Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Some Background

I have been racing vintage cars since 1981. Started with a '57 Berkeley B60, shared with my mother. That's my father's '32 Morgan trike beside me on the grid at Shannonville.
On the grid Shannonville May 1981
In the fall of 1983, my father bought the Dreossi Special from Cam Beatty at the Varac AGM.
Mosport 1984
My Canada Class race car was built by Cece Simmons and Ray Dreossi in their garage in 1961.
It was designed by Cece to encompass experience gained in building/racing his first Canada Class car in the late '50s. He wanted a light and efficient chassis. Some of the concepts included low frontal area (smaller diameter front wheels), mid-engine layout, and lightweight materials (aluminum monocoque). He enlisted Ray to help build the new design after seeing Ray running his TR3.

Canada Class was a race group that existed in Ontario from the mid-50's to the late 60's. It was a class for home-built cars with very few rules. For 1962, maximum engine displacement was 800cc overhead cam, 1000cc overhead valve, 1000cc 2 stroke, or 1250 side valve. The engine had to come from a car that retailed in Canada for less than $2500. Minimum weight of 750 pounds. Body could be single or two seater. Parking brake was required.

There was overlap between some of the open wheel Canada Class and Formula Junior rules. FJr engine limits were 1000cc for 794 pound (360 kg) minimum weight, 1100cc for 880 pound (400 kg) minimum weight. FJr ran as an international class from 1958 through 1963. They progressed from front-engined in the beginning, to mid-engined with drum brakes, to the final configuration of mid-engined with disk brakes. More info can be found at Formula Junior. I run my car as an drum brake, early rear engine FJr as there are not very many Canada Class cars still running.

The Dreossi Special was built from parts from many different vehicles, all modified in some way.
  • Engine - BMC 'A' series (AH Sprite), 948cc block now at 1011cc
  • Gearbox - Fiat 600 Multipla with close-ratio gears
  • Rear suspension - Austin Mini 850 front uprights upside down w/7" drum brakes, fabricated SS upper A-arm, transverse leaf spring as lower link, 13" widened Corvair rims with bolt circle adapters
  • Front suspension - Standard Pennant front uprights w/7" drum brakes, fabricated SS upper A-arm, transverse leaf spring as lower link, 10" Mini rims with re-drilled bolt circle
  • Steering - shortened NSU Prinz rack & pinion
  • Radiator - Fiat 850 mounted in front
  • Monocoque - F86 Sabre external drop tank
Sabre drop tank
Car History:

  • Raced by Ray Dreossi in Ontario
  • Purchased by Bob Attrell from Ray Dreossi (never raced)
  • Sold to Trevor Welowszky in 1979, restored by David Millband, raced through 1981
  • Raced by Cam Beatty in VARAC at Mosport and Shannonville in 1982 and 1983
  • Purchased by Dave Elcomb in the fall of 1983
  • Raced in VARAC at Mosport, Shannonville, and Waterford Hills by Dave, Scooter, and Doug Elcomb
  • Wrecked in May 1986 at Mosport corner 2A by Doug Elcomb
  • New tub constructed from a Sabre jet tank located at an aircraft scrap yard in Uxbridge, Ontario
  • Returned to racing at the VARAC Vintage Festival at Shannonville 1993
My Tracks:
  • Mosport
  • Shannonville
  • Mt. Tremblant PQ
  • Waterford Hills MI
  • Grattan MI
  • BeaveRun PA
  • Pittsburgh Schenley Park PA
  • Indianapolis Raceway Park IN
  • Mid-Ohio
  • Watkins Glen NY
  • Loudon NH
  • Lime Rock CT
  • Brands Hatch UK
  • Goodwood Revival UK
  • Spa-Francorchamps Belgium
  • Circuit Of The Americas TX

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