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Steve Holmes
05-13-2011, 01:02 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qg6WdboK1nY


Ford of Great Britain commissioned Terry Drury Racing to build the original Transit 'Supervan', based on their MkI Ford Transit. Supervan was created as a clever market project, to both promote the Transit van, and Fords own sporting prowess.



Although an original steel Transit van body was used, it was extensively modified. It featured a mid-mounted 5.0 litre Gurney-Weslake Ford V8 topped with four Webers and said to be from a Ford GT40, which was backed by a 5-speed ZF trans-axle and GT40 vented disc brakes and had fully independent suspension. The cross-over exhaust system definitely looked GT40. And the exhaust note is definite GT40 too.



Performance was pretty impressive, given its obvious aerodynamic handicap and weight. 0-60mph in 7 sec, 0-100 in 21 sec, while the standing mile was achieved in 14.5 sec.



It looked quite terrifying at speed, with massive body roll, and the inside front wheel would often lift through corners, but as a promotional tool, it was incredibly successful. Unveiled in early 1971, Ford demonstarted Supervan at several events throughout the next couple of years, and it also toured Ford dealerships. Supervan was used throughout the early part of the '70s, then retired. Ford then built Supervan 2, which debuted in 1984, and which itself would be succeeded by Supervan 3 ten years later.



But what became of the original Supervan? It was apparently road registered in the early 1970s. Ford sold it into private ownership, and in recent years have tried, unsuccessfully (apparently), to trace its current whereabouts. Some reports suggest it does still exist, although there is at least one replica being built, so its possible the replica may have been confused as the real thing.

Steve Holmes
07-12-2012, 08:06 PM
What ever happened to the original Transit Supervan? I'd love to know that it still exists.

conrod
07-12-2012, 09:47 PM
Hi Steve,
there are rumours that it still exists somewhere in the UK,in a semi dismantled state, although I have not seen anything concrete yet. I met Terry Drury while I worked in the UK many years ago, he used to build rally engines for us. He was dodgy as hell!

I have quite a soft spot for the old Trannys for some strange reason? And am building my own "Transit Supervan" at the moment to use as a tow vehicle. Mk1 Transit,(but a "jumbo" LWB, as opposed to the SWB original) with Territory Turbo (XR6 Turbo) engine. Will have around 400hp, but look bog stock, for added humour!:)

Have you seen the Transit van owned by Lord March? It was on Top Gear a few years back. Looked like a standard Mk3 Transit, complete with roof rack. Was originally built by TWR as a test mule for the Jaguar XJ220 Sports Car engine (3 litre twin turbo V6 ~700hp) Heres the clip, bloody hilarious! Start at around 1.20:



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qg6WdboK1nY

Conrad

Steve Holmes
07-13-2012, 12:01 AM
Conrad, what an awesome idea! I love it! I don't know why more people don't do the same. Its the perfect rig for towing a historic racing car. Do you have any progress photos?

Yeah I remember that Top Gear episode, although I had no idea of that vans history! That is quite amazing, and explains the wheels, which had me scratching my head the first time I saw it.

I'd heard the same thing re the original Transit Supervan, that it existed, but was dismantled. I'd assume the GT40 parts are probably long gone too.

conrod
07-13-2012, 12:25 AM
No progress phots, as I really haven't made much progress yet! Bought the van, and a bunch of NOS panels and parts, plus the engine, 9" diff etc. Still collecting parts for it ATM. There are a few Transits around that have been restored and are being used as period rally service vehicles, really nicely done too, mostly running V8's. Quite a movement worldwide in historic racing circles for period transporters/tow vehicles. There is a thread somewhere on Ten Tenths with some amazing transporters that have been restored for this purpose.

Yep the wheels look a little out of place on the "Top Gear" Tranny, 17" centrelocks with massive widths! Apparently the story was the van was going to be scrapped after the engine testing was completed, but it somehow found its way into the hands of Lord March. (I really like it!)

I would guess the same re the original Supervan, the GT40 parts would have been first to disappear. Ironically those parts are relatively easy to replace.(if not exactly cheap!) It is the van (or bodyshell) that would be required for an original resto.Very low tech in comparison to Supervan II and III, but had much more character I think (and was the only one based on an original van) The wheels were specially made by Revolution for this project (and apparently all leaked like a sieve!) The track always looked a little odd to me, like the front was much wider than the back. But quite a famous piece, especially considering its very "limited" competition history!:)

Conrad

rogered
07-13-2012, 01:11 AM
i recall seeing one at brans hatch around 1995ish. pretty sure it was all f1 beneton underneath. it was pretty cool:cool:

bry3500
07-13-2012, 05:36 AM
i recall seeing one at brans hatch around 1995ish. pretty sure it was all f1 beneton underneath. it was pretty cool:cool:

rogered .. that would have been Supervan 3
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdDeL5KSKPw&feature=related

rogered
07-13-2012, 07:47 AM
rogered .. that would have been Supervan 3
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdDeL5KSKPw&feature=related

Thats the one bry:)

conrod
07-13-2012, 09:41 AM
Thats the one bry:)

It still amazes me that some numbnuts at Ford asked/required/approved/whatever that the 3.9 DFL engine be removed and be replaced by a poxy V6 - AAAARRRRR!:(

rogered
07-14-2012, 12:31 AM
It still amazes me that some numbnuts at Ford asked/required/approved/whatever that the 3.9 DFL engine be removed and be replaced by a poxy V6 - AAAARRRRR!:(

may be its to make it more Aurthentic.:confused: They were never sold with a v8, but i think they were v6 powered. Be greatfull they didnt re-power with a V4
:rolleyes:

Steve Holmes
07-14-2012, 01:08 AM
No progress phots, as I really haven't made much progress yet! Bought the van, and a bunch of NOS panels and parts, plus the engine, 9" diff etc. Still collecting parts for it ATM. There are a few Transits around that have been restored and are being used as period rally service vehicles, really nicely done too, mostly running V8's. Quite a movement worldwide in historic racing circles for period transporters/tow vehicles. There is a thread somewhere on Ten Tenths with some amazing transporters that have been restored for this purpose.

Yep the wheels look a little out of place on the "Top Gear" Tranny, 17" centrelocks with massive widths! Apparently the story was the van was going to be scrapped after the engine testing was completed, but it somehow found its way into the hands of Lord March. (I really like it!)

I would guess the same re the original Supervan, the GT40 parts would have been first to disappear. Ironically those parts are relatively easy to replace.(if not exactly cheap!) It is the van (or bodyshell) that would be required for an original resto.Very low tech in comparison to Supervan II and III, but had much more character I think (and was the only one based on an original van) The wheels were specially made by Revolution for this project (and apparently all leaked like a sieve!) The track always looked a little odd to me, like the front was much wider than the back. But quite a famous piece, especially considering its very "limited" competition history!:)

Conrad

Keep us posted as you progress with your Supervan Conrad. What a great project! Yes, there is huge interest in old and interesting transporters. Some of these were absolute works of art, particularly those used in Europe. They were as interesting as the cars they carried. Classic & Sports Car did a recent article on some of these which was interesting.

Re the original Transit Supervan, yes I'd found the track to be slightly odd too. I guess there just wasn't the room to move the front wheels inwards at all, hence the wheels sticking so far out of the bodywork, while the rear GT40 set-up was much narrower. Made the vehicle just that much more whacky, which I guess added to its charm. The body roll at speed looks alarming though, the driver would have required a quick dose of brave pills before each run.

conrod
11-03-2015, 08:26 PM
spotted at Hampton Downs last weekend:

http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g196/conrod1/misc%20036.jpg (http://s56.photobucket.com/user/conrod1/media/misc%20036.jpg.html)

ERC
11-03-2015, 08:38 PM
I saw that too, but what lurks underneath?

The original concept was brilliant and a real crowd pleaser. I ran the Nottingham Sports Car Club's (standard) Transit van for a short time and I was stunned to find that it coped with a snow covered hill somewhat better than many (abandoned) saloon cars, so stuffing a race V8 in it would have been a hoot!

Spgeti
11-03-2015, 08:49 PM
Yes, I saw it as well along with a couple of other Transit vans there. Very nice.

conrod
11-03-2015, 08:53 PM
I saw that too, but what lurks underneath?



It has a fairly large capacity fuel injected V6 in it, of undisclosed origin. Goes rather well too ;)

Pic from the other side, the Masport van has a 302 in it :)

http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g196/conrod1/misc%20035.jpg (http://s56.photobucket.com/user/conrod1/media/misc%20035.jpg.html)

http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g196/conrod1/misc%20049.jpg (http://s56.photobucket.com/user/conrod1/media/misc%20049.jpg.html)

Steve Holmes
11-03-2015, 09:14 PM
Wow, those both look really great! Its funny, those things used to be everywhere, nobody ever gave them a second glance. Now its so rare to see one, and it really makes people happy when they do.

My father bought a brand new MkI Transit van from Brown Brothers Ford in Pahiatua (now Hoffman Ford). He ordered one with the V6 in it, so it had the protruding nose. I still remember going with him as a wee bloke to go pick it up.

928
11-03-2015, 10:13 PM
you guys know that Renault did a similar thing with an espace. put a F1 chassis with a V10 in it. Prost demonstated it a couple of times

Jac Mac
11-03-2015, 10:18 PM
I've probably done a dozen or so transit repowers, a few memorable ones stand out, one a brand spanking cab /chassis for the local Ford Dealers with a 250 x-flow that needed a firewall recess along with the extended front ( I presume it got a ford 12/12 warranty being new ) , also a 400 chev one for Tullochs rally car tow vehicle, several for plumbers/shearers work vans. Had one with a 250 falcon for a tow vehicle myself that I ran in a flying lap at Teretonga after clutch let go in the Cortina, never again, it spent most of the lap on two wheels trying to fall over. Diff ratios were poor for V8's, but I found a Falcon diff with same axle splines as Transit, so cut bearing carriers off falcon diff and slide the transit axles and tubes over the falcon ones- great ratio & keep transit floating hubs & stud pattern... job done!

Andrew Metford
11-03-2015, 10:50 PM
I know a guy that has / had a Transit van, the same model as the Masport one above. This guys' one has a V8 in it, and he uses it as his rally car service van. I serviced crewed for him once at a rally around Tauranga way, going down there with the van chock a block with gear and 4 guys, and the BDA Escort on the trailer behind, the van went up every hill like it was empty and no trailer on the back.
Don't know if it was the heat from the engine, the vents were blocked, of the heater / blower was just useless, but the windscreen was fogged up the whole way there - of course it was raining, we were on our way to play in the mud for the weekend!!

conrod
11-04-2015, 12:22 AM
I know a guy that has / had a Transit van, the same model as the Masport one above. This guys' one has a V8 in it, and he uses it as his rally car service van. I serviced crewed for him once at a rally around Tauranga way, going down there with the van chock a block with gear and 4 guys, and the BDA Escort on the trailer behind, the van went up every hill like it was empty and no trailer on the back.
Don't know if it was the heat from the engine, the vents were blocked, of the heater / blower was just useless, but the windscreen was fogged up the whole way there - of course it was raining, we were on our way to play in the mud for the weekend!!

this one?

http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g196/conrod1/JY7117.jpg (http://s56.photobucket.com/user/conrod1/media/JY7117.jpg.html)

GD66
11-04-2015, 12:46 AM
you guys know that Renault did a similar thing with an espace. put a F1 chassis with a V10 in it. Prost demonstated it a couple of times



Good point, buddy. I used to drool over that little baby.
31393

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZ4X4l56Q1w

Fast forward to 1:25 if vous ne parlez pas le Francais...

BMCBOY
11-04-2015, 05:05 AM
I took these at 2012 Galaxy of Cars - I don't know if it is original or not.

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khyndart in CA
11-04-2015, 05:42 AM
English race driver,Chris Craft, would often drive this Ford project in demonstrations. When he was a VDS F5000 driver we asked him about driving the Transit van and he said it was a blast sitting up high with all that power below !
It was on a Ford GT 40 chassis with a mid engine 400 bhp Ford V-8 covered by a Mk1 Ford Transit body and claimed to have a top speed of 150 MPH !
Chris Craft at speed at Silverstone in 1971.
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Steve Holmes
11-04-2015, 08:49 AM
Supervan 2. I think this one sprouted a rear wing at some point.

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John B
11-04-2015, 10:54 AM
Spark produced 1:43rd models of all three Supervans. When displayed together, it's easy to see that #1 was larger than #2 & 3.

As mentioned above, the first Supervan was based on a full-sized steel-bodied MkI Ford Transit. However the second and third Supervans used scaled-down fibreglass bodyshells.

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John B
11-04-2015, 10:57 AM
Directly from Wikipedia...

Supervan

The Supervan first appeared at the Easter 1971 meeting at Brands Hatch. A GT40 chassis and its mid-engined 400 bhp Ford V8 gave a standard pressed-steel Mark 1 Transit bodyshell a claimed top speed of around 150 mph. The vehicle had been built for Ford by Terry Drury Racing. Externally the van appeared very like a standard Transit, in Ford's racing livery of white with low horizontal triple blue stripes. The wheel arches were flared to almost cover the wider wheels, but this was barely more noticeable than the extensions fitted to the production long-wheelbase Transit. Aerodynamics of the high-mounted bodyshell were crude though, and although the van was usually demonstrated with drag starts, body lift limited its top speed on a track.

In 1978 the Transit was redesigned as the Mark 2, with quite different looks. Supervan's appearance now looked dated and no longer suitable for promoting the 'New' Transit.

Supervan 2

In 1984 a new Supervan 2 was constructed. The bodyshell was a fibreglass replica of the Mark 2 Transit, although slightly lowered and fitted with a front airdam, large side air inlets and a high-mounted rear spoiler. The chassis was a Ford C100 Group C car, fitted with a Cosworth DFL engine. It was built by Auto Racing Technology of Woolaston. Supervan 2's debut was at Donington Park for the first British truck racing Grand Prix. During tests at Silverstone, it was timed at 174 mph.

Supervan 2's promotional lifespan was even shorter than the first Supervan. Just over a year later, the Mark 3 Transit was released, with a very different outline. Supervan 2 retired to the Leyland Motors museum.

Supervan 3

In 1994, to promote the new Mark 5 Transit, Supervan 2 was rebuilt as Supervan 3. This was the first time that Supervan had been used to promote a new model, rather than a model already nearing its end of life. A seven-eighths scale reduced replica of the new bodyshell was fitted, together with a new engine, a Cosworth HB. The work was carried out by DRL Engineering of Suffolk. This version also had the longest promotional lifespan, appearing in public until 2001. With several liveries in Ford's blue and white over the years, its final appearance was in Royal Mail red, celebrating Ford's new contract to supply their vans, taking over from a long arrangement with Leyland DAF Vans.

In 2004 a refurbishment was announced. The engine was replaced with a more practical Ford-Cosworth Pro Sports 3000 V6 engine, and the 1984 Ford Motorsport blue and white livery was restored. This work was carried out by Sporting and Historic Car Engineers of Bicester.

In 2007 it was suggested that Supervan 3's chassis might be rebuilt into a C100 and used for historic sports car racing.

conrod
11-04-2015, 07:30 PM
Here is a track test of SV2 from back in the day:

http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g196/conrod1/sv2%201.jpg (http://s56.photobucket.com/user/conrod1/media/sv2%201.jpg.html)http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g196/conrod1/sv2%202.jpg (http://s56.photobucket.com/user/conrod1/media/sv2%202.jpg.html)

http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g196/conrod1/sv2%203.jpg (http://s56.photobucket.com/user/conrod1/media/sv2%203.jpg.html)http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g196/conrod1/sv2%204.jpg (http://s56.photobucket.com/user/conrod1/media/sv2%204.jpg.html)

928
11-04-2015, 07:56 PM
conrod, could you tell me anymore about the xtrac escort listed in the performance comparison chart?
it looks very quick.

conrod
11-04-2015, 08:09 PM
It was built by John Welch, and in conjunction with X-Trac was one of, if not THE first 4WD rallycross cars. Mk3 Escort bodyshell, turbocharged BDA with around 600hp, it was pretty much the template for todays rallycross cars. At the time it would outdrag just about anything in a 0-60 race :)

928
11-05-2015, 12:54 AM
thanks conrod, welchs escort was the second one built schanke had the first i understand. that explains the exceptional figures then.
many thanks

conrod
12-05-2015, 02:07 AM
went to friends place to pick up some parts today. He backed out his German firevan so that we could get at the storage area. Thought it was a good opportunity to snap a couple of pics of an early Mk1 (1969) sitting next to a late Mk2 (1985) :) They are essentially the same van from the windscreen back.

http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g196/conrod1/SV2%20and%20firevan%20001.jpg (http://s56.photobucket.com/user/conrod1/media/SV2%20and%20firevan%20001.jpg.html)

http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g196/conrod1/SV2%20and%20firevan%20002.jpg (http://s56.photobucket.com/user/conrod1/media/SV2%20and%20firevan%20002.jpg.html)

http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g196/conrod1/SV2%20and%20firevan%20003.jpg (http://s56.photobucket.com/user/conrod1/media/SV2%20and%20firevan%20003.jpg.html)

http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g196/conrod1/SV2%20and%20firevan%20004.jpg (http://s56.photobucket.com/user/conrod1/media/SV2%20and%20firevan%20004.jpg.html)

ERC
12-06-2015, 12:26 AM
No Super van, but thought I might as well share it! Driven here by NSCC's Chief Flag marshal, Mike Mayfield at Curborough - who is still linked to the NSCC even now. When I was custodian of the Transit (early 1977), it got me home through the snow (uphill to the highest point in the county!) at a time when many family cars were abandoned, much to my surprise.



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escorthvn
12-06-2015, 07:19 PM
It was built by John Welch, and in conjunction with X-Trac was one of, if not THE first 4WD rallycross cars. Mk3 Escort bodyshell, turbocharged BDA with around 600hp, it was pretty much the template for todays rallycross cars. At the time it would outdrag just about anything in a 0-60 race :)

Conrad,I think Mike Endean, X-Trac form Kerikeri still owns one of those Escorts. Its still in the UK.Peter.

conrod
12-07-2015, 07:55 AM
Conrad,I think Mike Endean, X-Trac form Kerikeri still owns one of those Escorts. Its still in the UK.Peter.

Interesting!I met Mike at the Hampton Downs festival of speed a year or two ago. Lovely guy who was happy to chat, and surprised to hear he spends half of his year in NZ. He really is a legend in Motorsport, not as well known as maybe a driver, but such an innovative and important company for many forms of motorsport over the past 30 or so years. We should try to convince him to get it over here!

Milan Fistonic
12-08-2015, 04:15 AM
Not so much a Super Van - rather an ordinary van with a Super Driver. Steve Millen in 1972.

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escorthvn
12-08-2015, 07:02 PM
Not so much a Super Van - rather an ordinary van with a Super Driver. Steve Millen in 1972.

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Top corner Bright road. I competed that day also.Peter.

928
12-09-2015, 12:22 AM
I vaguely remember seeing a transit powered with a 246 ferrari dino engine and transaxle in the Uk. around slough i think. on the road not on a race track

conrod
12-11-2015, 07:00 PM
Not so much a Super Van - rather an ordinary van with a Super Driver. Steve Millen in 1972.

32025

and another, with a straighter attitude this time :)

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