It is currently September 16th, 2014, 11:27 pm

All times are UTC + 2 hours





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 20 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Renault R8 - R10
PostPosted: January 9th, 2011, 6:09 pm 
Offline
Moderator
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: August 16th, 2008, 10:36 am
Posts: 2398
WPMC Competitior: Yes
HRSA Competitor?: Yes
One thing to remember in the early to mid '60s when competing against either Eric 'Puddles' Adler or his partner John Conchie at Ecurie Aquila and then Alconi Developments, was how fast they could get a basic everyday cars to go.

Attachment:
Puddles_Adler.JPG


Whatever they put their hands onto, it proved quick, very quick - Renaults, Fiats, Simcas or even a lazy Ford Taunus. However Alconi Developments' Renault affair is what really elevated that tuning company to its prestigious profile in the auto racing and tuning world. In 1966 its red Alconi R8 garnered the Onyx Group 2 title.

Alconi's collaboration with Renault South Africa was a rewarding affair that led to an individual model on its range known as the Renault R8 Alconi - a car built for true enthusiasts and backed by Renault itself. But it's what the men from Alconi achieved in the late '60s Class Y saloon racing that deserves mention - it's the stuff legends are made of - and it was a project that helped none other than ex-F1 Champion Jody Scheckter on to his meteoric career...

It all started in 1968 when the Group 5 saloon car series' Class Y for 2-litre cars was revised to allow supercharged and turbocharged engines in. A factor of 1.4 was calculated by the powers that be and deemed sufficient to equalize matters - in other words, a if you were to run a supercharged engine against a normally aspirated 2-litre, the blown engine would have to be of 1.42-litres to qualify.

Turbocharging was still in its infancy in '68 - the exhaust-turbine driven compressor was becoming popular as an alternative to the power sapping supercharger in constant and relatively low-rev aero and truck engines at that early stage. Turbos were not yet fully adapted to the constantly changing demands of broad car rev bands...

But there were exceptions - one in particular being the Volvo truck turbo used in Peter Gough's Willie Meissner prepared Ford Escort - but that's another legendary racecar story all on its own. Before that, however, Gough was running 1800cc Ford Cosworth FVA twin-cam mill

Supercharging, which although it had been a far more common motoring application over the years, was also considered somewhat of a black art in local saloon racing circles, but Puddles Adler considered it an ideal solution to his Class Y power needs and he set about preparing the supercharged Alconi Renault R8.

Puddles teamed up with John Conchie and Scamp Porter on the supercharger project and their initial scheme hinged around a 1 296cc mill - mainly because a 1428cc engine was not suitable as it bumped the car up a class. And faced with the added challenge of not having sufficient funds to acquire a blower designed for the job, Adler did the next best thing: The team scrounged a Rootes-type Marshall Nordic cabin pressure blower from a Viscount aircraft.

Puddles and his crew cobbled the blower - driven by a toothed belt running at 50% of the engine's speed and sucking through a single 45 DCOE Weber Carb with chokes bored out to an enormous 42mm diameter - into the R8's engine bay. An initial development challenge the team faced was to ensure the blower operated correctly and achieved the highest possible boost pressures - all theoretical in those early phases, of course.

To that end, the Ecurie Aquila boys purchased Union Spirits from a renowned petrol station garage at the end of Jules Street in Jeppe that had serviced the high-octane needs of hordes of hot cars and their drivers since the early '50s. Union Spirits was in most cases mixed with Satmar - an early derivative of petrol from coal fuels today known as Sasol - the Sprits offered a richer mix at high revs than petrol and helped sealing the rotors against the supercharger housing thereby achieving higher boost, while the Satmar upped that all-important octane in the days of stock 89...

Beyond its tiny powerhouse, the R8's the diff was locked - the spider gears jammed on Scamp's suggestion to take proper care of its more extreme outputs and prevent wheel spin especially out of corners. Renault 14 disc brakes were considered to be suitable - hopefully. The rev counter showed an incredibly high 8 000rpm half way down Kyalami's wonderfully long main-straight, so it was de-calibrated so it was possible to read the engine's full band - there were no counters beyond 8 000rpm then and the team still speculates as to exactly how high it actually revved!

On top of it all the R8 was restricted to standard tyre widths wheel spats were not allowed - Gough's Escort instead was homologated with wide rubber and spats. During its first race at Kyalami in August '68 the R8 proved spectacular with Puddles pedalling it to a shock second on the grid at 1m 39.7 - just 0.4 seconds off Gough's Escort and 0.7 ahead of Basil van Rooyen's Alfa GTA.

Attachment:
Adler_Gough.JPG


What was even more spectacular was the fact the R8 was timed at 228km/h at the end the main straight, although its debut unfortunately lasted only two laps. The R8 however soon had the opposition reeling when Puddles overtook Arnold Chatz's Alfa GTA and led for a few laps during the March '69 SA Grand Prix curtain raiser, although he retired with overheating problems compounded by the diff oil's vaporisation thanks to excessive power output and revs!

To illustrate just how quick Alconi's supercharged R8 really was, consider that Ernie Pieterse's 1961 F1 lap record in his Heron Alfa stood at 1m.43.5sec, while Jim Clark broke it in 1963 with a time of 1m 35.3sec - although the circuit was widened by that stage. An interesting aside was that F1 driver Jean-Pierre Beltoise was so impressed with the R8's performance that he came across to the Alconi pit and excitedly offered to buy the car there and then.

"How much do you want for zis car?" But as Puddles put it, "It's simply not for sale." Due to business commitments Puddles couldn't enter all the national events, but an arrangement was reached that saw Jody Scheckter take the engine over and race every round. So by mid 1970, the engine was rebuilt, bored out to 1400cc at last and fitted to Jody's famous wide track white R8 that he had previously raced in Class X with a 1296cc Gordini mill.

Jody immediately broke the Class Y lap record with a time of 1m 38.7sec and managed third overall at Kyalami against the likes of Bob Olthoff's 5-litre V8 Ford Capri Perana and Gough's Escort. Scheckter's first win was at Bulawayo's Khumalo Circuit, while he finished second in Natal Winter Trophy behind the monster 5-litre Capri.

Then came the False Bay 100 in August where Jody came up against another incredible South African car for the first time - Willie Meissner's 1424cc turbocharged Escort brainchild pedalled by Peter Gough. For reasons unknown, Scheckter drove his 1300cc Gordini instead. The R8's last race was the Rand Spring Trophy in October 1970 when Jody qualified 4th but did not race, with Gough setting a new lap record of 1m 37.7sec in the Escort.

Puddles, who today resides in Canada, and Ecurie Acquila stalwart Martin Pomeroy gave us a great insight into the R8 project during his recent visit to South Africa Puddles reckons, "Alconi was thinking ahead of its time and ahead of itself." The main problem facing the team was that neither intercooling nor water-injection were considered or invented in 1968.

One of the mysteries the team contended with was that every time they dyno-tested the motor, during the initial stages of a test run the test equipment would indicate new significant gains in power which, "would have given a reliable 200-plus bhp. But on the track, we could never figure out why the power slowly disappeared when everything got so hot!" Puddles reflected.

Adler went on to remind us that the R8 Gordini engine was incredibly reliable with all that power. "But problems with clutches disintegrating, pushrods bending, and the power developed way beyond the 8 000-rpm limit and where valve springs were temperamental, detracted from the project's potential success.

"Renault's gearbox and diff parts were not available for serious racing, so the small tyres and wheels just made too many revs."

Another interesting fact was that Jody recently indicated his intention of attempting to track down his supercharged R8, which was in many ways was the car that saw him being roped with the nickname, 'Sideways Scheckter'.

Puddles is quick to point out that he was perhaps a little too 'bang-bang' when he developed his race engines, while cohorts John Conchie and Scamp Porter would slow things down, "Especially when I got lost." He went on to say, "Remember that the name Alconi was made up of a combination of Adler and Conchie..."

Attachment:
Puddles_Adler1.JPG


You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

_________________
Image
"In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is." Einstein.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Renault R8 - R10
PostPosted: January 13th, 2011, 8:02 am 
Offline
Newby
Newby

Joined: July 29th, 2008, 2:57 am
Posts: 23
Location: Cape Town
Hey Dattiman,

What a great piece on the history of Alconi's. Enjoyable read. The colour picture shows a R10 in pursuit of Mr. Gough's Escort. Any ideas on the history of that particular R10.

I seem to recalll seeing that their will now be weight classifications in the classic rules that permit a car to be just 10% lighter than its original weight and that the permitted weight of an R10 is actually LIGHTER than and R8.

This appears to be an anomaly and hard to believe as its a longer car.
It would be great to see a few more R8/10's on the track


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Renault R8 - R10
PostPosted: January 13th, 2011, 8:19 am 
Offline
Moderator
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: August 16th, 2008, 10:36 am
Posts: 2398
WPMC Competitior: Yes
HRSA Competitor?: Yes
Glad you enjoyed it.

The weight issues is more an anomaly that anything else. Basically all it is saying is that a car may NOT weigh less than 10% of the original kerb mass OR where such car was homologated it may NOT be less than the homologated weight. The reality is that most (not necessary all) will weigh in about the same as the kerb weight and in some case even more than such stipulated kerb weight. As the rules currently stand (for the next three years) there is no reason why more R10 or R8's should not be on the track.

I currently don't have much more info on the Alconi in picture save that Puddles was a clever guy and always pushed the boundaries at every chance. They sure weren't quick for nothing. Soon Scheckter was part of it as well. If I do find anything more of interest I will share such info indeed.

_________________
Image
"In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is." Einstein.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Renault R8 - R10
PostPosted: January 23rd, 2011, 7:21 pm 
Offline
Newby
Newby

Joined: August 7th, 2008, 8:00 pm
Posts: 10
Location: Fish Hoek, Cape Town
WPMC Competitior: No
HRSA Competitor?: No
An awesome history lesson! Alconi developments were definitely way ahead of their time, would be great to see some more photos if anybody else has any to post!

_________________
If you can't be GOOD be GOOD at it!!!!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Renault R8 - R10
PostPosted: February 23rd, 2011, 9:33 am 
Offline
Newby
Newby

Joined: February 23rd, 2011, 8:58 am
Posts: 3
Location: Fourways
WPMC Competitior: No
HRSA Competitor?: No
This was truly a great read and it brought back so many memories of my younger years. I will give a quick history of my love for Renault.

As a small boy, my dad, Klaus Egerer worked for Renault South Africa, then situated in Alberton. The building is still there and it looks almost identical to what it looked like in the when I first saw it. Dad was in the technical department and did a lot of training mechanics all over South Africa.

During this period he was also involved in a small way with the racing and rally cars. I remember when i was with them at the Reanult work-shop, at the old Kyalami etc. this is where I got to meet Phill and Scamp Porter, Colin Burford, Geoff Mortimer and a few others of the time. I can't quite remember their names. One thing that I remember as clear as day was when the R8 Cordini won on Idex the Nine Hour at Kyalami. That was the first and only time I saw dad somewhat tonked! He arrived home, and he was singing and dancing etc celebrating the win!

Also remember Colin Burford once taking dad around Kyalami in the Cordini, at the end of it dad looked sooo pale and felt somewhat sick. Off course, he denied it and had some other reason for his somewhat 'green' look.

If memory serves, Phill was more the rally guy and Scamp was more of a track racer?

Anyway, this early experiences obviously had an impact on me and aslo the fact that we had Renaults for ever! Dauphine, R 4's, R 8's, R 10's (Alconi), as well as two R 16's! Needless to say, my very first car was a R 12. When Renault left SA, I bought a Datsun 140 Y! Somewhere in the late 70's I bought a R 5! Im getting a bit confused with the time-line here!

Today, I have the new Clio Sport 2.0, my youngest drives a Clio 2, my middle one drives a Clio 3, suped up a bit!

Any idea what happened to the Porters and Buford?

Anyway, thanks for the memories!

_________________
Remember and share!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Renault R8 - R10
PostPosted: February 23rd, 2011, 10:22 am 
Offline
Guru
Guru
User avatar

Joined: July 15th, 2008, 8:35 am
Posts: 1519
Location: Cape Town
WPMC Competitior: Yes
Scamp scampered away after racing, I think he may have worked for Alfa at one stage - not sure about that. He appeared a fairly understated guy who just got on with the job. Phil, who was into rallying more than track racing seemed to be in the background for a while but not actually racing, then he too disappeared.

Colin Burford made a name driving the Mazda Rotaries and standard production cars in the 70's and was a motoring journalist who worked for SAMCOR. He had a son Adrian (I think) who raced with some success (he may also have been a journo).

_________________
I don't need some jumped up chest beating twit to question my integrity - get lost you darn fool you! Now shove off!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Renault R8 - R10
PostPosted: February 24th, 2011, 9:03 am 
Offline
Member
Member
User avatar

Joined: August 22nd, 2008, 8:33 am
Posts: 101
Location: Bellville
WPMC Competitior: Yes
Both Scamp and Phil joined Toyota after Renault.
I am also a great Renault fan. My first car was a Dauphine and then followed many Renaults. Dauphine Gordini, R8 Gordini 1300, R8 Alconi which was modified by Puddles in JHB, another Gordini with a motor by Geoff Mortimer (boy did it fly!), 16TS which I bought after I decided to buy a Volvo 122S. The agents were selling both Renaults and Volvos and the Sales manager supplied a 122S and a 16TS. We took the cars to an empty stretch of road where the Chrysler factory used to be in Pretoria and lo and behold the Renault was quicker than the Volvo and I signed on the dotted line! After owning about 15 Renaults I switched to Alfa but still have fond memories of my Renaults!

_________________
Alfaman


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Renault R8 - R10
PostPosted: February 24th, 2011, 9:13 am 
Offline
Newby
Newby

Joined: February 23rd, 2011, 8:58 am
Posts: 3
Location: Fourways
WPMC Competitior: No
HRSA Competitor?: No
I now remember the Porters joining Toyota!

Strange,I also went from Renault to Alfa, except for the Datsun. I had a few Alfa's, Alfetta 1600, 1800 and a 2000, Alfettea GTV 2000 and the a Guilieatta Lusso when they pulled out of SA. Since then, apart from my Renaults, I switched to BMW.

I still have the Alfa in me as well and Im sure I will get ona again one day.

_________________
Remember and share!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Renault R8 - R10
PostPosted: February 24th, 2011, 9:37 am 
Offline
Guru
Guru
User avatar

Joined: July 15th, 2008, 8:35 am
Posts: 1519
Location: Cape Town
WPMC Competitior: Yes
Alfaman wrote:
Both Scamp and Phil joined Toyota after Renault.


I knew Alfa did not sound right! :wink:

Hence both Porters ended their careers driving Toyotas in the Springbok Series

_________________
I don't need some jumped up chest beating twit to question my integrity - get lost you darn fool you! Now shove off!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Renault R8 - R10 DD remembers
PostPosted: March 1st, 2013, 10:26 am 
Offline
Member
Member

Joined: December 17th, 2011, 8:37 am
Posts: 458
WPMC Competitior: No
HRSA Competitor?: No
I sent the link to this page to Dudley Dix in the USA, he mailed back as below.

That is a great read. I loved my R8 Alconi. It had an awesome sound. So easy to work on also, with loads of space all round the engine. I hardly ever banged my knuckles on anything. My next car was a Rover 2000, also a lovely car. Then I had 2 Citroen Clubs and had all sorts of trouble working on them because my hands are XXL. There is no space anywhere in the engine compartment because of the flat 4 air-cooled engine and air ducting.

DD


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Renault R8 Alconi plus Sheckter
PostPosted: March 1st, 2013, 5:20 pm 
Offline
Member
Member

Joined: December 17th, 2011, 8:37 am
Posts: 458
WPMC Competitior: No
HRSA Competitor?: No
I sent the link to this thread to another of our forum members, he was there it seems on one event when Jody Scheckter was out performing some of the big guys.

He says:

Definitely before you arrived and a great story – this was Jody Scheckter (I think at the East London 3-hour in January 1969) in his Renault – probably the blown Alconi one because it went like a bat out of Hell!! He actually took Copacabana Bend quicker than Hawkins and Piper in their respective Ferraris – here is Paul Hawkins trying to emulate Jody!!

An Eric Wells picture:


You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Renault R8 ala Paul Hawkins Ferrari
PostPosted: March 1st, 2013, 5:22 pm 
Offline
Member
Member

Joined: December 17th, 2011, 8:37 am
Posts: 458
WPMC Competitior: No
HRSA Competitor?: No
Another Eric Wells picture at the same event. Paul Hawkins in his Ferrari, is it a P3, I would think so?

The file says Paul Hawkins, Copacabana Corner, East London three hour race.


You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Renault R8 ala Paul Hawkins Ferrari
PostPosted: March 2nd, 2013, 2:24 pm 
Offline
Member
Member

Joined: December 17th, 2011, 8:37 am
Posts: 458
WPMC Competitior: No
HRSA Competitor?: No
impmaster wrote:
Another Eric Wells picture at the same event. Paul Hawkins in his Ferrari, is it a P3, I would think so?

The file says Paul Hawkins, Copacabana Corner, East London three hour race.


News just in from Eric who was there.

Paul Hawkins’ car was actual a Can-Am car – David Piper’s was a P3/4…


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: 1969 Springbok Series East London race results
PostPosted: March 2nd, 2013, 5:15 pm 
Offline
Member
Member

Joined: December 17th, 2011, 8:37 am
Posts: 458
WPMC Competitior: No
HRSA Competitor?: No
From Eric Wells:

EAST LONDON 1969/01/04 - 500km

Here are the results of the race for which I sent the two pics – evidently Jody did not finish!!

And Paul Hawkins’ car was a P4…..!

Regards

ERIC

1st 4 Paul Hawkins Ferrari 330 P4 Hawkins Team Gunston 128 3:24:48.000 501.713 kms 150.763 1st G
2nd Charles Lucas Porsche 910 121 1st F
3rd 10 van Buuren / van der Merwe Porsche 906 118 1st D
4th McNally / Martland Porsche 911 T 112 1st B
5th Holme / Rowe Lotus Elan 111 1st C
6th Marais / Wingels Volvo 122S Fourwill 104
7th Rodney Kinsey Ecosse - Climax 1st E
8th Phil Porter Renault Gordini 1st A
9th Abrahams / van der Heever Alfa Romeo Giulia
10th Des Zank Lotus 23 Alfa Romeo
11th von der Meden / Upton Mosden
Did not finish:
No. Drivers Car Entrant Laps Time Distance Km/h Reason Gr.
Barnes / Heideman Ford Escort Accident
Denis Joubert Chevron B8 BMW Accident
Pretorius / Serrurier Lola T70 Ford Doug Serrurier Crown wheel & pinion
Mike De Udy Lola T70 Mk.3 GT Chevrolet Mike de Udy Handling
3 David Piper Ferrari 412 P Piper Racing 11 Collision, fire

Did not start:

Guthrie / Hailwood Mirage M1 Ford Team Malcolm Guthrie Racing Gearbox in practice


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Renault R8 - R10, Alconi, Gordini
PostPosted: May 28th, 2013, 9:04 pm 
Offline
Newby
Newby

Joined: December 21st, 2011, 6:49 pm
Posts: 3
WPMC Competitior: No
HRSA Competitor?: No
For those Renault fans nostalgic about the days of R8 & R10, Gordini and Alconi
have a look at these:



Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 20 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC + 2 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  


cron