1933 R&R Special (Robert Roof) Australian T Ford based 3/4 Racer

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2011: 1933 R&R Special (Robert Roof) Australian T Ford based 3/4 Racer
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Herdman on Sunday, December 04, 2011 - 09:25 pm:

This is the history so far on an Australian made R&R Special (Robert Roof Speed equipment) built in Sydney in 1933 by Charlie Spurgeon (Aust dirt track champion for lots of years 1927c to 1940c)

No early photos unfortunately. Here are the news paper clippings of the car bieng built and proof it as a Roof 16V head.



Charlie advertising building R&R specials the same time this car was being built


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Herdman on Sunday, December 04, 2011 - 09:34 pm:

More on R&R Special being built



Note: R&R 16 valve head.



note: the body is 18 inches wide same as car


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Herdman on Sunday, December 04, 2011 - 09:40 pm:



R Hoare crashes R&R



Charlie Spurgeons garage location at Croydon Sydney


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Herdman on Sunday, December 04, 2011 - 09:58 pm:

Nothing is known of the history on the car from 1934 to 1974. First of all there are only two known speedway t ford based 3/4 T ford based race cars that raced in Australia, the other being Peter White / Dr Manning SR Fronty with phot in last thread on R Fronty.

Secondly. 3/4 speedway race cars in australia were short lived. Midget racing started in 1934 in Aust and Charlie and the Dirt Track Club imediatly started building the midgets and racing them.

Also Australia has a history of the best and fastest Speedway cars originating Sydney mostly, some Melbourne. When car went out of date, they were sold off from Sydney to Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide where they were more competitive.

1974 Cappi Woods had a wrecking yard in Brisbane Queensland. Cappi was into speedway and was involved in racing. He olso collected speedway cars and rarer sports cars. n amonst his collection and in the wrecking yard was the remains of a 3/4 T ford base Race car and also a Roof 16 valve BB head that he kept on top of his wardrobe in his bedroom. Several people saw the car and head at least as early as 1970 if not earlier. Here are some notes from one of those people. John Acres (who is deaf and had to scribble out details on paper). John wrote this about the car as soon as he saw it at my home. At the time I didn'd know who cappi woods was. But i soon worked out it was the same place Bob Trvan got his 16 V Roof BB Head from.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Herdman on Sunday, December 04, 2011 - 10:12 pm:

Don Whitby of Sydney was moving to Queensland and visited his property there often. He bought the remains of the car from Cappi Woods wrecking yard at Beinleigh Brisbane just to get the Ruckstell axle from it.

Don took the car to Sydeny and removed the axle housing by cutting it away at the tube and replacing it with a standard housing centre. The Car still has a weld mark where the Ruckstell was cut away.

Don sold the car to russ Johnson who sold it to the late Roger Franks.

Here are some rough photos of the car when Roger owned it. Roger sat a Rover ening in the frame to amke it look more complete. Note by now the tail had been cut from the car most likely cut down to make a midget racer. Also the axles were upgraded after the 1934 crash to 1932-34 ford axle at the front and 32-34 rear brakes grafted to the model T diff centre on the rear, giving the car good 4 wheel brakes. Wheels are model A, Frame is 1928 era Essex up side dow (underslung rear). The cowl is the only piece of body work left




Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Herdman on Sunday, December 04, 2011 - 10:18 pm:

Colin Wade then bought the car and then bought the original R Fronty engine (Original one from my R Fronty racer). Col built a new tail and rebuilt the car to look old. He also cut down an aluminium Fronty Ford Hood and got a White and Popiee Morris Radiator to build the car. (also the original Hood from my R Fronty racer).

The engine Col bought



Car Col built




Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Herdman on Sunday, December 04, 2011 - 10:21 pm:

Col raced the car at Eastern Creek, Ameroo Park, Catalina Hill Climb and Phillip Island and won quite a few races in 1989-90 era.




Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Herdman on Sunday, December 04, 2011 - 10:30 pm:

Note the font end shock absorber on the car in the above last posted photo and the following from a 1940c R&R catalogue. The unique R&R design right down to the hangers on the end of the shocks



R&R Parts were made as early as 1927 going by this 1927 Ford Owner Dealer Magazine.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Herdman on Sunday, December 04, 2011 - 10:33 pm:

Here are some photos of one of Col Wade's Cams Log Book required for Historic Racing in Australia






Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Herdman on Sunday, December 04, 2011 - 10:40 pm:

At one of the races at Philip Island, the late Ron Edgerton approached Col Wade and talked to him about the car. Ron had been racing in Australia since a riding mechanic at Maroubra in the 20's. Here is the leter Ron sent to Col suggesting the car was Capi Woods car (remeber there were only 2 known 3/4 dirt track racers known to be raced Australia - both are listed in the letter 1st & 2nd suggestions)




Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Herdman on Sunday, December 04, 2011 - 10:43 pm:

I bought the car from Col in 1993. Here are some photos of the car as i bought it.






Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Herdman on Sunday, December 04, 2011 - 10:47 pm:

note the Stutz rear dunb irons fro the springs and underslung 1928c Essex Frame in above pictures







Bunite Pistons and Lynite aluminium rods. Originals from R Fronty from the 20's


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Herdman on Sunday, December 04, 2011 - 10:50 pm:

Had to remove the R Fronty engine to put it back in its original car. (see R Fronty Thread) Also took the original letters from th hood and made exact replacements.



to be continued


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Monday, December 05, 2011 - 03:37 am:

More interesting stuff!!!
I am curious. Since a few major pieces of this later creation race car have been returned to their original earlier car (definitely a good thing), are the remains of this later creation going to be resurrected with a similar engine and recreated body?
My interest is in the speedsters and race cars of the '10s and early to mid '20s. However, I do appreciate the cars of the '30s and later and like to see them preserved also.
Thank you again!
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By BOB TREVAN on Monday, December 05, 2011 - 05:45 am:

Hi Mark

It looks as though the roof laurel 16 valve head I've got from "Cappie" could well be from your car


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Peter Kable on Monday, December 05, 2011 - 06:25 am:

I found this article in a 1924 newspaper a while ago, I have sent it to Mark hopefully he will know something about it as the actual article does not give any proper details as to who owns or drives the racer.
|image{glorified}


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Peter Kable on Monday, December 05, 2011 - 06:29 am:

I found this article in a 1924 newspaper.
I have sent it to Mark hopefully he will have some information on it. If not he may have a new lead to follow up.

Typical of the times no names or real details are provided as to the driver or owner of the racer.
glorified


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Herdman on Monday, December 05, 2011 - 04:15 pm:

Thanks Bob, will post some bigger pics of the engine. Yes, that is the original head from the R&R Special.

Wayne, story to follow. Has a happy ending.

Peter, The MRF (Morris Rajo Ford) was developed by Messrs Morris, Rajo agents based in Melbourne. This car ran in the first Australian Grand Prix as a Rajo. Morgan was the usual driver. It also ran at Maroubra and Penrith. At some stage the car sold to Hector Jenkins who initaill raced it as a rajo then pu\t an SR head on the car. This is the centre car in the line up of Hector Jenkins 3 racers at Penrith Tent in the R Fronty history.

Thanks for the photo and info. will go into the data base on Aust T raccers-Rajo.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Herdman on Monday, December 05, 2011 - 04:38 pm:

Better pics of Bob's engine, the original Roof BB head from this R&R special








Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Herdman on Monday, December 05, 2011 - 04:45 pm:

As a tempory thing , I fitted an S Fronty engine to the car till something good turned up






Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Herdman on Monday, December 05, 2011 - 04:52 pm:

Then a DO fronty engine came up for sale ex Dick McGee. I didn't have the money at the time and borrowed it from my Brother. He was dying of cancer at the time and it was something special for him to do before he passed on. Here are some pics of Dick's engine







as you can see, with the model A Transmission it was ideal for the 1933 R&R special


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Herdman on Monday, December 05, 2011 - 05:00 pm:

So it was a rush job to get the motor in the car so at least I could show John the photos in hospital.

Unfortunately, when the engine arrived it was badly damaged. The nose section for the Fronty Crankcase had broken out and the rear engine mount tips had broken and the side drive had snapped in half. The last two due to bad welding. So i had to dunmmy up a crank case to sit the engine in the car for photos.







these are the pics for my brother


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Herdman on Monday, December 05, 2011 - 05:05 pm:

My brother passed away in March 2003 and his wife on Easter Sunday , approx 6 weeks later, of cancer also. So the car is sort of special to me.

Here are some pics of the crankcase damage and repairs.






Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Herdman on Monday, December 05, 2011 - 05:08 pm:









A friend did the welding and machining, I did the file finishing. Same process for the side drive repairs.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Herdman on Monday, December 05, 2011 - 05:13 pm:






Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Herdman on Monday, December 05, 2011 - 05:19 pm:

Here are some pictures of the side drive after repairs (had broken into 3 pieces)





Next job was to cut the 4 exhaust pipes and add in 4 inches so the exhaust would clear the steering shaft in the centre steering. Again, used a mats Miller and a wood saw blade at the right speed. Worked well.





Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Herdman on Monday, December 05, 2011 - 05:27 pm:

Exhaust with extra 4 inches joined in. All welding and jointing done myself.




Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Herdman on Monday, December 05, 2011 - 05:29 pm:

Next job to make an inlet. Col Wade kindly let me get the measurements of the one from his DO Fronty.






Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Herdman on Monday, December 05, 2011 - 05:33 pm:

Inlet all jiged up and ready to weld. Made a second manifold to help out a mate that also didn't have one.








Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Herdman on Monday, December 05, 2011 - 05:38 pm:

some pics of the manifolds fitted to the DO.






Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Herdman on Monday, December 05, 2011 - 05:43 pm:

repairs to the broken engine mount tips on the transmission adaptor and engine mounts made.



Stewart Cornford repaired the radiator will all new tubes




Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Herdman on Monday, December 05, 2011 - 05:44 pm:

repairs to the broken engine mount tips on the transmission adaptor and engine mounts made.



Stewart Cornford repaired the radiator will all new tubes




Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Herdman on Monday, December 05, 2011 - 05:46 pm:

repairs to the broken engine mount tips on the transmission adaptor and engine mounts made.



Stewart Cornford repaired the radiator will all new tubes




Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Herdman on Monday, December 05, 2011 - 05:51 pm:

The DO at a car show. Very popular looking unrestored. Gets far more attention than a restored car.






Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Herdman on Monday, December 05, 2011 - 05:55 pm:

The DO & R Frontys are on loan and display at the Peter Champion Brock Collection at Yeppoon.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Herdman on Monday, December 05, 2011 - 06:00 pm:

In memory of my late brother John


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Neil Martin on Tuesday, December 06, 2011 - 05:13 pm:

Great article Mark.
I will have to go through my old job books and locate where I got the old shortened T chassis,S Fronty head,across magneto drive plate,ruckstall and pieces,Wheel hub pieces from an Alexandria machine shop.
Will let you know.
Neil.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Herdman on Tuesday, December 06, 2011 - 06:09 pm:

Looking forward to any more info you can give on your Fronty project Neil

Thanks Mark


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Wednesday, December 07, 2011 - 03:07 am:

Nice, nice, NICE work!!! Gives real meaning to the word "restoration"!
It seems incredible to me to have so much researchable history for what amounts to two original cars. I have bought many bits and pieces of original speedsters and racers over the years. Almost anytime I ask about any known history, I get a shrug of the shoulders and a comment about "just some stuff I picked up several years ago".
In this country, back in the '50s and '60s, most speedsters were parted out to restore standard cars. They were often not considered desirable. Many of the seriously altered parts ended up behind the barn or garage and left to rust. Many other cars went to the scrap metal drives back in WWII.
Thanks to you, and your brother, for saving both of these cars. (And again, a job incredibly well done!)
And thank you for sharing so many details of the 'quest'.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Herdman on Wednesday, December 07, 2011 - 08:55 am:

Thanks for the encouragement Wayne. Like i said before, almost nothing is impossible, have a go and you will be surprised what you can do. If it goes bad, walk away and really think outside the box, you will find the answer. Dont always work in 2 dimentions, try and work in 3 and give it some "period" shape. It all adds up and make parts look twice as good.

If any one is interested I am another 2 & 1/2 projects ahead of this one and can post some more pictures, storys etc. Have become more game and tackle some rally big jobs.

I bought my first SR Fronty head of Layden Butler back in 1982 from a 1981 add in the Vintage Ford






Been collecting T Speed parts since then.

I try and keep things period. This is 1933 / 34 so it gives me a lot of room to move. Note that the DO reached it's peak in performance in 1933/34. The head from this DO is supposed to be the Maynard Clark Head from old #200. Maynard replaced the DO head in 1930 odd (Read the Gerber Book). So if it is correct, this would be his second head and possibly his first head is the sister head of mine that Tim Moore has.

All bar one of my other projects are 1927 or earlier so it's strictly a 1927 cut off. No parts any later externally.

I can fully understand where Frank Harris is comming from, a fine line it is. Fortunately I can work on both sides of the line having more than one Fronty.

So all I can say is chip away at it, a little bit each day and enjoy the feeling when the part bolts on and you can stand back and say to youself "did I really make that!"

I just spent 1/2 a day on my latest Fronty project.


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