This Tui is an ex-California Super Vee and autocross car. I bought it with the intention of restoring it to vintage Super Vee specs to run as a “wings and slicks” car. Before starting the restoration, I removed the huge exhaust system and fabricated the short pig tail exhaust that you see in the photos. I then ran it in two autocrosses where it was blindingly fast, but had no reverse gear. For restoration I first had molds and a new, white nose cone made. The black nose by the molds is the original “Tire Rack” nose that was used for the mold plug. The autocross front wings were like small cowcatchers. I wanted to make larger, lighter Super Vee sized front wings. First I fabricated a lighter, ‘pickle-fork’ wing support to fit with the new nose. My downfall was learning the design, materials, and fabrication of the front wings. As they are now the new front wings only need to be skinned and endplates attached. But things change, and I cannot finish the restoration. I hope someone will pick up where I left off. The marque has such interesting history, and the car is a beast with great possibilities. As it is now, one could reinstall the autocross nose and front wings, and run FTD at the next autocross. In the same configuration one could run all of the East Coast hill climb series. This Tui would be a bodacious hill climb car. The restoration as a “wings and slicks” car could be finished. By removing the wings, the car could even be returned to its original 1973 Super Vee specs. My suggestion would be to run it this summer in autocrosses and hill climbs, then in the fall, restore it to vintage specs for next year’s races.
The legend of Tui cars begins with Alan McCall, a Lotus mechanic who worked on Jimmy Clark’s cars. Dissatisfied with the fragility of the Lotus cars, McCall, a New Zealander, moved on to work with the sturdier McLaren cars. Soon he had designed his own F3 car which used many of the McLaren parts, and looked very similar to the M7 F1 car and Revson’s # 86 Indy car. Next came a Formula 2 Tui. Unfortunately, Bert Hawthorne crashed the car and died in the same Hockenheim corner where Clark was killed. (My interest in the marque began when John Watson’s F2 Tui blew the doors off my FF at the old Road Atlanta. I thought the Tui was best car ever.) As a tribute to Hawthorne, McCall’s later Tui models bore the prefix BH. The Tui Super Vees did well early on; Bertil Roos won the championship. At the time Tuis were piloted by many future stars such as: Elliot Forbes-Robinson, Hurley Haywood, Keke Rosberg, and Steve Saleen, among others. Eventually the water cooled cars became dominant, and the air cooled Tuis found new life as autocross and hill climb champions. Notable names here include: Art Allen, George Bowland, Barry Goldine, Bill Goodale, and the perennial winner of the Knox Mountain Vancouver Hill Climb, John Haftner. Some of these Tuis have been very heavily modified for their series. This particular car has only had wings added, although it has been suggested to replace the VW engine with a Subaru turbo.
Recent Competition History
Three national first places, and several SCCA regional autocross championship wins, several FTD's