Lancia Motor Club

Model Technical and Interest => Aprilia, Ardennes and Ardea => Topic started by: LouK on 16 September, 2015, 10:15:37 AM



Title: Aprilia race preparation
Post by: LouK on 16 September, 2015, 10:15:37 AM
So after watching the amazing pre-war cars hurtle around Goodwood at the Revival, it begged the question to Jason and I how you would go about race preparing an Aprilia.  Of course we all know how successful they were in races and rally's in period and I've seen some fabulous results in recent rally's but I wonder how a race Aprilia would stack up today against other prewar cars?

Anyone done this (I've not seen any on track) or have any thoughts? I'm guessing it would be best to start with a solid restoration project with the thought to keep the car as light as possible.  Anyone got any thoughts on engine development?  Is it true that 90bhp is capable from the 1500?

I'm really looking forward to learning from the experts on this.  Apologies if this has been answered before - please point me in the direction of the appropriate thread.


Title: Re: Aprilia race preparation
Post by: DavidLaver on 16 September, 2015, 11:05:20 AM
It hasn't been done in a long time.  There are articles in old news sheets from the tuning guru and hotshot.  He had little F3 cotton reel wheels on the back at one time.  Colin Marr is probably the best person to phone.  A stash of spares turned up recently with a batch of manifold plates we think from that source which might have some interesting bits and bobs in, but starting from scratch is easier now than its ever been with things like pistons and rods and CNC water jet cutting of manifold plates.

I'd love to see Italian information on Aprilia tuning, pre and post war...   Prewar is typically the 1350 but there were some 1500s.  If you think getting a Beta roll cage past the Germans is tricky you aint seen nothing compared to prewar car eligability - and for very good reason as people who run those sorts of cars are extremely talented engineers and mischievous and devious b*stards to a fault.

The question over the last few decades is "race where and with who".  The VSCC hasn't wanted closed cars at speed events until very recently.  However there are a number of meetings at Spa with prewar grids and of course the LeMans classic but is an Aprilia what they are looking for?   One of the Aprilia based barchettas maybe...and these days a good replica is as welcome as a genuine car.  To me an Aprilia is a long distance rally car, probably an even better one than an Aurelia.  Anthony Hussey is the man to call as he has experience of both.

A prewar Lancia to race?   A Lambda is the obvious, preferably one with prewar race history, ideally at Brooklands.  It can be a special but prove is was already a cut down special prewar to do the best events.  An Augusta March with a blower is the other option  but even then there's not a lot of power and prone to overheat - a brilliant and very lovely road car, and to hillclimb, perhaps on a gentle trial, but its hard to imagine one keeping up or going the distance somewhere like Goodwood.

Perhaps an Aprilia engine in an Augusta chassis?  That was what I intended to spend your money on when the Aurelia went.  Maybe one day yet.  It should make a more reliable road car than with a supercharged Augusta engine and a better prospect on track but only with organizers who are open to recently built specials.  Angouleme was a dream event in that category.

My own fantasy had I stayed doing what I was doing was a Maserati Voiturette.  That, your Aurelia, and whatever Sara wanted as long as it had a tow bar would have done me.  

David


Title: Re: Aprilia race preparation
Post by: DavidLaver on 16 September, 2015, 11:15:43 AM
A very smart March in the US, and a very scruffy special I think now in Germany that I think Robbie Coltrane raced for a while, and a Zagato.


Title: Re: Aprilia race preparation
Post by: DavidLaver on 16 September, 2015, 11:19:30 AM

Colin also has a brilliant photo of a drifting Aprilia at a Goodwood track day.  If you want something to blow up and put on the wall as inspiration it would be that one.


Title: Re: Aprilia race preparation
Post by: Richard Fridd on 16 September, 2015, 03:16:53 PM
Norwalk Vintage Motors have this on their site.


Title: Re: Aprilia race preparation
Post by: LouK on 16 September, 2015, 03:45:16 PM
Oh goodness Richard.  That looks amazing.  I'm not sure I dare look at the website for fear of enormous disappointment :-( or sudden madness.  Must not find a cheque book....


Title: Re: Aprilia race preparation
Post by: simonandjuliet on 16 September, 2015, 04:10:36 PM
Norman Wilson was the great Aprilia Racing guru and I recall that a lot of his exploits are recorded in the LMC journal and newsheets, plus I think that the spares that David referred to came from Norman's hoard

Aprilia Saloons can be made to go very quickly , and I agree with David, I would see them more as a road than circuit car, but would love to see otherwise. They have fabulous independent suspension that copes with anything thrown at it ....

Indeed YRV 700 (2nd ser 1500) did well in some of the early European Classic retro-rallies in the early 90's (??) being run by Anthony Smallhorn and later Anthony Hussey. This car was then owned by Gerald Batt and is now with Terry Allen, if I have my facts right !

Of course, they do extremely well in the winter rallies as well

I am currently putting together a 1350 engine with some interesting bits and will post on this later, and Ben Courage has a few tricks up his sleeve as well.

As has been said before though, the potential weak links for any "hot" Aprilia engine are the aluminium rods, I would imagine that any race project would need newly made rods, preferably in aluminium. Others have made them in steel but that can cause significant balance problems. See elsewhere on the forum for more on this one !!


Title: Re: Aprilia race preparation
Post by: Dilambdaman on 16 September, 2015, 07:34:36 PM
Lightwight 4litre V8 Dilambda? :o

It has been finished and for sale recently. Can't find a photo of the finished article and the You Tube video of it seems to have vanished.

Photo attached of the original car which inspired the recreation and one of it nearing completion.

Robin.


Title: Re: Aprilia race preparation
Post by: LouK on 16 September, 2015, 08:14:07 PM
Thank you Simon - this is great information.  When I have time I'll trawl through our Journals and also the Forum.  Good to understand both the weaknesses as well as the strengths.

Robin, what a magnificent project!  The original car looks huge!  It was great to watch the huge Talbot racing against the FN and Alfa at the Revival - great handling for such a huge car and I'm assuming the Dilambda would be the same.  Sadly I fear that a car like this would always be out of any price range we might have.


Title: Re: Aprilia race preparation
Post by: DavidLaver on 16 September, 2015, 09:19:30 PM

Custom made aluminum rods are available from the States and perhaps also somewhere like Arrow in the UK.  I've got a set of new old stock :)   

Steel rods can be made light, its persuading a manufacturer to work to your weight limit rather than their usual "unbreakable" standard.  Its not going to rev particularly high by modern standards, not high at all.

Lots of scope for compression increase with Fulvia style sloped top pistons or with an Alfa type dome.  Breathing can be improved a little through the ports and a lot with a pair of carbs.  The original cam is very conservative.

Someone near Farnborough had a massively over-bored Aprilia.  Perhaps 1700cc.  I've a memory of it running some sort of Aurelia pistons.  Again I've got notes, somewhere...  He'd also messed about with different superchargers on fabricated manifolds.

From memory I think the clutch and box were ok but the diff (input shaft?) a bit fragile.  I've got the articles scanned, somewhere...


Title: Re: Aprilia race preparation
Post by: Richard Fridd on 18 September, 2015, 02:45:00 PM
Also for sale in America is this Aprilia engined special   danrapley.com/inventory/fischhaber-lancia-special-the-avus-mystery-racer-no-more/  automotoclassicsale.com/node/15858


Title: Re: Aprilia race preparation
Post by: frankxhv773t on 18 September, 2015, 07:26:48 PM
I was thinking the pictures were of two different cars but the write up on the sales web site explains.

"The motor racing scene in both West and East Germany after the war would be dominated by home-built race cars called Eigenbaus (translation home built). They were built with whatever materials these privateer builders could find. Those post-war racers were a creative bunch. Never satisfied with what factories provided, they always seemed to have an itch to scratch. Could they build a better race car using the best parts available and cloaking it in a lightweight aluminum (and sometimes fiberglass) body? The answer more often than not is yes they could. Our most recent acquisition has been a mystery racer featured in Veloce Todayís July 7, 2010 issue. Much of the information we have today comes from the previous owner and the Veloce Today article. Hans Fischhaber built the Lancia powered racer to compete in the German Championships in 1953.  Fischhaber selected an 1100cc Lancia engine and gearbox from (most likely) the Aprillia.There would be other more powerful Lancia-powered Eigenbau specials including one driven by Mauritz von Strachwitz but he lost his driverís license just before the race!

When you study the photos, you can see the expert level of engineering Fischhaber used in building the car. It is apparent that he made every effort to make the car as light as possible, drilling holes throughout including the pedal box. The body is aluminum with a light coat of fiberglass. The steering wheel, headlamps and fasteners were sourced at German manufacturers. The race was was lost when Fischhaber wrecked the Lancia-Eigenbau on July 12, 1953 during the second round. Although it was banged up badly, it wasnít scrapped. History isnít clear what other races the 1100cc Lancia-Eigenbau competed. There are records of Hans Fischhaber racing a Lancia-Eigenbau at the Hillclimb Schauinsland 1953 and the Rheinland-Pfalz Preis NŁrburgring in 1954.  What we do know is that, eventually, it was converted to road use and remains configured as such to this day. That conversion required fitting a modified nose and a windscreen from an MGA. The Fischhaber Lancia-Eigenbau Special deserves restoration as a tribute to the brave racers who were bold enough to compete against the factory juggernauts."

Here are some more Aprillia specials (should somebody tell the Kennedys?).




Title: Re: Aprilia race preparation
Post by: LouK on 20 September, 2015, 03:41:20 PM
We are doomed!  Thanks so much for the information and advice.  And the temptations.....dare I view the for sale ads.....?! Probably best to do so after we've sold my baby Fiat Abarth and am also considering the future of my Fulvia Zagato racer...

Ben, be lovely to meet you at Combe.


Title: Re: Aprilia race preparation
Post by: JohnMillham on 21 September, 2015, 07:54:00 AM
A very smart March in the US, and a very scruffy special I think now in Germany that I think Robbie Coltrane raced for a while, and a Zagato.

Robbie Coltrane owned it, but I don't think he actually raced it. It was raced in VSCC events many years previously with a British Salmson engine. I went to see it when it was last in the U.K., but was not impressed.
I would like to know who owns the smart March. I particularly like the early style front wings it now has.
Regards, John


Title: Re: Aprilia race preparation
Post by: Dilambdaman on 22 September, 2015, 11:31:33 AM
Found a photo of the finished Dilambda racer.

Robin.


Title: Re: Aprilia race preparation
Post by: JohnMillham on 22 September, 2015, 02:08:56 PM
A very smart March in the US, and a very scruffy special I think now in Germany that I think Robbie Coltrane raced for a while, and a Zagato.

Robbie Coltrane owned it, but I don't think he actually raced it. It was raced in VSCC events many years previously with a British Salmson engine. I went to see it when it was last in the U.K., but was not impressed.
I would like to know who owns the smart March. I particularly like the early style front wings it now has.
Regards, John
Mike reminded me that the owner who raced it in VSCC events was Roy Terry from Stratford upon Avon. I don't think he ever joined the LMC.
Regards, John


Title: Re: Aprilia race preparation
Post by: Tony Stephens on 23 September, 2015, 05:26:50 PM
Has anyone actually had a conrod break due to fatigue or ageing on an Aprilia? Is there a proper metallurgical explanation?
I'd be glad to know before getting around to my 1350cc engine. The rods look easily substantial enough for the task.


Title: Re: Aprilia race preparation
Post by: JohnMillham on 24 September, 2015, 07:03:38 AM
Has anyone actually had a conrod break due to fatigue or ageing on an Aprilia? Is there a proper metallurgical explanation?
I'd be glad to know before getting around to my 1350cc engine. The rods look easily substantial enough for the task.
Years ago, someone from RAE Farnbrough suggested that all Aprilia conrods would fail one day due to metal fatigue. Luckily, it hasn't happened yet!
Regards, John


Title: Re: Aprilia race preparation
Post by: JohnMillham on 28 September, 2015, 09:45:55 AM
How about this one? A rather tall looking single seater, it was in the paddock at the VSCC race meeting at Snetterton yesterday and it's for sale! The owner thinks it was made from a 1938 Aprilia - with some MG connections, but I think it's a bit later than that and based on a second series car. I have no idea what the MG connection is. It has a Shorrocks supercharger mounted in front of the engine, but of the type which doesn't get VSCC approval, as its inlet and outlets are side by side, instead of being at 180 degrees. It needs a bit of finishing and has rather nasty plastic pipes for the front suspension oilers, but they could easily be replaced - or just removed. The seat has some aircraft related history, but I forget what! Anyone interested should contact Stephen Cato or Duncan Sutton at www.historicsportscarcollection.com
Regards, John


Title: Re: Aprilia race preparation
Post by: frankxhv773t on 28 September, 2015, 11:55:43 AM
Here is a write up from another site with much more detail.

http://car-from-uk.com/sale.php?id=61952

For sale by auction on Saturday 30 November 2013 with Historics at Brooklands. Brooklands Motor Racing Circuit. Weybridge. Surrey. Call 01753 639170
The Lancia/MG is an example of a 'new' vintage special. having
been built by Richard Thompson in the early 1980's from the
mechanical parts of a Lancia Aprilia. These have then been
assembled onto a 1934 MG PA boxed chassis. Needless to say. the
chassis had to undergo some surgery to allow the transplant to
work. It has been cut. inverted. reversed and plated to produce a
very un-Abingdon-like structure that matches up with the Lancia
independent suspension systems as well as giving it a wheelbase of
seven foot. six inches long.

The overhead camshaft (1352cc) Lancia engine has been totally
rebuilt. tuned and now sports a Shorrocks supercharger fed by a two
inch S. U. downdraught carburettor. With a modest six psi boost. br/>about 70bhp is produced. The drive train. all Lancia. incorporates
the original four speed gearbox and the MG cart springs have been
replaced by Lancia independent suspension at all four corners. At
the front end. this is by the well known coil springs and dampers. br/>whilst at the rear. a transverse semi-epileptic spring is coupled
to torsion bars with short trailing arms.

The brakes are hydraulically actuated with servo assistance from
a Lancia Flavia unit. Disc wheels use 165x400 tyres at the front
with 19x400 at the rear. As well as having a blower. the engine
also incorporates a couple more ingenious items; as it runs without
a cooling fan. or dynamo for that matter. a bigger radiator from an
Austin 12/4 has been bought in together with a larger pre-war Fiat
water pump. The plate-type oil cleaner has also been replaced by a
full-flow air-cooled unit.

The original body made of fabric-covered marine plywood with a
louvered bonnet has been superseded by a bespoke aluminium unit. br/>beautifully crafted to fit and taking its styling cues from such
icons as the Maserati 6C and 250F.

Originally completed in 1985. the Lancia/MG was entered in a
number of vintage events including Wiscombe. Shelsley Walsh and
Prescott; however. difficulties with the car's ageing driver
prevented it actually taking part. Stewardship was then passed to
Nick Savage for further works before selling to Trevor Pask in
1998.

This is a tribute to a pre-war design initiated by famous racing
driver. Reg Parnell when he rebuilt his car using the front axle
from a Lancia Augusta mated to his MG K3. The cockpit
includes a selection of modern Smiths instruments such as oil
pressure. oil temperature. water temperature and a period military
aviation boost gauge. There are also two AC period instruments. br/>Speedometer and rev. counter. A side exit exhaust. with no baffle. br/>leaves the engine further indicating its competition
credentials.

As the work on this exciting project is largely complete. there
appears to be relatively little to do. Included with the car are a
number of spares including templates. panels. rear axle and
differential unit. radiator as well as a number of other
items. It has been accepted to compete by the VSCC with the
accompanying letter in the history file as well as the buff
application booklet. It is also mentioned at length in John
Batemans book. 'The Enthusiasts Guide to Vintage Specials'. and
should prove a rewarding drive for future national and
international vintage racing.


Title: Re: Aprilia race preparation
Post by: simonandjuliet on 28 September, 2015, 12:00:44 PM
Would be nice with mudguards and lights .......


Title: Re: Aprilia race preparation
Post by: Jay on 28 September, 2015, 02:51:54 PM
I remembered this car and the price it went for, I was at the sale and seriously looking at buying it. I wonder how much they want for it.   


Title: Re: Aprilia race preparation
Post by: JohnMillham on 28 September, 2015, 03:31:24 PM
Would be nice with mudguards and lights .......
Not much room for the shopping!
Regards, John


Title: Re: Aprilia race preparation
Post by: JohnMillham on 28 September, 2015, 03:33:45 PM
I remembered this car and the price it went for, I was at the sale and seriously looking at buying it. I wonder how much they want for it.   
Rather more than a really good original Aprilia.
Regards, John


Title: Re: Aprilia race preparation
Post by: DavidLaver on 28 September, 2015, 07:01:54 PM

I was also there - sorry to miss you John...

The water pump looked like an aluminium version of the Ford sidevalve pump, maybe branded "aquaplane".  I recognized it as I have one in a box to use myself.

The seat was in the first Comet to fly the Atlantic.

He seemed convincing that it has VSCC signoff, but from memory such things go with the owner-car combination and have to be reapplied for in new ownership.

I didn't dare take sufficient interest to get an indication of price having confessed to having looked to buy it from Mr Savage way back when.

Photos to follow.


Title: Re: Aprilia race preparation
Post by: JohnMillham on 29 September, 2015, 08:56:42 AM


He seemed convincing that it has VSCC signoff, but from memory such things go with the owner-car combination and have to be reapplied for in new ownership.


Quite correct - and it will not get a buff form with the present blower. Shame really, as I have one of those and would like to be able to use it on the Augusta!
Regards, John


Title: Re: Aprilia race preparation
Post by: Richard Fridd on 07 October, 2015, 03:20:07 PM
Now sold, but here is another race prepared car with an Aurelia engine


Title: Re: Aprilia race preparation
Post by: welleyes on 20 November, 2015, 09:56:37 AM
Regarding Tony Stephens' question in September asking if anyone has experienced a broken connecting rod on an Aprilia engine, the answer is 'Yes!' My brother Andrew was driving his 1937 Aprilia and had just pulled away gently from a junction when a rod exited through both sides of the block and the sump. Although there were offers of rods from other owners and a spare engine was found, he decided on new alloy rods. Casual conversation since has discovered owners of modest pre war side valve saloons who have had alloy rods break. Our little motoring world is divided into people who know alloy conrods do not break because theirs haven't and people who are sadder and wiser. Talking to motorcycle racers at the Revival, they don't even use new old stock 'rods as they believe they age on the shelf. BSA rods were particularly mentioned in that context. The probability is that none of your rods will break so do not fret about it, but if you intend to race, rally or drive like a young hooligan, then newly manufactured rods would be a sensible precaution. The fact that among the rods offered to Andy were incomplete sets suggests that rods have broken in the past.

Stuart Tallack


Title: Re: Aprilia race preparation
Post by: frankxhv773t on 20 November, 2015, 06:00:34 PM
Apologies if I am repeating something here but aluminium and steel have quite different stress characteristics. In aluminium stress is cumulative, building up over the life of the component till the limit is reaches and it fails whereas steel retains its' resilience until a critical load is exceeded. Push steel too far and it will break but stay below that limit and you should be OK. Push aluminium for too long and the vulnerability accumulates over time and may let go under even quite light load.

Frank T


Title: Re: Aprilia race preparation
Post by: davidwheeler on 21 November, 2015, 10:08:44 AM
...which explains why Serdi insisted I have new rods made when they rebuilt my engine.    Unfortunately they are steel which throws the balance out and necessitated a trip to Vibration Free (see technical thread).  Engine is now smooth as silk and probably bomb proof.