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Hot Rods The Hornet Special

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by banjeaux bob, Jun 9, 2012.

  1. banjeaux bob
    Joined: Aug 31, 2008
    Posts: 5,823

    banjeaux bob
    Member
    from alaska

    A lot of folks have asked about the car in my avatar. I have ALWAYS admitted that it was NOT my car or photograph.

    The car is called the Hornet or The Hornet Special.It was built about 20 or so years ago by a gent named Duncan in England.He was inspired by John Bolster's book entitled "Specials". John Bolster is probably known here in America for his "Bloody Mary" cars.He was also an auto enthusiast and author of many auto related books.

    The chassis is from a 1924/25 Citroen found in a hedge in France and purchased by Duncan's friend for 35 pounds.

    Front axle ends up being a genuine Frazer-Nash.The main tube was cracked and was retubed straight like a GN.

    The back axle is GN and is a copy of the axle used in a special named "Ceaser" owned by a good friend of Duncan's named Mark.

    Now I've said that the car was influenced by John Bolster's work.The particular car had FOUR J.A.P. KTOR model engines in it.Those engines were too expensive to source.So,the 1926 Harley Davidson JD model V-twins were obtained as a reasonable vintage substitute.They have Ricardo Chips in the tops of the cylinders to increase compression.Currently the car runs SU crbs on gas.When it was originally built is was running Amal GP carbs on methanol.The car drives better on gas.The engines don't rev as well on methanol and the car doesn't drive as fast. As you can see the car has only 2 engines.As previously stated ,the "plan" was for 4 engines.There just happen to be 2 more HD engines in stock ,under the bench waiting to be installed!This would effectively make a 5.0 litre V-8!

    The transmission is of Duncan's own execution.It uses2 ,2 speed cross shafts with GN style dog clutches giving four speeds driven through a beefed up HD clutch.

    11 chains in all,including one driving the tachometer.

    Steering is from a 1922 Jowett 7hp.Only 1/3 of a turn lock to lock.

    Wheels are 19" Rudge.

    The fuel tank,oil tank,gauges,and other bits came from Beaulieau autojumble.When you think Beaulieau,think Carlilsle in England...only a little smaller.

    The pictures show a guy named Robin.Duncan lent the car to Robin about 6 years ago.The picture of the car in motion is by Mark Dixon.This picture appeared in the first edition of "Octane" magazine along with some others of the car.

    BanjeauX Bob
     

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    Last edited: Jun 9, 2012
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  2. banjeaux bob
    Joined: Aug 31, 2008
    Posts: 5,823

    banjeaux bob
    Member
    from alaska

    Here is Duncan in other cars....
     

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  3. banjeaux bob
    Joined: Aug 31, 2008
    Posts: 5,823

    banjeaux bob
    Member
    from alaska

    Jonh Bolster....
     

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  4. gnichols
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 10,607

    gnichols
    Member
    from Tampa, FL

    Cool story. This thing is a study in minimalist engineering. But I'd opt for a butt bucket with a higher backside.

    Forgot to ask... what's the deal with the furry cowl cover? I'm thinking it might be a traction aid if stuck in soft ground, or to lie on when making repairs?

    Without a doubt, my new desk top image. Insane paint job too. Gary


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2012
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  5. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,060

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    Weird and Wonderful Creation.......thanks for sharing...

    Ray
     
  6. FlynBrian
    Joined: Oct 5, 2007
    Posts: 759

    FlynBrian
    Member

    Thanks, Very Cool!
     
  7. Bad Daddy
    Joined: Nov 13, 2010
    Posts: 829

    Bad Daddy
    Member

    That looks to be all at once fun and terrifying to drive! I like it!
     
  8. banjeaux bob
    Joined: Aug 31, 2008
    Posts: 5,823

    banjeaux bob
    Member
    from alaska

    Gary,the furry cowl blanket must be some English inside humor thing.Maybe if I watched more of those British sitcoms on public TV I might get it?

    BanjeauX Bob
     
  9. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    What a great shot. Just another crazy Englishman at play. Love it.
     
  10. stuart in mn
    Joined: Nov 22, 2007
    Posts: 1,710

    stuart in mn
    Member

    There was an article in Octane magazine a few years ago about John Bolster's Bloody Mary. I got a kick out of the first paragraph:

    You have to wonder what today’s Health and Safety brigade would make of John Bolster’s vintage special Bloody Mary. It was, as Bolster once wrote, built by two schoolboys in 1929 ‘…with the object of driving around a field as dangerously as possible’.

    http://www.classicandperformancecar...eatures/247345/john_bolsters_bloody_mary.html
     
  11. ebtm3
    Joined: May 23, 2007
    Posts: 837

    ebtm3
    Member

    Hey Bob

    How tight does he twist the JD's?

    Herb
     
  12. banjeaux bob
    Joined: Aug 31, 2008
    Posts: 5,823

    banjeaux bob
    Member
    from alaska

    Herb,I'll ask.

    Bob
     
  13. graham_paige
    Joined: Apr 7, 2012
    Posts: 90

    graham_paige
    Member
    from Australia

    Hmm, I have a couple of Indian V-twins lying around in the garage....

    damn, just what I need another project.....
     
  14. banjeaux bob
    Joined: Aug 31, 2008
    Posts: 5,823

    banjeaux bob
    Member
    from alaska

    Hornet
     

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  15. ebtm3
    Joined: May 23, 2007
    Posts: 837

    ebtm3
    Member

    That thing would be a blast to drive--even if it were the slowest car up the hill!

    Herb
     
  16. smarjoram
    Joined: Jun 18, 2010
    Posts: 117

    smarjoram
    Member
    from uk

  17. mushmouth
    Joined: Aug 20, 2005
    Posts: 285

    mushmouth
    Member
    from Minnesota

    This thing looks like it would be a real rush to drive.
     
  18. adam401
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 1,900

    adam401
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I love this type of cyclecar and am certain I will build one in the future. If I could source a chaindrive rear axle I have many appropriate parts and could fab many of the others. The rush of driving one of these in a hillclimb or rally must be amazing! They look like mechanical sculptures from the past.
     
  19. oj
    Joined: Jul 27, 2008
    Posts: 6,231

    oj
    Member

    Thanks. That car is amazing. There is one pic where it looks to be the driver has a suit & tie and an interested passenger having a looksee - are they just out for a drive in the mud like at the JalopyShowdown?
     
  20. woodbutcher
    Joined: Apr 25, 2012
    Posts: 3,182

    woodbutcher
    Member

    :D Really neat old racers/fun cars.
    Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
    Leo
     
  21. smarjoram
    Joined: Jun 18, 2010
    Posts: 117

    smarjoram
    Member
    from uk

    If he's wearing a tie it's Duncan - he's never without one on an event. If it's muddy it might be a trials event. You take your car, and a passenger (or 'bouncer'), up a steep stony/muddy track which has markers from 1 to 25 up the side. You score as many points as the markers you pass. Here's a gallery from one I went on recently (in the GN with the orange fur)...
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/stefanmarjoram/sets/72157631776569544/
     
  22. Kinky6
    Joined: May 11, 2003
    Posts: 1,765

    Kinky6
    Member


    So maybe you're the one to ask, what's the purpose of the orange fur on the cowl?

    Probably not the same reason that so many vans had orange shag carpet installed back in the '70's. Then again, why do ya think it was called shag carpet in the first place? But, I digress .....;)

    Later, Kinky6 :cool:
     
  23. smarjoram
    Joined: Jun 18, 2010
    Posts: 117

    smarjoram
    Member
    from uk

    The fur is just a bit of fun - his daughter thought it looked nice. Sadly it's fallen off recently. Something else will have to take it's place. Perhaps some nice chequers.
     
  24. arkiehotrods
    Joined: Mar 9, 2006
    Posts: 5,687

    arkiehotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Tell Duncan that this Duncan says "Way cool!" :)
     
  25. ebtm3
    Joined: May 23, 2007
    Posts: 837

    ebtm3
    Member

    Hey Bob--

    Is that you driving it in your avatar?

    If so, tell us what it was like--

    If not, get busy asking Duncan!

    Herb
     
  26. banjeaux bob
    Joined: Aug 31, 2008
    Posts: 5,823

    banjeaux bob
    Member
    from alaska

    No Herb,regrettably that's not me.That's the trouble with that picture...it doesn't show the grin on the driver's face!

    What's it like? I can only imagine what it's like to be be less than 6" inches from the ground with TWO engines screaming in front of me and half a dozen chains alongside me whirring and whizzing slinging oil all over.And the only thing governing the speed is the size of one's testicles!

    BanjeauX Bob
     
  27. BrerHair
    Joined: Jan 30, 2007
    Posts: 4,338

    BrerHair
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Cool contraption Bob. Go Kart grows up and becomes Special. Or some such.
     
  28. jdustu
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 726

    jdustu
    Member

    I was looking through smarjoram's Flickr and found the pics. Google search for info and found this thread. Thanks for posting Bob. Just looking at it is a visceral experience.
     
  29. banjeaux bob
    Joined: Aug 31, 2008
    Posts: 5,823

    banjeaux bob
    Member
    from alaska

    The Hornet has been fired and readied for another season of competition.
     

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