MkII Cortina Perana V6 racer

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KSF
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MkII Cortina Perana V6 racer

Post by KSF » Tue 01 Nov 2016, 16:40

Here is a build thread with a twist. I am not restoring a car to original conditions or specs, I guess one would say it is a type of restomod. The car is intended for racing use (WPMC's pre-77 Classics) and will be a replica (more accurately a lookalike) of one raced in the very early 1970's by Koos Swanepoel for Windsor garage.
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I had previously built another replica racer, the Lucky Strike Capri V6.
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Circumstances meant it got sold without me ever racing it, something I regretted almost immediately. So I had to build another, but at the time I went looking, I could not find a suitable Capri. I did stumble onto a Cortina MkII in need of lots of work, but it suited me well enough. The car I wanted to copy had flared arches and since I would be reworking much of the drivetrain and suspension in any case, mechanical condition and completeness was not important. A reasonable sound bodyshell is.

The car I found had surprisingly little rust on the bodyshell and the main joints and members were sound. It did have some minor accident damage (right front corner) and in parts the floor was rusted.
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KSF
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Re: MkII Cortina Perana V6 racer

Post by KSF » Tue 01 Nov 2016, 16:50

At the time I checked with our class of racing's technical guys about eligibility of the car to race. The rules are simple for the most, but as soon as you start looking at non-series production cars (homologation cars, aftermarket modified cars and the like) it gets complicated pretty quickly. I was confident it would pass though as there is already a replica racing up in Gauteng (in Gunston colors).

So I bought the car and brought it home for work to start:
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This was more than 2 years ago now. About the time I joined this forum to look for parts and shortly after the process stalled as there was some doubt about the car's eligibility to race. The problem? It was not a genuine Perana. It hinges on the technicalities (still hotly debated today in many circles) of how you view Perana's: Are they Fords modified by BG? Or did Ford supply BG with parts to build, market and sell his own cars. He (BG) was a registered manufacturer.

In this regard I got a lot of help and expert knowledge from this forum, in particular ZAHistorics (thanks again!) and in the end all was OK and approved by National.

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KSF
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Re: MkII Cortina Perana V6 racer

Post by KSF » Tue 01 Nov 2016, 17:18

One of the nice things about building a modified racer is that you don't need to worry about most of the trim or interior. It all goes anyway! So you can just get in there and rip out, chuck it aside. In this case you don't throw it away, as there is a good market for parts on these cars as other guys restore and maintain them for road use.
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Exterior trim is important and I am actually still looking for some bits.
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The floor initially looked OK for its age:
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But closer inspection and also once the sound padding was gone revealed the ugly truth.
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..and here was the culprit. Someone did a proper hack job of opening and reclosing the tunnel. It leaked, letting lots of water in.

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This was a low point in the build to date. Far more rust than anticipated and at the time not much luck getting replacement parts (body and trim).

It stood like that for a week or two!

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zahistorics
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Re: MkII Cortina Perana V6 racer

Post by zahistorics » Tue 01 Nov 2016, 19:29

I agree selling the Capri was a mistake.

Nice to see new the build though.
I was confident it would pass though as there is already a replica racing up in Gauteng.
What did WPMC decide? They seem to be a lot stricter than Zwartkops.
Are they Fords modified by BG? Or did Ford supply BG with parts to build, market and sell his own cars. He (BG) was a registered manufacturer
The Mk2 Cortina was, in legal terms for tax purposes, a new car manufactured by BG. Definitely not classed as 'modified' as that would have attracted luxury tax.

The Capri and Granada were official Ford products completed by BG.

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IndianaJones
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Re: MkII Cortina Perana V6 racer

Post by IndianaJones » Tue 01 Nov 2016, 19:50

What an awesome project to do, and potentially lighter than the Capri?
Will be following your progress closely and looking forward to seeing it on track.

I must admit, I thought the classic car racing authorities would be more accommodating, at the prospect of having a replica of a known early racer on track.

Mind if I highjack your vintage picture for another thread?

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KSF
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Re: MkII Cortina Perana V6 racer

Post by KSF » Wed 02 Nov 2016, 11:41

zahistorics wrote: What did WPMC decide? They seem to be a lot stricter than Zwartkops.
WPMC was always fine with it. At HRC level they were also happy in principal from the get go, but had to take some time to check the fine print, so to speak. Our class is open to any car from anywhere in the world, so they had to check that if they allow my car, it would not open other unwanted or unintended doors. Personally I support that cautionary approach.
The Mk2 Cortina was, in legal terms for tax purposes, a new car manufactured by BG. Definitely not classed as 'modified' as that would have attracted luxury tax.

The Capri and Granada were official Ford products completed by BG.

And that bold bit is where it hinged. That and the fact that they technically remained "Fords". Had they all lost the name Ford and became Perana Cortina or BG Cortina in the eyes of the law, my project would have died a death right there. Probably. We all know complete Ford Cortina's were shipped to BG for what was actually a conversion. Quite interesting the tax laws at the time: Modifying the 1600 engine would have attracted the tax, but replacing it with the V6 did not. Had it not been for that, BG might have carried on simply selling camshafts and other go-fast bits?


I have to add something here: Both WPMC Classics and HRC controllers have received a lot of uncalled for flack in years gone by. Much of it around rules, rule interpretations and who is allowed to do what etc and so on. Some of it might be warranted, but I have found in my dealings with them that they are very approachable and accommodating. They are for the most car nuts just like the rest of us. Do your homework and get your ducks in a row beforehand, and it all goes pretty smoothly. On the other hand, come up with some half-baked wild scheme to try and dive through a loophole, then don't be surprised if you meet with resistance.

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KSF
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Re: MkII Cortina Perana V6 racer

Post by KSF » Wed 02 Nov 2016, 11:46

IndianaJones wrote:.....and potentially lighter than the Capri?
Exactly right, potentially lighter. The down side is that their weight distribution is quite poor and the original racers were plagued with very bad understeer. If you look closely at the pic of the original, you'll see he used wider wheels on the front compared to the back to try and counter act.
Mind if I highjack your vintage picture for another thread?
TBH, I forget where I got that pic from, might have been Killarney Racer. I guess so long as you don't use it for financial gain, no-one will object? I don't mind one way or the other.

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KSF
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Re: MkII Cortina Perana V6 racer

Post by KSF » Wed 02 Nov 2016, 16:00

I had said yesterday that the project got stalled for a week or two. It was actually longer than that, but eventually it got going again. I managed to find some of the parts I needed and got them transported here too. Help from forum members, the late Basie, Johan Wepenaar to name a few. There were more guys.

The floor and tunnel problem was for now put on the back burner to be dealt with another day and I carried on with the accident damage repair.

First was to remove all the badly damaged bits. This was done by drilling out the spotwelds.
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The valance was also badly bent and torn in places, but that had to be cut away.
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Behind it was minor damage that I could straighten out with a knock-o-meter and some swear words. A small tear had to be welded up.
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Just a word on welding, some debates went on about welding methods, the best equipment to use, is it justified cost for this type of build etc and so on. Remember, I do this as a hobby at home between work ending and supper time. In the end I decided it was a nice challenge to see how far I could get with what all and sundry regarded as the exact wrong piece of equipment and method. A cheapy oil bath Game/Makro special AC arc welder. The type with posts for 45/90/140Amps. This and some good ole 2mm flux covered rods.

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KSF
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Re: MkII Cortina Perana V6 racer

Post by KSF » Wed 02 Nov 2016, 16:42

A problem I had at this time was that the mudguard and valance I got was also not in perfect condition. But the parts where mine was bad were good on them, so in the end I could cobble together one good piece. Not ideal, but it worked.

The valance jigsaw started to go on first. And yes, my old AC welder made heavy work of it, so I borrowed an invertor welder. Worked much better. Still MMA with 2mm rods.
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Next was the mudguard, below the two pieces in mock-up.
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It was a case of mocking up, marking the joint line, take off, trim a little bit, then repeat. I forget how many times, but quite a few. When it looked about as good as I could get it, I tacked the joint in place. Next the mudguard would be taken off to be fully welded on the bench. Well, floor as it turned out.

Project stalled here again. I had to give back the borrowed invertor welder and also the due date for our big kitchen revamp was upon us. So for the moment, it all got packed away, covered up and shoved aside for months.

One last pic of this era, my constant companion in the garage and also appointed chief quality inspector. Her name was Queeny and although there was nothing wrong with her hearing, she did not mind even the loudest garage noises. Just curled up a bit tighter.
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KSF
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Re: MkII Cortina Perana V6 racer

Post by KSF » Wed 02 Nov 2016, 17:11

During the intervening months (kitchen work.... :cry: :roll: ) I had a lot of time to think and debate with myself if I should not just go ahead and get the right welding equipment, a proper MIG set-up. With also a TIG torch. That should cover just about everything you could want to weld. I convinced myself that this is the last big project I'll do and that for everything else I would want to weld, just a good invertor welder would suffice. So the sort of cash lay-out required for a decent MIG and TIG set-up cannot be justified. I don't know if I was right, but ended up buying myself an early Xmas present, a 160A invertor welder.
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They work very well and having now used it for some 2 years, I can say anything with wall thickness of about 1mm can be done. Lowest I have managed without making a mess is 0.9mm, still with 2mm rods. Less than that it is very hit and miss between fusing, burning big holes or just laying down flux.

So the mudguard's joint finally got welded up.
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That done it could go back onto the car and the final jigsaw piece (last bit of valance) mocked in place.
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If this was a restoration project, at this time the bodywork prep and spray might have started. But much more mock-up work and body work mods were required, so more stripping was done. The whole front suspension, steering, crossmember, the lot was taken out.
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