Back in 1970 Dr Rod Longton took delivery of a factory fresh TVR Tuscan for the MCD `STP`sponsored Modsport championship. Taking on the established Healey 3000`s in the 3-litre class he gained 9 class wins enough not only to win the class but pip Richard Taft`s Cobra for outright champion.
In 1988 the car dropped a valve in its last race and was pushed away into a barn and forgotten about until recently. Still in the same livery its been restored and hopefully with return to the tracks in 2017. This is its story...
The TVR Tuscan V6 fitted neatly in the middle of the company`s range . The 4 cylinders cars were called the Vixen ( around 750 made ) ,the Tuscan V6 ( 101 ) and the Tuscan V8 ( 73 ). Of all the 6 cylinder sports cars on the Uk market in 1969 the TVR was one of the rarest ,comparable to the dearer Marcos 3-litre ( 340 made ) which also used the same Ford engine. The engine in question was the 2994cc unit from the new Ford Capri V6 `Essex`giving some 128 bhp in standard tune.
Longton from Essex had previously raced an Elva Courier before buying the ex-Paddy Gaston TVR Grantura 1.8 `XPG1`which raced in Marque/Production Sports races from 1967-69 , especially in the MCD`Amasco`events. So he was in a good position to take delivery of a new factory lightweight Tuscan in december 1969 albeit in kit form which probably avoided paying purchase tax. In kit form the price was listed at £1558 but built and taxed £2015. The old Grantura was sold to Paul Howard who continued to race it in the 70s. The new car was prepared and entered by Lockhart Sportscars of Petersfield,Hants and featured flarred arches to take the 10inch Pearce real wheels and 8inch Cooper fronts. It was one of the first cars to race with the new`essex`engine ,which initally was under powered due to the lack of tuning parts at the time of delivery.
Apparently Longton finished the build on the saturday and ran the engine in on his way to a sprint event at Brands Hatch on the sunday. This was his preparation for an assault in the newly renamed Modified Sports Car Championship. Longton sticking with the MCD (BRSCC) one which favoured his local Brands Hatch circuit over the BARC run version.
1970 MCD `STP` OUTRIGHT CHAMPION. STP rounds are numbered as the actual ones run after initially planned round 1 was cancelled due to bad weather. All 9 recognised class wins accounted for though only 6 rounds were the full points awarded.
The above photos taken by myself at CSCC Thruxton weekend April 2017 .
Car kindly provided by current owner Duncan Stokes.