The 80T Sporting Trials Car
John Crosslé’s 80T design has dominated sporting trials in Northern Ireland since its introduction in 1991. Indeed the 80T has won the highest award in the UK sporting Trials, the BTRDA Gold Star, on five successive years from 2001. The design consists of a stressed steel backbone linking a rear-mounted gearbox to he engine. The rear suspension is independent with top rockers utilising a single horizontal damper and spring unit with four lower links connected via a fabricated upright. The front suspension consists of a solid axle controlled by leading links and a single A frame. The rear brakes are controlled individually to allow the driver to reduce wheel spin [no locking device is allowed in the differential]. The 80T has been designed around the Honda Acclaim range of engines which are very light, powerful and reliable: they are also easily obtainable second hand. Many of the cars run on LPG gas which provides extremely smooth power delivery and ensures that the extreme angles attained by the car do not affect carburettor performance.

The sporting trials car is a totally different concept from that of a racing car. The object of a sporting trial is to climb a grass or rocky slope following a very tortuous steep route, marked out by a serious of posts. The aim is to try to drive through the entire section thus getting a clear or zero mark. As one passes through the section the number of posts passed decides the points awarded. This has resulted in very specialised cars being designed and constructed.

Technical Specifications


Central backbone fabricated from mild steel. A tubular steel and aluminium frame supports the seat, controls, roll bar, spare wheel, tool box, engine cover and upper front damper mounting points. Left and right-hand replaceable tree bars are fitted.


Front: Tubular beam axle located by A frame and two lower leading links, fabricated hub carriers, replaceable wheel spindles, coil spring damper units, adjustable spring platforms. Rear: Independent using lower parallel link, upper rocking levers incorporating rod ends with central adjustable horizontal single damper and spring unit.


Longitudinally mounted rack and pinion operating via bell crank on front axle.


Front: Hydraulic drum, foot operated. Rear: Hydraulic disc, separately operated.


Rear mounted Volkswagen gearbox incorporating Hewland bearing carrier and Hewland Mk9 gears. Reduction box attached to front of main gearbox.


Car designed to take Honda range of engines