From the days of the Model T, when four-speed gear-boxes and ” Fronty ” conversions were all the rage, the Ford chassis has provided material for many enthusiasts to work on, and the latest models, the V8 and the ” Ten,” likewise respond readily to expert tuning.
The Batten Special, which is produced by Mr. James Batten, of Beckenham Motors, Beckenham, London, is a particularly good example. Using the chassis and engine of the ordinary V8 coupe or saloon, as produced in 1933, a low and compact car is produced capable of approximately 100 m.p.h.
The older chassis is chosen in preference to the latest type because of its straight cross-members. The back passengers are seated between these, which would be impossible in the latest type, which has a cruciform member at the rear. The chassis is stripped down, all working parts are renewed and the side-members cut. Twelve inches is removed, reducing the wheelbase from nine to eight feet, and the rear part of the chassis is inverted, so that it now passes under the rear axle. The back and front sections are welded togeth, and secured with flanged fishplates fitted over the welds. The track is reduced to 4 ft. 2 in., the front axle being cut, welded and reinforced in the centre while at the rear the axle tubes are reduced in length. The original springs are used, cut down, the rear one now being flat and beneath the rear axle. Large hydraulic shock
absorbers are used fore and aft. The ground clearance is not seriously affected by these alterations, 8k in. being provided at the lowest point.
The steering ratio has been raised by using a long drop arm, 1 turns being needed from lock to lock. The brakes are lined with Ferodo M.Z. racing fabric, End by altering the layout slightly have been made really powerful. The engine is, of course, brand new, and is of the latest type with double induction system. The cast iron heads have proved satisfactory, and by
machining the compression ratio is raised to 6.5 to 1. The ports are slightly enlarged and twin Burgess silencers are fitted. The engine speed has been raised from 4,000 to 4,700 r.p.m., giving speeds on the gears (windscreen folded) of 97102, 68-70 and 37-40 m.p.h. The car is fitted with a compact twodoor four-seater body and weighs corn
plete 21 cwt. As may be supposed, the acceleration is .excellent, the makF: s figure being 0-70 in 18 seconds. The price complete is £375. The supercharged Ford Ten, which is being built by the Beecholme Motor Company, of Nightingale Lane, S.W.12, fot Mr. K. N. Hutchison, is another ingenious job. The aim which lies behind its construction is to build at a low price a racing car which will yet give a satisfactory performance, and as the
total weight is only 7i cwt., with an expected horse power of 70 to 75, it should fulfil the expectations of the designer, Mr. Eason Gibson. Data collected from building this car may later be applied to making supercharged twoseaters specially suitable for competition purpose and selling at about.X250. On the normal Ford Ten chassis the side-members run parallel at the front of the chassis and then sweep outwards, but in the single-seater they run parallel throughout, some 2 ft. 6 in. apart, the rear cross-member, which a;s., ferms the spring mounting, being welded up with a box-section. They join together at the rear in order to sup!), rt the tank, and the strengthening pie’-es welded across the channels, where they ” kick up ” for the rear axle, gixe.3 additional rigidity. The suspension is unaltered, except for Continued at foot of next page
the fitting of Hartford shock absorbers, the brakes are cable-operated, and are compensated by means of pulleys. The steering box is mounted on the offside of the frame and the steering column is inclined across the chassis to the centrally-disposed steering wheel. With a long drop-arm, 131turns are needed from lock to lock. The engine has been suitably modified to suit it for high duty. The cylinderblock is of standard pattern, but linered down to 1,080 c.c., the crankshaft and connecting rods have been balanced and the weight of the flywheel has been reduced by one-third. The valve ports have been much enlarged and special
tulip valves have beenfitted. Martlett light alloy pistons are used. A Scintilla magneto replaces the coil ignition. A No. 4 Zoller supercharger is used in conjunction with a 40-mm. Solex carburetter. Running at .75 times engine speed it blows at 10 lb. and at .9 times engine speed the pressure will be 16 pounds ; the compression ratio remains at 6.6 to 1. The blower is mounted above the cylinder head and is driven
with the water pump by means of ;I three-point chain-drive from the front of the crankshaft.
A 25-gallon tank behind the driver forms the rear part of the neat singleseater body, which has flat casings fairing in the front and rear axles. Body and tank together weigh 11 cwt. The car is expected to be capable of 110 m.p.h. and should be ready at the beginning of May. It is intended for racing at Donington and Brooklands, and wilt also be entered in Irish events such as the Limerick and Cork road-races.