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Hello, new to forum.
I am starting restoration of a very interesting road racing special from the late ‘50’s and think you may be able to help me out.
The car was known here in the Northwest as the Veness Special. It was constructed in 1957 in Renton, WA by Tom Veness.
Started with a Cad motor & hydramatic, then he ran a ford v8 but by 1960 was running a Vette 283 w/triple Rochesters (we have an early 327 built & ready)
It has a 3” round tube main frame with 1” and ½” round tube additional ‘space frame’ type construction and a Devin fiberglass body.
Rear suspension is DeDion with a Winters quick change and coil-overs.
Front suspension is a drop tube axle with hairpins/heims bolted to welded ears on the axle, coil-overs and panhard bar with rack& pinion steering.
There are no anti-roll bars on the car.
We have documented at least 2 Northwest regional championship wins – 1959 and again in 1968, and we think at least one other in the early ‘60s. So the car was competitive and successful for over 10 years – ie, it worked. The car was wrecked and parked in 1969 – has not turned a wheel since.
The front is where I need advice/guidance. Since this is being restored for vintage road racing, I am not wanting to re-design any more than I have to – I want to remain as faithful as possible to the original car.
However, I have been researching solid axles and it appears to me that it is not advised to run a tube axle and hairpins. The obvious solution is to change to 4 bar and add an anti-roll bar. I am resisting major changes but I want a safe & predictable car.
I am beginning to think Tom Veness knew about these issues and deliberately used hairpins so he would get a lot of anti-roll effect from the hairpins. I have a photo from 1961 showing the hairpins he was running at that time & they are straight and taper to the rear rod end with no gussets. Those hairpins are no longer with the car and the ones with it now are more traditional with parallel tubes and large radius bends at the rear and large gussets. I am thinking he made his own hairpins, actually trying for some springiness in them to control body roll, but am not sure.
So, long winded way to ask if you would be interested in ‘coaching’ me a bit – been racing my Austin Healey 100-6 in vintage for 15 years but have absolutely no experience with solid axle systems.
I can email (or post possibly with help) pictures of anything you might want to see.