Sunday, 31 July 2011

Mike Monks Impudence,part two.

We had a team,Ian Shaw,Dave Hassell  and myself as the owner driver,Ian was the technical guy,he was in electronics,the company he worked for were in Somerset Road,I remember they had a star welder,it was he who made the water systems Swirl Pot,it was also he who welded with a gas torch the tear in the cars body were the rear suspension fitted.Talk about being good,he could weld like some can sew with a needle and cotton.

Dave was I suppose the Spanner Man but in reality we all mucked in and helped each other,shortage of the folding stuff was a norm and help from various other teams was handy,thats were we got the Dunlop Race tyres,which I have to say made the car very handy,both in handling but also made the gear ratios more acceptable.

Help came from other soutces too,it was Jeff Parsons who worked for the Willie Meisener race team who got me an official works purchase order for a pair of Weber dcoe 40 carburetors,we were talking about a 25% discount I think,the agents were Speedy Spares,Bree Street,it was Ken who supplied me,
Central Boating now occupy the same premises.

The main parts came from the Rootes Competitions Department back in the UK,it may have been Marcus Chambers who was in charge back then,or had Des O Dell then taken over? Buying from the UK was really easy,the mail service with the Union Castle Steam Ship Line was regular,payment was a snip,just go to your local South African Post Office and buy Postal Orders in Pounds Sterling! With the exchange rate back then at an easy two Rands to one Pound we were rich back then,what happened?

I brought in the R20 race camshaft,a Lucas race distributor,a set of three special alloy fan belt pulleys,competition drive shafts and rubber couplers,plus the 998cc pistons and liners,they supplied the Janspeed full race inlet and exhaust manifolds too.All off the shelf from the Rootes Comps Dept,they had very little support from the factory it seems and orders like my own went to make profit to support the main factory team,how times have changed.

Mike Monk,what happened to him? well I saw him a few times after his story was published and he did get a permanent job as a writer at Technicar Magazine,then when Car magazine bought Technicar out,Mike joined the staff of Car magazine and last I heard he was still there!


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