Home-built cars have abounded from the early days, in the form of those modified to owners’ ideas and more so in the case of specials constructed for competition driving. One which was quite exceptional was that built by Mr R G Baird, a Nottingham engineer who considered that what was on the 1920s market was “so much poor stuff”.
He began work in 1923 and did not finish his ideal car until 1928. By the time of starting some very capable cars were available, so he may have been misguided. However, after VV1VI was over there were not many entirely new cars for sale; due to shortage of materials and strikes, deliveries were delayed and prices rose drastically. So if Mr Baird began drawing up plans for his personal motorcar then, he had justification. What he wanted was a two-seater of impressive appearance and with
reasonable performance. He made all the castings and forgings himself. The front axle was milled from a rough forged bar, and the back axle tubes were bored out of solid billets. Mr Baird made the worm-and-nut steering gear, road-springs, hubs and even the ball-bearing transmission universal joints.
The 2.3-litre (66x112mm) sixcylinder had four valves per cylinder and a bevel-driven overhead cam.
The four-speed gearbox featured ratios of 13.5, 8.34, 5.44 and 4.0 to 1. There were 15in four-wheel brakes, wire wheels, and fixed cycletype mudguards, and an impressive vee-radiator was used.
This home-brew did 55mph in third and 65 in top without exceeding 3000rpm, in spite of the lowhung carburettor feeding into two very small-diameter riser pipes and three-branch inlet manifold.
What became of this car?