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Thread: Ralph Watson Special Engineer Supplementary Edition”, Now Available.

  1. #1

    Ralph Watson Special Engineer Supplementary Edition”, Now Available.

    An additional 15 pages and now 189 A4 pages. A modern book, solidly spiral wire bound with substantial covers for easy lay-flat reading. A quality Kiwi product which will surely outlast anything glued up in China. A transparent protective front cover is included and this can be turned over to the rear to form a folder for notes or whatever.

    Full price, $34.50. GST included. N.B. $6.00 of which will be donated to The Roaring Season. Courier/postage will be charged extra at cost. The remainder of the mark up is reserved for the safe keeping of the Watson rotary aero engine and artefacts displayed in Wanaka, as is referred to within the book.

    Market value? A well worn copy of the 2005 edition is/was available from the Dead Souls Bookshop, Dunedin, at $128.50. LOL A decade ago hungry book shops sold the original edition for $45.00 and more!

    There is no desire to profit from the printing of the book, all of the text, setting up and graphics from which the book has been printed, have been produced personally. Hence the very reasonable price and the included donation to The Roaring Season.

    Send the writer a personal message Including RS user name, a valid email address, name and postal address and you will receive an invoice showing a bank account number and on payment books will be dispatched by Courier/Post.
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    Last edited by Trevor Sheffield; 06-19-2019 at 09:59 AM. Reason: Typo

  2. #2
    Unfortunately my wife has been involved in a multiple car accident caused by a drunk driver, while she was taking a granddaughter we are caring for to school. The car is a write off but my wife and granddaughter are only slightly hurt. Regrettably, attending to this will delay my attention in respect of book sales.

  3. #3
    sorry to hear your bad news Trevor. you are doing the right thing. keep your chin up, regards to the unlucky ones.

  4. #4
    Semi-Pro Racer Spgeti's Avatar
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    That’s a shock Trevor. Hope everyone is ok. I would be interested in purchasing so will send you a PM.

    Regards
    Bruce Dyer

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor Sheffield View Post
    Unfortunately my wife has been involved in a multiple car accident caused by a drunk driver, while she was taking a granddaughter we are caring for to school. The car is a write off but my wife and granddaughter are only slightly hurt. Regrettably, attending to this will delay my attention in respect of book sales.
    Hi, Trevor, is it possible to purchase the aditional fifteen pages to add to my existing copy, would be an awsome update to a brilliant tome

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Hirst View Post
    Hi, Trevor, is it possible to purchase the aditional fifteen pages to add to my existing copy, would be an awsome update to a brilliant tome
    Unfortunately printing and posting the fifteen pages would cost nearly as much as suppling a complete book. It would be possible to send you a PDF but this would involve me in hassle which I can do without at the moment. What is more RS would miss out on a donation. LOL

  7. #7
    Semi-Pro Racer Spgeti's Avatar
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    Thank you Trevor, arrived safely and started reading the book again. Yes I do have the original as well.

    Kind Regards

  8. #8
    The Lycoming Special and Classic Bovine Manure.

    The introduction to the first and all editions off my book, “Ralph Watson Special Engineer”, for very good reason includes the following statement:-

    In the past, a number of articles have been published including incorrect information covering Ralph’s cars and projects, much to his annoyance. An important object of this publication is to correct this trend, which unfortunately continues sometimes involving amplification and reiteration.

    Once again my old dear friend’s reputation has been detracted as a result of incorrect, contrived definitive statements being commercially published concerning the Lycoming Special.

    1. The top speed of the car has never been reliably timed or verified and all quoted speeds are estimated.

    2. The steering column was not easily detachable with adjustable rake.

    3. Special cylinders from a supercharged Lycoming US Airforce fighter plane were not fitted. Fantastic fantasy.

    4. The de Dion rear end does not use a modified Watt’s link. This is a misconception continually presented and therefore for this good reason is carefully explained in my book.

    5. What is more the mechanism certainly does not provide vertical location. LOL How stupid can one get?

    6. There was certainly no Morris Oxford torsion bar controlling the rear suspension which could be adjusted from the cockpit.

    7. The statement that a gearbox was installed back to front to achieve overdrive implies that Ralph was stupid and surely illustrates the lack of knowledge, technical ability and accuracy involved in the writing of the article. The gearbox was in fact ingeniously and drastically modified enabling drive to be applied to the layshaft. As a result top gear in effect became an overdrive.

    8. The car did not comprise or embody a space frame chassis as is twice claimed in error. The car was conceived as a twin tube backbone chassis with cross members. Extra bracing was achieved by carefully designing the required upper structure. A full space frame chassis was ruled out due to the requirement of reasonable access to dual seating.

    9. Johny Morrell definitely did not style or have anything to do with the shape of the body. His excellent work and special ability was confined to producing the curved panel work, all in accordance with Ralph’s requirements and instructions. Ralph personally designed every aspect of the Lycoming Special.

    During the cars conception and before the project actually commenced, during personal discussions, I vividly recall a plasticine model sitting on a shelf, or was it the widow sill, of Ralph’s workshop in Mount Albert. It was scaled in order to utilise Dinky Toy wheels and tyres as a means of convenience. The final body design did not depart from this original small model, which probably still exists amongst his absconded personal possessions.

    10. The car was certainly not dependant on A40 sourced brakes, another slight on Ralph’s ability. As one would expect, the original drum brake system was specially built and carefully designed.

    11. The brakes were not operated by twin master cylinders. At the rear a mechanical system was used and incidentally provided the additional advantage of enabling simple hand brake operation.

    12. Brake pressure front to rear was not adjusted by a clever linkage system combined with a hand brake-levver arrangement.

    13. The Lycoming Special won the N.Z. sports car championship four times rather than twice.

    14. It is stated that Watson made and designed a rotary valve aeroplane engine. LOL! Never mind proper accurate and correct acknowledgement of what he himself considered his most important and satisfying project. He was the only person in the world able to successfully design and build an efficient reliable rotary valve internal combustion engine, as proven with his still in use BSA Special.
    Last edited by Trevor Sheffield; 07-11-2019 at 05:20 PM. Reason: Several additional errors outlined.

  9. #9
    Very well put Trevor.

  10. #10
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    The Ralph Watson Lycoming Special - sports car

    Trevor, thanks for the extra information.
    I must order your book,will PM my Email address to sort out details - away from home base at the moment.

    The cars exploits were well documented in the Magazine " Sports Car Talk "published by the Sports car Club of New Zealand in the 1980's . I believe most of the information came from Ralph Watson.
    My copy of that magazine was given to me, and I have lent it to Steve Holmes for his recently published book.

    Name:  Lycoming Story #1, Cover Sports Car Ralk 1984 CCI12112016_0011 (564x800).jpg
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    Name:  Lycoming Story #8 Specifications CCI12112016 (564x800).jpg
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    These and the rest of the article was put on TRS on one of my threads - need to see which one either Pukekohe or the NSCC thread !!
    Last edited by Roger Dowding; 07-12-2019 at 06:10 AM.

  11. #11
    OK Roger,

    Ralph's self written articles as appeared in "Sports Car Talk" form an important part of "Ralph Watson Special Engineer". It is significant and especially unfortunate that a substitute for the early only briefly available honest and accurate publication, has not continued to be available. The introduction to "Sports Car World" headed, "For Your Eyes Alone" tells it all.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Oldfart View Post
    Very well put Trevor.
    From one very old fart, to another less severely gaseous, - thanks.

    In anger I have agin read the classically published manure and suggest that those who are intent on facts, should please agin read my earlier, now edited post. The appalling list of errors requiring correction, has of necessity been considerably increased and now totals fourteen in number.

    It also saddens and aggravates me, that a self proclaimed journalist resists the courteous use of the appropriate words "the late", in respect of my dear old friend.

    N.B. By vivid contrast, I have just purchased a copy of "Historic New Zealand Racing Cars" and am happy to congratulate Steve Holmes for producing a truly professional and attractive publication.
    Last edited by Trevor Sheffield; 07-11-2019 at 05:36 PM. Reason: Typo

  13. #13
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Manure B S and other terms. and Thanks Trevor Sheffield.

    Trevor,
    I am pleased, make that delighted to receive your Book. Will be a great read. I have read pieces from your
    " link " which sits on my top bar of my laptop to go to at any time.
    As I have mentioned I much prefer ' call me old fashioned ' maybe " Oldfarted too " to have a paper version of what i am reading, easy to flick back and forth, put bookmarks or notes where ever I want.

    Trevor I also agree with you and the real " Oldfart " about manure [ have been guilty of incorrect information myself - and appreciate being corrected, and learning the truth ] and your comment copied below;

    " N.B. By vivid contrast, I have just purchased a copy of "Historic New Zealand Racing Cars" and am happy to congratulate Steve Holmes for producing a truly professional and attractive publication. "

    I have also purchased Steve's book so much reading to do.

    Bought yesterday as well is the latest issue of Classic Driver, with a good tribute to Wal Willmot and also an article on Waimate - 1959 - 1966 both by Allan Dick - had read about it in the Book[let]
    " The Racing Years 1959 - 1966 - the History of the Waimate 50 " by the South Canterbury Car Club which I was kindly given by Spgeti a few years ago, to accompany my Dunedin Street Races book[ let ] by Scott Thomson and the Otago Sports Car Club from 1983.

    With Trevor's great book and Steve's my NZ Motorsport Collection has had a bit of a boost - looking forward to more.

    As an aside - I think Trevor should write a bit about his own racing exploits - maybe a story on TRS.

    Meanwhile as part of the aside ;
    Here is Trevor in his competition days ;
    From one of my books " 30 years of Grand Prix - Ardmore - Pukekohe 1953 - 1983 "

    From 1964 I understand ;

    Name:  Motor racing Pukekohe 1964 Trevor Sheffield Daimler SP250 # 3. 25CCI21072015 (3) (382x500).jpg
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    The full page from the book :

    Name:  Motor racing Pukekohe 1964 Trevor Sheffield Daimler SP250 # 3. 25CCI21072015 (3) (640x377).jpg
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    1965 from the Gold Leaf Three Hour Race - Peter Bruin photo BMC BOY archives.
    Name:  AH Pukekohe 1965 Healey-at-Wills-Gold-leaf-C P Bruin #1, Ross Cammick (2) (800x472).jpg
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  14. #14
    Don't forget that Trevor also had a Coopr S and was probably one of the first in the world to compete with a Subaru. (FF1 )

  15. #15
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldfart View Post
    Don't forget that Trevor also had a Cooper S and was probably one of the first in the world to compete with a Subaru. (FF1 )
    Seem to remember Trevor commenting about the Cowsh*t on the starting ramp at Cosseys Hillclimb too !. now to go and check ..

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Dowding View Post
    Seem to remember Trevor commenting about the Cowsh*t on the starting ramp at Cosseys Hillclimb too !. now to go and check ..
    Not to bother Roger and do not endanger yourself towards an accusation of hate speech. The stuff involved was defined perfectly acceptably as bovine manure. But I do suggest caution.

    Even though it is normal within the world of the farmyard for only cows to secrete milk, hence the milking shed, it is not politically acceptable, i.e. correct, to make assumptions involving sex. In this day and age green city folk claim that sex as a status can not be decided, much less defined or declared and the excreters should not be assumed female. Both bulls and cows excrete a slippery substance but is certainly the latter that often become the subject of apt description. BS in a cow shed! LOL

  17. #17
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    B S and manure

    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor Sheffield View Post
    Not to bother Roger and do not endanger yourself towards an accusation of hate speech. The stuff involved was defined perfectly acceptably as bovine manure. But I do suggest caution.

    Even though it is normal within the world of the farmyard for only cows to secrete milk, hence the milking shed, it is not politically acceptable, i.e. correct, to make assumptions involving sex. In this day and age green city folk claim that sex as a status can not be decided, much less defined or declared and the excreters should not be assumed female. Both bulls and cows excrete a slippery substance but is certainly the latter that often become the subject of apt description. BS in a cow shed! LOL
    Love it Trevor .. and will be careful about the PC hate speech..

    Meanwhile the road in question - farm road that is -- now a sealed road with a different shape that goes to and past Michael Clark's home in Drury ..
    From 1967 - posted before ;

    Name:  NSCC # 1170 Cosseys Hill climb article 1967 # The track.jpg
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    The stated Bovine Manure [ B S ] is near where the word start is by the Milking Shed..

  18. #18
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    The Ralph Watson Lycoming Special - sports car

    A photo of Charlie Bensemann driving the Lycoming at Tahuna. the 1971 Beach Races.

    Name:  Motor Racing South Island #93 Tahuna Beach Races 1971 Nelson Photo News P2 NPN123_19710206_018  .jpg
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    Will have to read through Trevor's book so see if any more information on the car at that time.
    Charlie had run the Stanton at earlier [ 1960's ] Beach Races.

  19. #19
    That photo from Tahunanui still shows the signage from Jim Boyd motors so I'm guessing not too long after being sold?

  20. #20
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Charlie Benseman and the Lycoming Special

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldfart View Post
    That photo from Tahunanui still shows the signage from Jim Boyd motors so I'm guessing not too long after being sold?
    Good spotting " Oldfart "Rhys ..

    Does get a mention in Trevor's Book - just read about it last night ..

    " 02/01/71 ... DR Filter Cup, placed second. Nelson Provincial Championship, placed 3rd "

    " 09/01/71 ... NZ Champioship, third. Invitation Scratch race, placed first "

    " Driver in the above beach races, C. Benseman ".

    Ralph Smith notes in the book
    " It is believed that Don Peddie had purchased the car in Wellington from Jim Boyd by way of part exchange for a Jaguar XK120 ".

    There is further comment from the Book " The Tahunanui Beach Motor Racing Years of the Nelson Car Club, 1949 - 1977 " by Mike Stephens.

    This book : Cover only provided by Graham Woods - who has an amazing archive of NZ Motorsport History

    Name:  Motoring Books #205 B Mike Stephens The Tahunanui Beach Motor Racing Years Graham Woods archives.jpg
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    Ralph Smith notes that Charlie had rebuilt the Lycoming for Don around the time 1970 ..

    Trevor thanks again for your book - it is getting read and re-read - everytime another photo or details appears.

    Car was also driven by a John Wiffen in 1968 - the " Bridge Pa quarter mile sprints FTD at 14.4 seconds - 24/10/68." comment abridged..

    Car was rebuilt again in later years after 1981/82 - was definitely finished in early 1984 .. by then under Ralph Smiths ownership.
    My own photo of the car at Dunedin in January 1984.

    Name:  Dunedin Festival 1984 Lycoming Ralph Smith CCI09102015_0004 (800x543).jpg
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    Otago Daily Times photo the same event.

    Name:  Dunedin Festival 1984 The Lycoming ODT photo CCI23092015_0001 (800x454).jpg
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    More reading to do - and more photo's to find !!
    Last edited by Roger Dowding; 07-29-2019 at 12:02 AM.

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