I read with interest the article entitled ‘Fiberglas’. I have a long term interest in this material and Keith Howard enlightened me quite a bit on it’s origins. However one omission needs correcting — the second GRP monocoque car was not the Clan Crusader, but the superb Rochdale Olympic, designed in the main by Richard Parker and built by partners Harry Smith and Frank Butterworth in their Rochdale factory.
Rochdale Motor Panels were in at the dawn of the use of glassfibre; their first bodyshell, the MlcVI, was the start of a family of GRP shells and Richard Parker joined the firm after playing a large part in the development of the GT model. Whilst at Bristol Aircraft, he became familiar with the Lotus Elite and its problems, so when he got the chance to design a new car, the monocoque Olympic was born. It was a stronger and comparatively trouble-free car compared to its sister. Ironically Parker was later enticed to Lotus, so the Olympic never got the further development it deserved.
I AM, YOURS, ETC
Paul Narramore, via E-mail