Ilinga Reviews and Road Tests

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Founded in Melbourne by Tony Farrell and his partner, Daryl Davies, the Ilinga (an Aboriginal term for 'far away' or 'distant horizon') came very close to becoming what would have been Australia's only truly capable international sports/luxury car. The company's only model, the AF-2, saw only two examples produced, despite having fifteen customers order one. Presented at the 1975 Melbourne Motor Show, the AF-2 was a potential luxury sports car, built to compete with the likes of Porsche and Aston Martin.

Farrell and Davies used aluminium body panels over a steel chassis and sub-frame fitted with three roll-over bars and crumple zones for added safety. The steel sub-frame was based on a Ford Cortina floor plan, fitted with aluminium alloy body panels instead of the originally envisaged Noryl plastic material. The chassis design in many respects was ahead of its time with a rigid passenger cell strengthened by three roll bars and crumple zones. The car was powered by Leyland's P76 engine modified to 220 horsepower. This engine was sourced from Rover.

But the project soon ran off the rails - with the demise of the P76 and therefore access to the engines what had been a very difficult task became that much harder. Plans for a four-door model in 1974 were scrapped before the factory was abandoned with broken Borg-Warner gearboxes littering the floor, as the transmission manufacturer refused to provide further assistance. Just under half a million dollars had been spent before the company finally folded after just a year in business.

The two AF-2 models constructed featured a digital clock, a delay switch which extinguished the lights and locked the doors if the driver didn't do so, a self-seeking cassette player with radio, electric windows, and a fully integrated air-conditioning unit. One of the two AF-2 cars manufactured is held by Museum Victoria.
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Ilinga AF-2

Ilinga AF-2

Where the car really shone was with it's brilliant chassis. Rivolta proposed the use of a platform chassis to allow easier and more cost effective mass production, the challenge was for Bizzarrini to produce something that was cost effective yet maintained rigidity. His answer was the design of a pressed-steel and welded panel chassis designed to flex up and down, which would be countered by the body that was designed to flex forward and backward. More>>
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