Since I last update this site I have changed things a little on my truck. It has been repainted by Darren in a slightly darker purple and the flames are no more. The hood scoop has changed for a more modern cowl scoop. The seats are leather ones from a Saab and the dash is completely new. The Procharger has gone to be replaced by a pair of turbos. In the bed of the truck are the intercooler and watertanks for the cooler as well as trans cooler. I originally built the inlet/turbo manifold myself but was ill advised on size and materials causing untold aggravation. The upshot was I booked the truck in with John Webster to make them properly. On the first time out I had oiling problems and had to rebuild the motor. With the truck off the road I lost interest a bit and have built 2 Altereds and my girls have started racing. I have now re-vitilised and sorted the engine woes and got the truck dyno to map the fuel injection system and turbos. The day didn't go without problems though as the oil pressure gauge line melted, sprayed oil everywhere and then caught light!! This was quick easy fix but I then decided to change the bolt in perspex windows to wind up and down and change the rubbish original A60 door locks for ones from an Audi. I also need to change the fuel system as I was badly advised on this as well and with a projected 1000hp potential could have been disasterous. The truck will be back down the dyno soon and hopefully back at the track this year. We live in hope.

1 HISTORY OF CAR

The Austin Cambridge (sold as A40, A50, A55, and A60) is an automobile range sold by the Austin Motor Company from September 1954 through to 1969. It replaced the A40 Somerset but was entirely new with modern unibody construction. The range had two basic body styles with the A40, A50 and early A55s using a traditional rounded shape and later A55s and A60s using Farina styling.
Initially the Cambridge was only offered with a 4-passenger, 4-door saloon body, though a few pre-production 2-door models were also made. It had a modern body design with integrated wings and a full-width grille. Independent suspension was provided at the front by coil springs and wishbones but a live axle with anti-roll bar was retained at the rear.
The name had previously been used to designate one of the available body styles on the pre-war 10 hp range.
A van derivative introduced in November 1956 and a pick-up introduced in May 1957 remained available until 1971, long after the demise of the cars on which they had been based.
During 1955 and 1956 production of the earlier type (Austin A40 Devon) Commercial models was continued. They were replaced for 1957 by new models which have a similar front end to the contemporary A40/A50/A55 (Pre-Farina) Saloons. These models remained in production when the A55 Mk2 (Farina) Saloon was introduced, and were modified for 1963. These vehicles remained in production throughout the 'Farina' period and beyond, finally ceasing production in 1973.
Half-Ton Commercials:
Code: HV6
Model: Half-Ton Van
Period: February 1957 onwards
- - - - - - - - - -
Code: HK6
Model: Half-Ton Pick-up
Period: May 1957 onwards
- - - - - - - - - -
Code: HQ6
Model: Chassis and Cab
Period: May 1957 onwards
- - - - - - - - - -
Code: HR6
Model: Chassis and Scuttle
Period: May 1957 onwards
- - - - - - - - - -
When the new models were introduced in October 1962 the codes above remained unaltered. From October 1962 these were also available as Morris models.
Chronology:
November 1956: Half-Ton Van is introduced at The Motor Show.
May 1957: Half-Ton Pick-up is introduced as open-back truck version of the Van.
October 1962: New Half-Ton Commercials introduced with the following major changes: Redesigned front end; Chrome mouldings on body sides; Stronger front bumper; 14" Wheels with 6.40 x 14 tyres; seat belt anchor points incorporated in cab; Glove box lid; Non-reflecting fascia panel finish. Vehicles now available as Morris Half-Ton Van and Pick-up.
September 1963: Half-Ton Commercials fitted with 1622cc engine like the Austin A60 saloons.
 

2 HISTORY OF MY CAR


I purchased my truck, which you may remember as green, on the 9th of November 1992 as a standard A60. It was used like this for some time as my wife Liz’s everyday ride. It was great for taking the kids out with the Honda trike in the back bed.

I then decided to put a Rover V8 in and bought an SD1 engine auto box and rear axle from the breakers. Much cutting of the bulkhead and transmission tunnel followed but it was not too difficult a swap. The axle went in on the original springs after it had been narrowed by Owen Engineering (a name from the past). The original steering box caused some head scratching and I ended up with a remote oil filter on the engine and the front suspension from a MGB which also gave me disc brakes. I used the truck like this and actually raced it at North Weald until I started to frequent the company of the Skinner bunch.

I then took the 350 cu in small block from my wife’s 47 Chevy rod (no it still hasn’t gone back) and with a bit more cutting of the bulkhead and transmission tunnel fitted this mated to a th350 auto box. I think I was down to about the 14s now. I then was truly hooked on the drag race scene and decided to build a 383 SBC engine. This was not quite right and soon went bang at Shakespeare Raceway. I built the engine again using a little more care and the truck was good for mid 11s until the SD1 axle started acting as if it were a locker. On inspection the bearings had failed and the axle was scrap. A 9 inch Ford axle on a 4 bar setup was fitted next and while I was doing this I tubbed the rear end for some decent sized rubber (10 x 15 steel wheels with 375 tyres). I then decided to but an already built 400 sbc from a guy called Laurie. This motor enabled me in one meeting to drop from 11.2 best down through 10.8, 10.6, and 10.4 to end up at 10.2. All this with no cage at all. This engine lost oil pressure and I rebuilt it as a 406 and with a touch of gas eventually ran 9.8.

Somewhere about this time I sprayed the truck purple and fitted a CDS roll cage. It was also about now that I ditched the MGB front for a home made front suspension based on kit car wishbones and Sierra hubs. Big mistake, the brakes have never been as good as the MGBs! It was now that I decided I wanted more power so I contacted Dave Powell of Performance Unlimited for a 427 engine based on the SBC but actually with no chevy parts in it. I also started enquiring about importing a Procharger. (This is a side mounted centrifugal belt driven supercharger) I used the engine as it was for a while and then the Procharger was put on. This setup made 760hp on Kenny Coleman’s dyno and propelled the truck to low 9s. I think I may have put the flame paint job on about now.

I then felt I needed an intercooler as I was experiencing detonation which was ruining a nice combination. This didn’t really cure the problem so I contacted John Sleath for a FAST (fuel injection and electronic fuel management) setup. This pretty much brings me up to the present but go to PROJECTS to see what I have planned for 2009…………

3 MODIFICATIONS MADE TO CAR

(a) ENGINE
427 Dart Iron Eagle block with Scat rods and crank and SRP piston with a CR of 8.5: 1
Dart Pro 1 230 ally heads
Blower cam from Crower.
Dart/Wilson intake manifold and rocker covers.
F1R Procharger
CS1 electric water pump
Schoenfeld headers

 (b) GEARBOX
Andy Frost prepared Dedenbear Powerglide

 (c) BACK AXLE FRONT SUSPENSION
John Webster prepared 35 spline 9 inch Ford with braced casing and spool on Chris Isaac made 4 bars. Home made twin wishbone setup using Sierra hubs BMW 320 discs and Wilwood calipers.

 (d) CHASSIS
Back end is 80mm x 40mm rectangular section homemade chassis connected to original chassis to rear of cab.
Front end is 80mm x 40mm rectangular section homemade chassis connected to original chassis to front of cab.

(e) WHEELS AND TYRES
5 x 15 front and 10 x 15 rear Cragar Prostars with 185 x 60 and 375 x 70 tyres.

 (f) INTERIOR
Homemade dash with Auto meter gauges. Ally paneled and Corbeau Forza bucket seats. Full CDS cage.

4 BEST TIMES AND SPEED
9.28 @ 148mph
.

5 FUTURE MODIFICATIONS
See
PROJECTS

6 FUTURE GOALS
To be able to run mid 8s with as little trackside stress as is humanly possible.
To be able to keep clean at the track like the others do!
To run one major meeting at Santa Pod.

  

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