Fantastic news and some extra worries, but very exciting times. We have been extremely fortunate and we’ve found a rollcage manufacturer that has had a last minute cancellation. This is great news for us as they have been able to start work on the car straight away.
The wonderful guys at CCK Historic were very excited about the opportunity to get involved with a Bonneville car. We had a very long and in depth planning meeting about the best way to create the rollcage as per the new specifications.
We had been working on sealing up the bulkhead as the rules demand that not only is it fireproof but it is waterproof! (No idea how they test for that!) So the car was stripped down, after the planning meeting there were some concerns about clearance for the engine, gearbox and propshaft. As luck would have it we have a spare engine and gearbox so these were fitted to avoid any nasty surprises.
We realise now quite what an ask it is, the fabricators are going to have to create a frame under the car to provide the strength on the outside of the chassis. The original Jensen chassis design is incredibly strong but derives its rigidity from two large parallel central tubes which run down the centre of the car. As a result there is a lack of strength out at the sills. The roll cage actually has two parts, one that surrounds the inside of the car and another that protects the driver inside. The rules also insist on a metal seat, this has been procured and looks incredibly uncomfortable! We’re both on a very strict diet!
This is an oversimplified diagram of what the rules actually require as there is quite a bit more metalwork in the SCTA rulebook. Regardless of that, the C-V8 chassis would still require some work on the outer edges of the framework.
The SCTA rules also insist on a certified ballistic clutch bellhousing. These are quite common in the drag racing world and finding one to fit the engine was relatively straight forward. Fitting the gearbox is providing us some more opportunities for engineering brilliance! The bellhousing itself is quite a piece of work and it is extremely useful that we don’t have to worry about weight. When it arrived we all struggled to lift the box!
The fact that the rollcage is being fitted so early has solved one problem and created another.
The really good news is once the car is returned we will be fitting and tuning the engine as quickly as possible with the sole intention of preparing the car for the Pendine event. This is currently planned for May 11th and 12th. Once we have all our ducks in a row our entry will be confirmed.
The not so good news is we have a small temporary cashflow problem as the funds for the rollcage were arranged for mid to late April. As a result we have a small favour to ask of you all.
We have set up a crowdfunding page at GoFundMe we would ask that you spread word of this as far and wide as you can. We are keen to get the word out to as many people as possible.
This is not a deal breaker and work will continue, but for some reason bank managers just simply don’t get it.