferred to another owner, after the required elapse of a considerable period. The original registration documents would prove the point either way.

Trevor.

That makes plenty of sense Trevor. A lot of the Allards were exported to the US without motors, as the motors were American anyway, so were just fitted on arrival. And this saved Allard some money, as it didn't mean they had to import engines for cars being sent to the US.

So where do you suppose the Ardun heads were sourced?

RogerH
09-15-2011, 12:00 AM
Here are some Ardun heads (NOS) for sale on eBay at US$16,500 :
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Flathead-Ford-Mercury-Hemi-conversion-Ardun-Heads-NOS-/170405975248?pt=Vintage_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item27acfcd4d0#ht_500wt_956

Steve Holmes
09-15-2011, 12:12 AM
Boy, those are nice! Those are the Orosco Arduns which are exactly the same as the originals. From what I have read the current Ferguson Ardun heads are much improved over the originals and far more user friendly for everyday hot rodding.

SimonSez
01-24-2012, 11:41 PM
Pretty sure the truck heads with 21T casting that are mentioned in the letter on page 1 are side-valve heads (21T heads were fitted to '42 Ford Trucks), and the Ardun's were added later on.

NZ Hot Rod Mag did a couple of articles tracing the history of all of the Ardun heads known to be in NZ. Been a while since I read it, but it was pretty detailed so would probably have some info on what happened to these ones. Sorry, can't remember which issue it was in without digging through them all - maybe Greg can help?




I like how Tom Sheehan described the Ardun heads as truck heads. He is correct of course, as Gavin has already pointed out. In 1971 when this letter was written Ardun heads would have still been quite desirable in certain circles, but for a race team they would have just been trying to make as much power as they could with what was available, and when the Chrysler motor was available, the Ford motor would have been put out to pasture. I wonder what became of it.

Steve Holmes
03-06-2012, 06:06 PM
Thanks Simon, would be great to see that Hot Rod mag article posted up here. I'd love to read it.

pallmall
03-06-2012, 08:59 PM
Pretty sure the truck heads with 21T casting that are mentioned in the letter on page 1 are side-valve heads (21T heads were fitted to '42 Ford Trucks), and the Ardun's were added later on.

NZ Hot Rod Mag did a couple of articles tracing the history of all of the Ardun heads known to be in NZ. Been a while since I read it, but it was pretty detailed so would probably have some info on what happened to these ones. Sorry, can't remember which issue it was in without digging through them all - maybe Greg can help?

I got all the info from the Hot Rod mag articles and started to update and check some of the stories, sorry got a bit side tracked as it led me to some information I needed for my Stockcar books. Will try and get back to it soon, or at least post a bit of basic info from the articles which of course are copyright and can't be reproduced here.
Steve, did you see any Ardun parts when you were doing your recent Hot Rod book? Great book too, by the way.

Steve Holmes
03-06-2012, 09:09 PM
Thanks Gavin, much appreciated. Nah, didn't see any Ardun stuff. Kept hoping I would. Grease Martin was supposed to be in the book but we couldn't get the timing right to do the photos. I think he may have some Ardun heads. Or am I mistaken?

pallmall
03-06-2012, 09:12 PM
Yep, Grease has some, used to run them on the 32 Coupe.

markec
03-06-2012, 11:05 PM
http://www.ardun.com/ardun_pictures.htm,
http://www.ardun.com/ardun_histrory.htm,
A couple of sites where the now Ardun heads are made and marketed.

porka
12-05-2015, 04:57 AM
Bill Paterson sold Highcliff Motors in the early seventies and bought a farm in partnership with his daughter and son in law in the Motueka area.
I think Aquanaut went with him.I remember that he had a 57 Mercedes 4 wheel drive truck that sat in his garage for at least 10 years to be converted to a tow truck but not finished then fitted a flat deck to it and a 2 axle trailer on behind loaded with a lot of gear headed to Motueka.This truck would have been only about 100 hp and reputedly in excess of 20 tons all up but the trip was too slow and ended up leaving the trailer in Oamaru.

Roger Dowding
12-07-2015, 03:03 AM
32016

32017

32018

these are from the Dunedin 1984 Historic meeting

BMCBOY
12-07-2015, 11:50 PM
32020

32021

BMCBOY
12-08-2015, 12:13 AM
32024

32023

Kwaussie
06-14-2016, 10:00 AM
Seems about the best time to reboot this one!

Ray Bell
06-14-2016, 09:59 PM
Originally posted by Steve Holmes
Here are some NOS Ardun heads sold by RM Auctions in 2009. These heads sold for US$26,000! RM Auctions description says there were actually thought to have been no more than 275 sets made, so ever rarer than I thought.

Ardun heads were also available for the smaller V8-60 engines...

There would no doubt have come out in even smaller numbers, but eventually sold in the many thousands as they were adopted by Chrysler in South America for the Simca-derived Chrysler Esplanada engines in the sixties.