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Kirkham Motorsports

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Old 12-27-2016, 11:47 AM
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Default Superformance MKII, Riverside Racer 289 FIA vintage race car

Starting a new build in early 2017. I am really excited about this one and have had some conversations with other members on this site. The car will be a dedicated vintage race car; what the original 289's were meant to be. The Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) has approved the Superformance MKII FIA for vintage racing with some specific provisions. Those being it has to have a 289 with proper stroke, iron heads and a very limited choice of carbs. In addition, the differential must be a Salisbury and it has to have Girling brakes. Tires are very limited as well, and I will be going with Hoosier street TD's as they are one of the three that are approved for the car. There are size limitations on the tires as well.

The frame that I will be using is Ross Henry's Riverside Racer design. I have a 1965 289 that is being built and Dan Williams is putting together a close ratio top loader for me that I should have in a couple of weeks. Rick Muck, Ross Henry and Dennis Olthoff will be providing additional support and assistance with this build.

I have the Salibury differential and am in the process of making arrangements for it to be rebuilt and the gearing changed to 3.54. With that rear ratio I should be able to make some separation on long straights and the cobra should be able to out handle the mustangs, corvettes, jaguars and camaros that I will be primarily running against in the corners. The drain plug is drilled for the required safety wire.

Attached are some photos of the differential. As more parts arrive, I will provide more pictures and updates. Given the potential time frames that I am looking at for the roller, engine and transmission, I am hoping to have the car up and running for the SVRA vintage race at Mid Ohio in late June and then at the US Vintage Grand Prix a Watkins Glen in early September!

I will be ordering the Girling brakes from B&G development in the UK in January.

Looking forwards to hearing people's thoughts and comments and to have thee thrill of a lifetime racing a 289 cobra on the same tracks that they were raced on back in the 60's and 70's.

Jim

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Last edited by 1795; 12-27-2016 at 05:31 PM.. Reason: forgot something
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Old 12-27-2016, 12:00 PM
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gratulation, that sounds like a neat plan!
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Old 12-27-2016, 12:11 PM
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Looking forward to your build. The SPF 289 is super nice Cobra. Great choice. I have a couple questions.

Are you allowed to run Webers? And do you have to use a vintage cylinder head or can you use an aftermarket iron head?
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Old 12-27-2016, 12:22 PM
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I can use Webers, but if I did I would have to run in A Production against big blocks. Therefore, I will be running a Holley double pumper instead so that I am competing against small blocks in B Production. I can use aftermarket heads, as long as they are iron. I will be using Dart Iron Eagle heads.

Last edited by 1795; 12-27-2016 at 05:32 PM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 12-27-2016, 12:27 PM
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Good luck with your build. Ross designed and built a very authentic car. It will be great knowing that one will be out there doing battle on the race track.
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Old 12-27-2016, 12:33 PM
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Yes, this will be about as close as a poor boy like me can get to experiencing the thrill of driving an original 289 FIA on the track. Given what I have seen of other vintage race cars in B Production at various events, the car should be competitive. I cannot wait to have the roller home. Went with Monza red so that it stands out when I am passing those corvettes
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Old 12-27-2016, 05:04 PM
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Exciting build! Can't wait to see it progress : )
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Old 12-28-2016, 03:15 AM
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289FIA, you can't go wrong, and Ross (riversideracer on CC) is a wealth of knowledge.



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Old 12-28-2016, 06:12 AM
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Looking forward to seeing this car go together! Ross is the best!
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Old 12-28-2016, 06:18 AM
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I could not be working with a greater group of people! This build will be wonderful. Transverse leaf springs, vintage block, Girlings.... This will be a demonstration project and hopefully as we learn from this experience more of these builds will end up on the track. We can replicate the old days and have enough vintage cobras to finish 1-2-3

More photos to follow. When the car gets on the track there will be video as well.

Looking forwards to advice and support from people on the forum as well.
Jim Kellogg likes this.

Last edited by 1795; 12-28-2016 at 06:19 AM.. Reason: forgot something
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Old 12-28-2016, 07:00 AM
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Thank you both Bill and Larry.
Jim, I am very pleased you have decided to take advantage of SVRA`s recent ruling in which both Dennis Olthoff and John Cropper helped. Thanks to both of them as well. It helps when active racers give their support! Promoters, spectators and drivers all win as more of these cars find their roots.
Alan Garrow, who races one in South Africa, has proved these cars can win, so Good Luck and enjoy.,
Ross
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Old 12-28-2016, 08:39 AM
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Ross,

Thank you. As a racer I have learned that racers do not win races, it is the support that they receive that allows them to do well. Any idiot can drive fast around a track, it is those people who take the time to develop the car, provide guidance and support that are the winners.

I cannot wait to get the car together and on the track! Looking forward to having you there when I race at the Glen, and any other race that you can attend.

Jim
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Old 12-28-2016, 11:17 AM
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As I have previously posted, as the value of the original cars goes up there will be voids left on the grids that will have to be filled.
I am looking forward to watching your build. Is the Cobra you are building utilizing a glass or alloy body? The reason I ask is because I was under the impression that the body like the brakes and a few other items had to be as the 1960s variant of the car being entered.
I have recently acquired another shops project that was also being prepared for the SVRA program, this one is a Kirkham being built for the B-Production class. Unfortunately for the owner of the Cobra that I now have in my shop the previous shop building the car went sideways and added components to the car to make it illegal for SVRA's "Gold Medallion" certification program that would allow the car into the vintage races where original period cars run (Coronado, Sears Point, Indy and the COTA). The car is still eligible for SVRA B-Production with these modifications but the owner was looking to go with the more original cars and the "Gold Medalian" program.

The "Gold Medalian" program requires that the car being entered be built exactly as per the original car was that is being reproduced.
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Last edited by CompClassics; 12-28-2016 at 11:20 AM..
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Old 12-28-2016, 11:46 AM
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It is going to be a fiberglass body. SVRA has no problem with this for the regular competition with this car. While Gold Medallion would be nice, this project is really stretching my budget with the glass body. Alloy would be way out of the question. There are some vintage groups that will not allow a glass body if the original was alloy. As a rule, SVRA only allows glass body panels in certain situations. They will make exceptions. From my understanding, and experience, I will be on the track with original period cars. The Gold Medallion program is more of a prestige thing. The only race that is for Gold Medallion cars is Sonoma. If there are enough Gold Medallion cars at a race, they may be run in a separate group and they will have their own podium. There are no Gold Medallion only races on the east coast.

It took a lot of work from Dennis Olthoff and John Cropper to get the SPF/Riverside Racer 289FIA approved. Most groups, including SVRA tend to frown on replicas. As you stated in your earlier post, as the value of the original cars goes up, they are less likely to be found on the track. I think that this is a great opportunity for fans to see more of the original style race cars. While it would be nice to compete against a Ferrari, I doubt that I will ever see one on the track. There still are some nice vintage race cars that do compete still.

Part of what I am trying to show is that someone without a lot of disposable income can still race with the big bucks guys. I am not really interested in Gold Medallion. Just want to race and have fun.
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Last edited by 1795; 12-28-2016 at 12:12 PM.. Reason: forgot something
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Old 12-28-2016, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CompClassics View Post
As I have previously posted, as the value of the original cars goes up there will be voids left on the grids that will have to be filled.
I am looking forward to watching your build. Is the Cobra you are building utilizing a glass or alloy body? The reason I ask is because I was under the impression that the body like the brakes and a few other items had to be as the 1960s variant of the car being entered.
I have recently acquired another shops project that was also being prepared for the SVRA program, this one is a Kirkham being built for the B-Production class. Unfortunately for the owner of the Cobra that I now have in my shop the previous shop building the car went sideways and added components to the car to make it illegal for SVRA's "Gold Medallion" certification program that would allow the car into the vintage races where original period cars run (Coronado, Sears Point, Indy and the COTA). The car is still eligible for SVRA B-Production with these modifications but the owner was looking to go with the more original cars and the "Gold Medalian" program.

The "Gold Medalian" program requires that the car being entered be built exactly as per the original car was that is being reproduced.
it sounds that the "Gold Medalian" requires the same specs as the FIA-HTP?
for the FIA-HTP the car should have all the original specs inclusive the body, a glass body wouldn't be allowed...
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Old 12-28-2016, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1795 View Post
......
Part of what I am trying to show is that someone without a lot of disposable income can still race with the big bucks guys. I am not really interested in Gold Medallion. Just want to race and have fun.
that is very interesting, in europe you need a very very high disposable income to race with alle the period cobras, e-types and ferrari 250 gt's,
the teams are more or less professional and come with million $ trucks, equipment and a bunch of mechanics, and as you stated the team is responsible for the success...
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Old 12-28-2016, 01:47 PM
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Vintage racing in the US is a mix of the rich and some grassroots racers. There are those with million dollar trucks and crews, and then there are those of us who bring our car to the track on an open trailer and have our wives and friends as crew.
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Old 12-28-2016, 01:53 PM
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OK Jim

Here we go..... I'm only going to suggest things we did when we were racing against the A/P and B/P cars ... like you I didn't have all of the money, so I had to figure out how to do modifications on my own .... As luck would have it, we learned a lot and had much more confidence in the car when we got on the track. It is a great feeling when you win and have built or modified the vehicle you are driving.

Since you showed the Rear End.... here's some photo's of what you may want to consider ....










One of the problems we encountered was filling up our catch can on the rear end .... and we found out that the oil was going out the breather or vent hose into the catch can .... and then would not return to the diff.... then we would damage the differential.....

These are the mods we did to fix that issue...

These are the things we did to KMP259 as well and it has proven very successful.
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Old 12-28-2016, 02:18 PM
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Morris,

Thanks! Yes, like you, I will be doing most of the install and some fabrication. The hole that you covered with the small piece of metal in place, is that a vent hole?

I take it that the piece of metal that you installed acts like a windage tray and keeps the oil from splashing out of the top of the differential, right?

I am sending mine out to Drive Train Specialists in Warren, MI for new gearing, seals, etc. I all take a look at the differential when it returns and see what I can do that might be similar to yours.

In the meantime, I do need to take a welding course and look for a used welder.

Looking forward to learning more from you along the way.

Jim
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Old 12-28-2016, 02:33 PM
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Jim's chassis has been ordered from the factory and will be expedited to allow time for the build-out and race prep needed.

As Jim indicated Ross Henry and others prevailed upon SVRA to allow the composite body cars to compete. Vintage racing is facing an issue in that many of the original race cars have reached values that have caused the owners to pull them from competition thus reducing the grids in the most spectator popular classes. Realizing that a viewer can't tell the body material from the stands, SVRA has decreed that we can run our MK II 289 series cars so long as the powertrain and brakes are of period type. We have developed an option for the Girling calipers and solid rotors that may be owner installed on the existing chassis to meet the regulations now in effect. This means there will be several new "old" cars to compete. We have had inquiries from owners of original vintage Cobras about duplicating their race car in a new Superformance MK II and fully expect that within a year there will be several more competing. In fact if we get enough cars, we are looking at a "sub" class that will have their own placing and awards with sponsorship from us.

Currently Jim is the first of two Superformance FIAs destined for SVRA competition. We welcome inquiries from anyone interested in racing on of our cars.
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