EMERYSONS - 1914 to 1963
1961 - 1963 Formula Junior and Formula One
On getting confirmation from Robert Danken that he agreed to
proceed, Paul set about obtaining finance for the project and
formed EMERYSON EXPERIMENTAL LTD. as it was the intention to market
a number of components featured in the design that were not currently
Peter re-configured the design of the 500cc with only a few changes
required to make it larger for the new Formula Junior; a little
longer and wider and increasing the space frame tube diameter.
The design change included adding six inches to the wheel base
and 3 inches to the track, along with a quarter of an inch to
the frame tube diameter.
The Morris Mini uprights that Peter proposed to use for the 500
car would not need to be shaved away as for the 500 formula. This
had been one of the major workshop jobs, removing all the excess
appendage from the B.S.A front uprights that were used for the
250. The FJ was initially designed for the new Ford 105E engine
mated to a highly modified VW transmission driving out through
the front wheels but Danken expressed a preference for the BMC
A series unit, to drop it into the lower 1000cc class.
designed and cast a revolutionary side mounted gear input for
the VW box, a design that was to be replicated on Hewland modified
transmissions in later years.
The Formula Junior was not to have the favoured swing axel as
on the 250 car but instead heeding Paul's advice, Dankin insisted
the swing axle be dispensed with in favour of the Chapman strut
which at the time it looked like a good idea. Peter was apprehensive
as he felt that the induced side loads of Cornering and braking
could adversely affect critical damper performance settings that
would be required for such a light weight rear end.
With his wife Jeanne's help in looking after the brake drum business,
laying up the glass- fibre body panels and curing them in the
sitting room because of the cold weather, the new Emeryson ELFIN
Mk1 was constructed in less than five months as it had to be at
London airport by mid May for despatch to the USA.
to the cars departure there was little time to carry out much
testing and also being wet at Eelmore, the testing area at Blackbush
Airfield, very little set up was able to be carried out and so
Peter was still unsure about the switch from swing axle to Chapman
strut. The limited testing that was carried out the car certainly
had little roll and no perceptible under steer but the adjustable
rear dampers provided had needed some fine tuning on bumps.
Paul at this time on behalf of the organization at Connaught
with Allan Brown, contracted Emeryson Experimental to design the
space frames for his companies Formula Junior, with the 1100cc
dry sump version of the Ford 105E based engine and the Formula
one with the Climax engine.
was also made whereby Peter would design the new parts, build
and prepare two engines, one for Emeryson Experimental and one
for Emeryson Cars, for a payment of £250 to cover Emerysons
Experimental's mechanics time in respect of the engine for use
by Connaught. It was also agreed Connaught's would fund the manufacturing
cost of the new parts that would be used to build the two engines.
In retrospect it was bad move as Connaught was experiencing financial
This included the new fully finished steel camshafts that Peter
had already manufactured and they would carry out the machining
of the castings for both engines free of charge. This seemed to
be a satisfactory arrangement to cover the two prototypes. Progress
from there on would depend on its performance.
Emeryson Cars/ Connaught, had all the manufacturing facility
and sales talk as it turned out, whilst Peter had all the design
skills and drawing office facility. Apart from the initial meeting
with Allan Brown and Co., Peter had little direct contact with
any other directors other than Paul and the director of the Machining
facility; Once agreement had been reached on who was going to
do what; with a clear understanding on pooling of resources and
restrictions on in-house changes, Connaught agreed to pay Peter
a basic hourly rate for the frame drawing details that had been
supplied. The work load at the time however required Peter to
outsource the detail drawings.
A few weeks after having providing the drawings Peter visited
the factory to see how things were progressing and it was found
that Paul had not followed the detailed drawings to the letter
and with out consulting Peter, had moved many of the suspension
points. Believing there was in sufficient room for the engines
he had moved these attachment points as well. The changes had
in the process nullified the whole stress analysis.
Peter, exasperated, insisted that we could not continue like
this and that it was becoming a repeat of Paul's pre-war difficulties
with himself and George. After reviewing the project Peter decided
he would have no more involvement with or anything to do with
the cars themselves. He would only continue with the Formula Junior
engine project and take no further part in the chassis design.
Things continued to deteriorate when the castings for the new
parts arrived at Surrey it soon then transpired that there was
no formal agreement as to who was responsible for the machining
of them. Paul's organization was now requiring Emeryson Experimental
to pay for machining the parts despite having done all the space
frame design work free of charge.
what Peter believed to have been an amicable solution was settled
on, non payment prompted him to withhold delivery of the FJ engine
that had been prepared for the Commander York Trophy. . Whilst
he was away, this led to the breaking into and entering of Peters
premises that the engine was stored in. Police having been called
by neighbours would not stop the removal, deeming it to be a family
matter. Payment was never received of the agreed fee.
The saga continued when Peter received a demand for the return
of a lathe that was on loan from Paul to make the blanks for the
new steel camshafts and now set up for machining the brake drums.
This brought a halt to Emeryson Experimental's supply of brake
drums to Lotus and Lola and other companies.
of this was happening while Peter was trying to finish and develop
the Mk 2 Emeryson Elfin. Peter drove the Mk 2 with the Emeryson
Experimental Ford 105E engine at Brands Hatch, Cadwell Park and
Mallory Park but was unable to continue further engine development.
Due to the uncertain financial resources after the end of the
association with the directors of the consortium at Send, Peter
closed down Emeryson Experimental and proceeded to work as a chassis
design engineer for Ford Motor Co. Ltd.
In Peters own words; "It seemed that although Paul and I
could not work together in harmony, we were not able to consistently
produce significant success on our own.' The brothers had no contact
from this point on, the only information Peter having of Paul
was via the press. Peters commitment to Ford precluded any direct
involvement with motor racing.
The Mk 2 Emeryson Elfin although having the same chassis and
body design as the Mk1 was fitted with the highly modified the
Emeryson Experimental Ford 105E engines with light alloy rocker
housing. It had tubular duralumin pushrods, variable acceleration
cam profile, steel camshaft and cast light alloy sump casing incorporating
the main bearing housings. It was one of the only two engines
ever designed, the other having been built, prepared and supplied
to Emeryson cars and fitted to the car that won the 100 mile Commander
York Trophy. The car had four ELFIN drum brakes, two inboard and
two outboard in the front and two smaller ELFIN drums at the rear.
Emeryson Cars, Pauls Send based organisations first car appeared
at Brands Hatch in August 1960 in F2 Guise. The car was fairly
conventional for the times. Rear engined, front independent, unequal
length wide spaced tubular wishbones and coil spring damper units.
The rear was by independent unequal length narrow angle reverse
lower wishbones, coil over damper units and adjustable twin radius
Pauls company built four Mk2, appearing in 1960 to compete in
Formula Junior. All were similar to the Formula One cars, only
having lighter gauge chassis tubing Ford 105E 997cc engine and
modified VW 4 speed gearbox. The F1 cars having Colotti five speed
gearboxes, mated to Climax FPF engines. Mike Spence as works driver
who was later to make his F1 debate in an Emeryson-Climax at Solitude,
was to achieve the only significant win for Emeryson cars, in
one of the Formula Juniors, in the 100 mile Commander York Trophy
at Silverstone. The car using the highly modified Emeryson Experimential,
Ford 105E 997cc Engines designed and built by Peter, that had
been removed illegally from his home.
Paul testing the new Emeryson FJ 1960
Photo; David Hodges AZ of Formula Racing
Mike Spence in the Commander York
winning Emeryson FJ
The Coventry Climaxed engined Emeryson Formula 1 car appeared
in 1961. Drivers for the works team were Bruce Halford, Jack Fairman
and Mike Spence who also scored Emeryson's F1 cars best result,
a second place on 1st October 1961 in the Lewis-Evans trophy at
A further three F1 cars were sold to Ecurie National Belge, fitted
with Maseratis 150S engines of Four cylinder dohc 1584cc, 140bhp
capacity, driving through Colotti five speed transmissions. Two
were to crash heavily at Pau in the team's first event. That winter
Ecurie National Belge decided to rebuild the Emeryson chassis
and along with new twin nostril nosed bodies, the cars were renamed
ENB-Maseratis. They were entered in several races but typically
if they turned up they failed to qualify.
||Members including driver Bianchi and secretary-general Jo
Liévin of the Ecurie National Belge team taking delivery
of the Emeryson Maserati F1 cars at Emeryson Cars, Send factory,
By the end of the year Paul had sold his company to American,
Hugh Powell, although Paul agreed to stay on as designer and a
few Mk 3 versions of the car were produced. This was slimmer and
lighter than earlier cars, had a semi monocoque section with pannier
fuel tanks contained in a stressed mid section. The unusual front
nose on one of the cars necessitated the radiator being mounted
almost horizontally with the air passing under the nose tip and
up through it. The cars appeared in occasional championship races
but were underpowered in comparison to the competitions V8 Climax
and BRM powered cars and the best finish was a forth at the Crystal
palace Trophy Race with American Tony September at the wheel.
For 1962 Powell revamped the team, the cars were renamed Sciroccos
and BRM V8 engines were fitted. Paul remained involved until the
end of the year, when he left the organisation he established
and turned his attention to engine tuning, building and Racing
Hillman Imps which is a storey in itself.
Mike Spence, Formula 1 debut in the
Emeryson at Solitude.
Paul in striped shirt looks on.
Works Emeryson F1's of John
Campbell-Jones (#10) showing the
unusual nose of the car along with Tony
September's more conventional bodied
# 11 car at the 1962 Crystal Palace
Photo; Graham White
Part 4 | Part