Name: Barry Worsey
Club Member for: 6years
Date of Birth: 29/5/41
Make of Car: Elva Model: Courer Year: 1959
When did you first acquire it? Six years ago.
Why did you choose this car? I raced one in the early sixties.
How would you describe its condition on purchase?
What is its current condition?
Mechanically: 1st class Bodywork: Excellent Paintwork: First class
Colour: Mey Blue Is that the original colour? No
What do you like best about ownership? Superb road handling, excellent power output and stunning good looks.
What do you least like about ownership? It is very low to the ground, my back is suffering getting in and out.
What other vehicles do you have? Porche, Mg and a Fiat Topolino.
Why did you choose to profile this one? Currently most in use.
Give a brief history of the car before ownership: The car was purchased in London in 1959 and raced at club level by the first owner. It then passed through 4 owners before being taken off the road in 1967. Owned by an Italian in Coventry, stripped down and then abandoned in a garage when the owner went through a divorce and sold his house. I purchased it in 2008 and completely renovated it including taking the body off, chassis repaired with 21/2 O tube supplied by John Roden.It has been highly modified with Peyer Burgess 1990cc MG.B full race engine, 5 speed Ford type gear box, disc brakes all round and Austin Princess front, V.W. Golf GTI on rear, limited slip diff, full race ½ shafts, twin axle bearings and welding to axle case (Riley 1500 axle). Handmade Billey Alloys shocks by Proteck with new suspension springs machined to weight of car by professional race car designer. The whole of the suspension was set up professionally. Of course there are many other modifications, from cooling of oil pressure, light weight starter of alternator, new wiring loom, lights etc. The body was appraised by a professional glass-fibre body shop in Bromsgrove, but all work was carried out by me. This included stripping off of gel coat, repairing all cracks then covering whole car with glass- fibre tissue, then re-gelling, finishing for paint and a full respray in two-pack again by me. The whole body took twelve months before bonding it back on chassis. I then trimmed the car, new seats and trim cards, plus wool carpets. The car is now fully run in, finally tuned on Aldon-Eng rolling road and was recently chosen by the Elva register to represent the register at our 60th Anniversary at Castle Donnington. It was acknowledged as the best Courier in England not only mechanically but cosmetically too, which makes me very proud.
“The Car is The Star”
Willys Overlander Tourer
Facts and Figures: The Willys was manufactured in Toledo, Ohio, U.S.A. in 1922. It has a 2.5 litre petrol engine, 120BHP, fuel injection box, all round disc brakes, air con, electric windows, spacious boot, large countrywide dealership, and comprehensive availability of spares. OOOOps! Just dreaming back to reality.
2.5 litre petrol, 27BHP gravity fed fuel system, 10 gallon tank over the top of the engine, 15MPG, 0-60 NEVER, speed gears forward, 1 reverse and no sincro. I had to learn how to double de clutch. This would be alright for our older members who were brought up on cars without synchromesh. Rear brakes only, foot brakes contracting and hand brake expanding on 10inch drum. If the application of the foot and hand brake at the same time doesn’t slow you down close your eyes and wait for the impact. No heater or windows, you can see why the people in old motoring photos are always well wrapped up. I haven’t managed to find a Willys car club in this country yet , though might start one of my own. So far I have managed to have parts made or repaired them myself, which can not only be interesting, but quite challenging at times.
The car was bought in 2007, originally being part owned with Phil Casewell. We decided to buy it because it was different to the other cars we had looked at and it was big enough to get four people in comfortably. The first time we all went out in it we were going up the hill to Trimpley, we had to get out and push it up the hill as we didn’t have enough power to get us to the top. However Phil made a few adjustments to the engine later in the week and solved the problem. So we were off on our outings again.
I took over the ownership of the car in 2010 (part owned with Petal this time who is the sleeping partner, but has the habit of talking in her sleep!) We like the car because you can’t go too fast, about 25 – 30 MPH, also you are quite high up when driving so you have a good view of the surrounding countryside. Also everyone waves and smiles when you drive past. I like to think they are pleased to see a nice old car still on the road. But I could be wrong.
I’ve had to do a few jobs on the car since owning it. Once the rear half shaft broke while we were coming down the hill in Romsley. A bit disconcerting to see your rear wheel rolling past you while driving! I replaced the rear springs last year as a number of the leaves had broken. Now I realise where the annoying rattle was coming from. This year I had to repair the shaft and Bendix drive on the starter motor. It can be started by the handle, but I didn’t think todays motorists would appreciate me getting out in traffic to hand crank the engine when it cuts out occasionally.
This year the car is 93years old and still going strong with a little bit of love and attention. I hope someone else will keep it going after I’ve gone.