When Clever Canadian Bill Sadlers Dad was ready to junk the family business Sadler Auto Electric 1939 Austin panel van Bill asked to take on the vehicle he had been delivering parts with and turned it into a convertible.
Later he converted his Hillman Minx to take a 150hp flathead Ford V8, the cars original brakes proved too small on his competitive debut at Watkins Glen.
This led Bill to building a number of sports cars to race, he was an early adopter of both the small block Chevy V8 and the engine behind the driver layout which would become part of the formula for any half way decent Can Am car many years later.
By 1959 MENSA International member Bill was producing sports cars in small numbers when he decided to build a batch of 12 open wheel cars to the international Formula Junior specifications that were announced in 1958.
The Sadler Formula Junior’s were built to a tuned version of the 1098 cc / 67 cui 46hp BMC A series engine more commonly found in Austin A35 van’s, Austin A40 Pininfarina Countryman’s, Morris Minors, Austin Healey Sprite’s, BMC’s various badge engineered 1100’s, later Mini Clubmans, Australian built Mini Mokes and Austin Allegro’s.
The engine and similarly sourced 4 speed gearbox sits in a tubular frame and is covered by an aluminium body.
Details of 1959 Formula Junior races in which Sadlers took part are extremely hard to find, but by 1960 G Hag, Vic Yachuk, Ernest Donnan, James Walter and George Roberts, had all recorded starts in Sadler Formula Juniors in North America.
According to Dutchy and Steven W at The Nostalgia Forum, today’s Sadler seen in these photographs with Stephen Bulling driving at Castle Combe, was at one time driven by Canadian Dave Rodgman.
Thanks for joining me on this “Clever Canadian” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at the first in a new Sunday Healey series. Don’t forget to come back now !