This has replaced the Caterham in so far as I hope to be
able to use it for track day events (something different) and once fully
sorted maybe a proper race event, we shall see?
HDE 43/16885 854 UXL was built in June 1956 as a left
hand drive 1500 and was exported straight to the USA. Finished
originally in Tyrolite green, as per the first 5 MGA's produced, and
later dark green. For approximately ten years she was used as a
road car and for the next ten was raced in the SCCA series on the West
Coast of America in the San Francisco region. Painted school bus yellow
she was raced with a Huffaker race prepared 1600 3 bearing MGB engine,
limited slip diff and all appropriate modifications. Her SCCA number was
33.105 and she raced with number 105f on the bodywork. 16885 was a successful car, probably
due to the fact that it was raced as a 1600!, although in 1987 it was
found to be an 1860cc +60 thou! We cannot trace any detail past this
point, but at present we are in touch with the current SCCA historians
who are looking for any printed history.
Re-imported into the UK in July 1987 the next 16
years saw a meticulous restoration as an early race car incorporating
features from the 1955 Le Mans cars and repainted in her original
The car was finished with some period details
including: aluminium panels, aluminium flooring, Huffaker 1800 60 thou
over bored race engine, racing clutch, Le Mans screen, , lightweight
aluminium rear view mirrors, period Lucas cut out switch, modified air
intakes, Lucas flame thrower spotlight, oil cooler, limited slip diff,
aluminium fuel tank, aluminium hand-made radiator and Kenlowe fan, micro
cell leather covered 1960s racing seats, anti roll bar, drilled and
lightened chassis and suspension where possible, Le Mans bonnet air
scoop and vented bonnet.
A complete Maniflow exhaust system from the
inlet manifold to the rear silencer.
MGA springs and adjustable lever arm shocks complement stiffer front springs and Avon
CR6 ZZ keep her well in contact with the black stuff.
The winter of 2008-09 saw more changes, a close
ratio helical gearbox to replace the standard box that had seen service
for the past four years. The head was ported and flowed to maximum
capacity and new valves, springs, rocker spacers and end posts were
fitted. . A rear main bearing oil seal conversion makes sure oil does
not pass to expensive race clutch. A new modified 719 profile camshaft, Dellorto carburettor,
and Aldon ( Petronix) distributor were fitted. Discs with Mintex
1144pads now replace the drums on the front bringing her to a halt more
The car was fitted with glass fibre wings for many
years , but in order to comply with certain eligibility requirements and
for originality a full set of hand made aluminium wings have being
fitted and a full aluminium transmission tunnel replaces the steel item.
An original profile aluminium front valance replaces the glass fibre
minilite wheels whilst looking acceptable are also not in period and
have been replaced with original steel
further alterations have now been completed, including removal of
surplus metal i.e. bumper irons, battery box, washer bottle etc. A
new lighter towing eye has been
fitted that meets the regulations ( 60mm int. dia.)
The spotlight has been removed and
panels have been made to fit inside the opening to direct air to the
radiator, a similar arrangement has been done for the oil cooler.
This will ensure adequate cooling is available and could be 'blocked
off ' if found to run too cool.
An undertray in
aluminium has been fitted from the front spoiler to the chassis ,
which should help to keep the engine bay clean and reduce some drag.
A 2 litre catch tank has
been fitted to the bulkhead.
Competition (red) polybushes
have been fitted to the lower A frame suspension arms, which have
been extensively drilled for lightness.
has been relocated to the near side on an aluminium frame, boot and
bonnet stays replaced with aluminium , bonnet and boot release
mechanisms removed and replaced with Dzus fasteners.
re routed, rear wiring re routed and battery feed cable re routed ,
all done to avoid possible fractures or chafing. The fuel pump
has been relocated to a more secure position on the chassis.
A Panhard rod has been
designed and fitted, setting up was crucial to ensure the arc
travelled was correct. We shall see how it works.
clutch pedals have been replaced by longer versions from a 1600cc
car , this makes the pedal position much more comfortable.
accelerator pedal can now be better positioned as the cable has been
repositioned utilizing a purpose made bracket/airbox on the
carburettor. This dispenses with the heavy metal twin cabled item.
The airbox incorporating a fine stainless steel filter mesh, has
been connected to the front grille using a neoprene sprung tube.
cut out switch has now been located on the front bulkhead with a
remote lever on the front scuttle.
'safety' a variable rev limiter has also been wired in.