Monday, 31 March 2014

Three wheels on my wagon!............

Paul Wells has been using his Fairthorpe over the winter months and sent me some dramatic pictures taken by the road side in a country lane, i will let Paul tell the story:-
`Bit of a mishap today. - front wheel overtook me and disappeared through a lady's hedge ! Luckily it stayed in a straight line and the speed was slow ... Turns out there are two completely sheared wheel studs and two with the thread ripped off ! I can only assume the studs broke first and the rest follows ! Only real damage is a very flat sided brake disc !  The wheel disappeared through the hedge on the right of the picture  - I had to knock on the door and ask for it back as it reached the middle of the lady's lawn ! She even gave me a cup of tea !`   Life is never dull with a Fairthorpe.............. 

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Fairthorpe Gathering Pathfinder stations tour, Sat 2nd your place now.

                       Painting by Robert Taylor available from Oliver`s Art gallery.

If there is sufficient interest, Bob Balding has volunteered to organise a tour in our cars, on the day before the Fairthorpe Gathering, of what  remains of Don Bennett's 8 Group RAF stations before adjourning to a suitable pub where we could have a meal and stay the night.  As well as being a small FSCC tribute to the work of the AVM and Bomber Command, it would give those travelling a significant distance to the Gathering an opportunity to break their journey overnight.  It should also make the visit to the Pathfinder Collection the following day that much more meaningful.
Most of these stations were fairly close to Wyton - Bourn, Gransden Lodge, Graveley, Little Staughton, Oakington, Upwood and Warboys.  A route to take them all in would be arranged for Saturday afternoon, with a chance to take a few pictures at each location.
If this idea appeals to you, please let Bob know (email: by Monday, 31 March so that, if enough folk are interested, detailed planning can start.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

FOR SALE: Rare 1958 Fairthorpe Electron Coventry Climax FWA

Due to too many other Fairthorpe projects I have decided to part with my 1958 Electron Climax FWA, the car is for sale with the engine and will not be sold separately as i would like to see the car returned to the road or track with the Climax engine in it. Climax engined Fairthorpe Electrons are rare beasts, there are three known in America, one in Sweden and three in the UK including this one.

Electrons have an International competition history in period having competed in the 1958 Tour De France, 1959 RAC Rally and 1962 Monte Carlo Rally, two also took part in the 1961 4hr race at Pescara which was a round of the F.I.A World Sportscar Championship. In the late 50s / early 60s they were also used in club races all round the UK, including a number of times at Goodwood, and i`m sure it would be eligible for entry to the Revival or the Members' Meeting which is being run this year for the first time since the circuit was restored. The organisers of these and similar high end Historic race meetings are always looking for something different to add to the entry list and an Electron Climax could be a relative cheap way in.

I have owned this car since the late 80s and it has been stored under cover since that time but it will now need a body off restoration. The two main chassis rails are in good order but it will need the out riggers and side rails replacing, these were originally just folded metal U sections which are easily reproduced and replaced, and I will include a new sample one with the car. The body shell is in quite a reasonable shape with not too much crazing to remove, but it has a poorly repaired area at the rear of the nearside rear wheel arch. It is possible to have a new body shell produced to fit on the car if the purchaser requires, the Fairthorpe Sports Car Club own the original moulds and have a moulder who can produce the panels. Membership of the club is included in the sale price.
The front suspension, steering and axle are all modified Triumph TR3 and the axle uses Fairthorpe produced trailing arms with coil over shocks all round.

The 1098cc FWA Coventry Climax engine is currently dismantled so can be inspected by prospective buyers. It comes with a twin S.U set up, an unused set of cylinder liners, and a new old stock Fairthorpe Climax exhaust manifold. There are some spares included, the original hood frame is with the car and a pair of fibreglass seat shells which were moulded from an original Fairthorpe steel seat.

Pictures of Rob Cobden`s yellow Electron Historic racer can be found further back in this blog in several places, some of which show the bare chassis which gives an idea of how straight forward the restoration is on these cars. The bodyshell is simply bolted to the chassis making removal fairly straight forward.

These engines are getting very expensive to buy and Climax powered Electrons rarely come onto the market, the last one having been sold in 2008 so this a rare opportunity to buy one.

The car is priced at £8,750 ONO and I could arrange transport to deliver anywhere in the UK or to the docks if the car is sold to a foreign buyer.

The car is in Northampton close to J15 of the M1, and can be viewed by prior appointment, more pictures are available by email.
I can be contacted on 01604 859987 (home)
or 07952930042 (mobile) or by email at
.........Martin Collins.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

How to make new door trim panels for your Fairthorpe.

Last summer I made a pair of new door trim panels for my Electron Minor, as anyone with a Fairthorpe will know the originals were just made from cardboard covered in vinyl material and after a few soakings on rainy days out in the car with the top down they would become all buckled and out of shape. I have owned a number of Fairthorpes over the years and have found the best solution is to make them out of fibreglass as they are light, waterproof and easy to make, here is how to do it:-
I start off with a flat sheet of glass that is big enough for one door panel and wash it off, once dry give it a coat or two of mould release wax, car polish would probably also do the trick. Buy some fibreglass resin and hardener plus enough F/G matting (chopped strand mat) to make a couple of panels, You can buy this in various thicknesses. I usually just make the panels from one layer of CSM, coat the glass with your resin / hardener mix then lay the mat onto it and stipple with a brush till it is well soaked in. This will then need rolling with a fibreglass finned roller to remove any trapped air and give a more even surface finish. When dry you can remove your sheet from the glass with a wood chisel or some thing similar, once you have an edge up it will come away very easily leaving a smooth finish on the side that came from the glass. Now you need to make a pattern from card or paper from where the panel will fit on the door, this then needs drawing round with a felt tip on to the fibreglass sheet, I do it on the back as the felt tip works better on that. I usually add a pocket slot in the middle as well as it is a handy place to store stuff  in the car, you can see the cut out for the pocket in the pictures. The best way to cut the panel is by using an angle grinder with a cutting disk fitted (make sure you ware a mask). Once you have your panel cut it is ready to be trimmed, choose your covering material usually leatherette or vinyl and cut it so it is 1 1/2" larger than the panel all the way round then lay the panel on it with the smooth side facing the back of the material.

Draw the outline of the panel and the door pocket onto the material then lift the panel off. You will now need to cut slits in the material from the outside up to the outline anywhere where there is a curve, the sharper the curve the more slits necessary or you will end up with a series of straight edges round the curve rather than a flowing line. The corners will need cutting up to the line and remove them as marked in picture 2 so you don`t see an edge from the front once finished. The door pocked needs marking and cutting as shown by the pen marking in photo 2 also. 

 When cutting to your pen marks use a sharp pair of scissors and do not over cut the pen lines or it will show on the front face of the door panel when finished. Now lay the door panel back onto the material and coat the area of the fibreglass where the material will be folded over and also the material to be folded with Evostick glue and wait for it to go almost dry to the touch (follow the glue instructions and use a well ventilated room). The material can then be folded over on to the back of the panel, once you have the first edge done stretch the material when doing the other sides so it is pulled tight or you will end up with a saggy covering! Lastly do the door pocket, again pulling the material before sticking it to the panel. Any bits of material that end up on top of another piece will need some extra glue to stick them. Et viola one door trim panel made, when doing your second one make a fresh template because the doors on Fairthorpes are not exactly the same shape...........
Also remember that you need the covering material on the opposite side of the panel to the one you have just finished otherwise you will have made 2 for the same side of the car, yep no need to ask how i know!
Your finished panels can now be fitted to your car, best to use cup washers and countersunk self tapping screws which are available from any car trim suppliers, try to fit them close to the corners and then space them out evenly round the panel so they look neat.

The third picture is a Blue Peter `here`s one i prepared earlier` shot, i think it looks quite professional and was a lot cheaper than getting a trimmer to do the job, also a lot more satisfying having done it myself.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Nice one Adrian............

Adrian Mancha has kindly sent me some pictures showing the progress he has made on his Electron Minor. The attention to detail is very impressive and the performance should very good once the rebuilt engine is run in. Adrian tells me that the bodyshell has been painted and is ready to be refitted and a mould has been made from the squared off tail section as the whereabouts of the original mould are unknown. More history on his car and pictures of it prior to work commencing can be found in earlier posts on this blog.


Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Marcus makes progress.......

Marcus Bradbury is continuing to work on his Fairthorpe EM which was featured in the `Wheels` movie on Youtube :-                                   
The Fairthorpe has had it`s bonnet painted and the rest of the car is being prepped in readiness for it`s top coat, it should look very striking in that shade of blue. The eagle eyed amongst you will spot the deliberate mistake in the picture.....................
The gearbox tunnel cover is round the wrong way.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Fairthorpe creates a stink!

 213 KKX was a Mk1 Fairthorpe EM painted yellow with black stripes that had been owned by Andrew Jones a number of years ago. It was heavily modified with Koni adjustable shock absorbers, Triumph Herald steering coloumn and rack. The brakes were modified with Triumph Vitesse discs and calipers and extra instruments were added to help monitor the tuned engine. The original 948cc Standard 10 engine had gone, it`s replacement was an 1147cc Spitfire engine fitted with a high compression head, SAH 46 camshaft and twin 1 1/2" SU carbs.

 Andrew used the car in a few competitive events including a Sprint at Blackbushe aerodrome, upon arrival he entered the aerodrome through the wrong gate and headed in the direction of the competing cars. He was soon flagged down by a very irate man in a Landrover who `really tore him off a strip` for driving down the runway............
I surmised that the gentleman was probably the airport owner at that time, none other than AVM Don Bennett!
I have been talking to Chris Gale who is the present owner of the car, i was under the impression that he only had the bodyshell  but Chris tells me that he has the whole car which was dug out of a farmers silage pit, so it had rotted badly and smelt horrible.  Chris has the car is in store for future restoration, (presumably once the smell has dissipated!) The paint work at some point in it`s life took on a 60`s look with large flowers painted all over it!

This is yet another Fairthorpe with an interesting story to tell!

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Picture of the week, Fairthorpe family get together.

This picture of the week was taken at Gerrards Cross this summer at a classic car event, Fairthorpes were produced in Gerrards Cross in the early 60`s. Pictured with 789 ERO and the Electron Minor of Bob Balding are AVM Bennett`s daughter Noreen with her daughter and her daughters three children. Her father gave Noreen the prototype EM as a 21st birthday present, which she promptly named `Mayfair`. Noreen was a pretty handy driver, doing a number of races and speed events in all types of Fairthorpe including the large engined Zeta, she still retains a keen interest in the cars to this day.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

SOLD Fairthorpe EM project for sale SOLD

Derek Evans is reluctantly parting with his Fairthorpe Electron Minor project, much work has been done but there is still plenty to do to return this 1960 Mk2 to the road. The chassis has been refurbished with new sections welded in where necessary and the independant rear suspension has all been done as have the rear brakes with new wheel cylinders and shoes.
                                    refurbed chassis pictured upside down.

The diff is with the car but needs some new seals in it and there is also a prop shaft and Herald gearbox but no engine or shock absorbers/springs. The body work needs quite a lot of work but it is all there and it has it`s windscreen and frame. There is a set of rebushed Triumph front wishbones but no vertical  links or callipers (these are Herald/Spitfire items).
                             Rear of chassis, no shock absorbers hence the wood supports.

Other parts included are a homemade fuel tank with sender and a hard top. The car has a chassis plate and reg number but no current log book so this would need applying for through the Fairthorpe Sports Car Club by the new owner.
The project is priced at £1000, for more information contact Derek directly at:-

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Fairthorpe script badges now available.

               Fairthorpe script badges old and new modelled on Paul Wells Fairthorpe.

I am pleased to announce that Fairthorpe script badges are now available, these are copies of the original ones supplied by Fairthorpe, many thanks to FSCC club member Paul Wells for taking the time to produce these new ones. They are cast in Pewter and then polished and can be curved to fit on the boot lid of your car. These are available through the Fairthorpe Sports Car Cub at a cost of £30 which includes UK postage, to order one drop me an email at

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Atom Major / Atomota updates.

                                             RHD Atom Major dash board shot

I have had some updates recently on the progress of 2 Atom Major/Atomota restorations, one being undertaken by Brian Waters here in the UK and the other in America with Frank Maine. Those that have read further back in the blog will be familiar with Brian`s car, he has recently got the bodyshell removed from the chassis and is now in a position to weld in the repair sections necessary. Here is a shot of the chassis that Brian emailed over.

The second car is owned by Frank Maine, it has been modified at some point as the original chassis has gone and the body shell modified and fitted onto a Subaru chassis. Here are some pictures with Frank`s description.

These photos were probably taken in the late 1980’s, as the photos were in the same envelop as photos taken at the last race at Riverside Raceway in 1989. A friend of mine spotted the ad for the Atomota in Hemmings. He inquired and got some photos of the car. From photos of the car I was sure that nothing of the original Fairthorpe chassis remained. At that time, I had no interest in it, didn’t want it  and recommended he should not buy it, but he bought it anyway. Perhaps, if it had arrived as a nearly running drivable car, if might be worth maintaining it as it was, but there was no engine or gearbox. As a unibodied car, the Subaru would depend on its roof to provide stiffness to the chassis. Add an additional 10 to 15 years of rot on what was left of the chassis and the chassis, in an accident would probably fold up like a pretzel. So we decided to removed the Subaru from the Atomota.

The Atomota as it arrived from Ohio, delivered by the shipping company.
The Atomota frontal view from various angles. The front bumper looks like a 74’ Volkswagen Super Beetle rear bumper. Still think it looks pretty horrific to me. Oh well, makes you wonder why people sometimes do the things they do. But, where would this car be today if they didn’t do what they did. Long gone and forgotten? Perhaps.
The interior of the Atomota.  All of the original interior was gone, replaced with the dash, steering column and seats from the Subaru.
  The side profile of the Atomota, is it in a family way? To me, from this angle, the Atomota looks just a little bit pregnant. The Subaru had a longer wheelbase than that of the original Atomota. The rear wheel arches where definitely cut out and moved back in the rear wings to match the extra length. I think that it should not be that difficult to reverse this.
The Atomota rear view from various angles. Unfortunately, the rear wings do appear to have been cut back and squared off in order to mount the rectangular tail lights from the Subaru. These might take some re-sculpturing to restore the original rear wing appearance. The rear bumper looks like a 74’ Volkswagen Super Beetle front bumper to me.
After the centre section was removed,  you can see parts of the original body profiles. Thankfully, this was not trimmed away and that should make it “relatively easier” to restore the original body profile.
The centre section after removing it from the Atomota , what a mess of wire mesh and fiberglass., with the intention of liberating the original fiberglass grill piece.
Thankfully, the original BSA engine sized access hatch was retained and incorporated into the new engine cover. Dismantling this cover to liberate the original hatch and the original fiberglass surrounding it.
When John Allan was writing his book, he ask me “What are you going to do with the Atomota bodyshell? At that time, I wanted to say, “I am going to cut it into four smaller pieces and then take it to the dump.” But instead I think I said something like “Restore it”.
Keep up the good work Frank..............

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Fairthorpes take a stand at the NEC!

This years Fairthorpe Sports Car club stand at the NEC Classic Car show features 3 Fairthorpes along with a Rochdale Olympic, a Turner and an Ashley. The Fairthorpes are from right to left Brian Jackson`s Dolomite Sprint  powered EM2. Andy Winston`s race prepped Ford pre crossflow powered Mk2 and my Triumph engined EM Mk1 789 ERO. If you are visiting the show on Sunday 17th drop by and say hello.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Fairthorpe Pathfinders settle in Germany.

One Fairthorpe that seems to have moved around a bit lately is the Metallic Burgundy Pathfinder V8 which was sold on Ebay to Barry Mays, Barry had previously owned the Ford V6 engined Pathfinder which now lives with Wolfgang Puritz in Germany.  Unfortunately Barry then had to sell the V8 car as he was unable to work due to a shoulder injury so the car reappeared on Ebay. This time it was spotted by Wolfgang who mentioned it to his friend Alfons Rubbert, a deal was done and Alfons now owns the V8 engine car, he also informs me that he also used to own the V6 car before selling it to Wolfgang.........Confused? I`m not surprised! 
So these two Pathfinders are owned by good friends who live very close to one another in Germany, Alfons has kindly sent me some pictures taken recently when he and Wolfgang got together with their Pathfinders, between them they own 1/4 of the 8 cars that Motorville (Watford) produced in the 1980`s. The Burgundy Rover V8 powered car was number five and the lilac Ford V6 engined one was the last produced of the eight.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

MOO moving forward, Phil`s Fairthorpe restoration is underway.

                                                On the way home.........a rebuild awaits!

I have recently heard from Phil Whitmore with an update on the restoration of his Electron Minor 403 MOO, he has made some good progress and hopefully 2014 may see another Fairthorpe back on our roads.

I will let Phil give you an update:-

`We have now fitted the fabricated outriggers on the chassis and it is presently at the shot blasters for cleaning and zinc plating so hopefully it will see another 50 years! The engine and gearbox have been apart for inspection, cleaning and painting whilst the shell now sits in 3 parts whilst we work our way through some nasty damage that was bodged up on the rear quarters and the time consuming removal of all the crazing. Other work has seen me prototyping some fiberglass seats molded off of the one barely intact original seat we had with the car....time and trimming will tell!`

Phil kindly sent some pictures as well, a few of which I have included here, I will update you with his progress as the restoration moves forward, an email a couple of days later included a picture of the chassis back from the shot blasters.

            chassis with replacement out riggers and side rails fresh back from the shot blasters.

Fairthorpe bonnet for sale on Ebay..........

There is currently a Fairthorpe bonnet for sale on Ebay, here is a link to it:-

Monday, 14 October 2013

Fairthorpe Electron Minor Mk1 being auctioned in Austria.

There is a 1959 Mk1 EM being auctioned in Salzburg on Saturday October 19th, this is the ex David Kennedy car which is now sporting a white stripe. Here is a link to the auction website

More information can be found on the auction web site and a bit more history on the car can be seen on David`s website here

Sunday, 13 October 2013

789 ERO A history in pictures

Now that 789 ERO finally has a coat of paint on it my wife Sarah has put together a montage of pictures which show the car during various stages of it`s life to date. Since it was painted in July of this year I have visited a number of Classic car shows with the car and it will be on the FSCC stand at the NEC Classic Car Show in November. If you are attending the show and would like to look at the car or just chat about Fairthorpes in general pop along to our stand where there should also be another Fairthorpe EM to look at.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Pictures of the week. Twin Cam Twosome.

This weeks pictures were taken in 1986 at the Silverstone 8 Cubs race meeting by a member of the Fairthorpe Sports Car Club. The light blue Mk1 EM is 2421DD and the unpainted Mk2 is 133 JGU, both cars have had their Triumph engines replaced with 1558cc Lotus Twin Cam engines. It was a rush to get both cars to the event and as usual we arrived late meaning that I had to do 2 laps behind the course car during a break to enable me to race the car having not practised in it. A leaky water pump meant the second car did not get a run.

2421 had a five speed box and a Ford back axle, the Twin Cam was race tuned and had come from the back of a Chevron sports racer, as you can imagine it went like the clappers! Unfortunately starting the 2nd lap of the race the oil pressure went and I had to pull off on the exit of Copse corner, but only after showing a clean pair of heels to a 2.8i Capri. An engine strip revealed a broken cam bucket that had distributed itself round the engine. Being short on money meant that the engine came out and was sold following an expensive rebuild, we then fitted a tuned 1600 Ford x flow with twin Webers and then sold the car on. 133 JGU had the Twin Cam removed and a strip revealed badly corroded water ways, probably as due to a lack of Anti freeze during it`s life so that too was sold on. A mildly tuned 1300 xf Ford engine was fitted and the following year it was taken back to the 8 Clubs and I took a 1st place in one of the handicap races, another Fairthorpe coming home in second. The car was later sold and raced by John Watson (not that one!) and it now resides in Japan, does anyone have any pictures of the car taken over there, it was royal blue with a white stripe when last seen over here.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Picture of the week..........Seeing Red!

This picture was taken in the mid 60`s, I think the venue is Snetterton race circuit though If anyone recognises it I would like confirmation. This very period shot shows three Fairthorpe Electron Minors book ended by an Electron at the far end and Willie Simpson`s Electrina nearest the camera. Amongst the Minors is John Allan`s much raced Ford engine car. Red was obviously THE colour to have if you owned a sportscar! Can anyone identify the Electron, either an owner or a registration number?