The Car

HISTORICAL GLIMPSES - PAGE ELEVEN

ADU 179B - technically the last built of the Le Mans coupes, looks rather forlorn sans its innards and exterior dressings. However, one gets a much more accurate understanding of how these bodies were crafted studying pictures like these. With the trappings removed, you can clearly see the points at which steel and aluminum are brought together. While a bit hard to visualize, there is a completely new cowl ramp-up section sandwiched on top of the existing cowl, to establish the revised angle of the generous windshield. Dick Barker, owner of the Le Mans "mule", allows as how this piece of hand-formed steel is the single most impressive part of the whole car. Alloy legs extend down from the equally imposing top section, to engage matching steel stubs on the reworked cowl, forming the finished windshield opening.


ADU 179B in 1992, as it was being stripped for a complete refurbishing. These photos offer a rare glimpse at the underpinning of this 1964 Le Mans contestant. As is becoming all too common with the Tiger story, an examination of construction techniques leads to more questions than answers. Thankfully, all three examples survive, as do a few of the people involved with their creation.


As long as you're going to be working on the bottom of the car, why not make it as convenient as possible? It seems that no matter what the viewing angle, these machines are just plain sexy.

One anomaly involves the telltale shape of the turn signal housing opening in the front fenders. The best of current thinking holds that the bodies used for these racing machines were Series III's. If true, you would think the fender should show some signs of being modified to accept the Series IV/V turn signal housing (early Series fenders would have had a small round hole to accommodate a bullet style turn indicator lamp). Instead, both race cars and the earlier built, development car, share what appear to be "factory" produced die cut apertures, consistent with Series IV bodies. That leaves us with a slight predicament, or at the very least, some heavy explaining to do.

At its simplest conjecture, some part of the original fabrication process has to have forced the replacement of the front fenders. It is my opinion that fitting the new cowl piece required removal of the front wings. At that point, fresh body elements coming out of "Pressed Steel" would have been the new '64 model year configuration and there you have it. No doubt, someone will find huge holes in my logic, but until then, you can continue to tell your friends what a wizard I am. The Eckford plan called for returning AUD 179B to competition. After a complete structural once-over and seam welding everything in sight, the underside was treated to several coats of primer/sealer in preparation for a re-spray of BRG.


Preparation is the key to trouble free competition use and Tony elected to go the whole route. Having driven the finished product, I can attest to the effectiveness of fully attaching as many of the seams as possible.


Definitely worth the added effort. The bottom of ADU 179B should be good for many years.

This small collection of pictures has served to shed light on the "Lister" secrets, but much of the mystery remains hidden. Dick Barker admits to having his own assortment of revealing photos, taken back in 1980, during the early phases of restoration of his car. In them, all of the aluminum has been removed to allow dipping of the steel elements only. "Amazing", just barely covers my reaction to seeing those images. With copies in hand, I'm working on an extensive review for an upcoming issue of "Tiger Press" and making efforts to contact someone at "Lister & Sons" who might be able to answer some very basic, but historically, significant questions. "What did they get from Rootes?" seems like an obvious opener. If you should get there before me, feel free to share.

LINKS--YOU'LL--LIKE

1996 Historical Glimpses Archive

1997 Historical Glimpses Archive

1998 Historical Glimpses Archive

1999 Historical Glimpses Archive

2000/2001/2002 Historical Glimpses Archive

Current  Historical Glimpse


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