Owner's name: Gary Lazarus, who lives in London and is an estate agent. Gary competes in sprint events with the Harrow Car Club.
Car type/year/Registration number: Mk 1 AH Sprite, USY 875, owned since 2000.
Engine type/capacity: A series, 1330cc
Modifications (cam, head, carbs, etc): Peter May Engineering fast road head, 276 cam, single one and three quarter inch SU with K&N filter, C/R 11.0 to 1, LCB and RC40 rear box, five and a half inch steel rims, Rivergate/Datsun five speed gearbox.
Owner’s expected power output: 90bhp.
Actual power output: 91bhp at flywheel (63bhp at wheels) @ 5053rpm; 108lb/ft torque.
Owner’s comments: Pretty much what I expected, surprised it didn’t go bang!
R/R operative’s comments: Quite good power, ignition timing spot on at 27degrees max ignition advance, a bit lean on light throttle, OK on load, rev counter all over the place and requires resistor spark plugs and/or new leads or coil as high firing voltages. It is running electronic ignition.
Owner's name: Roly Alcock, who lives in Worcester and is a retired computer network engineer, originally started work in the 1960’s as an apprentice with a Standard Triumph garage in Gloucester.
Car type/year/registration number: MGB roadster, ENJ 616K, bought on e-bay 6 months ago. The car has only done 1000 miles in last 10 years.
Engine type/capacity: B series, 1798cc
Modifications (cam, head, carbs, etc): Standard apart from Petronix electronic ignition, nice alloy rocker cover, Moto-Lita steering wheel and very large Klaxon horn filling the space between the radiator and grill!
Owner’s expected power output: Standard figure is 90bhp would be surprised if it is more than 75bhp.
Actual power output: 86bhp (58bhp at wheels) @ 4145rpm.
Owner’s comments: Pleasantly surprised and pleased.
R/R operative’s comments: Mixture mega rich on idle but strangely idles well despite this, it does needs further investigation, max ignition advance 24 degrees, power figure is OK being close to standard, rev counter spot on.
Writer’s comment: This is the third car that the genial Roly has brought a car along to the shoot out, previously he came with a Triumph TR4, in which the fuelling was ultra lean, under 2% co, and also the throttle jammed open on full load on the rollers! Last year he came with his Singer Le Mans replica, complete with A series engine. (This was not reported in SF due to lack of space). I wonder what he'll bring along next year?
Owner's name: John Wragg, lives quite close in Kinver and works part time as an accountant for two different firms of solicitors.
Car/type/year/Registration number: MG Midget, JUB 287L, which he has owned for 6 years.
Engine type/capacity: A series, 1275cc
Modifications (cam, head, carbs etc): K & N air filters, electronic ignition, five speed gearbox, Frontline front suspension, wire wheels, works style hard top.
Owner’s expected power output: It gave 63 bhp last time so assume it will be about the same. However I have since fitted Lumenition ignition. It seems to use a lot of fuel so hope this can be looked at
Actual power output: 67bhp (46bhp at wheels) @ 4378rpm
Owner’s comments: Pleased it has some extra horses and that the tickover is now lower, hope it now uses less fuel!
R/R operative’s comments: Ignition was 34 degrees max advance, weakened mixture three flats and gained 4 bhp from initial run, ignition traces good, carbs giving slightly shy of full throttle.
Writer’s comments: It was good to see John again, a 4 bhp improvement from last year with some extra tuning and electronic ignition is very worth while.
Owner's name: Dave Price, lives in Devon and is a Design Technology and IT teacher at an independent school. Dave was previously in the RAF as an aircraft engineer.
Car type/year/Registration number: MG Midget, HGF 272K, which Dave has owned for 3 years, he bought it from a RAF pilot at the nearby Chivenor air base.
Engine type/capacity: A series, 1275cc
Modifications, (cam, head, carbs, etc): Standard apart from Minilight wheels
Owner’s expected power output: Absolutely no idea, only know on GPS that it does 64mph at 4,000 rpm!
Actual power output: 59bhp (38 bhp at wheels) @ 3931 rpm.
Owner’s comments: Glad he didn’t break it! I have seen quite a few R/R disaster videos on You-tube and was concerned.
R/R operative’s comments: Tick over high and uneven initially, jet heights vastly out, choke stops were interfering with the idle, now adjusted. Dizzy needs work on advance curve, 10 degrees at tickover and only giving a max of 20 degrees full advance.
Writer’s comment: It would be worthwhile for Dave to either post his dizzy to Aldon to sort out the advance curve and/or bring the car back for a final check on the set up. The faulty dizzy is causing at least a 10% drop in potential power. On looking at the registration number before the car was run, Dennis Wharf uncharitably said “does this mean its going to have Head Gasket Failure?”
Owner's name: Mark Turner lives in Banbury and is an engineer with Continental Automotive. He used to race a very competitive Class B Mk 1 Sprite in the MGCC Midget Championship. This car has now been sold.
Car type/year: Eldon Mk 23 Sports 2000 racing car, 1979. This car has had three owners in last 5 to 6 years. Mark bought it in December 2010, having always wanted to race a sports racing car.
Engine type/capacity: Ford Pinto, 2000cc
Modifications (cam, head, carbs, etc): Standard apart from dry sump, and K & N filter in accordance with series regulations.
Owner’s expected power output: If it makes 100bhp I will be surprised, in some ways I hope it gives as little as possible as I need a reason why I've not been very competitive this year. I plan to build a fresh blue printed engine over the winter, preparing the bottom end myself while David Gathercole tackles the cylinder head.
Actual power output: 116bhp (93bhp at wheels) @ 4587 rpm, 140lb/ft torque.
Owner’s comments: Wasn’t expecting that.
R/R operative’s comments: Doesn’t rev, I think a good Sports 2000 engine gives something in the region of 125 to 130 bhp.
Writer’s comment: Mark was extremely competitive in his Mk 1 Sprite so its only a matter of time until he does the same in this series. This season he has spent getting the car to handle, trying vastly different spring rates on the front, and with the new engine installed next year he should be much quicker. Mark and his dad Ian, have been to the last three Midget Register R/R shoot outs, bringing an interesting collection of cars, two in 2009, one in 2010 and the two this year that we haven't seen before. (See later for the newly acquired MG Midget owned by Jen Turner, Mark’s wife).
Owner's name: Gil Duffy who lives in Malvern and used to be a Business Development manager at Halfords in Redditch. Gil has raced Midgets in all three classes of the MGCC Championship series for many years.
Car/type: Ex Charles Marriott MkI AH Sprite, which ran in the AHC series, but now altered to compete in the CSCC Swinging Sixties series where it is very competitve.
Engine type/capacity: A series, 1380cc
Modifications: (cam, head, carbs etc): Engine originally built by Peter May, but since rebuilt by someone else possibly Skiptune. C/R unknown, possibly 296 cam, single 45 DCOE carb, Aldon ignitor ignition, 4.2 diff with Quaife LSD, 6 inch Minilights and Yokohama AO48R 1b road tyres. Panhard rod, rose jointed anti-tramp bars, fibreglass front and back, with Peter May Metro callipers, and 9 inch discs. Full roll cage etc.
Owner’s expected power output: 120bhp optimistically, but it is going to Peter May for a rebuild very shortly.
Actual power output: 127bhp (102bhp at the wheels) @ 6843 rpm.
Owner’s comments: Pleased with that, but surprised it is quite as good as 127. Another 5bhp from the rebuild would be great.
R/R operative’s comments: Very good, pulls strongly with nice flat curve over 4500rpm, exhaust a bit smokey…
Writer’s comments: Gil has recently been driving in the Classic Sports Car Club series with this Mark 1 Sprite along with his daughter, Pippa. He has also driven a Historic Formula Junior car and his Class A Midget - a busy season. Gil and Pippa have had some encouraging results in their first year in the two driver 40 min racing CSCC series, with several top three places and a class win at Spa Francorchamps. Power was down at higher revs in the recent Birkett 6 hour relay race at Silverstone, so Gil wanted to check that new valve springs had sorted the problem.
Owner's name: Tim Dalton, lives in Bewdley and is a computer technician.
Car type/year/registration number: 1967 AH Sprite, RMV 44F
Engine type/capacity: K sreies, 1800cc, fitted by Tim five years ago.
Modifications; (cam, head, carbs, etc): Emerald ECU, 278/265 cams, 10.75 to 1 C/R Vulcan modified VVC head. This years modifications include DTH individual throttle bodies, and also slight adjustments to the cam timing by Tim. This car has 10 inch Wilwood discs, 14 inch road wheels, Frontline exhaust, wood rim steering wheel, rear roll over bar and a very nicely sculptured power bulge in the bonnet to house all the K series ancillaries.
Owner’s expected power output: Hopefully 180bhp peaking at 7000rpm
Actual power output: 194bhp (150bhp at the wheels) @ 6858rpm; 156lb/ft torque.
Owner’s comments: Tim’s two expletives have been censored for this magazine, but after this he said “pleased with that, quite a magic number, there will be some extra large pints at the pub to-night. Anthony Cutler (Midget Register K series guru), will be particularly interested in the figures”.
R/R operative’s comments: Pretty close to the perfect set up, responded well to 2% increase in fuelling and 2% ignition advance over 5,000rpm.
Writer’s comments: This is the third time that Tim has brought this very tidy and well presented K series Sprite to the Aldon R/R shoot out, each time his engine has been the clear winner in power and torque, even against other modified K series engines. In 2008 his engine gave 181bhp @ 6910rpm with 136lb/ft, in 2010 it was 181 bhp @ 6377rpm and 155lb/ft, so clearly Tim spends a lot of time and expertise squeezing out more power and torque. This year’s 7% increase in power was very impressive and will be hard to follow. Tim has plans to fit forged pistons, improve the head, and possibly fit more spiky (hotter) cams. Look out for the next instalment in this gripping saga of K series engine development in 12 months time…
Owner's name: Ken Harris, who lives in Newham on Severn, is a locksmith who multi tasks driving a 26 tonne HGV vehicles carrying chilled/frozen food to supermarkets in the UK.
Car type/year/registration number: MGB GT, VLX 111M, belonging to Ken’s father, Brian, who was a BRM F1 team mechanic in the 1960’s. He has owned the car for five years as a second vehicle.
Engine type/capacity: B series, 2000cc, bought as reconditioned unit from the MGOC.
Modifications (cam, head, carbs, etc): Specification unknown as the car came with the engine fitted, visible modifications include a Ford five speed gearbox, K&N air filters, tubular exhaust manifold, and a Mota-Lita woodrim steering wheel.
Owner’s expected power output: 70bhp at the wheels.
Actual power output: 97bhp (71bhp at the wheels) @ 4266rpm; 140lb/fit torque.
Owner’s comments: About what I expected.
R/R operative’s comments: 28degrees max advance, some hesitation on acceleration and the mixture is lean on part throttle, also the idle is on the rich side, but OK on full load. Needles fitted were found to be AAU. Suggest having full set up or try AAA needles which are a bit richer in the mid range.
Writer’s comments: Ken, like the Turner family, has been brilliant in supporting the Aldon R/R shoot out, and is the only person to have not missed a year. Previously he has brought his Isle of Wight 1275cc MK 1 Sprite twice, and also his MGB GT. Ken’s prediction of power at the wheels was uncannily accurate.
Owner's name: Jen Turner, lives in Banbury and works for Land Rover at nearby Gaydon as a design engineer on the braking system for the Evoque, the new smaller Range Rover. Jen is originally from N. Ireland and is married to Mark.
Car/type/year/registration number: AH Sprite MkIV, KMT 500K, purchased in June this year as a part finished project, advertised in Safety Fast.
Engine type/capacity: A series, 1310cc
Modifications (cam, head, carbs etc): Cam believed to be 266 profile, Mini Spares stage 3 head, Mini Spares Mega pistons, Maniflow LCB, single 45 DCOE carb on long inlet manifold, 10.5 to1 C/R, Ford type 9 five speed gearbox, 5 inch Minilight wheels and RC40 rear silencer.
Owner’s expected power output: No idea!
Actual power output: 88bhp (62bhp at the wheels) @ 5295rpm, 100lb/ft torque.
Owner’s comments: Will do better.
R/R operative’s comments: Fuel was leaking in the DCOE, probably a faulty seat on a pump jet valve which needs sorting. Tickover was very rough with a misfire, which changing the ignition leads/caps did not fully rectify. Compressions checked out all at about 160psi, ignition 27 degrees max advance, power about right for a 266. Didn’t run it for long on load as the engine had only done a very few miles since being assembled. Still sounds a bit like a VW Beetle on tickover!
Writer’s comments: The power figure for Mark’s Sebring Sprite last year with a 266 cam was 85bhp so Jen’s engine is certainly in the right league at 88 bhp considering it had done so few miles running. Jen is the only lady so far to be brave enough to bring a car to this previously male dominated event, and I am very pleased that she came along. I know there are many more lady owners of MG’s, so I hope others will be encouraged by this and follow Jen’s lead next time. You will be made very welcome!
Owner's name: Robert Welch, who lives in Scunthorpe and is a control and power engineer for Tata steel
Car type/year/registration number: MG Midget, DVK 963K, 1972, which Robert has owned for 23 years. It has a distinctive Williams and Pritchard fibreglass front, similar to those made by Ashley.
Engine type/capacity: A series 1275cc, turbocharged.
Modifications (cam, head, carbs, etc): Metro turbo charger with intercooler, can vary boost between 5psi and 17psi, MGB brake servo, Toyota five speed gearbox, knock on five and a half inch Minilight wheels with 185/13 tyres, 15” wood rim steering wheel.
Owner’s expected power output: 95 to 100bhp at 5 psi, 130 bhp at 17psi.
Actual power output: 117bhp (91bhp at wheels) @ 4120rpm at 13psi boost
Owner’s comments: Pretty happy with that at 13psi, may come back again with the 17psi boost. Previously it had been on some rollers in London, but I feel that these were over optimistic unlike the Aldon rollers, which seem very realistic.
R/R operative’s comments: Pretty rich, turbo engines are traditionally a bit fragile so we did not run it for very long, consequently it was not easy to fully asses the set up.
Writer’s comment’s: A very neat home engineered turbo installation with all the associated pipework for the intercooler etc. This was the second car that Robert has brought to the shoot out, back in 2008 he came along with a smart light blue MGA, with modified cam and 45 DCOE, which he uses occasionally in classic rallies. Robert is an ex committee member of the Midget Register.
Owner's name: Ian Webb, lives in Brixworth, Northants, and works as a logistics manager for Mercedes Benz HPE (High performance engines) which designs and runs the F1 engines for Mercedes Benz, Mclaren and the Force India teams. Ian uses this car in Auto Solo's which is Auto test driving in a forward direction only.
Car type/year/registration number: MG Midget, OHY 344M, 1973, which he has owned since 1986 and rebuilt in 1987/8. The car looked completely standard and original.
Engine type/capacity: A series, 1275cc
Modifications (cam, head, carbs, etc): Ian stressed that the engine is completely standard (see later), i.e. completely original pistons, standard cam 230/252, C/R etc, but all components are balanced and friction reduced, engine has Newtronic electronic ignition, LCB, flowed carbs (carb butterflies and piston mods as per Vizard book …), K&N filters, Toyota five speed gearbox, 4.2 Quaife LSD, panhard rod, anti tramp bars, vented discs with Metro callipers. Tidy and concealed hydraulic handbrake conversion, for auto solo handbrake turns, Minilight wheels, roll over bar, small cherry bomb inline silencer plus an RC 40 across the back of the car.
Owner’s expected power output: If it gives 65bhp I will be happy
Actual power output: 77bhp (51bhp at wheels) @ 4667rpm, 97lb/ft torque
Owner’s comments: Pleased with that, more than I expected!
R/R operative’s comments: Ignition was 20 degrees on tickover (which Ian likes set fast at about 1025rpm presumably for Auto Solo's), and 35 degrees max advance. The carb jets were levelled and air flow was balanced. Power good, although the choke was mechanically interfering with idle, ignition was tried at 32 degrees but there was a slight power drop so returned to 35degrees. A very nicely presented car
Writer’s comment: For a truly standard specification engine the output of 77bhp, some 20% above the standard figure, is a truly remarkable achievement. Ian was initially playing down the engine capabilities emphasising the very standard nature, however he was rather sand bagging as it shows that from his engineering background at Ilmor and now Mercedes Benz, he has built a superb blue printed engine. Perhaps Ian may think about doing some” hands on” work at Mercedes Benz HPE rather than logistics? I should imagine this car is very effective in auto solo's, while looking so tidy and original.
Dennis Wharf thought that this car sounded about the best of the day. It looked great with the colour co-ordinated Teal blue Mini-light wheels. Ian said he was originally inspired by the Hall brother’s from Scotland, who's two immaculate Teal blue auto test Midgets would regularly come down and take part in the Californian Cup at MG Silverstone during the 70’s and early 80’s. I wonder what happened to them and their cars?