Monday, 13 December 2010

Progress - Back to basics

Stripped Naked 1

Aesthetically it currently looks like we are going backwards but I can re-assure you that a lot has been happening at 'Archers'. 
I guess we knew this build would never be a simple straight forward build and we often feel a little in unchartered waters but I guess this bespoke approach to a build would have been very similar to that taken out by the Healey team when the original Prototypes were being built. 
I'm sure they would have faced similar conundrum's and learning's to what we face as we find the best and most authentic route for our prototype.

Above and below are some pictures of the car back in September, it looks a little drastic but the aluminium shell was removed from the chassis not only to get some added protection down between the sections where the alloy and steel meet, but also to make some necessary updates to some of the ammendments made to the chassis when the car was built.

Stripped Naked 2

Having the shell removed has made it possibile to really take a look at the car and make sure the geometry and alignment is spot on and to also put some theories in place to try our best to assure the best ride height of the cars rear end is obtained. 
This is a  bit of a gamble as we are making educated guesses at the weight of the cage and tank but we are quietly confident If we get the intial ride height close to that of a normal AN8 sprite we are in a good place to make adjustments as the build progresses.

In general there's been quite a few updates that have been made to Craig's intial build.The rear chasis legs have been moved from the original position to allow for the correct alignment of the spring hangers.

Updated rear chassis legs

The original recess for the wind screen aperture has also been carefully re-shaped to allow for the new glass screen to fit neatly in place.

New Cut Glass Screen

New re-shaped aperture recess

The Self taping screws that held the door hinges in place have been removed and replaced by traditional captured plate and bolts. 

Above Self Taping screws (These have now been replaced by a traditional captured plate and bolt set up)

Holes for the front lights have been cut and work is being undertaken to create a fibreglass former to make the Perspex to cover the lights.

Formers for Perspex covers

We are still awaiting delivery of the approved tubing for the roll cage, when the tubing arrives we will be able to properly secure and support the rear chassis legs, make some definitive decisions about the tank size and finally get the cage underway.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Parts - Rear lights and Jack Mounts

As work progresses on the Streamliner we have been putting together an inventory of the parts, some bits are proving more tricky than others to source but thankfully  a lot of the parts appear to have been borrowed from other Healey's both big and small.

All the exterior lights are Lucas, the rear lights on the majority of the original streamliners consisted of four L962 stop and tail lights 2 either side, these lights were used on the late production Healey 3000 and a bunch of other cars including early Land Rovers and are a favourite on Replica Cobra's.

We are going to run two L692 stop and tail lamps and two L691 Single filament Indicators for MOT purposes.

 '65 Sebring Streamliner

Rear lights and Jack Mounts

Unique to the streamliners were the rear jack mounts, these were made from alloy and drilled for weight saving, we had no idea of the scale of these mounts so thankfully back in February my Dad had an opportunity  to take some measurements from Gary Kohs Sebring Streamliner in Detroit, big thanks to Gary for  making this visit possible. From these measurements and photos I managed to make a model of these mounts in foam board and with the help of Dave Owen and his brother we were able to bring these to life in aluminium. Big thanks to Dave and Geoff Owen for their help in making these a reality.

Foam model and the new replica alloy Jack Mount

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Building the roll cage

It still makes my spine tingle when I think about these sprites being driven in competition to maximum capacity without any sort of cage for protection, but for us its going to have to be a must if we are going to partake in competition racing.

The attached pictures show the strengthen bars used to support the aluminum shell of both an early Lemans and Sebring sprite (770KNX No.53 1964 Lemans and No.62 1965 Sebring) and one of the Lemans Streamliner's (ENX416C No.48 1965 Lemans)  these and other early photographs have been paramount in helping us and 'Archers Garage'  decide the vital positioning and support points for the cage and to try our best to be as sympathetic as possible in replicating the original.

We are still in the early stages of building the cage but Archers have completely removed the Aluminum shell in preparation for building and installing the cage ( We hope to post photos of this soon) as well as adequately protecting the points where the aluminum and steel meet incase of any possible corrosion caused by this clash.

Monday, 16 August 2010


 Before (Damaged gearbox housing)

Progress has been slow to date but its picking up and decisions about the cars specific build/mechanics and colour are looming.

We never found out what had happened to the gearbox housing/opening but this has now been completely replaced and the floor plans have been dropped as the original to approx. 2".

It was a tough decision but we decided to drop both floor plans to allow for both seats to have extra head height.

After (The new gearbox housing and lowered floorpans)

The Acquistion

Well this is when and where it all started back in August 2009 a beautifully hand crafted naked aluminium shell built by Craig Chapman on a MK3 AN8 sprite floor plan accurate to the original Sebring and Leman's streamliner's.  
Lots of preliminary thinking and work to be done prior to the painting and mechanical fit out. Looks like the priorities will be to tackle the damaged gearbox housing first followed by dropping the floorplans as the original's and getting a bespoke roll cage fitted.