Tag Archives: Carrier

Voiture Des Copains – Matra Simca 530LX

In 1967 Matra replaced it’s René Bonnet inspired Djet model with the 530 an all new mid engined 2+2 deigned by Philippe Guédon who had previously worked for Simca.

Conceived as the car for buddies, Voiture Des Copains, the 2+2 with pop up lights and a targa top was powered by a German sourced 70hp V4 Ford accessed by through the rear window.

While the engines and drive train were built in Germany the steel back bone chassis were built by Carrier in Alençon, Normandy and assembly was completed 150 miles away by French coach builder Brissonneau et Lotz at Creil in Picardy.

Matra Simca 530LX

In 1969 the 530 was upgraded with the engine now producing 75hp and a deal was done with Chrysler Europe to distribute the Ford powered cars through their Simca network from 1970 and to work on a joint replacement.

Production of all but the motor and drive train for the 530 was also brought together under the single roof of the Matra Automobiles facility at Romorantin in the Loire Valley around this time.

Giovanni Michelotti was responsible for minor styling upgrades to the 530 which became the 530LX in 1970 these included replacing the acrylic glass removable rear window with a glass hatch held open with gas struts and the removal of a nudge bar from the front bumper.

Matra Simca 530LX

These 530LX ads found in the French journal “Connaissance des arts” date from March and May 1971 respectively five months before the introduction of the budget black bumper, orange or white only 530SX which had the targa top and pop up headlights deleted.

The under powered 530’s competitors included the Lotus Elan +2 and Porsche 912 which were both more expensive and the cheaper MG B GT.

9,609 530s, 2,062 530As, 4,731 530LXs and 1,146 530SX’s were built by the time production ceased in 1973.

Thanks for joining me on this “Voiture Des Copains” 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 Alpine Job – Allard K1 #156

One of the cool aspects of The Italian Job (1969) is that it features 3 Mini get away cars one Red, one White and Blue.

On my recent visit to the Haynes International Motor Museum I was surprised to learn that the idea of continental forays in three patriotically colour co-ordinated vehicles was not born in the ‘Swinging 60’s’ but rather dates back to at least 1947 when Allard entered three cars for the Alpine Rally one Red one White and one Blue.

David Hooper tells me that two of the cars used in this event chassis 156 seen here and 595 left the factory painted blue so presumably chassis 595 was repainted white especially for the Alpine event.

Allard K1, Haynes IMM

The model used by Allard on the Alpine adventure was the K1 fitted with a British built 3622 cc / 221 cui 85 bhp side valve Ford V8 with aluminium cylinder heads and twin carburetors, not to be confused with the externally visually similar 100 bhp 3917 cc / 239 cui Mercury V8 from the WW2 Universal Carrier known as the Bren Gun Carrier with which the Allard brothers had worked during the war and supplied as standard with the Allard J2 model.

Allard K1, Haynes IMM

The K1 chassis featured independent front suspension, Marles steering gear and hydraulic brakes.

Allard K1, Haynes IMM

Production of the Allard K1 ran from 1946 to 1948 with 151 examples built, though thanks to a rushed order an early K2 chassis, #1703, one K2 was delivered with a K1 body. Meaning there were actually 152 K1 bodied vehicles and only 118 K2 bodied vehicles built.

Allard K1, Haynes IMM

[Photo courtesy David Hooper]

Leonard Potter drove this particular vehicle, the only one of the 3 1947 Alpine team cars in original unrestored condition, to fifth place in class in the 1947 Alpine Rally despite a damaged front. There were no overall awards in this event until 1952 if there had been Potter would have been classified no better than 17th.

The remaining two cars did not fair so well Goff Imhoff in the white car (which according to some sources is described simply as pale) won a trophy on the manoeuvrability test at Aix but ultimately retired with a gearbox problem, while Maurice Wick retired with a big end failure.

My thanks to David Hooper for his photograph and recollections, to Colin Warnes of the Allard Registry along with David McKinney, Allan Lupton, Tim Murray, Peter Stowe, and Richard ‘Vitesse2’ Armstrong of The Nostalgia Forum, for rifling through a library of information that I can only dream of accessing.

Hope you have enjoyed today’s Alpine edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ and that you will join me again tomorrow for a visit to an interesting collection of cars in Calne. Don’t forget to come back now !

22 06 11 mikeC has kindly confirmed that the Allard team cars were definitely red, white and blue on the 1947 Alpine Rally.


My name is – #1 Carden Sport

One of the interesting things I have learned about Farnham the town closest to to my senior school this year is that it once appears to have had a budding motor industry. First I learned that it was home to the coach builders Abbots of Farnham when I was researching fourth blog on a BMW Fraser Nash, and now I find this cute little Carden cyclecar was originally designed by Sir John Carden, 6th Baronet who founded Carden Engineering in Farnham.

Sir John Carden Bt 6 is most famous for designing the Carden Loyd tankette which evolved into the well known WW2 Bren Carrier. He was also interested in building affordable light aircraft and cyclecars, this model, his side by side two seater, is his third and final cyclecar design. Readers of my previous Rowdy blogs might remember the AV Monocar which was his first design. Note the vehicle seen here has a semblance of independent front suspension a la Morgan, but no front brakes.

Despite being aimed at economy, the plan was for the car to cost just £100 on the road, notice the decorative brass electrical switches on the dash board.

The driver sits atop a 7hp 707cc / 43 cui two cylinder two stroke engine each cylinder sits either side of the transmission.

To get the motor started there is a kick start and being a two stroke apparently one can never be entirely sure which way the vehicle will proceed as the motor will happily spin the crankshaft clockwise or anticlockwise.

The bodywork was constructed of wood and fibreboard, the weight of vehicle is just 182 kgs / 400 lbs.

There seems to be a little doubt about what this little beauty is called, in the VSCC programmes Gerry Michelmore is listed as being the owner driver of the #1 Carden Sport, RM Auctions and others believe the model is called Carden Model 7 Cyclecar, Wiki makes reference to the car being called New Carden after the design was sold to Arnott & Harrison in 1922 and one owner R Dallas Brett painted the name Scarab on the bonnet of his which was purchased unpainted.

My thanks to TNFers Tim Murray, Vitesse2 and Markpde for helping me find out about the #1 Carden Sport.

Wishing ‘Gettin’ a lil psycho on tyres’ contributor John Aibel a Happy Birthday and everyone who has played a part in this blog, however great or small, peace and goodwill.

Hope you enjoyed this 7hp edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ on the first day of Christmas and that you will join me for a look at my favourite Formula One car tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !