Wednesday, 17 January 2018

2018 FAIRTHORPE GATHERING, August 5th, North Weald Aerodrome, Essex.

This years Fairthorpe Gathering will be on Sunday 5th August at North Weald aerodrome in Essex, in the morning we will be on the airfield at the `Squadron` NAAFI` cafe, they are open from 8am, i gather they do a good English breakfast..........
To get to the NAAFI you enter by the main gate of the former Battle of Britain airfield and drive round about 50% of the airfield perimeter track, this is all still in excellent condition with no pot holes. They have kindly offered us the use of one of the wartime aircraft blast pens to park the Fairthorpes in so we should get some good pictures of the cars. Here is an aerial view of the airfield, the NAFFI is in front of the line of aircraft:-

Here is a link to the Squadren NAAFI:-

At 1pm we will convoy the Fairthorpes round the perimeter track to the original airfield entrance where the former Station gate house has been turned into a museum which covers the airfields history. People will have a chance to wander round the museum before we present the usual awards. I intend getting some video footage of the cars driving round the airfield, there are a number of Historic flyable aircraft based at North Weald, hopefully some may be active on the day we are there.
Link to the museum:-

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Electron Minor rebuilt engine, the running in continues.

Went out today in my Fairthorpe Electron Minor 789 ERO for the first time in 2018, the roads were finally dry so less road salt being thrown around under the car. I wore one of my Christmas presents, a nice warm beanie hat with the Fairthorpe Sports Car Club logo on it but i left my finger less gloves in the workshop, my fingers had nearly dropped off after the 40 mile run!
 We have finally bitten the bullet after many years of excuses not to get one and bought a Sat Nav, i am taking the Fairthorpe down to Le Mans again this year and trying to find your way round France in the dark whilst reading a map and driving is no longer part of the `adventure`!
So i drilled a hole inside the glovebox and mounted the cigarette lighter, just got to wire it in now.
For anyone interested in the Beanie hats they are available through the Fairthorpe Sports Car Club

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Modified Fairthorpe Atom in print 1960

Here is an interesting picture of a modified Fairthorpe Atom, this looks like one of the original Mk1 cars with the `interesting` body styling..................
The car has had a set of cycle type mudguards fitted and the headlamps have been recessed into the bonnet area instead of being bolted on top of it. The car was presumably already off the road at this point as it appears to have no windscreen fitted to it. The picture was superimposed onto the beach scene for the article on beach combing written by Squadren leader A.T Ryland and published in the Summer 1960 edition of the RAF St Athan magazine. The scans were kindly sent to me by John Jarrett, at present none of the original Atom`s are known to exist, is there still one out there tucked away somewhere?

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Fairthorpe Atom Major.................Now we`re cooking!

I am sure you cannot fail to be impressed by this natty period modification found on the Major, courtesy of one Mr Sainsbury.
The mechanical fuel pump on the engine had been disconnected and this electric pump installed by cutting a hole in the floor behind the passenger seat and covering it with an old Sainsbury cooking oil can with one side cut out of it. This has allegedly been approved by the FIA despite protests from Tescos.................. 
The large battery behind the drivers seat is also non standard, there is a recessed battery box on the upper level behind where the battery is seen here.

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Major work over the Christmas break............

Two weeks annual leave over the festive period has seen a start made on my Atom Major, the rear brakes have come off and the drums cleaned up with some wet and dry. They appear quite good with no scoring and have come up nicely, luckily Santa had put a new set of rear brake shoes and a master cylinder under the Christmas tree! I have now ordered a pair of new rear wheel cylinders and flexi pipes and will be replacing all the old steel brake pipes with copper kunifer tubing over the next few days. Up at the front end i have taken the twin SU carbs off ............ fun and games with a 7/16 spanner working blind in a tight space to remove the bottom nuts! The gearbox tunnel cover will be coming off tomorrow so i can get to the rear exhaust manifold nut, once that is off i can put a load of WD40 and oil into the cylinders to help free the engine which is currently seized. The engine is a 948cc Standard 10 unit and scrapping the grime off the engine number revealed that it is the original motor that came with the kit so i will be doing what is necessary to re use it. Hopefully before i go back to work i can get the engine and gearbox out and will be fairly close to having the brake system working. This will be an `oily rag restoration` the mechanics will all be replaced where necessary to make the car safe and usable, but the exterior will be washed but left as found at the moment.

Monday, 2 October 2017

Peter Butt, Fairthorpe Race Team driver & enthusiast has passed away.

Fairthorpe `Works` Race Team Silverstone 6 Hour relay race 1959, Peter`s car was 100 UMY

Another of the men whose lives were heavily intertwined with those of Fairthorpe Sports Cars has passed away, Peter Butt was not only one of the original Fairthorpe race team drivers but also one of the Fairthorpe dealers back in the early days. Peter along with my father Frank Collins, Fairthorpe works manager John Green and Gerald Golding were the original `Works` Race Team for Fairthorpe. All were driving their own cars but given cut price tuning parts, Twin SU carbs, Hot camshaft and tubular exhaust manifolds and during the late 50`s and early 60`s won a lot of club races helping to promote the Fairthorpe name. Peter was also a Fairthorpe dealer, starting Butts Motors at 9 Pindock Mews in London where he sold and assembled kits and repaired those that had been damaged, many Fairthorpes passed through Peter`s hands over the years. Peter retained his original Fairthorpe which he built in 1958 100 UMY in which he gained many wins and top 3 finishes, it was actually the first Fairthorpe i drove. Peter offered me a drive in it at the Fairthorpe Sports Car Club annual Grass Autotest at Denham, i soon realised how well these cars went when i picked up the trophy for BTD for a Fairthorpe. Peter always retained his love of our cars and would always be more than pleased to talk about them.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Fairthorpe Gathering 2017 Event report.

This years Fairthorpe Gathering took place on the 6th August at the Bubblecar Museum in Langrick, Lincolnshire, what a lovely venue it was too, with the museum being well worth a visit by itself.
12 FSCC members enjoyed a very sociable Saturday evening meal at a local pub the night before the Gathering, we may look at incorporating that in future years as it seemed to go down well.
Eight Fairthorpes made it along on the Sunday with seven Electron Minors, comprising of five Mk1`s, one Mk2 and a rare Mk5 plus my Atom Major. We were joined by a number of other FSCC members old and new and it was particularly pleasing to meet up with our club President Barry Gibbs and his wife Honor once more. Also special mention must be made to Wolfgang Puritz and his wife who made it along to the Gathering having driven over from their home in Germany, sadly their two Fairthorpes were left in the garage at home, maybe next year Wolfgang? ☺

As usual there were Trophies to be presented and Barry Stock with his Mk5 EM was the clear winner for the furthest traveled Fairthorpe to the event having driven 276 miles to get to get there, a sterling effort through wind and rain at the Welsh end of the journey from Ammanford.

The Best Fairthorpe trophy as voted by those attending the event went to Dave Bumsted for his immaculate Metallic Blue Mk1 EM, Dave had only got the car MOT`d that week following two years of effort to turn it from a basket case into a show winner.

There was a tie for second place between Richard Holden and Brian Townsend`s Mk1 EM`s with two other cars only one vote back, close indeed.
That is enough wittering on from me, i am sure you all just want to look at the pictures!.............

                                                         Brian Townsend`s Mk1 EM

                                                           Richard Holden`s Mk1 EM

                                                           Ray Starkey`s red Mk1 EM

                                                           Michael Rolfe`s Mk1 EM

                                                                Rob James`s Mk2 EM

                                                                    My Atom Major


      Dave Bumstead`s Mk1 EM, winner of the Frank Collins memorial Trophy for best Fairthorpe.

Last picture is of the complete lineup with Roger and Gill Cooke`s very nice Reliant Scimitar.

Many thanks to all those that made it along to this years Fairthorpe Gathering, details of next years event will be posted on this blog site once the venue is in place.
Here is a link to the excellent Bubblecar Museum web site:-

Thursday, 29 June 2017


This years Fairthorpe Gathering will be at the Bubblecar museum at Langrick in Lincolnshire. This a wonderful museum that has over 50 microcars on display, many in thought provoking dioramas. Examples of Bond, Isetta, Reliant, Frisky and Bamby to name but a few. They also have a row of recreated shops to explore, memorabilia, a gift shop and a cafe – great for afternoon tea! Entry to the Museum is £3 for adults and £1 for children.
They also have a rally field which has a large attractive tree lined area which has a shower, toilet facilities and electrical hook-ups for overnight camping for those arriving to take part in the convoy run on the Saturday (5th).
The museum will be offering us rides on the Sunday in an immaculate Messerschmitt Bubble car, this was going out on a run when my wife and I were at the museum to do the route for the Saturday convoy run. It sounded great putt - putting away next to us, rides will be £12 a go and you will have to form a queue behind me!  

The Saturday run will take in a few of the local sights including a stop outside RAF Coningsby, home of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and Wickenby Aerodrome where the old control tower houses a museum upstairs which is dedicated to the aerodromes life with the RAF who flew Lancasters from here during the Second World War, the lower floor is the pilots lounge and a cafeteria where we will stop for a bite to eat.
If you intend camping at the Bubblecar museum they would appreciate you contacting them on 01205 280037 to book a pitch, (let them know you are with the FSCC meeting). If you require electrical hook up you need to get in quickly as although it is a large camping area they only have six with hook up. We will be organising a table at a local pub for a Saturday evening meal, I will need numbers for that so please contact me if you wish to join us.
The museum address is:-

Clover Farm, Main Rd, Langrick, Boston, Lincolnshire, PE22 7AW

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:-
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:-

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.