Advert up today.
I envy the new owner.
Sale includes nearly everything required for an event, not quite a “turn key” deal but probably as close as you are going to find. The new owner would have to supply their own hand tools and reset the driver and navigator controls to suit their own ergonomics.
The car comes with a good spares package to carry in the car and a set of critical spares to hold ready at base. A complete camping set up of mats, tents, sleeping bags good for -20 Centigrade and a recovery set of hi-tech sand mats and low-tech Chinese shovel mounted on bespoke pins on the boot lid (with these you can bridge over ditches as well as escape from soft surfaces).
The car is the result of three years of research and development. There is hardly an inch of the shell that hasn’t been worked over or strengthened. A full roll cage protects the crew and offers amazing rigidity. This is one of very few cars that didn’t have shock absorber problems on event, the Reiger units fitted were just stunning in use – during the development of the car they were a major leap forward for the handling.
Weight balance, with full 200 litre fuel tanks and the crew on board, is near as dammit 50/50 with nearly all the weight held low and between the axles. The car has very good angles of attack and departure (short overhangs). Overall competition kerb weight is approximately 1750kg plus the weight of the crew – pretty good for an American V8 in rally trim.
The engine was deliberately de-tuned to run on any fuel available. We had no problems even when drawing the dregs from a fuel tanker. Much thought has gone into filtering fuel and an easy system of draining the bottom of the two tanks is built in. Vibration through the car is minimal and the platform is astonishingly stable even on the roughest stages and sections. Post event very little had moved or come undone in the toughest conditions. We used an open storage box between the seats for oddments and tools, we worried that we might need a lid before the event, but in practice nothing stirred even slightly.
The engine although modest in power (peak 272hp) provides great gobs of torque from the bottom of the rev range (peak 475 NM). This makes Geen very easy to drive, flooring the throttle in any gear gives you so much get up and go. Much of the competition in Europe is uphill and all that drive gave us a very real edge. The throttle pedal has a long travel which allows the driver to moderate that power when required. A spare set of jets is kept at hand to help the carburettor if required – at altitude or running on low octane fuel – we never used them but it was a comfort knowing we had them with us. The engine gave us no problems, we didn’t even have to clean the points. Oh and you never get used to the stunning noise it makes, check out the You Tube videos. One of the marshals said hearing it coming in to the final control at the end of the stage was “glorious” and that was after most of the field had passed through.
We had no problems from the five speed gear box. Third was definitely a favourite gear, in which the car is exhilarating to drive. Fifth is a very overdrive gear, allowing 110kph cruising at low revs, saving fuel and stress through the whole car. There is so much torque and traction in first and second that the driver has to manage wheel spin on most surfaces, Tsk.
Attention to rally detail throughout has been fanatical, every component and method of operation has been thought hard over. A competition trolley jack is mounted at the top of the boot in a bespoke holder to facilitate quick wheel swaps with an impact driver holstered alongside. It also proved ideal combined with a pair of collapsible axle stands for fixed services. Lids are chained to the car to prevent their loss. Coils are mounted in tandem so a quick change can replace a failed one (and the leads to do so are long enough). The battery clamp is definitive and the location such that if it did fail, the battery couldn’t jump the space it’s in. The fuel filter is blocked out from the wing to prevent it developing a cantilever action on its mount.
A Peltor intercom is hard wired to the car with headsets and an iPod lead for music on the go. Geen has two Monit displays with GPS aerials on the roof, the navigator’s has a back up wheel sensor, with a GPS aerial in the spares kit. Wiring, roof mounted GPS Aerials and dash mounts for two Garmin GPS devices come with the car but only one Garmin device is supplied with the sale. A tracking device is fitted in car and is live for the rest of this year.
The tyre pressure monitoring system proved valuable, alerting us to the one puncture we got before the Tyre went flat, probably saving the Tyre for later use. Wheels and tyres seemed a good choice for the event surfaces: Vredestein Comtrac Winter tyres, six ply sidewalls for Van use worked fine on dirt and rough in Mongolia. There are probably better tyres for the mostly tarmac European sections but these worked well for us, and there were still plenty of gravel stages in Europe. The tyres on the car are as they finished the event, good enough to test on, but you would replace all with new before the next event, usefully they’re not wildly expensive.
The brakes stood up well to the abuse they got. A future development to consider might be using a more modern four pot calliper. Adjustable Front to rear bias control on the dash allows quite subtle transfers of effort to the driver. Spare pads and special brake tool included.
The roof vent leaks slightly in heavy rain but this is a small price to pay for the cooling achieved. Dust ingress into the cabin was very well controlled, the boot did less well but was manageable. We forded many rivers, including one about a metre deep with ease. We have prepared the car for water up to the height of the air filter, all the breather tubes double up to that height before venting under the car to keep water out of key components.
Paddle clutch has been recently changed so Geen is currently running in a new one. The replaced clutch did 18,000km of testing and 14,500km of event without trouble despite the loads put through it. The old clutch will be repaired as a running spare for the car.
The rear suspension worked a treat, a few bolts were tightened at one of the late services but that’s all. All the spares we carried have been run on the car previously. So for example, we carry two spare fuel pumps, both are wired identically to the two in use on the car, and known to work, for a quick and reliable substitution.
The event did reveal a critical weakness in our preparation. Although of a competition specification, one which had never caused a moments concern in testing, the front lower ball joints developed movement after the first day of competition. It transpired that the new ones we fitted before the event and the two spares we carried were insufficient for the task. Examined at the road side we discovered nylon caps – no good – but having never had a problem we had never taken one apart before. This really handicapped our efforts on this event and reflects in our final placing. Repairs in the field to accommodate new larger ball joints created transferred problems throughout the front suspension. New front end improvements are in train at Autosportif and the car will be sold with a vastly more effective front end.
We left the UK with a failing starter motor, which is being repaired and replaced before sale. There is a good chance that the voltage being drawn by the failing starter was the cause of a high incidence of alternator failure, we are waiting for forensics on why the alternators failed, testing should reveal the cause and a cure put in place, it’s possible that the alternators may have all had a single component fault too.
Otherwise we had a problem with the thrust washers in the differential, diagnosis is in train, but it may simply be a matter of how the differential is assembled and how the drive shafts are mated to it. Again the car will not be sold without a correction.
For a thirty six day rally for an untested/unknown car that is a small list of failures. We would anticipate as many from a weekend event in the UK. With the upgrades in place this car will be remarkable for the new owner.
Oh and it looks awesome.