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

SOLD Rare 1959 Fairthorpe Electron Coventry Climax FWA SOLD

Due to too many other Fairthorpe projects I have decided to part with my 1959 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.