About the cars
Our main car is a 1937 Riley Special which is based on a Riley Adelphi.
Unlike many Specials, ours has been in this form since the early 1960's, although we don't know exactly when it was first turned into a Special. By 2000 it was looking rather tired and was therefore re-bodied as part of a complete rebuild.
The car has an original 1937 Riley "12/4" engine of 1496cc and drive is provided through a Preselecta gearbox - essentially you choose the gear that you require next, and the clutch becomes a change pedal, transferring drive to the ratio you have already selected. It is an excellent system which works well, provides quick changes and removes the need to double de-clutch and match engine / drive speeds (which takes time and offers the opportunity to miss your gear), however the drawback is that the Preselecta unit is very heavy; not ideal in a race car!
At present the engine runs on a pair of twin 1.5" SU carburetors and in its current trim produces 62hp; we had hoped to upgrage to a full race engine over the winter however unfortunately it is still in bits on the bench. It looks very nice, but it's not helping much at the present! That said, we have made a few minor upgrades and these do seem to be helping - we have almost eliminated the front axle tramp and the fuel starvation, and the cycle wings seem to prefer to finish the race together with the rest of the car rather than going their own way (as they
threatened to do a couple of times last year)!
We have bought a 1931 Austin 7 Special to compete in Hill Climbs.
This car is at the moment undergoing a bit of a rebuild by Simon who has already realigned the steering column so that Sara, his long suffering wife will be able to drive the car along with her Father Clifford who will be competing in his first ever Hill Climb aged 87! The inlet and exhaust manifolds, carburetor and distributor have already been changed with a fuel pump being added. A new dash board has been fitted (made in wood by Clifford) with some new instrument being added as perviously there was no speedometer or rev counter. A new body has now been ordered so "Alex" should look a lot smarted next year!
The Austin is really called Alex but is affectionately being known as "The Shed" as the body work has a little to be desired!
During the winter of 2015 we expanded the garage a bit and added a 1957 Lotus Eleven with an FWB engine. Simon was delighted with the performance of this historic car and will be competing in 2017 with this car as well as the Riley.
The other car that we purchased is another Riley 12/4 Special for Sara to drive, although we are hoping that she will co drive the Lotus with Simon.