Bruce Nunnally

Project: 1939 Jaguar SS100 Replica Classic Roadsters, LTD. "Duke"

543 posts in this topic

I am going to try to get this roadster kit running again. It appears to be a Classic Roadster designed replica of a 1939 Jaguar SS100. These were advertised as a "Duke" kit.

Right now it is in storage in Arkansas, so first task is to get it running well enough to drive to Texas, or get it to Texas non-running.

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Interior:

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We think it has a Toyota 6R 1.7L straight 4 engine [later in the thread we discover it has a 1770cc (1.8L) 3TC engine]

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Previous seller noted it had a rebuilt carburetor in 2007.

It was running, but the theory is the fuel pump needs replacement. Likely needs drain and refill the gas, pump up the tires, and other 'get it going after sitting' things.

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It also sits too low, and it has some odd exhaust tagged on that hangs too low.

From what I have read it likely weighs under 2,200 lbs, although info on these is pretty sketchy. I would love to get my hands on a full set of assembly instructions.

Kit car Mag Duke Discussion Forum: http://forums.kitcarmag.com/70/7668178/general-discussion/1939-jaguar-the-duke-by-classic-roadsters/

I hope to get it running and keep it as a weekend / errand car.

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Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black; 2013 Cadillac ATS 2L Turbo Premium (Wife's)

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Get it running and that can be your DD for when the "V" is in Florida... :hatsoff:


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With the "odd exhaust items" and "too low" issues, I would just get a pick-up and have it transported to Texas. I looked into such services on a couple of moves, and they aren't expensive. You can't be in a hurry, because you call these people and arrange a pick-up date that works with the road schedule of one of their car carriers, the same trucks you see delivering new cars to the dealers. It will need to have air in the tires and roll to work with this.

The first thing I would do is get under it and check out the springs, shocks, and suspension. The "too low" to me means broken springs. Given a tag number or the original specs or other hook that tells someone the length, diameter, and spring rate, you can get springs. Given the car's weight, the spring rates, and the length and mounts of the shocks, those shouldn't be a problem either. If you can find out if OEM parts were used for this circa 1973 kit car, suspension parts should be obtainable as necessary.

Of course, any good muffler shop can outfit you with a cat-back system in a couple of days, once the car is rolling. Better if it is running, too.

I'm sure that you don't need any advice on how to get the engine and electrics going again so I'll let that go for now.

Apparently this car was manufactured and sold with a variety of drive trains by Classic Roadsters of Fargo, ND. There is a thread on this car at Kit Car Magazine's forum:

http://forums.kitcarmag.com/70/7668178/general-discussion/1939-jaguar-the-duke-by-classic-roadsters/

The topic was started in 2009 and the last post is dated 11/22/12 so there are still people that will respond if you post. Most posts are about people trying to find parts or hard tops or convertible tops. This was a popular kit car for a lot of years.

The web page for Classic Roadsters is gone, replaced by an internet hosting company (Network Solutions) topic search page. I couldn't locate anything on a successor company. I did locate a set of photos from a tour of the production facility in 1985:

http://www.blackhawkengr.com/Classic%20Roadsters%20Factory%20Tour.htm

On eBay, there is a Classic Roadsters brochure from 1986 on this same replica with a parts list that may or may not be helpful:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Classic-Roadsters-Ltd-1986-Duke-SS-100-II-Kit-Car-Brochure-/220936929178?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3370ddff9a


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-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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I only had time/gear to grab some photos last weekend, but hopefully I can go back and actually fiddle with the car a bit and see if I can get it rolling. Even better if I can get it going -- there is something fairly simple wrong, but with no documentation it will take some regular old-school diagnosis and patience. It does have a 6R maintenance & repair manual with it. It appears to have a 6 volt electrical system.

Not sure why they used a 6R straight-4 engine, circa 60-74, but I suppose they used what whoever put it together had handy. This engine was not in a car exported to the US, which makes it doubly-odd. The "R" series was designed as a low compression engine for 87 octane fuel.

I think it was assembled in 87 with parts from 74. A lot of these when built by Classic Roadster started with hardware from a Chevette, or a Mustang II. This one would have started with hardware from a Toyota Corona, but may be a fun little car with the 1.7L SOHC engine sorted. I know the body was in the kit, and brakes, but some write-ups suggest the chassis itself was part of the kit also, and you just added engine/transmission.

An LS engine and 5 speed would be perfect is there, but if I can get it to work reliably makes sense to preserve it in as-built condition


Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black; 2013 Cadillac ATS 2L Turbo Premium (Wife's)

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Bit of history on Classic Roadster: http://www.tdreplica.com/forum2/forum_posts.asp?TID=730&title=classic-roadsters-ltd-history

The company was founded in 1979 by Gary Rutherford. The Duchess was their first car, a VW based MG TD. The front engine Duchess was introduced in 1982.

They also produced:

  • Duke (based on an SS100 Jaguar),
  • Marlene (a 7/8ths scale Mercedes SSK),
  • Baron (a four seat version of the Marlene),
  • Sebring (a stock appearing Austin Healy 5000; available in front engine and rear engine (VW))
  • Sebring MX (a Healey on steroids, their high performance answer to the Cobra world)
  • and ironically given the MX, their own Cobra, with a longer wheelbase and longer passenger compartment than the typical Cobra kits.

Gary sold the company in the mid 80's to a less than reputable competitor. The buyer dropped the unique product lines and used the Classic Roadsters Ltd name solely for marketing purposes. After sucking the cash and reputation out of CR Ltd, they eventually closed it down.

Gary reacquired the name in the early 1990s and resumed production of their Sebring and Sebring MX (Austin Healy 5000) and the Badlands RT (a "Hummer type" kit). I remember meeting with Gary and hearing his great promises for the company's future at the 1991 or 1992 Kit Car Nationals in Carlisle PA.

But things didn't turn out very well this time around. Gary was more focused on Leisure Industries, a sport boat manufacturer.

In May 2002, Classic Roadsters missed the Carlisle show for the first time ever.

And Gary sold the company again in the summer of 2003 to Don Scott, an employee.


Bruce

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Virginia+and+Dad.JPG

This was likely circa 2007 of the Duke in its glory after it arrived in Arkansas before the fuel pump issue. Scan of a print of a photograph.


Bruce

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AutoTransportSide.pngPickupSide.png

Getting a quote from an enclosed car hauler, but I see UHaul has a truck and auto transport option which could work for a 1-day run down and pull back.


Bruce

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CTS-V_Dashboard.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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Okay, my friends at church recommended I have our Mountaineer upgraded by Uhaul for an appropriate class 3 hitch. Uhaul has us scheduled for Mon morning and the 2" receiver will go right below the stock 1.25" receiver /shrug. Total hardware+install is $189.

I have reserved a UHaul car carrier trailer for Friday night after 7 pm for pickup, and we will take it round-trip to Arkansas and back on Saturday, hopefully with the Duke (Duchess?) on the trailer. It is a 260 mile trip each way. The car carrier trailer is $54 a day.

I will bring extra bungie cords, tie downs, tarp, etc to try to keep the Duchess out of the weather, in case there is weather. On arrival we will have to get the Duchess rolling -- pump up all tires, perhaps replace one or more, then figure out how to get it onto the trailer (it is very low).

Then we'll have 5-6 hour drive back with the trailer and Duchess in tow. It will be an adventure.


Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black; 2013 Cadillac ATS 2L Turbo Premium (Wife's)

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Sounds like a fun weekend...

If not for my wife's condition, I would love to go help you... :)


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Thanks Jim. I have reserved son2 for the day Sat; he is also taking his Mountaineer back over to get the hitch fixed Monday. There are several things to sort out even if all goes well, so we may come back with an empty trailer but smarter.


Bruce

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Thanks Jim. I have reserved son2 for the day Sat; he is also taking his Mountaineer back over to get the hitch fixed Monday.

There are several things to sort out even if all goes well, so we may come back with an empty trailer but smarter.

Believe me... I've been down that road more than once... LOL


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Taking this portable winch and tow strap (links to amazon).

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I have my compressor, so I'll toss in my power cord for airing the tires. Hopefully they can hold air long enough to roll among the 4 tires + 2 spares.

Packing list: compressor, winch, tow rope, son2, tarp, bungie cords, paperwork, ...


Bruce

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I would not trust bungee cords to hold it.

I would want chains and load binders on all 4 corners...

.

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The car trailer has drive-on netting which is pulled up around each front wheel and locked in place to keep the car in position on the trailer. I'll grab up some extra chains.


Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black; 2013 Cadillac ATS 2L Turbo Premium (Wife's)

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Another thought...

Since you have never heard it run... and since it has a carburetor...

You could pour 2 or 3 teaspoons of gas into the carburetor to see if it will run at all.

I know it will only run for 2 or 3 seconds doing this... but it would be nice to actually KNOW it runs before you bring it back and then find out you have to replace the engine because of some internal malfunction you didn't know about beforehand.

Starting fluid would also work...

Just thinking out loud........


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It is my issue as is where is, so better to get it home regardless.


Bruce

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New tow hitch and accessories on the Mountaineer. Headed tonight to get the Uhaul car carrier, and off at dawn tomorrow for Arkansas.


Bruce

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trailer.jpg

U-haul car carrier staged with Mountaineer ready for tomorrow's attempt to bring the Duke Roadster from Arkansas


Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black; 2013 Cadillac ATS 2L Turbo Premium (Wife's)

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Perhaps this new platform is the future home of your extra Eaton?


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-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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The supercharger/intercooler unit arrived. Beautiful piece of engineering. Also got a set of shop manuals for the V, getting read for the next projects there.

For the Duke Roadster just want to get it to work at all for now.


Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black; 2013 Cadillac ATS 2L Turbo Premium (Wife's)

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I wish I could help more but the only thing I can offer is general knowledge and experience from the era. My thing was mouse and rat motors at the time. I had a 318 for awhile but I never touched it because it got 24 mpg on the road, a mountainous gas mileage at the time. I dreamed of putting a 340 in it but I never did. I ended up trading it for a 1973 454 Caprice Estate two weeks before the oil embargo, and sold that ASAP because it wouldn't get more than 9 mpg, and ended up with the 1969 Chevrolet wagon with the 427, which had twice the horsepower and twice the gas mileage.

I would say that engines of that period were mostly bulletproof so long as you changed the oil occasionally, but head problems could occur. I wouldn't pull it down unless it showed irregular compression a month after you get it running. But, check the timing belt/chain/whatever; those are bad luck for old motors that sit for a long time, particularly neoprene/fiberglass ribbed timing belts, which were the most commonly used types on small engines.


CTS-V_Dashboard.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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IMG_0789.JPG

Airing up all 4 tires

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getting the ramps ready on the car carrier

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The Duke Roadster in storage ready to come to Texas

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Top up

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Mighty portable battery powered winch did great service for this trip

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Loaded and ready to roll


Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black; 2013 Cadillac ATS 2L Turbo Premium (Wife's)

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View from the back

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Tail-gater all the way home!!

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over the shoulder Duke Roadster

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Gas stop. The Mercury Mountaineer managed 17+ mpg pulling the empty trailer there, and 13.4 mpg pulling the loaded trailer back. Very good, and less fuel than it would have taken to drive both back (if the Duke were road ready)

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Curbside service, since we were coming here.

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Off the trailer and on the tarmac

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In the garage next to the Prius

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Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black; 2013 Cadillac ATS 2L Turbo Premium (Wife's)

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Very good job....

I assume there were no problems getting it home.

It looks pretty dang good to be as old as it is... :)


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