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 races.

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.



(Front suspension on the Second Gunston Capri)


(Full view of Second Gunston Capri)


(This is the Z181, although it says B181. The first Gunston Capri)


(Bobby Olthoff driver of the second Gunston Capri taken in 1999)
Passed away in 2004


(The second Gunston Capri, fully restored. 2001)


(Rear anti-roll bar fitted to second Gunston Capri)