Testimonials

Friday, March 15, 1996

All rivals chased Ron

Drag racer Ron Bartlett is tuning up for the new season during which his exhaust is going to glow brighter than ever.

Or the exhaust of a sleek new motor will certainly be searing. Probably hotter than it was last year when the Warwick hod-roadster roared to a national championship triumph.

Four wins and two seconds in the ten-race series clinched the High Power Catchit Cars Euro-Challenge ‘street level’ crown for Ron, and the award for the best overall performance by a car with a British engine.

The were rich rewards for the work which Ron and his mechanics Simon Eykyn and Nick Kerswell devoted to building the Ford Capri, and servicing it after each of the demanding races. Specialised Engines of Essex supplied the 220bhp (boosted to 350bhp with nitrous oxide additive !) V6 engines which propelled the vehicle to an almost 110mph.

“It was reliability of the car and the engines which swung the championship for us” said Ron, who has raced seriously for two years. “Nobody else could compete with us for consistency.”

The races are staged on three circuits, at York, Santa Pod (Northampton), and getting closer to home, at Long Marston. The season gets under way at Santa Pod over the Easter weekend….but Ron won’t be competing.

“I’ve just bought a 1963 Ford Anglia, and we’re building a car which will take us up two classes to pro car competition” he said “It should be ready for the second meeting in May.”

Ron who works for Dennis Eagle, is very grateful for the support he receives from Warwick neighbour Reg Betteridge Transport, in the form of a trailer for transporting the car to the circuits, and the use of workshop premises.

*Ron Bartlett is pictured with mechanic Nick Kerswell, the national championship trophy, and the high speed Capri.

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We originally supplied a V6 engine to Steve a couple of years ago. When he won the 800 metres gold in the 1980 Olympics, we wrote to him :

Address : Steve Ovett, Golden Boy, Brighton, Sussex….

Text of Letter :

Congratulations, hope our engine is running as well as you are.

His reply Was…


Steve Ovett

Brighton

Sussex

Thanks for your kind letter most appreciated.

Think the engine is running better than I am.

Yours.

Steve Ovett

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CLASSIC CARS ……………………………

ISSUES 3 FRIDAY 12TH MAY 2000

 


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MOTORING JOURNALIST’S WRITE-UP

ALMOST XR2 …… AT A PRICE YOU CAN AFFORD

With our roads steadily becoming increasingly congested every traffic jam brings sightings of the more exotic ‘top of the range’ models now on offer.

With many of our readers under the impression that these cars were beamed down in their entirety, we felt a little background essential before having a glimpse at the 1600 FIESTA from Specialised Engines.

During the patrician days of the 60’s motor engineers achieved a dash of colour and excitement from what was a drab range of family saloons. They achieved this by taking a boring production line box and inserting, in some case shoehorning, in a bigger or more powerful engine.

So began an era that was to bring such delights as the ‘Cortina Savage’, the Cooper ‘S’, the Lotus Cortina, the 1600 powered Escort to become ‘Mexico’ aswell as the legendary ‘twin cam’ Escort. Innovators such as Jeff Uren set about proving that big lazy V6 Engines could bring effortless power with exceptional economy to the Ford range of medium saloons. Small, private companies experimented, researched, developed this concept carrying R&D costs while fulfilling a dream. Criticism was fierce and prolonged. Still they continue. Lotus, Cooper, Lumo Cars and Uren spread their wings bringing magic to the mediocre and exciting transport to thousands.

Meanwhile the large car manufacturers watched, waited, sowed the seeds of doubt, voiced concern over braking and roadholding while secretly road testing and assessing the results.

Now, 20 years on, the showrooms are full of big engined, be-stripped – top of the range custom models. The cars reflect the changing market pioneered by the early transplant specialist. As soon as the large makers realised that a glamour model at the top of each range increased sales of all models, including the basic lines, it became company policy to market a range leader.

Thanks to this we now have access to models such as the Renault 5 Turbo aswell as the superb Audi Quattro. On the home market Ford offer a comprehensive range of family and company cars headed by gaudy, be-stripped, big-power models to spearhead market interest. Nomenclatures declare these XR2, XR3, RS aswell as ‘i’ for injection. All are sold as ‘Ford Performance Engineered’, all owe their very existence to Motor Sport and transplant pioneers.

With such a wide range of ‘Ideal’ machinery available ex-works the end of the transplant specialist must surely be in sight. This is not the case. Indeed the reverse is true. The unfortunate truth is that only a small percentage of our reader’s can afford to shop from the pinnacle of the range usually ending up with the less glamorous 1300 family version. This they proceed to uprate as a compromise to the ideal.

A company that is geared to this particular market sector is Specialised Engines, who have pioneered many V6 and V8 transplants of their own.

In this case we take a look at their big engine for small transplant offer and examine the Fiesta 1600 conversion.

We found the Fiesta we tested to be a converted 1300 S model, retaining standard Brakes, Distributor and Radiator. This unit started well and ran without a hitch during 14 days of hard test driving. No overheating or Brake fade was experienced although Brian Melville of Specialised Engines does prefer to fit the 1600 Radiator aswell as the larger XR2 Brakes. We preferred to test in this form as we feel that our readers’ will tend to keep costs as low as possible. With this in mind it must be stressed that the result is not an XR2 although it does feel a well balanced, safe conversion. Acceleration was fierce with a faster 0.60mph time than the higher geared XR2, unfortunately fast starts were accompanied with loud tyre scream as the small 12 inch wheels and narrow tyres scrabbled for grip. The 3.842:1 final drive gearing while giving fast pick up felt undergeared at anything over legal limit, this represents 17.24mph per 1000 revs with 12 inch section tyres fitted.

The extra Torque and power offered effortless power all through the Rev range giving a big car no fuss response at all revs.

The car is required for 1 working day and can be driven home with big engine conversion completed. This is ideal for the Fiesta owner who would have preferred an XR2.

When your Fiesta unit starts to age, hesitate and smoke, then this transplant must rate high on the list of options available on the way to the XR2 you always promised yourself.

Specialised Engines are at Grays in Essex and invite you to test drive the 1600 conversion for yourself, why should motoring journalists have all the fun ! ……………… RAY CROSS.

N.B. RAY IS A FREELANCE MOTORING JOURNALIST, WELL KNOWN FOR HIS ARTICLES ON ENGINE TUNING AND TRANSPLANTS IN JOURNALS SUCH AS ‘CAR AND CAR CONVERSIONS’ ETC.

THE ABOVE WAS OUR FIRST FIESTA DEMONSTRATION CAR IN JUNE 1981.

IN NOVEMBER 1986 WE PURCHASED A NEW BASIC 957cc POPULAR, INTO WHICH WE FITTED A 1600 X/FLOW STAGE 1 ENGINE WITH 5 SPEED GEARBOX, LARGE BORE EXHAUST, MODIFIED SUSPENSION AND XR2 FRONT DISC BRAKES. WE ALSO FITTED COMPLETE XR2 INTERIOR TRIM, SEATS ETC.

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Mr M Laycock

Bishops Stortford

Herts

11/12/90

 

Dear Ian,

I write concerning my Fiesta Supersport which had a new engine and carburettor fitted by yourselves. So far, the car hasn’t missed a beat and I am so impressed by the modifications that I wrote to the XR Owners Club to recommend yourselves.

I trust this okay and for your noticeboard I enclose a copy of my article. I hope this spreads the word and generates some interest.

If I have any problems or need advice in the future, I know where to come.

Best Wishes

Mark Laycock

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R C Webb

Llanedeyrn

Cardiff

January 27th 1982

 

Dear Sirs,

Re : Sales Invoice 4716 23/2/79

On the 23rd February 1979 I purchased from you a Stage 1 1300cc engine which has now completed 42,00 miles, much of which was town driving. The car has averaged 40 mpg during this period, admittedly with the help of Modified Inlet, Exhaust and Ignition systems.

I am obviously very pleased with your engine’s performance, and would appreciate your forwarding a detailed specification (part numbers etc. of non standard parts) to enable correct component replacement in the distant future.

Also how much would a Stage 2 Cylinder Head cost (exchange or otherwise) ? and what modifications to the Carb / Camshaft / Timing would be necessary, if at all, when fitting it ?.

I look forward to your reply.

Yours faithfully,

 

R.C. Webb

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LOTUS 7 STAGE 3 X/FLOW

S N Scott

Portsmouth

Hants

27th March 1989

 

Dear Ian,

Last Wednesday (22nd March) I returned my car, a Lotus 7 fitted with one of your excellent Stage 3 1686cc X/Flow Engines, to yourselves as it was smoking badly on fierce acceleration.

I should like to compliment you and your colleagues on the promptness with which the problem was identified and righted. Fortunately the cause of the smoke was a failed emission valve in the engine breather, which was not a part supplied by yourselves. Consequently, within a very short time I was able to ‘Road Test’ the car, pronounce the problem cured and return to my home.

From the time of my original enquiries, through the collection of the engine and return visits for its’ service etc. I have nothing but praise for your business. The engine is powerful, smooth and reliable, being ideally suited to my ‘fairly quickly’ road use.

I should wholeheartedly recommend your engine to anyone concerned, for the quality of your work, your helpfulness and your after sales service.

Yours sincerely,

 

S N Scott

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Dear Ian,

Please find enclosed photo’s of TVR Vixen as promised. The engine is fantastic !! We can’t thank you enough for your excellent service and advice on the phone. We have had the engine set up by BHP of Carlisle on a rolling road and it now goes like s— off a sh—- !! We have done well over 1,0000 miles since fitting the engine and really enjoy driving the car again – infact there is a fight for the keys ! We will of course recommend your engines to anyone we meet – infact we went to Oulton Park and everyone was asking where we had the engine re-built and of course we couldn’t stop talking about your engine and how pleased we are with it. Thanks again.

Ian & Liza Carne

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E.W.SHIPWAY

89A SOUTH STREET

LEIGHTON BUZZARD

BEDS. LU7 8PB

 

Dear Ian,

At last a photo of the car, I was hoping to get a clearer one of your ‘logo’, but so far its the best taken during a race. Sorry its taken so long ! I took the car along to TURBO TECHNIQUES of Luton (nearest rolling road) they were surprised by the power of the engine, 150BHP at the flywheel and 115BHP at the wheels !

Everyone seems to claim that their cars have more BHP at the wheels than me I’m not sure if they are dreaming ! I feel that my car has more torque’ the engine so far has not let me down – its the driver !

After missing two rounds I am twelfth in my class, hope to finish in the top ten ! The handling of the car has caused problems, but after some modifications things are improving. After six races my experience is expanding and this knowledge is invaluable.

One crash cost me £2,000 to put the body right, but this has not deterred me.

May I once again thank you for your sincere help in the early days, your advice and knowledge has certainly proved to me you are the SPECIALISED ENGINE people.

I will let you know how I’m doing.

Many thanks,

 

Eddie Shipway

 

EDDIE’S CAR IS AN ESCORT XR3 USED IN THE VECTA – FAST FORD CHALLENGE. FITTED WITH OUR 1598cc CVH STAGE 2 USING TWIN CARBURETTORS, CVH 22 CAMSHAFT AND VERNIER GEAR.

 

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FAST CAR JUNE’94

SIMON

CHARLESWORTH

Yes, this pink poser was a mere ‘85 1.1 Popular, many years ago.

Simon bought the car as a project when he was just sixteen. The pop had been shunted at the front and Simon came to an arrangement with AJ Garrett Vehicle Engineering to get a straight front end grafted on. The new nose came from a vicar’s car and Simon likes to think that the clerical connection means that the Lord drives with him.

The humble origins are hidden by an XR2 bodykit which is painstakingly grafted to the panels. A whale-tail spoiler, an aggressive bonnet scoop (from and FSO !) and a glossy coat of custom pink pearl paint complete the style.

For a while the car was run with just 1100cc’s but has grown to a serious 1930cc in stage 2 tune. Specialised Engines of Essex squeezed what Simon calls ‘A genuine, no bullshitting 135bhp at the flywheel’. The engine is based on the American 1.8-litre Escort CVH and the finished product gives just the sort of torque power that Simon was after. Under the RS1600i rocker cover (which came as a job lot along with the twin Weber DCNF carbs) spins a Piper 285 cam.

The exhaust is from Janspeed with an end can from PPR (Pacific Power Racing). Unlike the other cars, this Fiesta carries its full interior and a good weight of sound equipment. A pair of Cobra seats grace the front and the rear seats are trimmed in matching material.

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25 Hazlemere Gardens

Worcester Park

Surrey KT4 8AH

31 July 1989

 

Dear Ian,

After having one of your Stage II engines fitted to my old Mark I Capri some 9 years ago and its subsequent breathtaking performance, I felt it was time to do something with my wife’s XR3i.

After three, maybe four, telephone discussions with yourself on general specification, with which you were most helpful, we decided to fit yet another Specialised Engine.

Your advice, technical back up, professionalism and general customer concern was, as ever, excellent and I must say that whilst your customers are your best advertisement, you most certainly support that with action.

In conclusion, I have no hesitation in recommending both your company and its skills to anyone contemplating moving forward quickly in a Specialised Engine.

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Roland Moore

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cc: Mr B Melville

 

 

 

 

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29th January 1991

Kevin Neal

6 Woodham Road

South Benfleet

Essex SS7 5DG

0268 750312

Specialised Engines

Thank you for doing a first class job on my MK 2 Fiesta.

You fitted a 1.9 CVH engine last May and to date I have had 25,000 miles of trouble free motoring.

Last November I needed a new exhaust so I had a PECO HDR manifold and system fitted by John Mowatt’s of Pound Lane, Benfleet. He also did a back to back run on his rolling road. With the standard Ford system the car produced 87 bhp. When the complete PECO system was fitted the car put out 108 bhp at the wheels.

I would recommend to you that all your CVH conversions should go on a Rolling Road. After my car was set up the performance was frightening. The torque the car puts out, would credit many a tractor.

If any of your customers ever need an independent recommendation do not hesitate to give them my telephone number.

Very well done.

 

Kevin Neal

 

 

** EQUAL TO 138 BHP AT THE FLYWHEEL, (CARBURETTED ENGINE) S.E.

KEVIN’S ENGINE WAS AN 1860cc CONVERSION.

 

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