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Found - Mike Sayers/Chris Whitehead Gold Digger Dragster

PostPosted:Wed Oct 12, 2016 10:43 am
by stealthstylz
I was going to build a rear engined dragster then this popped up for sale on the Santa Pod page so I went to look at it and bought it. There was some confusion with the history as there was 2 cars called Gold Digger from that era but after a lot of research on here and with help from Jerry Cookson we got there in the end.

The first photo was found after spending hours going through the epic "Scenes in the Pits" thread on here.

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From that and the following discussion between shabby1, badger and woody I managed to get a lot more information. The car was built by Mike Sayers of Impact Dragster frame, and then sold to Chris Whitehead who raced it at York. From there Jerry came through with these pics of Chris Whitehead racing it. Photos by Dave Perry, either 1978 or 1979.

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Here it is on the program at York May 1980.

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The engine is a Ford Pre Crossflow. As far as I can tell it's a over-bored Mk2 Lotus Cortina block with all steel bottom end components (more details to follow), ported big valve head, home made mechanical fuel injection for alcohol and a Godfrey Marshall Cabin Blower. This is backed up by a VW transaxle running through a home made clutch can. Everything is really, really well engineered.

And here's a couple of photos of it when I picked it up yesterday.

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Not sure how long the guy i've bought it of has owned it. He apparently bought it as a full car then stripped it, put it in storage and didn't get it out till the day he put it for sale. This was sometime in the 80s i'd guess by the photos he showed me. The car was in Leicestershire next to Bruntingthorpe Proving Grounds, and he bought it from a guy in his village.

The car appears complete apart from the seat, belly pan and nose cone. I'll find out once I start piecing the puzzle together. If anybody has further information or photographs it'd be very much appreciated.

Re: Found - Mike Sayers/Chris Whitehead Gold Digger Dragster

PostPosted:Thu Oct 13, 2016 9:09 pm
by ukdrn
How cool is that, well done.
It's always nice to see old dragster recovered and hopefully restored.

Re: Found - Mike Sayers/Chris Whitehead Gold Digger Dragster

PostPosted:Fri Oct 14, 2016 2:47 pm
by jai_ford
What a cool looking little car my dad used to race the pre-crossflow in his 100e when I was little lad great strong little lump good luck with your build dude :D

Re: Found - Mike Sayers/Chris Whitehead Gold Digger Dragster

PostPosted:Tue Oct 18, 2016 2:40 pm
by eraider
Cool!

Re: Found - Mike Sayers/Chris Whitehead Gold Digger Dragster

PostPosted:Thu Oct 20, 2016 6:01 pm
by Dave Wilson
If it was made by Mike Sayers it would be Really really really well made!!!
check out this link for one of his later projects.
http://modelengineeringwebsite.com/Blower_Bentley.html
1/3 scale 3 litre Bentley engine totally and I do mean Totally hand made.
Not to mention the FULL size Bentley he has restored and still drives all over Europe

Re: Found - Mike Sayers/Chris Whitehead Gold Digger Dragster

PostPosted:Fri Oct 21, 2016 4:25 pm
by stealthstylz
I've had contact from Mike Sayers himself. It's the 5th and final car he built and was the best of all of them. However he sold it when bracket racing rules came in and he became disillusioned with drag racing. That Bentley is incredible.

Re: Found - Mike Sayers/Chris Whitehead Gold Digger Dragster

PostPosted:Sun Oct 23, 2016 7:17 am
by timetravel
Here's the first 'Impact' dragster from 1971...
Brian Sparrow pics 916 impact gd6 71171.jpg
Brian Sparrow pics 917.jpg

Re: Found - Mike Sayers/Chris Whitehead Gold Digger Dragster

PostPosted:Tue Oct 25, 2016 11:31 am
by stealthstylz
That looks exactly as sketchy as I imagined.

Re: Found - Mike Sayers/Chris Whitehead Gold Digger Dragster

PostPosted:Thu Feb 02, 2017 3:25 pm
by MisteR Tee
Just logged back in after a while & found this, fantastic & well done you for finding it & researching it all. I had the same fun when I got my one & managed to get an almost complete history of it, who knows they may have raced each other back in the day.

Re: Found - Mike Sayers/Chris Whitehead Gold Digger Dragster

PostPosted:Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:20 pm
by stealthstylz
Found another photo of the front half of it the other day. Nearly ready to start engine building just got to machine the tops of the new pistons down.

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