I have followed with interest the recent correspondence in Motor Sport concerning V8 specials and was especially interested to read the letter from JD Batten’s daughter. Mrs. Warren, in the June issue.
In the early 1960’s I owned a Ford V8 engined Allard P2 saloon for which I bought a pair of Ardun ohv alloy cylinder heads and a McCulloch centrifugal supercharger, model 39F. I fitted the blower to the Allard and had great fun with it on the road but never used the Ardun heads although Tom Lush of Allard’s kindly supplied all the fitting information.
In 1974 I bought, from Dan Margulies, an aluminium bodied open 2-stater Batten Special, fitted with a 3.6-litre Ford V8 engine bored out +030″ and mated to a three speed Ford gearbox. At that time I lived at Longniddry in East Lothian and used the Batten on the road, in speed hillclimbs at Doune and Kinkell, and in sprints at Ingliston. Since moving to Yorkshire. I have stripped and rebuilt the engine and gearbox, and have recently fitted the McCulloch blower. This beautiful V8 special will soon be ready for more competition work in hilIclimbs and, if all goes well, circuit racing — the purpose for which JD Batten designed and built the machine for his own amusement at Brooklands and Donington Park. In Mrs. Warren’s letter, the registration of the racing Batten Special is quoted as CRR 191. The registration of my car is CKR 191. Is it possible that a printer’s error could account for the discrepancy, [No! Ed] or is my car a modified production car? An error seems likely since CKR is a Kent registration of the right period. whereas CRR is not.
Neil P Bennett, Pontefract