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Ern Abbott Valiant


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#1 bobcampbell

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 00:09

In July 1964 Dick Roberts bought Ern Abbott's racing Valiant and flat towed it from Victoria to WA. Its history from then is known to me, but I have only memory to rely on for its career with Ern Abbott.

I believe it was bored out to about 4.2 litres before CAMS changed the rules in 1964, limiting overbores to 0.040". This caused problems for Abbott's Valiant, Jane's Jaguar and Muir's 3.4-litre Holden.

Does anyone know any more about the Abbott Valiant and how it was modified? I know it was a police evaluation car in Victoria, hence the powder blue colour.



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#2 Ray Bell

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 01:07

The most likely person I can think of would be Clem Smith...

He would have been pretty much aware of what Ern Abbott did because he ran an R-series against him. I don't know if Des Leonard, who had one in Sydney, would have any idea. Another possibility would be Alton Boddenberg, who ran an AP6 for a long time in Improved Production.

As for going out to 4.2 litres, that's quite likely as I've heard the blocks of those old slants could be bored over a hundred thou... it's possible he also had the close ratio factory gearset that came in the A903 transmissions fitted to Valiants.

These were the gears fitted to 'light duty' 318-powered full size (Dodge and Plymouth) cars for a a few years around 1963-'64, first gear was 2.11:1, which all seems pretty crazy but I have seen one of these. He could have cheated and run an A745, which looked very similar, with the 2.45:1 first gear... the original first in the A903 was around 2.9 or 3.0:1.

Did it have the 8¾ rear end? It would surely have been a real test of the rules of the time to have run one of them.

#3 bobcampbell

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 02:28

The most likely person I can think of would be Clem Smith...

He would have been pretty much aware of what Ern Abbott did because he ran an R-series against him. I don't know if Des Leonard, who had one in Sydney, would have any idea. Another possibility would be Alton Boddenberg, who ran an AP6 for a long time in Improved Production.

As for going out to 4.2 litres, that's quite likely as I've heard the blocks of those old slants could be bored over a hundred thou... it's possible he also had the close ratio factory gearset that came in the A903 transmissions fitted to Valiants.

These were the gears fitted to 'light duty' 318-powered full size (Dodge and Plymouth) cars for a a few years around 1963-'64, first gear was 2.11:1, which all seems pretty crazy but I have seen one of these. He could have cheated and run an A745, which looked very similar, with the 2.45:1 first gear... the original first in the A903 was around 2.9 or 3.0:1.

Did it have the 8¾ rear end? It would surely have been a real test of the rules of the time to have run one of them.


Thanks Ray. I don't think it had the 8¾ rear end as Dick had all sorts of diff problems. They cured most of them by running Castrol R oil in the diff on advice from the MTT who had problems with the worm drive diffs in their buses!

It had an American close ratio box that gave speeds of 70, 93 and 130 mph, probably on the 3.23 diff. With a 2.9 diff Dick got up to 140.62mph at Bathurst and was still accelerating.

#4 cooper997

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 02:55

Here's some Sandown entries for 1962...

March 11-12, 1962 (1st Sandown meeting) Event 1 - 1st Day, 5 laps 'Motor Show 1962 Trophy, Touring Cars - Division 1' J3 E Abbott/E Abbott Chrysler Valiant Blue 3688. Also listed in Event 8 - 1st Day, 6 laps 'Saloon Car Handicap - Heat 1' Then Event 11a - 2nd Day 6 laps 'Touring Cars' & may have been in the Event 14 - 2nd Day, 6 laps 'Touring Car Handicap' - but this was to be decided on the day, as it's not a published list in the programme.

May 20, 1962 - Event 3, 4 laps 'Touring Cars - +1600cc' J6 E Abbott/E Abbott Valiant Blue 3900. Also listed in Event 8 (Le Mans start) 15 laps 'The Ron Flockhart Memorial Race for Touring Cars' and Event 13, 3 laps 'Touring Car Handicap'

September 16, 1962 - Event 1, 3 laps 'The Bosch Touring Car Trophy' 3 Ern Abbott Car Sales/E Abbott Valiant 3900 Blue. Also listed in Event 5, 15 laps 'Victorian Touring Car Championship +1600cc' and Event 8, 3 laps 'Touring Car Handicap'

November 4, 1962 - Event 6, 10 laps '+1600cc Touring Cars' 36 Ern Abbott Car Sales/E Abbott Valiant 3900 Blue Vic.

Stephen

Edited by cooper997, 12 August 2013 - 03:00.


#5 Ray Bell

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 03:07

Originally posted by bobcampbell
Thanks Ray. I don't think it had the 8¾ rear end as Dick had all sorts of diff problems. They cured most of them by running Castrol R oil in the diff on advice from the MTT who had problems with the worm drive diffs in their buses!

It had an American close ratio box that gave speeds of 70, 93 and 130 mph, probably on the 3.23 diff. With a 2.9 diff Dick got up to 140.62mph at Bathurst and was still accelerating.


I would have thought that second gear would go further than that, I'd have to check what the ratio was... the one box I had is now in WA.

The oil would likely have been the 140 grade vegetable oil Castrol marketed for the worm drives in Peugeots. Total also supplied a similar product, I've got the remains of a drum full here.

#6 bobcampbell

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 23:21

Here's some Sandown entries for 1962...

March 11-12, 1962 (1st Sandown meeting) Event 1 - 1st Day, 5 laps 'Motor Show 1962 Trophy, Touring Cars - Division 1' J3 E Abbott/E Abbott Chrysler Valiant Blue 3688. Also listed in Event 8 - 1st Day, 6 laps 'Saloon Car Handicap - Heat 1' Then Event 11a - 2nd Day 6 laps 'Touring Cars' & may have been in the Event 14 - 2nd Day, 6 laps 'Touring Car Handicap' - but this was to be decided on the day, as it's not a published list in the programme.

May 20, 1962 - Event 3, 4 laps 'Touring Cars - +1600cc' J6 E Abbott/E Abbott Valiant Blue 3900. Also listed in Event 8 (Le Mans start) 15 laps 'The Ron Flockhart Memorial Race for Touring Cars' and Event 13, 3 laps 'Touring Car Handicap'

September 16, 1962 - Event 1, 3 laps 'The Bosch Touring Car Trophy' 3 Ern Abbott Car Sales/E Abbott Valiant 3900 Blue. Also listed in Event 5, 15 laps 'Victorian Touring Car Championship +1600cc' and Event 8, 3 laps 'Touring Car Handicap'

November 4, 1962 - Event 6, 10 laps '+1600cc Touring Cars' 36 Ern Abbott Car Sales/E Abbott Valiant 3900 Blue Vic.

Stephen


Thank you Stephen.

It is hard to find details of the car. It finished second in the ATCC at Mallala in 1963 and was second on the grid only a tenth of a second behind Jane's Jaguar (Australian Touring Car Championship - 30 Fabulous Years by Graham Howard and Stewart Wilson), but Howard and Wilson don't have any details of the Valiant's engine size.

Bob

#7 Ray Bell

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 02:15

What did Clem say, Bob?

He would have to be the first port of call. He ran third behind Ern in that race.

#8 cooper997

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 12:01

Thank you Stephen.

It is hard to find details of the car. It finished second in the ATCC at Mallala in 1963 and was second on the grid only a tenth of a second behind Jane's Jaguar (Australian Touring Car Championship - 30 Fabulous Years by Graham Howard and Stewart Wilson), but Howard and Wilson don't have any details of the Valiant's engine size.

Bob


Here's what you're after Bob, as published in the Easter Monday, April 15, 1963 Mallala ATCC programme

Event 6 Australian Touring Car Championship Race - 25 laps.
#99 E Abbott Car Sales/ (E Abbott) (VIC) Valiant 3900 Blue
Ern's also listed in Event 8 Handicap Race for Touring & GT Cars - 5 laps.

The following is the Driver Profile in the programme.
"ERN ABBOTT has once more come in his blue Valiant and must be considered one of the fastest touring cars present. He still holds the outright and over 3500cc class record for touring cars."

For the record Clem's Valiant is listed with a capacity of 3600.

Stephen

#9 bobcampbell

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 00:35

I chased up magazines of the period at the Motor Museum of WA. Peter the librarian was very helpful. I found an article "The Valiant Daze" in the August 1964 issue of Sports Car World that described the modifications made to the Valiant. 3.9 litres, 330 bhp, three 58 mm dual choke Webers, close ratio 3-speed crash box (no synchro!) and the rest. It appears that I was wrong about the 4.2 litres. It was about to be brought back to a 0.040" overbore to meet the new CAMS regulations, giving a capacity of 3750 cc according to the article.

Thank you to Stephen and Ray for your help.

I did contact Clem Smith, but he thought the car was standard capacity, as his was.

According to Red Book, the stock capacity was 3697 cc, but the capacity quoted in race programmes often was rounded up or down to an even 100 cc.

Bob



#10 cooper997

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 06:46

I was nearly going to suggest you look at period magazines for race reports Bob.

Australian Motor Sports, Autosportsman, Modern Motor, Racing Car News and SCW are bound to have plenty of event reports where Ern ran the car. 1962 and 63 Autosportsman and RCN will be hard to find though.

I don't like your chances of finding 58mm Webers at a good rate. There was some on eBay a couple of months or so ago for over $20k.

Stephen

#11 kaydee

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 12:12

I don't know if this photo is of any help (and I don't have a date or place where I took it) but I'm fairly certain it is Ern Abbott's Valiant at Mallala.
If someone more expert than I says it isn't - then it's Clem Smiths.
 
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#12 cooper997

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 05:08

There are pointers in Kevin's photo that indicate the same car's engine bay as shown in the Aug 64 SCW. But this photo is probably taken in the car's earlier development. The placement of MOPAR-SIMCA decal and the 4 mastic like blobs on the bulkhead indicate the same. It looks like Ern's wide bonnet strap is just evident at the bottom of the photo too.

I suspect a high res version of this photo might make it possible to read the body plate just visible on the top right corner. When viewed in imageshack alone, more of the plate is shown. I assume Bob must know the chassis number of the Abbott car.

Stephen

#13 kaydee

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 05:49

There are pointers in Kevin's photo that indicate the same car's engine bay as shown in the Aug 64 SCW. But this photo is probably taken in the car's earlier development. The placement of MOPAR-SIMCA decal and the 4 mastic like blobs on the bulkhead indicate the same. It looks like Ern's wide bonnet strap is just evident at the bottom of the photo too.

I suspect a high res version of this photo might make it possible to read the body plate just visible on the top right corner. When viewed in imageshack alone, more of the plate is shown. I assume Bob must know the chassis number of the Abbott car.

Stephen



Stephen I've checked against some of my other similar B & W photos and it looks like the Valiant engine bay shot was most likely taken at the Australian Tourist Trophy meeting at Mallala on Dec 28th 1962.
I've also tried to enhance the Identification plate but it's just too fuzzy to read.
I also found another similar shot taken on the same day but at a slightly different angle....


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#14 cooper997

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 08:12

Thanks for confirming the engine bay photo date Kevin. Another fine photo of a rarely photographed area of any racing/touring car. Based on the film sitting in the camera was usually sparingly used because there was often only 24 or 36 frames available.

Bob should be suitably impressed.

Stephen

#15 Ray Bell

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 14:32

I'm quite sure the gearbox was not a 'crash' box...

 

It would have been a standard box as supplied in Valiants, an A903, but with gears from the B-body version as supplied with some 273 and 318 V8s. They definitely had synchro on second and third gears. Chryslers didn't get a synchro first gear until the A230 was released in either '69 or '70.



#16 Ray Bell

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 14:43

Originally posted by Ray Bell

I would have thought that second gear would go further than that, I'd have to check what the ratio was... the one box I had is now in WA.



 

The ratios in that A903 were 2.12:1 for first and 1.43:1 for second. If it pulled 70mph in first, the same revs would give 104mph in second gear.



#17 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 07:23

Here's what you're after Bob, as published in the Easter Monday, April 15, 1963 Mallala ATCC programme

Event 6 Australian Touring Car Championship Race - 25 laps.
#99 E Abbott Car Sales/ (E Abbott) (VIC) Valiant 3900 Blue
Ern's also listed in Event 8 Handicap Race for Touring & GT Cars - 5 laps.

The following is the Driver Profile in the programme.
"ERN ABBOTT has once more come in his blue Valiant and must be considered one of the fastest touring cars present. He still holds the outright and over 3500cc class record for touring cars."

For the record Clem's Valiant is listed with a capacity of 3600.


Stephen

Clems Mustang was entered as 4700 but was about 5400cc for a good while. Entry list capacitys seldom ever tell the truth. And yes at the time it was totally legal with that capacity for Gp N.
The Valiant would have been bigger than 3.6 too, probably around 4 litre. Slopeys do bore a long way!

#18 Ray Bell

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 09:22

They were much closer to 3.7 litres standard, 3684cc...

 

Boring to 90mm took them out to 3999cc, that's 0.142" overbore, just over an eighth of an inch.

 

They are 'slants', by the way.



#19 cavvy

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 12:32

The motor went speedway racing after the car finished racing ... super modifieds, memory doesn't run to who !



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#20 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 07:29

The motor went speedway racing after the car finished racing ... super modifieds, memory doesn't run to who !

Lots of Modifieds used slopeys until Chevs became more commonplace. For their time they were an excellent engine, responsive and torquey. And generally very reliable. Most never saw more than 5000rpm.
Though by the look of that one it probably saw a few more.

#21 Ray Bell

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 11:50

You mean 'slants'?

 

Rugged old engines...