Merrick Taylor, general manager of the Kieft Sports Car Company in the late Fifties, has sent us this photograph of the Kieft works in 1958, which is remarkable not only for the variety of machinery under one roof but which also allows us to tie up a few loose ends from recent articles in Motor Sport.
In the foreground is the 1957 F2 Lister which was briefly owned by Gil Baird. Baird had plans to install the flat four AJB / Kieft / engine in the Lister but how this was to be achieved since the original Coventry Climax engine was offset in the, chassis and the Butterworth unit was nearly three feet wide, remains a mystery. Baird sold the Lister to Bill Jones in a deal which Included, a large number of plastic, lamps; which Jones’ company made. Jones sold the car later to Ian Raby who, in turn, sold it to the States but the car was not heard of again thereafter.
On the ramp is the rolling chassis of the Kieft F1 car. The white sports racer against the wall is Chris Meek’s, Lotus-Connaught (reg 319 BPD). Behind that is one of the supercharged-Austin Sevens which Williams raced with the works team. Under wraps is one of the Coopers owned by that great hillclimb champion and sometime F1 driver, Tony Marsh.
The sports car near the door is the ex-Mike Hawthorn F2 Cooper-Bristol, converted to two-seater form (reg HPN 665). Behind that is the Lister-Jaguar which Tom Kyffen built up from the remains of Austin Nurse’s crashed Lister-Bristol. In 1958 it was driven by Bruce Halford and the following year was bought by Border Reivers for Jim Clark to drive.
Behind the F2 Lister is a Kieft Sports car chassis, almost certainly LDA 5 which raced at Le Mans with a 1,500 cc Turner engine in 1955 and later was made the prototype of a proposed Kieft road car. (See “Kieft Sports Cars” by Merrick Taylor, Motor Sport October 1981)
As though all this were not enough, just out of the picture is Berwyn Baxter’s ex-Ken Wharton Aston Martin DB3S which was later part-exchanged for “Remus”, then owned by Bill Moss.