In 1957 Monkspark Garage of Shirley, Solihull just outside Birmingham started to manufacture 2 and 4 seater fibre glass body shells known as Kenmar Mk I suitable for fitting to Ford Anglia and Ford Prefect chassis respectively.
Two years later a Mk II body was manufactured and marketed as the Shirley Mk II which cost just £89 with an additional £35 for the optional hard top.
The main body is a one piece molding with a reinforcing tubular framework and welded mounting points and the bonnet could be front or rear hinged to taste.
The shell for this particular vehicle was purchased in January 1997 and fitted to a 1949 Ford Anglia chassis and was ready to run in April 1998. This car has several period improvements including a boxed chassis, fluid cushion suspension, Aquaplane cylinder head, twin carburetors and an additional fuel pump along with 12 volt electrics.
Of the 50 shells thought to have been built only 4 Shirley Mk II’s are thought to remain.
WA Hudson and S Underwood founded Paramount Cars in Derbyshire to produce sports cars in 1950.
They intended to use Alvis running gear building an Alvis based prototype in 1948.
The cost of the Alvis parts proved prohibitive to Paramount switched to using Ford running gear and building vehicles with aluminium over ash bodies in much the same way as Morgan still do today.
In 1953 when today’s featured car was built, Paramount were acquired by Camden Motors and moved to Leighton Buzzard.
With the new ownership Ford Consul motors were offered with a new roadster as seen here, the twin carburetor Aquaplane cylinder head came from Harmer Copeman who started tuning Ford motors for his hydraplanes in a back garden shed before diversifying into becoming a tuning specialist for motor cars.
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 !