John Barton's Diaries (Jan'1967-July'1968)

This is a transcription of two diaries left by John C. Barton in which he reconts his time working for Alan Fraser Engineering in the period Jan'1967-end July 1968. The diaries were loaned to me by Robin Human.

As well as being a fascinating insight into conditions at the time, they shed light on some of the foregoing descriptions of K9, Asp and Cub.

John Barton's Diaries, Vol.II

Notes inside the cover

J.C. Barton A.F.E. Jan 1967

David Kerr Biggleswade 3592

B. Lovell Markyate

L.M. T.W. 28377

Ian Carter Cheddington 422


Steeale [?] Morden 389

J. Fulton Co.

C.L.P.N. 788VAT 306SLA [?]


Britmo Eqeskovves? Kvisgarde Denmark

Socket Screws Ltd. B'ham East 3131

Mac Mason, 16 The Moorlands, Kingfield, Woking, Surrey, Wok.3320

Girling (comp) Acocks Green 3371

Bob Blurton Midland 8792 (Lucas comp)

F.T.P. Ind. Airfield 62391 Portsmouth

Mike Cannon Plaxtol 2.81



Phil Ashby Caffyns S/Oaks

Bill Meale Elva

Boots £5 Holiday Days £3 Task £6 Stolen £5 Clutch £3/10-


Bill Meale Hil 3711 686-2499

Gomm Metal Dev., Manor Way, Old Woking, Surrey, Woking 61665

Brands West Ash 331

S.T.D. 047-486

Page 1

Prepare car for racing car show. Delivered to Olympia but was not allowed to attend show in 1st week. Sat.

B. Lovell sick? Rodger does not want to go so have been asked to attend show as ``stand in''.


Sat. Collect car from show.

Roan [?] MacDonald

Re start work on K9. Assemble rad, oil cooler, pipes, engine vertical, gearbox inverted. Lack of ground clearance under engine, etc. Coil springs are wrong, wheel studs are u/s, Extend drive shafts.

Page 2


Page 3

Sun. [?] Car ran well. Traced and rectified oil leak from engine (loose adaptor bolt in oil gallery).

Working on K9 start to design gear linkage, etc.

Hell of a lot more work to be done. Hope all the u/s parts can be re drawn soon as this is my chance to go racing? [last two words crossed out]

Have been told that 2 litre BRM engine is to be fitted. Have checked overall dimensions of engine and am convinced that this is not possible. [last words underlined]

Have never managed to hold conversation regarding K9 in general.

Page 4

26-4-67: Have been told to go to Denmark believe car we sold is in trouble. No one seems to know.

27-4: Attived Copenhagen met by Jim Fulton. Examined car etc. Met Peder Rasmussen. Met directors of British Motors.

Dismantle engine, clutch, etc. Explained to Peder Rass. various mods and adjustments.

Managed to hire Roskilde CIrcuit for day. Carried out complete test programme. Dismantle car for check in readiness for general practice following day.

Page 5

28-4-67: My birthday. Too late its midnight.

Return to Roskilde. Both timed laps inside lap record.

Roskilde for race. Won 1st heat. Broke drive shaft on 2nd.

Further interview with directors at British Motors. Promised to arrange dispatch of correct ratio gear box + limited slip diff. Asked to stay on till following thursday but declined according to instructions from L.S/Price.

K9: Told to leave gear linkage as problem has been handed to ``The Brains''? I.e. the person who is building a car for us.

Page 6

Have been asked if I would mind working at Baldock? For a few days to help finish off prototype Sports Car?

C. Scammel put my new boots on Sceptre root and drives car away.

Arrived at Steeple Morden. Looks as if I shall be here for a lot longer than the few days suggested.

Have been ``lodged'' with T. Stapleton in Ashwell.

Am not at all pleased with conditions at Ashwll, very primitive, no meals, etc. Will ring B. Lovell.

Rang B. Lovell who said I should try to find a hotel or ``pub''. David Kerr thinks this will not be easy.

Page 7

Cannot ``fathom'' Wilkinson. Have seen no drawings and seems to have no set plan. David Kerr seems to be the person responsible for all the bodywork. There are very few parts available. Looks as if I shall have to spend weekends collecting. Shall have to design gear linkage myself. Will have to cancel proposed holiday. Ask someone at Hildenboro to collect Husky from Ransons (Ton).

Visit by B. Lovell, J. Griffith. Both seem happy with the situation. Can't understand why.

Is Wilkinson short of cash?

Have made numerous complaints to ``boffins'' about situation in general. Hoping they are keeping Mr. Fraser informed.

I cannot see how Wilkinson was allowed to start this job, as far as I can see, all he can do is talk. It is already obvious that he is badly in debt. I am beginning to wonder if he is not using A.F.E. cash to get himself out of trouble.

All problems here have become more acute owing to the fact that I cannot get any work done locally, i.e. machining, etc.

Page 8

Met Jim Ashworth who promised to help with parts situation. He does not seem to be very impressed.

Still having difficulty with hotels etc. Slow progress with car. Have made numerous suggestions that all is not well here. Is Brian saying nothing as he gave Wilkinson the job? Is Mr. Fraser aware of true situation?

Will have to attempt to take holiday before long. Have to spend whole of week ends locating parts etc.

Will have to try and see Mr. Fraser as something is obviously wrong!

Page 9

It is now touch and go whether the men get their wages.

David Kerr says he is leaving. Will try to keep him here until body is finished. Will try and see Mr. Fraser at weekend. Spares position still bad. Have had to make several trips to Hildenboro after tea in order to keep job going.

£5 missing from wallet. Will have to lock coat in car! Everlyn fed up. Will havde to try and get holiday in.

Saw Mr. Fraser. Seems to be some controversy over wheeling machine supposedly purchased by Wilkinson. Have never seen it.

Page 10

Have to make daily report by phone to Mr. Fraser, or Jim. Have straightened, modified rear frame. David Kerr says he will stay until car is taken away. Some suggestion of David joining us at Hildenboro.

Have lost three months tax on Husky!

It is obvious that Wilkinson has invoice A.F.E. with wheeling machine, but has never gone any further than a preliminary enquiry.

Car to be taken away. Must push Wilkinson on as far as possible.

Will have to take last two weeks in AUgust for holiday. Have already lost one deposit.

Boots lost by Chas. £4 Holiday Days £3 Stolen £5 Task £6 Clutch £3/10- [hard to read]

Page 11

Sept'1967: Re started work on car. Collected from Steeple Morden. There is supposed to be a L/H rotation engine available but have heard nothing definate. So far car still requires: engine; wiring (Lucas); brakes Girling; fuel tank; adjustable steering column; shock absorbers; coil springs; instruments; horns; screen washers; oil cooler.

Re position engine and gearbox, battery carrier, l/hand water pipes, alternator.

Page 12

Jim Ashworth says car is u/s. But at least he is making an attempt to be helpful. No sign of interest from ``The Boffins''. Looks as if I shall have to assume full responsibility for project and forget about help from others.

Continue to draw and assemble parts. There are a number of problems that will take a great deal of ``sorting''. No sign of engine.

Had to design new adjustable steering column. Drawings and parts completed by ``Mill''. Column assembled except for indicator canceller.

Page 13

Complained at Steeple Morden that Wilkinson had welded front spring support brackets in wrong position. Told not to worry by B. Lovell as he had plenty of Group V short ``shockers'' and springs. After further examinatino it is obvious that special speings and shock absorbers will have to be obtained.

Benny is working on the L/H engine assisted by J. Ashworth and the ``Boffins''.

Assembled parts for dash panel inc. Imp indicator, switches, etc.

Fitted parts to panel. Mr. Fraser not too happy about position of switches.

Page 14

Will have to find someone to make hood.

Made and fitted special speedo cable. Still no interest shown by anyone exept Mr. Fraser and Ray.C.

Made and fitted fuel tank. Fitted oil cooler and pipes.

Shaped and fitted aluminium water pipes. Removed header tank from K9.

Could do with some time off or less overtime but job is well behind schedule so must get on as quickly as possible.

Have found someone to make hood but I will have to make frame and all fittings.

Page 15

Engine is being assembled by ``Ben''.

Tried various shocker and springs (no luck). FItted lamps, etc. Will have to spend considerable amount of time sorting doors and locks, etc.

Made and fitted battery box behind driver's seat. Routed throttle cable, oil pipe fittings, etc.

Engine handed over by ``Benny''. B. Lovell now asks what was done to camshaft and were pistons turned round, etc. Though he knew!

Checked valve timing, etc. Dismantle engine. Turned round pistons. Had parts machined and modified camshaft.

Page 16

Re set calve clearances, refit parts, sort out timing. Fit manifold and carbs, locate alternator, make brackets. Fit reversed water pump.

B. Lovell supplies L/H fan for alternator. Help at last?

Fitted engine, gearbox may have to move whole lot forward.

Fit temporary springs etc. Weighed vehicle in Tonbridge c/w oil, water, etc. so that springs can be ordered (7-12-67) and ``shockers''.

Still no assistance.

Page 17

Receive letter from Jim Fulton (British Motors, Denmark) asking if their was any chnce of Peder being asked to join Team. Says Peder would like to come to England. Will pass on letter to Mr. Fraser as I know nothing of future plans.

Mr. Fraser not too pleased that Fulton wrote to me.

Must have created impression in Denmark that I was something more in the Team than an ordinary mechanic [last word crossed out heavily].

Letter from Toni Petersen (Denmark) asking if their was any chance of a job.

Page 18

Made exhaust system. Fitted fuel pipes. Re designed throttle mechanism. Fitted lock to rear lid.

Will have to consult Lucas and Girling re work.

Getting slightly fed up with being alone.

Appointment made by B. Lovell to be at Lucas on morning of 1st Jan. Changed to 2nd as I do not fancy travelling to B'ham after New Year's Eve.

Located and fitted flasher lamps. FItted dash indicator bulbs (10 wks).

Page 19

Have been offered very good job on McLaren Gp.6 an Formula II cars. V.G. salary and all the overtime I like to do. Told B. Lovell who said it essential for the future of A.F.E. and all the staff that this project ``CUB'' be completed. So I have decided to stay. Hope I have made the right decision!

Wrote declining offer.

Took ``CUB'' to Birmingham. Have labour shortage at Lucas owing to ``flu epidemic''. Job will take two weeks''. Bob Blurton.

Page 20

Start to try sort out K9. Will see if L/H engine is possible. Gearbox in normal position.

Someone has told Mr. Fraser that this car is only 1 week from completion. Pity they didn't have a look first!

Will have to try and have conference with ``Boffins'' and raise a little interest.

Their are a considerable amount of parts to be re-drawn. Springs, wheel studs, swivel tree, etc.

I always know when Mr. Fraser is in presidence. As I get a crafty visit from ``The Boffins''.

Page 21

Collected car [CUB?] from Lucas B'ham. Called to see Ron Willis at Girling.

Most of the wiring done by Bob Blurton owing to labour shortage. Still have to make up and fit battery main leads, etc. Test alternator and all circuits.

Brakes to be ``blead'' and all connections checked.

Have been told not work work overtime, so have decided to do it for nothing until job is finished. It seems I have been trying too hard. Have struggled so hard that job is difficult to forget at night or even weekend. So will make final effort to finish.

Page 22

Locate complete wiperassy. motor, wheel boxes, arms and blades. Drive rack and guides. Shape guides. Difficulty owing to fact that complete assy has to be fitted in one piece. Trouble in getting correct sweep and gear ratio. Wire up and test. Modify wiring and fit horns. Sort out flasher wiring. Tacho will not work (whcnge connections). Check charge rate. FIt new coil. Remove resistor from guage circuit. Located and fitted dash lights and wire up.

What has happened to springs and shock absorbers?

Did nine hours overtime (not booked).

Page 23

Have now been informed that springs and ``shockers'' are not available. Will have to remove springs from K9 and try to obtain some ordinary length adjustable ``shockers''. This will mean cutting off spring mounting brackets from wings, calculating and making entirely new brackets and re-welding same. (I argued about this with B. Lovell when WIlkinson first put brackets on.) It is 9 wks or more since vehicle was weighed.

Hope new springs get ordered for K9. Said they were wrong when the car was photographed for the Racing Car Show 1 year ago.

Page 24

Removed springs, replaced ``shockers''. Fitted to rear, cut off brackets, made new. Springs u/s for front will have to have special distance pieces made. No assistance offered.

Distance pieces drawn and made by ``Mill''. Fitted, modified to obtain correct camber. Cut holes in wings to clear shockers.

Remove spring locating rubbers from rear to obtain correct height.

Job getting further behind. Hope I can get it finished soon without more complications.

Page 25

Run, check engine, oil pressure, etc. OK. No leaks.

Still no interest shown. Check all brake lines, blead. Trouble with end float on m/cyl.

Checked steering column. Nylon bushes slightly stiff. Hope this wears off during initial testing.

Have had numerous phone calls from Wilkinson. Must find out if we are still interested in his services.

Make special plates for door strikers and attempt to get doors fitted properly.

Page 26

Make special brackets, fit seat harness.

Only interested person seems to be Ray. Spent whol of Sundayt morning trying to locate hood parts. (not booked)

Everlyn not too pleased that I am working so many hours especially as I now only take home £17/10s.

Made hooe frame and all other fittings. Thought someone else might make arrangements for hood to be made but will have to do it myself.

Final check over steering, set track, etc.

Page 27

1st short road test to Leigh. Shockers, 6 rear, 7 front, Tyres 22lbs, 28lbs. Engine tight. Oli press 50lb, speedo slow, tacho correct. Water temp. normal. Numerous rattles from doors etc. Trouble with brakes, check all lines, etc.

2nd test 10 miles. Shockers 6-rear, 6-front, Tyres 22-28. ENgine tight oil pressure 50 water normal. Still slight build up on pedal (brake). More end float on master cyl.

3rd test 15 miles. Shockers F-6, R-6, Tyres 24 front, 28 rear. Oil pressure 50 lbs, water normal. Foot brake OK.

Page 28

4th test 20 miles. Shockers 6-rear, 7-front, Tyres 22-F, 28-R. Oil press 59 lbs, water temp normal.

Will have to re-route handbrake cables as brake locks on if one wheel is run over kerb. Numerous body rattles. Have not run engine over 3000rpm.

Spent considerable amount of time stopping various rattles. Doors are not satisfactory, hinges poor. Stop rattles from bonnet, boot, etc.

Made up and fitted new hand-brake cables. Made new guidesss, re-routed cables.

Check body seams, etc.

Page 29

Number of short tests to check handbrake etc.

Still working overtime (not booked). Doors still do not close too well. Fit new pin to gear change. 100 Miles.

Drove car today for 2 hours. Non stop max 4000rpm, South North on S/Oaks bypass and back. Through country (4 times) oil press 50 lbs. Temp normal. TP 22F28R. Shockers 6-F, 6-R. Total to date 150 miles.

Hood is being made by Phil Ashby of Caffyns S/Oaks.

No one else has driven car so far. Ray has always shown great interest but says he knows I will say when I want him to take over.

Page 30

Hood has now been made and fitted

Everything Wilkinson fitted or designed for CUB has now been modified or re-drawn. I have had to attend to: engine, h/brake, gear linkage. Make new steering column, adjustable pedals, dash, etc. Front and rear suspension, shocker brakets, radiator, oil cooler, exhaust. Finish wiring, fit indicators and headlamps, make and fit horns, foel tank, modify brakes, attend to all dor locks, make hood frame, batter carrier, lock and stay to boot lid, assemble complete wiper assy.

Page 31

12-3-68. Told to leave ``CUB'' as from 1st GroupV meetings. J. Griffiths to spend 98% of his time on CUB and K9. Also promised assistance of Martin Kear. Find this hard to believe!

18-7-68: Re-start work on K9. 28th March ``CUB'' tested by Ray who asked if it was possible to remove slight tightness from steering. I had previously been aware of this fault but thought it would free off during initial testing. COntinue to work on K9.

8-4-68: Removed steering column, dismantled same and bored out nylon bushes in outer column. Have not re-fitted column as for safety reasons I have decided to obtain ``T''-bolts. No assistance so far!

Compiled list of work and spares etc. for K9. Typed by ``Mandy''.

Page 32

10-4-: Tried to see Mr. Fraser to explain there was a considerable amount of work still to be done on ``K9''.

Have not locate ``T''-bolts for ``CUB''.

Drawings requiref for wheel studs, gear linkage, steering arm, front swivel tree, rear drive shafts, upper coil spring plates, mod to rear swivel trees, handbrake complete.

Have been informed L/H engine will be started 11th April

Rear wheel studs have been re-drawn but are not available to date. All chassis and axle brackets are being re-built. Both rear swivel trees modified and located with nylon bushes. No assistance so far!

Page 33

Completed 2 years with A.F.E. without taking a year off.

16th April: Saw Mr. Fraser who said car should be ready by May 8th? Latest May 22nd. 16 working days till 8th.

5 days Lucas.

3 days Derringtons for special exhaust.

8 day for 40 items.

Waiting for brake parts, capiler bolts. Still no wheel studs, gear linkage, front swivel, steering arm, rear drive shafts, upper spring plates, handbrake.

J. Griff. says to obtain CUB ``T''-bolts only means a visit to Colbridge!

17-4-68: Now have assistance of Martin who has been collecting ideas for handbrake. Ken has located bolts for CUB in London.

Page 34

18-4-68: Have gathered together all parts required to assemble steering, (front) brakes and axle, completed drawing for front wheel studs and inner nuts. Work in hand by ``Mill''. Martin making handbrake parts.

Visit from Mr. Turner explained general position.

Can not assemble parts to rear axle. As I believe when rear springs eventually arrive a number of mods will have to be made to upper frame and lower bracket in order to accomodate larger diamater.

Work on engine has not started to date.

Bolts for CUB have not arrived!

Page 35

19-4-68: J. Griffiths says he has now given Ian Carter parts to start on rear drive shafter (THought this was in hand). Martin working on handbrake. Made special washers, re-fitted rear swivel trees.

Work on engine has still not started!

Still no bolts for CUB column. Rang Bob Blutron at Lucas who said Ray WOod was the person to consult (not available).

All parts are now available for front axle, discs, etc. except for slight mod to new front wheel inner nuts.

Still no rear springs available.

Page 36

Weekend 20-21: Tried to locate some more gears for gear change linkage in case no other idea is forthcoming. Called on A. Williams at West Malling to see if he would make front swivel tree but A.F. was away for weekend.

Everlyn says she has no alternative but to find a job as I have been on a flat week since early Jan and am not likely to work overtime for some considerable time. This is the 1st time in 11 or 12 years. I suppose I was a fool to have done so much overtime in an effort to get CUB finished, but I thought it was necessary.

Page 37

22-4-68: Still no sigh of bolts for CUB. Engine still has not been started. Martin on handbrake.

Attend to dash, guages, etc. No ``locktite'' available for front wheel studs. John Griffiths remarks that we will need a L/H starter. Will havde to cut away body at rear, make battery box, re. routs water pipes. Drawings etc. required for steering arm, fuel tank, gear linkage, upper spring plates. No springs to date.

Will have to make new front swivel tree myself.

Page 38

23-4-68: Storekeep says bolts for CUB will not be delivered to retailer until tomorrow 24th,

Work has not started on engine. Goodlands say they cannot bend metal to drawing for handbrake lever bracket. Martin finishing off cooling system. Section of body at rear cut away. Special battery carrier made. Mods to dash frame. Made new stud for steering box. Attend to front throttle lever.

No springs!

Will call on A. Williams after tea to sea if he will make swivel tree for us.

Page 39

24-4-68: Made bracket for handbrake lever as per drawings.

John Wortley collects some bolts for CUB column from Orpington! But they are u/s. No sigh of others ordered.

Martin on handbrake etc. Lightweight panel made, fitted for regulator etc. Cut holes in bottom of body section assemble parts.

Remove and re-fit starter to CUB after checking number.

No springs. No other assistance.

Page 40

25-4-68: General assy of parts. Trouble with brake caliper bolts. Make special locktabs. Fit hub bearings. J. Griffiths says he will draw upper spring plates so that I can modify rear frame. I wonder what has happened to springs?

Martin takes day off. Doubt if I shall get engine yet as work still not started and J. Wortley is having next week off.

K. Lethbridge makes phone call re. bolts for CUB.

Page 41

26-4-68: Cut holes in floor under centre tunnel. Get bolts machine for brake caliper plates.

J. Griffiths complains to Mr. Hodges in Mill. Pro. about prices. The staff who do a lot of work and let me use machinery for nothing are not too pleased. If studs for wheels had been drawn correctly in 1st place there would have been no need to obtain special material and make 2nd set.

Assembling parts. No springs. Work has not started on engine. Still chasing storekeeper re ``T''-bolts for CUB. Martin on handbrake.

Page 42

Weekend: spent some time checking on parts. Still to be made, i.e. steering arm, gear linkage, fuel tank.

Went to West Malling to see A. Williams re. making swivel tree byt he is too busy.

Have decided not to do any more overtime for nothing. This is CUB all over again with little help, advice or encouragement.

Page 43

29-4-68: Bolt on swivel tree centre post. Fit and align front axle, carry out verious checks for adjustments and clearance (still need steering arm). Shim and modify centre post.

New upper and lower spring plates have been drawn to acc. large diameter coil springs. Have to mod shocker brackets. Mod to brake pipes. Collect ideas for steady bar. Martin on handbrake.

K. Lethbridge has day off so no check on T-bolts for CUB.

Engine not started.

Page 44

30-4-68: Very little progress made today. Had to give serious consideration to steady bar for swivel post. Called at Goodlands, no material available. Made several ``mock ups'' with various metals. But will have to obtain bright steel bar,

Found some handbrake cables on dump at farm so that Martin can get on.

Cut away front body section to fit strengthening bracket. Set cooling pipes at rear etc.

No bolts for CUB. Still no springs or support plates, drive shafts, steering arm, general linkage. Work not started on engine.

Page 45

1-5-68: Managed to locate bright steel to make front swivel post steady bar. DIfficulty in making bar owing to body design. Cut out various sections etc.

Martin on handbrake.

Bolts for CUB arrived tonight. They were not even h.tensile.

J. WOrtley starts week off so little chance of engine unless do it myself.

Page 46

2-5-68: Martin on handbrake.

Heat, shape steady bar, cut out various sections, arc weld parts. Mods to bulkhead. Strengthen floor section and re. rivet.

Sort out electrical parts. Remove and examine steering arm.

Only parts to hand so far, except those made or drawn by myself, ar rear wheel studs. Engine was too have been started 11-4-68. rive shaft parts no taken to Ian Carter till 19-4- Mill have only just started work on spring plates.

No bolts for CUB

Page 47

3-5-68: Made special end brackets for steady bar. General assy of parts. No progress on h/brake as Martin at ``school''.

Ken located some bolts for CUB.

Will have to give some thought over weekend about gear linkage and steering arm, etc. as it is obvious that I shall have to solve these problems myself!

Still no interest shown.

Page 48

6-5-68 Mon: Martin on handbrake.

Cut away box section under bulkhead (difficult owing to position) Remove axle unit, drill holes for steady bar (refit axle) Make special box section and rivet to front.

Modify front frame tube supports, refit same.

Re-route brake pipes.

Found nute for CUB column bolts. Will ask Ray if he will try CUB when he returns as I know he is interested.

Page 49

7-5-68: Cut away body section in attempt to remove lower rear axle anti tramp brackets. Difficulty owing to body being built round brackets. Will have to design and make new brackets.

Fitted bolts to CUB column.

Check alternator alignment.

Make templet and check rear spring clearance.

Could possibly go to a meeting at weekend as their is no-one else available?

Page 50

8-5-8: Design and make new axle brackets. Cannot drill new holes for brackets owing to position of same inside frame.

Martin says he has 'had enough'. He now realises that everything that is drawn or mae has to be done by myself.

Bill Turner says Martin must wait until Mr. Fraser returns.

Still no: rear springs, drive shafts, fuel tank, gear linkage, steering arm. WNgine has not been started.

Have been asked if I will go to Oulton and Snetterton.

Page 51

9-5: Attend to light plug on trailers. Ken and Graham preparing cars.

Make new thermostat housing. Set water pipes. Pop rivet bracke to bulkhead. Check part available. Free off track rod ends. Assemble parts.

J. Griffiths has gone ``North''. Hope he returns with some drive shafts from Carter's.

Martin has left handbrake.

Page 52

10-5. Fri: Mad rush to load cars, check Snipes, sort spares, etc. Left 12:50 facing a long, wet journey to Mollington Banastre N. of Chester.

Arrive hotl 8:30PM, bath, etc. No meal available. Journey to Chester with J. Wortley in search of food.

Page 53

11-5: Arrive Oulton, Wet!

Difficulty in starting Imp. No new plugs available. No tyre guage. Practice in wet - drying. Leak from gearbox, check level. Trouble from Ratcliffe and Hickman.

Ray 2nd in Class.

T. Griff. breaks off gearlever. New one fitted. Change gearbox etc. Prepare car for Snetterton.

Journey to NEwmarket arr 3:30 PM.

Page 54

12-5: Arrive Snetterton. DIfficulty in starting car. Damp practice 1:54:6. Only one other car under 2 mins.

Check over car for race, no problem.

RAC chief says car has serious oil leak! Rmoved from grid. Check with stop watch with engine hot shows oil drips once every 1min 58secs.

Serious conversation with RAC steward R.G. Playford and chief crutineer H. Rillett. Home 10:15PM.

Page 55

12-5: Met Wilkonson at race, also person who has bought his business. Wilkinson has obviously promised him that he has a ``case'' agains Mr. Fraser re. CUB.

Think I can stop this if given permission by Mr. Fraser.

Tols Bill TUrner who says he will mention it to Mr. Fraser when he returns.

Though work would start at last on engine but no luck.

Page 56

13-5: Unload cars etc.

Repaired flashers on CUB. Remove battery for charge, stop leak from brake reservoir, bleed brakes. Continue work on K9.

Stoll no more parts or assistance.

Page 57

14-5: Removed header tank from CUB to take to Goodland for pattern in order to get one made for K9.

Draw new centre for front swivel tree. Parts made by ``Mill''. Check for cause of play in steering box. Try various adjustments. Fit electric screen washer kit. Fit battery master switchh etc. Search for clutch pipe adaptor.

Martin waiting for ``transfer''. No work on engine. No drive shafts, steering arm, gear linkage, fuel tank, gearbox.

Page 58

15-5-68: After waiting since 11th April for engine, I was told today that the one originally intended for K9 is now being prepared for the ``Club'' Imp.

All the wheels were taken to be fitted with ``wet'' tyres for the Brabhamn, etc.

General assy work on K9.

Don't know how much longer I can keep up this lone struggle. The last eight months seem like eight years. Only person who seems intersted is Ray C. and he can only offer moral support.

Page 59

16-5-68: Cut holes in body for battery leads.

Make special brackets and mod battery box. Locate special adaptors for clutch pipe assy.

Make and fit special mirror brackets and fit. Remove old gear linkage parts.

Cut off and re-weld rear support strut. Check wiper mechanism. Modify and re. rivet dashboard.

NO assistance.

Martin collects tyres for F/3.

Page 60

Sat 18-5-68: Met Ray in ``gate'', says he has been sacked. Having heard his side of the story, his treatment seems unfair.

I think however there may be something I do not know, so until I hear the ``other side'' I cannot judge.

I expect Mr. Fraser has good reason. Perhaps Mr. Fraser has decided to dispose of the racing team?

Page 61

Sun 19-5-68: Meeting at Brands. Imp drive by Gerry Marshall. F/3 car not driven.

Engine blown ws 5/6 the one I have been waiting since 9th April for.

Page 62

Mon 20-5-68: Week starts with little help fron Martin and none from Jogn Griffiths.

Martin moves to main garage. He was no help to me (not his fault!). Made dash panel attend to electrics.

Modify steering colum bracket assemble parts.

No. engine or gearbos, driveshafts, steering arm, gearlinkage, coil springs, fuel tank.

Page 63

Tues 21-5-68: Saw Bill TUrner., wh osays things are to go on as usual? I explained general position but could not seem to ``get over'' the fact that I received no assistance.

It now seems Ray has definately left, and that Normal will work at No.4.

J. Griffiths is going to Carters tomorrow. Hope he brings back the drive shafts promised.

Page 64

22-5-68: general sssy

Page 65

23-5-68: Phone conversation with Mr. Fraser who says I can tell Wilkinson to *** What do to!**

It seems he had been told that some rear suspension or springs have been removed as well as header tank.

John Griffiths did not return from Carters with drive shafts. Says they are the last thing I need at the moment.

Page 66

24-5-64: Attend to throttle assy. Cut away floor and route cable through centre frame. Make special yolk for cable end etc. Cut away support bracket, modify and re. rivet. Attempt to set dash support frame. etc.

Have been invited to go to Brands on Sunday. This is the first time I have been to Brands on my own for a race or practice. Load spares. etc.

Page 67

26-5-68: Race at Brands 850cc. Driver K. Holland. Good practice in dry 60:0. Engine ``flat'' on certain corners. Change pump jets etc. check for cause of tacho fault.

Non-class lap record (shared). Engine ``missing''.

(7 meetings in last 82 weeks).

Page 68

27-5-78 - 6-6-68: Time spent re-building car

Today 6th June Mr. Fraser asked if springs had arrived. Promised to check.

Rand J. Woodhead at Leeds. Spoke to Mr. Murgatroyd re. situation. He informed me that there was no work being carried out on our behalf. He quoted the final communication between our firms. A letter from their designer, stating that they did not agree with any of our three attempts and the only thing they could do was make their own calculations. So far they have received no indicatinoo that we wanted them to do this.

Their letter dated 19th March 1968.

Page 69

6-6-68: Hope news from Woodhead is not true. It is now five months since springs were taken to be fitted on ``CUB''. It still seems odd that during the twelve weeks since their last letter J.G. did not ring to find cause of delay.

Gave J.G. nuts for wheel studs he drew and had made. They are u/s.

9th June, Mon

John G. has gone to Carters to collect drive shafts.

Engine started! (promised 12-4th)

Fitted special box nuts to bulkhead for steady bar retaining bolts.

Made new clutch pipe.

Made and fitted hand hold on driver door.

Made several special spanners to fit locknuts on front tie rods all u/s.

Assemble parts.

Tues 10-6-68

John G. returns from Carters without shafts. Says Ian has been ill. Also report that he has been told by Mr. Fraser to ``chase'' springs.

Make and fit rear support bracket. Check various means of fixing flex pipe to clutch slave. Check on various adjustments for F+R axles. Believe that several adjuster rods are wrong length.

Re weld rear axle brackets.

CUB battery on charge.

Wed 11-6-68

Rang Goodland re. header tank. Had to be really firm with foreman who promised to start tomorrow (thurs).

Re. fitted ``mock up'' engine and gearbox. Check on alignment of cables, handbrake, etc. Fit new outrigger and check pulley. It is impossible to fit engine properly as I still have no springs or drive shafts. Check on all parts still to be designed or obtained.

Will soon have to stop assy. in order to design steering arms etc. J.G. said he had ideas on this. But as this involved drilling king pin (which he realised did not rotate anyway) I guess he must have given up.


Make further parts for handbrake. Visit from Mr. Fraser and J.G. Not too pleased about header tank. Looks as if I will have to refit tank and take car out in my own time in evenings. As it stood for three weeks when I left it, before anyone offered to drive it.

J.G. tells Mr. Fraser that two front springs have already been made and that others will follow in 1 week. Also that engine should be finished tonight (It is obvious that this is not possible).

Will fit fuel tank in body on passenger side.

Front springs are in post?


Rang Gomm Metal Dev. re. manufacture of fuel tank. FOreman says the only way they can help us is for me to make a metal ``mock up'' and take it to them.

Started to cut away body section to open space for tank (difficult owing to not posessing correct tools).

A check on the engine situation at 5:45PM revealed that as I suspected it will be several days yet.

Will call on Goodland tomorrow and sort out header tank situation.

Saw J.G. today. He asked about tank and left.

J. Wortley make out a list of 15 meetings he is to attend before Xmas. Lucky B!

Mon 17th June

J.G. deliveres drive shafts. Apart from being slightly longer, this has not solved any problems, as owing to the increase in diameter I cannot get the engine as low as before.

Finish cutting away body section as far as I can see the largest tank I can fit in this space will hold no more than six gallons.

CUB is now ready for road but have not seens J.G.

6PM no sign of engine. Much as I dislike turning my back on a challenge I wonder if it would not be better for me to resign. In the hope that someone new might get more assistance.

Tues 18th June

Made several templets and mock up tanks. Will have to cut down on estimated size, no seems only five galls. possibl in solid tank.

About a year ago J.G. said he was ordering two bag tanks. It is a pity this was not done as this would have solved the problem.

Re. check engine height etc. Re. route throttle cable.

Intend to reming J.G. to take CUB out but has not been near since early yesterday.

No work had been done on engine today. No sign of springs (posted thurs?)

Wed 19th

Have not seen J.G. but Ken Lethbridge tells me I am to cut away rear frame support tubes to allow engine to go down, and that five gallons is all we need as far as fuel is concerned. Bag tanks are too expensive.

Decided to at least get a quote from firm making bag tanks, will supply them with drawings (FPT Ind) [?]

J.G. asks if CUB is roadworthy. He is to take it out (at last) tonight.

6PM no work on engine. No sign of springs.

Thurs 20th

J.G. took out CUB last night for 1st time. Says he did 20 miles (no comment).

Must contact my brother in law and get him to call on Woodheads of Leeds. It is now 13 weeks since they were supposed to have received our order.

Murgatroyd told me that no work was in hand, but J.G. told Mr. Fraser two springs had already been made and that the other two would take one week.

Rang Mr. Carding in final effort to sort springs out but line was very bad.

CUB was driven 2 mls today. No work on engine. No steering arm. No gear linkage.

Mon 24th June

Have decided to make one last effort to sort out spring situation.

Rang Mr. Murgatroyd at Woodheads saying that I must have a definate answer. Asked him to consult Mr. Carding, (design eng.), to check all records and that I would wait for an answer.

He then told me that the answer was exactly as the other day. There definately was no work in hand and their last ref. was 19th March.,

Make and fit parts for special header tank. Align water pipes etc.

Tues 25th June

Made parts and assembled special filler neck. Make and fit neck to dummy tank. Remove water pipe from frame. Modify body and get pipe to align with header tank. Modify outrigger and refit. Cut special plate for rear frame.

Decided to have ``show down'' re. spring. Rang Bill Turner and asked if I could see him. Said he would call this afternoon.

Had visit from Mr. Fraser, did not say anything about springs as he was with Mr. Harper.

9wks since engine promised. 4 months since springs were removed from K9.


Shape special tubes for thermostat housing, call on Goodland.

Visit from J.G. who still says that spring situation is in hand. Says the are being made at Ossett? I still cannot see how Murgatroyd and Carding told him that two were in the post and two would be completed in a week, yet told me they were doing nothing.

Still no work on engine.

28- June

Attend to door on CUB. Make new bracket for oil cooler. Check on spares and work to be done. Modify front tie bar brackets and re rivet same.

Told to take CUB to main garage. After waiting all this time to head Mr. Fraser's opinion. I was told to leave by J.G. who had followed me.

CUB has now been driven approx 28 mls since I left it on 12-3-68.


Spent most of weekend trying to explain to Everlyn why we could not afford to take a holiday/ Have had six months of ``flat weeks'' apart from 3 weekends.

Have seriously though of taking one of my holiday days and goind to Leeds to sort out Woodheads. I know it is our fault as we (JG) gave them two or three sets of wrong calculations. I am still listening to the same excuses that I heard about CUB, and I never did get any springs for that.


Made new mirror arms for Blue Snipe. Attend to end float on CUB brake m/cyl.

Modify alternator body. Make new thermostat housing.


Have been invited to go to Croft.

Benny is not at work so will have to check trailer and Snipe.


Spent day working on Blue Snipe. Fitted h/braake pawl and ratchet, general service, attend to plug.


Spent day prepairing trailer, sort out lights, fit new no. plate lamp, finish off Imp and load spares.


Journey to Croft. Arrive Scotch Corner 7PM. Met K. Holland.

7th July

Meeting at Croft. 6 laps practice, 5 inside lap record.

15 lap race (non) all laps inside old record 1m29.6. New record 1/26.

Journey home wet.

Lots of enquiry for Imp parts but we have nothing to sell.

Wet journey home.

Mon 8

Work at 8AM after 3hrs sleep. Unload spares and car.

It has taken two days to get mock up tank takento Gomms. Still no springs. No engine. Steering arm. Gear linkage.

Ju 9th

Start to make special cover for fuel tank. DIfficulty in cutting away box sill. Various mods to body.


Cut hole in lower main body section to make support frame for tank.

11th June

Make new door catch plate and bracket after re. designing.


Springs arrive! 1PM.

It is obvious owing to larger diameter of springs that a larger amount of modification will have to be done to rear and front axle.

15th Mon

Remove front spring upper support brackets and make various mock ups of new brackets.

Fit front springs to shockers.

16h Tues

Will have to leave K9 in order to assist with Imps etc. for G.P. meeting


Assist with cars for meeting. Do not like look of drive shafts on Brabham. Appear to have hair line cracks round weld.


Practice at Brands.

Both cars inside previous best time. Return to works. Remove engine from P. Harper's car. Remove cyl head etc.

Shaft broke on Brabham!


Fit new gasket, reset cam and tapets. General check and mad push to get cars back to Brands for more practice.

Return to works, check clutches, pull down heads, etc. 3:30AM

Sat 20th

Brands for race.

Class won by Tony L.

P. Harper made pit stop, changed points.

Met Mr. Fraser in manor who said A.F. has told Wilkinson he can go out in CUB on 25th, 26th or 27th.


Unload cars and spares, clean up


Rob Allan