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Old 27 Jan 2004, 04:15 (Ref:851851)   #1
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ThunderSports & ThunderSaloons

Following on from Andrews thread on Special saloons,
What do you remember of the ThunderSports and ThunderSaloon series.

My fav cars were the Foulston VDS Lola and the Jag powered escort.

Where are the cars now.

Sorry i`m no good with a camara so come post those pics.
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Old 27 Jan 2004, 13:45 (Ref:852246)   #2
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I remember watching quite a bit of both. I know I've got some photos lying around someone - but they're probably in a large bag in my study with around 10,000 others - none of them are indexed........
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Old 27 Jan 2004, 14:16 (Ref:852304)   #3
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Wasn't there a thread about this last year?

I remember Pete Stevens in the Bertec Carlton which happened to be on the Vauxhall stand at the Goodwood Festival of Speed last year and still had Pete's name in the window. Rod Birley still runs his Honda Prelude Thundersaloon although I believe he sold it late last year to another saloon car guy.
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Old 27 Jan 2004, 15:45 (Ref:852408)   #4
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I really enjoyed the thundersports races, I have quite a few piccys of them that are unscanned.
The Big CanAm cars where great, seeing them racing against sports 2000 was a bit one sided.
Some old grp 6 and early grpC cars made it to the series as well, the orange C100 and LolaDFV spring to mind(as does a Toj driven by someone who often posts on the site).
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Old 27 Jan 2004, 22:35 (Ref:852963)   #5
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There is one long thread in National Forum, somewhere about ThunderSaloons, but I can not find it as yet. You need to look back a couple of months.

Those of you who can find the new Track and Race cars magazine there is a very good article in it describing the series.

There are a couple of Thundersaloon cars still racing today, and are maninly racing in the Formula Saloon series. Ric Wood has his 600bhp+ Calibra V8, Peter Thurston has recently bought Rod Birley's Honda Prelude and plans to compete, whilst Rob Compton (member racing59) has the Astra Belmont Class B Thundersaloon (upto 2.5 litres), but will be putting a V8 in it very soon. There is a picture of it in the National Forum under best looking car.

Another old car is believed to be the basis to of a Special GT car. Someone else has the ex V8 powered Toyota Supra, and is plannign to run with a 'normal' supra engine as a track day weapon. There are numerous cosworth powered cars out there in various other formulas, as well as a several being only used on track days. As well as Pete Stevens Sertec Carlton that must be being used for shows.

Its a shame that not more of them are out there racing as the Formula Saloon grid is the ideal place to run them. I guess it must be cost. But with at least 3 ex-thundersaloons out there it might just get a few more cars out to play. It would be great to see some more of them, and especially hear them

I did not see any Thundersports races, but from what I hear they were an awsome sight and sound, especially witht he lighter 2litres against the mad Can-am cars. Must have been fun in the wet and twisty tracks.
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Old 27 Jan 2004, 23:18 (Ref:853006)   #6
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Tony - thundersports really was a terrific series, especially when they had good grids such as at the Brands GP support races. As you say, the Can-Am Lola monsters, some Group C machinery, a few DFV powered cars like the Otford Group Lola, quick 2-litre historic GT cars such as Chevron B21s, other 'modern' 2-litres like the Taylor/Lovett Tiga, Sports 2000s and even a clubman's Mallock. The difference in performance made for some hairy races as the quick cars often lapped the backmakers several times in a one hour race. Great stuff! I've got a couple of those Brands GP races on tape so will have to dig them out to watch again. The BBC broadcast them a week after the GP on 'Grandstand' with Murray commentating. Anyone remember when Ray Mallock went straight on at Druids in the Ecosse and the car burst into flames right under the TV camera? I also remember them at Oulton where Duncan Bain's Lep sponsored Chevron retired with driveshaft failure. The shafts had spiralled 3/4 times both sides - too much grip!

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Old 28 Jan 2004, 03:12 (Ref:853118)   #7
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I have fond memories of one car in particular,the open top Tiga with the Hart 418/420RT engine(ex F1) as driven by Will Hoy,as i was lucky enough to be given a few laps of Snett in it with Will. Doing 170+ down Revitt then being thrown against the belts for esses was sonething that i will always remember.

Also the Mazda rotory sponsored by Hawian Tropic, with the very nice grid ladies, what a loud engine that was.

In Thundersaloons who else had the same opinion as me that the Carlton was a works entry in all but name, i know i supported Rod Birley because of that.
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Old 28 Jan 2004, 10:46 (Ref:853418)   #8
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It did go under the Dealer Team Vauxhall banner I remember.
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Old 28 Jan 2004, 13:39 (Ref:853606)   #9
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It did go under the Dealer Team Vauxhall banner I remember.
It certainly was an official Vauxhall-backed entry- entered under the GM Dealersport banner with Mobil sponsorship, and prepared by the Dave Cook team who went on to run Vauxhall's early BTCC campaigns from 1989 until RML took over around 1994. Apart from the regular drivers John Cleland and Vince Woodman, didn't Derek Bell have at least one race in it?

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Old 28 Jan 2004, 14:05 (Ref:853632)   #10
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Startline1 - Will's Tiga with F1 Hart turbo power was phenomenally quick, that must have been a great ride! Co-driven in Thundersports by McLaren director Creighton Brown. Will let me do some laps of Snett in his Clubmans Mallock and a Chamberlain Sports 2000 Tiga during a corporate day back in '83.
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Old 28 Jan 2004, 14:40 (Ref:853698)   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by KA
It certainly was an official Vauxhall-backed entry- entered under the GM Dealersport banner with Mobil sponsorship, and prepared by the Dave Cook team who went on to run Vauxhall's early BTCC campaigns from 1989 until RML took over around 1994. Apart from the regular drivers John Cleland and Vince Woodman, didn't Derek Bell have at least one race in it?



Derek drove the car at Donington in 1988.
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Old 30 Jan 2004, 23:37 (Ref:857005)   #12
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I remember talking to Dad about Thundersports not too long ago, he used to love his car, said it used to be a bit of a giantkiller, even won a couple of races outright too!!
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Old 31 Jan 2004, 20:15 (Ref:857948)   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Stephen Green
It did go under the Dealer Team Vauxhall banner I remember.
The Carlton was still owned by Pete Stevens about four Years ago. Kept securely at the back of his Workshop. I believe he had a replica (i.e All Show no go)as well.

Regards, Jim Lamb
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Old 31 Jan 2004, 21:10 (Ref:858049)   #14
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Here's the original Thundersaloon post
http://tentenths.com/forum/showthrea...threadid=18209
Also if any ones interested, I am currently assembling a photo gallery on Rod's website. www.rodbirley.com
There are not many Thundersaloon pics at the moment but there are plenty of others.....
If anyone does have any decent photo's of Rod's machines please let me know as I would like to include more on the site.
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Old 31 Jan 2004, 21:24 (Ref:858067)   #15
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Many drivers appeared in both series -

Laurence Jacobsen
Tony Lanfranchi
Richard Piper
Holman Blackburn
Nick Oatway
Mike Chittenden
Barry Robinson
Hugh Chalmers
David Leslie
Ian Flux
Divina Galica
Wil Arif
Mark Hales
Rod Birley

and probably many more.
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Old 31 Jan 2004, 22:38 (Ref:858176)   #16
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Thanks Jim...
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Old 3 Feb 2004, 08:33 (Ref:861141)   #17
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The thunder saloons in these pic's are from some old mags not sure of spec's or drivers,but if needed I'll dig them out and check.
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Old 3 Feb 2004, 08:35 (Ref:861143)   #18
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number2
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Old 3 Feb 2004, 08:37 (Ref:861148)   #19
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Old 3 Feb 2004, 20:40 (Ref:861795)   #20
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Pic 1

97 class B Ford Escort - Sherlock and Bridger

52 class B Ford Escort - Paxman and King (probably)

Pic 2

112 class B Ford Escort - Edwards and Shaw

Pic 3

22 class A Honda Legend - Mensley? and Wolfe? this car had many driver pairings.

11 class A Opel Manta - Oatway and Marshall

4 one of Rod Birley's cars poss Colt Starion.

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Old 30 May 2004, 07:14 (Ref:987791)   #21
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Thundersaloon history

Jim Mensley used to be my neighbour (when I was a kid), and when he moved he'd already started on his awesome Honda Legend (I remember when the bare shell arrived from the dealership in Leicester and Mark started cutting it up in preparation for the new arches etc).

Jim also raced an awesome ex-Unser Camaro prior to the Honda Legend, and before that a Rover 3500. A former hot rod champion, he lost the sight of one eye in a garage accident, which cut short his career. I'll never forget travelling to Donington one day in his V6 Transit Van, as he slid it round the lanes with my dad hanging on with white knuckles



I am now hillclimbing against this Escort (we were out sprinting at MIRA yesterday where he was only 4 MPH quicker through the speed trap than me). Does anyone have any history on it? It was apparently in red/white/blue livery with a 700 HP Cossie Turbo, and now runs a Millington Diamond 2600cc engine on TB's.


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Old 3 Jun 2004, 16:55 (Ref:992907)   #22
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Re: Thundersaloon history

Quote:
Originally posted by graham blackwell
[IMG]I am now hillclimbing against this Escort (we were out sprinting at MIRA yesterday where he was only 4 MPH quicker through the speed trap than me). Does anyone have any history on it? It was apparently in red/white/blue livery with a 700 HP Cossie Turbo, and now runs a Millington Diamond 2600cc engine on TB's.
That description does ring a vague bell from somewhere- I'm sure I remember seeing a Cossie-engined RS2000 fitting that approximate description several times in the early 90's, although not in Thundersaloons
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Old 3 Jun 2004, 18:51 (Ref:993013)   #23
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Sounds like the Performance Unlimited car driven by Robin Hooker.
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Old 5 Jun 2004, 07:18 (Ref:994479)   #24
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Sounds like the Performance Unlimited car driven by Robin Hooker.
Really? Does anyone have any photo's? Are there any websites dedicated to history of Thundersaloons? I'd love to see more pictures of these fab machines, some may even jolt my memory, though I'll never forget Jim sliding his Legend out of the chicane on just about every lap at Donington. I wish I'd taken more photos at the time
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Old 5 Jun 2004, 09:35 (Ref:994544)   #25
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Sounds like the Performance Unlimited car driven by Robin Hooker.
Thanks- That's the one- I couldn't remember the drivers name, so you've saved me a search through my programme collection.....
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