TURNHAM TS8

TS8

(Tony writes) I was fortunate to drive this car after being involved with turbocharging the engine. At this stage the car was capable of 150 mph at 6,500rpm. It handled the power extremely well. The car was owned by Geoff Jacobs at the time.

I did one meeting while Jake was karting on the mainland. It was an unforgettable experience!

(Peter writes) - At the end of 1976 coming back from racing in Sydney the decision was made to build a new car to replace the GM6. It may not have been a wise decision as sports cars were dying, but being a sports car fan and the fact I wanted to see how much improvement I could make over the GM6.

 

First major component to be purchased and most important was a Hewland FT200 gearbox which came from the ex Glynn Scott Lotus 23b owned and raced by Allen Ling and Bruce Gowans. A set AP four spot brakes, uprights and various bits were purchased from John Davidson’s Matich A50. Steering rack was the tried and true Triumph Herald. It had 10x13 and 14x13 inch wheels.

 

As per the fashion the motor was mounted solid with rear suspension mounted off the gearbox being twin parallel lower links with forward radius rods mounting off the roll bar. The brakes were mounted outboard. Chassis was space frame with alloy panels riveted and glued. The idea was to build the red motor Holden 6 to very similar specs to the GM6 motor so we could see how much improvement was made to the chassis.

 

A major task with building a sports car is the massive body work that has to be under taken. The thing I like about sports cars is under the body they are pretty much the same but if the body is done right they are all individual. After studying sports car body shapes from all over the world this was the style I came up with. At the time body shapes were very angular so this made it a bit easier to build. The front body buck was made of wood then a mould taken from this and then a further mould taken for the finished body. The doors, side sections and rear bodywork, rear wing were hand formed in aluminium. From start to finish it took me single handily to build around 18 months working nights and weekends after running my smash repair business during the week.

 

I built the motor myself but I don’t like building motors. The motor was a 192ci with a 12 port Perfectune Yellow Terra head running 10.5 to 1 compression. A HDT hydraulic camshaft and three 45 mm Webber carburetors. The motor was only a good to average motor. It was never put on a dyno but it may have had about 250 bhp. The motor was still wet sumped which was to cause a lot of heart ache. The car was finished ready to race in early 1978 but by then a lot of the good sports cars in the state had been sold off or disappeared. The GM6 was sold to Geoff Jacobs as referred to earlier.

 

The car proved to be very quick from the start with very little sorting. The first race meeting at Symmons Plains which was round 1 of the TAA Sports car series and we qualified on the front row beside Tony Edmonson’s Elfin ME5. With a lot of local fans coming to see this new car go it was very disappointing when the engine dropped a valve on the warm up lap. The engine builder failed a basic rule of not checking piston to valve clearance. This destroyed the motor completely. With the second round of the TAA series in 3 weeks I had to set about building another engine.

 

We turned up at Baskerville again qualifying second again to the Elfin ME5. This is where our wet sump reared its ugly heard. We were a bit lucky as we won the first race the car ever had after Tony Edmonson’s ME5 petrol pump give up the ghost on the second lap. What’s that old saying, to finish first, first you have to finish!

 

So it was back home to pull the motor out, check the crank put a new set of bearing in modify the sump to try and fix the oil surge. This went on for another couple of meetings driving on the oil pressure gauge instead of the Tacho.

 

Suddenly a dry sump scavenge pump turned up on my door step from a fan who had been keeping an eye on my dramas. With the dry sump fitted this transferred the car allowing me to drive to its potential.

 

Unfortunately after building the car then developing it over three and a half years with these dramas and my kids growing and racing motor bikes I decided to sell it and go bike racing with my two boys. This was a very bad mistake as the car could have been developed a lot further.

 

Enter Geoff Jacobs with a cheque in his hand which I COULD NOT RESIST.