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chaseracer

Project 2CV: racer resurrection

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Back in early 1992, I needed a headlamp for the Dyane, and bought one from a local mechanic with a sideline in A-series Citroens who shared garage space with the chap who in time became 'Tame Mechanic'.

We hit it off, conversation flowed, and I discovered that Laurence was about to start building a car to enter the 2CV 24-hour race to be held that summer at the Mondello Park circuit not far from Dublin.  Despite advanced levels of mechanical incompetence, I was soon helping* him by stripping down a 1975 Dyane to use its strengthened PO chassis for the racer.

With other members of the team, we built up the car in our spare time over a period of approximately two months.  In those early days, competition 2CVs were not the track-focused machines the frontrunners have become; our bright yellow racing duck was taxed and MOT'd, bearing the registration of the scrapped beige 1981 Club that had happened to donate its bodyshell.  Shakedown for the 24-hour involved a test day at Mallory Park, a sprint race at Lydden Hill and Laurence's daily commute across Cannock Chase.

Come June, come the 24-hour.  WRE938X was driven to Ireland in convoy with its tender, an ex-Citroen UK press fleet BX that had been used at the model's introduction nine years and 150000 miles earlier.  Mondello was then little more than a strip of tarmac winding around a couple of fields in County Kildare.  The 'pits' were constructed from scaffolding and tarps the day after we arrived, in a lay-by off the main straight.

The car ran well - up to third place for several hours.  We lost our main race engine in the closing stages, replacing it in less than twenty minutes.  There's a photo in an article on the race in the September '92 edition of Cars & Car Conversions of a carburettor igniting spectacularly: that was us...

We finished just outside the top ten, but we were pleased at that for a first outing in the 24-hour.

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Are there any forbidden mods ? Tampering with the suspension and ride height on a 2cv always seemed odd to me- they are what they are and a big part of their character and indeed raison d’etre (pardon the french)

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2 hours ago, strangeangel said:

But... but... where are the pictures??

 

SOZ M8, bin in Brum collecting Musical Offspring!

Anyhoo, because he was a pretty useful wheelman, Laurence started driving other people's cars so XDH149S (as it had become - don't ask...) was tucked away in a lockup and rather forgotten.  

This sounds familiar, doesn't it?

At one point, the garage was broken into; as well as a lot of racing gear being stolen, the car was badly vandalised, rolled down a hill and left in a drainage channel.  We had fun* getting that back.

Eventually, circumstances were such that Laurence could consider rebuilding the car to go racing again, this time with his two sons and his son-in-law.  Here's what came blinking into the daylight...

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7 hours ago, HMC said:

Are there any forbidden mods ? Tampering with the suspension and ride height on a 2cv always seemed odd to me- they are what they are and a big part of their character and indeed raison d’etre (pardon the french)

This is my main objection. If you stop a 2CV rolling like a ship in a storm, you remove some of the key hilarity. I don't think suspension is optional now - I think you have to use the race-spec springs, which are bloody stiff. 

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In another place...

50 minutes ago, shedenvy said:

Personally can't wait for @chaseracer new content on his racer resurrection, nudge nudge.... 😊

I've been a bit slack reporting on this lately, but much has been achieved.

The chassis was repaired where necessary; it was pretty sound but the n/s front corner was a bit grim, necessitating some nifty metalwork, and there was some straightening to be done to where Laurence landed it on its nose at Mallory.

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We were careful to replace steel in the correct form and in the right gauge, retaining the internal shapes and strength which Citroen went to such lengths to develop.  To achieve this, we used a folder, a joddler, a recently-acquired spot-welder and a good deal of Binky-style CAD!  

Once the chassis was repaired and painted, it could become a jig for the build-up of the floorpan, using all-new panels from ECAS.

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With the floorpan completed and primed, Simon took some time out to construct a second workbench, seen here mid-build.  This now supports a vice and my pillar drill, and will have wheels so it can accompany us to races.

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And so to the shell.  It's not pretty, but it looks worse than it actually is.  A lot of metal - mainly various oxides of iron - will have to be cut out, but what we have is made up of at least two bodies already so...

The screen surround/bonnet hinge area is a notorious grot spot on 2CVs and this was no exception.  An excellent full replacement panel is available, so off it came.  The shell was then braced using timber and brackets before the boot floor, main floor panels and lower bulkhead were all removed - with varying degrees of persuasion - by judicious use of cutting disc and human foot.  It didn't take long.  For extra temporary support, the old seat pan was left in place.

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With a large hole where the floor used to be, we removed the roll cage and placed it on the new floorpan/chassis.  This is the original cage from the 1992 build and will be re-used in a modified form, positioned slightly further back in the car, for reasons of extra strength and safety and to allow better harness location.

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More soon!

 

 

 

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On 10/6/2019 at 12:05 AM, brownnova said:

My friend was telling me that they check if your alternator is connected to stop you from getting an extra sneaky 1 bhp or something... 

It makes a big difference. Many, many years ago i was driving back down the m40 from my parents with the speedo being held up by the stop near the R in jaeger. Then I had to put the wipers on and they were ever so slow.

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