Friday, 28 April 2017

Fairthorpe rear suspension arm bushes now available- all 10 for £30.


FSCC club member Chris Gale has sourced a manufacturer and paid for a tool to be made to produce replacement Fairthorpe rear suspension bushes, the first set have now been delivered to him. They have been made with out a steel outer as it is felt that it is not actually needed, it also helps keep the cost down. I also feel they will also be easier to fit to the arms without the sleeve as the bush itself is in 2 pieces so can be fitted from each end. Chris has yet to fit them but they look very promising and can be made in different hardness grades, colours and crush tube material. The manufacturer is Duraflex and they have added them to their website under `Specialist bushes` Here is a link:-  http://www.duraflexpubushes.com/fairthorpe-80-c.asp
The good news is they can be bought for £30 for a set of 10, several people have already expressed an interest so hopefully some feedback will be forthcoming fairly quickly. I think we owe Chris a big thank you for getting these sorted.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

1961 Fairthorpe EM for sale, great value for money.

 

Maurice Jennings has reluctantly decided to part with his Fairthorpe EM2 and there is an advert up on the Car and Classic website here:- http://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C844564

This is a very tidy car that is excellent value for money, someone will have a lot of fun with this Fairthorpe as the warmer weather arrives. I do have a bit of history with this one as I rebuilt it back in the early 90`s, it was re sprayed British Racing Green then, it has since been White, now returning to Green again, very eye catching it is too, i have a feeling this one will sell very quickly.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Fairthorpe, a view into the late 50`s at Chalfont St Peter


There are currently several owners restoring their Fairthorpes who are keen to put the cars back to their late 50`s spec so I thought I would put these pictures up as an aid and also provide a bit of a view into the old Fairthorpe works at Chalfont St Peter. The picture taken inside the works shows an Electron Minor, Electron, Atomota and Atom all crowded together. I am not sure that the fibreglass bar across the `mouth` of  UPP 83 does anything for the looks of the car, I`m sure it didn`t catch on as I haven`t seen it on any of the customer assembled cars.


Here are several shots of the works demonstrator UPP 83, this number was one of three or four that Fairthorpe used on their works cars through the years, the numbers were also switched between several models of Fairthorpe.




I have no idea who the person is in this shot, maybe the early EM pictured is his car, in the background can be seen an Atomota and what looks like a very early Electron convertible.


And finally a Fairthorpe supplied 948cc Standard Ten engine with twin 1 1/8" SU carbs.


Thursday, 9 February 2017

Fairthorpe Sports Car Club 30th Anniversary meeting 1990


I have been going through some old photos over the past few weeks and will be posting a few of them here for those with an interest in anything Fairthorpe.
These three shots were taken in 1990 at the 30th Anniversary meeting for the Fairthorpe Sports Car Club, the event was organised by my father Frank and myself with the aim of trying to assemble 30 Fairthorpes in one place. We fell short of the target but it was probably the largest gathering of them seen together with over 20 cars attending ( the exact number escapes me!) I spent most of the day chatting with owners, as I do at all the Fairthorpe Gatherings so the photos are few for such a memorable event so if anyone has some more they would like to share please email me and I will post them on here.
The heading picture shows from left to right a TX Tripper (minus it`s bonnet), David Green`s early Electron Minor Mk1 and Charles Armstrong Wilson`s later Mk1.


This shot features a couple of TX Trippers, one with a rare hardtop fitted, where have all the Trippers gone, they seem to be very thin on the ground these days?


Final shot shows David Green`s EM again, this was a very quick car as David and his father John had squeezed a Ford 1600cc ohc Pinto engine into it.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Fairthorpe Special finds a new home


Fairthorpe Sports Car Club member Chris Jones is the new owner of the Fairthorpe Special that was auctioned on February 4th, he plans to recommission the car in the spring.
There is a story about it`s past which needs further looking into to provide proof, here are some pictures of the car taken i think back in the 70`s which show it with it`s Fairthorpe body still on, the car looks to be lowered at that point. I have included the information which was attached from the chap that owned it when they were taken, he thinks he sold it to Mike Hahn but i have been in contact and Mike does not remember owning that one ( he has had several over the years.) As you can see from what he has written it had at that point an aluminium body shell except for the bonnet, it is an early Mk1 shell with the curved top doors fitted with a fibreglass Mk2 bonnet, it also has different windscreen pillars to the cast ally ones on all other cars. 


I was told a story by an ex Fairthorpe dealer back in the late 80`s that he had purchased Noreen Bennetts EM ( 898 BPP ) in the early 60`s from the AVM when she had finished with it, the car had an aluminium body (which the EM moulds were made from ) but was fitted with a Mk2 EM f/g bonnet following a clash she had with a London bus. He bought the car with no paperwork / registration, the works keeping the paperwork etc, he then bought an EM from Exchange and Mart which had been on fire, the paperwork, chassis no and reg being put onto the ally car.



There is an EM that has the registration number of Noreen`s car which is known to the club.................but it has no alloy panels on it at all. I stress this was a story he told me and there is no physical proof especially now that the Fairthorpe body has gone and the car has a different ally body on it. There is also mention of the car in a couple of 2009 club magazines which indicate that at some point it may have had a climax engine in it? 



These two pictures taken of Noreen`s car when new and 64 TPK in the 1970`s seem to show a similar paint colour (allowing for the faded colour of the second picture), also the black trim behind the seats and identical screen pillar. I have never seen a Fairthorpe screen fixing the same as this on another car, check out that area on any of the other pictures on the blog and you will see what I mean.

I will be interested to look at the car at some point in the future to see if the chassis shows signs of being one of the early main rail type which could point to it being earlier than the chassis number suggests.

Friday, 20 January 2017

1961 Fairthorpe Special for Auction on February 4th



Fieldings Auctioneers will be selling a unique Fairthorpe `Special` on February 4th, the car is built around a 1961 Fairthorpe Electron Minor Mk1, the original body seems to have been disposed of many years ago and an aluminium tourer type body made and fitted. The car retains the Fairthorpe running gear including Standard Ten front suspension, it has been fitted with disc brakes on the front and a Triumph steering rack, the wishbones have all been drilled for lightness.


The engine according to the log book is a 948cc Triumph or Standard ten unit with twin SU carbs but looking at the inlet manifold it looks more like a 1296cc engine, the car is registered as a Fairthorpe, and has an enamel Fairthorpe badge on it`s nose. The conversion appears to have been quite well done from the photos I have seen but it has obviously been standing for a while so would need recommissioning before use.




Fieldings website is at http://fieldingsauctioneers.co.uk/auctions for contact details and more information. The Fairthorpe Sports Car Club hold the original Electron Minor moulds should the auction winner wish to return the car to it`s original body shape.

Fairthorpe Engine rebuild begins ....... 12 months later than planned!


This time last year I removed the 1300 Spitfire engine from 789 ERO as it had head gasket failure and very high oil consumption, the engine just seeing out the last club event of the year with several stops along the way to top up the water which was entering no 3 cylinder and causing the car to run rough. The idea was to build up the replacement engine which had been lightened and balanced over the winter so it was ready for the spring............then things got turned on their head when we made the decision to move house. That move took up most of last year, first there was work needed to finish the then current house so we could market it and get the best possible price, this paid off and we were able to get more than the asking price as two couples battled it out to buy it. We ended up moving in with family for several months while the purchase of our new house went through so everything including cars was put on hold and in storage. Due to my working away from our new home until my transfer came through at the end of November nothing happened on my Fairthorpes last year so I intend to make up for lost time in 2017!
First job is to get the replacement engine rebuilt and in 789 so it is useable for the coming events, I would like to also use the Fairthorpe for a few AutoSolos once the engine has been run in. So I togged up in plenty of warm gear today to get the pistons fitted on to the con rods, these had been lightened and balanced over a year ago and were still all wrapped in their boxes. Upon removing them I found the odd spot of surface rust, lesson one here is I should have unwrapped it all and oiled or greased it to offer a bit more protection from any dampness in the air. I thought the wrapping would suffice for a month or so, but they ended up being stored a lot longer than anticipated! I gently removed the rust spots with some 800 wet and dry used with some oil then washed everything in the parts cleaner before drying.  The pistons have to be fitted into the cylinder bores with the arrows on the crowns facing forward and the bearing caps on the con rods facing the camshaft side of the cylinder block so when assembling you have to be careful that everything is assembled the right way round! Due to the workshop being so cold at the moment (no heating - 3 degrees outside) the gudgeon pins were reluctant to fit into the pistons so a handy trick is to put the alloy pistons into very hot water which makes them expand in relation to the pins so that is what I did.

The gudgeon pins and small end bearings in the rods were oiled up and the piston removed from the hot water, dried then oiled where the pin fits, the pins, rods and piston then pushed together much easier, don`t forget the pin circlips, one is fitted per piston before the pin is pushed in, the other added once the pin and con rod are in place, make sure the circlip has the sharper of it`s sides facing outwards.  The cylinder block was painted a few weeks ago in Black as the previous engine was in BL Green which led many a casual under bonnet browser to think that it was an A series engine. The block had been in a steam clean machine at the machine shop when the work was all done all that time ago but having had a good look at it today I have put it in the parts washer as tomorrows job to give it a through clean inside to remove anything the machine shop missed. Once that is done I shall be fitting the piston / rod assembly to the block, I will update the blog at that point.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

You don`t always have to polish the car to pick up an award!

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Just over a week ago my wife and I trailered our Fairthorpe Atom Major over to the NEC for the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show as the car was being put on the Fairthorpe Sports Car Club stand for the weekend. We took the car over on the Thursday evening as the show opened on the Friday morning, we even had an offer to buy it whilst we were unloading it! The interest continued and we had to be pushed out the doors when the halls closed at 10pm as two guys would not leave the stand, having walked all the way round the show halls they had decided that our car was the one they wanted the most, `not the prettiest styling` they said but it just had `something really appealing about it`. Unfortunately due to work on Friday and a commitment in London on Saturday I could only attend the show on the Sunday but having got in from London mid Saturday evening I had just sat down when the phone rang. The call was from the FSCC club stand organiser Andy Winston who was still at the NEC, apparently he had been invited to attend the awards gathering by the organisers, he arrived just in time to pick up a nice trophy plate which had been awarded to the Atom Major! The organisers had awarded a freshly restored Maserati Ghibli the `Car of the show` award and other main presentation was the Classic & Sports Car `Special award` which was presented to the Fairthorpe Atom Major, this is given to the car which `steals the judges hearts`. The club stand was very busy on the Sunday and again a lot of interest was shown in the car, several asking if it was for sale and several telling me not to restore it but just leave it as a time capsule! Sorry to disappoint but it will get restored and used, a couple of people kept coming back again and again to look round it, I still don`t know if it was just the `Barn find` condition or the quirky styling that was the appeal or maybe just a combination of the both, whatever it definitely created a stir and hopefully some good publicity for the club. I will be starting the strip down and rebuild in the new year so keep an eye open for updates.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

1960 Fairthorpe Electron Minor project for sale.

        

1960 Fairthorpe Electron Minor Mk2 project for sale, fully rebuilt chassis, only needing a few supplementary brackets making and attaching. All body panels there apart from one floor pan and tunnel cover, includes a new bulkhead (moulded some years ago but unused), new floor pans and tunnel cover can be ordered through the Fairthorpe Sports Car Club. Rear axle is from a Ford Escort and has been modified to a 5 link system, front suspension is Triumph Spitfire, now employing Spitfire turrets on the chassis, axle and suspension will require restoration.


The chassis has been bracketed to take a Ford Pre Crossflow or Crossflow engine (not included), I was going to rebuild this as a fast road / track day car but due to change of plans it is now for sale. The car has an old style Green logbook with an interesting number and I will include a years membership to the Fairthorpe Sports Car Club in the sale price. Only selling due to a new restoration project (see last blog post!)Would make an nice winter project for someone, car is near Spalding in Lincolnshire and can be viewed by arrangement.
                                     Offers over £2000
                  For more information call Martin on 07952930042.





Tuesday, 11 October 2016

And then there were two, Fairthorpe Atom Major awakes from 40 year hibernation.

 
I am in the lucky position of owning a number of Fairthorpes but have always hankered after an Atomota or Atom Major, both cars share a common body shell, only differing in the size of the engine hatch. The Atomota was produced first and was fitted with a 650cc BSA Motorcycle engine mated to a Standard 8 or 10 car gearbox, the suspension, brakes and axle were also from the Standard 10. It was later decided to offer the car with the option of a Standard 10 engine, this necessitated a larger engine hatch for the 4 cylinder 948cc engine. The chassis differed slightly between the two models as well, apart from the changed engine mounts the main structure over the axle at the rear was all a different shape, I will post some pictures of the differences in a future blog post. Only a small number of both models were produced, Fairthorpe customers preferring the open sports cars on offer, particularly the Electron Minor of which up to 650 were produced, mostly as kits. As so few were produced the survival numbers are very small with two Atomotas which require a lot of work to return them to the road and up until last month only one Atom Major was known to have survived. Details of Brian Water`s car can be found a number of pages back in this blog, Brian has had his car for a number of years and is currently restoring the car back to it`s former glory.
 
Last month the number of surviving Atom Majors suddenly doubled when one came out of a 40 year hibernation from a long forgotten garage that was so overgrown that it took 3 days to clear a way through to retrieve the car and clear the rest of the contents! I was contacted by Ian Makepeace and a deal was struck to buy the car, the following week I made the long trip down to Bristol to meet Ian and pick the Fairthorpe up. Ian had some great memories of the car, having driven it as a 14 year old round the family property with friends and the family dog in the back. This fun came to an abrupt halt once all the fuel in the tank had been exhausted as his father then refused to put any more in as he was concerned about the thought of them being tempted to drive it out onto the road. So the car was pushed into the garage and the door shut, the year was 1973...........
 
 

 This Atom Major was produced in 1959 and the Fairthorpe chassis records show it as the first one made, it also has some racing history having taken part in the 1959 Autosport 3 hour race driven by Chris Meek, the engine was fitted with a Supercharger for the event, sadly Chris passed away earlier this year. John Allan`s Fairthorpe book also mentions John Green racing one with a Supercharger at Silverstone, how many were fitted with a Supercharger, possibly only this one so maybe there is more competition history to be discovered? The pictures of the car at Snetterton can be viewed at:- https://revslib.stanford.edu/?page=2&q=Fairthorpe&utf8=%E2%9C%93
The Fairthorpe looks just as you would expect any `barn find` that had lain untouched for 40 odd years, a large layer of dust and many, many cobwebs, particularly under the bonnet which has the 948cc engine fitted with twin S.U carbs.



The Atom Major will be on the Fairthorpe Sports Car Club stand at the NEC Classic Car show in early November and will be displayed in as found condition, the restoration of the car will commence in the New year and will be covered in this blog so please check back in future.


Thursday, 6 October 2016

Fairthorpe Electron Minor wins the 2016 Classic Hill Climb Championship Sports Car class.


FSCC club member Chris Jones has just won the Sports Car class in the 2016 Classic Hill Climb Championship, leaving it until his final run at the last round at Prescott to take the top spot in his Electron Minor LWN 920F, this Fairthorpe has a long history of competition over the years including Autotests, Autocrosses and plenty of circuit racing. Chris has made a number of videos during his Hill climb and Sprint runs this season, they can be accessed on Youtube, the latest one is from Curborough  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rR2ek0abvUc  the others can be clicked on once this one has been viewed. Congratulations Chris, keep up the good work in 2017.
 
 

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Barn find Fairthorpe Electron Minor surfaces at the Fairthorpe Gathering.


John Worthings barn find Electron Minor UNT 760 has created a lot of interest since he brought it along to this years Fairthorpe Gathering at RAF Twinwood Farm in early August. John heard about the car two years ago when talking to his cousins husband Rob, the car was Rob`s uncles and was left behind when he went to the USA , he simply left it in the barn. Rob and his brother played on the car when they were kids and he's owned up to being the ones who broke off the doors and pulled the bits off the engine, that possibly explains why he is now an engineer on hitech tractors.
 


 
After Rob`s mum died they had to sell the property so the Fairthorpe had to be found a new home and John managed to buy the car after a price was agreed with Rob`s brother who lives in Switzerland. Handily the car was only 15 miles away from John`s home in south Shropshire. He has been a very busy guy since the Fairthorpe Gathering and has stripped the car, rebuilt the chassis and it is currently at the shot blasters getting cleaned up before work starts again!  I am sure there will be plenty of updates in the future from John so I will keep you updated.




 
An interesting find on the car was a dusty pair of women's tights which were holding one of the Wind tone horns in place, i`m sure that was an interesting trip when the need for their new use was required!