Bytes & Pieces April 2011

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Phillip
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Bytes & Pieces April 2011

Postby Phillip » Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:13 am

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A Godfrey Imhof was a trials driver with Singers back in the mid 1930’s. He campaigned in BBY 333, a 1936 LM Speed Model as part of the Candidi Provocatores trials team, which also included sister cars BBY 111 and BBY 222. His team mates included Ben Richardson and Michael Lawson.

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BBY 333 was progressively modified to improve its performance and reduce weight. In 1943 he recounted his adventures with the Singer in Autocar magazine.

The steel wings and running boards were removed and replaced by light gauge cycle wings, the battery was moved from the scuttle to under the petrol tank and the passenger side floor was modified to enable the occupant to sit 18 inches back. Considerable weight ballast was added to the rear to assist when trialing. Without this, the rear axle had a habit of tramping under hard use. The Le Mans suffers from rather poor steering lock and Imhof improved this by filing away the steering lock stops and adding inner laced wire wheels to allow more clearance before they fouled the chassis. Many pieces of duplicate or unnecessary equipment were removed to lighten the car and this included the doors, which were replaced by thin alloy panels. To run in ‘closed car’ classes, he made a flimsy hardtop known affectionately as ‘The Greenhouse’, but officials took a dim view!

With weight paired down, it was time to tackle performance and Imhof chose a Centric supercharger fitted with a Bantam head to lower compression. Later the Le Mans head was reinstated and a modified inlet pipe fitted to take an SU carb. With 7.5 to 1 compression and boost set at 6lbs, the Singer could rocket from 0 to 60 in 11 seconds instead of the original 18.5 and topped out at a useful 88 mph. Imhof did not spare the rod and on occasion revved the two bearing engine to 7,000 rpm in competition. In spite of that, it took 10,000 miles of hard competition before the crank finally broke!

Centric Superchargers Ltd were formed in 1934 by Chris Shorrock. In 1946 the Company changed their name to Shorrock Superchargers Ltd. By August 1957, Shorrock had become one of the companies within the Rubery Owen Organisation. Rubery Owen were well-known as suppliers of chassis frames, amongst many other automotive items.

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Centric actually made a ready-to-fit kit for the Le Mans and this is most likely what Imhof fitted. An excellent example of the brochure selling such wares sold recently on eBay!

Now THAT would be a nice bit of kit to add to your Le Mans or Sports! :D

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'28 Senior, '33 & '34 Sports, '36 Le Mans SS & Bantam

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