Article header
Parts
Homepage. This page: Action shot of a Ford-based special/racing car at high speed in the 1950s.

1950s Ford Special/racing car.

Special building in the 1950s was a very popular pursuit, at least in Britain, with companies such as Aquaplane only too pleased to supply tuning parts to budding back-yard special builders. Many's the Ford Popular and Prefect that donated their running gear to exciting-looking sportscars, some of which can be seen on the 1950s Ford Specials page.
This snapshot was sent over by Herb, taken at Grand Central Racetrack in South Africa. A note on the rear of the photo advises that the car in view is a Ford Prefect Special. The wheels don't look like those found on a sidevalve Prefect, either E93A or the later E493A, so I'm assuming a Prefect's engine nestles beneath this car's low-slung sporting bodywork, bolted into a chassis of different origin.
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size image.)
Ford sidevalve special racing car
Was special-building using Ford sidevalve components a popular pursuit in S. Africa? Builders in the UK benefited from a wide variety of available parts with which to build their cars. The cheapest upgrade to any 10hp Prefect/Pop engine was simply to fit the head from a Ford 8, as this upped the compression ratio. With scrapyards full of Model Ys and such like, this was the cheapest way to boost your engine's performance. Save up a little more, and instead of climbing up stacks of derelict Fords in your local scrappie, you could visit any of the tuning specialists and buy shiny new parts ready to bolt on.
Those with even deeper pockets may well have been tempted by bespoke chassis from companies such as Halifax. With the chassis sorted, owners could then either build their own bodyshell - as I think the driver of this competition-prepared special seems to have done - or else opt for an off-the-shelf bodyshell from the many companies that specialised in building suitable shells.
An Austin 7-based racing car, seen at the same circuit, can be found on this page.
Return to Page 12 in the vintage car gallery.

Custom Search
www.oldclassiccar.co.uk (C) R. Jones. Content not to be reproduced elsewhere.
Website by ableweb.
Privacy Policy, Cookies & Disclaimers