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Single seater
Hi - I own the Willis Special built in 1936 by Bill Williams. She is offset in a different way - the chassis is standard but the single seat body is offset to one side - somthing different 

ps ignore the ebay attachment cant change file name and no didnt come via ebay 
(27-10-2020, 12:00 PM)Austin in the Shed Wrote: If I had the time I'd like to build a vintage special along the lines of Ms Bacfire,the car Rob Beck built but with a Ford model A parallel chassis rails 1/4 elliptics front and rear and chain drive,using as many 7 bits as possible.Apart from bodywork shouldn't be too expensive.

Tim Llewellyn built a Ford engined Austin with a chain drive - it hasn't been out for years. However, it wasn't as conceptually pure as Rob & Ben's Miss BacFire. 

Here are a couple of videos of The Moose in action at hillclimbs.

The Moose (Scots for Mouse) was built by my good friend Pete Graham, who lent it to me for its first season, and made the mistake of offering me first refusal at the end of the season, a decision he has regretted ever since.  So much so that another single seater is currently under construction in his garage, to be named The Puddock (Scots for frog) for reasons that will become obvious when it makes its debut, hopefully at the Manx Classic next April.  The Moose was designed to be very light, weighing in at just over 5cwt, or 250kg in new money.  It is a hoot to drive, and is the most fun I've ever had sitting down.
I can't give any real advice on its construction, but Pete will be happy to advise, so you can contact him through me, just PM me and I'll give you his email address.  

We both hope to take in some hillclimbs south of the border next year, COVID permitting, and perhaps even enter the Bert Hadley Championship.


It's good to hear from you, Colin. Hope Barbara and yourself are well in these strange times.

The Moose is a great car and an example of what can be done by keeping things simple and light. Even at 30bhp that's 120bhp/tonne - enough to keep your mind alert!! If you're wanting to build a single seater, it's a pretty good example to be following.

Hi Rekkers

Hopefully these pictures show the offset - how we set it all up was very simple, I measure the diff, then shifted it to the left till the torque tube mount was alongside the left chassis rail, then measured it all again & the difference was 200mm. The diff was then cut & welded to suit.

Then it was a case of positioning a dummy crank case & gearbox casing on dummy feet & using a bit of pipe out the back of the gearbox to simulate the prop shaft everything was adjusted till with me sitting on a box on the floor in between the chassis rails, I could fit into the 'body line' and still be able to operate the clutch & the brake. 

The pedals were worked & re-worked & re-worked again until the clutch arm mirrored the bellhousing shape for maximum 'tuck' alongside the bellhousing. The attached picture was taken during the firewall mock up & before I lengthened the brake arm & rotated the foot pad 180*. The little aluminium angle at the base of the clutch is my heel stop. I had to make a ridge in the floor to accommodate the brake pull rod - I insisted on mechanical brakes as I have enough other hydraulic systems to maintain. Of course I didn't anneal the panel & it split necessitating the little repair patch. The brake cross shaft was also re-located to allow for the new pedal positions. I'm using a needle roller Lavine steering box, hence the brake pedal is on a purpose made shaft bolted into the RHS chassis rail & it has a wedge to ensure that it's parallel with the line of 'push'

The throttle I put into a bulge in the side panel. That throttle pedal is all that remains from my late uncle's "Consul Special" which was written off after hitting a bank in the early '60's. The chassis / body extensions were cut & shut to provide a mounting for the sides of the body frame

I think our advantages were that we had a blank canvas, some fairly wild imagination, an extremely talented engineering friend & that we tried hard to keep true to an evocation of the Kaye Petre works car profile + stick to the period mods as per the 750 bulletins. Obviously we don't have VSCC rules out here, but I suspect that we are mostly safely within them anyway.

The MAG blower is such a pretty little aluminium casting & to this end was ultimately stuck out front & driven off the nose of the crank via a Yamaha 650cc shaft drive incorporating a universal joint & such is are the talents of Steven Murphy of SBM Engineering that there is no vibration up to our imposed limit of 6000 rpm. It sucks through a 1.5" SU which is tucked inside a little scoop I fabricated to ram feed air into the trumpet. It seems to all work, thus far we haven't ingested any errant squirrels, low flying pigeons or small children....  Rolleyes

Yes the blower screams very nicely  Big Grin


Attached Files Thumbnail(s)

.jpg   Basic layout.JPG (Size: 125.93 KB / Downloads: 227)
.jpg   Mocking up the offset & blower.JPG (Size: 118.91 KB / Downloads: 229)
.jpg   Engine mounts.JPG (Size: 140.45 KB / Downloads: 231)
.jpg   Diff cut.JPG (Size: 230.73 KB / Downloads: 228)
.jpg   Chassis in progress.JPG (Size: 172.32 KB / Downloads: 226)
.jpg   Pedal set up.JPG (Size: 151.89 KB / Downloads: 227)
.jpg   Brake pedal.JPG (Size: 231.24 KB / Downloads: 227)
Hi Greig
Hope you are keeping well. Doesn't look like we will get down to SA this winter for obvious reasons, but we will be back.
Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think!
Quite a few years ago I got talking to an older man in Gavin Bain's Fazzaz Vintage motoring shop in Christchurch (long gone with earthquake damage) because he had an Austin lapel badge. He gave me his address and I visited his workshop where, I gathered, he worked on client's A7 racing cars. There was one there at the time which impressed me with its matching set of after-market head, tappet cover and inlet manifold all with the maker's name (whatever it was) cast on them and picked out in red. My sole contact with specials was PJ Stephen's book on his building of the "Stoneham 750" special, but the bloke thought I should resurrect my ARR as a special. His advice - sadly not taken - was to begin. Immediately!
The man's formula was to move the engine backwards quite a distance in a swb chassis and attach it to the lhs chassis rails as normal, so moving the engine to the left. A lwb back end was shortened on the left so that the driveshaft lined-up, giving a similar track front and rear. The driver's seat could then be lowered between the rhs chassis rail and the driveshaft. A passenger seat, if present, would have to be higher and somewhat back. I remember gaining the impression that a number of racing cars had been built to this general design. Sort of one-and-a-half seater, rather than single seater.
Last few of the body so you can see the evolution to the final shape with the frame & body skin on the chassis. The angle of the short driveshaft is less than 9* so the universals are not under stress. There is a thick flat bar steel cage bolted to the chassis holding a thick walled section of polyethylene tube over the driveshaft and the remote gear lever is screwed to the top of the cage through the aluminium cover plate you see over the shaft - the ends of the cover are flared to make clearance for the universals. The idea is that if a universal goes the cage will contain the bang & the polyethylene tube will contain the bits. I sincerely hope to never test it.

The guy who wheeled the basic body shape left the edges of the cockpit as a raw sharp edge with a flare to outwards and didn't think it was a problem. Then he wanted a lot more money to fix it. We agreed to disagree & I took it away, peeled the skin off, cut out the steel frame & re-made it so that I could finish the edge off with a proper wire bead. I spent a very long time fixing all of his mistakes, the plus side is I learned a lot about aluminium. As an aside, when I took it away he chirped that I would never finish it... 

Finally one of Dad & me with our friend Gino who pedals his red Ulster Rep up the Simola hill to the loud cheers of his daughter Kaytlin who cannot wait to drive it herself. I was extremely fortunate in growing up with a Father who encouraged me to participate in his hobby and from an early age we've worked together, I was born into 7's... 

Yes my race suit says Robbi Smith - my cousin who is a pretty famous race driver out here as well, we're the same size so he gifted me a nice race suit when he got his new one.


Attached Files Thumbnail(s)

.jpg   Frame taking shape on the chassis.JPG (Size: 258.83 KB / Downloads: 155)
.jpg   Cockpit.JPG (Size: 222.08 KB / Downloads: 155)
Thanks Greig. Now I understand! Excellent work.
What a brilliant thread this is! The wealth of experience and expertise available on this forum is astonishing!

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