After decades of designing and manufacturing his own products in the lighting industry, and finally being able to afford to go racing, Ivan Hayward went about it from a slightly different direction. Inspired by the racing and cars of the 1950s and ’60s, he built ‘DPN 83C’, an Appendix K FIA MGB from scratch – in the process spending far too much time and money restoring and correcting a 50-year-old chassis – Ivan started redesigning and manufacturing his own parts, starting with 3D printing brackets and mounts, making bolt-on wire wheel conversion hubs, and briefly becoming the European distributor for Watanabe magnesium wheels from Japan in the process.
Having been overtaken on-track by a TVR Grantura (with the same power and running gear as the MGB but a whopping 200kg lighter), the potential of the TVR was obvious and Ivan took some time out from racing, and exchanged the MGB for a TVR
Grantura MkIII road car. A year later and after stripping the car, fitting a roll cage, race engine, diff, uprated springs and all the safety equipment and so on needed to go racing, and fitting a set of Watanabe wheels, Ivan’s first race in 2018 saw him finish in the top 10.
With his background in product design, digital prototyping and manufacturing bespoke lighting pieces and a workshop (already containing a lot of the necessary engineering equipment?) it wasn’t long before Ivan was thinking about ways to improve the car. By the end of the 2018 season he’d been offered the factory body moulds – the opportunity to make his own chassis and bodies was too impossible to resist – for the Griffith 400 from 1965 and a corresponding chassis jig, which was adapted to produce the chassis for the Grantura MkIII. Originally the Griffith and Grantura fibreglass bodyshells were bonded to the chassis, resulting in trapped moisture and hidden parts of the chassis rotting from the inside, requiring the body to be cut away from the chassis for either to be replaced or repaired. In designing a new floor mould Ivan allowed his new chassis and bodies to be bolted together without bonding. He also set about making a new set of moulds for the outer bodywork and front bulkhead for the Grantura MkIII.
Hand making a new chassis for the Grantura ’76 PRT’ over the winter of 2018 also involved 3D modelling over 200 chassis tubes in high-strength, lightweight, laser-cut steel, together with almost 100 connecting pieces and brackets modelled, laser cut and folded, ready for use. 10 days’ bronze welding later and the chassis was ready for powder coating. With the running gear and body (now with new floors) attached to the chassis, Ivan redesigned his cooling system to make it more efficient, remade the hydraulic cables in braided flex and redesigned the fuel tank before putting the car back together.
The 2019 season didn’t go to plan, starting with racing the untested car at Spa and Ivan leading his first race at Snetterton before bearing failure and losing second gear (resulting in DNFs in subsequent races?), culminating in cylinder head failure and no spares available.
By the end of 2019 the car was put through a chassis dyno by a vehicle dynamics consultant, where – complete with driver – it was weighed, scanned and measured, with all the data put through software and a report produced. Using the data collected, the current handling characteristics were predicted, geometry changes were suggested and predicted lap times calculated for different tracks. For example the new settings would give a six-second improvement round Spa. Using this data the wishbone geometry has been fine-tuned, and Ivan’s made new wishbone jigs to allow wishbones to be aligned perfectly to each new chassis. If new wishbones are needed for that chassis the data is stored ready to set up the car again.
Over the winter and into 2020 Ivan redesigned the front hub and rear upright assembly, focusing on service life. Aluminium front hubs, as supplied nowadays for road cars, can’t be raced under FIA regulations and are remarkably hard to find in steel, the originals being 60 years old. The hub assembly is designed to be stronger and last longer, made from higher grade modern steel with uprated bearings. Grantura MkIII stub axles, caliper mounts and rear uprights have also been redesigned. Other unavailable parts include rear stub axles, which Ivan remade from aerospace material, again to be more durable, and the steering column was redesigned from the original offset straight one-piece tube to a multilink set-up with the steering wheel now placed directly in front of the driver. In a front impact the column will now collapse rather than push the steering wheel into the driver! Exhausts are now made in-house (apart from the standard MGB racing manifold and silencer) and work has gone into improving the engine.
Ultimately the plan has been to go through the car developing and remanufacturing parts, via digital prototyping, starting with ones no longer in production (in some cases from the 1960s). All of these parts have been created to enable Ivan to go racing, with the parts in stock to support a full season of racing. All these parts are tested through racing, with Ivan’s car, ’76 PRT’, being used as testbed.
The whole process is traceable from CAD model to finished part, with all CNC machined and 3D printed parts available with a manufacturing lead time of around 15 days.
It’s been an easy decision to make parts – whether it be individual components, sub-assemblies or rolling chassis with a shell on top – available to other competitors. There’s a lot of satisfaction from diversifying into a completely different field while using the same product design and engineering skills learned in years of manufacturing, but the root of it all is to go club racing. The aim isn’t to build complete racing cars to order but to supply parts to enable other individuals to build their own or specialists to build cars for them.
Please call Ivan on 01420562 470 or email him at [email protected] to discuss your classic TVR race car requirements.