Friday, 2 May 2008

Hillman Imp full race inlet and exhaust manifolds

While we supply plywoods and epoxies,general related stuff,plus our list of boat kits,we also have other interests,mainly related to old cars,as may be seen if your a regular to this blog spot? One of my great interests is in the Rootes Car Company and their great design,the Hillman Imp this little gem was conceived back in the early 1960s and was released to the british public in May 1963, Prince Philip was one of the cars early drivers as was Cary Grant in the USA. The car was designed by Mike Parkes (Ferarri driver) and Tim Fry,two very young designers (26 and 24 years old) ,it was a car well ahead of its time. and given that it weighed just 710 kgs and had an all alloy four cylinder power plant with an engine size of just 875cc,based on a Coventry Climax engine, it was a pre design to all the Micro Cars we see today but Mike Parkes and Tim Fry came up with the design basics long before computers were the tools available to modern designers,proof indeed of their genius.

The car was a well recieved introduction to a world of humdrum designs,only the BMC Austin or Morris Mini could claim to be inovative at that time,once the motoring press had tested the new Hillman Imp it was clear to see that such a car had competion possiblities.It took the then world of private motor engine tuners,no time at all to develop tuning parts,one such company,Janspeed, was the best at producing a combined inlet and exhaust manifold,a sample of the exhaust side I have kept since my days when I raced a Hillman Imp in the Argus Championship,here in Cape Town around 1972.

Using the sample as a base tool,we have had a local specialist company fabricate a full race set of pipes to take two twin choke Webber dcoe 40's,with the exhaust side taken out below the carburetors.This is a trial set,itended to proove we can offer as good as is on offer anywhere else,if you need a set,or just the fabricated exhaust,either small or large bore,please contact me.

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Charlie Whipple launches his Sundowner!

Charlie has been building a John Welsford design called a Sundowner for the past two years or so,just recently the boat was launched and looks great sitting in its true element,even though its still tied up for the time being at a marina in New Zealand. John Welsford designed this small offshore boat with the specific idea of Charlie sailing from New Zealand to Hawaai,then via Cape Horn (to port) and across the lower part of the South Atlantic Ocean to my home port,which is Hout Bay,in South Africa.The local yacht club Hout Bay Yacht Club already have Charlie on their Links pages and we are looking forwards to Charlie sailing in to our bay some time in the near future. CKD Boats will be looking to supply the Sundowner as a complete kit very soon,contact for information. Charlies own site is at................. he calls it his Tokyo West Blog !

Wednesday, 30 April 2008



Eureka? thats a boat,not what Archimedes said in this case. We are plans agents to a tallented thin water boat design specialist Micheal Storer, who has a very nice looking canoe he named the ' Eureka ' ,the boat is really good looking and lightweight,with an option to supa light weight if we use 4mm ockume plys rather than the normal 6mm thickness.We have sold a set of plans to a chap called Gavin,he lives in the Knysna area, we have just supplied some building materials and Gavin will be starting his build soon,when he sends the build process pictures we will post them on the Blog page as he goes along.


Monday, 28 April 2008

Mr Moolman says goodbye to his 1922 Sunbeam

I have mentioned a very old car we found in the Namibian bush quite recently,well its now been re found and cleared of all the african bush that was growing around it,we are now told by experts in England,that its probably a 1922 or 1924 14 hp model,I looked it up and find they made and sold about 800 only and some 86 years ago,it is now the same age as Mr Moolman standing along side it!

We were extremly lucky to find what we did,my source of information (thanks Steve) said had last seen the car around 1994/5,so about fourteen years ago, what was there then was more or less still be to found,we have the cars chassis,engine and gearbox,back axle and drive shaft,five cast Iorn wheels,plus a set of fenders from the left hand side of the car.

Next will be to find the engine and chassis numbers,then check with known factory records to see what model the car really was,we do know that the Commisioner for Namibia was once known to have owned the car,if this is true I think we may be lucky in finding a picture or two in state records and newspapers,if we can find the commisioners family name we may even be able to do a search and try and find pictures the existing family may still have?

March 2010 this car has now been shipped to Eastern Germany,

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Stainless Steel rigging wire takes a bath!

We have 16 meter long alloy mast in for a service, we have to strip the old paints and the anodised surface underneath off,then re paint with new type twin pack paints.One of the related jobs is to acid clean all 316 Stainless Steel parts from the mast,this includes the rigging wires,this sounds simple enough,we have the right water based acid,its very mild but given a long soak,all rust and dirt will be cleaned off,right into all those tiny crevices that a human hand or power tool just can not reach.

A mast this size has large diameter 316 rigging wire,in this case 8mm and 10mm,we coiled the wire as we removed it,the larger coils being around one meter in diameter,the next problem was to find a suitable container to use as a soaking bath,nothing I can think of was any place close to such a size,excepting a babys inflateable paddle pool but its winter here and none are to be found in our shops.The problem was solved in around one hours labour,using Superform flexible plywood 5mm thick and cross grain,we cut sections 220mm wide and to a full sheet length of 2440mm ,plus a shorter piece to make the 3320mm full length we needed,then we used a sheet of 16mm chipboard (partical board) and cut out a circle 1100mm in diameter,this was to be our 'baths ' base panel.The 5mm Superform ply was then epoxied and screwed to the base,the epoxy was then applied to the entire inside,base and sides,when its dry and a second coat of laminating epoxy applied it will be fully water proof.

Problem Solved!