Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Fairthorpe Gathering 2018.......it`s a wrap!


Here are the Fairthorpes travelling round the perimeter track of North Weald Aerodrome, the former Battle of Britain fighter station.

A full report on the event will follow here in the next couple of days. Many thanks to all those who turned up for the event.

Saturday, 28 July 2018

2018 Fairthorpe Gathering details

This years Gathering is almost here, August 5th at the famous World War Two Battle of Britain fighter station North Weald. The airfield was established in 1912 during the First World War by the Royal Flying Corps and during the Second World War Squadrons based from here flew Hurricanes, Blenheims and also two American Eagle squadrons who flew Spitfires. After the war the airfield became the base for Gloster Meteors and De Havilland Vampires, the last RAF aircraft were the Hawker Hunters, the RAF display team the Black Arrows, famous for their 22 aircraft loop also flew from here. The RAF withdrew from North Weald in 1964 and for a number of years it was used by the Army and Navy before being turned over for civilian use in 1979.
Nowadays the airfield is home to a number of of Flyable Historic aircraft including Spitfires, Hurricanes, Mustangs, Vampires, Gnats and many more interesting types, these can be seen flying on many days during the year so hopefully we may see something interesting in the air.  We will spend the morning at the Squadron NAAFI cafe which opens at 8am, i gather they do a very nice English breakfast etc and the Squadron bar is next door for those who want something stronger to drink. They are allowing us to park the Fairthorpes in one of the Wartime aircraft blast pens which will provide a great photo opportunity and there is plenty of parking outside the pen for other vehicles. The aircraft frequently taxi right past the NAAFI so plenty to see. At 1pm we will convoy the cars around the perimeter track to the former Station Gate house which is now the airfield museum, (Number 2 on the picture attached) after people have had a wander round we will be presenting our usual awards for the best Fairthorpe and the Furthest traveled Fairthorpe. Our past Gatherings in Essex have quite often been the best attended so hopefully this year will again see a good turn out of Fairthorpes, (all club members and cars welcome).

North Weald Aerodrome is just off Junction 7 of the M11 motorway (2 miles away) and so road access to the M25 and north east London is excellent. Immediate access to the airfield is via the A414, with Chelmsford less than 20 miles to the east and Harlow a short distance to the west. For detailed mapping, try looking on Google Maps.
Once at the airfield entry gate let the security know you are visiting the Squadron NAAFI, follow the perimeter track Clockwise noting the speed limit, obey any STOP signs as you will be crossing the end of two active runways on your way round. You will pass the Wings cafe on your left, we are not there but further on at the Squadron, (number 1 on the picture in this magazine).



SatNav info
Postcode CM16 6AR, PLEASE NOTE, this does not take you directly to the entrance, follow the signs for North Weald Market and this will take you straight to the airfield. Once off the A414 from the small roundabout follow the road around the outside of the aerodrome which will lead you to the main entrance. There will be only 1 gate open on the day, next to the Air Traffic Control Tower, this is the airfield main entrance where the blue line starts on the airfield picture. I will en-devour to put some small Fairthorpe signs up on the day.
Look forward to meeting up with many of you on the day..............
Martin

Another Fairthorpe returns to the road for the first time in 30 years.



Stuart Coupe has recently completed the restoration of his Mk2 Electron Minor which was last on the road over 30 years ago. As you can see from the pictures he has made a very nice job of it. The car has an interesting history and was featured in a film made a number of years ago which can be found here:-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkI65UZSbek



Original builder ready for the road again with his 1958 Electron Minor.




Barrie Pattinson bought his Fairthorpe Electron Minor kit in May 1958 as you will see from the invoices, It was first registered in August 1958, Barrie still owns it to this day and his son Ed has rebuilt the car to the look as it did when it first was on the road. (the original bonnet was the triangular mouth which they still have but it is in poor shape.)
He drove it from 1958 to 1968 when he put it into a small, black, corrugated tin sheet shed where it remained till December 1998. The shed is 15 yards below Barrie`s lorry workshop in Leigh, Staffordshire where it was built originally. It was removed from the shed because local children from the village of Leigh were breaking in to play in the car.
Slowly (Really very slowly, because other matters have taken priority) Ed has worked on the car to bring it back to the state you see it in now.





Thursday, 7 June 2018

From 1957 Fairthorpe Electron to Pilkey Climax Special, a Historic race car survival story.



                        Arleigh Pilkey in the Electron at the 1957 Okanagan Hillclimb.


                 The much modified car now renamed the Pilkey Climax Special in 1958

In 1957 Canadian Arleigh Pilkey purchased a new Fairthorpe Electron Climax from his friend Fred Leverington who was importing them from the UK, the car was an early one with the  Microplas body shape and round tube chassis. Arleigh intended to use the car for Hill Climb and race events, after the last meeting in 1957 the car was stripped, lightened and heavily modified for 1958, during which the car competed at the Okanagan Hillclimb, Westwood and a race circuit at Shepard Airport near Calgary. The car proved to be very fast on the 1100cc Coventry Climax engine with the lightened chassis, revised rear suspension and lightweight aluminium body that Arleigh had made, often out running much larger capacity cars. More about Arleigh`s racing history and his cars can be found here on page 8. http://www.vrcbc.ca/wp-content/uploads/VRCBC-Vantage-Spring-2010.pdf

An article on the car was published by Pit Pass magazine at the time which show thousands of lightening holes that were drilled for extra weight saving, i have copied them here to show how far it had evolved in those two years.



Eventually Arleigh sold the Special to Gene McMahon owner of the Corvette engined `The Beast`, McMahon was particularly impressed by the car when he couldn`t catch it with the power of a V8 under his right foot. The local Alberta racers named the car `The thing`, later on it was raced in the Winnipeg area as the Carter Climax Special and from there it competed in 1962 at the Parkland Races at the Hamlin circuit in North Battleford, Saskatchewan. There the trail of this 57 Electron Special goes cold until 2009, a question regarding a recently purchased unknown sports racer was made on a Canadian motor sports forum that produced several replies from people who had period pictures of the car. The Pilkey Climax Special had resurfaced, mostly complete apart from the valuable Climax engine and gearbox. The current owner is Derek Dewitt who had originally intended to fit a more modern power unit but has now i`m pleased to say purchased a Climax engine from the UK to go in the car when it is rebuilt. Derek has kindly given his permission for me to post his pictures of the Pilkey Special as bought, i look forward to seeing this intriguing machine rebuilt at some point in the future and hopefully i can post some pictures on here. I am sure some more history of this interesting Special will surface in the future, i am also indebted to fellow Fairthorpe enthusiast Frank Maine for coming up with the link to the Motorsports forum where the car reappeared.








Reconditioned gearbox for a 1960 Electron Minor.



                                                                        Box of cogs!


                                           1300 flywheel and New diaphragm clutch kit


                                1200 Herald flywheel and coil spring type clutch as removed


                                             Reconditioned gearbox back in the Fairthorpe

FSCC club member Ray Starkey has recently had the gearbox removed, reconditioned and replaced in his 1960 EM HSV 270. due to a severe back problem Ray got the whole job done by Mike Papworth. The car went in on a Tuesday morning and it was all done by 3.00 pm the following day, Mike had worked till 10.00 pm on Tuesday evening to get it done. 
The work done included supplying and fitting an Alloy bellhousing and fitting a later type 1300 Flywheel and diaphram type clutch as the car was fitted with a 1200 Herald gearbox on to it`s 1300cc engine and had the earlier flywheel and coil spring clutch type on it.. The new clutch assembly including thrust bearing and flywheel bush were completed by a new slave cylinder. Inside the gearbox a number of bearings and cogs were replaced as well as one of the shafts. The remote gear housing and rods were also replaced. 
Total cost = box £500 including surcharge for extra bits used, 
Removal + fitting £300, 
clutch kit and slave £105 
clutch arm with pin and bushes ,flywheel and crank bush £95
make that a round £1000  
Mike also replaced some bolts and nuts as not correct within this pricing even gear stick was worn out!
Ray is well chuffed with the result and now has a silky smooth gearbox to enjoy on his trips out in the Fairthorpe.

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

FAIRTHORPES FOR SALE

Like the proverbial bus, there is nothing then all of a sudden several turn up at once!

There are currently several Fairthorpes up for sale in various places so i have listed them all here for your perusal, a couple of nice projects and two racers ready to go. Listed in order of price for ease.
Please mention the Fairthorpe Blog if contacting the sellers.

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1960 Electron Minor Mk2, 1500cc Triumph engine. £3500

Fairthorpe Electron Minor Mk2, same owner since the 1970`s but spent a large amount of that time unused.







Rebuilt and put back on the road in 2016, fitted with a 1500 Triumph engine and an interesting set of period alloy wheels. Body work could probably do with a respray. For more information call Clive Weelen on:-
07903 365774




SOLD 1959 Electron Minor Mk1 on Ebay asking price £1995 or offer SOLD




https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1959-FAIRTHORPE-ELECTRON-MINOR-EM1-MKI-HISTORIC-RALLY-RACING-CAR-PROJECT-RARE/113021024917?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649

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1958 Electron Minor Mk1 47 SMD (sale does not include the registration number) This car has undergone a lot of work and is now a fully rebuilt chassis with new brakes, correct early type, new backplates, rebushed. dunlop d1’s, new tyres. Body is complete and painted but not on at moment. New instruments, seats, period steering wheel. Basically just needs body putting back on. I have all the other difficult bits to complete, badges, hinges, screen, side screens etc. Engines options, 1300 spit ready to drop in, 1147 good but head off, 948 in bits but machining done. Rack and pinion steering. Have all lights. Twin h1’s and correct manifold available for the 948. Gearbox is correct Standard 10 hanging type with correct mounting bracket. Also has new fibreglass floorpans, both lowered type under the seats.
Since these pictures were taken all the above work has been completed, current pictures are available by request from Graham.
Price negotiable depending on spec, may finish the car off if required.
Contact Graham Mitchell on 07902 415158


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                                                                CAR NOW SOLD






Race prepped road going Electron Minor Mk2 on Ebay, well known car within the Fairthorpe Sports Car Club with more or less continuous competition history since new, plenty of information on the Ebay ad.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Fairthorpe-Electron-Minor-with-Competition-History/113010646719?hash=item1a4ff59ebf:g:a3cAAOSwpoJbBW2Y

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1961 Electron Minor Mk2 Race car, much money spent and a good spec on Racecars Direct :

https://racecarsdirect.com/Advert/Details/87695/fairthorpe-electron-minor

Fairthorpes competition results from the late 1950`s






 Okanagon Hill Climb 1958, A Pilkey`s Pilkey Special was a modified Electron, see the pictures in the previous post for the car in it`s original form in 1957, then with modified bodywork in 1958.

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Canadian Fairthorpe race history comes to light.

It is amazing what still turns up, i am grateful to Canadian racing historian Vince Howlett who has sent the following pictures taken in the late 50`s. More period images to follow in the next few days so please check back soon.



Sept 1st 1957, Okanagan Hillclimb, Arleigh Pilkey Fairthorpe Electron.




July 5th 1958, Okanagan Hillclimb, Arleigh Pilkey, Fairthorpe Electron Special. Bodywork now very modified from the previous years picture from 1957.

Another shot of Arleigh`s Electron Special can be found at:-
 http://www.gvmps.org/inductee/arleigh-pilkey/



 Sept 1st 1957, Okanagan Hillclimb,  Class F winner Harry Moore, Fairthorpe Electron



 Sept 1st 1957, Okanagan Hillclimb, Balfe, Fairthorpe Electron


1958 Pilkey Electron, Moscop Elva and Brown Fairthorpe Electron.


July 5th 1958, Okanagan Hillclimb, Brown Fairthorpe Electron.