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Feature Article

CLUB CAR PROFILE— AS TOLD BY JAMIE CORNWALL

 

I bought this shell (pic one) back in about 2008/9 from Darren Holliday up in the Uraidla area.

It was just a bare shell but had it’s tags and the GT stainless trim on it.

 I then spent the next four or five years trying to accumulate all of the hard to get bits specific to the ’64 GT.

 I actually picked up my ’65 GT a few months later just up the road at Summertown, which was almost complete so I pursued this restoration whilst searching for the parts and finished it well before the ’64.

What I have tracked down about the car: -

It is a factory Jet black car.

Was turned into an Appendix J racer back in the late eighties by I believe Bob Cracknell (is that right Kerry?)

Raced for many years by Les Walmsley, apparently a very fast car. (pic attached)

Rolled in a race in Sydney in the early 2000s.

Then retired and the good bits placed into another car to then be raced by Darren.

The car was a nightmare the roof cut off and another tacked on, all four corners knocked over many years not remotely straight and full of bog, and the worst was the chassis rails all bent, twisted and crushed.

I came across a near perfect shell in Melbourne which was used as the basis for the entire resto, a big thanks to my man Mr Ed for all of the panel work.

We started the work on this one over Xmas leave 2013 and had it up on my rotisserie for about eight weeks and gave the welder a hammering.

We went for original Jet Black acrylic to finish, and to maintain a bit of racing integrity some silver stripes over the top (I may get shot for saying this but Holden Silver Mica was used), with several coats of clear and all finished by April of 2013, at which point I took a good six months to sort out the running gear and interior (all of which is from Aldridge trim in the UK).

I had a spare Airflow rear end so the tramp rods had to go in, a slight upgrade from the ’64 model. I always had a sogt spot towards the Dunlop D1 (Racer) wheels so I thought they would be an appropriate addition to the project.

 When it came to the engine I was originally going to go for something like what Julie Osbourne did with hers a Nissan Turbo with five speed, but the National show changed all of that.

I met Matt King there (Europatek on the old forum for those that knew him) who had an Airflow GT powered with a twin cam.

At the same time I made the acquaintance of Gary Saunderson (of Brisbane he had the hatch Cortina), well talking to him he mentioned he had several twin cam heads and was willing to sell.

Well that was it decision made a Twin Cam.

Now the next search for parts ensued, I never truly understood early in the piece the ramifications of my decision….didn’t take long to figure it out though. I was getting absolutely no where unless I wanted to pay crazy dollars importing stuff.

Kerry mentioned he had a 120 E “L” block so that cash was parted with quickly, and then I had an absolute stroke of luck. A guy I knew from Melbourne dropped bye to grab a 120E engine off me, and had an Escort twin cam in the back of the wagon. I asked him if he had parts and as it turned out he had heaps and didn’t want cash all he wanted was 120E blocks.

I went on the hunt for blocks thanks to Bluey, Darryl of Klemzig and one I had lying around I ended up with four blocks. A trip to Melbourne and I came home with two cams, pistons with 120E rods a lotus six bolt crank (at 60 thou under on the mains already) and the timing kit. A dead set bargain at four 120E blocks.

 It was then machining and building time, off to John Kreig at Mt Barker and then  Kerry for the assembly.

All went well until we go to the front cover and realized mine was an unuseable dud, that turned into a nightmare to get another and lost a load of time thanks to a person in Melbourne making dud promises he could not keep.

Anyway Kerry got onto one of his sources and we ended up with a removable canister type good to go.

Engine finished just in time for last Xmas for me to get installed over leave and off to Kerry for run in this last Feb.

Got all of the electrics sorted (very few issues surprisingly) and off to Regency for ID and rego in mid March to officially have us at completion.

Got it off to Mike Dale at Holden hill for a Dyno and tuned beautifully making an enormous 63 Kw at the rear wheels.

Many thanks go to: Kerry Sarandis for the engine build. John Kreig for machining. Mr Ed for panel. Paul Sampson for upholstery (Nairne). Ebay for those elusive bits