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Engine Tuners in F5000


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#1 FlyingSaucer

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 18:22

I know that topics related to F5000 are always interesting (and becoming extremely rare), so I'm going to post another one here on the forum.
 
Going deeper into the history of the F5000, you end up discovering the various facets of the Chevrolet V8 engines, in particular, the companies specialized in tuning such powerplants. Certainly, the name that comes to mind when talking about it is Traco, which was, without a doubt, the strongest and most well-known company in this segment.
 
The point is that it is easy to find information about Traco on the internet, with several posts and reports made about them.
 
But does anyone know a little about the history of other companies that modified F5000 V8 Chevrolets? I heard about names like Morand, RES and Fewkes, but I've never seen any historical data about them - and almost nothing written about them on the internet. I would love to hear something about them, like dates, locations, modifications they made, etc...


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#2 Tom Glowacki

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 19:12

Gordon Chance wrote "Race Man Jim Travers and the Traco Dynasty" (Tuner Publications 2011) and Phil Henny did "Engine Man" (Editions Cotty 2012) about Al Bartz.



#3 richie

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 20:08

https://www.lubesngr...ews/roy-fewkes/ Roy Fewkes was his name: 

https://www.morand-cars.com/heritage/

 

Hope that helps.


Edited by richie, 11 April 2024 - 20:25.


#4 richie

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 20:24

Further engine builders Boltoff & Bartz- https://irp-cdn.mult...uploaded/10.pdf

https://www.motors-m...engine-man.html



#5 MCS

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 22:17

Alan Smith in Derby were a significant provider of F5000 engines in Europe at least.



#6 Ray Bell

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 23:01

Team VDS used Moroso engines, Moroso are in Connecticutt...

 

Bartz supplied engines to Niel Allen at the start of the formula and his chief mechanic, Peter Molloy, then embarked on his own program based on the Bartz work. Warwick Brown in particular used Molloy-prepared engines.

 

Is this thread strictly limited to Chevrolet engines, or can we include other makes - Holden, Chrysler etc?



#7 68targa

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Posted 12 April 2024 - 09:03

Team VDS used Moroso engines, Moroso are in Connecticutt...

 

VDS also used Morand prepared engines in Europe during 1974 at least and Team Surtees used Morand engines in 1971. Louis Morand's son, Benoit, now runs a Swiss Hypercar venture. https://www.morand-cars.com/

 

I also have a photo of Alan Rollinson in a Lotus 70 with Vegantune prepared engine. 

 

Falconer & Dunn from Culver City are another that comes to mind.



#8 Ray Bell

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Posted 12 April 2024 - 11:22

I might have been wrong, then, saying Moroso...

 

Later I'm told that VDS bought out the Chaparral engine building setup, which was another which turned out top horsepower F5000 engines.

 

The Lotus 70 engine would surely have been a Ford? Peter Molloy also did a Ford to replace the Repco-Holden in one of John Goss' Matichs, but it never raced.



#9 rl1856

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Posted 12 April 2024 - 12:27

Ryan Falconer ran a shop that prepared SB Chevy V8 engines for Al Unser and Mario Andretti in F5000 and the winner of the 1980 CanAm cup- Patrick Tambay.    



#10 68targa

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Posted 12 April 2024 - 12:43


The Lotus 70 engine would surely have been a Ford? Peter Molloy also did a Ford to replace the Repco-Holden in one of John Goss' Matichs, but it never raced.

I thought the same but it appears Rollinson ran the Lotus with a Chevy through 1970.

 

edit:  I notice that Jock Russell had a Ford in his Lotus 70 during 1969.

 

(according to the programmes)


Edited by 68targa, 12 April 2024 - 12:46.


#11 Ray Bell

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Posted 12 April 2024 - 12:49

The Lotus 70 was designed to use the Ford engine...

 

There would have been some adaptation to fit the Chev.

 

The really interesting thing about the Repco Holden engines was the way they overcome flexing of the pushrods.



#12 GreenMachine

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Posted 12 April 2024 - 13:07

Pretty sure I remember a Lotus-Ford at one of the F5000 Tasmans ...  :confused:

 

Possibly this one?  Though if it was a Ford, I would have expected a 'Ford' decal somewhere.

Epson%20scan6%2B-5-X2.jpg



#13 MCS

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Posted 12 April 2024 - 13:34

A little bit more on George Bolthoff - ex-Traco, ex-McLaren and ex-Drag Racer of some renown:  https://cacklefest.com/Bolthoff.shtml



#14 MCS

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Posted 12 April 2024 - 13:47

The red Tasman Lotus-Ford is that of John Cannon I think.

 

Going back to 1972, Cannon appeared with the first F5000 March, a modified F2 722, commonly known as the "725" - whilst interesting in itself, it was powered by an Oldsmobile engine, prepared by RES (Race Engine Services).  He took a couple of pole positions - one in the European Series and one in the L&M US series but never won a race.  I was always curious as to why he didn't choose a Chevy engine.



#15 FlyingSaucer

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Posted 12 April 2024 - 14:24

 

Is this thread strictly limited to Chevrolet engines, or can we include other makes - Holden, Chrysler etc?

 

If you have any info regarding other manufacturers, that can add smt to the discussion, feel free do so. I just wish the topic to be more focused on the F5000 in Europe and Oceania. Sorry to the American friends!!!

 

VDS also used Morand prepared engines in Europe during 1974 at least and Team Surtees used Morand engines in 1971. Louis Morand's son, Benoit, now runs a Swiss Hypercar venture. https://www.morand-cars.com/

 

In 1975, the VDS Lola T400s were also equipped with Morand engines, if I'm not mistaken.

 

 

And also, does any one have some info about a tuner called "Whitehurst"?



#16 MCS

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Posted 12 April 2024 - 14:55

Yes, he was an ex-Alan Smith employee who branched out on his own as I recall,  His name was Dave, I think.

 

Edit:   Well, curiosity got the better of me.  David Whitehurst was actually the Managing Director at Alan Smith for 13 years before setting up on his own.

 

Look here:  https://whitehurstracing.com/history/

 


Edited by MCS, 12 April 2024 - 15:01.


#17 richie

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Posted 12 April 2024 - 18:34

Tim Close engineering prepared some Chevy engines. I think he was based in Cambridge but cant find any info on him. 



#18 opplock

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Posted 12 April 2024 - 19:01

The red Tasman Lotus-Ford is that of John Cannon I think.

 

 

 

John Cannon competed in 1971 Tasman but with an McLaren M10B. Correction - he did drive the Lotus 70 at Surfers Paradise after crashing the McLaren in the previous event. 

 

The Lotus 70 is the car in which David Oxton finished 4th at Levin and was then purchased by STP in hope of giving Chris Amon a more competitive ride than their ex Andretti March 701 now DFW "powered". Poor Oxton then got lumbered with the March. Having driven a 701 in F1 throughout 1970  and beaten the DFW powered Lotus 49s in the 1969 Tasman I can't imagine that Amon thought the March would be a competitive proposition.   


Edited by opplock, 12 April 2024 - 22:07.


#19 FlyingSaucer

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Posted 12 April 2024 - 19:09

Tim Close engineering prepared some Chevy engines. I think he was based in Cambridge but cant find any info on him. 

 

It was him that tuned the Chevrolet V8 engine of Brian Robinson's McLaren M19c? As it's stated that this car had a Chevy-Close engine around 1974/75. 


Edited by FlyingSaucer, 12 April 2024 - 19:09.


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#20 Ray Bell

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Posted 12 April 2024 - 20:48

As far as I know, the only Lotus 70 to appear here was first seen in the hands of David Walker...

 

Then it went to Oxton.

 

Cannon did win a Sandown race with the March, but I'm sure it was Chev powered.



#21 MCS

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Posted 12 April 2024 - 20:57

Looks like Cannon raced the Lotus 70 at the final Surfers Paradise round according to ORC, Ray.  Looking harder, there are also some images of the same.



#22 GreenMachine

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Posted 13 April 2024 - 00:04

Looks like Cannon raced the Lotus 70 at the final Surfers Paradise round according to ORC, Ray.  Looking harder, there are also some images of the same.

 

The photo of the Lotus 70 in post 12 was taken at the 1971 Tasman meeting at Warwick Farm where Amon drove it to finish 2nd.  It was driven by John Cannon at the Surfers round, when Amon had to vacate the seat due to other commitments (the round had been postponed due to weather).  ORC says this was chassis 70/2, but it and the Loxton book are silent (as far as I can see) on the engine used in the Tasman.  I have some WF programs, I'll see if they can shed any light on this question.

 

ETA:  Thanks Lynton, came here to say that I found that info on ORC site on furter looking.


Edited by GreenMachine, 13 April 2024 - 01:04.


#23 lyntonh

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Posted 13 April 2024 - 00:27

The photo of the Lotus 70 in post 12 was taken at the 1971 Tasman meeting at Warwick Farm where Amon drove it to finish 2nd.  It was driven by John Cannon at the Surfers round, when Amon had to vacate the seat due to other commitments (the round had been postponed due to weather).  ORC says this was chassis 70/2, but it and the Loxton book are silent (as far as I can see) on the engine used in the Tasman.  I have some WF programs, I'll see if they can shed any light on this question.

Boss Ford.



#24 MarkBisset

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Posted 14 April 2024 - 03:50

IMG-3434.jpg

 

Australia had/has no shortage of small-block Chev fettlers as others have made clear. Peter Molloy was the 'first-among-equals' as the performance of his engines in the cars of Niel Allen, Warwick Brown, Bruce Allison, Bob Muir and others showed. The engines used by Brown and Muir didn't lack-puff when they raced in the US so equipped.

 

The home grown article was the Repco-Holden F5000 V8 developed from General Motors Holden's then new 308 V8 in 1969-70. See here: https://primotipo.co...olden-f5000-v8/

 

Designed and built by some of the (F1 et al) Repco Brabham Engines Pty Ltd folks in part of their Maidstone premises by Redco Pty Ltd (a Repco subsidiary incorporated for that purpose), it was as close to a 'works F5000' engine as any.

 

Winner of (memory) three AGPs, three Oz Gold Stars, two NZGPs, an Oz Sportscar Championship, a US L&M round and countless taxi Sports-Sedan rounds - one was fitted to Gerry Marshall's Baby Bertha Vauxhall - the engine was, and is a good thing.

 

The prick that wrote the article above waffles away with lots of foreplay, the Phil Irving and Malcolm Preston guts of it starts at about the halfway mark headed 'Holden and Repco F5000 Partnership'


Edited by MarkBisset, 14 April 2024 - 03:53.


#25 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 14 April 2024 - 06:30

Team VDS used Moroso engines, Moroso are in Connecticutt...

 

Bartz supplied engines to Niel Allen at the start of the formula and his chief mechanic, Peter Molloy, then embarked on his own program based on the Bartz work. Warwick Brown in particular used Molloy-prepared engines.

 

Is this thread strictly limited to Chevrolet engines, or can we include other makes - Holden, Chrysler etc?

They were 5000s so I so no reason not.



#26 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 14 April 2024 - 06:41

I might have been wrong, then, saying Moroso...

 

Later I'm told that VDS bought out the Chaparral engine building setup, which was another which turned out top horsepower F5000 engines.

 

The Lotus 70 engine would surely have been a Ford? Peter Molloy also did a Ford to replace the Repco-Holden in one of John Goss' Matichs, but it never raced.

I had thought that Goss used Ford engines. Probably because ofhis Touring car connections. From this forum I have now known he used Holden, I guess because that is what the cars came with.

I doubt a Ford in period would have made the power,, though neither did the Holden. A Boss 302 would have had but would need to be turned very hard. And those Clevo heads are heavy!!

With all the engines used though the Chev was the one to beat. And even then had by far the most aftermarket support.



#27 Ray Bell

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Posted 14 April 2024 - 08:08

No doubt Ford were keen for him to use one of their engines...

 

But as you say, the weight of the Cleveland was against it apart from the lack of experience getting big power out of the 5-litre version.

 

I do recall John Goss saying he wasn't keen on the shuttles used in the Repco-Holden to reduce the pushrod length as he felt they were an impediment to further development.



#28 BRG

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Posted 14 April 2024 - 09:04

Mathwall Engineering, based in a little rural enclave at Thursley off the A3 London-Portsmouth road, are known for V8s, but did they ever do any F5000 motors?



#29 Ray Bell

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Posted 14 April 2024 - 11:54

I'm told that Chris Milton built a nice strong Chev engine for his own F5000...

 

And, of course, the Leyland P76 alloy engine was used by John McCormack and won the Australian Gold Star Championship in his McLaren M23. Later Phil Irving designed some better heads for it (the P76 heads had a problem with some of the exhaust ports) and they were made of a new aluminium type which enabled them to go without valve seats or something (I won't swear that was what it was, but definitely something) and they were called IMC heads.

 

They barely got a run as other problems beset the car in 1979, but McCormack was ready to give the AGP at Sandown a red hot go with the car fitted with these heads until he was involved in a road crash on the way to the meeting.



#30 SJ Lambert

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Posted 14 April 2024 - 13:41

My Godfather, Bob Mills, was one of Garrie Cooper’s right hand men at Elfins went to Texas to join the engine program at VDS, by the time I was old enough to be cognisant of the going’s on there, they were doing rebuilds on Indy engines, so not sure if VDS ever did their own F5000 engines late on the piece or if they ever did rebuilds on F5000 engines either.
Incidentally, Bob who was also chief mechanic for the Surtees F1 tram for a spell in the seventies ended up as Machine Shop Supervisor at Ilmor in Michigan in charge of Indy motors. He’d have had a big hand in Repco-Brabham motors installed in Elfins in the sixties as well as in-house F5000 engines at Elfins in the seventies.

Edited by SJ Lambert, 14 April 2024 - 13:43.


#31 Ray Bell

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Posted 14 April 2024 - 22:51

Another member of the South Australian set was working with Ilmor, though I'm not sure of the years...

 

Peter Scott, former Vee and ANF2 racer (Elfin 792?), had gone to the US looking for a drive but finished up working his way through various teams with the Indycar series. I don't remember exactly what he told me, but at one stage he was working between a team or teams and Ilmor. He was on the Jeff Krosnoff crew when Jeff was killed in 1996. Later Peter headed the Nissan IMSA team.



#32 Ray Bell

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Posted 14 April 2024 - 23:23

And it wouldn't be fair to mention South Australians on an F5000 engine thread without mentioning Doug Trengove...

 

Doug fettled Repco-Holdens for many years and spoke of them by their engine numbers and could quote their individual horsepower figures, he knew them so well



#33 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 15 April 2024 - 05:35

I'm told that Chris Milton built a nice strong Chev engine for his own F5000...

 

And, of course, the Leyland P76 alloy engine was used by John McCormack and won the Australian Gold Star Championship in his McLaren M23. Later Phil Irving designed some better heads for it (the P76 heads had a problem with some of the exhaust ports) and they were made of a new aluminium type which enabled them to go without valve seats or something (I won't swear that was what it was, but definitely something) and they were called IMC heads.

 

They barely got a run as other problems beset the car in 1979, but McCormack was ready to give the AGP at Sandown a red hot go with the car fitted with these heads until he was involved in a road crash on the way to the meeting.

Talking to Chris at Mallala a few years back when there was a good field of 5000s and he said that with what we know now about heads, cams and valve train there is at leat 70hp available. And that is using period heads.

The P76 heads are tiny on ports and valves. Based in 3500 technology from early 60s. So any aftermarket heads would have to have been better. I am unsure of the bore and stroke on those engines, I very much doubt anywhere near factory. Factory was 3.5" bore and no hi powered V8 was ever built from that. Macs speed was from engine weight, nothing else.People who were around the car in period hated the engine, with the flat plane the tub needed a LOT of rivets replaced after every event. And the engines were well short of even the Holdens for power.

My recollection is they had some blocks cast by CAC with presumably far bigger bores. Though this alone would be suss as they were supposed to be stock block engines



#34 GregThomas

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Posted 15 April 2024 - 07:40

While the well sponsored teams had engines built by the "name" companies it was still possible to do quite well with a very small budget.

The good engine for the last Begg - 018 - had a set of Bartz heads but that was as exotic as it got. 

I happened to walk into the race shop who were recommissioning the car after George sold it. I knew the proprietor quite well.

He was at a loss to know what the dry sump pumps were as he'd never seen any like them before.

I was able to tell him that they used Ford 4 cylinder oil pump rotors in housings cast and machined by Geoff Mardon - George's factory manager and 

some-time works driver.  Geoff had told me about them when i was looking to dry sump a bike engine for speedway use.

The spare engine which had been pressed into service several times was even less exotic.

Remarkably the small team with very little money came close to big wins more than once.



#35 backfire

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Posted 15 April 2024 - 10:47

Both Dave Whitehurst and Roy Fewkes were at Alan Smith Racing in Derby (First at a railway arch in Friargate and then in Manchester Street). Roy left to start his own engine shop and Dave took over the running of Alan Smith Racing when Alan retired (although I seem to remember Alan came back into the business for a while and Dave switched to a home workshop.

Alan Smith was originally mechanic for Reg Parnell and his original F5000 Chevrolets were basically Al Bartz spec although, as time went on, he developed them to his own spec (fuel injection etc.). Smith supplied engines to Sidney Taylor (inc. US Championship with Jody Scheckter)



#36 MarkBisset

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Posted 16 April 2024 - 06:08

My Godfather, Bob Mills, was one of Garrie Cooper’s right hand men at Elfins went to Texas to join the engine program at VDS, by the time I was old enough to be cognisant of the going’s on there, they were doing rebuilds on Indy engines, so not sure if VDS ever did their own F5000 engines late on the piece or if they ever did rebuilds on F5000 engines either.
Incidentally, Bob who was also chief mechanic for the Surtees F1 tram for a spell in the seventies ended up as Machine Shop Supervisor at Ilmor in Michigan in charge of Indy motors. He’d have had a big hand in Repco-Brabham motors installed in Elfins in the sixties as well as in-house F5000 engines at Elfins in the seventies.

IMG-3440.jpg

 

Nice James,

 

I wondered who led the build of Garrie's in-house Chevs. I guess his two Repco-Holdens went out the door in the sale of his MR5B and MS7: Edmonds and Kostera from memory. 

 

Eight-into-one howled during the 78 AGP weekend, for a while…
 

IMG-3439.jpg

 

Alan Hamilton had a pair of VDS Chevs that went into the back of the Lola T430 and later the M26 McLaren, as here. 535bhp so the talk had them. His CFO told me they were flown home to Indianapolis for a birthday each year, expensive rebuilds!


Edited by MarkBisset, 16 April 2024 - 06:14.


#37 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 20 April 2024 - 03:33

IMG-3440.jpg

 

Nice James,

 

I wondered who led the build of Garrie's in-house Chevs. I guess his two Repco-Holdens went out the door in the sale of his MR5B and MS7: Edmonds and Kostera from memory. 

 

Eight-into-one howled during the 78 AGP weekend, for a while…
 

IMG-3439.jpg

 

Alan Hamilton had a pair of VDS Chevs that went into the back of the Lola T430 and later the M26 McLaren, as here. 535bhp so the talk had them. His CFO told me they were flown home to Indianapolis for a birthday each year, expensive rebuilds!

Top pic is a Chev, not a Holden.

That pic of the Hamilton engine would have been old,, by the late 70s all the top 5000s had alloy heads



#38 MarkBisset

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Posted 20 April 2024 - 10:21

Correct.

I didn’t write that the engine shown is a Holden.

Incorrect.
M26 shot - try that Google thingy - is in 1981



#39 FlyingSaucer

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Posted 21 April 2024 - 13:37

Can someone confirm me a info?

 

Guy Edward's The Encyclopedia Brittanica Lola T332 (chassis #HU34) was equipped with a Fewkes, Smith or Whitehurst Chevrolet V8 tuned-engine? 

 

I'm in doubt because I cross-checked data from some magazines of that time and each one of them claim a different tuner for this specific car x driver combination. 



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#40 MCS

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Posted 21 April 2024 - 17:31

Can someone confirm me a info?

 

Guy Edward's The Encyclopedia Brittanica Lola T332 (chassis #HU34) was equipped with a Fewkes, Smith or Whitehurst Chevrolet V8 tuned-engine? 

 

I'm in doubt because I cross-checked data from some magazines of that time and each one of them claim a different tuner for this specific car x driver combination. 

It may have had all three ! 

 

I haven't checked, but there is a correlation between Messrs Fewkes, Smith and Whitehurst as we know from backfire's excellent post (#35) !!



#41 MarkBisset

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Posted 25 April 2024 - 05:16

Chev-F5000-Alan-Smith-c73-David-Whitehur

 

David Whitehurst works on an Alan Smith Chev circa 1973. Note the 'crossover' inlet manifold and slide fuel injection set up.

 

Whitehurst joined Smith in 1963, later became MD and took over the business in 1973, renaming it David Whitehurst Racing : https://whitehurstracing.com/history/

 

And : https://forums.autos...alan-smith-rip/


Edited by MarkBisset, 25 April 2024 - 05:22.


#42 Ray Bell

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Posted 25 April 2024 - 07:09

That looks like excellent manifolding...

 

But it's unusual to have the injectors so far from the ports.



#43 timf5000

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Posted 25 April 2024 - 12:04

That looks like excellent manifolding...

 

But it's unusual to have the injectors so far from the ports.

We bought the last unmachined manifold with slides and all drawings direct from Alan Smith himself for our Trojan. He had been using it as a footrest under his desk when I rang him on the off-chance he had one! And they do need a fair amount of fuel sprayed down the trumpets on start-up!