Excelsiors and Argylls
I have had a letter from Zimbabwe, from a reader who went out to Africa in 1952. In Johannesburg a year later, this long-time Motor Sport reader found a rare car in a poor state, with non-original bodywork. Eventually restored, it turned out to be an Excelsior, that fine Belgian car. Not much was known about it, but then my correspondent bought a copy of my Sponscar Pocket Book and discovered that the picture of an Albert I Excelsior therein was of the very car they had restored and in which he had gone to his wedding in 1956.
He also sent me a copy of a piece from an old issue of The Scots Magazine, which described the Argyll car. This was the project which Bob Henderson, who had established the Fish carburettor which “had swept all before it on the racetrack”, started at Lochgilphead, Argyll, in 1976 (no association with the earlier Argyll from Glasgow). It was to be a 150mph GT job, with a fibreglass body. Alan Kidd’s article in the Scottish magazine recalled how the £250,000 venture was opened by the Duke of Argyll. An Oban Times supplement about the “new Scottish supercar” was also published.
A spaceframe chassis had Triumph suspension, and Lancia and Renault V6 turbo engines were used in the prototypes. In production cars, these were replaced by rear-mounted Saab or Rover V8 units. Kidd ran an Argyll registered A751 KSB. Does anyone know if these Argylls are extant?