CA18 on the inside aka Scimitar Hillclimber
hi all, some of you may know that ive got a fetish for funny plastic brit sports cars, being a TVR and Scimitar owner. the Tivs of no interest, but my Scimitar hillclimber might be
bit of history first, the cars were made by Reliant in Tamworth and about 2,200 produced of which just over 200 were fitted with nissan silvia 8v CA18ET engines.
below is the timeline of this car so far (mostly stolen from a scim site thread id done)
(ive checked with the mods and theyve said its ok)
due to the fact that the cars a competition car and a fair few of my competitors follow this forum now the entries will tend to be 'after the fact' rather than work in progress, dont want to give them any ideas until its too late
after building and racing a N/A version i bought my current car in April 2004, from Nigel Reeves, the then RSSOC SS1 Registrar and ex-RSSOC Champion. Nigel had run the car for a number of seasons, evolving from Std class, through Modified, and then to Super Modified for the majority of its competition career in Nigels hands.
i bought the car and immediately added the liveries of my then employer and also my families firm but that was about it for mods for 4 meetings.
the first season was susccessful, if expensive, as i manged to destroy the engine at the august RSSOC event and yet still win the Super Modified class for the year 8)
the winter saw a new engine purchsed from Graham Walkers in Chester, and then stripped down and modified with custom made pistons , forged steel conrods from Apex , a bespoke camshaft from Autosprint in Birmingham and lots of other mods to ensure the new engine would be as bullet proof as possible.
the car took its first tentative laps at a pre-season test day at Curborough in March, the scene of the original engines demise 9 months earlier
2005 saw the car get progressively quicker with a couple of super mod class recoord times and a new taller rear spoiler.
the main change came when the new engine management system was bought and installed. the Emerald M3d is mappable from a laptop and has control over every engine feature and function (i detest carbs...).
the wiring loom design was seperated from the reliant loom so that if i had an engine electrical issue, i wouldnt have to trawl the Relaint loom and vice versa. i cant thank Stew B enough for the help with all things electrical, hes a sparky genius! A very clever bloke without whos help the car would still have been un-wired now.
the car was mapped over in Norfolk by the ecus creator and mag technical writer, Dave Walker (of Cars and Car Conversions and latterly Practical Performance Car fame).
a new trigger wheel was fitted along with a crank sensor and the distributor binned.
the performance jump was dramatic! approximately 2secs from memory at my local hillclimb.
2005 ended with a few more SM class records and the class championship
Last edited by CNHSS1; 01-08-2008 at 11:45.
the winter of 2005 saw many late nights and long weekends designing and implementing tweaks and mods to improve the car. in order to go quicker i would need more power, so the engine was remapped along with a rare CA20E spec Nissan inlet manifold sourced from Canada. this along with the remap improved the engines breathing yet further and bumped the power up to that of the best Scimitar V6 GTE and Coupe Super Mod cars.
with the extra power came the need for more grip, so the tyres were changed for Kumho V70A (now called V700) soft tyres, 205 front and 225 rears. this required some widening of the rear arches to get the new fat rubber under!
2006 saw the developments continue thick and fast as Paul Turnbulls ultimate super mod GTE was nearing completion so i needed to keep pushing forward.
i contested 15 events that season (not all RSSOC) and had a stonking year by anyones stds! i won the overall RSSOC title and was the first person ever to get 8 perfect scores (only 8 of the 24 rounds count). in fact the cars was so good i managed 109.98 points out of a possible 110!! i was chuffed to bits
again the winter was busy, in fact it was the busiest to that point.
a new huge alloy intercooler was fitted, a new exhaust system, a very trick tubular stainless steel exhaust manifold created which uses an external wastegate with 'screamer' pipe (turbos very own exhaust for excess gasses) which exits out of the front wing.
The water radiator had been in the rear of the car since id bought it from Nigel to aid weight distribution, but the water pipes were replaced with 'hard' piping rather than flexi hosing for relaibilty, with flexi only at the block and rad ends.
Chris Eades, Bryan Crouch and myself commisioned Protection and Performance in Skipton to produce 3 bespoke roll cages. they were built to current MSA specs with extra roof diagonals, harness strap diagonals and door bars. very much a peace of mind mod, but one that also paid dividends in the handling dept by stiffening the chassis drasticlaly too.
Last edited by CNHSS1; 01-08-2008 at 11:51.
2007 saw a late start really, missing the first few events.
a remap at Emerald saw a bit more power and switchable engine 'maps' so the cars power delivery can be changed from a 3 position switch on the dash, ideal for the wet weather or slippery conditions. the 'wet' setting gives less power and much less torque with a very smooth, gentle torque curve, whilst the full dry map is a real rip-snorter!
pic shows the exhaust manifold glowing red whilst under a power run on Dave Walkers dyno :shock: 8)
some great results followed with me getting times close to the mighty Competition class supercharged GTE owned by Iain Daniels and driven by my mate Ben Gough. i improved my times at pretty much every track id been to during the year and my run of 10points came to an end at Prescott in september where i was beaten to the 10 by eventual 07 Champion, Chris Eades in his Modified class car. although a tad disappointed not to have retained my title, Chris had been setting the world alight in his Mod class car so eventhough i was quicker everywhere, it just wasnt enough to do the title
it proves that eventhough the range of cars and performances over the 4 RSSOC classes is large, the handicapping system works really well 8)
at about this time i started looking towards the 08 season and started formulating the ideas and changes that would form my winters work.
there was a lot of unrest within the compie section (which im not going to go into here) as to the performance of the SS1s compared to other Scimitar models, especially it would seem, my car. i decided not to press on with any further development until after the annual Drivers Meeting at the Awards Dinner in November.
The season finished as is tradition at Castle Combe in October with a great run and only a few tenths away from Bens Competition Class record, so that was the icing on the cake.
the annual RSSOC Awards Dinner came and the new regs for '08 were agreed upon. the class regs were adjusted to improve parity across the 30+years of prodcution and numerous models and engine sizes, so that we can all compete on a level footing. these and subsequent changes are essential in my view as the championship is a living, breathing entity that evolves along with the cars and competitors, so it has to happen from time to time.
that time had come, and my car was no longer eligible for the Super Modified class that the car had all but made its own.
what to do now....
unusually (for me) i did have to deliberate long and hard as to the next step.
the main choices were:-
1) modify the car to meet the 08 Super Mod rules which would guarantee making the car slower but, importantly, massively improve the fight within the class.....very very tempting, except for the going slower part
2) move up a class to Competition class. ive always been an advocate of if people want to go faster, moving up, so really should just take my own advice. problem, is huge amount of time required and a not to be sniffed at monetary outlay (dont ever tell Claire, she thinks i had all the bits hidden away in the garage already :wink: ). new wheels and slick tyres needed and new bodywork to hide them under. luckily ive always been pro-active in keeping the safety levels way above whats required for Super Mod, so no changes needed there.
3)change series, most likely to the Midland Hillclimb Championship. im a huge fan of the Midland hills, Shelsley, Prescott and my fave, Loton Park, so really no big deal, and the next step up in terms of level of competion of cars. i would miss my scimitar chums at events, but would still be doing the sport i enjoy enormously.
so after much heartache, i decided i couldnt go slower, and for some strange reason, do like the company of other scimitar weirdo's, so option 2 and moving to Competition Class it had to be!! 8)
the work started almost straight away after the awards dinner , but only in areas that i wouldnt have to change, if i changed my mind and went back to S/Mod or Midland hills.
i roped in the ever helpful Pete Silcock, as along with his other hugely time consuming and overwhelming hobbies and running a business, Pete apparently 'is into building and modifying boats'. having got to know him well over the last few years, hes an unassuming guy, but when he invited me down for a crash course in the black art of fibreglassing i was genuinely stunned at his boat building shed. Shed my arse! his boats arent the average dingy jobbies either! Big respect to the man 8)
anyway Pete can make 2kgs of glass and resin go further and be stiffer than you can imagine. the techniques he showed me have allowed me to enjoy the smelly, sticky process that is the world of 'composites'. Anyway a few pics speak volumes. the moulds were taken from a 'spare' SS1 he had and then a nose produced.
now the eagle-eyed amongst you will notice it isnt quite the same as a std SS1...well actually it is! the dimensions are exactly the same (it came from an SS1 used as a buck) except for the area below the centre line of the wheel nuts, a class regulation. Pete added an airdam as we had both by this time become interested in reducing the lift the nose caused at very high speeds (130mph+ Castle Combe for instance) due to the undercut in the std cars nose design.
the headlamps were redesigned to be kit car style behind plexiglass covers for lightweight, an obsession of mine (for the car not the driver :lol: ) and the intake and exit for the intercooler was cut out. it was at this point that a snag was hit.... the car wouldnt fit on the trailer. if i went to wider tyres which i was hoping to do, it would be too wide, so another trailer was purchased. snag no.2, the car woulnt fit on the new wider trailer due to the big air dam. Bugger!
we decided to make it a 'lift-off' nose at this point.
Last edited by CNHSS1; 01-08-2008 at 11:52.
its now christmas and im a million miles away from being ready for the season in March. the car has no panels, no wider wheels and no new slick tyres....
100s of hours passed making bits and pieces in fibreglass, and sending mithering emails to Pete and my other partner in crime, Stew B, asking dumb questions and generally annoying the hell out of them no doubt. After hours of devising a brilliant (i thought... ) scheme for doing something on the car, one of them would invariably point out, ever so politely, why it wouldnt work! bugger... between the two of them and the ever-patient Claire, i think they saved my sanity!
more moulds were made, more panels produced and gallons of works coffee drunk.
new doors were made from highly modded std SS1 items as my old ones looked like a piece of lace and they didnt really shut or latch very well.
a new bonnet exit scoop for the intercooler was made, then a mould taken and glassed into the bonnet
this then had to be cut in half so that half stayed with the now shiortie bonnet and half with the nose section
OK so now its time to commit to a class and championship.
id had a chat with Ben Gough regarding the rebuild of the supercharged GTE and he was very cagey (Sod!) but sure it would be stunning, the fastest GTE and certainly fastest Scimitar ever built once it was finished and a few months development under its belt. Having always been a big fan of the supercharged car, and having huge respect for Iain Daniels talents and vision in building hot race cars, this was gonna be a mighty machine. that pretty well settled it. i wanted to beat that car!!
dont think me arrogant, think me bloody stupid!!!! im an amatuer spanner monkey that isnt bright enough to realise i cant do everything properly, so end up taking on too much, and then by default, have to learn from the clever people, how to put right the botch ive come up with!
anyway stupid as it was, the scene was set.
next problem, if im gonna take on the mighty white GTE, with the combined skills of Daniels, Gough (well, ok maybe not him :lol: ) and John 'The Bodywork' Louch, im gonna need some big wheels.
(thats a std 1800Ti wheel for referance)
oh yeah, and some rubber to wrap around them...
well no actually. the nose is designed for the std width wheels, and not the 'Flintstone bog-rolls' i now have. Arse!! the nose will have to be modified and the wings extended F&R.
dsue to the car being in Competion class, i could make a rear spolier too that would meet the mSA regs and serve some purpose. with the water radiator in the boot, the rear spoiler was designed to draw the hot air out through the rad at speed without the need for the fans running all the time
after months of sanding, glassing and general bodywork, its now ready for primer...
what a hateful job bodywork prep is :twisted: i think its a punishment for being bad in a previous life. Well, with this project, i must have been Vlad the Impaler and Genghis Khan rolled into one! :evil:
next stage paint....
we have changed all our vans and company cars to silver now, so i thought it would be a good idea to paint the racer in silver too.
in hindsight i shouldve changed all the company vehicle colours to a non metallic instead!!
im so crap at spraying, and so skint that i cant pay someone to do it properly, so its a '100 yard' paint finish im afraid (it looks ok from a 100yds away :lol: )
the cars now painted (OK, had paint thrown at it) so now for the other bits and pieces.
having the camber, toe etc setup by Danny
trick headlight duct for the air filter 8)
the proposed logos, as yet mostly unfitted
Last edited by CNHSS1; 01-08-2008 at 11:48.
Self confessed player of the pink oboe
Originally Posted by scimmy ben
Originally Posted by sprout
Originally Posted by docwra
Haven't got anything remotely intelligent to say, other than wow - some seriously impressive work going on there, great stuff
MPG is the new BHP
Great to see your project here
great car, ugly but great
Hella cool Looks like a proper little Thundersaloon now
Originally Posted by Cluck
MPG is the new BHP
I think you devalue the interest of your car to SXOC members
Great write-up. Look forward to more progress and some decent results
Originally Posted by zeppelin101
car holds virtually every class track record everywhere its been now, but ive gotta start again now with the class change. do love a challenge though.
will post further pics and vids after next events