Jump to content


Photo

Alloy-blocked Ford BDA engines


  • Please log in to reply
13 replies to this topic

#1 AAGR

AAGR
  • Member

  • 209 posts
  • Joined: November 11

Posted 09 December 2011 - 19:15

Brian Hart was always modest about his part in developing the alloy-blocked Ford BDA engine in the early 1970s. So modest, in fact, that he never boasted about who was the first to use one in motorsport ?

Ford's Peter Ashcroft stumbled across one in Brian's workshop in early 1972, and it wasn't long before 'works' Escort rally cars were using them - but I am sure that someone, somewhere, raced cars (single-seaters, maybe) with them fitted had appeared before then, in 1971 even.

Any ideas ?

AAGR

Edited by AAGR, 09 December 2011 - 19:18.


Advertisement

#2 Allen Brown

Allen Brown
  • Member

  • 4,927 posts
  • Joined: December 00

Posted 09 December 2011 - 21:00

Brian Hart was always modest about his part in developing the alloy-blocked Ford BDA engine in the early 1970s. So modest, in fact, that he never boasted about who was the first to use one in motorsport ?

Ford's Peter Ashcroft stumbled across one in Brian's workshop in early 1972, and it wasn't long before 'works' Escort rally cars were using them - but I am sure that someone, somewhere, raced cars (single-seaters, maybe) with them fitted had appeared before then, in 1971 even.

Any ideas ?

AAGR


John Miles raced a Chevron B19 with a 2-litre alloy BDA at Hockenheim 4 Jul 1971. It was also used at the Japanese GP and the Rothman 50000 in 1972.

#3 bradbury west

bradbury west
  • Member

  • 4,639 posts
  • Joined: June 02

Posted 09 December 2011 - 21:26

Perhaps a test unit might have been tried in a period rally or hillclimb car for evaluation. Otherwise try Stuart McCrudden as he always seemed very well linked to Ford in those days, as later.
Roger Lund

#4 RS2000

RS2000
  • Member

  • 2,183 posts
  • Joined: January 05

Posted 09 December 2011 - 22:31

See the thread on the 1974 World Cup Rally.
I don't think the suggestion there that Ford may have helped Harold Morley directly or via Lloyds of Stafford is correct. According to MN (and Peter Robinson's MN report reprints in "Memory Lanes"), Morley first appeared on an MN road rally with the (Livesley built) 2 litre alloy block BD in August 72, co-incidently the month of Gp2 homologation and the first "works" International use on the 1000 Lakes.
AAGR may know otherwise but the first "works" use is normally said to have been the Jim Clark Memorial National Rally in July 72, where Roger Clark destroyed the first shell of LVX942J? (that "original" car, as it is so often described today...).

#5 AAGR

AAGR
  • Member

  • 209 posts
  • Joined: November 11

Posted 10 December 2011 - 09:05

See the thread on the 1974 World Cup Rally.
I don't think the suggestion there that Ford may have helped Harold Morley directly or via Lloyds of Stafford is correct. According to MN (and Peter Robinson's MN report reprints in "Memory Lanes"), Morley first appeared on an MN road rally with the (Livesley built) 2 litre alloy block BD in August 72, co-incidently the month of Gp2 homologation and the first "works" International use on the 1000 Lakes.
AAGR may know otherwise but the first "works" use is normally said to have been the Jim Clark Memorial National Rally in July 72, where Roger Clark destroyed the first shell of LVX942J? (that "original" car, as it is so often described today...).




I hesitate to correct such a learned contributor as 'RS2000', but on this occasion :

The first 'works' use of the alloy-blocked BDA engine was indeed by Roger Clark's LVX 942J in the Jim Clark Rally of early July 1972 - where Roger most certainly did not destroy the shell of the car. How could he have done, when he won that event (see AUTOSPORT|, 6 July 1972) along with the Burmah and the Manx in the weeks which followed ? In fact the car remained 'original' until October 1972, when the shell was destroyed in an accident while making a publicity film, and the car was then re-built for Roger to win the 1972 RAC rally.

The Escort RS1600 homologation papers confirm that the alloy-blocked engine took over on production cars from 1 August 1972.

However, may I re-iterate that I am actually anxious to know when a prototype alloy-blocked BDA made its motorsport (not rallying) debut - and I am confident that this must have been in 1971.

AAGR

Edited by AAGR, 10 December 2011 - 10:23.


#6 RS2000

RS2000
  • Member

  • 2,183 posts
  • Joined: January 05

Posted 10 December 2011 - 19:29

That's why I asked if there was better information! Clark R was back in LVX941J for the Burmah (end of August 72) and was again back in 941 for the Dukeries (late October). I'm pretty sure he was in 941 for the Lindisfarne (early October). I was on all three and was not around in UK at time of the JC Mem in July. The Dukeries reversion is explained by the w/o and the first two must be because 942 was converted to tarmac spec for the Manx?

Edited by RS2000, 10 December 2011 - 19:32.


#7 AAGR

AAGR
  • Member

  • 209 posts
  • Joined: November 11

Posted 10 December 2011 - 21:48

That's why I asked if there was better information! Clark R was back in LVX941J for the Burmah (end of August 72) and was again back in 941 for the Dukeries (late October). I'm pretty sure he was in 941 for the Lindisfarne (early October). I was on all three and was not around in UK at time of the JC Mem in July. The Dukeries reversion is explained by the w/o and the first two must be because 942 was converted to tarmac spec for the Manx?



Sorry to be pedantic, but let's get this right ('RS2000' is still misinformed). This was Roger Clark's car/engine usage in summer/autumn 1972 :

July Jim Clark rally LVX 942J 2-litre alloy BDA engine

September Burmah Rally LVX 942J 1.8-litre iron block engine (Picture of car, p12, AUTOSPORT, 7 September 1972)

September Manx Rally LVX 942J 1.8-litre iron block engine (Picture of car, p10/11, AUTOSPORT, 14 September 1972)

October Lindisfarne LVX 942J 1.8 iron-block engine

[October accident in filming wrote off LVX 942J's body shell]

October Dukeries LVX 941J 1.8-litre iron-block engine (Picture of car, p16, AUTOSPORT, 2 November 1972)

November Hackle LVX 941J 1.8-litre iron-block engine

November/Dec. RAC LVX 942J 'new car' 2.0-litre injected alloy-block engine (Many pictures, of course ....)


AAGR

Edited by AAGR, 10 December 2011 - 22:05.


#8 D-Type

D-Type
  • Member

  • 8,139 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 10 December 2011 - 23:00

Dumb question: Is a Ford BDA the same engine as a Cosworth BDA?

#9 TEJ

TEJ
  • Member

  • 84 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 10 December 2011 - 23:30

yes

#10 David McKinney

David McKinney
  • Member

  • 14,156 posts
  • Joined: November 00

Posted 10 December 2011 - 23:31

Cosworth did build Ford BDAs for customers...

Edit: Tom's finger was faster (and his response more concise :) )

#11 RS2000

RS2000
  • Member

  • 2,183 posts
  • Joined: January 05

Posted 11 December 2011 - 15:03

Sorry to be pedantic


Nah, being pedantic is pointing out the difference between being misinformed and having "senior moments" when relying solely on your own memory! Quite understand why I would have got the Lindisfarne wrong since, along with a lot of others, I was too busy having a major row with the scrutineer over seat mountings to take much notice of the first few cars!

For anyone with race programmes, I guess the key to the main question, searching for a first appearance of an alloy block (maybe the only clue), is to see a listed capacity change to something like 1975cc from what was previously in the 1800cc range at earlier races. Race programmes? I never kept most rally ones, so no chance there...

#12 Allen Brown

Allen Brown
  • Member

  • 4,927 posts
  • Joined: December 00

Posted 11 December 2011 - 18:55

However, may I re-iterate that I am actually anxious to know when a prototype alloy-blocked BDA made its motorsport (not rallying) debut - and I am confident that this must have been in 1971.

AAGR


Didn't I answer this in post 2?

#13 Ted Walker

Ted Walker
  • Member

  • 1,432 posts
  • Joined: November 01

Posted 12 December 2011 - 08:26

I think that one of the first races for an alloy block is in a BT38 in a South American F2 Race it was built by RES (race engine services)

#14 opplock

opplock
  • Member

  • 135 posts
  • Joined: January 10

Posted 12 December 2011 - 19:54

Didn't I answer this in post 2?


Yes.

If any confirmation is needed the 1971 Autocourse 2-litre Sports Car review states "half way through the season a couple of teams tried 2-litre BDA based engines built by Brian Hart and Race Engine Services."

The end of season South American F2 races were held "after Autocourse went to press".

The 1972 edition states that the engine was not used in F2 as Ford did not homologate it until 1 October 1972. The engine was indeed used in the Rothmans 50,000, in Gerry Birrell's March 722. He finished 4th.