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Homepage. This page: BMC A-Series powered Formula Junior racing car built originally in 1960.

Condor Formula Junior car.

Ken in the US has been in touch. He's researching the neat little racing car shown in the photograph below. Known as the Condor, and built for use in the Formula Junior championship, his car is powered by BMC's A-Series engine and is believed to be chassis number 1. Information regarding the small number of Condors ever built is scarce, so he hopes that featuring it here might just lead to more background information on the firm, and hopefully his car in particular, turning up.
Condor Formula Junior racing car

More information on the Condor FJ car.

Ken bought the Condor in 1990 or thereabouts as a restored car. The original tubular spaceframe had been fully crack tested, as were the suspension components, and pronounced fit, although the frame was reinforced with some extra supports prior to re-painting. The engine is quoted as being a BMC unit of 1000cc - whether this longitudinal A-Series engine started out as a 948cc or 1098cc version I don't know. Derrington intake and exhaust manifolds were fitted, as was a pair of twin HS4 SU carburettors. The gearbox was also BMC-sourced, with a remote shift. Spax adjustables had been fitted, as had new brake components (although the original Alfin brake drums simply needed a skim and could be re-used).
Original Cooper magnesium alloy wheels were bolted on, and the aluminium body re-furbished as required, although now it incorporated a Halon fire extinguisher system beneath its panels.

A look at the prototype Condor.

Most Condors seem to have been supplied with Ford running gear, although the prototype was powered by a Triumph Herald's four cylinder engine. A contemporary magazine article discusses the prototype car, brainchild of ex-Grand Prix driver Ted Whiteaway, and ex-Connaught Team Manager Michael Thorburn. The Condor Motor Car Company of Worplesdon, Surrey, operated from The Grosvenor Garage, Worplesdon Road, Guildford. Despite the first car incorporating a Triumph engine, the plan was always to offer buyers a choice of engine fitments - either the Ford 105E four cylinder unit, or else BMC's A-Series as found in Ken's example. The company also planned to cast its own design of magnesium aluminium wheels, in diameters of 13" and 15", although the car featured sported a set of Cooper rims - again like Ken's - as they hadn't yet produced a set.
Early photos of Condor Formula Junior cars
Dreamt up and designed by Whiteaway, the initial designs were penned by draughtsman Dick Basher, the latter also designing a revised set of gear ratios to fit within the Herald's gearbox casing. Evidently the car, at the time of the article, was still something of a work-in-progress job, as it was fitted with a set of Standard Ten brake drums at the rear, which were due to be replaced with finned bi-metal replacements, as already fitted to the front end. The engine has been bored out to +0.040", and fitted with a revised camshaft, lightened valve gear, 1.25" carbs, bigger valves along with polished ports resulting in a power output of around 70 bhp. A light alloy fuel tank was mounted in the Condor's tail.
The chassis was built by another former Connaught man, a Mr Bert Barrett, having previously worked for the Connaught team as foreman in their body and chassis shop.
The predicted price for the new Condor Formula Junior car was 1,250.
Records also show that Whiteaway made a number of appearances in a Ford-powered Condor during 1960, including at Goodwood (Lavant Cup and the Glover Trophy), Snetterton and Silverstone (two meetings at each venue, in firstly a Herald-powered car then later in the Condor-Ford), and also the Cheshire Cup at Oulton Park (Ford car).

Ken's car.

Condor Formula Junior racing car
References in books and articles regarding Formula Junior racing suggest that a number of front-engined Condors were produced for the 1960 season, with several making it to the USA. For 1961 the SIII Condor was developed, a rear-engined machine powered by the 997cc Ford engine. Ken purchased his car from New England Classics Incorporated of Stratford, Connecticut. Does anyone remember this car prior to restoration? Hopefully more information will come to light, if so I'll add it in here. Thanks to Ken for the scans and background info on his Condor.
Read more classic car owners' stories in the Your Cars section of oldclassiccar, with more material with a motor-racing theme to it gathered together here.

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