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BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
7/17/16 10:55 p.m.

Got home about an hour ago. Seven hour roundtrip to see it. It's a very neat car, I even fit in it but getting in and out was a nightmare for my knees and back. The seller offered in jest to pull me out with his engine hoist and I nearly had to take him up on the offer.

That said, it's impressive. Just the right amount of patina, well put together and it looks like it never ever had sustained any damage to the body or frame. There is some mechanical recommissioning to be done like a new fuel cell bladder (out of date IIRC) and replacing the harpoon that's pointed at the driver with a collapsible steering column but it's not a lot. If it had been for me, I would leave the cosmetic appearance as is and just make sure everything else is up to par.

That said, the seller also has another sports racer for sale. That one is the same age as myself (i.e., five years younger than the LeGrand) and when I tried it felt like it was made for me. Perfect fit, I'd need to pour a seat but that's basically it. No issue getting in and out, heck, it was less effort than getting in a Caterham.

The fact that the seller recently recommissioned it for his son and it'll come with the freshly rebuilt original engine, body molds and original blueprints is great, plus the fact that it looks like a CanAm car that got washed too hot helps, too. While the initial buy in is higher than with the LeGrand, it basically doesn't need any work.

The car is pretty well known on the West Coast and has been to the SCCA Nationals a bunch of times, too. Downside is that people might think I know what I'm doing and be disappointed

After discussing it with my wife I'll try to put a deal together and might just end up with a completely different vintage sports racer .

Tom1200
Tom1200 Reader
7/18/16 12:41 a.m.

I saw the other car parked next to the LeGrand in the photos; I think I know the car. Well if you do go for it let us know the details.

Tom

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
7/18/16 9:31 a.m.

Well, it's not that big a secret - this is the car, the first Astech sports racer built. No extra engines anymore, but that reduces the price to something manageable.

alfadriver
alfadriver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/18/16 9:32 a.m.

In reply to BoxheadTim:

So that news has really perked up my ears. Can't wait to hear more. Or see more.

Per Schroeder
Per Schroeder PowerDork
7/18/16 12:46 p.m.

Neat car! Glad you tried on the suit before buying it--little sports racers are supposed to fit like a cheap suit, but that sounds a bit too tight.

There's a guy on Facebook that's built a couple of what look like Mk18/Mk25 hybrids (Mk25 front monocoque, but tubed rear like a Mk18.

https://www.facebook.com/Sportsracer-Replicas-LLC-235833619910548/?fref=ts

fasted58
fasted58 UltimaDork
7/18/16 4:13 p.m.

Cuz ya gotta see it

From that pic the Astech looks like it could have been built in the early/ mid 90's instead of '68, was it ever rebodied?

Great looking car.

stroker
stroker SuperDork
7/18/16 7:59 p.m.

In reply to fasted58:

With a little bit of work that could have been done to look like "Mini-Me" of the 1971 L&M Can-Am Turbo Porsche...

Tom1200
Tom1200 Reader
7/18/16 9:36 p.m.

Tim it is the car I thought it was, sometime in the early 90s we used to have a group of DSR guys come to our regional races, it was there post Run-Offs Vegas vacation and I believe this car was one of them. Seeing a DSR up close and watching them run got me excited about the class. Should you close the deal you'll enjoy it.

DSR was always a engineers / fabricators class up until about 2003 when the factory built cars made the next leap in technology. (Fasted58 it's possible the body changed for that reason) many older cars are still out there running but have switched to motorcycle power. The A series motor that powers my Datsun was one of the popular powerplants.

There are a couple DSRs built in the early 80s running with VARA, the originally had car engines but are running in vintage with motorcycle engines. The bike engines have been a staple of the class for decades. A friend had an Ocelot that was ZX10 powered but originally had a Suzuki GT750 motor.

Tom

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
7/18/16 10:18 p.m.

I don't think the body has been updated that much, supposedly it's original or at least made from the original molds. At least in 1978, there's an Astech running a very similar body:

The current owner did fab the splitter so that's a later addition, as is that wing. A wing like the one in the photo above does also come with it.

At some point in its career the car was bike powered, but it's now back to a five-speed Hewland with a Fiat engine bolted to it.

Tom1200
Tom1200 Reader
7/18/16 10:58 p.m.

Suzuki GT750 engined cars were a staple; the Ocelot logo in that photo is a company that made 850cc GT750 motors pumping out around 130hp, the motors were expensive.

I don't know much about how hard the Fiat engine is tuned but the Datsun push rod 1300cc engines were running to 10,000 RPMs and I remember seeing the guys opening up the oil screen filter (can't remember the brand but flat square a aluminum housing with screen inside) and looking for signs of imminent nearing failure. I think they inspected the motors after every race weekend. Those motors were around 150-160hp, given DSRs weight minimum is 900lbs with driver they were pretty fast.

The one lesson I learned with the DSR was on the rod ends; we bought good quality ones but not the absolute best quality ones. As the car pulled 2Gs lateral and 3 on the brakes it wore them out in a couple of seasons. The best ones were double the price so it wouldn't have been a cost savings long term but they would meant less maintainace. As you can imagine it takes quite a while to change all the rod ends and realign a car.

I also learned to safety wire, loctite or loc nut everything. It also caused me to be the Carroll Smiths books.

Tom

fasted58
fasted58 UltimaDork
7/19/16 7:58 p.m.

In reply to Tom1200:

I'm well familiar w/ the Ocelot engines of the era, bought an old DSR that was constructed w/ that engine. Quite a beast for the time, pulled like a freight train when on the pipe, the exhaust note was berkeleying incredible. Had a lotta hair hangin' off that engine as they say though. That engine won three DSR National Championshps iirc. All the magic happened w/ extensive barrel work w/ pistons, porting as well as head work. Dan Olberg of Magnum Racing in MN bought the Ocelot operations from the original owners, dunno if he is still around tho.

Built a GT-750 'regional' version for my two schools and regionals. Later, could have had the best speed parts from a UK sidecar team but the new MC 4-strokes just started coming on... and that changed everything. Opted for a FZR 1000, 120 hp stock, add pan baffle and accumulator... dead nuts reliable. Speed parts became as available as SBC parts were.

The car was eventually obsoleted w/ SCCA rule changes of the time due to low car counts threatening DSR National status... pretty much like the transition that happened between H-Mod to DSR in the late sixties.

It was a great time to be there... wouldn't trade it for nothin'.

Still have that GT-750 engine btw.

stroker
stroker SuperDork
7/19/16 8:00 p.m.
fasted58 wrote: Still have that GT-750 engine btw.

Oh, really...? Lemme know if you've got a hankering to sell.

fasted58
fasted58 UltimaDork
7/19/16 8:15 p.m.
stroker wrote:
fasted58 wrote: Still have that GT-750 engine btw.
Oh, really...? Lemme know if you've got a hankering to sell.

Worth more in parts than whole.

Still wanna rig it to a garden tractor for pulls at the county fair to make some awesome noise. Sight of the race chambers alone oughta freak the berkeley outta Hooterville.

Now, back to our love of vintage sports racers.

Tom1200
Tom1200 Reader
7/20/16 11:13 p.m.

Engine development is a wonderful thing; we were using the last generation of FZR1000 engines and getting over 165hp, now the motors are pushing 200 and are not terribly stressed.

I've picked up a Rotax 494 to replace the obsolete AMW in my F500 and the Rotax is pumping out 100hp in stock trim. I am considering converting to DSR for vintage (it's an early Novakar) if so I'll go with twin pipes and some other minor mods that will bring the motor up to 115-120 range from a near stock 500cc engine. GT 750 engines I'm that trim were tuned pretty hard.

Flight Service
Flight Service MegaDork
7/21/16 5:03 a.m.

Well this seems fun

fasted58
fasted58 UltimaDork
7/22/16 7:15 p.m.

Reserve not met at $10,250 on BaT

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