ESAS = Eli's South African S

Several years ago I was lucky enough to acquire a very original South African 1964/5 – 1071 Austin Cooper S (


  1. Another unusual element to the block is that it has shot pinning marks around all the core plugs, which Rod thought this could have been extra security to help hold the core plugs in i.e. belt and braces!

    The Cam is an AEG 648 with twin pickups one for the dizzy as normal and the other I am assuming is either for a mechanical taco or for fuel injection? Anyway the cam shaft like the rest of the engine was in excellent condition so has gone back in.

    All the engine plates like the tappet covers and timing chain cover have all been reinforced and brazed, which must have taken hours and are beautifully done, certainly Rod Taylor thought they are highly unusual and again something that would have been done for a race engine to try to get reliability and performance.

    The exhaust system is now a period bespoke Maniflow competition system. Maniflow came from and worked with Janspeed, Longman and Downton, and still has the original patterns for the 1960's LCB systems. In fact I even went as far as to talk to the MD of Maniflow David Dorrington, who started out at the innovative Downton Engineering Company in 1962. David made me up an exact exhaust system for a 1968 competition circuit racer, so that is now all plumed in and ready to go.

    I have already registered my car with Ryno Verster and chased up the CKD records here in BHM at Gaydon, where it was confirmed that my 1964 1071 S was in the last batch of six 1071 Cooper S to leave the UK for SA. The chassis numbers also tallied up with Ryno's register numbers.

    One thing I can say is that the boys in SA really knew how to screw their cars together; the difference between the build quality of my SA car is considerably better compared to my UK cars but this only in my learned opinion.

    Personally I think this little SA car is every bit as interesting as some of the UK comp cars that were produced and campaigned in this country. I have little doubt that this little Gem, that Dennis bought from the factory which was initially used as demo/Eng. development car, then latterly late 60's/70s was turned into an endurance [URL=''%5Dcircuit race car[/URL] by Dennis with Ralf Clark help is the original thing and quite unique.

    Some of the creative engineering on a lot of the parts on ESAS (Eli's South African S) are really quite beautiful and really artisan in there construction. Unfortunately I did not take photos of the brazed cover parts and they are all now screwed back on the engine and back in the car and therefore almost impossible to photograph. However I have managed to enclose the shot peening on the block around the core plugs. The skill and time this must have taken really is something to admire and as I previously mentioned Rod Taylor at SMMC who builds race engines has never seen the likes of it, so I think this is testament inside its self to the skill of the guys who put the car together in SA.

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