Mike Davidson #1
St. Peters, South Australia
Mike is one of the founding fathers of Salt Lakes Racing in Australia and it would be very fair to say that we never would have had the experience were it not for Mike and his perserverance. He was part of the group that set out to find a suitable location back in 1987, was instrumental in the formation of the Dry Lakes Racers Australia, was the clubs first President and also responsible for cutting through all the red tape to make the first speed trials happen in 1990.
Mike has run a number of vehicles at the salt, starting with a T based, flathead powered (of course) Vintage Oval Track car. He then progressed to another T bodied much modified roadster. This became the race, research and development test bed for a number of the speed equipment product that Mike sells today through his business called Flat Attack Racing
Mike retired the roadster at the end of the 1999 Speed Trials to concentrate on a new project and it's now for sale. The new project is a twin flathead powered streamliner, Mike has already imported a body from the States to make a mould from and is now gearing up for the chassis construction. Obviously with a project like this he will need all the assistance he can muster, he is very keen to talk to anyone about sponsoring what will be a very unique vehicle.
The PP entry below? Well this is what happens when you go to the salt with nothing to run. Thats his work ute.
|1991||27 Ford Roadster||XF/GMR||129.32||Open|
|1993||27 Ford Roadster||XF/GMR||97.27||129.32|
|1994||27 Ford Roadster||XF/BGMR||145.08||Open|
|1994||27 Ford Roadster||E/PP||112.58||Open|
|1995||27 Ford Roadster||XF/BFMR||162.24||Open|
|1995||27 Ford Roadster||XF/BGMR||160.93||145.08|
|1996||27 Ford Roadster||XF/BFMR||163.52||162.24|
|1996||27 Ford Roadster||XF/BGMR||162.58||160.93|
|1998||27 Ford Roadster||XF/BFMR||176.560||163.52|
|1998||27 Ford Roadster||XF/BGMR||165.337||162.58|
|2002||27 Ford Roadster||XF/FMR||153.087||Open|
|2002||27 Ford Roadster||XF/GMR||141.933||Open|
|2004||27 Ford Roadster||XF/FMR||158.618||153.087|
|2004||27 Ford Roadster||XF/GMR||146.281||143.027|
|Vehicle Make||Self made|
|Engine||2 x 162 cu in flatheads|
|Gearbox||toploader 4 speed|
|getting into the 200mph club|
|Time in Sport||since 1990|
|Claim to Fame||No.1 member|
|Team Members||Mark, Wayne, Rod|
|Best thing about Dry Lakes Racing||I can express myself, my ability|
1922 T Roadster
I had recently sold my '32 Roadster, and was looking to replace it when l was caught up in the latest trend towards low buck back-to-basics cars. l was not really keen on buying a bunch of cheap, rusty panels, and making a body out of it, when I could buy a fibreglass body quite cheaply. I did not even like the typical T bucket style cars that have become so popular again in the last few years, but with a body only costing $265 US from Speedway Motors, I thought I might as well purchase one, with windscreen posts and a grille shell too. l was planning to use an A Model chassis, but having been through the exercise of filling in all the holes and boxing it as well, I opted to make a new chassis to the original chassis specs, using 4"x 2" rectangular tubing. I used an original front cross member, stepping the rails 3", and shortening the wheelbase 3". With the chassis tacked together, I started dummying everything together. A dropped '36 axle and radius rods (split) with a custom length spring mounted over the axle with '48 brakes and '35 wire wheels. A '39 Merc flathead, 6 cylinder Holden Powerglide, and Nos Group A Commodore diff, supported by an original spring, with a new main leaf and '48 radius rods and Commodore drum brakes, with a bolt pattern changed to suit the '35 wire wheels.
When l fitted the body, things did not line up as they should, sol measured each panel individually, and found that the LH rear was 1/2" longer than the RH side trimming, where the panels joined for a perfect fit. After standing back, and having a good look at the car, the body looked too high at the back of the seat, so I sliced through the panel, removed 2", and refitted the top edge, making it the same height as the cowl.
I had always intended the car to be a roadster pick-up, with a 31/2' bed, but was looking in Street Rodder Magazine, when I saw a drawing of a T Roadster that looked remarkably like mine, but with a roadster back. Instant change of directional !! ordered a turtle deck from Speedway Motors! Meanwhile, 6 months later, after the turtle deck had gone missing, and now having second thoughts about the pick-up bed, it turned up. The local sheet metal shop fabricated the panel that fits beneath the turtle deck, and after initial fitting using a string line to line everything up, things didn't quite fit (starting to sound familiar?) But, after pie-slicing the LH side 3/8", everything fell into place.
The car was then stripped. The chassis and suspension components were sandblasted, then powder coated custom black, with flame red on the brakes and wheels. The body was then painted by Hanns in lacquer, to match the chassis (semi-gloss) For the interior I utilised a Morris 1100 bench seat, shortened 11", and side panels made from 1/8" masonite. These were stitched by Wayne and Jells Trim shop. While this was happening, Steve Rowe was reconditioning the transmission, using a manual valve body with TCI 5 clutch pack hub, and the torque converter was reconditioned with the stall increased by 500 rpm.
After assembling the engine, l installed it on Bill Hanson's engine dyno, resulting in 195 hp at 5250 rpm, and 241 ft lb torque at 3250. After two years effort, the car is now registered, and a lot of fun to drive, but like all hot rods, it will never be really finished. I have just developed multipoint fuel injection, using Commodore components with an intake manifold of my own design, which will be fitted shortly. By the way, that T Roadster l liked so much in the magazine belongs to Ed Iskenderian, and I am still thinking about making a pick-up bed for the car!
specifications 3 5/16" bore, 4" stroke, 276 cu in, hypereutectic pistons, chrome rings. OEM 283 Chev valves, Isky valve springs Isky cam, Johnson adjustable lifters Ofenhauser cylinder heads, 9:1 compression Mallory dual point distributor/MSD box Autolite 600 vac secondary carby, Attached to a modified Offy tunnel ram top, and intake base of my own design.
This article first appeared in Issue 8 of the ASRF Newsletter in January 1997.