These are Stephen Bamford's notes on the
History of the car dating from around 1988
These views are not necesarily anyone elses views so
additions, corrections & notes are in brackets
by Chris Adams 2010
RACED & RALLIED IN THE FIFTIES first pictorial evidence as enclosed. (lost for the moment, we may find it at the AMOC Heritage Trust - CA - now verified CA)
No record was held until 196 (9) when the car was bought by Four Ashes Garage off Derek Oades. (it has been now - see car history CA)
The car was bought mainly for the bonnet which was required for another DB2 owned by the late Michael Moss. (note: a Mr Herbert owned the DB2 DHC that needed the bonnet. CA)
The car immediately aroused interest as it had a 3 ltr engine which after research was found to have been fitted by the Works in the Fifties along with Triple Webers.
The decision was made to compete with the car & (the Garage) set about working the cylinder head (fitted with modified DB4 valves ? - CA)
Main competition in those days was OGY 970 (a DB2/4 Mk1 with a DB3S engine, disc brakes, etc. - CA) driven by the very competent John & Janet Norman.
More work was done to the engine including fitting of high compression 3 ltr pistons & a pair of DB3S cams were obtained
(these production DB3S cams were found in the boot of Jack's DB2/4 Mk1 - the ex John Surtees road car SBP 740, that was bought from the Factory along with many other useful spares - notes from Ian.R. Moss, the pistons were about 12.5:1 & made by a local chap who could cast heads but knew nothing about casting pistons, they fell to bits regularly - CA) the car thus becoming a potent force, challenging the Norman's but it was still a learning period, reliability not being a 100%. (which is why it couldn't be entered for anything else but 5 , 8 or 10 lap events CA)
The car was now fitted with Mk111 wheels for strength, a rebuilt gearbox & a new oil cooler (oil cooler was fitted for or before 1973, the wheels were fitted after 1973, & gearbox rebuilt as Craig chipped 1st gear - CA).
It did not look the prettiest on the track, but it was very competitive in the hands of Craig Dent.
Craig moved onto new pastures & garage employee Stephen Bamford took over driving (being asked by Jack Moss, event entries & repairs on the car paid for by Four Ashes) , two very succesful years followed, main competition those days coming from Shaun Magee (DB3 coupe, Ex Angela Brown followed by a DB2), Roy Martin (Mk111 saloon) & Jim Murray (Mk11 FHC) the Norman's having now emigrated.
Two lean years followed due to cracked Cylinder Block & redirection of Garage resources. (they were skint - CA)
Re-entered competitively in 1979 & earnestly back in form with a rebuilt engine. (by Chris Adams)
Problems still existed though with con rods which would break for no apparent reason at all eg: after winning at Goodwood & setting a new record a Rod broke on the way home travelling at 40 mph. When the Rod broke, it came through the side of the block, but the car was at Curborough within a week with a (nother) rod & a patch over hole in the block.
Competition in those days coming from Shaun Magee (DB2), Ray Mayo & Tony Dodd (a shared DB2 with Ray driving circuits) & Jim Murray (2/4 Mk11 FHC)
1982 carried on as previous years with the car running very reliably due to experience gained in racing, crank, rods & pistons all well balanced. (Engine again built by Chris Adams)
Then came the decision due to changes in the Club (AMOC) regulations that it would not be eligible to run in certain events with a 3 ltr engine, so the bottom half of Jack's road going DB2 was borrowed (actually a sales car - CA) along with the Carburettors & Inlet manifolds. The car was entered in this form for Oulton Park (finished a couple of days before by Chris Adams - CA), the main idea being to get some racing experience with 2.6 ltr engines.
What followed was one of the best races & results ever reported in Motoring News.
Competition now being from Shaun Magee (DB2) & the Reed family (DB2/4 Mk1 saloon) - (& the Spa Special? - CA)
1983. The car was then acquired by Ian Stowe to allow further development, (and fresh funds, he was another Director of Four Ashes by then)
Uprated shocks were fitted, sills & outer sills were repaired & strengthened (strengthened & replaced - CA) a new 2.6 ltr engine built as the old block was required for Jacks DB2 (or other projects )
The 2.6ltr engine was built with a new head & Vantage pistons & the original Production DB3S cams & a beefed up clutch, the std 2.6 ltr rods were shot peened for strength but were still a cause for concern.
Records started to fall because although the new engine had far less torque it was found that the 2.6 ltr engine would rev much higher.( Engine built by Chris Adams - one of its most succesful)
It was entered in the Thoroughbred (Classic Cars ?) Series but unfortunately at it's second event at Thruxton the car drifted wide just before Village onto rutted grass, what followed were three destructive rolls.
Luckily, the day before the Thruxton accident a racing harness was fitted so it had immediately earned its call. (Stephen Bamford was unhurt if a little shaken & bruised - CA)
When returned to Four Ashes it was found to have stood up to the experience very well with little chassis damage .
It was decided to enter Brands Hatch later that month.
What followed was an extraordinary feat whereby disconnection of the wiring was done & the body completely removed & a new (another) one found. The bonnet was strengthened, welded up then beaten out & straightened.
The suspension was repaired where damaged, rear axle tie bars were replaced where needed.
New doors found & fitted, the original doors were ripped off & destroyed in the first roll, all new glass was fitted & the car repainted.
All this was carried out without disrupting normal working & outside of official work hours, normal time for bed during this period being 2 'o' clock.
The sweetener being winning Brands Hatch despite some serious handling problems.
(The down side was someone left the handbrake off in the paddock at Brands, being downhill the bonnet got bent yet again.- CA)
Main competition again from the Reeds & Martin Harvey (ex Patsy Burt DB2/4Mk1 saloon)
1984. The car was then lowered with some different springs at the rear & chopped front springs.
To utilize power 15" wheels where tried at a test day at Donington, but inconclusive results it was decided to fit different diff ratio's, this does the trick at most circuits. (it always ran a 4.1:1 ratio since Alex McMillan CA)
At Brands a very enjoyable race in the rain but not from the spectators point of view though.
Another successful year.
1985. Jubilee year. extra effort was made, a cosmetic job now painted in Sierra Blue (a Four Ashes mixed Sierra Blue - CA)
New Omega pistons were designed & fitted to increase the compression ratio to 10.5:1, the head was found to cracked so a new (S/H - CA) one prepared, this year was almost as successful as 1983 & 1984
1986. A roll cage was fitted, a new crank & rods put on order from Allen's but due to broken promises the season started without these parts & inevitably, as happens, on one the owners rare drives at Prescott, a rod came out of the side of the block (2 I think - CA).
A poor year followed as Stephen Bamford broke his foot, best result of the year was at Brands Hatch, 8th on the grid after practice with many problems, eventually going on to win.
The new crank was fitted for Oulton which was made incorrectly & had to be made again. (Engine built by Jack & Guy Moss this time CA)
Opposition from Peter Riley (ex works BMC & Ford rally driver) in the Ex John Reed DB2/4 Mk1 UWL333, also prepared by Four Ashes.
1987. Another new crank & an apparent return to reliability. (Engine again rebuilt by Jack & Guy Moss)
All along the car has been used for development to make customers road cars more reliable, etc. & all new parts were designed to be used in conjunction with existing parts so that they could be interchanged.
It was because of this that the Team decided not to change the car to the new class C, this would require complete redesigning of parts which would have no bearing on road cars.
The car has always been extremely enjoyable to drive & one of the few cars that after a layoff for eight months one can get straight back into without any serious practice & be back on the pace.
Once when returning from Brands with the car on a trailer the tow cars clutch gave out 20 miles from home (5 miles - CA) at around 1.30am, so the car was removed from the trailer, a tow rope wrapped around the axle & the whole lot (driven by a young Chris Adams) towed towards the garage, being & looking very tired.
However we were stopped by the police who couldn't believe what they saw, but with Mr Moss's persuasive rhetoric we carried on despite no road tax.
(Thats another, more accurate, story to be told in the forthcoming book on Four Ashes - Jean & I have been writing it for 7 years - CA 2010)
People that have driven the caer:
Craig Dent, Jack Moss, Roy Tether, Tom Butler, Jean Moss, Stephen Bamford, Mike Warren - Walker, Simon Moss, Ian Stowe & an invitation to Shaun Magee, Martin McGlone drove the car once with ?? driving Martin's DB3S (info from Martin, Le Mans Legends 2011) and Chris Adams 3 times, in 2007, 8 & 9.
Footnote by Chris Adams
Stephen Bamford rarely drove the car after 1987, having started to use his Datsun 240z 'Roland' but when he did drive, both he & the car were still a competitive force, even when it was really past it in 2001 (completely worn out) & after a more or less full mechanical rebuild in 2008 / 09 by Chris Adams & some of his Four Ashes Team for AMOC Donington & the Woodcote Trophy race at Spa 09, when it was just slightly off the front running pace (at both meetings), largely caused by lack of brakes, not lack of power .
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