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The Jaqpot ( stable name )

The idea

Ages ago I built a Pembleton Brooklands which ticked a few boxes but left a few unanswered questions for me. I like Phil's approach to the chassis he builds which gives anyone the opportunity to build a car as they wish from the basic to the elaborate, he positively encourages people to use their imagination and skills.

The Brooklands had a BMW engine and problem number one appears squeezing the carbs between the chassis front tubes. Not ideal but do- able and the usual fuel supply problem which was overcome with a simple header tank rather than the fuel pressure regulator route.The floppy suspension and mudguard bracket breaking was bearable otherwise fine.The bottom line was, I was reasonably happy with the build but longed for another more ambitious build - a Super Pembleton with rear wheel drive ala Morgan. I had seen Morgan's racing at Cadwell Park several times and the sight of them leaving four wheel cars behind while hovering a wheel a few inches above the ground at Hall Bends is a stirring sight. So a Super Pembleton rear wheel drive, water cooled, fuel injected, not heavy and a max of 8' 6" wheelbase was the spec.

The build

I bought a chassis from Phil and looked around for ideas for an engine. A water cooled BMW would have been the ideal but the problem is the 2CV front cross member / steering rack which obstructs the shaft drive. So after a lot of Mm mm I opted for a Honda pan European 1300cc V four. A total re-think lead to a mid-engine design using the swing arm and shaft drive,a bit radical and it brought along its own problems. To keep the wheel base short the 2CV cross member had to go so the chassis was modified to take Westfield wishbones and steering rack. I didn't want the shock absorbers in the conventional position or the car would end up looking like the front end of any run of the mill Caterham / Westfield etc. so I fitted them inboard using bell cranks. All the top loops had to be reshaped and repositioned to suit the new forward pedal box and steering position. At the rear the bottom 2"x1" sections were modified and beefed up to allow fitting of the pivot point for the swing arm. More stiffening and lugs were added for the engine mounting and the top tubes pulled I to give a more streamlined rear end. To maintain the build stressed skin for strength idea the chassis was covered internally with 1.5 aluminium sheet glued an riveted and the floor skinned top and bottom. Obviously there is a lot more to this than meets the eye but that's the basics.

For the body I built a buck in the exact shape I wanted - a bit higher at the front for better weather protection and a bit higher at the back for more comfort and easier top connection points for the seat belt. A slight offset in the driver / passenger seating for the essential elbow clearance on a narrow chassis. Then got Ian Pitney, a well-known alloy body expert in the vintage world,to fabricate the compound shapes. I bought myself a shrinker & stretcher from Frosts for other bit's, an invaluable tool along with a bit of guidance from Duncan Grimmond. It's difficult to keep an old fashioned feel about the shape with something very slippery and streamlined. we will see how it looks when it's all together with spoked wheels, mudguards and windscreen.

Summary

We have ended up with something with 120 BHP+, less than 400 kg with all fluids on board 40 BHP more and well over 100 kg less than a Morgan) Sequential gear change a proper drive system rather than the Morgan shaft + belt. No wish to deride Morgan's but you needs a target to achieve and time will tell if I am anywhere near. Other advantages are the mudguard brackets shouldn't shake themselves to pieces and cruising at the legal limit at a fast tickover with another gear to spare will help wear and fuel economy.

On testing at Blyton sprint course apart from a bit of bodywork catching on the back tyre and a couple of nuts falling off the bonnet lid all went well. The handling proved very good no body roll and the front tyres can be made to squeal without a hint of lift, the front spring weight was a bit of a calculated guess and appears to have worked out well. The brake balance needs to be worked on but with an adjustable pedal box that's just tuning. Loads of power available and an easy 110MPH before sense cut in and I realised this was the first time it had run in anger.The main thing is nothing broke and the engine run is cool. It ran 13 miles on the rollers at Northampton Motorsport and 16 miles at Blyton and you could put your hand on the rocker covers without needing first aid!

Outstanding work is trimming and various covers then off to the SVA at Beverley. I have put two builds through there and each time have found the inspectors logical and realistic. The answer is to listen to their point of view and if they are right say so, doff your cap and fix it.

A winter job is to make a reversing mechanism and reluctantly change the dashboard for an engine turned finish,a requirement from Mrs W whose tolerance while building this thing has been commendable.

Has the target been achieved? Only time will tell.....

Is it a Pembleton? Chassis from Phil , home built , Glued & riveted, Third party engine,

Imagination


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