© Text and images on this website are copyright Paul Orton unless otherwise indicated   `There's a distant hum that's fast becoming a piercing roar and a tiny red dot that's fast becoming a tiny red car.  It hurtles into the corner, its white- helmeted driver barely visible. He changes down a gear, the noise rises instantly in pitch from a buzz-saw to sore-head, and the car pitches into the corner.  It doesn't roll, despite its comedy height-to-width ratio, but surely it's carrying too much speed as it skips and bounces wildly on and off the racing line before catapulting out of the corner as fast, maybe faster, than it entered. It's hard to know whether to laugh or cheer. At the Goodwood Revival they cheered. Tens of thousands of people stood up, straining to catch the action as they clapped, shouted, whistled and whooped at every giant-killing lap of the Rae Davis Racing Austin A35.' There's no better way to describe the St Mary's Trophy race at the 2004 Goodwood Revival than the opening paragraphs of January Octane Magazine's story on the car and its driver.  You'll cheer too if you see the DVD of this race - I did and do! It's one of the best David and Goliath matches to be seen as Rae Davis dispatches the green Mk1 Jag and hangs on to keep the ever-sideways white Jag at bay to win the race. It's proof too that big money, big image machinery isn't needed to have a lot of fun.  Rae Davis obviously has taken this to heart because he describes his speciality as `specialbodied odd A-series cars' including a Marcos Mini, Sebring Sprites as well as A35s and (Farina) A40s.   Why deal with this vehicle in these pages - simply because the Austin A35 is the donor model for most of the Sprite's underpinnings - and, but for the fact that the St Mary's Trophy is for Saloon cars, it could have been a Sprite slaying the giants. Rae's A35 has standard bodywork apart from plastic windows discounting the rumour that it was a hot rod in an A35 skin.  Originally fitted with a 34bhp 948cc A series, Rae says, `of course it's not a 1 litre - it's a 1.3 . I checked out with Goodwood and they know damned well that none of the smaller cars out there was 1 litre, the same as none of the bigger cars was standard. A stock 2.4 Jaguar won't pull its own weight - they're rubbish! And the Jaguar MkVIIs are on disc brakes. It wouldn't be much of a race otherwise!' Continuing with the engine, Rae said `this is a full-race engine but it's on a standard 1275 crankshaft and rods; we do use steel crankshafts usually but not on this one. I've seen this one to 135 bhp - it's that good.  It has race pistons, Piper 320 camshaft, an alloy flywheel, a big valve cylinder head, a sintered clutch and a 45DCOE Weber. The gearbox and diff are by Jack Knight with Rae's own strengthened half shafts.  Sprite disc/drum brakes and lowered uprated front coil springs are teamed with Rae's own progressive negative camber trunnions while the rear gets lowering blocks on the leaf springs and uprated lever arm dampers.  With custom made steel wheels and Dunlop tyres, half rollcage, alloy fuel tank and half the grille bars cut out to improve cooling, the picture is complete. Compared to the exotica at Goodwood historic race meetings this humble A35 shows how a basic but very carefully prepared (no tricky rear axle location or re-engineered front suspension) and well driven vehicle can lay `em in the aisles. 1953 A30 advertisements Go to movie1 and movie2 to see period advertisements for the Austin A30. Thanks to Octane magazine and www.raedavisracing.com for photos and text. Page is extracted from Sprite Torque the magazine of the Sprite Car Club of Australia.   Rae Davis' A35 at rest Sprite donor car - an Austin powered win A series engined bubble car giant killer