Recently we posted up some pictures of a Rover 105S Historic Race Car – we have been lucky enought to be contacted by the cars new owner – Victoria Beever who has done a fantastic job restoring what was already a beautiful example into an even greater example. Victoria has aptly named the car ‘Bluebell’ and she campaigns the vehicle in the UK and has raced a such prestigious tracks as Silverstone and Brands Hatch.
Recently Victoria was campaigning the vehicle at Castle Combe for Easter and this is the first race of the season. Bluebell has won 3rd in class twice since the improvements have been made to her – she is still as reliable as she was 50 years ago!
The car was originally constructed to take part in the Masters “Oldies But Goldies” race series for pre-1960 saloon cars. The vehicle participated in a couple of Masters races before the original owner’s funds could no longer continue to develop the car and the project was put on hold. That is when Victoria Beever bought her in December 2010 and nurtured her into the car she is today.
The body shell and chassis war incredibly sound and in very good condition. We gave her a re-spray from the original blue to the two-tone colours she has today.
To convert her from a road car to a race car she had racing seat belts fitted, a roll cage, fire safety system, up-rated roll bars and up-rated shock absorbers. Her original fuel tank was discarded and replaced with a foam filled alloy unit and re-located in the boot over the rear axle. The wheels were specially made ‘minilite’ items and fitted with Dunlop Historic race tyres which are part of the regulations for the HRDC race series.
The engine is the original 2600 cc unit. The bottom end of the engine has not yet been touched and we are looking at upgrading the crank shaft. It has had a Weslake cylinder head fitted so she now runs a triple 1-3/4 SU. She has had a full custom-made “Tony Law Exhaust” system fitted and the radiator has been up-rated and re-cored. We had a new in-let manifold made to encourage some more power, which did increase her BHP!
Inside her dash board has been fitted with the essentially required instruments, warning lights and master cut-out switch. We converted the key-start to a push button start, which in a race is far safer and quicker if you end up in a spin!
The suspension has been lowered, however we are looking at putting adjustable suspension and strengthen the front even more, as she is now behaving more like a race car and less like a road car, so leaning like a large ship, is not helpful – see some of her photographs!
The overdrive is still attached, and again this is going to be removed at some point during 2012. It is also a very heavy unit, which doesn’t help her speed when carrying all that weight. The current gear box has come from a Rover P5 which has got rid of the long reach gear lever that the P4 originally had and is now a short conventional gear lever which makes it easier to change during races. At the moment she is weighting in at 1.7 T which is very very heavy for a race car, hence why I/Victoria have developed some large biceps!
Ian Kellett of IK Classics in Holmfirth has done all the work on her today. Together with Victoria they have developed and lovingly restored her into the racing car you see today!