View Full Version : Carlisle 2012

21-05-2012, 01:30 PM
This year's show was under the influence of weather, yet again. The forecast for the week was rain up until the opening day, then bright and sunny for the three days of the show... yeah, right. I'll believe it when I see it. My plan was to camp in the trailer I brought the car in (18' box) and store the car under a cover outside or under the club tent if it were really pouring. The show runs from Friday to Sunday, and come Thursday morning the clouds were parting and by afternoon all of the east coast was basking under a high pressure system and the promise of a glorious weekend. Oh hell yeah!
I drove up Friday morning under a cloudless sky and arrived on the grounds around 9am or so. Fridays typically are vendor set-up days and people coming in to the on-site campgrounds. The site is 82 acres, and holds car events every month through the summer season - and some events with the major manufacturers will fill and overflow the entire site.
Anyway, a quick overview of the grounds, looking from the top of the hill at the trailer parking lot:


Unfortunately I wasn't able to get too many photos on Saturday of much of the showfield as I was talking with too many folks with the Sterling. I was able to grab a few minutes and walk around with a buddy and I had my video cam, and will post a much-edited video when I get it ready. But, for now, I have a handful. The Sterling club is wide spread and difficult to assemble in one spot. This year it was only my car, the current production car, a buddy's Cimbria and a newly acquired Fortvac Bernardi - the last generation evolution of the Cimbria (Eagle, for the UK folks). One of four in existence that we know of, the owner has some interesting plans for it. He's an automotive design engineer in electrical systems (you'd love talking with him, Lauren!), and just as laid-back as they come. So, on to the photos..

The usual gaggle of dune buggies. This year Alex Dearborn was there (of the Dearborn Deserter) and Bruce Meyers of Meyers Manx once again:

The club lineup, as it were:


Several shots of the Bernardi. The Cimbria molds had made their way to Canada at some point in the '80's. There was a company that wanted to produce the next generation of the car called the "Viper 2000", featuring a full tube frame, all the safety gear required by CDN law and powered by a Porsche 930 engine. There were two made that we know of and know where one is - and it's for sale for cheap as it's been sitting for a long time. Anyway, Bernardi purchased the molds and engineering sometime later and created the "Fortvac" Bernardi, which, from what we can tell, was a conglomeration of the owners names or some such. But they kept the frame engineering and molded the body slightly different and ditched the Porsche power for a GM drivetrain - in this case a GM 5.7L mated to an older Oldsmobile Toronado transaxle. The car is still rough as it had been sold as a "running, daily driver" which the current owner assuredly stated was far from the truth! But it came under it's own power with few issues.. and yes, the wing was part of the ground effects package back in the day! Enjoy!


One of the requisite pretty girls on site, doing her job..


and a couple of artsy-fartsy shots with the sunset Saturday evening. Will post video when I get it edited..


21-05-2012, 07:15 PM
Well it seems Carlisle is like Stones in the weather stakes - Lot of work gone into the Bernadi, though I don't think Liz and I would have much luck trying to stuff us and the camping equipment into that! (Where's the fuel tank Rick?)

21-05-2012, 08:54 PM
The fuel tank is actually a rectangular, shallow box nestled between the frame rails under the car (and seats). I wasn't able to get a vantage point from underneath to see if there was any protection from impacts from the street, but from what I could see sticking out into the engine compartment it appeared to be fairly sturdy steel plate.

21-05-2012, 09:14 PM
Great pictures Rick! Glad to see that the weather was good to you this year.

I remember seeing an Olds Toronado conversion on a Cimbria many years ago - although in this case it was (like the Mirage nearby) cantilevered off of the VW floorpan with what looked like 4 x 2" steel box section. In many ways the Toronado engine package is very similar to the Ferrari flat-12 in the BB; the engine sits on top of the transmission rather than in front of it. Compact, but bad for roll axis :scared:

Its certainly interesting from an engineering point of view, and there's a kind of Pantera GTS5 sort of vibe to it, but the wings and flared arches are not my thing I'm afraid!

I'm loving the Deserter GT though :clapping:

Interestingly, Adrianno Gatto started off the Puma brand by ripping off the Deserter in Italy. Even plagiarists know a good looking car when they see one!


21-05-2012, 11:36 PM
Engine sitting on top of the transmission. How does that link up? Cam and chain?

22-05-2012, 12:24 AM
Engine sitting on top of the transmission. How does that link up? Cam and chain?
Traditional FWD layout, Nic. See here http://www.curbsideclassic.com/curbside ... -position/ (http://www.curbsideclassic.com/curbside-classics-american/curbside-classic-1966-oldsmobile-toronado-gms-deadly-sin-16-lets-try-a-different-position/) scroll halfway down the page for a photo drawing of the unit.

22-05-2012, 11:17 AM
Engine sitting on top of the transmission. How does that link up? Cam and chain?

Olds Toronado uses a chain drive I believe, which makes for a compact (but tall) engine and transmission package for front wheel drive. SAAB used a similar trick in the 99/900 series, taking the licence-built Triumph Dolomite 4-cylinder engine and mounting the gearbox below it. The engine is placed "South-North" in the car, with the clutch at the front and a drop-gear arrangement connecting the gearbox beneath.

Its nice to come across these unusual FWD solutions, which don't conform to the now universal stereotype of a transverse engine with an end-on gearbox and unequal length driveshafts - torque-steer, anyone???


22-05-2012, 07:21 PM
I do remember reading something about an internal chain drive to the gears with the Tornado transaxle. The drive shafts, however, are equal length, one going right under, and later through, the oil pan.

22-05-2012, 09:39 PM
Yes, that is the main advantage of retaining the longitudinal engine layout. Unless you have a BL Mini (or an 1800/2200/Princess/Ambassador), or a Lamborghini Miura for that matter, which have the gearbox integral to the engine sump, nearly all transverse FWD packages place a normal 5-speed gearbox on the end of the engine, with the output shaft reversed and the differential below and behind the gearbox. This inevitably results in unequal length driveshafts.

That would be a disaster with the Olds, with 475 lb/ft of torque available, so its just as well the shafts were equal length :clapping:


23-05-2012, 01:55 AM
Ok, the video is up: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oESaki4m ... e=youtu.be (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oESaki4m0FQ&feature=youtu.be)
It's long - about 12 1/2 minutes, and has background music so mind your speakers.

23-05-2012, 04:34 PM
What's the silver car that looks like a Nova but with gullwing doors?

23-05-2012, 06:27 PM
That's a Cimbria, first generation. You guys know it as an Eagle, just without the Porsche 928 headlights. The white Bernardi is the end evolution of that car.

23-05-2012, 08:25 PM
Thanks Rick - what an interesting show; its clearly not just for kit cars is it? I wondered where all our Spitfires had gone :laugh:

Maserati Meraks exported to the US came with a full-size spare wheel (space savers weren't allowed) and a large bulge on the engine lid to accommodate it. Not much point having the lid open then...

I really like that little Fiat Abarth, I think I could learn a lot about compact dashboards from its unique layout :clapping:

First gen Cimbria looks very clean. I know its a bit derivative, but I've always liked the Mangusta-style rear window too.


23-05-2012, 11:26 PM
Right Lauren, this show is billed as the Kit and Import show. Years ago - probably 15 or more - it was simply just a kit show. The imports had their own show date later in the year. In subsequent years as the involvement of the classic VW kits diminished, the show was merged. In it's heyday, the kit show was almost as large as 1/2 the field of the imports, now it's a bare shadow of it's former self - hardly three rows, and most of those are the Porsche Speedsters and Cobra replicas. I can see the kit side of the show disappearing in less than 10 years.. even the manufacturers who used to show are half of what was. Damn shame... the days of the classic kit cars are long gone.

24-05-2012, 11:54 AM
In the current financial climate, the specialist car market is the first to feel the pinch, unfortunately. I can't really comment on Stoneleigh this year because I didn't even bother to walk around the halls, but it is certainly smaller than it once was.

I would like to think that we are re-living what happened in the years shortly after the Novas birth, when the kit car industry virtually died as a result of the financial crisis (in the UK) and looming punative legislation. Unfortunately, that punative legislation has finally arrived, and will probably get worse in time, so I don't see a 1980s style boom on the horizon this time :(