Owned by John and Mary Anne Smith
Restoring The Falcon Knight (The Seven Year Battle)
While on holidays at Killkoy John saw an advert in a paper for the Falcon, The Sleeve Valve Motor interested him. Mary Anne was a little confused about the logic of spending money on a car that did not go. But she had always loved old cars so she figured it would no hurt to ‘look’. So it was arranged that the car be brought up from Kilkoy on a trailer, and the Smiths towed it back to Gladstone. Mary Anne had a whimsical vision of the car being ‘done up a bit’ so that it could be driven and was not encouraged when the tray disappeared, and the car began to totally disassemble into a heap of pieces on the floor of the garage. Hours and days, weeks, months, and a year passed, scrubbing cleaning, removing rust, sandblasting. Mary Anne estimated it would be ready for Easter
In effect a conventional engine except for the Valves Dual Sleeves – Two cylindrical metal sleeves, one within the other, sliding quietly up and down on a film of oil, provide perfect intake and exhaust passages as the port openings pass each other. This simple valve operation repeats itself without wear or attention. Carbon accumulation seals compression.
What exactly is a sleeve valve engine anyway, you may ask
To begin with, we recommend you forget about valves as there aren’t any. At least not in the sense of the familiar mushroom or “Poppet” type valves we have on most modern engines. Pistons, yes. The regular type, operating from a crankshaft and connecting rods the same as a conventional internal combustion gasoline engine.
But then, inside the cylinder, between the piston and the cylinder wall, you have two perfectly machined and well fitting sleeves, one inside the other in a precision fit sliding up and down.
These sleeves are powered, by a another little crank-or-cam-shaft, with short connecting rods, one for each sleeve, to push them up and down. Cut into the sides of the sleeves are port holes, or slots, in such a manner that the sleeves slide up and down. The ports, match ports in the intake and exhaust manifolds in proper timing to act as valves. One side acting as the exhaust and the other as the inlet valve.
Another Easter, Another Easter. There is a lot of work restoring a car.
Having started out with an almost complete car the only parts made by John were the running boards, the valance panels, the front apron, the back of the front seat, a new dash, the shell of two back doors, and some mudguard repairs. Then all the woodwork was replaced, and a new fuel tank was made. Every last nut and bolt was pulled apart.
Mary Anne says for years nothing seemed to happen, there seemed to be a garage full of parts that moved around, got painted, then suddenly, she noticed that the engine had found its way back into the chassis.. At this point John hit a stumbling block. . . He had the chassis, running boards, radiator, mudguards and bonnet, but could not find a TUB. . . Along the grapevine John and Mary Anne heard there was a Falcon Knight out at Aramac that would not take much to get on the road, YES it had a tub. They left at 2am in the morning and headed for Aramac dragging the trailer. But they came home empty handed, the fellow would not sell them any of the useable pieces. It was certainly not in a shed, and was in ten times worse condition than the one they had.
Christmas 88, They found a tub that could be modified to fit some mudguards that were found near Bundaburg. Mary Anne reckons it was a lot easier than watching John trying to create a compound curve in a piece of metal.
It still took two years of work to repair, construct the timber and fit all the panels together. It had seats made and upholstered, (thanks to Bill Turner) doors repaired, Wiring done, and registered.
The hood came later. Dec 1998