Autosport Mark II 1959 Formula Junior / Canada Class. Standard 10 / Triumph Herald engine and suspension components and brakes. Close ratio Austin A30 gearbox. Autosport aluminium body and square tube space frame. A very original car with the addition of a modern roll bar, fuel cell, racing seat, fire system, wheels and tires, and seat belts. Great looking and historically quick car, which would be of particular interest to Triumph collectors or fans of front engine formula cars. Suitable for the larger driver.
Autosport Equipment Co. was formed in Toronto, Canada by Bob Hanna and Jack Wheeler in the very early fifties, and was the Canadian distributor of Buckler chassis and Lotus, Lester, and Singer cars, as well as Alta speed equipment. Bob’s background was automotive repair, and Jack was a former Rolls Royce aero engine engineer, and was the RAF liaison with Canadian airplane parts suppliers during WWII. He was also the guy in charge of copying V2 rockets for testing purposes immediately after the war. The Autosport Mark II was built in 1958/9 but various delays meant it was not raced until 1960. By that time, Canada Class had all but disappeared, run over by the international Formula Junior class - rules for both were in effect quite similar, and most CC cars could run as FJrs, but the “home grown, Do It Yourself” element had largely disappeared. Bob Hanna raced the Autosport Mark II a couple of times, pleased with its speed, but was let down by reliability – they kept breaking the chain in the transfer case. They tried a gear driven transfer case, but it ate up too much power. By this time Hanna left Autosport and went on to other things in the automotive business, and eventually became President of CASC, the FIA rep for Canada. Bob was the Race Director for the first Canadian GP in 1967, for example. The Mark II sat for a season or so, until Jack Wheeler had Danny Baxter take the car out and run it. It was quite successful in what was now called Formula C, basically FJ all over again. They got rid of the transfer case entirely and angled the drive shaft upwards towards the rear. The driver sat about four inches taller in the car because of this. Next, a sidecar racer by the name of John Edyvane ran the car for Jack, painting it his colours of yellow and black. John used to terrorize Formula Fords with it, so we are talking now of ‘68/’69/’70. John Bridger ran the car for some time after that, still painted in the yellow and black colours. Bob Attrell bought the car and raced it in Vintage events beginning in the late seventies. Bob sold the car in the early eighties and it did not see the track again until 2006. Last I heard, Bob Hanna is still with us, as are John Edyvane and John Bridger. I don’t have contact info for these people, but I’m sure I can find at least some of them without too much difficulty. The Autosport MK II has undergone significant restoration work, as below: • It has been refitted with the transfer case, and has proven reliable at last with a stronger drive chain installed, provided it is kept lubricated • It now has required CASC safety upgrades with a new roll bar, an FT3 Fuel Safe fuel cell, harnesses (for a HANS), and a proper seat • The rear of the chassis has been redone to properly brace the roll bar, and fit and protect the fuel cell • There is a new steel fire-wall between the driver’s compartment and the fuel cell • There is a new scatter shield over the flywheel, and a new steel cover over the drive shaft where it passes beneath the driver • There are new catch tanks and header tanks • There is a fire system fitted, a master kill switch and battery booster connection • There is a new gel cell battery fitted • The engine is a Triumph Herald unit, reliable, but not particularly powerful, and would have to be sleeved down to meet FJ regulations • The gear-box is a close ratio BMC A30 unit, originally out of a Lotus 11, according to Hanna. It has proven to be reliable • The brakes are off a Triumph Mayflower, and won’t stop a cold • The wheels are Weld Drag Lites • The 15 inch Dunlop L series tires are recent • The body work is original, all aluminium, and in great condition • The paint is new • The rear end is Triumph based, as is the front suspension • Shocks are Spax, and are brand new • There are no sway bars fitted either front or rear, and it appears there never have been • It is a total hoot to drive, just throw it sideways to slow down • I am six feet, and fit, which is a nice change for a formula car
Recent Competition History
1ST IN CLASS 2012 CANADIAN HISTORIC GRAND PRIX AT MOSPORT