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Instead of a 'Special'? (UPDATE: what the basis was...)

racing car_built_on_ford_model_a_chassis_tobias_ballard_dave_boxall-2_470

Registering a Special is becoming more difficult every year. At least on the continent of Europe. Legislators tend only to register cars with original chassis, suspension and engine. Changes of body are not seen as a problem. Cars with dramatic chassis and/or engine changes are seen as 'new' cars with all the impossible issues involved with that. So it may not be unthinkable that the market will demand for another kind os special. Cars with a fulyl original basis to start with.  Dave Boxall and Tobias Ballard recently started building a small series of roadworthy 'racing cars' based on the supersturdy design of the Model A Ford. 

The first prototype has been finished ten days ago. Tobias: "We didn't want this to be the typical Ford A speedster that looked like it had been built from a stock A body. We wanted this to be a proper racing car with racing car looks.  I took on the responsibility of all mechanical parts of the build while Dave took on the body side. The rear of the car is built from aviation timber and the front is all aluminium.  The engine was a standard Ford A engine of 3280cc. However now the same engine has been rebuilt and tuned by Toby Ballard. The block was bored out .125" to 4" giving the engine 3500cc. It was then completely white metalled and line bored back to tolerance. Then the crankshaft, flywheel, pistons and conrods were all fully balanced. New valves, guides and cam followers were fitted along with a new High Lift camshaft. The resulting car is light, smooth running  and very powerful.  It produces 60 bhp and 110 lbs of torque. At a first speedtest is did 85 mph. With a differential change and overdrive it will go over a 100 mph.  That's fast enough."  (more info in their advert; click here

The car will be first presented  during the Vianen Oldtimer event in Holland on the 19-22 June. We understand the second car is well on the way to being finished and the third has just been started. A full alloy bodied version and a twin carburettor conversion - producing another 10 bhp will come available as well.

UPDATE by Toby Ballard: "This is what we started with (click). Not a lovely saloon that was ferrous to build the car. All the chassis that we use are bought as rolling chassis from America. As for the brakes. They work a lot better than my American LaFrance. As for the wings. In England we are not required by law to have them. We also are not required by law to have lights or indicators. "


#20 2014-06-07 07:13
Well what a lot of discussion this has provoked. The wings issue is obviously a very grey area. We never have any problems with registration of my cars without wings. Nor have we ever had any problems on the road with authorities. So we are happy to carry on in that respect until someone with that authority tells me any different and no one else. On the subject of lights.... I have never said that we don't fit them. In the photograph you are all looking at the lights are blazing away like Uranus!!!!!! It has rear lights and brake lights. However if it is not to driven at night it does not need them. Thank you C Rheault for reading all the posts. Never do I take a complete car and destroy it, however bad it's condition. I only buy a rolling chassis, from where ever, to work on, preserve and bring back to life. Of all the comments that have been made, that is the only one I actually care about. Wilful destruction of anything remotely saveable is somebody else's game and not mine. I would like to thank you all so far for your interest, be it positive or negative, as I will listen to all posts and try and improve, where and if I feel appropriate, my design. My contact details are on the advert and if anyone wants to contact me over any point, I do mean any of the points. :)
#19 2014-06-06 23:02
It amazes me all the one eyed comments appearing about this car.
As the owner of more exotic vintage cars, I too am building a fast Model A Special. The attraction is similar to that of the many Austin 7 Specials; Cheap readily available and robust parts and many sets of running gear minus their bodies.
As a simple way to get a competitive vintage race/sports/touring car, this is a simple formula.
I believe there is a fast Fraser-Nash racing with a Model A engine, so I wouldn't discount the potential performance.
Of all the cars that I ahve owned over 50 years including a Vauxhall 30/98, only the Ford A has given a feeling of true grunt at low revs.
Congratulations on a stunning creation!
#18 2014-06-06 16:49
Wow, what a lot of negative vitriolic aggression! This project may not be to your tastes (it's not to mine 100%) but ease off a little. This is their project, read the whole post and you will find they didn't cut up a car but saved an old chassis (of which there are many in the US) to work within registration rules.

As for safety, I'm guessing the brakes are upgraded a bit, and if needed or wanted you could have lights and wings. However, what added 'safety' do wings provide? Especially for pedestrians? I've played for years with open wheeled cars on public roads and the only incident I ever had was the fault of a modern car driver.

But this is someone else's project and looks fun. And what is far more significant to note are the changes in rules which will make it increasingly difficult to register cars regardless of lights/wings etc.
#17 2014-06-06 16:19
On the subject of wings...the English hot rodding community (sorry about that!!)in trying to replicate hot rods based on 1923 to 1932 Fords, which over the pond are often wingless is consistently refused registration on this point.
As a result the common fix is to create clear plastic wings that ride close to the tire tread directly attached to the suspension top.
#16 2014-06-06 11:05
Yipeeeeeeeeeee! Chris you are absolutely right. I love what I do and what I build and I also appreciate that all these other... Well people I suppose, also love their vehicles. I am yet to see a law passed that says what we can and can't do with old cars, much as some of the below like to think they have written one. We did all have a laugh this end when the chap down the bottom there had to list out what cars he had in his shed. I will not list mine but why can't everyone just accept that there are different tastes in everything. I do all my own mechanical engineering myself and that's what floats my boat. Taking a seized up lump of iron and building it into something that's alive again. I think also that the younger generation should be encouraged as much as possible or our hobby and it is all our hobby, like it or not, will die out and that will just be a terrible shame. I built my first engine alone when I was 9 years old. So to be honest I am proud of what I can do myself without spending thousands of pounds trying to squeeze 1 extra hp out of my engine. It's actually really very easy you know.
#15 2014-06-06 02:24
Hey everyone,
the Editors are loving this contention. There is a group of us who are perfectionists; there are also pragmatists, philistines, brokers, dealers, capitalists and a few rare dreamers. There is a place for all and really as long as we preserve in some way or other no one is really wrong. This from a man who built a Bugatti type 37 from EBay and drives it till it breaks then fixes it for next time. A Giulietta Veloce from the web with a naff performance bordering on boring that I gave my wife and an Alfa Monza from 14 countries so far and counting. Keep the faith everyone!
#14 2014-06-05 14:39
I'm not sure what all the fuss is about, I think it's a fabulous looking thing and Mr.Ballard is to be congratulated for taking a rough chassis and turning it into a smashing, fun, fast car.
Mike C. you of all people should be happy that someone is making a car like this to come out and play the basis is great and new owners will be able to make what they want of it and I bet those miserable nay sayers will get out of it's way if they ever see it coming up behind them on the road.
Callum, I think you're being a bit hysterical how many Bugatti's drive with no mud guards and there are any number of VSCC bods who's cars have daytime only MoT because they have no lights or other 'safety' items, it's all down to a strong feeling of common sense and a little Joi d'vivre. Poop, poop
#13 R.Mawer 2014-06-05 12:09
Oh my goodness where on earth are we heading in the "old car" world ? Was a Model A with its original body used for this strange looking "racing car" ? Even if only loose parts/spares were used it still seems very wrong to me. Yes, we all know that in the past such cars were created when scrap yards were full of unwanted old vehicles-but that was a long time ago. Even though there are quite a lot of Model A cars (& chassis) surviving, havent they earned quiet & honourable use in their old age? There seems to be no difference, in the minds of present day younger " enthusiasts" between old cars,( & their components )& present-day Kit Cars ! Very sad !
#12 2014-06-05 06:40
There is some odd thinking here both in the car and some of the comments. If you want to build a race car then have a look at what is racing and build something that firs into the class you want to race in. At present this car would be shredded by the competition if it came out to race late vintage racers even ones with much smaller engines.

Weight, within reason, does not affect top speed It does affect acceleration.

If it is a sports car and is going to race as a sports car and be used on the road it needs lights a windscreen a silencer and mudguards.
#11 2014-06-04 21:59
call it for what it is, it looks horrible. So it may not be unthinkable that the market will demand for another kind os special., the market won't be demanding this

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