SS1 Sprint/Hillclimber (was Batmobile, now DARK KNIGHT)

If you have a long-term project and would like to share/document progress, this is for you.

Moderators: scimjim, Lukeyboy46, Roger Pennington, philhoward, erikscimitardemon

Post Reply
User avatar
CNHSS1
Posts: 14379
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2006 5:13 pm
Location: Shrewsbury, Shropshire
Has thanked: 366 times
Been thanked: 305 times
Contact:

SS1 Sprint/Hillclimber (was Batmobile, now DARK KNIGHT)

Post by CNHSS1 » Tue Jul 29, 2008 3:53 pm

before we start, this Project thread will evolve and be changed and edited as i remember stuff and as the cars improved and modified further, so may be worth checking from time to time its of interest to you.
Also without further ado, is the list of people without whom the car would not exist in its current form. these people have helped, given their time, services and assistnace tirelessly just so muggins here can pretend to be a racing driver!!


Claire, the long suffering girlfriend and now wife
Dad
Pete 'The 'Glass God' Silcock
Stew Bramham
Ben 'Go Faster' Gough
the family firm for constantly allowing bits of car to invade the workshops at nights and weekends (and usually my office desk too :wink: )
and all the other Compies that we have the banter and fun with


i think a history lesson is needed first.
i started with a roadgoing 41/2yr old SS1 turbo bought from Graham Walker Ltd in 1992. from there my weird obsession with the SS1 has continued. Image

As a huge motorsport fan, ive followed most forms on TV or at race tracks in UK and europe.
when i finally joined the RSSOC in 97/98, i realised that there was a sprint and hillclimb championship. i popped along to my local hillclimb venue (Loton Park) and was hooked, deciding to buy another SS1 to have a go at competing in.
in the Slicemart ads, i saw an MOT failure SS1 CVH which i duly bought and used as a road car for 18 months whilst i refurbed my beloved red SS1 turbo road car. when the Turbo was finished, the CVH SS1 was redundant, so i thought long and hard (seconds...) before embarking on building my first sprint and hillclimb car.
Image

the car was campaigned for 3 seasons, and proved to be very effective with superb handling but ultimately down on power to the other Super Mod turbos and big V6s.
Image

i bought my current car in April 2004, from Nigel Reeves, the then RSSOC SS1 Registrar and ex-RSSOC Champion. Nigel had run the car for a number of seasons, evolving from Std class, through Modified, and then to Super Modified for the majority of its competition career in Nigels hands.
i bought the car and immediately added the liveries of my then employer and also my families firm but that was about it for mods for 4 meetings.
Image

the first season was susccessful, if expensive, as i manged to destroy the engine at the august RSSOC event and yet still win the Super Modified class for the year 8)
the winter saw a new engine purchsed from Graham Walkers in Chester, and then stripped down and modified with custiom made pistons from the US, forged steel conrods, a bespoke camshaft from Autosprint in Birmingham and lots of other mods to ensure the new engine would be as bullet proof as possible.
Image
Image
Image
Image
the car took its first tentative laps at a pre-season test day at Curborough in March, the scene of the original engines demise 9 months earlier
Image
Last edited by CNHSS1 on Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:42 am, edited 6 times in total.


Racing is life, everything before and after, is just waiting--Steve McQueen
6 time Class Champ, 2006 & 2014 SSSC Champion

RIP Batmobile, await the Rise of Dark Knight 8)
Sabre 'Light Sabre' 360hp!!
Image

User avatar
CNHSS1
Posts: 14379
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2006 5:13 pm
Location: Shrewsbury, Shropshire
Has thanked: 366 times
Been thanked: 305 times
Contact:

Post by CNHSS1 » Tue Jul 29, 2008 4:14 pm

2005 saw the car get progressively quicker with a couple of super mod class recoord times and a new taller rear spoiler.
the main change came when the new engine management system was bought and installed. the Emerald M3d is mappable from a laptop and has control over every engine feature and function (i detest carbs...).
the wiring loom design was seperated from the reliant loom so that if i had an engine electrical issue, i wouldnt have to trawl the Relaint loom and vice versa. i cant thank Stew B enough for the help with all things electrical, hes a sparky genius! A very clever bloke without whos help the car would still have been un-wired now.
the car was mapped over in Norfolk by the ecus creator and mag technical writer, Dave Walker (of Cars and Car Conversions and latterly Practical Performance Car fame).
Image
a new trigger wheel was fitted along with a crank sensor and the distributor binned.
Image
the performance jump was dramatic! approximately 2secs from memory at my local hillclim.
2005 ended with a few more SM class records and the class championship 8)
Last edited by CNHSS1 on Tue Jul 29, 2008 8:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.


Racing is life, everything before and after, is just waiting--Steve McQueen
6 time Class Champ, 2006 & 2014 SSSC Champion

RIP Batmobile, await the Rise of Dark Knight 8)
Sabre 'Light Sabre' 360hp!!
Image

User avatar
CNHSS1
Posts: 14379
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2006 5:13 pm
Location: Shrewsbury, Shropshire
Has thanked: 366 times
Been thanked: 305 times
Contact:

Post by CNHSS1 » Tue Jul 29, 2008 4:30 pm

the winter of 2005 saw many late nights and long weekends designing and implementing tweaks and mods to improve the car. in order to go quicker i would need more power, so the engine was remapped along with a rare CA20E spec Nissan inlet manifold sourced from Canada. this along with the remap improved the engines breathing yet further and bumped the power up to that of the best GTE and Coupe Super Mod cars.
Image
Image
Image
Image

with the extra power came the need for more grip, so the tyres were changed for Kumho V70A (now called V700) soft tyres, 205 front and 225 rears. this required some widening of the rear arches to get the new fat rubber under!

Image

2006 saw the developments continue thick and fast as Paul Turnbulls ultimate super mod GTE was nearing completion so i needed to keep pushing forward.
i contested 15 events that season (not all RSSOC) and had a stonking year by anyones stds! i won the overall RSSOC title and was the first person ever to get 8 perfect scores (only 8 of the 24 rounds count). in fact the cars was so good i managed 109.98 points out of a possible 110!! i was chuffed to bits :D
Last edited by CNHSS1 on Tue Jul 29, 2008 5:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.


Racing is life, everything before and after, is just waiting--Steve McQueen
6 time Class Champ, 2006 & 2014 SSSC Champion

RIP Batmobile, await the Rise of Dark Knight 8)
Sabre 'Light Sabre' 360hp!!
Image

User avatar
CNHSS1
Posts: 14379
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2006 5:13 pm
Location: Shrewsbury, Shropshire
Has thanked: 366 times
Been thanked: 305 times
Contact:

Post by CNHSS1 » Tue Jul 29, 2008 5:17 pm

again the winter was busy, in fact it was the busiest to that point.
a new huge alloy intercooler was fitted, a new exhaust system, a very trick tubular stainless steel exhaust manifold created which uses an external wastegate with 'screamer' pipe (turbos very own exhaust for excess gasses) which exits out of the front wing.

Image

The water radiator had been in the rear of the car since id bought it from Nigel to aid weight distribution, but the water pipes were replaced with 'hard' piping rather than flexi hosing for relaibilty, with flexi only at the block and rad ends.

Image

Chris Eades, Bryan Crouch and myself commisioned Protection and Performance in Skipton to produce 3 bespoke roll cages. they were built to current MSA specs with extra roof diagonals, harness strap diagonals and door bars. very much a peace of mind mod, but one that also paid dividends in the handling dept by stiffening the chassis drasticlaly too.

Image
Image
Last edited by CNHSS1 on Tue Jul 29, 2008 5:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.


Racing is life, everything before and after, is just waiting--Steve McQueen
6 time Class Champ, 2006 & 2014 SSSC Champion

RIP Batmobile, await the Rise of Dark Knight 8)
Sabre 'Light Sabre' 360hp!!
Image

User avatar
CNHSS1
Posts: 14379
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2006 5:13 pm
Location: Shrewsbury, Shropshire
Has thanked: 366 times
Been thanked: 305 times
Contact:

Post by CNHSS1 » Tue Jul 29, 2008 5:26 pm

2007 saw a late start really, missing the first few events.
a remap at Emerald saw a bit more power and switchable engine 'maps' so the cars power delivery can be changed from a 3 position switch on the dash, ideal for the wet weather or slippery conditions. the 'wet' setting gives less power and much less torque with a very smooth, gentle torque curve, whilst the full dry map is a real rip-snorter!

Image

pic shows the exhaust manifold glowing red whilst under a power run on Dave Walkers dyno :shock: 8)

some great results followed with me getting times close to the mighty Competition class supercharged GTE owned by Iain Daniels and driven by my mate Ben Gough. i improved my times at pretty much every track id been to during the year and my run of 10points came to an end at Prescott in september where i was beaten to the 10 by eventual 07 Champion, Chris Eades in his Modified class car. although a tad disappointed not to have retained my title, Chris had been setting the world alight in his Mod class car so eventhough i was quicker everywhere, it just wasnt enough to do the title :cry:
it proves that eventhough the range of cars and performances over the 4 RSSOC classes is large, the handicapping system works really well 8)

at about this time i started looking towards the 08 season and started formulating the ideas and changes that would form my winters work.
there was a lot of unrest within the compie section (which im not going to go into here) as to the performance of the SS1s compared to other Scimitar models, especially it would seem, my car. i decided not to press on with any further development until after the annual Drivers Meeting at the Awards Dinner in November.

The season finished as is tradition at Castle Combe in October with a great run and only a few tenths away from Bens Competition Class record, so that was the icing on the cake.


Racing is life, everything before and after, is just waiting--Steve McQueen
6 time Class Champ, 2006 & 2014 SSSC Champion

RIP Batmobile, await the Rise of Dark Knight 8)
Sabre 'Light Sabre' 360hp!!
Image

User avatar
CNHSS1
Posts: 14379
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2006 5:13 pm
Location: Shrewsbury, Shropshire
Has thanked: 366 times
Been thanked: 305 times
Contact:

Post by CNHSS1 » Tue Jul 29, 2008 7:10 pm

the annual RSSOC Awards Dinner came and the new regs for '08 were agreed upon. the class regs were adjusted to improve parity across the 30+years of prodcution and numerous models and engine sizes, so that we can all compete on a level footing. these and subsequent changes are essential in my view as the championship is a living, breathing entity that evolves along with the cars and competitors, so it has to happen from time to time.

that time had come, and my car was no longer eligible for the Super Modified class that the car had all but made its own.
what to do now....
unusually (for me) i did have to deliberate long and hard as to the next step.
the main choices were:-

1) modify the car to meet the 08 Super Mod rules which would guarantee making the car slower but, importantly, massively improve the fight within the class.....very very tempting, except for the going slower part

2) move up a class to Competition class. ive always been an advocate of if people want to go faster, moving up, so really should just take my own advice. problem, is huge amount of time required and a not to be sniffed at monetary outlay (dont ever tell Claire, she thinks i had all the bits hidden away in the garage already :wink: ). new wheels and slick tyres needed and new bodywork to hide them under. luckily ive always been pro-active in keeping the safety levels way above whats required for Super Mod, so no changes needed there.

3)change series, most likely to the Midland Hillclimb Championship. im a huge fan of the Midland hills, Shelsley, Prescott and my fave, Loton Park, so really no big deal, and the next step up in terms of level of competion of cars. i would miss my scimitar chums at events, but would still be doing the sport i enjoy enormously.

so after much heartache, i decided i couldnt go slower, and for some strange reason, do like the company of other scimitar weirdo's, so option 2 and moving to Competition Class it had to be!! :D 8)


Racing is life, everything before and after, is just waiting--Steve McQueen
6 time Class Champ, 2006 & 2014 SSSC Champion

RIP Batmobile, await the Rise of Dark Knight 8)
Sabre 'Light Sabre' 360hp!!
Image

User avatar
CNHSS1
Posts: 14379
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2006 5:13 pm
Location: Shrewsbury, Shropshire
Has thanked: 366 times
Been thanked: 305 times
Contact:

Post by CNHSS1 » Tue Jul 29, 2008 7:22 pm

the work started almost straight away after the dinner dance, but only in areas that i wouldnt have to change, if i changed my mind and went back to S/Mod or Midland hills.
i roped in the ever helpful Pete Silcock, as along with his other hugely time consuming and overwhelming hobbies and running a business, Pete apparently 'is into building and modifying boats'. having got to know him well over the last few years, hes an unassuming guy, but when he invited me down for a crash course in the black art of fibreglassing i was genuinely stunned at his boat building shed. Shed my arse! his boats arent the average dingy jobbies either! Big respect to the man 8)
anyway Pete can make 2kgs of glass and resin go further and be stiffer than you can imagine. the techniques he showed me have allowed me to enjoy the smelly, sticky process that is the world of 'composites'. Anyway a few pics speak volumes. the moulds were taken from a 'spare' SS1 he had and then a nose produced.

Image

now the eagle-eyed amongst you will notice it isnt quite the same as a std SS1...well actually it is! the dimensions are exactly the same (it came from an SS1 used as a buck) except for the area below the centre line of the wheel nuts, a class regulation. Pete added an airdam as we had both by this time become interested in reducing the lift the nose caused at very high speeds (130mph+ Castle Combe for instance) due to the undercut in the std cars nose design.
the headlamps were redesigned to be kit car style behind plexiglass covers for lightweight, an obsession of mine (for the car not the driver :lol: ) and the intake and exit for the intercooler was cut out. it was at this point that a snag was hit.... the car wouldnt fit on the trailer. if i went to wider tyres which i was hoping to do, it would be too wide, so another trailer was purchased. snag no.2, the car woulnt fit on the new wider trailer due to the big air dam. Bugger!
we decided to make it a 'lift-off' nose at this point.
Last edited by CNHSS1 on Thu Oct 23, 2008 5:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.


Racing is life, everything before and after, is just waiting--Steve McQueen
6 time Class Champ, 2006 & 2014 SSSC Champion

RIP Batmobile, await the Rise of Dark Knight 8)
Sabre 'Light Sabre' 360hp!!
Image

User avatar
CNHSS1
Posts: 14379
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2006 5:13 pm
Location: Shrewsbury, Shropshire
Has thanked: 366 times
Been thanked: 305 times
Contact:

Post by CNHSS1 » Tue Jul 29, 2008 7:38 pm

its now christmas and im a million miles away from being ready for the season in March. the car has no panels, no wider wheels and no new slick tyres....
Image
100s of hours passed making bits and pieces in fibreglass, and sending mithering emails to Pete and my other partner in crime, Stew B, asking dumb questions and generally annoying the hell out of them no doubt. After hours of devising a brilliant (i thought... ) scheme for doing something on the car, one of them would invariably point out, ever so politely, why it wouldnt work! bugger... between the two of them and the ever-patient Claire, i think they saved my sanity!

more moulds were made, more panels produced and gallons of works coffee drunk.
Image
Image
Image
new doors were made from highly modded std SS1 items as my old ones looked like a piece of lace and they didnt really shut or latch very well.

Image
Image
Image
Image

a new bonnet exit scoop for the intercooler was made, then a mould taken and glassed into the bonnet

Image
Image
Image
Image
this then had to be cut in half so that half stayed with the now shiortie bonnet and half with the nose section

Image


Racing is life, everything before and after, is just waiting--Steve McQueen
6 time Class Champ, 2006 & 2014 SSSC Champion

RIP Batmobile, await the Rise of Dark Knight 8)
Sabre 'Light Sabre' 360hp!!
Image

User avatar
CNHSS1
Posts: 14379
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2006 5:13 pm
Location: Shrewsbury, Shropshire
Has thanked: 366 times
Been thanked: 305 times
Contact:

Post by CNHSS1 » Tue Jul 29, 2008 8:02 pm

OK so now its time to commit to a class and championship.
id had a chat with Ben Gough regarding the rebuild of the supercharged GTE and he was very cagey (Sod!) but sure it would be stunning, the fastest GTE and certainly fastest Scimitar ever built once it was finished and a few months development under its belt. Having always been a big fan of the supercharged car, and having huge respect for Iain Daniels talents and vision in building hot race cars, this was gonna be a mighty machine. that pretty well settled it. i wanted to beat that car!!
dont think me arrogant, think me bloody stupid!!!! im an amatuer spanner monkey that isnt bright enough to realise i cant do everything properly, so end up taking on too much, and then by default, have to learn from the clever people, how to put right the botch ive come up with!

anyway stupid as it was, the scene was set.

next problem, if im gonna take on the mighty white GTE, with the combined skills of Daniels, Gough (well, ok maybe not him :lol: ) and John 'The Bodywork' Louch, im gonna need some big wheels.

Image
Image

(thats a std 1800Ti wheel for referance)

Image

oh yeah, and some rubber to wrap around them...

Image

Cool eh?
well no actually. the nose is designed for the std width wheels, and not the 'Flintstone bog-rolls' i now have. Arse!! the nose will have to be modified and the wings extended F&R.

Image
Image
Image

dsue to the car being in Competion class, i could make a rear spolier too that would meet the mSA regs and serve some purpose. with the water radiator in the boot, the rear spoiler was designed to draw the hot air out through the rad at speed without the need for the fans running all the time

Image
Image
Image
Last edited by CNHSS1 on Tue Jul 29, 2008 8:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.


Racing is life, everything before and after, is just waiting--Steve McQueen
6 time Class Champ, 2006 & 2014 SSSC Champion

RIP Batmobile, await the Rise of Dark Knight 8)
Sabre 'Light Sabre' 360hp!!
Image

User avatar
CNHSS1
Posts: 14379
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2006 5:13 pm
Location: Shrewsbury, Shropshire
Has thanked: 366 times
Been thanked: 305 times
Contact:

Post by CNHSS1 » Tue Jul 29, 2008 8:07 pm

the start of the 08 season is upon us and im nowhere near ready, in fact i will be lucky to get the car out this year at all. i enter Aintree in the faint hope i can get the car finished in time, but i knew that it was impossible. i think it was a placebo pill to keep me focussed on the job in hand.
there have been many times when ive wanted to sell it or smash it, but generally Claire has talked me down and taken my laces away from me just in case.

few more pics of the progress, staring to look like a car...., well almost

Image
Image
Image


Racing is life, everything before and after, is just waiting--Steve McQueen
6 time Class Champ, 2006 & 2014 SSSC Champion

RIP Batmobile, await the Rise of Dark Knight 8)
Sabre 'Light Sabre' 360hp!!
Image

User avatar
CNHSS1
Posts: 14379
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2006 5:13 pm
Location: Shrewsbury, Shropshire
Has thanked: 366 times
Been thanked: 305 times
Contact:

Post by CNHSS1 » Tue Jul 29, 2008 8:14 pm

after months of sanding, glassing and general bodywork, its now ready for primer...

Image
Image
Image
Image

what a hateful job bodywork prep is :twisted: i think its a punishment for being bad in a previous life. Well, with this project, i must have been Vlad the Impaler and Genghis Khan rolled into one! :evil:

next stage paint....

we have changed all our vans and company cars to silver now, so i thought it would be a good idea to paint the racer in silver too.
in hindsight i shouldve changed all the company vehicle colours to a non metallic instead!!

im so crap at spraying, and so skint that i cant pay someone to do it properly, so its a '100 yard' paint finish im afraid (it looks ok from a 100yds away :lol: )

Image
Image
Image


Racing is life, everything before and after, is just waiting--Steve McQueen
6 time Class Champ, 2006 & 2014 SSSC Champion

RIP Batmobile, await the Rise of Dark Knight 8)
Sabre 'Light Sabre' 360hp!!
Image

User avatar
CNHSS1
Posts: 14379
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2006 5:13 pm
Location: Shrewsbury, Shropshire
Has thanked: 366 times
Been thanked: 305 times
Contact:

Post by CNHSS1 » Tue Jul 29, 2008 8:21 pm

the cars now painted (OK, had paint thrown at it) so now for the other bits and pieces.

Image

having the camber, toe etc setup by Danny

Image

trick headlight duct for the air filter 8)

Image

the proposed logos, as yet mostly unfitted

Image
Image
Image
Image


so thats where we are now really, cars run its first events at Loton Park (videos in Compie section of this site), July 26th & 27th and was hugely impressive. the slick tyres are superb, but will take some getting used to.

lots more to do 'on the list' but the car will keep progressing and developing hopefully.

thanks again to everyone who has helped so far, and those that continue to do so, im really, truly greatful.
Cheers
Craig


Racing is life, everything before and after, is just waiting--Steve McQueen
6 time Class Champ, 2006 & 2014 SSSC Champion

RIP Batmobile, await the Rise of Dark Knight 8)
Sabre 'Light Sabre' 360hp!!
Image

User avatar
Raz987
Posts: 1061
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2007 12:18 pm
Location: RAF Marham, Norfolk

Post by Raz987 » Wed Jul 30, 2008 1:00 am

Awesome Craig, a really inspiring read (for me anyway) :twisted:
A well put-together thread as well, detailing the history of the car. It's always interesting to see not just where people are, but also how they got there :D The car is seriously impressive, I was like this :shock: when I watched the Loton video. I didn't expect such a dramatic visual change. Can't wait to see it in the flesh (I want to see how bad your spraying is :P ).
RESPECT 8)

Oh yeah, one of those front air-dams is going on my xmas list... :twisted:


Raz
Ex-SS1 Ti Circuit Racer
Pug 206 GTi Circuit Racer

User avatar
CNHSS1
Posts: 14379
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2006 5:13 pm
Location: Shrewsbury, Shropshire
Has thanked: 366 times
Been thanked: 305 times
Contact:

Post by CNHSS1 » Wed Jul 30, 2008 9:05 am

cheers for the kind words Raz :)
to be fair, i hope people realise that those of us who have been lucky enough to do well over the last few years do so due to a huge amount of time and effort rather than some 'mythical' advantage. i have spent a lot less than many, but the money has been spent making the car faster rather than prettier (as is pretty obvious :shock: :lol: ). where i cant afford to get help or work done by experts, i have to learn how to do something.
hopefully the Project section will inspire some and show others just the 'timeline' of a racer. the car is like 'Triggers Broom', totally original except for 3 new handles and 4 new heads :lol:
pushing the development is a hard and lonely path to take, which makes the spoils so much sweeter :wink:


Racing is life, everything before and after, is just waiting--Steve McQueen
6 time Class Champ, 2006 & 2014 SSSC Champion

RIP Batmobile, await the Rise of Dark Knight 8)
Sabre 'Light Sabre' 360hp!!
Image

steve bryant
Posts: 1909
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:30 am
Location: port elizabeth South Africa
Has thanked: 20 times
Been thanked: 16 times

Post by steve bryant » Fri Aug 01, 2008 12:30 pm

very well put together, both the car and the article. i really enjoyed reading it
there is a job for you here in the fibre glass shop, but sorry not the paint shop, more practice please



Post Reply

Return to “Project Progress”