Anyone who follows my other threads will have noticed a few comments about another project that I was purchasing. As the thread tile proclaims I present to you the Autotune Gemini
Picture from the eBay advert.
Hitched up and ready for the return journey
And the obligatory shot refueling the tow hack
And with an ARE Libre offered up.
So what is an Autotune Gemini?
The body is a one piece glassfibre moulding with opening panels for bonnet, boot and 2 x doors and is a derivative of a specials body from Falcon Shells that produced replacement sporting bodies for the separate chassis type cars typical of the pre war period - Compare with the first picture above with the advert - the body being designed and for sale in the late fifties.
Roll on a few decades and the shape has remained in production and been modified to accommodate bespoke chassis etc.
Basically what we have with the Autotune is in simple terms a Westfield/Locost style 1" square tubular spaceframe chassis with a 1950's glassfibre body.
As was typical in the 1980's 1990's the cars used the mechanical parts from the Ford Escort same as Caterham/Dutton/Westfield and a whole host of others to provide cheap and easily available parts re-engineered - re-cycled into sports cars.
Current count is less than a few hundred of these cars have been sold - no doubt that some remain unfinished in sheds and barns and a few have been crashed bashed or just rotted away as old stuff does.
Having had Duttons, Westfields and the like I had been aware of these cars for some considerable while and had always liked the styling that was typical of the era XKSS - D Type - Lister Knobbly - Maserati birdcage etc. Dynamically the cars also performed pretty well on the track and they are still very popular competition cars today. As they do not come up for sale very often I had an ebay search set up which usually provided me with hits on magazines and the like but this time it came back with a car - Typical as the timing was a little off as I had just agreed to buy another Ginetta G15 project - is it not always the way. Talking of which - none for sale for years and what pops up on my ebay search again recently - another bloody Gemini and this latest one is 80 miles closer..... and a 1600.
The history on my car is that it's a one owner car and was very much built to a budget - However it has one unusual and very important feature that has saved it from the landfill. A fully galvanised chassis. In the ebay advert I thought that the chassis looked in remarkably good condition but it was not apparent why, no mention was made in the advert, and it was not until collected that I noticed the tell tale grey on the chassis tubes. Normally I am not a great fan of galvanising as its a pain to work with when modifying but as this car what not bought for that purpose and the chassis is already accepted as being pretty good, it is a major win.
Body wise it has had a life and has plenty of "Patina". It is also one of the models with a less than flattering rear end - concerns about legislation led to a redesign of the back of the car which lasted a few years and resulted in what can best be described as a plank being incorporated - Later on once the feared legislation failed to materialise the back end was revised back to a much nicer rounded profile.
The rest is budget budget budget - I can still hear the words constantly ringing in my ears for some reason.......
By way of example and it appears to be the character of the original builder the original build questionnaire that came in a file with the car had a note in the box for Wheels/tyres = Capri/Cortina Rostlye painted Gold. Tyres 165/70x13 C W QUERER which we thought a bit odd. Well the tipex blob between the C W was eventually deciphered as Conquerer - The same 185/70x13 Conquerer Tyres with a 1987 date stamp that are still on the car!
The history file also contained almost every tax disc for the car and the tax discs for the two donor Escorts plus the actual chassis and build plates from the Escort MK2 donor cars that provided the engine and the running gear.
It's a bog basic Escort Mk2 711M6015AA 1300HC engine with fatory fresh stump pulling output of 57BHP - However this firebrand has the additional feature of being fitted with a carb and manifold from a MK1 Mexico - so the notes say - and believe this to be correct.
It also has a POWERBALL
And a POWERPLUS
So, if we add all those features up we must at least be at 40BHP.
Anyone that follows my thread will know that I have no tolerance for unnecessary or ugly so you can guess what was on the cards for many of the features of this car.
Yes - the roll hoop - two bolts and it comes off and it looks worse in photo's than it does actually on the car ! As it is also a feature of the almost new and unused soft-top that came with the car...... I will paint it black as a first hit and then see where we go from there
Engine - for the moment it stays as it runs pretty sweetly does not smoke and manages to run even when having only 8 volts connected to it due to the fiasco that is the wiring.
The cheap nasty foam filter will be replaced With a decent K&N - it had taken on the properties of that Oasis foam for flower arrangements - These type of cheap foam filters with the cross cross wire mesh screens are shocking when new and strangle flow worse than stock assemblies.
I have had these look alike Libre wheels for ages waiting for something suitable to fit them to. I bought them with a load of x-flow engine parts ages ago and I think they they were fitted to a Cortina MK2 - The plan was to fit them to an early Dutton that project was sold on and since then I have not had anything Ford based / suitable or both to fit them to.
Mainly a big fan of them due to
Yep the Icon that is the TLBT Chevy rolled on ARE's
If they look that cool on a '55 then the 4 spoke versions should look okay on my '59 - and they do.
Its a bog basic Escort Mk2 711M6015AA 1300HC engine with fatory fresh stump pulling output of 57BHP - However this firebrand has the additional feature of being fitted with a carb and manifold from a MK1 Mexico - so the notes say - and believe this to be correct.
If also has a POWERBALL
And a POWERPLUS
So if we add all those features up we must at least be at 40BHP.
Anyone that follows my thread will know that I have no tolerance for unecessary or ugly so you can guess what was on the cards for many of the features of this car.
40hp!! Spec on our 1300 beetle engine is also 40hp
We should have a race, but I feel the power ball would give you an unfair advantage
Can't help myself - when I find things that I don't like stuff tends to happen quickly. That is why there is no point me buying a "nice" car because if it's not what I would do then it will soon be in the same state as a project car.
It had to happen as the electrics needed looking into and as soon as I was behind the dash - that was coming out - and whilst that was being removed may as well take all the sill vinyl trim out as well.
This is the usual wiring disaster that you find in kits and specials that usually render them defuct after a few years use - I doubt that the neither the temp or that Tacho actually worked - well the tacho would never have worked as the impulse signal was earthed and on an RVI tach it's the +ve feed to the coil!
I know that its only there to make the builds cheaper and to make life easier for people to build the cars but the use of the donor switchgear on a 50's 60's classic just looks wrong so that will be stripped off and sold to the classic Ford brigade and replaced with separate Lucas switches. The dash then has no need to be cut around the odd shape of the Ford cowl and will enable the wiring to be cut down and made considerably shorter simpler and lighter.
I suspect that the engine will need to come out as there was some anti freeze tainted water forming a drip on the bellhousing - I suspect a corroded core plug.
Dug out the array of different old clocks and dials - and I should find something in all this lot
So jealous, you guys in the UK get so many cool kit cars. Havent seen one of these before but love the style of it.
Have an ad when they were built a little closer to your shores 60 years ago!
And another closely related
The Mistral body is another interesting and long lived shell project you can still purchase - I did have thoughts about building up one of those on an old spaceframe as a rebody - but never enough time for all these idea's
As an idea of scale with these cars I polished one of the doors to see what it would come up like - and a standard number plate !
I tried - will not accept the details from the current paperwork so having to wait for the new V5c - This thread is about as current as they get.
As for the plate - I can only guess that the chap who built this does not throw anything away that he has paid good money for - It's clear in the paperwork that his handwritten 5's have a very S like appearance so I suspect that he takes note to plate maker, collects, has an argument, leaves plate maker and fits to car - have Photo's of car in 1993 with those plates.
Tyres from the donor - 1987 Incorrect plate - 1992 Flash lines still on car Cable ties with no tails cut off - and I mean almost every single one. Old instrument binnacle cut up and used as a wiring connector rather than chopping it out Seat belts look like aircraft surplus
I am going to have to reassemble the fuel filler arrangement - that's a peach.
Purely for reasons of safety as small dark cars are vulnerable - these HI Vis indicator spots will make the car easier to see and therefore safer.
Checked on the wheel sizes and the Libres are 5.5's and ET Zero. I think the Fords of this era are typically an ET23 - The rears will fill out a little better and the fronts will be to the edge and may even need the return cutting back a little.
Carried on with the work on the flash lines and have removed 90 % of them now - just some polishing and finishing to do.
This is offending me as I cannot see a purpose for it - see chassis above - It has no function as nothing mounts to it, and as a number plate carrier it's rather OTT - Galvanised chassis or not - that part is getting shortened.
Rain stopped so back to playing - make the most of a day off.