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1972 Surtees TS-11 Formula 5000 SOLD

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Chassis Number: 4
Location: Northern California
Price: $79,000 U.S.
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A perfectionist restoration of Sam Posey's highly competitive car. A vintage correct five litre (302) Chevrolet based iron block and head injected engine. Lucas-McKay induction, 546 Hp @ 7000 rpm. Restored using the best possible materials and and both cosmetically and technically dazzling.


In its day, this car was the class of the field. With an engine that was approximately 10 percent off the pace of the most ardent competitors, it captured six of eight pole positions in the 1972 season. It started every race from the front row, and was second overall in the championship, losing by one point. It then went to New Zealand and Australia to run the Tasman series, and was second there as well. Think of what that represents: No one on the Posey team had ever even been to any of the tracks they raced on in the Tasman series. The races were held every weekend, on a different track each week. All the races were two day events: practice Saturday, race on Sunday. Imagine the challenge of racing in a foreign country, with no access to your own facilities, no set-up data, no course knowledge and no gear charts, with no opportunity to test. To place second in such a series behind Graham McRae, the four time champion, was quite a feat. It speaks volumes of the driveability and tunability of this chassis. I have spoken with Mr. Posey about this car to confirm the history as I knew it. Indeed, in addition to confirming it, he was quite nostalgic about the car, citing it as probably the most enjoyable all-around race car he had ever competed in. This from a man who started in Formula Vee and ended up running Indy, LeMans, F1 and Can-Am. He chose this car to appear as the cover art on his autobiography, and he goes into detail about all the trouble they had that season that had nothing to do with the car. The biggest handicap in that season was the lack of a strong, reliable powerplant. Traco was the best engine builder at that time, and the Posey team was unable to secure an engine contract with them. In his book, Sam describes the cornering as effortless; his first drive in the untested car resulted in the capture of pole position at Laguna Seca in 1972. Sam, Dennis McCormack and John Surtees were happy to authenticate the car. you can't ask for more history than that.

Engine Features

Engine Machine Operations

Block: Completely magnafluxed and penetrant inspected for cracks or casting defects. Line bored, decked and trued parallel to crankshaft. Bored and honed first oversize to match Venolia pistons. New cam bearings installed. Revised oil routing with restrictors in upper galleys for improved lower end lubrication. Modified for dry sump use and all oil galley plugs converted to thread-in type.
Heads: Magnaflux inspected for cracks. Milled flat and true on all sealing faces. Fully ported and flowed with full-race valve job. All spring pressures set and installed heights equalized. ARP head studs used in place of head bolts.
Crank: Magnafluxed, polished and radiused. Dynamically balanced with all other reciprocating components.
Rods: Magnafluxed, equalized length end-to-end, resized and rebushed. Balanced end-for-end as well as dynamically.

Powerplant Preparation

This engine was extensively dyno-tested to facilitate tuning of the Lucas fuel injection system, spark plug selection, optimal timing, etc. This testing and tuning has resulted in an engine that produces 546 horsepower at 7000 RPM. The torque curve is extremely linear in that the engine averages over 400 ft-lb. between 4000 and 8000 RPM. These factors, along with the exceptional throttle response of the Lucas injection result in an extremely drivable powerplant with breathtaking acceleration. The powerplant package is rounded out by the following components:
Lucas-McKay induction system: mechanical, timed fuel injection system incorporating distributor drive. NEW McKay magnesium (not aluminum) manifold ($4500.00) with polished mag velocity stacks and new Dow 7 coating as original. The metering unit has been completely overhauled and flow tested, as have the injector nozzles and the mechanical fuel pump. New nylon injector lines were fabricated as well. All fuel system plumbing is braided stainless wrapped Aeroquip hose with aircraft fittings, incorporating the latest Kinsler fuel filter system and vapor separation tank. This fuel system was calibrated on the dyno with this engine and a brake specific/fuel flow rate relative to ambient air density and temperature was plotted. This was done to allow easy tuning and mixture adjustment for varying track conditions, and will save hours of mixture tuning at the track. It allows me to tune the engine with certainty for changing conditions of temperature, barometric pressure, altitude and humidity by referencing known data derived on the dyno, not a seat of the pants judgment. The fuel system is fed by a 17 gallon fuel cell, which was replaced in 1993.
Exhaust system: The exhaust system is a new fabrication for this car, duplicating the original. It incorporates the big-block style center exhaust ports, utilizing a bolt-on scavenge adapter plate. The entire system has been ceramic coated inside and out for corrosion resistance and maximum heat retention. The end result is a system which scavenges all cylinders evenly and efficiently, producing more power and more consistent operation. The ceramic coating is quite durable, providing a pleasing matte finish.
MSD ignition: The engine is fired by a Multiple Spark Discharge unit with an integral rev limiter and a high energy coil. This unit provides several benefits. First, the multiple spark discharge is exactly what it sounds like: it fires the plug rapidly several times at lower RPMs, as opposed to a single spark like a conventional ignition. This keeps the plugs from fouling when you are sitting on the grid or motoring through the paddock. Secondly, this hotter spark makes for easier starting. Thirdly, the soft touch rev limiter begins to cut out alternate cylinders if you exceed redline--the engine just seems to lose power and stutter, with a very smooth transition to normal firing as soon as the revs fall back into the preset range. With the horsepower this engine has, this feature is quite welcome as the revs build faster than you would think possible. The distributor pick-up has been replaced with a new magnetic pulse unit, and the distributor itself has been completely rebuilt, with new seals, bearings, advance weights and springs. The advance curve and initial settings were fine-tuned on the dyno for best power and throttle response while safeguarding against detonation. A new distributor cap and rotor along with a new set of fabricated suppression ignition wires complete the ignition system.
Tilton clutch package: the clutch, pressure plates and flywheel are a triple disc, ultra-lightweight F-1 style assembly. These components offer substantially reduced rotating inertia and bulletproof construction, weighing approximately one third of conventional components. Additionally, a lightweight gear reduction starter (also by Tilton) meshes with the special flywheel, providing reliable starts under adverse conditions. The starter is powered by a brand new Hawker-Siddeley (the UK helicopter manufacturer) safety cell, a battery which weighs only 18 pounds, yet provides an incredible amount of electrical energy.
Hewland DG-300: The transaxle has been completely inspected, and all critical clearances verified. It is a 5 speed unit, with a cam and pawl limited slip differential. The shift linkage was entirely replaced with a new fabrication, replacing the original English couplings with Apex sealed aircraft control swivel joints. These are the finest swivel joints in the world and they provide an unmatched level of precision for quick, accurate shifting. The power is delivered through roller bearing drive shafts with new universal joints.
Wheels and tires: The original wheels are magnesium spinnings, weighing about ten pounds each. The front wheels are 13 x 10; the rears are 15 x 20. They have been bead blasted to remove the old finish and then crack checked. All safety screws and seals were replaced, along with the valve stems. The inside and exterior inner surfaces of the wheels were completely refinished in anti-corrosive paint, while the outer surfaces were polished. These center lock wheels are retained by titanium hub nuts, with new steel safety clips. The tires are new Avon F-1, medium compound. They have set-up mileage only. All wheel bearings have been replaced and reshimmed. A new set of custom BBS drop center wheels have also been made for the car.
Fire system: A new halon system with 13 lb. capacity (over twice the required capacity) was installed in December of 1995. It is an electronically triggered system, activated by a push-button on the dash.
Shocks: Double adjustable 8212 Konis at all four corners. The shocks were rebuilt and dyno tested in January of 1996. These shocks are externally adjustable for both compression and rebound, and allow a wide range of chassis adjustment options.
Brakes: Four wheel ventilated Lockheed discs, inboard at rear. Lockheed calipers all around, Girling master cylinders. All hydraulic seals were replaced, new stainless lines were fabricated, and the fluid flushed in all systems.
Chassis: Aluminum alloy monocoque employing engine as stressed member. inboard cantilever front suspension with reversed lower wishbones in the rear. Completely inspected and a full race preparation. All rod ends and suspension bearings have been inspected, with any questionable components or fasteners replaced. The car has received a full chassis set-up and alignment, including corner weighting. The corner weighting and alignment was done in May of 1996 on a M-K Technologies / Intercomp set-up platen. A complete bump steer plot and rear caster adjustment was done as well. The result is a forgiving, responsive car with predictable handling, excellent adhesion under acceleration and precise roadholding under changing track conditions.
Another noteworthy point about this chassis is its strength. It is an extremely robust double section monocoque. It is constructed in such fashion as to maximize driver safety. John Surtees had been world champion in three different categories of racing; one of the driving forces behind his role as a constructor was to build a car that actually contemplated driver safety as part of its construction, not as a Band-Aid afterthought. Sam Posey, Brett Lunger and Rocky Moran all had mishaps in a Surtees--none of them sustained injury beyond bumps and bruises. Additionally, the cockpit is quite roomy, as Sam Posey was 6' 2" and about 220 pounds.


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