“The suspension is Triumph GT6 front and Stag semi-trailing arm rear, and so felt familiar – a little crashy over bumps but sportily firm.”
While the Delta sat on underpinnings found in a scrapyard, its bodywork was the work of passionate, skilled craftsmen.
“Smooth panels, gentle curves and neat joints were all made freehand in sheet aluminium,” wrote Cooke. “Ken Evans laid out the engine, running gear and suspension on a workshop floor and marked a few chalk lines on the ground. No design or technical drawing ever existed for the Delta.
"Evans and Viv Hunt, an aluminium craftsman, started with a steel chassis welded up to hold the mechanical components together. Then the outline of the body was framed in welded-up light tubing and the aluminium sheet bent and rolled to fit. When the panels matched up, the tubing framework beneath was cut out."
Unsurprisingly, the eight-year-old,unsorted show car wasn’t stunning to drive, although Cooke could sense potential.
“The Delta uses 13in wheels,so the car is effectively undergeared,” he wrote. “It did have one saving grace,though, in that acceleration was good enough to winkle a way in front of the traffic and the engine flexible enough not to call for lots of gear changing.
“Production versions would have given much more exciting performance – the plan was to fit a turbocharged Rover V8 and a ZF five-speed transaxle.”
Afterwards, the Delta went back into storage. “Perhaps, as they drape the sheet back over the Delta prototype, there’s a faint thought in the back of Evans’s mind that the time might be ripe to reconsider putting its stylish two-seater into production. Those freehand lines and a blown V8 sound too good to miss.”
Previous Throwback Thursdays
4 March 1899 - Steam, electric or combustion engine?
14 February 1913 - 100 miles in one hour
8 April 1916 - Making post-war predictions
25 March 1922 - Caterpillar tracks are the future
2 February 1934 - The ethics of skidding
21 January 1949 - Tidier tails
27 January 1961 - Ford Thunderbird road test
19 January 1980 - Talbot Horizon road test
13 February 1982 - 4x4s tested on the farm
16 March 1994 - Bentley's Concept Java
16 April 1997 - When Bugatti bit the dust
4 April 2001 - 0-260mph in 6.0 seconds
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