Novel Ford Sapphire V8

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IndianaJones
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Novel Ford Sapphire V8

Post by IndianaJones » Thu 04 Jan 2018, 21:34

Found this post on the Facebook page of "Tuned Automotive Magazine" / "Torque Magazine"



"While it’s well documented that the 70s V8 Capri Perana was the quickest and most legendary Ford sold in South Africa, few recall that one of the quickest Fords of yesteryear was the Novel Sapphire 5.0 V8 - which was even quicker than the mighty Sierra XR8. Much like the Perana cars, the Novel Sapphire was a custom car, built and marketed by Novel Ford in Paarl, Western Cape, and featured a 302 Ford Windsor V8 under the hood. To fit the 302 in the Ford Sapphire 3.0 GLX’s engine bay required minor panel beating of the bulkhead and the repositioning of the aircon condenser. And unlike other Sapphire V8 conversions, this retained the standard 302 water pump instead of resorting to the Essex V6 pump. A few mods were needed to adapt the motor from its marine spec to road use though – the included a recalibrated 600 cfm Holley four-barrel carb with a vacuum secondary stage, custom built exhaust headers and a special exhaust system, as well as a very mild performance cam. The positioning of the motor as far back as possible also improved weight distribution. The V8 added an additional 50kgs to the Sapphire GLX, so stiffer lowering springs and Gabriel gas dampers were fitted all round – lowering the car by 25mm. The gearbox chosen to handle the 160kw and 384nm from the 302 was actually the forerunner of the XR8’s Borg Warner T5 transmission, known as a Cosworth/Borg Warner ‘short selector’. An imported Cosworth kit consisting of a front bumper and spoiler, side skirts, a rear valance and boot spoiler added to the visual appeal of the V8, while 7J 15” wheels widened the track by an extra 25mm all round. In terms of performance, it was quick! Whereas the 302 Windsor-engined V8 Capri Perana needed 6.7 seconds to reach 100kph from standstill, the Novel V8 accomplished it in 6.87 seconds – shading the XR8’s 6.95 second run. As you would expect, in-gear acceleration was as quick as they come. It needed just 27.51 seconds to complete the standing kilometer, which put it in Porsche 911 territory, while its top speed of 233kph once again eclipsed the XR8’s 231kph. In 1991, you could buy a Novel Sapphire V8 for R83 500. It might have been no BMW M5, but it sure was quick as any of its competitors, and there was no mistaking that very special V8 tone."

Couple of questions.

"A few mods were needed to adapt the motor from its marine spec to road use though"
From "marine spec", what?

"The gearbox chosen .... was actually the forerunner of the XR8’s Borg Warner T5 transmission, known as a Cosworth/Borg Warner ‘short selector’"
Comments?

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jlebenon
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Re: Novel Ford Sapphire V8

Post by jlebenon » Fri 05 Jan 2018, 18:02

Marine spec long blocks/ crate engines may have been cheaper ... Same thing just different cam and timing gear ... And exhaust manifolds .... Short shifter cosworth thing I never heard of ....
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ZA Perana
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Re: Novel Ford Sapphire V8

Post by ZA Perana » Fri 05 Jan 2018, 19:12

jlebenon wrote:
Fri 05 Jan 2018, 18:02
Marine spec long blocks/ crate engines may have been cheaper ... Same thing just different cam and timing gear ... And exhaust manifolds .... Short shifter cosworth thing I never heard of ....
Likewise, I think it simply ran the same T5 gearbox as the XR8. The fact performance was similar seems to suggest this was the case.
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