I particularly enjoy a good conversion. Getting a non standard engine or gearbox etc to fit right, work right and look right can be tricky but very satisfying. I have converted a couple of Spitfires to Rover V8 power successfully so the extra bonnet height of a Herald should be a breeze?.....right?
The brief for this completely standard Herald 1200 was to assemble and install the power unit - the rest was up to the owner.
First trial fit to highlight areas for major surgery. A piece of bulkhead each side to clear the cylinder heads, some chassis trimming around the gearbox, some trimming of the gearbox itself, and mountings to create.
Surprising isn't it, pick the right donor vehicle and these fit without much drama.
Fitted and refitted about a dozen times to get it just right. Sitting back far enough to leave room for the radiator. SD1 sump clears steering rack and front crossmember comfortably.
Standard factory cast exhaust manifolds are no good really. This side is Ok but the other side is always a different design and the steering column and starter motor get in the way.
It's in and here the bonnet and front valance are on with a radiator to check clearances. There would be room under the standard bonnet for a single Weber/Holley type down-draught carb on appropriate manifold but for cost reasons the owner retained the original SUs, so I made a neat scoop echoing the shape of the front wing tops.
Looks swish in Glacier white. It's just up to the owner for everything else now!
Well, not quite...... here it is some months later after completing the Round Britain Reliability Run (2000 miles in a weekend!) I had much more to do on it before it was roadworthy including getting the engine connected up, exhaust, cooling, electrics, suspension, brakes, hood and frame and the final MOT preparations.
One piece custom grille made from stainless mesh powder coated black gives the front a clean look.
Wheels are 15" MGF on Land Rover Freelander M12 studs.
After a short spell with a long SD1 water pump as seen in the first pictures I converted it to a short pump set up. Primarily to give room for a proper electric fan.
Although there is much more height under the Herald bonnet compared to a Spitfire, the issue became length with, as you can see, minimal clearance between rotating parts. Car runs cool though and is silly quick for an old Herald.