Projects In Progress

Academy conversion on historic rally car

We are starting work in late October 2014 on our next Academy conversion, this car has quite an interesting history, the car having been built as a latter day Historic Rally car and campaigned by renowned continental rally master 'Roberto Fennio' at present we are checking the history, but we know it competed in the Rome-Liege-Rome rally, also the Tulip Rally, possibly the Acropolis but not the Monte Carlo. We repainted the outside of the car for Roberto a few years back and it still looks pretty slick, we need to freshen the interior and underbonnet though, and also remove the current roll cage and fit the genuine Academy one.

The little A35 has come out of storage and will now see a different competition life as a circuit racing car

Old roll cage, dashboard and clocks still in place
Old roll cage now removed, dashboard and clocks still in place

Roll cage mounting blocks welded in and dash and clocks and all wiring now removed
The new Academy roll cage being installed

Mid November and the goalposts have been moved.. the customer has decided to go for the fibreglass bonnet, boot and wings, so at this stage it was considered a complete colour change was in order, something more in keeping with the fun and cheekiness of these little cars, wait till you see the colour! it is fabulous and this will possibly be the best Academy car yet! stay tuned for more updates...

As the car is being completely resprayed we took this opportunity to tidy up the rear end by welding plates over the fuel filler holes and filling to hide any evidence, also you will see the spare wheel well has been removed by simply drilling out the original spotwelds, this needs to be removed to give clearance for the exhaust silencer, we normally then attach an aluminium plate over the hole

Now we are down to a bare shell, everything was intensely steam cleaned,
to remove all grease and grime from the underside, so when it is sprayed it will look great

They say the Devil is in the detail and to get these cars looking at their best it is necessary to remove all the horrible underseal and loose paint with a hot air gun, scraper and wire brush, then everything is painted in 2 coats of 2 pack primer to seal it all, I actually used the polishing mop with a large rotary wire brush to get the bare metal shining!

This is the bodyshell painted inside and out, the colour is a special mix from a 1960 Ford Galaxie called Aquamarine,
The pictures here do not do the colour justice, it looks fabulous in the flesh!

Pic 1: Fibreglass wings offered onto car to make sure all holes are in the correct places before preparation and painting. Pic 2: Fibreglass panels painted and resting on shell prior to final fix. Pic 3: We have fitted a cloth headlining to this car, as the inner roof was quite scruffy and this gives a great finish, this car will look very special...

New race type wiring loom being installed
Roll cage being re installed, dashboard refitted and windscreen in

Roll cage in, rear and side windows also now fitted
Rear seats and parcel shelf ready to be installed

The seats and parcel shelf just installed
Removeable steering wheel boss fitted and Nardi suede wheel

Front view with new halogen headlamps fitted and cold air intake
Back axle installed and awaiting build up of brakes

Grey wheels with polished rims should set the car off
Grille badge hand prepared and painted to match the car

Very special narrow shouldered seat retrimmed to match the rest of the interior
and check out that Academy embroidery on the cover!

The sealed Academy engine, mated to the gearbox awaiting installation
Front end nearly finished, awaiting anti roll bar and brake hoses

The handbrake can be clearly seen here and also the
alloy floor plates there is still some wiring left to sort out
Simple fuel tank and system neatly installed in the boot

The passenger seat is cut and shut to make narrower to clear
the rollcage and handbrake, this is the frame untrimmed
The auxiliary dash fitted with Smiths Magnolia faced gauges
The steering wheel is Nardi suede dished with removeable boss

The finished interior fully trimmed in turquoise with white piping
This is the best trimmed historic car on the grid!

Engine fully installed just awaiting the air filter kit
Note the spare coil, alloy radiator, race battery etc
On the grid at Goodwood for a photo call

We think we may have to change the colour of the race numbers
As you may have noticed the race numbers are a bit hard to see

Look out for photos of this car out on track soon

We were given the job of completing this white Academy car that had been previously restored and the cage had been fitted, we had to stretch the rear wheel arches and repaint the rear wings, plus paint the interior, before getting involved in the full Academy build and conversion, new wiring loom, new suspension, new engine and gearbox, all new engine ancillaries, plus lights safety equipment interior etc. there is a lot more to building one of these cars than you might at first think.

This car features all steel panels inc bonnet and boot
New Academy spec springs, wishbones and bushes, plus disc brake conversion
Steering idler and all joints stripped and rebuilt or replaced
Academy roll cage and new red trim panels installed
On display at Goodwood Revival showing an in progress car
Dashboard wiring in progress
Moto-Lita wheel, Stack rev counter and our special A35 dash with vital switchgear
6 gallon race fuel tank, high capacity fuel pump,
note blanking plate where spare wheel well normally is
Back axle installed, note the competition half shafts and rose jointed shock link arms
The Academy A+ sealed engine
Engine installed and all underbonnet ancillaries fitted, inc race battery
Almost finished and ready for road testing

The finishing touches, Kirkey race seat, and Academy spec interior and seats

On track at Donington on 19th October 2014, finished 2nd in class first time out

Academy Workshop Homepage