After nearly forty years without any new Ford based sidevalve Special on the market, in the year 2000 Tony Weale produced the brand-new Altair.
It uses Ford Pop components just like in the Fifties – a strong welded- up spaceframe. Beam axles front and rear; telescopic dampers and Panhard rods maintain adequate control and the original transverse leaf springs.
A hydraulic brake conversion dispenses with the original mechanical operation, while retaining the Ford Pop steering box, with a tiny steering wheel may make the steering heavy at low speeds.
By using a longer wheelbase with standard torque tube, Tony has moved the weight distribution rearward, lowered the engine and left room for low seat pans.
Exceptionally light weight - c950lb - is down to the car’s small size, light aluminium panelling and the little sidevalve engine, which also enables a very low bonnet line.
Standard kit price in 2000 was £1,297 (chassis, inner and outer aluminium body panels, and cycle wings with stays, floor and several smaller components).
The following extras were offered:-
Panhard rods Front and rear are available these were modified Fiesta rear ones, £15 each to modify if you supply the part.
4.4 axle conversions Currently priced from £150 - you supply the axle casing. The conversion is neat, strong and effective.
15 inch wheels These were £47 each - made with proper Ford centres so they really fit.
Hydraulic brake conversion Front and rear, was priced at £220 the full set, a neat and effective conversion that retains the original Ford brake shoes, unlike Bowden’s period conversion.