Thursday, 15 August 2019

FAIRTHORPE GATHERING 2019 report


This years Fairthorpe Gathering on the 4th August at the de Havilland aircraft museum was thankfully dry in between several days of rain, I was hoping for a good turnout as you always do at these events but several cars dropped out in the preceding days, both Rob James and Ray Starkey had mechanical issues following their trips to Silverstone the previous weekend, Rob`s was carb related and Ray`s was a combination of fuel pump and a non charging dynamo. Mike Bridge took his Mk1 for a pre Gathering run the day before and found that the kenlow fan which cuts in automatically was in fact not cutting in at all and the car was consequently over heating. Hopefully Mike can get the car to the event next year as I rebuilt this car thirty years ago and even did a few laps of Silverstone in it when Lotus Twin Cam powered before the engine broke, would be nice to see it again. Both Alan Green and Derek Bentley made it to the day intending to bring their Fairthorpes but a cracking and perished tyre on the borrowed trailer which Derek only spotted (luckily) when going out to start the journey meant their Rochdale was pressed into action. Alan has been restoring his Mk1 EM for several years and has achieved his goal of returning the car to the road, having built it from a kit all those years ago. The car had not been driven on the road and the trip to the Gathering was going to be a trip into the unknown. However when the EM was driven out of the garage the ignition light refused to go out showing some sort of charging issue and wisely it was put back until it can be sorted and more local miles put on the car, another one for next year hopefully. This left the numbers down with five EM`s present, but what we lacked in quantity we made up for in quality, over the last couple of years Dave Bumstead`s Mk1 EM has taken the level of car finish and presentation to a new level BUT he now has a rival! Adrian Mancha has been rebuilding his EM2 for around ten years and it was returned to the road only a couple of months ago, it has been worth the wait. The attention to detail and finish are stunning, the car was owned back in the 60`s by our esteemed FSCC President Barry Gibbs and the over sized 1340cc pre crossflow Ford engine complete with period Martin tuning inlet manifold and trick semi down drought cylinder head with twin 40 carbs is mouth watering to period tuning aficionados. On the back of this the MGA gearbox used by Barry has been replaced with a Capri 5 speed unit. Barry and his wife Honor were at the Gathering and were delighted to see the car again, which I am sure brought back many memories, the car also still retains it`s now unique kamn tail section. Other attendees with Fairthorpes were Andy Winston with his Electron, as always a crowd gathers when the bonnet is opened to reveal the Coventry Climax engine within! Also Barry Stock, all the way from North Wales in his rare Mk5 EM, a mere 5 hour trip each way, as always thanks for the effort Barry it is nice to see you and much appreciated. Last Fairthorpe was my own 789, I still can`t believe I have now owned it for 30 years, I enjoyed the drive down to the event, ( a piffling 2 hours), mulling over the cars history with our family, good times........
This year we had some welcome interlopers in the form of Dave & Gillian Malins in their Tornado and Charlie Jeffreys and his partner Amanda in a rather nice Berkeley 3 wheeler, nice to see you all.
This year the pots were picked up by Barry Stock (furthest traveled) and Adrian Mancha (Best Fairthorpe).













Sunday, 21 July 2019

FAIRTHORPE GATHERING REMINDER, AUGUST 4th



FAIRTHORPE GATHERING REMINDER, AUGUST 4th De Havilland Aircraft museum, Salisbury Hall, Shenley, London Colney, AL2 1BU. I visited the museum today to sort out the club car parking area and they have given us a nice spot within the museum area in front of a Trident airliner fuselage which will make a nice backdrop for pictures, those arriving in tin boxes will also be parked within the museum area just along from the club cars. This however means that anyone attending will have to pay the museum entrance fee and cannot just arrive in the free general car park and get access to the club cars. The museum directions and prices can be found here:-https://www.dehavillandmuseum.co.uk/vis…/museum-information/ The admission is well worth the price to see the three Mosquito`s alone, a number of the museum aircraft are open for you to have access to sit in the cockpits etc. I took a couple of pictures to wet your appetite, access to club cars and members in other cars will be through the pictured gate, i`m making a sign up for it which will be in place on the day. I will be there when the gates open at 10.30 and have my fingers crossed for some good weather, the well stocked museum shop also offers tea, coffee, soft drinks, sandwiches and ice creams etc.
This event is open to anyone who is interested in Fairthorpes, you don`t have to be a club member or own a one to join us on the day. We are a friendly bunch and don`t bite!


Saturday, 25 May 2019

Fairthorpe surprises at Cadwell Park track day.


Cadwell Park trackday 24/5/19
I took part in the TVR Car Club track day at Cadwell Park in Lincolnshire yesterday, what a fantastic day at this picturesque and challenging circuit. The event ended up being a sell out with 55 cars booked in, obviously mostly TVR`s but also a Honda S2000, Caterham plus a couple of others and my Fairthorpe Electron Minor. Before the day started i had anticipated watching my mirrors most of the day but at days end i reckon i passed as many as passed me. Many a TVR pulled away on the straights only to have their mirrors full of a Fairthorpe through the corners, half a lap of that and they would lift on the straight and let me past and 789 scuttled up the road and out of their view. I even had the Caterham close on me as i was caught up in TVR traffic, i moved to the right on the straight and indicated but he didn`t have quite enough to get past (i wasn`t lifting as i assumed he would just blast past). End of straight he was still behind so i went about my normal lines and within half a lap he was dropping away. Very, very happy with the way the tuned 1300 engine i built and the car went, it handled superbly and was very controllable on the throttle using all the track although the brakes took a lot and i would recommend at better set that can handle the heat generated better. 
The engine has a lightened and balanced bottom end with stronger big end bolts and a fast road camshaft, the head is heavily skimmed and ported/polished with bigger valves and double valve springs. Topped off with 1 1/2" twin SU carbs and a stainless freeflow manifold and system, it goes surprisingly well now. 
The EM was the oldest car there and had the smallest engine, 789 is a 1958 build, next oldest and smallest engine was an MGB 1800 powered 1962 Grantura, who was also dispatched......
I lost count of the number of people who came up to look at the car during the day and commented how surprised they were at how quickly it was getting round the lap and one 5 litre Griffith owner even came up and apologised for holding me up. The car was last driven in anger round a race track in 1962 at Silverstone by my father Frank so i feel very happy to have `given it the beans` round the track yesterday. 
I have plans for a proper track day Fairthorpe next year with a larger capacity engine and wider wheels / roll bar etc, i have been bitten by the circuit bug again..............
Many thanks to my brother Graham for taking these excellent pictures, thanks bro...

















Video below of me closing on a couple of TVR`s, click on the full screen box for a bigger view, if the sound is up you can hear the tyres protesting!
I:-)      

Monday, 13 May 2019

Fairthorpe..............Running up the Hill

Spent a great day at Prescott Hillclimb yesterday, super weather on the day and both the Fairthorpes ran faultlessly on their runs up the hill. Here are a few pictures, video will get uploaded to youtube in the near future.





Tuesday, 19 March 2019

FAIRTHORPE GATHERING 2019 venue announcement

Fairthorpe Gathering 4th August



This years venue is now confirmed, please make a note in your diaries of August the 4th at the de Havilland Aircraft Museum at Salisbury Hall, London Colney, Hertfordshire, AL2 1BU
Formally known as the Mosquito Aircraft Museum it houses three complete Mosquito aircraft including the prototype which was built on this site during 1940. A number of other de Havilland aircraft are housed at the museum, more information can be found on their website at:-https://www.dehavillandmuseum.co.uk/
The museum is very close to J22 of the M25.
A number of Fairthorpes are nearing the completion of their restorations this year so i am hoping for a large turn out, more details nearer to the event.
Everyone who is interested in Fairthorpes is welcome, there will be as usual awards for the Furthest traveled Fairthorpe to the event and the Best Fairthorpe as voted by those present on the day.


                                   
                                                    2017 Gathering
                       
                                                 
                                                           2012 Gathering
                                                             


Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Fairthorpe Gathering 2018 pictures. North Weald Aerodrome, Essex.




Eight Fairthorpes Enjoyed the wonderful weather at the 2018 Fairthorpe Gathering at the former Battle of Britain fighter station North Weald Aerodrome in Essex. A nice selection of cars was present, several travelling many hours to get there. Furthest traveled was Barry Stock in his rare Mk5 Electron Minor and the hard fought `Best Fairthorpe` award as voted by those present on the day went to 789 ERO.













View inside the Fighter blast pen air raid shelter behind where the Fairthorpes were parked.