DOWN THE WORK­SHOP

AMIL­CAR Aero-en­gined VSCC spe­cial Based on 1929 chas­sis Cur­rent driver: Tom Walker

Motor Sport News - - Historics -

It’s a re­cent build “Robin Baker started build­ing it about 15 years ago, start­ing with a 1929 Amil­car CGSS chas­sis, front axle and brakes,” says Walker. “I’ve owned it for 18 months. Robin never raced it and, in fact, he told me I shouldn’t race it be­cause it was de­signed for sprint­ing. But I have found that it is an ex­ceed­ingly good rac­ing car.”

He’s al­ready had some suc­cess “The win at the VSCC Oul­ton Park meet­ing in July was the best rac­ing day of my life so far. It was awe­some to be out with four or five cars of sim­i­lar per­for­mance. The weight dis­tri­bu­tion is ab­so­lutely per­fect with the driver on­board and the car is a bit like a Frazer Nash at the back.”

The en­gine is very spe­cial “In pe­riod, the chas­sis would have had a 1500cc en­gine fit­ted, but Robin in­stalled the re­mark­ably light His­pano V8. At just un­der 12 litres, the 1915 de­sign was ahead of its time. There are one or two other cars with the His­pano V8 en­gine, but they tend to be Ed­war­dian cars, be­cause it is an Ed­war­dian en­gine but in a vin­tage chas­sis. I’ve prob­a­bly got one of the ear­lier en­gines with be­tween 150 and 180bhp. The power is suf­fi­cient! It would be very dif­fi­cult to re­place the en­gine. There aren’t many left in the world and I cer­tainly don’t want to dam­age it.”

It’s low-revving “The en­gine would have orig­i­nally been in­stalled in a SPAD, a French fighter bi­plane, or a Bri­tish Royal Air­craft Fac­tory SE5. My en­gine was made un­der li­cence by the Wright Com­pany in New York. The prime rev range is 1800 to 2000 and it doesn’t want to rev over that. That is sim­i­lar to the speed they were run at in the pe­riod aero­planes. It was a very high-tech en­gine for the pe­riod and pro­duced about 200bhp. It is all alu­minium with screwed in steel lin­ers.”

It has two speeds “The car uses a two-speed bevel gear­box with chain drive trans­mis­sion to the back axle. It is such a light car with a rel­a­tively low revving, very torquey en­gine. It is ab­so­lutely fine with two speeds. You don’t need more than two gears and they’d get in the way if you had more gears. It is amaz­ing.”

Amil­car is a good racer

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