Tag Archives: Cyclecar

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 !


Airways to Highways – GN JAP Grand Prix

A cycle car was a vehicle that weighed between 150 kg / 331 lbs and 350 kgs / 772lbs powered by an engine no larger than 1.1 litres / 67 cui that often qualified for reduced taxation. GN made such cars between 1910 and 1920 with proper wooden chassis.

On August 6th 1910 Britain’s first qualified aviator E T Willows became the first man to fly across the Bristol channel in his dirigible airship the 30 HP JAP V8 powered ‘Willow’s No.2‘ on the way from his home town Cardiff to London. He accidentally dropped his packed lunch over Bristol. Willow’s No 2 was rebuilt into Willow’s No.3 ‘City of Cardiff’ and became the first airship to cross the English Channel on it’s way from London to Paris. Willow’s celebrated his achievement on new years eve 1910/11 by flying his JAP powered airship round the Eifel Tower.

Richard Scaldwell brought together a 1919 wooden GN cyclecar chassis and E T Willows 1908 5112cc / 3111 cui JAP V8 to create the GN JAP Grand Prix special which he races in the Pre 1941 racing car class at VSCC events.

Amazingly after a days fun on the track Richard then drives his road legal racer home !

With thanks to Martin Squires for back ground information.

Hope you have enjoyed today’s high flying edition of Getting a lil’ psycho on tyres and will join me tomorrow for a look at a 200 hp Land Speed Record Breaker. Don’t forget to come back now !