Your article in the March issue of Motor Sport tracing the history of the two 1-1/2-litre Thomas “Flat-Irons”, I very much enjoyed.
However, I think you will find that you are rather mistaken in the matter of the 750-c.c. “Flat-Iron” project, which was known to have been in hand at the time of Thomas’ death. Particularly so, where you refer to it briefly in one of your final paragraphs.
The plan for the 750-c.c. car quite definitely called for an entirely new, somewhat-scaled-down chassis, similar in general layout but by no means identical to the well-known 1-1/2-litre cars.
The engine was to have been a four-cylinder unit and almost certainly based on one half of the Hooker/Thomas eight-cylinder engines in the larger cars.
An incomplete set of chassis and transmission blueprints, mostly dated during the first seven months of 1920, together with a chassis frame pressing and a quantity of unmachined castings and forgings, seem to have been in existence when Thomas was killed in 1927.
After first passing through the hands of R. C. Morgan, who had been a Brooklands competitor on occasion with Thomas-engined cars, this collection of paper and metal came happily to rest with a certain Mr. H. Barham. This latter gentleman did an immense amount of work towards turning this daunting DIY kit into a car. In fact he persevered so far as to reach the rolling chassis stage in the early nineteen fifties, when unfortunate personal considerations decided him to pass on the task.
Since then the car has been much neglected and taken several steps backwards in various hands. It has now joined the vintage stable of Philip Mann, whose intention it is to see things completed, including appropriate bodywork and something exciting in the way of a period engine.
R.B. Knight – Chartham Hatch.
[There is also evidence of a “Flat-Iron” engine in Canada.—Ed.]
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