Low Cost Racer – 1982 Royale RP31 Formula Ford

The 1982 Royale RP31 FF

Update: The Royale been sold.

1982 Royale RP31 Formula Ford

    • One of the preferred devices for open-wheel, Formula Ford racing
    • Described as a strong running, turn-key racer
    • Few cheaper ways of getting into motorsport

While there aren’t many forms of motorsport that could realistically be looked at as a ‘good investment’, there are certain series that are more value-conscious than others. Near the top of the list has to be the lightweight, open-wheeled formula cars. With a variety of different series and engine providers, the Formula Ford is surely one of the most popular variants.

The example available today is a 1982 Royale RP31 Formula Ford, from the British single-seater and sports car maker. With famous racers like Bobby Rahal and Manfred Schurti steering Royales through the 1970s and ’80s, the company proved they were a serious threat within the Formula Super Vee and Formula Ford world.

The seller explains more about chassis# SN37:

In 1982, the Royale RP31 was taking the Formula Ford honors in England. While utilizing the prescribed tube-frame construction, it demonstrated the efforts to improve aero performance by moving front suspension components inside the nose, and by moving radiators into side pods.

According to the Royale registry, chassis #37 was imported by Cooke Racing (Florida) but the first logbook has been lost. It was raced from 1985 to 1989 by a driver only known by the replacement log entry of Lloyd Z. with one notation of an event at Sebring, and it is likely it was raced only in Florida. Its next entries reflect races by a Stephanie “Stef” Barrett and sale to Buzz Barrett from Moses Lake, WA. Stef ran 13 events with SCCA and International Conference of Sports Car Clubs (ICSCC) in 1993 and 1994. The next owner was Ken Cable of Battle Ground, WA. Ken ran it in SCCA and ICSCC events from 1995 to 1996, exclusively at Portland International Raceway. Ken sold the car to Al Kakovich whose passions were aligned with SCCA also ran only at PIR in 1998 and 1999.

Purchasing the car in 2009, the seller has enjoyed the purpose-built racer and it has seen quite a lot of action during his ownership. Below he explains the level of maintenance the RP31 has seen through the years:

Dyno records from 1988, and a quick evaluation by Portland FF engine builder Jay Ivey, who aided with the first restart after a couple years in storage, it was decided not to pull the engine. Red Line oils for the engine and transmission have been used since the rebuild, and regular filter changes have shown that the original work was of top quality. It has always started easily and has very crisp exhaust. The Hewland gearbox has a full complement of gears in good condition. There are only three weekends of SCCA Vintage Formula on the American Racer slicks, and the dog bone rain tires, while unknown for age, have lots of tread and still mark easily with the “thumbnail” test.

During my ownership there have been a few repairs to the fiberglass and the addition of lighter suspension components, with special attention being spent evaluating fatigue in the name of safety. Key fasteners were replaced, along with the rear suspension uprights and wheel bearings. New aluminum radiators were fabricated, too.

With the assistance of mechanical engineer and former Formula Atlantic crew chief Evan Waymire, the suspension was recently adjusted to settings that dramatically improved turn-in, and reduced oversteer. Evan has raced his own Formula Ford, so his insights proved very beneficial. Setting notes will be provided to a buyer.

The seller explains more about the condition and his attraction to the RP31 below:

I’ve not sought “best of show” in the work, but long known that driving enjoyment really starts with preparation before arriving at the track. The body is painted in flat black and white enamel features. I was particularly attracted to this car for its unusual amount of legroom. I was unable to fit into a number of other FF’s I considered prior to this purchase. I’ve had tons of fun with this car, and with others I’ve raced since 1965 and it is time for this excellent car to have a new home.

1982 Royale RP31
Chassis# SN37

Included in the sale of the 1982 Royale RP31 are the following items:

  • (3) sets of wheels
  • Full set of Hewland gears with carrying case
  • Miscellaneous specialty parts, including extra nose and assorted spherical bearing bushings
  • SCCA Log book and records of ownership
  • Custom trailer

1982 Royale RP31 Formula Ford For Sale – Photo Gallery (click image for larger picture)


  1. How do I get ahold of you to view the car?

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