More of our Cars!
1960 Austin Healey Bugeye Sprite
(The car that got John Saccameno into Vintage Racing)
After a year or so back into the classic car world I wondered what I was going to do next. I went to another British Car Union show was restless pretty early on. I had been looking into vintage racing, but knew if I wanted to get into it, it wouldn’t be in the 3000. I wandered over to the North Suburban Sports Car Club tent and started talking to the nice folks there who were promoting the Midwestern Council of Sports Car Clubs Vintage / Historic racing program. I would soon turn 40, and figured it was now or never. My research led me to Sprites as being great first race cars.
I found this one at a dealer in Florida. It was an ex H Production SCCA car that had run some vintage races, even though it had the big flares front and rear. It did have all of the safety gear, and a roll cage that NASCAR would approve. I immediately took it apart and cleaned it up, and made it mine. It took a while, but after a few seasons it became a very reliable car. It has well over a hundred races in MCSCC alone. It was built to be ultra reliable as I didn’t have any spare time due to my travel schedule to do much between events other than bleed the brakes and check the pads. I upgraded to a 1275 to take advantage of an o-ringed block, installed a close ratio gearset, and upgraded the brakes. I still take the car out at track days from time to time and recently rebuilt and upgraded the front and rear suspension. It’s still a really fun car to drive!
More of our Cars!
1966 Austin Healey 3000 BJ8 Race Car
Ed Muncie has been campaigning this car since 2014 with great results. Purchased in 2013, Ed decided he wanted to go racing with his new acquisition. After many long conversations, we decided on a short and long term plan for the car’s build. Primarily Ed wanted to be able to continue to drive the car on the street, but also be able to push the car to its limits at the track. Obviously compromises had to made, but working together we have done well in fulfilling his needs.
Wanting a truly vintage look and feel to the car, Ed opted for a rally style hardtop and lights and the simple British Racing Green paint. We decide to initially invest the time and effort in three area areas; safety, handling, and braking.
The suspension was upgraded to higher rate springs and re-valved shocks. The camber was altered and the wire wheels were replaced with cast Panasports for better rigidity. Sway bar sizes were increased and other minor tweaks were performed. The car retained it original ride height to make street travel far less treacherous to the expensive bits underneath.
As Ed makes his living as a risk management executive, we had to make sure we got the safety thing just right. The mods were done in conjunction with commonly acceptable vintage racing General Competition Rule specifications. An FIA acceptable fuel cell, Four point roll bar, Sparco racing seats, and Schroth belts keep Ed safe and firmly in place.
His interior looks completely normal with stock instruments and switches. The fire bottle and emergency shut off switch were integrated into the roll bar and top. The ignition wiring was modified to insure proper disconnection in case of an emergency. In an effort to keep the driver the proper 2” below the rollbar height, we agreed to lower the floors 1.75” inches to accommodate Ed’s height and retain the hard top. This allowed the seats to be lowered appropriately.
The brakes were upgraded to racing pads and fluids and have held up admirably. The car has been super reliable, and the key was to not have so many changes and upgrades that we could not sort and performance issues separately.
The current plan for the off season prior to 2016 is to build a reliable high performance motor, that will allow track performance with street tractability.