UKDRN

Do you own or know the whereabouts of a piece of UK Drag Racing History or just want info on a particular machine.

Moderators: timetravel, ukdrn

 #3325  by Millevanille
 Sat Jun 09, 2007 4:39 pm
Indeed, Martin and his brother ran a rear engined digger, with this very engine. The Rowatt, Emerson, Smith car.
Martin did also make a two speed transmission, one of which took the Wheeldon, Claxton dragster to the Pro Comp World Finals title in 1979.
I believe Sue and Dave Coles used one in their altered.
 #3326  by jaytee
 Sat Jun 09, 2007 5:33 pm
Didn't Martin Rowatt cast his own fuel injection for the small block Chevy as well as making the 2 speed
 #3327  by Millevanille
 Sat Jun 09, 2007 6:40 pm
I believe so but Norm will clarify. I remember spending a whole week in front of the telly getting it polished to a chrome finish!
 #3328  by herb andrews
 Sat Jun 09, 2007 8:23 pm
Other people also made up the Rowatt gearbox, from a kit of parts, but the original design was from Martin. Mine came via Pat Cuss, who used it in the Bel Ray streamliner, after we fixed it and ran it in my car I sold it to the Lowes Brothers for their Pro Comp rail
Herb
 #3329  by TimeMachine
 Sat Jun 09, 2007 8:37 pm
Was it based on the planetary design used in the Lenco and the B+J or was it something else? I have not heard of this gearbox before.
 #3332  by herb andrews
 Sun Jun 10, 2007 9:43 am
Bear in mind the disclaimer that it must be 25 years ago since I had any dealings with the Rowatt gearbox.....

Yes it was based on a planetary gear set, which came out of an overdrive from a UK built car, for example BMC Westminster. That was more or less the only production parts used, the rest being special to type machined parts.

For its time it was a cheap alternative to a Lenco, which is a under drive, but one inherent problem was too much drag, which robbed power and also made pushing back, reversers were not compulsory at this time, hard, especially for Dave Coles who coupled two together to make a 3 speed, hence the trolley he made to lift the rearend after the burnout!

That’s my brief take on it, although there are at least two people on here that had more ‘hands on experience’.
Herb
 #3335  by Stormin Norm
 Sun Jun 10, 2007 12:00 pm
Nice pics T.C. i saw Roy Webb at easter and he told me he still has the car! the engine was the
injected 354 cu in. which i bought from Martin & Jimmy Rowatt and fitted in the 77 Wheel Thing.
i
t was then sold with the car ; which i cant find; to end up via Mike Kason to you.
 #3339  by Stormin Norm
 Sun Jun 10, 2007 4:42 pm
Jaytee.
Martin Rowatt only cast the throttle bodies for the SBC injection-the bottom was made with
three ally plates welded together and the throttle bodies were bolted to this. Martin also
made his own barrel valve and shutoff.
Hope this helps
Norm.
 #3340  by Stormin Norm
 Sun Jun 10, 2007 5:03 pm
The Rowatt box was based on a B & J with an oil and air accumulator.Martin sold a unmachined outer
casing and a set of blueprints.then you aquired a Borg- warner 35 autobox and got to work.
It was only worth doing if you were a skilled machinist-or knew one due to the considerable
amount of turning milling and grinding.If you had to pay for this it would have been cheaper
just to buy a lenco.Mine was machined by john Foden andKen Hessey of Frantic fame in exchange
for a chassis which became the V12 Jag Frantic 2.
Norm.
 #3341  by Stormin Norm
 Sun Jun 10, 2007 5:22 pm
Herb.
You are right about the Rowatt box having an inherrant drag. The best we ran with it was
a 7.36-190 at the world finals 79. Over the winter we fitted a three speed lenco and on the
first run with no changes to the motor it ran 7.02-202.8 and next day it ran 6.98-201.2!!
Hindsight being a great thing we should have fitted the Lenco from the start- imagine what
would have happened if we had started running sixes in the spring of 79.We would have
been Banned!!!
Norm.
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