Update on RP-16 by Lowell D. in Colorado Springs

Lowell has updated his progress of restoring the RP-16 he got from me.

“I’ve made contacts with quite a few Royale RP16 owners/racers and prior owners/racers as well as Alan Cornock in the UK who took over Royale from Bob King, and Chris Shoemaker of RoyaleracingLLC in Pennsylvania.  After spending a bit of time trying to track down the chassis number, I believe it to be either #19, or #20 based on several factors, including the gearbox delivery date to Royale as received from Hewland (Feb 6, 1973), the date of manufacture of these two chassis (Feb 1973), and the fact that these two chassis were exported to Dick Schmer (now deceased) of Ft. Collins, Colorado, as this chassis started its racing life here based on the roll bar stamp of “008-152.”  SCCA has no record of early roll bar numbers issued, so they were no help. One or both of these cars also had a shifter modification, where the shift linkage from a Lola was adapted and it looks like my chassis also has this mod.  Another former racer sent me a couple of pictures of “RP16s racing here in Colorado from back in the day,” and both have relocated radiators and cut-off bodywork, similar to mine.  There is another fellow, John Barker, who also used to race and race-prep cars in the Denver area through a company called Performance Racing Developments, that is still looking for a file folder he says might provide some added information. With the early 1973 date of manufacture, the car would be a RP16, as the RP16A did not begin production until 1974 based on the book, “No Place to Hide, The Story of Royale Racing Cars,” by Paul Lawrence – a great read that really gives a lot of detailed insight into the Formula Ford Manufacturing and racing scene during the heyday of the 1970’s.

I have also received a great deal of documentation that was used to get the RP16s accepted by Monoposto Racing as “historic FFs,” confirming the RP16’s made in 1973 were the same models as the ones made in 1972, should that come into question with RMVR.  Bob Alder seemed to think that all should be ok and indicated it would be my choice as to whether to run as FF historic, or CF.

As far as the driveshafts and radiators go, I could get these made in the UK through Alan Cornock, or fabricated here in the US.  An RP16 racer, John Allen (posts on ApexSpeed) in the Tacoma, WA area, has a race fabricator that says he can likely make the driveshafts for about $200 each, given the parts I have.  That doesn’t sound too bad, as I have been unable to find what the correct end yokes should be.  As far as the radiators go, I have dimensions for the originals and should be able to get these made in aluminum for around $300 each.  I will get an exact quote in January.  I’ve also received some recommendations from other racers regarding the plumbing and swirl pot changes that seem to really make a difference in cooling.

Given the information I have, my plan is to make the bodywork parts to shroud the radiators myself.  On another note, I also will need to make a bottom mid-section out of fiberglass as the original cars had.  This car had the lower mid-bodywork and undertray replaced.  It looks like they bonded the undertray  to the chassis with silicone rubber in addition to the rivits, so maybe the rust will not be too bad at that juncture.  The lower mid-section is a “U” shaped piece that runs from around the front bulkhead to the roll bar bulkhead.

Upon further inspection of the chassis, I found another bent tube on the driver’s left side that looks like a result of being “t-boned.” The bend is not too bad, but will require some repair. I should get the frame stripped soon and will take it to J. D. McDermott’s shop, Front Range Motorsports, in Aurora, CO to see what he will charge to get it in good shape.”

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