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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

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Excellent footage Greg,

I watched them both this AM, was sitting in the chair on the verge of working the pedals and shift lever.........:eek: Unlike a lot of my American counterparts, I confess to having no racing experience and probably considerably less skill....even though one of the first NASCAR tracks is less than 100 miles away:rolleyes:

It seemed as the race wore on on that tight track, the raw cubes wasn't giving the 'Ro the same breathing space that it did on the first lap on the "fahst" portion. Kinda curious if he got caught picking his nose on the start - didn't see smoke on the back tires from accidentally lighting them up.

Yeah, when it came to lapping the mini, had a feeling if anything was going to happen, that would be the time and had some very serious doubts when he tried to pass.........even though the camera angle wasn't primo, could tell he was going tooooo fast. Really a thriller.

You think the 350 was pushrod? I have no idea as to what mods are allowed or if OHC heads are even available for the SB. Just don't follow it. Am going to look up "saloon" and see if I can get anything definitive re racing.

Thanks for the post, enjoyed it. Oh yes, hadn't heard "Vauxhall" in a long time.
 

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Thanks for the direction to that footage. Great race and I wouldn't have believed that a Ford Escort could beat a Chevy Camaro, LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The issue of big engines is always a hotly-debated one when it comes to writing regulations. There are the 'theorists' who will contend that bhp/tonne is everything and will sit and calculate that a 400bhp BMW weighing 1400Kgs is just as quick as a 200bhp Escort weighing 700kgs. The problem is that both of them have to stop and turn on the same track or special stage. I think what happened in the race was the Camaro's tyres went off or overheated - they were doing twice the work as the tyres on the Escort or the Viva, both weighing about 800kgs. Five years ago I was rallying a turbo car that weighed 1230Kgs, for the past five years my 2ltr car has weighed 1040kgs with much less power but has been MUCH quicker on the clocks. Next year I'll be driving a 1600cc Lotus Exige at 840Kgs with 220bhp and hope to be at least 2 seconds per mile quicker than the current car. When the drag race is done up the straight, what matters is stopping and turning. The cheapest speed you can buy is brakes.
 

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The cheapest speed you can buy is brakes.

Never heard that pharase before, but boy, it sure seems axiomatic to me.

Would like to fly down and meet you some time, but it will be a while down the road for that to happen.:(
 

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Dang

I'm still dizzy from watching. What a race. Thanks for starting my day properly. I knew the Camaro would out horse 'em, but I figured the lighter better handeling cars would show well and they did. They have suspension for the Camaro's now that would have won that race.


Molon Labe


Kim
 

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Great video

Reminds me of slinging my Sunbeam Tiger around at Copperas Cove and Henderson Texas. Once the smaller and better handling car got around the blocking moves of the Camaro it was all over if he couldn't out brake him into that corner. When you saw the smoke on the tires what happened next was no surprise. As with my Tiger, we had the horsepower, but keeping it on the track could be a eye opener :eek: .
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Reminds me of slinging my Sunbeam Tiger around at Copperas Cove and Henderson Texas. Once the smaller and better handling car got around the blocking moves of the Camaro it was all over if he couldn't out brake him into that corner. When you saw the smoke on the tires what happened next was no surprise. As with my Tiger, we had the horsepower, but keeping it on the track could be a eye opener :eek: .
I never drove a Tiger but it always amazed me that the Cobra became such an icon while virtually the same car with better suspension is hardly ever heard of. I bet you're sorry you sold it!
 

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That was great footage, thanks for that. I remember watching that stuff on TV occasionally when I was a kid. Seems like there is even less coverage nowadays. Fun racing!


I never drove a Tiger but it always amazed me that the Cobra became such an icon while virtually the same car with better suspension is hardly ever heard of. I bet you're sorry you sold it!
That might be because you are thinking of the Tiger that resembled the earliest Cobra:

Weren't these the 289 CI powered beasties? Way more power than the 260CI Tiger at 164HP? Besides, it was the later model Cobras that grabbed most of the headlines and all of the nostlagia. These were the real beasts:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Weren't these the 289 CI powered beasties? Way more power than the 260CI Tiger at 164HP? Besides, it was the later model Cobras that grabbed most of the headlines and all of the nostlagia. These were the real beasts:

Here's my understanding of the AC story, might be missing a few bits - depending on faulty brain matter. AC was a British car company building the ACE with a straight six engine (can't remember which one) much like the TR6 and Austin Healey. Someone thought it would go faster with a 289 Ford - and it did. The bodywork on the original ACE and the 289 FIA racecar looks much the same. Then Shelby brought a couple to the US and fitted them with the 427 Ford and some nice wheel arches; they went like stink but handled like crap (too much weight in the front) so in Europe they raced the 289. Sunbeam was running a 4cyl in their Alpine like the TR2/3/4 and decided to fit the 427 to make it go link stink - and it did. Somewhere in-between all that Rover bought the rights to manufacture Buick's all-aluminium 3.5ltr V8 and it became the English v8 standard - as light as a cast iron 2ltr engine with twice the cylinders and torque. That went on to power the TR8, TVR everything, Dax cars, some race Capris etc. No replacement for displacement - as long as there isn't a weight penalty.
 

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Who said I sold it?

The Tiger resides next to a 69 Camaro Convertible and a Datson 2000 Roadster. She's sporting 4 wheel discs, a 231 Posi and a complete suspension rebuild, including new Koni's with a set of the original Mini-lites. Now for the motor. Did I tell you I'm great at starting projects but my completion rate is another story. :D As for 164HP no Tiger owner worth his salt left them wheezy 260 heads on his car or that pathetic 2bl FoMoCo carb when a set of breathed on 289 heads and a Holley 500 2 barrel would blow right by tech in C stock. Those 2 items alone were a legitimate 50hp increase. Oh yea, there were lots of ways to squeeze HP out of a Ford small block, lots of them not visible to the naked eye.
 

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Old story

About '78-'79 we were going to the SCCA runoffs at Road Atlanta with an ex-Gurney Barracuda. One of the crew members was ferrying a Tiger from Indpls to the Atlanta area. About halfway he looked over his shoulder, the wind blew his glasses off, and they were promptly run over. He was mostly, and certainly legally, blind without them but nobody knew what had happened as he was behind us. He trundled along slowly and arrived way late. The Tiger was geared so high that he never could use top gear after he lost the glasses. I always thought they should have been as fast as the earliest Cobras.......... with a driver who could see.

BTW, the 'Cuda was pretty fast at about 3300 lbs with a 340 destroked to 305 CI. It ran second in it's last SCCA National Championship race in 1980 and was retired. Brakes were indeed the weak link. We spent a lot of money on brakes. Last I knew it was owned by Swede Savage's son and was being run in the occasional vintage "race" restored to Gurney AAR/Hot Wheels livery.
 

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Shelby facts

Monkeyman, some "Shelby info on the Tiger". Most of the AC's that received V8's were actually 260's eventually getting the 289's around 65-66. The very last AC's, a little over 100 got the 427's in 67. The Sunbeam tiger was originaly going to get an European powerplant but size killed that, when the head of sales sent two prototypes to the US(unknown by Lord Rootes). One to Carrol Shelby because of his success with the AC (Cobra)conversion and the second was a scabbed together affair with an auto tranny done at a dealership. The Shelby Proto was sent back to England where as the story goes it was parked in front of Lord Rootes house for him to test drive. He climbed in and took off with his chauffeur following him who returned shortly saying he lost the old man. He returned 30 minutes later, got out, said "build it", and walked in. Hence the birth of the Sunbeam Tiger. Chrysler bought the rights in 67, determined their 318 wouldn't work and killed it, not wanting to sell a Chrysler product with a Ford motor in it.
 

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Weren't these the 289 CI powered beasties? Way more power than the 260CI Tiger at 164HP? Besides, it was the later model Cobras that grabbed most of the headlines and all of the nostlagia. These were the real beasts:

Here's my understanding of the AC story, might be missing a few bits - depending on faulty brain matter. AC was a British car company building the ACE with a straight six engine (can't remember which one) much like the TR6 and Austin Healey. Someone thought it would go faster with a 289 Ford - and it did. The bodywork on the original ACE and the 289 FIA racecar looks much the same. Then Shelby brought a couple to the US and fitted them with the 427 Ford and some nice wheel arches; they went like stink but handled like crap (too much weight in the front) so in Europe they raced the 289. Sunbeam was running a 4cyl in their Alpine like the TR2/3/4 and decided to fit the 427 to make it go link stink - and it did. Somewhere in-between all that Rover bought the rights to manufacture Buick's all-aluminium 3.5ltr V8 and it became the English v8 standard - as light as a cast iron 2ltr engine with twice the cylinders and torque. That went on to power the TR8, TVR everything, Dax cars, some race Capris etc. No replacement for displacement - as long as there isn't a weight penalty.
IIRC.....

Your close, but the first two "Cobras" were actually 260s, XP-260-1 and XP-260-2. Dean Moon and Carrol Shelby built the first one, and with the help of a bottle of whiskey,proved the lightweight AC "Bristol" ( AC car- Bristol motor) with the 260 Ford motor got around a Texas oil field very well! Shell being a old racer sidelined with a heart condition alway felt a small lightweight British car with the raw power of a US V8 would make a good combination. That combination fit his sediment perfectly..."If a lots good, too much is just right"!

The first car wasn't painted, the bare aluminum was polished with SOS pads for the first magazine photo shoot. Later, the two XP cars were painted various colors for the photos giving the impression ol "Shell" was spit'n the things out by the truckloads. As the article said, you could almost see Shell at his desk, a phone in each ear telling Ford "I have all these cars, but no motors" and telling AC, "I have all these motors and no cars"! Besides a racer, Shell was a businessman! By "real" production time the 289 CI motors were being used, but occasionally an early 260 powered car will show up.

The original cars were referred to as the "Leaf Spring" Cobras. As time went on, the 289 was pumped up to 385 HP using a better cam,heads and 4 Weber 48s. It was felt to be the maximum for that engine. Discussing where to go from there engine wise, Ken Miles commented a 427 could make that horsepower and not even break a sweat. Within a week, a prototype 427 car was built, chassis number 2186 IIRC. The 427 was rated at 425 hp, 480 ft/lb torque at 3700 rpms, most actually produced over 500! It was basically the same motor used in the drag cars,the "Thunderbolt" and "R" code Fairlanes with slightly milder cam. Those engines made in the neighborhood of 600hp.

AC cars made some changes to the chassis for the brute 427. 4" main tubes for the frame instead of the 3" and a coil spring suspension in place of the leaf springs,larger Girling disc brakes and 4" wider body. In reality, it was a totally new car.

Many of the "427" cars actually had 428 motors. A 427 cost $768, a 428, $385. Two versions were initially built, a "S" for street, a "C" for competition, the "C" having the 427s only. To legalize the cars for competition, a certain number of cars had to be built, so the versions were combined, or the "SC", street/Competition. Either way, the 427 was a handfull for the inexperienced driver. With the maximum torque at 3700 in a 2000 pound car, things happened real fast. I had the pleasure of driving one. It was the first car I could smoke the tires at will....in any gear!

In the end of production, sales weren't the best, the price was discounted from 7600 to as low as 5000-5500.

For a few years, a pristine 427 would fetch 750,000-1,000,000 dollars,but the prices have fallen somewhat. The highest price I heard was the car used to pattern the Monogram model kit,chassis number 3196, 1.2 Million.

The "427 Corbra" held the record for the 0-100-0 in 12.0 seconds...on a 6" wide tire!

Shelby also had a hand in developing the Sunbean Tiger. I forget the details exactly, but the son of Sir Roots was running the U.S. operations. With Carrol's help,built the car and demonstrated it for the elder in England. Pappy was impressed, so the Tiger was born. Many of those were later transplanted with the 271 hp K code 289 motors.

One other English car benefited from using the SBF, the Griffith.

That the best I can remember with out drag'n out the history books.

ah the memories!!!!!

Bill
 

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Wow! Sure did like the stroll down

Memory Lane. Thanks MM for opening the gate. Once again our board comes through with great info. ;)
 

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Some local 427 AC Cobra trivia.......

In 1966 or '67, the small number of 427 Cobra owners were invited to bring their stock AC's down to Daytona Beach Florida, to run them flat-out on the beach one weekend, for a social function, and see who was fastest. Great publicity event for Ford.

That day, Dick Smith of Fresno California, (a commercial pilot and owner of Smittty's Bail Bonds) won the honors with this red 1966 427 side-oiler. The tiny gold plaque on the passenger side of the dash in this old picture states the car was clocked in 197.44 mph, with windshield (or windscreen) UP.

In 1990, Dick refused $250,000.00 for the car. The most recent offer was $800,000.00 around 2002. Ive lost track of him, but a good friend and hunting buddy of mine was in charge of maintenance of the car, and getting it to and from shows. These pics were taken with my old Polaroid camera in 1988, at the annual Stanford University Concours D' Elegance, in Palo Alto California. I remember when the judges asked us to start the engine while they stood back with their clipboards and scorecards. I reached in, turned the key, and when that thing came to life, suddenly we had 300 people trotting across the lawn to stand near it. It is that awesome sounding.

I dont know if he still is doing it, but for years this car dominated the vintage scca road racing events. Not only was it very fast, but I would have to rate Mr. Smith as the very best driver Ive ever sat in a car with.

He kept the car at the Fresno Airport, next to his airplanes, and occasionally I would get a ride around the taxiways. Very, very impressive car to ride in.

I honestly think he could charge $100 a whack and people would line up just to cinch that Deist shoulder harness on and go for a quick tour. Great memory:)
 

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My high school sweethearts older brother had a 260 2bbl Tiger that I was "allowed" to drive a couple times--Whoooah!! Had a chance to buy a 289 HiPo in Michigan around 1984 for $4,800 and did not do it:confused: Now, have been thinkin' about doin' one of these:

http://factoryfive.com

Check the site out--ya see some very familiar faces there.
Bob
 

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A highschool friend of mine had a stepdad that raced a Sunbeam in Phoenix. I only saw the Sunbeam on a trailer since it was rigged for racing. It was not on our streets at all. I was more moved by the car he used to tow the Sunbeam. It was a SHELBY! What a car!

But what I really want to know is...what would happen if NASCAR drivers had to race where they turned right??


There's no replacement for displacement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Great racing history boys, thanks for jumping in. Let's hope we can keep the motorsport traditions going with the young people, dirty hands and quick, problem-solving minds will stand them all in good stead for a lifetime. BTW, the gentlemman Dave Brodie mentioned in the vid who held the lap record at The Palace (and many others) became one of Ford's saloon car team managers during the great turbo RS500 era of the 80s. I'll be racing against his son here in May so the Brodie tradition continues.........
 
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