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Mark (smokey mow)

Smokey's JW4 Formula Four Rebuild Thread

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Thanks for the kind words folks :) i'm glad you're all enjoying reading this as much as I am enjoying the build :cool:

The Westfield will be coming off the road and SORN'd at the end of this month and I will then be between jobs for a couple of weeks at Christmas so I hope that will then give me a bit more time to focus on the JW4.

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For this weeks update I thought I'd give you a glimpse of the usually unseen side of restoration.....

With the JW4 project the greater amount of my time is actually spent away from the garage in search of information, It's become something of a personal quest to find out as much as I can both about the cars and also the racing. A lot of this research is also necessary to help me recreate those bits of my car which are presently missing so my evenings are typically spent with my head buried deep in books or scouring the internet for to find even the briefest mention of Formula four.

Most of what I've discovered so far has come from a few sources, mainly:

Internet research (I'm getting good at using google)

Books

Magazine articles and race reports (Autosport etc)

Old sales literature

Past and present owners

Each are contributing something different to the project; maybe some history, photos, technical detail, a story to tell or a new lead.

Over the last week I've been swapping a few emails with a past owner Bob Dustan who has been kind enough to provide several detailed photos of his old car. Bob's JW4 is one of the most original I've seen and of the standard which I'm aspiring to with my car. This is a 1967 so a year newer than my 66 model and running a 650cc Triumph engine.

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More often than not though the cars I'm finding are now sadly far from being original as the two JW4's below ably demonstrate having evolved over the years to enable them to continue to be used.

Richard's (blue) car below now wears Jedi bodywork and houses a GSXR1100 in the back, whilst Rob's (white) car was originally powered by a 500cc Kawasaki single 2-stroke but now has a 600cc Suzuki also with Jedi bodywork.

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In the history file for my car I also have a couple of pictures of JW4's that were in the UK and I'd love to find out where they are now.

The first two pictures dated 1986 is of a 1966 car that has a 750cc Triumph, twin Amal carbs and AMC 4-speed gearbox. It was being offered for sale at the time for the princely sum of £1650 by a Mr Clifford of Lancaster, however the polaroids were provided by a Jon Brough of Gloucestershire.

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This second picture from 1988 is of a car that was being restored by a Ken Edwards also from Gloucestershire. The car apparently had been used for hill-climbing and was only loosely assembled for the photograph.

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If anyone knows the whereabouts of these, the owners mentioned or indeed any other JW4's I'd be very interested to hear.

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Smokey, there's an old chap called Ken Edwards who rides motorbikes at Prescott Hillclimb (photo in link below is of him there in 2012) so you could try contacting them and see if they will pass on your enquiry

 

http://www.zipp.co.uk/gallery/Prescott-2012-04-29/Ken+Edwards_+Triumph+ID4837.jpg.html

Thanks Peter :yes: i'll see what I can find out.

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Proof that there is no limit as to where to look for useful photos and information, my research this week led me to a Children's book on cars and motorsports from 1968 :oops: A copy of "Car Sports Book" circa 1968 was secured for a winning ebay bid of 25p :d

I'd known from the two videos below that Johnny Walker had exhibited at the Olympia Racing Car Show and also had heard rumour of some photos from the 1967 show appearing in the book. The two pictures of the cars offer a lot of useful detail as these are some of only a few colour pictures I have that were taken in the 1960's and give a clear indication as to which parts were painted or plated as the cars left the factory.

http://www.britishpathe.com/video/we-was-robbed

http://www.britishpathe.com/video/the-racing-car-show/query/Johnny+walker

CarSportsBook3.png

CarSportsBook2.png

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What a cracking project.  :t-up:

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With all that digging, you must feel more like an archaeologist than a mechanic :laugh:

Just great work, keep on!

Cheers.

 

Jos

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With all that digging, you must feel more like an archaeologist than a mechanic :laugh:

Just great work, keep on!

Cheers.

 

Jos

Thanks,

 

The research is a big part of it, I probably spend 95% of my time reading and searching for information and only 5% actually working on the car.  Building a Westfield was easy as you simply choose the parts you want to fit, but with this car it's important for me to find the parts to try and rebuild it as close to orignal as I possibly can.

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Mark, Purely out of interest, I am almost certain the 'blue car' (Richard's) pictured on your thread is one I built up from a bare chassis in 1993 ish. I bought and collected the chassis, together with much original bodywork and parts from John Corbyn at his Jedi factory in Northants. I modernised the car as that was the only affordable way for me to get a reasonably competitive single seater for speed events.Did a season with yamaha RD350lc and then put a FZR1000 EXUP engine in.Had a modicum of success for 2 or 3 seasons till the cash ran out and sold it to an Irish guy in 1998ish. Unfortunately I sold all the original stuff to a chap in Oxfordshire (Mike someone) who had a JW4 project but I cannot find his details anywhere, sorry. Anyway, the thing is, I lent the original magnesium rear uprights to Roger Moran for a while (nat hillclimb champion) of Ludlow (motorhome dealership there somewhere) so that he could take moulds from them with the intention of casting some mag uprights.I honestly don't know if he went ahead and did it, but it may be worth contacting him on the off chance.

 

Terrific job you're doing, by the way.  Tim Barker

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Excellent info, thanks Tim :t-up: i shall digest and try and contact a few people

Unfortunately I sold all the original stuff to a chap in Oxfordshire (Mike someone) who had a JW4 project but I cannot find his details anywhere, sorry.

that wouldn't have been Michael Ford of Weald, Bampton by any chance was it?

I have some correspondence on my file from 1999 that he owned a Mk3 built up from two spares cars, and makes mention of his "spares stock". I have no other details although I do have an address to try :)

From your description the blue car could well have been yours. The picture came from Richard Turnock who sold the car 2 years ago. He describes it having been used by Jedi as the base for taking the measurements for their car and after having several different owners and engines (yamaha, honda and suzuki) it was sucessful in the ASWMC and Irish Hill Climb Championship.

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Yep, Mike Ford it was who I sold stuff to, and yes the blue car would be my old car (I would be the ASWMC link).

Jedi are very touchy about any suggestion that their car is any form of JW4 copy!............................

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Yep, Mike Ford it was who I sold stuff to, and yes the blue car would be my old car (I would be the ASWMC link).

Jedi are very touchy about any suggestion that their car is any form of JW4 copy!............................

Thanks again for the info Tim :t-up:

I finally managed to dig out a few more pictures of your old car. For the keen eyes there's a lot of details on the chassis which stand out as being the original JW4 and the suspension is still very much unchanged, but there's a lot more bracing and a much needed front crash structure that's been added on.

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A short update for tonight. Last month I posted a picture from the 1967 Motorsports Show a Olympia and by a bit of luck I've managed to come by a copy of the catalogue and guide from the show :) all of 99p from ebay :d

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The show guide makes for a fascinating read with features such as the 1966 Lemans winning Ford GT40's and Jim Clarks 1965 Indy 500 win in the Lola T90. It's interesting to see what the show has evolved from over the years and what is now the NEC Autosport Show.

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Many of the names in the trade adverts are still just as familiar today, but its quite a surprise (for someone of my youthful :d age) to also see cigarette and tobacco advertisements appearing frequently :oops:

Ultimately though for me it is just a short paragraph on one page which is really of interest and the brief detail it offers on the cars they displayed that year and were captured in my earlier photograph.

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With so little detail readily available on these cars, every little snippet of information like this is of a great help to me in piecing together their history and ultimately with the rebuild of my car :t-up:

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good skills smokey wan :-)  :yes:  :yes:  :yes:   This is an epic rebuild 

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