ISSUE 005, JUNE 17, 2009


Off to the Salt!


The Streamliner and the Endurance Car on display in front of Steve Pike’s Factory.

Dear Healey Enthusiasts,
It is official...! The cars are finished and are currently on their way towards the World of Speed at Bonneville, Utah.
It took a lot of Challenges along the way to get to this point. More about this in the current Newsletter. We have been very cautious about confirming the exact venues and dates until the cars were completed, but now that they are heading for the salt, the events’ schedule is confirmed. The wait is over...now is the time to make your travel plans and accommodation reservations. If you intend to be at any of the events, then please let us know, so that we can help the supporting Healey Clubs to organize the Bonnevi#e Revival properly.
Your Healeys return to Bonnevi#e Team


September 4-7, 2009, Portland International Raceway
All British Field Meet

12 September 2009 : Miller Motorsportspark
Display of the record Cars, BBQ,... Admission + BBQ : 15 USD

16 - 19 September 2009 : World of Speed, Bonneville Utah
See the Healey Endurance Car and the Streamliner in action on the Salt 55 years after the original event. (USFRA Admission : 10 USD per day or 20 USD for the Event.)

17 September 2009 : Wendover Revival Roundtable
Q&A with the original Team Members involved in Healey Speed records


The last minute challenges...


It’s the beginning of August 2009 and time is moving quickly. The tyranny of distance has been against the team and for the cars to be in Oregon for showing at All British Field Meet 2009 in Portland, they have been packed into containers on 29 July and as you are reading this Newsletter are making their way to the USA. With the Pacific Ocean separating Melbourne, Australia and Bonneville it isn’t a simple matter of hitching the cars behind tow vehicles and setting off. There are thousands of miles of ocean of painfully slow surface shipping.

Some weeks before the cars were shipped, to find out how the cars were progressing we spoke to Steve Pike whose company Marsh Classic in Bacchus Marsh constructed the cars.

“While the Endurance car has been finished for some time, not so the Streamliner. However the painting has been completed, the engine has been built along with the gearbox. The suspension has been fitted and the supercharger is now joined to the front of the engine.”

Interested in more details we asked Steve to be a little more expansive.

“In some ways the Streamliner is standard Austin-Healey 100. Take the suspension for instance – that’s 100% standard 100. The differential is a spiral bevel like the early 100s and the 100S; however the ratio is 2.46:1. Coupled with the 16 inch wheels, a 30inch rolling diameter and a .9 reduction in 5th gear gives it an overall final ratio of 2.2:1.”

Can you tell us about the wheels and tyres?

“The wheels are 16 inch peg drive Dunlop racing wheels while the tyres are also Dunlop racing tyres. The both are the same as fitted to the Jaguar D-types and Lister Jaguars. Off the shelf, the tyres are good for 160mph, but when the tread is buffed off a further 20mph is possible. Increased tyre pressures will make it possible to run at the magic 200mph.”

What about the red flash?

“We were going to use a sign writer to paint it on, but that proved to be problematic. So in the end he came out and cut paper templates with the idea of making in the way of a sticker.” “To get to the USA in time. I am really pleased at how hard everyone is working especially my son David who made the body and the spray painter Jarrad Solomon.”

What have been the biggest dramas so far with the cars?

“Building the cars was relatively straight forward, but definitely the biggest challenge has been getting past the current rules for scrutineering. The rules have provided us with some interesting engineering challengers. For instance we had to design and then make roll-cages for both cars. That was easy enough for the Endurance car, but not so the Streamliner. For that the rules say that the rollbar has to cover the driver from the top of the head right down to the feet. That was difficult, especially when it also had to fit within the Perspex canopy. In the end we had to make the canopy 6 inches taller.”

“Finding a Shorrock supercharger proved to be a challenge we couldn’t meet despite an extensive worldwide search for the correct type. In the end we decided on a Wade supercharger and I can tell you we have learnt quite a bit about superchargers since then. For instance we now know that blowing air requires a much bigger jet in the single 2-1/2 inch SU carburettor. Plus the blower has to be drained after every use or at least every couple of days. The engine runs at 11:1 static compression and at 13:1 when boosted at 10lb. The Wade supercharger is much bigger than the original Shorrock and when fitted, it sits over the top of the front cross member. It’s driven off the front of the crankshaft by a 2-1/2 inch toothed belt.”

Didn’t you have problems finding an original gearbox?

“The gearbox ended up being difficult as well. Like the Endurance car the original Streamliner had a DB or David Brown gearbox, but it was a very special 5-speed. I have since found out that there were less than a dozen original 5-speed DB boxes built, so really we had next to no chance in finding one. Then I was talking to fellow Austin-Healey and XR-37 owner Robert Harrison who is familiar with the DB box. Rob suggested that we use a Rover LT77 5-speed as it is not too dissimilar to the original David Brown.”

“So we found a Rover box, rebuilt it and then by grafting on an Austin-Healey bellhousing and making a longer tail-shaft it all went together quite well.”

In the end the 17 July 2009 deadline came and went as there was far more work to be done, mainly caused by having to comply with the 2009 rules. One being that a parachute had to be fitted to the car. We will hear more about that and other challengers, disasters and successes in the next newsletter.


The cars ready for their journey... first the Pacific salt... then the salt
of Utah!







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