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Thread: Resurrecting a NZ built racing special

  1. #1

    Resurrecting a NZ built racing special

    Some may have seen this on another thread but I think it should have a post of its own. I will be resurrecting an old NZ built Clubman style race car. I have no real history on the car so feel free to add comments and any thoughts you have on its origins and former owners.

  2. #2
    the car came up for sale on Trade me at the right time I had just finished a suspension rebuild on my C4 Corvette and was looking for some thing new to put some work into and having always wanted to get into Classic or historic racing at a level that would be within my budget and limited driving ability it seemed to tick all my box's, so I contacted the seller and with his description and a few photos a deal was done and he arranged to have it shipped from the North Island to my home in Waimate. the car has not been raced for quite a while and has no history with it but it seems to be an older build from maybe the late 60s or 70s. the main components seem to be typical of the Clubman type cars of that time. it has a pre crossflow ford engine with 2 Webers an Anglia bell housing and gearbox and a standard 10 live diff on coils and standard 10 front suspension. when it arrived I charged the battery drained the fuel tank and added fresh gas, checked the oil and filled the cooling system with fresh water and it fired up. it is running rough so it will need a good tune up and plugs ect but I am more than happy with the way it runs with no smoke or expensive noises. the car will need a bit of a rebuild as some of the older welding and a few repair's will need redoing and the brakes and lines will need rebuilt along with a tidy up of the wiring. so over the winter I will strip the car down to the tubes and recondition and rebuild any thing that needs done. My aim is not to change the car too much except for things that effect the safety and what ever I need to do to get it fit for racing and I will try to keep it true to its original build period. so follow along as I post the build and feel free to add comments and your thoughts.Name:  IMG_20211217_133358.jpg
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    Very few people would have used the Standard 8/10 front uprights after 1960 or so...

    They were smaller and flimsier than the Herald uprights, which became available about 1959. Of course, the Standard 10 rear end would have remained in use because the independent rear end of the Herald would have clashed with the basic principles of the Clubman-style of car. And anyway, Lotus 7s had them.

    The placement of the engine kind of defines the design as early sixties. By the mid-sixties the engines started to migrate back and give builders headaches trying to get tail shafts short enough to fit between long gearbox tails and the final drive. I can't say I've ever seen a Clubman with the gearlever having its roots so far forward.

    These cars are great fun to drive, you'll be amazed at its performance and I hope you really enjoy bringing it to life.

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    Thanks for your input Ray you may be right about it being built earlier than I thought as Herald front A arms and uprights would have been a better choice for a later build. the engineering and mounting of the A arms and top spring/shock mounts is a bit untidy and may benefit from adapting something closer to the Herald arrangement [for safety's sake] and should fit within the build period what ever that turns out to be. if the mid 60s is the target then early herald type 12 disk brakes and calipers could be an option as they would have been readily available and state of the art at the time. I will have to think hard about this as I am loathe to change too much unless it adds to the overall historic character of the car. I am open to feedback about this and any ideas from members are welcome.
    I am already enjoying the planning for the build as most of the work should be within my skill set with a little help from my friends and most of the parts and materials are both available and affordable.

  6. #6
    I have worked out a plan of attack for the rebuild and have started ordering new bits and collecting spare parts. the spares have been easy to find so far I found a matching gearbox, starter and generator from a local guy for a little over a hundred bucks and a new old stock clutch and pressure plate for about the same price from a guy in the North Island. I found a set of early Triumph Spitfire rims on a local buy/sell web site and a new friend on the Facebook New Zealand Herald owners club has supplied a pair of reconditioned early type 12 front brake calipers for a good price and another member is sending me uprights hubs and caliper brackets so I can replace the small drums on the front this should be the only major change I will be making to the original layout but the parts are all from 1965 so will still fall within the build ethos. some of the local car guys have been very interested in the project and I have received many offers of help so it looks like this will be a group effort. the front suspension is going to need a bit of a tidy up and some strengthening of the steering rack and A arm mounts [see photos] but over all most of the rebuild work will be reconditioning and repainting the original parts and a rewire and a revamp of the brake lines. I will post photos as I progress with the strip down. I am open to any ideas and comments from members so feel free to jump in with advice.

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  8. #8
    Ride height adjustment system very interesting.

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    not sure if its height adjustment or just a novel way to support the top of the spring and shock, the A arm angles seem to be wrong and the inner top mountings will need to be raised and moved out towards the wheel to put the A arms on the same plane to stop the steering angles from changing with suspension movement I'm trying to work out the correct angles before I start changing any thing, I may have to change a few things and test the movement without the springs installed. all good fun

  10. #10
    not sure if its height adjustment or just a novel way to support the top of the spring and shock, the A arm angles seem to be wrong and the inner top mountings will need to be raised and moved out towards the wheel to put the A arms on the same plane to stop the steering angles from changing with suspension movement I'm trying to work out the correct angles before I start changing any thing, I may have to change a few things and test the movement without the springs installed. all good fun

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by hotrod1 View Post
    not sure if its height adjustment or just a novel way to support the top of the spring and shock, the A arm angles seem to be wrong and the inner top mountings will need to be raised and moved out towards the wheel to put the A arms on the same plane to stop the steering angles from changing with suspension movement I'm trying to work out the correct angles before I start changing any thing, I may have to change a few things and test the movement without the springs installed. all good fun
    Get a copy of "High Speed Low Cost by Alan Staniforth, then build a "string computer" before you permanently change anything!

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    thanks for your comment Oldfart I have been looking for a copy of that book for some time but so far I have had no luck so if anyone has a copy I could purchase please let me know.
    I have been taking measurements of everything so that I have a base point before I start to change anything. because the standard 10 suspension as fitted is very close to the early Herald/Spitfire layout there is a lot of information available on setting up and using this arrangement for both on the street and in many forms of racing ie early Lotus 7s and the like. the A arms have different bushings and chassis attachment points but the uprights and stubs are able to be swapped so changing to disk brakes is a simple task and I will be using Spitfire shocks and shorter upgraded springs with a different top mounting closer to the Spitfire design. this will in turn allow for some adjustment if needed and using off the shelf parts keeps the costs down and the parts are readily available. Keeping the present layout would have been nice from a historical point of view but running out of brakes and a lack of control would take the gloss off racing pretty quick. all parts removed will be kept so if anyone in the future wishes it reinstalled it can be although I think this unlikely.

  13. #13
    The first job in the strip down and revamp process has been removing and sorting the Steering rack, the rack is a shortened early ford unit probably from a Cortina, the center shaft was very loose in the tube on the left hand side due to the support bush collapsing and the pieces had migrated into the tube around the gearing, the strip down reveled that the gearing is in perfect working order so a general cleaning and replacement of the support bush and new rubber boots was all that was needed and I have ordered a pair of new rod ends, so far so good.Name:  IMG_20220128_152126.jpg
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    I think that rack is Herald. Mk1 Cortina had a steering box, not a rack, so did Mark 2. Escort had a rack.

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    MK3 Cortina or early Escort I purchased the Ford support bushing off the shelf and it has Cortina, Capri, escort mounting brackets. I have a Triumph Herald one hanging on the wall and it is quite different but I would have modified it to fit if the one fitted had issues.

  16. #16
    I stand corrected.

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    The type 12 disk brake calipers have arrived, a member of the Triumph Herald / Spitfire owners club supplied these they are rebuilt and will only need a coat of paint, the cost was not much more than a rebuild kit. these are original fitment to 1965/67 Heralds and bolt to the uprights with a mounting bracket after that date Triumph changed the uprights so that the later larger type 14 calipers bolted straight on to the uprights.Name:  IMG_20220123_144548.jpg
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  18. #18
    You're getting into it now!

    What size are the pistons in these calipers? Are the later ones larger? Do you happen to know what size pistons are in Cortina Mk 1 GT calipers?

    Regarding the rack, if it's from a Mk 3 Cortina it would appear the car might have been a later build than first thought...

  19. #19
    Hi Ray the pistons in these type 12 calipers are 42mm across I don't know about the type 14s but the brake pads are the same size the type 14s are larger in size body wise. MK 1 Cortina's also had type 14 calipers and later ones I think had type 16s. the rack mounts look like they may have been redone at some stage so it may have had a Herald one and later been changed I think the Ford rack may have a faster ratio hence the change but who knows. I think a few things may have been changed during the cars life it may have had a side valve engine at first and it looks like it may have been street legal at some stage as it has holes for headlight and taillight mounts and has a speedo cable fitted altho the speedo has been removed in favor of a Rev counter. until I can find out who built it and owned and raced it in the past it is a guessing game but the fun is in the chase. all of these old race cars have been modified over the years so the rebuild will be in the spirit of the 60s.

  20. #20
    According to the Staniforth bible; the ratio of a Ford rack gives 1.5" per turn of the pinion, comes both front and rear versions (ie ahead of or behind the axle line) Herald gives 1.87" (only front available) so a Herald rack is a "faster" rack than a Ford.

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