‘BELLY TANK’ RACER

Classic Sports Car - - Letters - Ge­off Wild

One of the most eye-catch­ing ve­hi­cles at the event looked as if it had started life on the salt flats of Bonneville in the im­me­di­ate post-war years, but its his­tory be­gins much closer to home – or so its owner thought. “I was told when I bought the tank that it was from a Spit­fire, so be­cause of that I built the car British,” says Ge­off Wild. “It turns out that it’s from a 1943 P-51 Mus­tang!”

De­spite its US prove­nance, Wild pressed ahead with his Bri­tishthemed build: “The sus­pen­sion is from a Stan­dard Fly­ing 12 donor, as is the rear axle. The en­gine came from a V4 Capri that had been stand­ing in a garage for 30 years. We didn’t know if it was any good or not, and it was the same for the Volvo Ama­zon gear­box, which I mated to a Ford bell­hous­ing. The Fly­ing 12 also do­nated some of its prop­shaft, its wheels, hub­caps and crossply tyres.

“The whole build took me about a year,” says Wild, who is no stranger to drag rac­ing and owns a pro-street Hum­ber. “It’s fan­tas­tic to drive – I was quite sur­prised! The brakes are a bit waffly be­cause they’re cable-op­er­ated, and I have to change gear ear­lier than I thought. You have to re­mem­ber it’s a Tran­sit-de­rived en­gine so was built for torque. I got beaten by a Chevy truck that had 330bhp, but there was a stan­dard MGA that I left for dead.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.