Rover 220 Coupe Turbo Ex-Dunlop Racer

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James3990
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Rover 220 Coupe Turbo Ex-Dunlop Racer

#1 Post by James3990 » Tue Jan 26, 2021 7:06 pm

So after getting my Coupe Turbo practically 'finished' last year with the completion of the bodywork, I don't really have any further plans other than drive it and keep it highly maintained. Here is the link to anyone that hasn't seen it - https://www.rover200.org.uk/forums/view ... 38&t=13996

It's a strange feeling to be at this stage after 7 years in the making so my eyes started looking elsewhere :rolleyes

As a Coupe fanatic, Ive owned these cars for the last 12 years starting off with a Platinum Silver 216SE Coupe which I owned for 5 years but always wanted a Turbo. I eventually got a 220 Coupe Turbo which is the one mentioned above and I absolutely love it. Roughly at the same time as buying my FDH, I started to take more interest in the history of the Rover Sport Dunlop series in the early 90's and the later championships that followed. I think there were around 35 x 220 Coupes prep'd out the factory purely for racing and every now and again these Ex-dunlop cars appear on Ebay or Facebook and they take a real interest with me.

The only problem today is that these cars are now close to 30 years old and they are in all kinds of condition. Some originals still exist but most of them have been re-shelled or scrapped.

In November 2020, I was offered one which can only be described as frankinstein. It gets slightly disappointing from here so please don't get too excited :laughing2

The Dunlop Race car in question originally looked like this in the early 90's:

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It then went through various colour changes throughout various championships and later looked like this:

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On the same day this picture was taken, the car was involved in a crash being heavily rear ended in a race forcing it to retire :rip

The car did re-appear again in surprising mint condition, repaired and fresh paint on the outside....

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...but on the inside, was signs of a cut and shut. This race car literally got cut in half and a new rear end welded in (I do have pictures somewhere) :laughing2

The car disappeared for a number of years but later reappeared on Ebay now looking like this :glare

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I'm not sure if the person who purchased the car on Ebay knew its history, but they made the right decision to completely re-shell the car and start again, so they went out and brought a 218vvc rolling shell:

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The 218vvc they purchased only happened to later be confirmed as a members old car - rjessett. Here is a picture of him in the car during its glory days!

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So with all of the above digested, it's now time to show you what Frankenstein looks like. This is basically now a road car fitted with Ex-dunlop 220 Coupe running gear.

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Now the car is in my possession and Ive had a good look around it, I can honestly say that the re-shelled car is no better than the old cut and shut shell that was scrapped :slapme

The chassis is not race prep'd like the Roversport cars and its been bodged together in various areas which you might be able to see in the pictures above.

I'll be stripping the car right back to a bare shell and starting again with the aim of having the car look more like its original form.
Rover 220 Coupe Turbo
Rover 220 Coupe Turbo Racer

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RoverRevival
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Re: Rover 220 Coupe Turbo Ex-Dunlop Racer

#2 Post by RoverRevival » Tue Jan 26, 2021 8:58 pm

I think you are very brave doing these levels of restoration with only very few understanding how much it costs to get to that level and even “enthusiasts” complaining about the prices.

It’s strange how people would prefer to buy a £300 bag o rust and put £4-5k into restoring it but then moan when someone try’s to sell a completed car for £3500.
Plenty of parts for sale @ www.roverrevival.co.uk

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Re: Rover 220 Coupe Turbo Ex-Dunlop Racer

#3 Post by James3990 » Wed Jan 27, 2021 8:54 am

RoverRevival wrote:
Tue Jan 26, 2021 8:58 pm
I think you are very brave doing these levels of restoration with only very few understanding how much it costs to get to that level and even “enthusiasts” complaining about the prices.

It’s strange how people would prefer to buy a £300 bag o rust and put £4-5k into restoring it but then moan when someone try’s to sell a completed car for £3500.
This isn't a restoration as such, more of a functional project for my own personal use. I will however be bringing this car back up to a decent level so it will be a brave pill to swallow :)

So the first job was to start stripping the front end down so I could have a better look at the conversion in more detail. First job was to remove that front bumper.

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Then it was time to remove all this mess upfront.

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Look at how badly the front slam panel has been butchered!! :glare

I then removed the engine and gearbox

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We did have the engine running before the strip down and it sounded sweet. I will be going over it in more detail at a later stage before its refitted back in the engine bay. There is a lot of welding required on this car, a mixture of repairs and strengthening so that it's suitable for racing and can handle the stress from the heavy T series. I've purchased a new front slam panel ready and I need to get the car up on axle stands so I can finish removing everything else ready.

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Rover 220 Coupe Turbo
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Re: Rover 220 Coupe Turbo Ex-Dunlop Racer

#4 Post by RoverRevival » Wed Jan 27, 2021 9:05 am

This alone is why i love race cars...*laughs*

Access!!!!

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Plenty of parts for sale @ www.roverrevival.co.uk

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Re: Rover 220 Coupe Turbo Ex-Dunlop Racer

#5 Post by GTiJohn » Wed Jan 27, 2021 9:24 am

Brilliant :clapping

That is one brave pill that you've swallowed!

This is a story we should have in the club magazine, The Viking.

Would you be interested in writing it please?

Perhaps in two parts:-

1) How it got here, basically the story to now so you've nearly written it
and
2) Your restoration work and the finished car
I like Twin Cams.... and Single Cams

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Re: Rover 220 Coupe Turbo Ex-Dunlop Racer

#6 Post by James3990 » Wed Jan 27, 2021 11:07 pm

GTiJohn wrote:
Wed Jan 27, 2021 9:24 am
Brilliant :clapping

That is one brave pill that you've swallowed!

This is a story we should have in the club magazine, The Viking.

Would you be interested in writing it please?

Perhaps in two parts:-

1) How it got here, basically the story to now so you've nearly written it
and
2) Your restoration work and the finished car
Definitely, that would be great. I will drop you a PM.
Rover 220 Coupe Turbo
Rover 220 Coupe Turbo Racer

James3990
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Re: Rover 220 Coupe Turbo Ex-Dunlop Racer

#7 Post by James3990 » Wed Jan 27, 2021 11:28 pm

So I've managed to get the front of the car up in the air on axle stands which then enabled me to drop the suspension, brakes and subframes. Also the remains of the front slam panel was removed in preparation for the new panel to be fitted and the windscreen was removed.

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Upon removing the rear subframe, I noticed some serious cracks :o

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I could replace this subframe with another in better condition, but to be honest the problem will come back again so its better to repair this one and also improve the strengthening in areas :scared

So now with the car pretty much stripped down, it was time to start with the welding.

First job was to weld in the gusset plates (the triangle shaped parts) on the outer chassis legs as per the Roversport spec cars. You can just about see them in this picture painted in primer.

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New panel was then welded into place which I got excited about because its starting to look 'normal' again :laughing2

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Strengthening plates added to the inner chassis legs as per the Roversport spec.

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Then the engine bay completely seam welded along with the front arches after a couple of hours grinding off the underseal back to bare metal.

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And then finally the rear subframe repaired/plated and also seam welded:

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I might be making these updates look easy, but trust me I'm probably already 100+ hours into this car since owning it.

Thankfully the bank balance is holding out OK so far :laughing2
Rover 220 Coupe Turbo
Rover 220 Coupe Turbo Racer

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Re: Rover 220 Coupe Turbo Ex-Dunlop Racer

#8 Post by Mr Teddy Bear » Fri Jan 29, 2021 2:45 pm

Thanks for posting this, it's a useful insight for those of us unfamiliar with the Dunlop cars.
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216 Sli SRS Charcoal Met 1996

214Si Silver? Tempest Grey 1993

216 GTi Flame Red 1992

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Re: Rover 220 Coupe Turbo Ex-Dunlop Racer

#9 Post by JOHNDQ » Fri Jan 29, 2021 3:37 pm

Put a ZR frame on have quicker steering too :D been to see a few 216 GTi cup cars but like you said there wrecked and not many on original Shells so I'm just doing my own for the MG Cup
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Re: Rover 220 Coupe Turbo Ex-Dunlop Racer

#10 Post by henryiett » Fri Jan 29, 2021 4:29 pm

I've never heard of the Dunlop racers till now
Rover 214si 1990

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Re: Rover 220 Coupe Turbo Ex-Dunlop Racer

#11 Post by GTiJohn » Fri Jan 29, 2021 4:31 pm

That subframe has seen some serious loading over the years to crack like that :o

Has anyone seen them cracking on road cars?

They usually rust first...
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Re: Rover 220 Coupe Turbo Ex-Dunlop Racer

#12 Post by Mr Teddy Bear » Fri Jan 29, 2021 4:37 pm

The white 220 GSI I just forget who owns it, failed MOT on a subframe crack last year.
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214Si Silver? Tempest Grey 1993

216 GTi Flame Red 1992

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Re: Rover 220 Coupe Turbo Ex-Dunlop Racer

#13 Post by henryiett » Fri Jan 29, 2021 4:46 pm

Like I think it depends on the model, and where they live like mine has no rust
Rover 214si 1990

James3990
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Re: Rover 220 Coupe Turbo Ex-Dunlop Racery

#14 Post by James3990 » Fri Jan 29, 2021 11:39 pm

GTiJohn wrote:
Fri Jan 29, 2021 4:31 pm
That subframe has seen some serious loading over the years to crack like that :o

Has anyone seen them cracking on road cars?

They usually rust first...
I’ve known a few road cars over the years that suffer with this problem too, Mainly 220’s with the heavy T16 engine.

I’ve never checked my FDH, and this has made me paranoid now :blink
Rover 220 Coupe Turbo
Rover 220 Coupe Turbo Racer

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Re: Rover 220 Coupe Turbo Ex-Dunlop Racer

#15 Post by James3990 » Sat Jan 30, 2021 12:34 pm

So with all the welding now finished and engine bay strengthened, it was time to start putting things back together.

I had the subframes and ARB powder coated in gloss back (I'm boring with my colour choices I know :laughing2 ) and stripped down the front hubs for sand blasting.

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I then made a start on painting the engine bay myself with some heavy duty chassis paint in gloss white. It was applied with a brush and surprisingly the finish is quite good, no brush marks anywhere and very durable stuff hence its name. The top section of the slam panel hasn't yet been painted for a reason, this will be cut out and a removable panel fabricated in its place. The purpose of this on a race car is to help with time & ease.......removing/refitting components in the engine bay during a race etc.

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The Roversport cars are fitted with rose-jointed lower arms, so all other rubber bushes are going to be replaced/rebuilt with polyurethane bushes - drop links, tie rods and ARB

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And then back on the car along with the suspension I'm going to use - GAZ GHA Coilovers.

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My focus is to get the car back on four wheels ASAP, but you may have seen from the pictures the interior?

Because this is a road chassis, the inside of the car also needed work doing. This is how it looked.

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Then it was time to start removing the sound deadening off the floor pan, remove the dashboard and roll cage from the car.

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Then some more strengthening added to the chassis along the floor and bulkhead.

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And then I purchased a pair of subframes, bucket seat and harness ready. The inside of the car will also be painted before everything is refitted.

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Thanks for looking
Rover 220 Coupe Turbo
Rover 220 Coupe Turbo Racer

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