For 2017 we are making a start on an Opel Manta A rally car build. You can follow the build in the Preparation section HERE.
It will be a 1600cc historic rally car when finished but the first job is going to be getting the shell repaired and reinforced. This week I have made a start on designing the bespoke roll cage for the car using 45mm cds.
The standard fuel tank has been replaced by a centrally mounted unit in the boot. All the glass in the doors is being replaced by polycarbonate as this was one of the modifications that Rootes did to the London to Sydney Marathon cars in an effort to reduce the overall weight of the car.
Re-assembly of the car started in the Spring. The rear suspension has been uprated with stiffer leaf springs and Bilstein dampers. At the front the McPherson struts have been modified by Cornering Force, a company in Harrogate who specialise in design and building race and rally suspension. The struts have been re-tubed, Bilstein inserts installed, uprated front springs and heavy duty top mounts fitted. The front cross member has been reinforced and extra mountings fitted for the sump guard.
The engine is the 1725 cc Holbay unit from the Hunter GLS. It differs from the standard engine with revised combustion chambers, gas flowed inlet and exhaust ports and a high lift camshaft. It runs on a pair of Weber 40 DCOE carbs and has a four branch tubular exhaust manifold. The engine has been fully rebuilt by Richard Guy who built the engine for the original London to Sydney Marathon car.
Rallying so the interior trim has to remain in the car and some ‘comfortable’ seats for driver and navigator fitted. Full harnesses seat belts and fire extinguishers have been installed along with navigational equipment which includes a Brantz Tripmeter, Brantz Clock and map light.
The car runs on 6x13 Minilite Style wheels with Vredestein Quadtrac Winter Tyres for dealing with both tarmac and loose surface tests.
Last weekend the car was entered on the Stocktonian Targa Rally at the weekend as a shakedown for the Rally of the Tests and for Simon and new navigator Nick Pullan for the Rally of the Tests. After a steady run throughout the day they finished the 16 test event without any major problems.
The car is now on it’s way down to the start on Thursday in Bournemouth, keep your eyes on our facebook page for daily reports on the 4 day event which finishes in Chester on Sunday.
See below for the Championship standings after the first round. The next event is the Dixies Historic Challenge on Epynt which will be held over the May Day weekend.
Pete Williams and Jim Goodman returned to Melbourne airfield for the John Overend stages on Sunday, hoping to repeat the success from their previous visit. Things were looking good by the lunch halt (after 4 stages) as the crew had managed to pull out a 6 second lead on class rivals Lorraine Leeming and Karen Fitz-Simons in their MK1 escort despite a loose HT lead on stage 2, causing the crew to loose 4 minutes. However the afternoon stages were plagued by intermittent missfire and ignition problems forcing them to give up their class lead and settle for a hard fought 2nd in class and 21st overall. The crew now take an 18 point class lead in the Melbourne Challenge championship into the final round the Vale of York stages on September 13th and are tied for overall honors with fellow York motor club cometitiors Alan Kitson and John Roberts in their Hillman Avenger.
Despite the wet and cold weather of the Welsh ranges, the crew of Simon Malins and Colin Tombs brought their Vauxhall Firenza home in 38th place securing 1st in class C5. The 10 grueling stages gave the duo little trouble on their first outing over the Epynt stages in over 15 years.
Unfortunately we have no pictures or video of the car on stage but if anyone has any, the crew would be very keen to see them.
Simon and Colin have had a very rewarding shakedown test today at the Blyton Park circuit in preparation for their assault on the tarmac rounds of the HRCR historic championship later this year.
the first event will be the mini epynt stages on the 3rd of may