Lotus Talbot Sunbeam:
Nearing completion this car is fitted with a 2.2 Litre 16 valve Lotus Engine, sequential 6 speed transmission and an atlas axle. Over the past 12 months we have been installing the engine, transmission and suspension. With a lot of bespoke components to design and make it has taken longer than anticipated. It will soon be leaving us to have a custom exhaust manifold/system fitted and completion of the wiring loom.
Opel Manta A:
This one is also near to being finished. The car is built to a specification for Historic Road Rallying. Its 1600 cc engine is now installed and currently being plumbed in. The rear axle which has a 4.22 LSD and steel torque tube is ready to install. The interior has been fitted out with a comprehensive set of navigational and timing equipment which is vital for the regularity sections of Historic Road Rallies. The bespoke wiring loom has been designed and fitted in-house. If all goes to plan it should be out on its first event later in the year.
Martin Group Firenza:
The Firenza is currently being prepared for the 2019 Roger Albert Clark Rally in November. Having originally been built as a tarmac car it is being strengthened to withstand the gravel roads used on the R.A.C. Rally. Along with strengthened suspension components the car is being treated to a new engine built by AMAC Engineering. The Salisbury 4HA Axle is currently at Ian Jemison’s having a health check and a new rocket gearbox is on order. The plan is to have the car ready in time to run it in and have a couple of testing sessions prior to the November event.
Martin Group Bedford CF Service Van:
Whilst not strictly in the workshop (we don’t have enough room for it!) the van is being fitted out ready to support Simon Malins’ Firenza on the R.A.C. Rally. Next job is to fabricate the roof rack to accommodate the wheels/tyres required for the event. It should make quite a sight on the event alongside the Firenza and hopefully bring back some memories of the 70’s when the late George Hill drove the original Martin Group Firenza on what was then the Lombard RAC Rally.
News from competitors:
Simon Malins in his Hillman Hunter has been competing in the HRCR Clubmans Road Rally Championship this year and is currently lying 3rd in class after the first 4 rounds. The season kicked off with the Tour of Cheshire in early March and then moved to Yorkshire for the North Yorkshire Classic and Ilkley Jubilee rallies. The Hunter, now in its 3rd year of competition and has retained its 100% finishing record. 18th overall on the Tour of Cheshire was a good start to the year especially as Simon had a new navigator, Ian Doble sitting in the left hand seat for the event. With no more than a spanner check it was off to the North Yorkshire Classic with another new navigator, John Youd this time guiding him on a route around York. A missed code board and an excursion off route contributed to a disappointing final result of 32rd overall. It was evident that the Hunter needed some work to the brakes and axle. Back in the workshop the axle was stripped and we found that the LSD had lost its pre-load so it was taken down to Gripper in Coventry where they offer a great rebuild while you wait service. Oil was also leaking onto one of the rear brakes so new bearings/seals were fitted and a seized up handbrake adjuster sorted. The Hunter was now ready for Simon and yes, you guessed it a 3rd new navigator, Suzanne Barker, to tackle the Ilkley Jubilee Rally. With the Hunter now handling and stopping better than it ever has 20th overall was another good result and more class points for Simon in the HRCR Clubmans Championship. The next round is the East Anglian Classic at the end of the month.
In the welding bay is a Vauxhall Chevette Saloon which is being restored to a ‘fast road’ spec. The plan is to fit a group 4 big arch kit, Opel Manta rear axle and a Ford 5 speed gearbox. Power plant is probably going to be a Ford Pinto but other options can be considered. The finished car will be for sale so if you are interested in owning a useable performance classic that’s a bit different please call Ryan on ………
Future builds in the pipeline include a Viva HB Historic Stage Rally Car, a Group 4 Chevette HS and a Vauxhall Magnum 2300 Historic Rally Car.