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Thread: Repowered Classics

  1. #1
    World Champion ERC's Avatar
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    Repowered Classics

    I think is a subject that hopefully will elicit a total mix of views and a lively response.

    I'll kick off and set the scene as I see it and I'll see what happens.

    Using a Ford Escort as a good example, it is one where the level of purity can go from one extreme to the other.

    1) Schedule K/Appendix K - pure cars as they were, 100% period, probably with a provenance (Race or Rally). Probably with extensive documentation and maybe even a race or rally history. In truth, probably worth good money.

    2) A T & C Escort with period modifications or a replica built at any time, and covered by current T & C rules. In other words, someone can drop a period twin cam into a basic shell, adorn it with appropriate badges.

    At this point, the Commission are happy enough, as the rules are clear cut and no one is ever really going to object too much (though I am not so sure owners of genuine AC Cobras vs Cobra replicas would see it that way...)

    We then come to the repower issues which is less clear cut and is what needs a full discussion.

    3) Ford Escort powered by a modern Ford (Zetec?) engine, but to a casual observer, a lookalike.

    4) Ford Escort powerd by a period Ford V8, built in period and therefore with a local history.

    5) As above, Ford Escort powered by a period Ford V8, but built last year.

    6) Ford Escort powerd by the Ford Essex V6 ie a period engine from the same basic make but not a model that was ever produced. (Some Ford anorak will tell me that they did, but for the purposes of this thread, assume that they didn't, but could have done!)

    7) Ford Escort powered by a period (ie pre 1980 or whatever) Rover V8, Fiat Twin Cam, Mazda Rotary, period Toyota/Ford 5 speed gearbox and all period parts, but not a specific model that was built in period, but could have been.

    8) Ford Escort powered by a modern Nissan, Lexus, Honda engine with sequential gearbox and a load of modern goodies.

    I think that from that list, you can see that the commission are faced with philosophical problems that then impact on drivers/car builders.

    Having built a car that falls basically into category 6 above, supported by the marque club I might add, it is now in no man's land.

    Looks like a classic, built from classic bits, but obviously not a classic. Period special? Maybe. Hot Rod? Not in my eyes, but certainly in the eyes of others. Wasn't built in period so no history, can't do it now.

    No way is it a "Club Car" banished to go out mixing it with modern Subarus, Evos and Hondas. It looks wrong there, feels wrong and to me, is wrong, but that is where many see it sitting. The fact that an original 1950's classic bodyshell is now almost irreplacable (trims certainly are), means that it shouldn't really be on the track with the modern biff and bash brigade either.

    This site is full of cars from the past (here and the UK) that were one offs and always proved popular. Build one now, and you are in no mans land as the NZ scene seems to be getting too bland. Far easier to go out and build yet another boring Escort or Falcodore or stuff a Ford V8 into a Capri and call it a Perana.

    I'll throw it open as I know it is a can of worms, (or is it?) so let me just add, that if a race/rally meeting organiser or series committtee or marque club accepts a car, should that be the end of it, or not? Should it still be accorded some form of classic status under CR for example or a separate category created? RS Retro Saloon?

    Sits back and waits for the fur to fly...
    Last edited by ERC; 12-09-2012 at 09:27 PM. Reason: typos - as always...

  2. #2
    ERC PM sent
    Last edited by Oldfart; 12-09-2012 at 09:23 PM.

  3. #3
    Add to the list Schedule RH which allows for some non performance changes of product to be used. As an example any live rear axle assembly (usually Hi Lux) as a direct subsitute for an Atlas assembly. The Hi lux one can be purchased complete with a LSD for around $250 whilst the Atlas assembly which came out of the Capri needs around $1500 as a start figure just for the LSD unit. There is no performance gain from the Hi Lux one and it all looks the same when it is set up and in the car but it is readliy available and inexpensive.

    Perhaps the sticking point is that NZ works to a period ending 31 December 1986 whilst Europe and Australia work to a period ending 31 December 1981. For what it is worth, many of the UK competitors that I am associated with think that except for the date, NZ is on the correct track with the schedule as opposed to Africa and some countries in Europe where they allow things like cannister shock absorbers to be fitted. The UK/Europe date is set to pre 4WD introduction such as the Quattro into world rallying while the NZ date is set to the pre Group B introduction date.

  4. #4
    World Champion ERC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldfart View Post
    ERC PM sent
    Responded!

  5. #5
    Ray thats the way it was once ,when racing was exciting cars passing not follow the leader with parity this and parity that today,I think the greenies are to blame,some time back I asked Eric Mal. why dont we cut all that scrub back between the pits and the track ,we used to see the cars come over Rothmans once a pon a time ,not that long ago hell no we cant do that its for the envirment,.Excuse me asking why do we all need to know such and such sent a PM????

  6. #6
    World Champion ERC's Avatar
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    Can we please keep to the topic?

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    ERC... I have removed offending reply to Jim's statement,will not trouble 'your' thread again !!!.....sadley thats a promise....thunder427/MJ

  8. #8
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    thunder427, on topic posts are always welcomed on any thread by any poster! Too often, threads are totally derailed and hijacked, so if you have an observation about the base topic, I and many others would be keen to read it as that is what shapes our opinions and also the way forwards. Your original post was totally valid - but maybe on the safety thread instead of one about cars with non original engines?

    Within our own series, we have had queries raised about "fake" Lotus Cortina engines for example, using modern components and this is seen as needing open discussion, when cars such as Jo' Hill's Triumph Herald Coupe V8 are specifically excluded from the Commission's rulings, as there is no category for them.

  9. #9
    I suppose Ray it is all a matter of degree and when it crosses the line that turns a car from a "classic" into a look-alike "hot-rod" with non-period and possible different marque components. Everyone will have a different opinion on where that cross over line is but the current position under the MSNZ regulations seems to be relatively restrictive in that it tries to preserve the integrity of the format of a period configuration. It allows "modification" that enables the likes of an Escort 1100 to be changed into a Twin Cam but it should be in the configuration of a period Twin Cam. Where it starts to get grey is when that so-called period Twin Cam starts to gain performance "improvements" that never existed in period.
    The next step is the re-power you talk about and all the other like changes that go along with the re-power. I think there is a distinction between a re-power that recreates a period configuration (the Escort 1100 into Twin Cam example) and something that never happened in period. There is nothing to stop people doing these more radical modifications but the problem for them is finding a home to race their cars.
    I haven't a problem with genuine period "hot rod" cars being classified as classics (as long as they are the real car and are fundamentally in period configuration) but I think it is pushing the classic boundary to use the existence of these genuine cars as the reason or excuse to build up any mixture of past, period and modern components and then try and pass it off as a classic car.
    I know what your response is going to be and agree that a number of current cars with CODs are not that far from what has been described above.

  10. #10
    World Champion ERC's Avatar
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    For me Roger, the point where it fails to be a classic is where the major components (engine, gearbox etc) are modern, as opposed to a car built out of period parts, that may or may not have been built in period.

    One commission member has quoted an example of an Austin Seven repowered by a pre 1980's rotary engine. On the one hand, it is all period parts but against that is the somewhat vague "Spirit of the Regulations".

    As you are aware, our series does allow repowers to run, but under somewhat stricter and more specific rules than for ordinary cars (they have to be currently road registered as opposed to just to "WoF standard"). We don't allow modern engines but it hasn't stopped us being approached by Triumph 2.5PI Nissan, Reliant Scimitar Holden etc which have been refused!

    We would not allow the Austin 7/Rotary either (Japanese engine...), but we do allow Jo's Herald (Rover engine). The drivers have the final say anyway, as over 15% protesting a car eliminates it from the series and we have a strict maximum of 5 repowered cars per season. Significantly, we have never reached that limit so rather than being overrun by "Hot Rods" as some doomsayers predicted, we have been overrun by "Peranas" instead! When we had one (Neil Tolich) it was fine, but now we have about 5 or 6. Most of the others would have cost the builders a lot less than I have forked out for my car too and their parts are more readily available.

    I totally accept that there is a degree of classic boundary pushing involved and unless robust rules are in place, it could be a disaster, but the final say has to be "who is going to let them run?" Appendix K & Schedule K have not seen a massive increase in dragging cars out of sheds and less than 7% of our 111 cars have a K CoD. That is the reality. The other reality surrounding classic racing is not the cars but driving standards.

    We are lucky in that overall, driving standards are pretty good, given the level at which we compete and the sheer numbers on the track. At Sunday's meeting, I think we had 30 cars in each of our two grids and to the best of my knowledge, the racing was extremely close but no panel damage was reported to me. In recent times, most panel damage has involved very pure cars where the drivers have deep enough pockets to pay for their own damage but sadly, can inflict considerable damage on those less able to pay, so I don't accept the oft toted argument that those running "hot rods" won't respect the purer cars. The reverse is often the case.

    I am interested in the views of others, as so far, I seem to be fighting a lonely battle to get some sort of acceptance that my car and others like it are currently in a no mans land and do fit at a classic meeting and need to be classified accordingly.
    Last edited by ERC; 12-10-2012 at 09:19 PM.

  11. #11
    Ray at the moment I have a 1972 Alfa Berlina with a worn motor,plus I have a good spare 3.5 Rover mtr. for my Spyder that will prob. never be used what would I be able to run a V8 Alfa in ?please note V8 Alfas have been about for quite some time, just food for thought..

  12. #12
    World Champion ERC's Avatar
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    Jim, we would consider that as acceptable provided it was 100% road legal. The LVVTA hoops, whatever their shortcomings, do at least ensure that transplants are up to an acceptable safety standard.

    As far as we are concerned, period engine plus period bodyshell equates to what could have run in period. The fact that it didn't is not something we are concerned about - but others are. Whether anyone else would let you run would be entirely up to them.

    If I resigned from running our series (it will have to happen one day) then there is nothing stopping the successor(s) from changing the series rules and banning everything except Schedule K. I have no problem whatever with that, as any series is only going to survive if there are enough drivers supporting it and race organisers are happy to invite them.

  13. #13
    Ray this is the type of car that is missing today,thanks to TCCOC ,but thank God they were not around when all those hybrid cars were built, each one of them Coppens Mk 2,Chev coupes.to many to list, and fifty years on still talked about.Road legal is no problem and to changing the rules whats new?

  14. #14
    I wonder if a seies called "allcomers" has any place today?
    928

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    928, there is already a class for these cars, they are called club cars!
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    Quote Originally Posted by 928 View Post
    I wonder if a seies called "allcomers" has any place today?
    928

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by jim short View Post
    Ray this is the type of car that is missing today,thanks to TCCOC ,but thank God they were not around when all those hybrid cars were built, each one of them Coppens Mk 2,Chev coupes.to many to list, and fifty years on still talked about.Road legal is no problem and to changing the rules whats new?
    Hey Jim don't blame TACCOC that these types of cars didn't and don't have a home. TACCOC catered for a particular type of car and it was their prerogative as a club to decide what type of cars they allowed. TACCOC didn't force people to come and race in their events. You may not have liked the decision that TACCOC made but I assume that any club or organisation can make rules and regulations that are supported by the majority of the club's members.
    If there is anything to blame it was the fact that there apparently weren't any other "classic" clubs that catered for these types of cars either. The same applies today - apart from the odd one in Ray's series the only home for them, as Racer Rog says, is non-classic clubmans.

  17. #17
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    We were part of all TACCOC meetings for many years without problems - generally. They had the right then and have the right now to accept or decline any race entry as does any other club/promoter.

    Four or five years ago, following a conference vote I believe, to make CoD's compulsory for classic meetings, TACCOC had the good grace to ring me at the beginning of the season, to say that as from the beginning of the following season, CoD's were compulsory.

    At that point, we simply stated that as a Series, we were not prepared to make CoD's compulsory. TACCOC had previously stated that they would not accept certain cars we allowed, including Jo Hill's Triumph and Rogan Hampson's Ohlsen Cobra. At that point we effectively pulled out of TACCOC meetings, though there was no problem in them accepting cars that conformed. You either invite a Series or you do not. What you cannot do is invite an established series - then try and tell them which cars can and can't run.

    I have absolutely no problem with that. In more recent times, they have put on events (including Sundays') for BMWs and ERC cars and that is also fine. They don't have to like the cars as they are simply acting as promoters.

    When/if there is a demand for repowered cars and there are enough to form a grid, we'll do just that, but at the moment, we'll accept them within our existing groups as there are spaces on the grid and because we want to encourage them. Whilst I agree, motorsport was more colourful in the past and we are doing our bit to make it more varied, it is totally wrong to blame TACCOC for any perceived action that is contrary to their beliefs.

    We don't accept modern Japanese cars because we are primarily a series for European Cars and there is already a place for Japanese Classics. Modern Jappas run at Club meetings.

    Where I differ from TACCOC and many others as stated before, is that I believe a period repower belongs at a classic meeting. Many do not, hence this thread. Fortunately we do have a series in which they can run - for now, but they are not accepted as T & C conforming cars and would not qualify for a CoD even if they wanted one.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by ERC View Post
    We were part of all TACCOC meetings for many years without problems - generally. They had the right then and have the right now to accept or decline any race entry as does any other club/promoter.

    Four or five years ago, following a conference vote I believe, to make CoD's compulsory for classic meetings, TACCOC had the good grace to ring me at the beginning of the season, to say that as from the beginning of the following season, CoD's were compulsory.

    At that point, we simply stated that as a Series, we were not prepared to make CoD's compulsory. TACCOC had previously stated that they would not accept certain cars we allowed, including Jo Hill's Triumph and Rogan Hampson's Ohlsen Cobra. At that point we effectively pulled out of TACCOC meetings, though there was no problem in them accepting cars that conformed. You either invite a Series or you do not. What you cannot do is invite an established series - then try and tell them which cars can and can't run.

    I have absolutely no problem with that. In more recent times, they have put on events (including Sundays') for BMWs and ERC cars and that is also fine. They don't have to like the cars as they are simply acting as promoters.

    When/if there is a demand for repowered cars and there are enough to form a grid, we'll do just that, but at the moment, we'll accept them within our existing groups as there are spaces on the grid and because we want to encourage them. Whilst I agree, motorsport was more colourful in the past and we are doing our bit to make it more varied, it is totally wrong to blame TACCOC for any perceived action that is contrary to their beliefs.

    We don't accept modern Japanese cars because we are primarily a series for European Cars and there is already a place for Japanese Classics. Modern Jappas run at Club meetings.

    Where I differ from TACCOC and many others as stated before, is that I believe a period repower belongs at a classic meeting. Many do not, hence this thread. Fortunately we do have a series in which they can run - for now, but they are not accepted as T & C conforming cars and would not qualify for a CoD even if they wanted one.
    So can that Alfa of Peter Sunberg run,,the aero Riley the Ferrari GTO thats just been built.The Cobra was built with Shelbys help and so on????

  19. #19
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    The Alfa & Riley are running under VCC. The Ohlsen Cobra runs with us anyway. If Mr H were to bring along the 'GTO', it is a Ferrari powered car and is no more of a problem to me, than make believe Lotus Cortinas, Peranas or Mini Cooper S.

    If they wanted to run with us, then I'd be more than happy to consider them. I generally look for reasons to include rather than exclude cars. The Riley is a magnificent creation and appears to be acccepted by VCC who seem to have a philosophy similar to my own. I doubt the H & C Commission would accept it, as it wasn't built in period, hence this thread...

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by ERC View Post
    The Alfa & Riley are running under VCC. The Ohlsen Cobra runs with us anyway. If Mr H were to bring along the 'GTO', it is a Ferrari powered car and is no more of a problem to me, than make believe Lotus Cortinas, Peranas or Mini Cooper S.

    If they wanted to run with us, then I'd be more than happy to consider them. I generally look for reasons to include rather than exclude cars. The Riley is a magnificent creation and appears to be acccepted by VCC who seem to have a philosophy similar to my own. I doubt the H & C Commission would accept it, as it wasn't built in period, hence this thread...
    Sorry Ray can they run at a TACCOC meeting is what I meant??

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