of the Tuniverse
you're turning to the dark side and planning to run a Vauxhall engine
you'll need someone to get the most out of it, that's just where SBD
come into play.
Chris, Pics: Matt Barnes
of old Fords is a fast-paced and varied one. All you have to do is look
back through a few issues of Retro Ford to see that people like
to be different, they like to try new things and they like to get the
most of their old Fords. It's that last bit we need to look at though;
getting the most out of them. That's not always the easiest thing to
do. The mechanicals that some old Fords were built with are a little
less than reliable, meaning that the Sunday blast you were promising
yourself could well turn out to be a Sunday on the spanners. Enjoyable
from time to time, but not what you were looking forward to.
the solution then? You have a retro Ford sat in the garage and you want
to make sure it runs every time you turn the key. You could update the
ignition to a fully electronic system, but even this might fail from
time to time.. No, the most popular solution is to slot a more modern
four-pot between the struts; the most common of which is the trusty
Vauxhall XE engine. It's possibly the cheapest and easiest way to slot
200 horses under your right foot, maybe even more. This is where the
good folk of SBD become very important.
Broughton Developments, or SBD as it has come to be known, was
born out of a desire to get the most of a car. Steve, and his
partner in business, Dick Hulbert, have known each other since
their ages ended with 'teen', due to them both being apprentices
at British Aerospace. A few years later when the apprenticeships
were finished, Dick spent his time rallying a two door Mk2 Escort
1300 while Steve was busy running his business, which catered
to interiors and sunroofs. It was Dick who planted the rallying
bug in Steve's mind which led to him drastically changing the
direction of his business; no longer was he going to fit trim
and Webastos, he was going to put his engineering qualifications
to good use and figure out a way to make the cars even quicker.
Annoyingly, he couldn't use Dick's car due to him moving out to
the Middle East though work commitments, but he wasn't too bothered.
He has the bug, the idea and the desire to make his new venture
work. With this in mind, he bought himself and XE, took it apart
and worked how to get more from it; SBD was born.
1994, SBD had been operating for three years, Steve was doing
well with his engine development but the time had come where he
needed extra hands. Luckily, given the circumstances, Dick was
made redundant from BA meaning he could come back to Blightly
and give Steve a hand. From that point on, the business was on
the up and up, the guys developed throttle body kits, manifolds,
cam profiles and head work that would stand to make their XEs
the most powered a petrolhead could get his hands on.
As is the
way with any reputable company, word got around and the orders were
coming in thick and fast. This was by all means a good thing, the only
problem that the guys were having was not having enough time to develop
their designs. They knew that their current range was doing well, but
without any further development they would be overtaken by the competition.
In 2000 they decided to focus on the development of their engines; designed
new parts and systems which would be be manufactured by a contracted
fabricator. It was a wise move too; the engine kits were flying off
the shelves, which kept the business ticking over. It also meant they
could develop the XE into a 300bhp monster, for those brave enough to
everything was going well, the XE was (and still is) doing extremely
well, but what else could they do? After some head-scratching and coming
to the conclusion that a lot of their XEs were finding a home in Fords,
it seemed only logical to develop a Ford engine; the Duratec. This has
proved to be equally as popular as the XE, but then again, it would.
They have recently managed to get 304bhp for a normally aspirated Duratec,
which is pretty good going! That's something that the guys have stuck
to from the start though, no turbos or super chargers, just carbs, throttle
bodies and natural aspiration. It's a formula they have stuck to and
it's worked well for them.
the research & development is carried out in-house,
with hours being spent designing every little detail, quality
is the order of the day at SBD.
that was how they got to where they are, but what about the services
they can offer you now? Well, if you have an XE or a Duratec engine
they can do pretty much anything with it. The kits are staged
so you can opt for a simple throttle body kit or you can go up
to the scale and have a fully set up race bread monster. It doesn't
have to be something that is only available in the kit; SBD thrives
on development and ideas, so if you have an engine but you don't
know what direction to move in then you need to give these guys
a call. They certainly know their stuff.
can't go into the intricacies of the kits that SBD has to offer,
there simply isn't the space. The important thing
is to convey just how switched on the staff at SBD are. Resting
on their current success isn't an option, the desire to push forward
with new ideas and designs is as evident now as it was when the
company first came into the limelight. It's at the leading edge
of engine design for both the XE and the Duratec, so if you're
toying with the idea of having one of the company's kits fitted
to your car there is only one thing we can say; do it!
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