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Austin Sevens in Australia
    I have just found this of crankcases that I owned back in the seventies. It does not include the three Ulster engines (two from the UK and the Waite 1928 AGP winning engine) or the supercharged engine I built for my 1981 Raid car as described in Martin Eyre's book. 
It is not an attempt to gloat or show off, but to record engine numbers of cars that were shipped new to Melbourne, Australia. 
Tony Johns
Bumping this to remind Friends to check the Autosport Nostalgia Forum thread. The latest posts include Photos from Tony Johns of his proper engine stripped down.

link to the Autosport Nostalgia Forum.

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Now that there is a confirmed build date 6-1-1930, I am hoping that somebody may have a copy of the Factory records so that we can establish the engine number that was in the chassis of Dickason's Ulster when it left the Factory in very early 1930, a year before the current supercharged 10 stud motor was fitted.

One major correction to Julian's post, unfortunately I am not the owner of the Dickason Ulster, but have been very involved with it for many years.
Tony Johns
Happy to be corrected Tony.
Interesting photos. Might it be possible, if the chassis is without chance of being a later replacement, to further assess the missing digits under the weld by some sort of metal scanning process? As the car is so important.
There are a number of possibilities as the odd '4' could be interpreted in a number of ways. Yes, it was probably from a worker stamp error. But it could have been added later when digits were missing from the end due to chassis fracturing, to re-enable a 6 digit number.

The most important bit is the 1034XX or 1039XX (unlikely), neither of which prompt a cluster appearing with potential interesting cars on the Register.

And, sadly, this area comes into the lost B- Gaydon ledger, so the only hope comes from looking at largely UK registration dates of existing, non-racing cars - which is not going to prove satisfactory. There is too much potential lag, and it doesn't lead anywhere anyway.

What about the rear crossmember - are there any paint marks under the paint facing rearwards which could indicate chassis number stencilling on UK offside?

The gearbox I think is far too late to be original, if other likely-original cars are displaying numbers which could almost be in range with original bodies. (IS there a body number?)

(24-12-2020, 07:53 AM)Tony Johns Wrote: I have just found this list of crankcases that I owned back in the seventies to record engine numbers of cars that were shipped new to Melbourne, Australia. 

The 100730 vintage racing engine could conceivably be in a recognisable AUS batch, but not with anything interesting.

The 3 bearing "angle jets" - are you suggesting they were pressurised crankcases, or just standard? 

And the last supercharged racing engine - what sort of spec. and where stamped?

None of the suggest any sort of cluster with other potentially interesting engines or cars [...that have been made publicly known].
Jon, I will do my best to answer your questions re engine descriptions from my list. They all left the factory as standard production engines.

The Vintage Race Engine. Back in the late sixties the eligibility rules for Vintage Racing in Australia varied from state to state. South Australia had the strictest regulations, one of the requirements to compete in South Australia was the crankcase needed to be fitted with a two bearing crankshaft and the starter motor located above the gearbox, even though it was not fitted. They also insisted on a three speed gearbox. So I had a two bearing engine fitted with a single SU carburettor that that lived under the bench and was used every Easter for a hillclimb at Collingrove on a Saturday and a race meeting at Mallala on Easter Monday.

I an attaching a poor quality photo of my three bearing supercharged engine, built around a standard angle jet crankcase, but fitted with a four jet conversion and a modern hose to the centre bearing to replace the old copper pipe.
My Austin was eligible to race in this form everywhere else in Australia and it was not until 1981 that our Raid cars were built.

The angle jet crankcases at the end of the list were all standard two jet splash fed production engines.

Finally the question of the body number for the Dickason Ulster can't be answered as the three cars were all imported to Melbourne as rolling chassis's to avoid import duties.

Tony Johns

Attached File(s) Thumbnail(s)
Highly interesting Tony, thanks for posting the photo.
Could I ask you why the 3-bearing engine was used in preference to a 2-bearing one.
Was the crank a new one made in Melbourne?
How often did you change the centre-main bearing? Was it modified in any way?
    The reason for using three bearing engines in our racing Austins was that back in the 1960's and early 1970's the new heavy Gordon Allan cranks were yet to be made. A lot of crack testing would take place before finding a good uncracked original Austin shaft. 

It would seem nothing has changed as a recent post mentioned always have the block bolted to the crankcase before line boring the centre main bearing shells. Another mod was to use an off side main bearing bolt on the nearside to give an extra stud inside the valve chest. In addition by replacing the front oil drain thimble inside the block near valves one and two with a machined hand fitted disc you could then bolt an Unbraco cap screw from underneath for extra strength.

The original oil pipe to the centre main was replaced with a modern hose to avoid fracturing.
Alloy Hillman Imp water pumps were lighter than Ford 10 and worked well driven from the front of the camshaft. The generator drive was reversed to allow more room for the supercharger belt drive from a pulley on the crankshaft nosepiece.

I would crack test the crankshaft on a regular basis and check the condition of the shells in the centre main. It was so long ago but I am sure I used undersized shells when they were being line bored.

John Whitehouse used a very similar three bearing engine when he bought his Whitmor Austin to England to race in the 750 Formula in 1966.

When I now compare my first racing Austin built in 1966 with photos of the 1981 Raid car I realise how primitive it was.  

Perhaps now is the time to mention the Australian connection with the Gordon Allan crankshafts. I had been corresponding with John Miles re a car he was selling and the discussion started about the new heavy two bearings he was planning to have made. John Bowring here in Melbourne had already come up with the suggestion of using Renault R4 conrods to save the extra expense of having new rods manufactured. So all that had to be changed was to machine the big end journals to a metric 1.5" diameter and length to suit.

        A change from racing Austins, a couple of photos I have just found of the Tony Press Chummy, both taken during my period of ownership.

The first taken in 1960, still with a learners plate shows the original front and rear bumper bars and luggage rack. these would have been made in Melbourne and sold to the original owner by Austin Distributors.

The second photo taken near Hobart in Tasmania gives some idea of the size of TV cameras back then

Apologies to Tony If I have not shared them with him sometime in the past.


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