In 1958 following the runaway sales success of it’s 2CV and DS models Citroën chose to build a new 240 hectare greenfield site in Rennes France.
The site was officially opened in 1961 by the founding President of the Fifth French Republic Charles de Gaulle and the first model to produced there was the Citroën Ami 6.
The Ami 6 with it’s Breezeway Rear Window styling first seen in production on the 1957 Mercury Turnpike Cruiser was essentially a rebodied 2CV with a larger 602 cc / 36 cui twin aircooled engine replacing the 425cc / 26 cui engine of the older model.
The original 22hp motor gave the Ami 6 a top speed of 65 mph, the final upgrade of the engine, shared with the Ami 8, produced a ground shaking 32 hp in 1969 which increased the top speed to a hair raising 76 mph.
Known as the Trois Chevaux to differentiate it from the original 2CV Deux Chevaux today’s featured model seen at the Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham was built in 1968 and according to the official records of the DVLA was first registered for the road in the UK in 1968.
Thanks for joining me on this “Breezeway Window Trois Chevaux” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be visiting Brean Leisure Park. Don’t forget to come back now !
Former Wolseley designer Edward Dixon Abbott turned his attention to coach building after taking over Page and Hunt based in Farnham in 1929. His company Abbott’s of Farnham building bespoke for a range of manufacturers chassis including Bentley, Bristol, Frazer Nash, Healey, Lagonda, Rolls Royce, Sunbeam Talbot and even a one off Ferrari 212 Export, but it is Abbott’s bodies on Ford estate cars, after the ’39-’45 war, which were probably the most accessible.
In 1956 Ford launched the Mk II Consul, Zephyr and Zodiac models which became known as the 3 Graces.
The same year Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II took delivery of today’s featured one off Zephyr 6 wagon, which I believe was converted by Abbott’s.
The vehicle with an extra tall roof unusually seats nine and was primarily used for ferrying guests and their luggage around the Queens holiday residence the Sandringham Estate not far from The Royal Stud.
Notice how the wiper blades are set up to give the passenger the best view of the road ahead in inclement weather, I wondered if that was because HRH preferred to let Prince Philip drive, however it seems this odd feature was carried over from the Mk I Ford Consul, Zephyr and Zodiac models to all of the Mk II Consul, Zephyr and Zodiac variants.
Thanks for joining me on this “Queen’s Abbott” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !
The Lotus Mark 6 represented Colin Chapman’s first attempt at building a vehicle which customers could purchase in kit form.
Chassis #JZ 7890 was one of the first eight built, therefore one of the first 13 Lotus cars ever built. The car was originally assembled with a 4 cylinder Ford Consul motor and Austin Gearbox by Patrick Stevens for owner Denis Wilkins. Wilkins competed in the car at numerous events in England during 1953 and in 1954 took the car to Ireland where he shared it with Ian Titterington. It’s best result that I could find is a third place at Kirkistown in an Open Handicap Final in June 1954 with Wilkins at the wheel. In 1955 the car returned to England and competed in the hands of George Pitt, Rodney Bloor and Ken Coffey before being sold, in 1963, to an owner in Bristol who intended to fit a six cylinder motor from a Ford Zephyr.
Despite the original engine and gearbox being stripped out and sold on the conversion was never completed and the current owner bought the engineless remains in 1976 and then spent thirty years piecing it together with another Ford Consul engine and an MG TC gearbox. A couple of months after returning it to the road in 2006 he drove it to Le Mans in France.
110 Lotus Mark 6 kits were eventually sold, including a one off trials version, scoring many competition victories and establishing Lotus as a specialist vehicle manufacturer.
Thanks for joining me on this “Thirty Year Restoration” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me for a Drag edition tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !
Last week I had a look at the remains of the 1953 Ford Zephyr 6 that won the 1953 Monte Carlo Rally, today’s car is a 1957 Zephyr 6 with estate / station wagon coach work by Abbots of Farnham, seen here at the Goodwood Revival.
Between 1951 and 1956 148,629 Zephyr 6 saloon /sedan models were built along with 4048 convertibles with body work made by Carbodies these days called London Taxis International a company best known for making most of London’s black cabs.
To satisfy the demand for Zephyr 6 customers wanting an estate or station wagon Ford did a deal with Abbots of Farnham who converted saloons supplied by Ford into estates which were sold as Farnhams.
It is not known how many Zephyr 6 Farnhams were built but production at the Abbotts works was sufficient for Bristol to move the relatively low volume production of the 405 drop head bodies from Abbotts to Tickfords in Newport Pagnell.
Thanks for joining me on this Farnham edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’ I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !
The largest British Fords from 1950 to 1972 were marketed as the Zephyr and Zodiac models. The first Zephyrs, built between 1951 and 1956, were a longer version of the 4 cylinder Ford Consul fitted with a 70 hp straight six motor.
The Zephyr 6 above, seen at the Goodwood Revival, is the reshelled remains of the car that Maurice ‘Maus’ Gatsonides and Peter Worledge drove to victory in the 1953 Monte Carlo Rally.
Many drivers may well have heard of the Gatso speed camera, this was developed by Gatsonides originally so that he could measure and improve his cornering speeds in competition.
Richard Dredge drove VHK 194 a couple of years ago. In his amusing report Richard stated the motor has good torque, but not much top end and that the ergonomics appeared to be an after thought, describing the bench seat as giving ‘all the support of a water bed.’
In 1955 Vic Preston Sr and DP Marwaha drove a similar Ford Zephyr 6 to victory on the East African Safari Rally.
Thanks for joining me on this ‘Gatso’ edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !
Third in my occasional series of blogs about cars in need of tender loving care is this uniquely ungainly looking Lotus Mark 6 seen earlier this year at the Silverstone Classic.
The Lotus Mark 6 was the first Lotus design to go into to production and it was sold in kit form saving purchasers a small fortune in new car taxes. The reason this particular vehicle is both unique and ungainly is because it is the only Lotus Mark 6 built as a mud plugging trials car requiring more ground clearance than either the road going or track racing versions.
The chassis and Williams and Pritchard built body was originally supplied to Mr Horace Sinclair Sweeney in 1953 at a cost of £110. Once Mr Sweeney had finished installing the engine and running gear he entered and won the London Motor Club’s Annecy Spring Sporting Trial on the 7th of June 1953.
The motor is an Aquaplane tuned 1172 cc / 71.5 cui side valve E93A unit sourced originally from a Ford 10 built in the 1930’s.
In 1954 Mr Arthur Hay acquired this Mark 6 and over the next ten years won three Motor Cycling Club (MCC) Triple awards for completing the Exeter, Lands End and Edinburgh trials unpenalised in three separate calendar years. Since then car has remained in the Hay family, but unused since 1964.
The current owner hopes to restore the car to working order and use it for sporting trials as originally intended by Mr Sweeney.
Thanks for joining me on this mud plugging edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres, I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I shall be looking at a Jensen. Don’t forget to come back now !