Tag Archives: Crayford

Classics @ Autumn Classic – Castle Combe

Today’s post looks at some of the non combatants seen at Castle Combe’s Autumn Classic meeting a couple of weeks ago.

Wolseley Hornet, Crayford, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe,

The story behind the 57 1966 Wolseley Hornet Crayford convertibles has all the makings of a great movie seeing as it involves a global baked bean brand, an exclusive deal with a company operating out of two private garages in London and a nudist colony, the rest of the details will have to wait for a future blog.

FIAT 850 Coupé, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

At my very first race meeting out in Zambia one of the more unlikely competitors drove a FIAT 850 Coupé like the 1969 example above on the Bristol Pegasus Motor Club stand.

Aston Martin DB Mk III FHC, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

The 1959 Aston Martin Fixed Head Coupé with a Tickford notch body is an extremely rare vehicle, only five were ever built.

Daimler Dart SP 250, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

If I had any spare cash I’d be seriously tempted to buy this 1963 Daimler SP250 which has just 38,000 miles on the clock, if you would like to become it’s fifth owner I have the contact details of the vendor.

Humber Sceptre Estate, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

Slightly out of period was this 1976 Humber Sceptre based on a design first seen in 1967. The Sceptre Estate first seen in 1974 was one of the earliest UK station wagons to feature a light in the loading area and a rear screen wiper, the Humber name disappeared under Chrysler UK’s post 1976 branding strategy.

Bristol 450, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

One car I have been waiting see first hand for some time is the sole remaining Bristol 450 belonging to Simon Draper, I believe this car finished 7th over all and first in the 2 litre class at the 1955 Le Mans 24 Hours. The prize money from the teams success was donated to victims of the 1955 Le Mans disaster after the team withdrew from the sport having scored two consecutive Le Mans class victories.

Triumph Dolomite, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

A nice quiz question what is the connection between all of the vehicles in this photograph ? Answer Donald Healey who was responsible for the Austin Healey’s in the back ground and the Hudson Terraplane inspired 1937 Triumph Dolomite Saloon in the foreground.

Lotus IX, Mike Marsden, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

Former Concorde wind tunnel engineer and Historic Lotus Register Lotus Mk IX registrar Mike Marsden is seen above in his 1955 Lotus Mk IX which he has owned since 1967.

Morris Mini Cooper S, Dave Foster, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

Dave Foster is seen coming into the pits above in his immaculate 1965 Morris Mini Cooper S which he has driven in competition for the last decade clocking up 10,000 competition miles.

Horstman 4 Seater, Trevor Turpin, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

Until the Autumn Classic I’d never heard of a Horstman, it turns out they made nearly 3,000 vehicles just down the road in Bath between 1915 and 1929. These days Horstman, which patented a torsion bar suspension system for tracked military vehicles in 1922, continues to specialise in suspensions for military vehicles. The 1923 Horstman above is believed to have belonged to the companies founder Sidney Horstmann OBE.

FIAT Isotta Fraschini, Mike Vardy, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

In 1905 FIAT drew up plans for a world land speed record car which was to have two in line four cylinder motors producing upto 200 hp. The car never got built but nearly 20 years ago Graham Rankin undertook to build the car anyway. 13 years later he sold the unfinished project complete with a WW1 surplus 250hp Isotta Fraschini 16.5 litre / 1014 cui 6 cylinder aero motor to Mike Vardy who spent another seven years completing the FIAT Isotta Fraschini. Mike appeared to have great fun hanging the tail out on some parts of the circuit during his demonstration.

White Whistling Billy, Robert Dyke, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

Finally last year I saw this recreation White Sprint Car at Race Retro, this year I finally got to see Dr Robert R. Dyke driving it at speed, only 60% of the boilers potential pressure was used but it still moved at an impressive speed given that it only has 2 x twelve inch brake drums on the rear axle.

Thanks for joining me on this “Classics @ Autumn Classic” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a limited edition Hemi Challenger. Don’t forget to come back now !


Coffee, Croissant & Cars #7 – Avenue Drivers Club

The festive spirit was gathering pace, at Queen Square, Bristol yesterday, no sooner had I arrived and I was being proffered charity mince pies ! Extremely delicious they were too !

MG NA Magnette, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

Among the many visitors to the Avenue Drivers Club meeting was what appears to be a 1934 MG K1 one of it’s club badges indicates that it may have spent some time in South Africa. 14 01 13 Further investigation has revealed this car is actually an NA Magnette.

Riley RMA, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

The difference between a 1952 Riley RMA and 1952 Riley RME is indicated externally by the larger rear window of the later model which leads me to conclude the model seen here is the RMA.

Ford Thunderbird, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

Appearing to have come past just for a cruise around the block was this 1958 Ford Thunderbird.

Austin Healey Sprite, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

These two Austin Healey Sprites were built in 1960 on the left and 1958 on the right.

Ford Consul 375, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

The owner of this Ford Consul has only had the car for a couple of weeks, he told me he had owned many Mini’s before buying the four cylinder Ford.

Morris 1800, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

This 1966 Morris 1800 has attended many of the same show’s I have this year, it was bought and prepared for a local classic Rally on a very small budget, running to hundreds rather than thousands of pounds.

Citroën DS19, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

One of the first cars to offer seeing round corner capability was the 1968 version of the Citroen DS that was first seen in 1955. This DS19 was built in 1972.

Hillman Avenger, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

Another classic from 1972 was this Hillman Avenger fitted with what appear to be period correct aftermarket Cosmic alloy wheels.

Crayford Ford Capri GT 3000, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

Car of the day was this 1972 Crayford Ford Capri GT 3000, built in a period when Ford did not have time to satisfy a demand for convertible versions of it’s cars. Crayford took on the job fitting it with a white interior and walnut veneer.

Toyota Supra, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

When production of the Ford Capri ended in 1986 Ford left the massed produced Coupé market to the likes of Toyota and their Supra models the vehicles above were manufactured in 1989 on the left and 1992 on the right.

Ford Thunderbird, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

In 1990 I went to Connecticut for a week to attend a friends wedding, while I was there I hired a Ford Thunderbird similar to this 1992 example, I could not believe how big it was for a two door, at one point I found the car could carry 4 adults and two small children with a modicum of comfort from one side of town to the other !

Morris Marina Estate, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

Above another reminder that the season of Goodwill is upon us took the form of this Morris Marina Estate which dates from circa 1973.

Finding out about the Avenue Drivers Club has been one of this years simple joys for me, what could be easier or more fun than rolling 5 mins down a steep hill and finding yourself having a couple of hours of fun looking at some of the huge variety of veteran, vintage and classic cars that come from your environs and enjoying a Coffee & Croissant with some of the owners ? My thanks and seasons greetings to everyone who has brought their cars along. Next meeting January 13th 2013 !

Thanks for joining me on this “Coffee, Croissant & Cars #7″ of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !

Above another reminder the


Move Over – Rover P6… Cabriolet !

The other day I was ambling along to the shops in the bright sunshine and I caught a glimpse of an old school chrome bumper through a hedge, it was attached to a Rover P6 (marketed as a Rover 2000) I didn’t think much of it till I got around the corner and it registered there was something odd, the roof was missing.

I went back to check and sure enough this is a Rover 2000 4 door cabriolet. I have no idea where or when the conversion was done, probably when the car was at least 12 months old to avoid attracting additional car purchase tax.

The Rover P6 Series 1 was in production from 1963 – 1973. This particular model was relatively underpowered by a 104 hp single carb, 1978 cc 120 CUI Heronhead (flat head / combustion chamber in the piston) overhead cam four cylinder engine. 208, 875 examples were produced of which between 160 to 170 are thought to have been converted post registration (to avoid additional car purchase tax) into estate / station wagon types by HR Owen and Crayford Engineering. Crayford are well known for Cabriolet conversions and possibly may have done this one.

If you know anything about Convertible P6’s please tell us about them ?

Slightly off topic tonight (UK time) is the night Happy Harvick and anyone else interested in lifting the NEXTEL CUP surely has to beat Jimmy Johnson to be considered a contender, if the #48 leaves California with the win then I’d say the Chase and the Drive for Five is all over bar the shouting. Fingers crossed Go Happy ! Go Harvick ! Go #29 !

Wishing everybody a sunny Sunday. Don’t forget to come back know !