Rally Review, December 1986
Committee room victory for Lancia in Sanremo Whatever opinions one may have concerning rules and…
A SURVEY OF COACHWORK
In the following pages will be found a review of the coachwork now available from some of the leading coachbuilders of the day.
E. D. Abbott, Ltd., Farnham, Surrey. The team of 44-litre Lagondas which took part in the Ulster T.T. race this year were as striking in appearance as in performance, and it is good news to know that bodies of this type aee now available to the public, mounted, of course, on the short wheel—base Rapide chassis. The body is a compact and workmanlike design, fitted well within the wheel-base, and sweeping wings of sporting line assure adequate protection. The two front seats are of the usual well-padded bucket pattern, and the rear ones, which are reached
• by a single small doeir on the off-side, are actually one inch lower, since they are placed in front of the back axle. A full four-seater hood with double folding irons is also tucked away in the rear compartment, and a single panel rear screen is a most welcome innovation.
The rear panel, which is slightly domed, comes off to reveal the spare wheel carried on a special swinging frame, while the filler of the 20-gallon petrol tank is accessible just behind the rear cockpit opening. This striking oar costs complete £1075.
The New Avon Body Co., Ltd., Wharf Street, Warwick. Pioneers in the field of building “
Special” bodies on medium-powered chassis, the Avon Company offer three models on specially tuned Standard chassis of the latest type. The two-door saloon on the 16-h.p. Waymaker chassis is particularly light and airy in appearance, with a wide screen and windows all down the sides. The small front ones hinge for ventilation ; those in the door are balanced and drop down, and the quarter lights slide back. The spare wheel” is carried on the sloping rear panel, and two suit-cases are fitted into the luggage locker. A special feature of this car is the readilyadjustable steering column which may be swung so as to bring the steering wheel to the most convenient position.
_ A similar but slightly smaller body is fitted to the Ten-Twelve chassis, and costs £277 10s., while the larger car costs £360. The 10-h.p. open sports car completes the trio, and resembles last year’s model except that the large faired wings have been abandoned in favour of a simpler sweeping type. The price is £250.
Barker cf>, Co. (Coachbuilders), Ltd., 66, 69,
South Awlley Street, London, W. 1. One of the features of Messrs. Barker’s Stand at Olympia was the aristocratic looking Coupe de Ville body on a 34-litre Bentley chassis, with swept helmet wings, and finished in medium light blue set off by a chromium waist moulding. An unusual construction is used for the forward extension of the top ; the cant rails are detachable and are stored in the lid of the luggage container while the extension rolls up and is carried in a pocket at the
front of the fixed rear portion of the roof. Apart from reducing the quantity of material to be stowed away, this feature helps to give a welcome amount of headroom in the rear seats.
Access to the luggage is gained by swinging back the rear panel, which also carries the spare wheel. The boot is fitted with two large suitcases, and has the tools neatly carried in a locker underneath. This elegant car, which was particularly noticeable for its fine upholstery, costs £1,707.
John Charles 6′. Cu., Ltd., Great West Road, Brentford, Middlesex.
A variety of coachwork, open and close, is produced at this modern factory on the Great West Road, one of the most interesting bodies being a streamline fourdoor saloon on a Lancia Astura chassis. The doors are hung on special double hinges from thin centre pillars, making entry a simple matter ; and once seated the comfort of the passengers is well provided for by the restful upholstery, and the arm rests in the doors and in the centre of the seats. The four lights and sliding roof afford exceptional airiness in a type of body usually rather lacking in this respect.
The sloping rear panel swings down in this model, giving a platform space sufficient for a large trunk, while on an Alvis Speed Twenty a special double-capacity boot is shown, in which the luggage space may be increased at will by releasing and extending a drawer-like framework. This car also had the roof cant-rails hinged in the middle, carrying back the front rail with them when the head is prepared for folding.
Charles Follett, Ltd., 18, Berkeley Street, W. 1. The low-slung chassis of the Speed Twenty Alvis makes the coachbuilder’s task an easy one, and the three bodystyles offered by Messrs. Charles Follett are fine examples of clean-cut design. While still retaining the long louvred
bonnets and sweeping wings characteristic of Follett style, it will be noted that on this year’s cars the wings and running board are separate, relieving the bottom of the sweep from the strain inevitable when a unit construction is used.
The saloon is a two-door design, providing comfortable accommodation for four passengers. Four lights are fitted, and the quarter-lights wind back, giving a two-inch gap which keeps the interior ventilated without lowering the main windows. In order to give the maximum luggage space, the spare wheel is carried at the side.
Two doors are provided in the sloping rear panel, and the upper one lifts up to disclose a large boot. The tools are carried in a fitted panel, while the lower flap hinges out to act as a luggage grid.
The wing and body lines of the open car and the drop-head coupe are similar to those adopted on the saloon, and the special luggage boot features on all three. The hood on the open car drops into a well in front of the boot, giving unbroken line at the rear, while on the co-ape special attention has been paid to preventing drafts. A tongue along the front of the hood is rigidly held in a channel on the windscreen by wing-nuts, and padded strips on the valances effectively seal the gap between the hood and the windows.
FREESTONE & WEBB.
Freestone & Webb, Ltd., 101-103, Brentfield Road, Willesden, N. W. 10. Messrs. Freestone & Webb have ‘constructed bodies for almost every highclass chassis on the market, and each of the three cars exhibited at Olympia deserved one’s attention. The closecoupled fixed-head coupe on a 30 h.p. Hispano Suiza chassis was attractive with its long bonnet coming almost to the windscreen, and was painted maroon, with a chromium igated moulding. Another car eminently suitable for fast touring was the saloon-limousine on the new 26 lep. Daimler eight-cylinder. The exterior line was that of a sports saloon, with a sloping tail with storage space
for two suit-cases, but the chassis is long enough to allow a winding division to be fitted, converting the body into a limousine at will.
Last, and not least, there was a fourdoor four-light saloon on the 34-litre Bentley. The most interesting features were the full-helmet type wings, the very thin ” T ” section door pillars, which carried the new slender Lucas traffic indicators, and the large luggage trunk at the rear, which blended with the lines of the body, but nevertheless carries four suitcases. The sliding roof and the spring sun-visors provided for the return of warmer weather. The hinged rear panel was partly recessed to take the spare wheel, and the metal cover on the latter fitted closely to form an unbroken surface of paintwork.
J. Gurney Nutting 6-, Co., Ltd., Lack/and Place, Kings Road, Chelsea, S. W. 10.
Exceptional workmanship goes to the making of Gurney Nutting bodies, whether the body be ultra-modern or on more traditional lines. An example of the former type is available on a 44-litre Rapide Lagonda chassis. Termed an Airline saloon, the rear part of the roof sweeps down evenly to running-board level, where it is joined by the rear wings, and these and the rear quarters are integral with the boot. The spare wheel and tools, and the luggage, are all accommodated in the locker space provided. A large winding window is provided in each of the wide doors, and with two more in the quarters and a sliding roof the interior should be agreeable on the hottest day.
This two-door four-light construction is also available on the 34-litre Bentley, on a body of more orthodox outline, and a very handsome example of this was shown at Olympia, finished in dark red. In this case the wheel was carried outside the rear panel, while the boot was fitted with two roomy suitcases. The car was priced at 21,675, while the Lagonda cost £1,275.
Hooper (_SCo. (Coachbuilders), Ltd., 54, Si. James’s Street, London, S.W. I.
English coacheraft of to-day has succeeded in combining to a remarkable degree luxurious travel and handsome lines, as was shown on two of the latest Hooper designs for four-door saloons on the 25-h.p. Rolls-Royce and the Bentley seen at Olympia. The Rolls had graceful helmet-type wings, with side valances, and was finished in maroon and black, with brown leather upholstery. The luggage accommodation was exceptional and consisted of a locker of normal size which could be enlarged at will to an extensive platform by making use of the lowered rear panel. The Bentle carries a rather smaller body, seating four people in exceptional comfort, and as befits a 90-m.p.h. car, has the sweeping round sports type of wing merging with the running board. The boot on this car is reached through a forward-opening top panel, and the rear squab is also detachable to facilitate getting at the bulky luggage. The tools on both cars are carried in special drawers
under the floorboards, accessible on opening the doors. No projection is allowed to mar the clean lines of these two cars, and the semaphore indicators are contained in the door pillars. The price of the complete car is in each case £1,650.
Jenson Motors, High Street, West Bromwich.
The activities of Messrs. Jenson Motors cover a wide range from constructing the record-breaking .,ingle-seater bodies fitted to the M.G. Magnette and Midget of Mr. R. T. Horton to open and closed bodies on Fords, Wolseleys and the Sports Morris range. The Jenson Special Ford V.8 is particularly interesting ; various chassis modifications have been made, so that the chassis has been materially lowered, and a speedy-looking four-seater body with swept wings has been fitted. Pneu
the spare wheel and luggage locker and tools are all enclosed in the space thus provided. •
• H. J. MULLINER.
H. J. Mulliner & Co., Ltd., Bedford Park Works, Chiswick, W. 4.
Considerable progress has been made in the last two years in the construction of close-fitting hoods on drop-head coupes, but the streamline Mulliner coupe on the 34-litre Bentley chassis is quite outstanding in this direction, for the top is completely concealed in the hinged decking at the rear of the body, while it can be raised and lowered without difficulty by one person.
The body is of normal width, but the wheels are encased in special faired mudguards ; the rear ones are closed in by detachable covers. The sweeping tail follows the contour of the wings. and embodies a useful luggage boot.
matic upholstery is used, and attention has been given to the comfort of the front bucket seats and the all-weather equipment. Speeds in the neighbourhood of 90 m.p.h. may be obtained, and at a price of 2360 the Jenson is a most attractive proposition.
Arthur Mulliner, Ltd., 73, Bridge Street, Northampton.
Considering the few times the rear seats of an open sports car are used it is surprising that more attention to the sporting two-seater body, as shown by Arthur Mulliner on a Speed Twenty Alvis, is not more widely favoured in England. A tapering but not exaggerated tail curved on top balances the long bonnet, and the cut-away for the passengers’ elbows emphasises their comfortable seating position in the centre of the chassis. The steeply sloping front wings give a particularly sporting line, and a useful feature is that they are quickly detachable for speed events. The hood, two auxiliary seats and the spare wheel are all concealed under the flush decking of the tail. Another effective body produced by Arthur Mulliner is a four-door four-light saloon on a Bentley chassis. The tail is carried smoothly down from the roof and
Martin Walter, Ltd., 146-147, Sandgate Road, Folkestone.
The Win gham four-door four-light Cabriolet combines in one car the advantages of the open tourer and the full saloon. The doors are hung on braced tubular pillars reaching only to the waistline, and the front window supports the rear one in its grooved rubber-lined frame, so that no projecting window guides are needed. Thus the windows can be up or down irrespective of whether the hood is raised or lowered. The hood itself is springloaded and drops back easily on releasing two catches on the windscreen ; and the quarters are specially padded so that in the raised position the angularity of the usual drop-head coupe is avoided. The Wingford body can be fitted to any chassis, and is accommodated with special success on Talbots and the new 31-litre Lagonda.
Kevill-Davies and March, Ltd., 28, Berkeley Street, London, W. I. The Lancia Augusta has created a favourable impression since its introduction into ,this country, but all the examples which had hitherto reached England were fitted with closed body
work. Open car enthusiasts will be glad to learn of the “March-Augusta.” a twofour seater designed by Messrs. KevillDavies and March, who are the London Concessionaires. The body has a long bonnet, two doors with cut-aways for the front passengers, and a neat rear elevation finishing in a sloping rounded tail. Comfort is concentrated in the front seats, which are adjustable and fitted with Dunlopillo upholstery. The back ones are wellpadded and there are deep wells, but on the 2-4-seater this space is primarily intended as luggage space, and for the same reason only a two-seater hood
is fitted. If required, however, the strengthening cross-bar behind the front seats, which is a special feature of the two-seater, may be removed to give more room, and with the special four-seater hood all four passengers receive protection. On the 2-4-seater the hood is concealed underneath the tonneau cover, and the spare wheel is enclosed by the flush-fitting rear panel. The twoseater car costs, complete, £450.
Offord & Sons, Ltd., 94, Gloucester Road London, S.W. 7.
This old-established firm specialise in the production of drop-head coupes, and handsome bodies of this type may be obtained on 4f and 3k-litre I-agondas, and the Talbot ” 105″ and ” 110 ” models. The head mechanism is of the usual type with hinged cant-rails, and may be left in the half-open position with the extension furled, or folded right down, where it fits flush with the waistline and protected with a cover.
The domed top of the boot is hinged at one side to give access to the luggage space. The running tools are carried under the ‘bonnet, and others in a locker in the boot. The spare wheel is carried on the back. The Show model on the 4f-litre Lagonda chassis was finished in black with a silver line, and costs £1,025, while the Talbot ” 105″ is priced at £825.
OXBORROW & FULLER.
Oxborvotv & Fuller, Ltd., 11, Curzon Street, London, W. 1.
The ” 0.F.” Continental Tourer is another interesting solution of the problem of making a dual-purpose car. With the hood down, its clean lines are indistinguishable from those of an open touring car, while with the hood erected the protection is as good as that of a saloon. The provision of quarter-lights gives greater Visibility in the rear seats than is usually obtained with a drophead coupe.
The triangular panels on either side of the windscreen remain permanently in place, and help to steady the rectangular .panels which wind out of the doors-. The quarter-lights are held in place with tongues secured by knurled screws in the interior, and are stored in clips at the rear of the body when not in use. This body, which is built by Vanden Phis, can be fitted to a number of chassis, including the Alvis Speed Twenty, the
4f-litre Lagonda, the new Bentley and the 25 and the 40-50 h.p. Rolls-Royce cars. The Alvis fitted with the O.F. body costs £895, while the Lagonda is priced at £995.
Park Ward & Co., Ltd., 473, High Road, Willesden, N.W. 10. With the experience of years spent in designing sports saloons of orthodox lines, Messrs. Park Ward have succeeded this year in introducing a closed-car body line well-streamlined, but yet avoiding the nose-heavy appearance which is found on many present-day designs. Taking the body on the Bentley chassis, the only unusual features of the front of the
below them the tools are carried in nested trays. A golf-club locker runs underneath, and this and the filler cap are covered by flaps which preserve the unbroken lines of the magnificent rear panel. The Bentley is priced at £1,842 and the Rolls-Royce at £2,897. The streamlined models are, of course, additional to the range of more orthodox four-door saloons and drop-head coupes previously available on Rolls-Royce and Bentley chassis.
R.E.A.L. Carriage Works, Ltd., Popes Lane, Ealing, London, W. 5. The open sports four-seater car exhibited at Olympia by Messrs. Real, with its long, rather square three-hinge bonnet and swept wings, looked the embodiment
car are the special dome wings, with their extensions to the separate running boards. The sloping windscreen then shows the way for a clean sweep to the stern, and the rear mudguards, with detachable side panels are in keeping. The Olympia car was painted deep red, with black mouldings, and black leather upholstery with red trimming was used. A sliding roof is embodied, and the windows have spec ial ventilating pan
els operated by a full movement of the window lifts. A similar body on a 40-50 h.p. RollsRoyce has a third window on each side situated in the quarters. The luggage space in the tail is reached by swinging open a large door, which is hinged at the side, and which carries the spare wheel inside. Two large suitcases are fitted in at the top, while
of speed, and equally important, the seats, with their pneumatic cushions and spring squabs are formed so as to give adequate support to the back and thighs. A rather more massive but equally comfortable body was shown on a Hudson Eight and was notable for the amount of luggage space available. There is room for several suit-cases in the tail locker, while the tools are carried beneath..
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