Last month there came into being the Typhoon, a sports car sold for home construction by Tornado Cars Ltd., of Rickmansworth, Herts. The Typhoon is intended to take Ford Eight or Ten engine, transmission and other components. For £70 a tubular ladder-type frame is available, consisting of main cross-members of 3 in. o.d. drawn tubing, with a sub-frame of 1 1/2 in., 1 in. and 1/2 in. tube to take the engine and components. This frame has a wheelbase of 7 ft. 3 in. or 8 ft. 1 in. depending on whether a two-seater or occasional four-seater frame is ordered, the front track being 4 ft. 2 in., the rear track 3 ft. 9 in.
Front suspension is by a divided Ford axle and coil-spring suspension units to provide i.f.s., while at the back vertical chassis tubes provide the upper mounting for coil-spring suspension units, the back axle being attached by brackets to those units and located by an anti-roll bar and the transmission torque tube. A remote control gear lever mounted on the torque tube is provided and Ford Girling brakes are retained. The radiator is inclined forward and hung from an extension of the tubular engine sub-frame, the filler being incorporated in a cylinderical header tank above the cylinder head.
The body for use with this chassis is a fibre-glass moulding, comprising main shell, and bonded to this, a single moulding acting as bulkhead, floor, transmission cover, seat pans and squab. No supporting frame is required, this body shell being mounted directly on the chassis tubes. There are eleven basic mouldings in the body structure and hoot, wheel arches, doors and boot lid are subsidiary plastic mouldings. This is an all-enveloping body with bonnet-top air-intake and inbuilt lamps. The price of this body is £130.
The Typhoon chassis is supplied with fully-adjustable drilled pedals, the mounting brackets for radiator, engine, gearbox, steering column, steering box and fuel tank, and the suspension units, body attachments, battery frame and Panhard rod, together with the divided front axle. Thus chassis and body total £200. Tornado Cars claim that a complete Typhoon can be built for less than £250, using used Ford parts. They base their claim on their prototype, which was assembled from parts taken from a 1948 Ford Eight bought locally for £25. However, we regard this figure as optimistic, bearing in mind the need to find engine, gearbox, back-axle, steering column, propeller shaft and torque tube, front stub-axles, wheels, tyres, battery, instruments, lamps, wiring, etc. A crashed Ford, when located, might yield some but not all of these parts and at best they would be secondhand. For competition work sound steering pivots, brake drums, etc., would be essential, and advantage would have to be taken of the Ford engine exchange scheme, which costs £26 after you have found an engine. Indeed, one authority on special building who was present at the Press release of the Typhoon told us he puts the total outlay at nearer £600—no doubt he was thinking of a car in full competition trim.
However, for those eager to build their own Ford sports car, here is a chassis and body to suit their needs.
There is good news for those who believe in the excellent road adhesion and long-wearing qualities of Michelin “X” tyres. These tyres are now available in 5.00 by 14 size. This size enables these tyres to be used on Morris Minor 1000, Wolseley 1500 and 1.5 Riley cars. The price is £6 4s. per cover. The special tube costs £1 0s. 6d. It is expected that “X” tyres will soon be available in 13 in. size suitable for the Ford range.
A new factory especially designed to produce nothing but steel-cord tyres is being planned by the Michelin Tyre Company. It will be built at Burnley, Lancashire, and production will begin in 1960. News of Michelin’s need for a second factory devoted entirely to the production of “steel-cord” is noteworthy even at this early stage, for it shows how great is the user—and manufacturer—demand for Michelin “X” and Michelin “Metallic” giant tyres—the only steel-cord tyres generally available in all popular sizes.