Author Topic: POWERDRIVE  (Read 58262 times)

Big Al

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Re: POWERDRIVE
« Reply #30 on: December 12, 2014, 09:06:02 AM »
I can think of a few Berk conversions I would not have got in! Several engineery types got into doing Mini Berks. Coronet is a different construction too. Quite what would you solder the Mini subframe too. I can see it being a death trap unless done well. But then you can be perfectly inocent, sitting in a Marina, and have Top Gear drop a piano on you.

More info on the Corri convertion and incident would be needed to tell. Still a sad tale.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2014, 09:07:57 AM by Big Al »
Messerschmitt set, Goggo Darts, Heinkel 175, Fiat Jolly, Autobianchi, Fairthorpe Electron Minor, Borgward, Isuzu Trooper
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Bob Purton

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Re: POWERDRIVE
« Reply #31 on: December 12, 2014, 09:44:35 AM »
Sorry, I was forgetting there were some nasty ones out there. I was thinking more of the Andy Argyle/ Dave Ratner chassis built ones. I ran one for some years and it handled like a racing car.
The Coronett had a chassis didn't it? Probably easier to bolt a mini subframe to one than a standard Berkeley.

AndyL

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Re: POWERDRIVE
« Reply #32 on: December 12, 2014, 10:29:07 AM »
I've never found mini anchors bad. They will be if poorly maintained and/or set-up, but otherwise they give plenty of stopping power.

With front disks works effectively with cars pushing well over 200bhp.

However, mini subframes are rather heavy. A chap up North produces titanium subframes which are much lighter (force racing), but they're very expensive, and are only for use with coil over shock suspensions systems.

The quad engine conversion sounds like the way to go if you want something approaching modern power to weight ratios. They're tuned for low end torque, and are often water cooled too, so more refined. Burgmann also sounds a good call.
1959 LHD 3-wheel Isetta.

Bob Purton

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Re: POWERDRIVE
« Reply #33 on: December 12, 2014, 06:06:29 PM »
Yep Mini brakes are fine, Al just doesnt like Mini's.

Big Al

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Re: POWERDRIVE
« Reply #34 on: December 13, 2014, 11:46:12 AM »
I like Minis well enough and have owned loads. Sorry, they do not stop. If you get the brakes working efficiently, then there used not to be a tyre that was affordable with the grip to stop the car, when driven hard. They skidded. (Like the Messerschmitt's prob). So it was up to the handling department to make up for the slack, which it did. The cars real gift was its bungability. However if things got fraut, the one thing you knew you could not rely on was the brakes stopping you. The factory tried going to bigger 12 inch wheels. The car had better brakes, but at the cost of the handling. For Rallying, the idea was scrapped. Modern whizzo Minis seem to rely on big wheels and thus their balance and have lost the ability to nip round the lanes, not least as the cars are about a foot wider!

How do you get 200 bhp out of a Mini? Sounds like a non Mini, Mini. All the rage these days. When I started to go back into them I found that the traditional tuned Mini was not really understood by most younger owners, it was considered very old hat. Really the thing was to take a Mini shell and change everything. Might as well have had a Mini Marcos, or something then, as its not a Mini anymore - to me. Nothing against those who do these Minis, just not me, more custom style, which I am not into. Of course in changing the Mini, it does show that issues with the the original version were valid. So I am arguing against myself either way. Thus I sold out to look at an area of more interest in the original concept of the cars to remain true to something. Could have gone Mini kitcars, but been there too, already. Most of those were worse to stop, but for many and varied reasons.....
Messerschmitt set, Goggo Darts, Heinkel 175, Fiat Jolly, Autobianchi, Fairthorpe Electron Minor, Borgward, Isuzu Trooper
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AndyL

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Re: POWERDRIVE
« Reply #35 on: December 13, 2014, 04:57:59 PM »
You turbocharge an A-series if you want to see 200bhp.
1959 LHD 3-wheel Isetta.

Big Al

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Re: POWERDRIVE
« Reply #36 on: December 13, 2014, 06:33:03 PM »
I find that hard to believe, for an A series. Chuck in all modern gubbins, then it might be possible, but for the road? The unmodified parts would not last long, if there are any.
I seem to recall at one time John(athon) Buncumbe (spelling) had the fastest 'Mini' and used it to good effect in Special Saloons. It had a BDA engine on a five speed gearbox. Very impressive and probably about 230 BHP. It would be a hell of a A series to get near that.
Then technology has moved on and the combined budget on development is still applying pressure to innovate on A series. See modern Minis and Peanuts in Hysteric Saloon racing.
My last Mini had twin pot alloy Metro brakes working on reduced radius discs so it could run 10 inch wheels. Brilliant brakes but still relied on the tyres, but not Mini anymore. Because of the 10 inch Arden wheels the '64 shell looked right and had the same old bungability. Most people told me what I had done was stupid and/or impossible. I rather lost interest as what I wanted was a trad S look with some modern initiatives. I did not want a Carlos Fandango version of what a Mini could like like. So hence an MG Magnette and B series. 
Messerschmitt set, Goggo Darts, Heinkel 175, Fiat Jolly, Autobianchi, Fairthorpe Electron Minor, Borgward, Isuzu Trooper
Citroen BX 17TZD & GTI 16v
Held - MG Magnette ZB & 4/44
For sale - Vellam Isetta, Bamby, AC Type 70, Velorex, Church Pod, Reliant Mk5, KR200,  Saab 96, Bellemy Trials, Citroen BXs

AndyL

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Re: POWERDRIVE
« Reply #37 on: December 13, 2014, 07:13:49 PM »
Most 5 port turbocharged A-series minis make 150-170bhp. To get 200BHP usually requires a change of head, but I know of at least one person who has done it with the old 5 port head, and has the evidence to back it up, not just pub talk, but it does require a bit of work.

This chap has his motor poking out 250bhp, but he's using a K1100 head (twin cam 16 valve), which allows the engine to breath better.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqDZ8YboF48

Bear in mind that improvements in ignition and fueling enable tuners to get a lot more out of old engines than they could give in the past.

Anyway think we should leave the mini tuning talk there, as we're now hijacking the original thread.

1959 LHD 3-wheel Isetta.

Big Al

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Re: POWERDRIVE
« Reply #38 on: December 14, 2014, 08:47:32 AM »
Interesting.

I see the search is out for Powerdrive owners. Dave was round with a request on the car we had and passed on into Forfar, I think, Scotland. From there it met a sad end by being bought by an enthusiast and then broken in half. Not sure who has either bit now but it was a restorable machine.

This has been covered several times and Dave is certain he 'moved' the records on. So he assumes those responsible for breaking the car up would prefer it not to be on record at RUMcar. Bit like the Groomfondle Bond mystery where I rescued them, but get the blame for breaking them, after selling them to BOC members who were frighten of Stan. It was they who flogged numbers retained and mixed bits up, not us. No doubt Dave will be updating the records passing the slur off.   
« Last Edit: December 14, 2014, 08:56:03 AM by Big Al »
Messerschmitt set, Goggo Darts, Heinkel 175, Fiat Jolly, Autobianchi, Fairthorpe Electron Minor, Borgward, Isuzu Trooper
Citroen BX 17TZD & GTI 16v
Held - MG Magnette ZB & 4/44
For sale - Vellam Isetta, Bamby, AC Type 70, Velorex, Church Pod, Reliant Mk5, KR200,  Saab 96, Bellemy Trials, Citroen BXs

Grant Kearney

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Re: POWERDRIVE
« Reply #39 on: December 14, 2014, 11:31:52 PM »
I located the said Powerdrive in Buckhaven, Fife many years ago with some assistance from Dave.  Not that I wanted a 2nd example but was asked to find it on behalf of Ivan Robinson, another Powerdrive owner from Yorkshire.  Sadly Ivan had the rear aluminium body of his stolen so was on the look out for a parts donor and this one suited the bill.
There was no hope of it every being restored and yielded very few useful parts other than the badly vandalised aluminium body sections.  I collected two lumps of front suspension, rear wheel and engine which looked like a large lump of corroded aluminium, two aluminium door skins, rear body section and boot lid which was badly mangled.  I believe that the car actually broke in half when you attempted to move it from Groombridge's yard.

I believe in the end the body section required was so badly damaged and stretched that Ivan had to locate another scrap Powerdrive to provide the badly need section.  Must mean that there are only three or four left now.

However, there might be a couple of parts that might well help out Gary with his newly purchased example.  Hope to see Ivan soon to confirm.

Big Al

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Re: POWERDRIVE
« Reply #40 on: December 15, 2014, 12:46:38 AM »
One answer to that is just with us. I would refer you to the worst restoration thread, rather than what sounds like the make one out of three thread. Possibly doomed if the cars are hand made bodies. I hope the Tony Marshall car is not going to get broken up as well, especially as I had found a potential rebuilder for it and the Astra.

For me, plenty of cars have been restored from worse shells than those cars. It takes skill, and/or money, and the will to do it. I have had two Maicomobil worse than that. Both exist as restored bikes. Currently helping on a racing car in a similar state.
Dave fell short after wanting Powerdrive ownership, later having then falling for Trojans of any sort. If it were mine, I would have been more concerned to find a safe home, but he wanted the object of the deal, a Trojan bus. That said Powerdrives had no historical following, or value, at the time, unlike Maicomobils. Fiscally he did quite well, I guess. What is done, is done.

Our function remained filled, as the car passed on whole. I believe a spare engine was available for additional money, and possibly still is, with where it went after the car went north, as that was not part of either Powerdrive deal, despite being on offer. Likewise other donar parts found were not taken up. It could have been a pretty complete project. I recall a reluctance to allow a copy of the badge to be made colouring things on Dave's deciding not to keeping it. Trojans represented a untapped reservoir of the unfound, not yet affected by much interest or politics.

I reflect the view of Dave on Saturday when he asked me to ID the letter. He says he will be setting the records straight, once he understood what the communication was all about. He was not particularly impressed that the car had either benefited from its registration, nor that he remained codified as the owner of a parted out car, after he had passed it on whole. Clearly he believes he had ended his ownership obligations with the car. Given his drive and success to rescue the most obscure Trojan products from oblivion, I can understand his viewpoint. Even now he has two engines and a Clinton/Trojan silage cutter being donated to the Trust, as well as a potential invite to produce a Trojan event for the family of Peter Agg. He does not need to be associated with other people breaking rare cars up. Dave is not on this forum to make a statement. So I did.
Messerschmitt set, Goggo Darts, Heinkel 175, Fiat Jolly, Autobianchi, Fairthorpe Electron Minor, Borgward, Isuzu Trooper
Citroen BX 17TZD & GTI 16v
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Grant Kearney

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Re: POWERDRIVE
« Reply #41 on: December 15, 2014, 06:24:31 PM »


I reflect the view of Dave on Saturday when he asked me to ID the letter. He says he will be setting the records straight, once he understood what the communication was all about. Dave is not on this forum to make a statement.
Well I hope Dave understands cause I have no idea what you are rambling on about.  A statement about what ?, he once owned a Powerdrive and following many years therapy is now fully recovered.  Ivan Robinson now owns the remains (and is not on this Forum either) and all I collected on his behalf as mentioned before.  Am sure I posted pictures of the mangled remains of the front end here previously.  Will try and find the 'as found' pics in Groombrige's yard.

Yes, the ex. Tony Marshall Powerdrive was bought by Ivan as well.  I am sure in the future it would be possible to restore this one as it was complete and both halves were in good condition.  Once Ivan has his Powerdrive complete then there will be enough left over to build another one.  No one else seemed interested and many months later Ivan done a deal with Tony via Stuart.  I am sure that Stuart posted details about saving Tony's cars on here a few years ago when they were at risk.

Grant Kearney

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Re: POWERDRIVE
« Reply #42 on: December 15, 2014, 06:38:07 PM »


There yeh go Garry.  A cross over model with later Lucas lighting but the earlier windscreen and frame.

Big Al

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Re: POWERDRIVE
« Reply #43 on: December 16, 2014, 09:54:14 AM »
Well its pointless for a 'representitive' making any further comments on the actions themselves. I have done what I feel was demanded by the situation.

As for Dave's comment, I understand it entirely. He runs a Trust dedicated to protect artifacts with an up to date cross referenced set of records and a website and newsheet. In the main they are donated by owners into the Trust's care, for free, sometimes delivered, even with cash donation to aid conservation. Such an organisition relies on the belief that donations will be looked after for the long term, not broken up, or sold off for profit like Beaulieu. So effective is our buddy, he gets non Trojan gifts, too. Clearly his being associated, and effective accounted as owner, of a rare car broken up can seriously damage the success of what he is doing now, by calling his trustworthiness with rare cars into doubt. Therefore the record requires to be straightened out, as he was long out of the car's ownership when it was chosen to part it up. This should be quite simple and part of that record straightening is for it to be a matter of public record so the wrong records cannot be buried. So here it is. (I am particularly motivated here as much the same situation exists with respect to myself and some club records, they remain unchanged despite I had to resign position, as I was voted in to represent the Members of the Club, not the Members of the Committee. Such a position now existing could effect my private business, as well as theirs. I am not taking the risk and in this event the papers and records exist to prove my non participation and, indeed, attempts to resolve the situation, refused in favour of a cover up. I am now very much more careful about who I link finances with, and their published record keeping.)

Dave is not really interested in what happened after he sold the car, though he remains adamant the vehicle could have been restored. I agree, but by whom. Even today the cost would probably be more than the value of sale restored. So only the motivated need apply. No one will argue that point, theory and practical demands do not follow the same paths, always.

Interestingly there was another offer on the Powerdrive. Admittedly as a seconded to the Astra Van. I again was only representative here, asked to lease with Root and so Tony, but the two parties failed to do business, as my chum took exception to the idea that as a fine woodcraft constructor working on vintage boats and cars, he might take the engines to put in boats. His incredulous comment, 'But they are not marine engines!' tells all. Like many of the original Microcar people he is a most unusual and uncompromising character, so lines hardened despite the offer being that, which was at the time, acceptable. Its a shame, as his workmanship is beautiful to behold, when he is motivated to use his skills. Maybe my connection with the deal was the problem. However I do not doubt that both cars would have been restored in time, and one might even have been at Hatton, since that is about as near to the 52 acre wood on the Welsh boarder that our man lives in. That might tip a few folk as to who I am talking about. But only if you hung around the fire late into the night at early rallies. That lot tended to be the most interesting characters, representing the far eccentric excess that Briton can be proud of. Happy nights before I got to involved.
Messerschmitt set, Goggo Darts, Heinkel 175, Fiat Jolly, Autobianchi, Fairthorpe Electron Minor, Borgward, Isuzu Trooper
Citroen BX 17TZD & GTI 16v
Held - MG Magnette ZB & 4/44
For sale - Vellam Isetta, Bamby, AC Type 70, Velorex, Church Pod, Reliant Mk5, KR200,  Saab 96, Bellemy Trials, Citroen BXs

Big Al

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Re: POWERDRIVE
« Reply #44 on: December 16, 2014, 11:21:53 AM »
Further

Hi Al,
Thanks for doing this. I've replied to the chap who contacted me, he seems to have acquired the Ivan car, which he says is in original running condition and so needed no parts.!! Have to remember that when I sold the Powerdrive it came complete with a rebuilt 322 anzani engine as well as it's original and a complete set of chassis plans to allow an easy rebuild. I would estimate it would take a good welder about two days work to make the chassis, it was pretty simple, then it would be an easy restoration from that point. So about £500 to get a chassis. Whole thing including purchase price up and running, though still needing paint for £1000. I wish I had kept it. And it did have a V5 modern log book as well as it's original buff. I wonder who has the registration now!!
I think the so called enthusiasts can't believe that anyone would rescue these cars just because it needed doing!!
Dave

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Messerschmitt set, Goggo Darts, Heinkel 175, Fiat Jolly, Autobianchi, Fairthorpe Electron Minor, Borgward, Isuzu Trooper
Citroen BX 17TZD & GTI 16v
Held - MG Magnette ZB & 4/44
For sale - Vellam Isetta, Bamby, AC Type 70, Velorex, Church Pod, Reliant Mk5, KR200,  Saab 96, Bellemy Trials, Citroen BXs