1971 TEAM GUNSTON B.G. CAPRI PERANA
Built in late 1970 to replace the Group 5 specification Team
Gunston Capri, namely Z181 as new rules for 1971 proposed a
Production Saloon Car Championship with limited modifications allowed,
and was to comply with Group 2 rules of the time.
Ford once again commissioned Basil Green to build a race
winning combination as he had done in 1970 with Z181, the original
Gunston Capri Perana.
Production cylinder heads, crankshaft, conrods and block were to
be used and no suspension mounting points were to be moved. Suspension,
intake manifold and carburettor were also to be of production origin.
Allowable modifications were two inches of flare past the widest
point of the car on each side covering at least thirty percent of
the wheel opening. Brakes could be upgraded in the interest of safety
along with increased wheel size and diameter. These were sourced
from the Ford GT40, which had much success in sports car
racing in the 1960's. Suspension modifications were entrusted to
Eddie Pinto and Corrie Potgieter. Single leaf springs
shaped in a "C" cleverly allowed the fitment of 14.5-inch
rims at the rear.
In 1971 the B.G. Capri Perana, namely A2, in the hands of Bob Olthoff,
won Class-A of the Star Production Saloon Car Championship. It set
a new lap record at Kyalami of 1min 34.5 sec. Basil Van Rooyen equalled
this lap record in October 1971 in a similar Capri Perana. Bob Olthoff
retired at the end of 1971. This Capri Perana was to be the last
works car driven by Olthoff.
In 1972 the B.G. Capri Perana was driven by Koos Swanepoel and
was sponsored by Grosvenor Motors. It was painted white and blue
using the same layout design as the year before. Tyre size was reduced
at the rear to rims of 12-inch width in order to slow the Perana
down. In this form A2 finished runner up to Basil Van Rooyen in
Class A of the Star Production Saloon Car Championship. Basil had
Gunston sponsorship in 1972 for his Superformance Perana and A2
is not to be confused with this car as is so often the case.
In 1973 A2 was sold to Ron Lupson in the then Rhodesia, who raced
it for a number of years with varying degrees of success. Dave Charlton
co-piloted with Ron in a Three Hour race in Bulawayo in 1974. In
1975 Trevor Ansley purchased the Perana from Ron and entrusted Ray
Yeo to drive the car in Rhodesia, and the Perana was again winning
It was then sold to Ray Yeo who raced it successfully for a number
of years, winning the Rhodesian Championship several times before
laying it to rest in the early eighties. During Ray's ownership
the body was flared even more and this had to be rectified during
the following restoration.
In 1994 Nick Sheward who had searched for the car for a
lengthy period of time acquired the B.G. Perana. A total nut and
bolt restoration ensued. The car had been his dream since he saw
it win both heats first time out in 1971, as a ten-year-old boy.
The car retains the original body, engine, gearbox, differential,
suspension and brakes. All have been faithfully restored with a
view of preservation rather than replacement. The camshaft is an
exact copy of the grind used by Olthoff and Van Rooyen all those
years ago and was duplicated by Ritchie Jute. The headers are the
originals and side pipes have been duplicated. The original colour
chart was acquired from Rembrandt Tobacco and paints exactly matched
to duplicate the Gunston colours.