Dauphine 5 Speed
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Thread: Dauphine 5 Speed

  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger! Ross's Avatar
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    Jul 2001
    Auckland NZ

    Default Dauphine 5 Speed

    I was hosting a group of Japanese friends for a couple of days (these are the ones that bought my Dauphine race car).

    One of the group is involved with the McLaren Trust in Japan and asked me to take him to a guy who lives not far from me who owns and works on several McLaren race cars.

    So we were talking about all the in's and out's of McLarens (me trying to sound like I knew what I was talking about) when this guy points to a shelf in his workshop which was occupied by 3 or 4 gearboxes. I didn't recognize them at first but it turned out these were Dauphine gearboxes. This guy has a worldwide reputation for installing Hewland gears inside Dauphine cases for the formula junior race cars. He manages to get 4 speeds inside a standard 3 speed casing and ships them all around the world.


    One of the Japanese guests then retold the story of the very last Mille Miglia (1957) where a Dauphine apparently competed with a 5 speed gearbox.

    The McLaren guys then pulled this out of another shelf.

    Dauphine 5 Speed-20171026_214808.jpg
    Dauphine 5 Speed-20171026_214817.jpg
    Dauphine 5 Speed-20171026_214826.jpg

    Its a genuine period 5 speed Dauphine box made by Colotti Francis. I didn't take a photo of the insides but the reverse gear was about 6mm thick. All the selector shafts and forks are housed on top of the box.

    Obviously this one is set up for formula juniors with the selector facing the engine however you can see that they made provision in the casting for the selector to face the other way when used in a Dauphine.
    Simon, FIVEDOOR, Sunroof and 6 others like this.

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  2. #2
    1000+ Posts
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    Nov 2010
    tweed heads


    If you do a search on here under claude gearbox ,this is the 5 speed ,dog clutch box fitted to competition 4cvs in the day ,seem to remember a post of late about one found in melbourne ,pugs
    jaahn likes this.

  3. #3
    Fellow Frogger! lozenge's Avatar
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    Nov 2010


    fascinating stuff. I knew a little about Colotti transaxles from the pre-Hewland days,
    but had no idea that the famous (for being Stirling Moss's mechanic) Alf Francis
    was involved. (as a 12 yo, saw Moss in the Rob Walker Cooper run away from
    Brabham at Albert Park in 1958) the Colotti wiki entry is interesting reading:

  4. #4
    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Jul 2001
    Perth, WA, Australia


    Just HOW long has this guy been working on these gearboxes under your nose??? Good grief.

    Great find and thanks for posting. Be interesting to see the mechanicals. I vaguely recall being told that the 5-speed 4CV dog-boxes didn't have a reverse gear at all.
    Last edited by JohnW; 29th October 2017 at 09:24 PM.

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  5. #5
    COL is offline
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    Here is a thread from not long ago:


    I also remember reading somewhere that Jean Redele also was involved in developing a five speed box for the 4CV that hed raced at the Mille Miglia.
    JohnW likes this.
    Regards Col

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