Does anyone recognize this unidentified car posted by Eric Clem? Yes, the front looks like a number of classic sports cars of the early fifties, but the enclosed coupe portion looks incredibly primitive, design-wise. You sir, are not a Pininfarina. My guess it’s a British fiberglass kit, but I can’t put my finger on it. Anybody else?
Cohort Outtake: The Mystery Car
– Posted on February 13, 2014
obviously the Shelby Beetle, 1965.
he he he +1. Fake grille.
Looks a bit like the oz Buckle or Tontala, but is neither. Where was this photo taken?
Buckle was my first thought too.
I took the photo at the All British Field Meet at Portland International Raceway last Labor Day Weekend.
I just checked in with my dad, as he told me about the car while at the All British Field Meet. He says it is a custom Vanden Plas aluminum bodied Cooper Formula 3 race car powered by a 500 cc JAP engine. Apparently this car was driven around London through the mid 1970s.
Holy sh…! I wonder how temperamental it was.
A close up of the bonnet badge might tell. I just googled VDP badge but didn’t find anything similar, although I am comparing against a pixelly blur.
Or the sticker on the windscreen.
I would never have guessed. And I’m struggling a bit with that, since the Cooper F3 was tiny mid-rear engine flea with central cockpit (see pic below). FWIW, the wheels are similar, but still….I want to believe…
Pulling that extra weight, that thing must have screamed like a little Honda.
I agree the wheels do look right for a Cooper. They did do some front engine single seaters in the mid fifties eg the Cooper Bristol but a JAP engine is out of character for that.
The JAP engine would have plenty of performance to spare to carry a heavier body in a road car too. I don’t think I’ve seen a JAP-engined racing car with an onboard starter though (very small obstacle).
I must attend the All British Field Meet this summer. 800 cars!
“This year the event salutes Triumph.” Maybe I’ll catch a Mayflower!
The ABFM in Portland is way better than the one in Seattle. I was very impressed.
The Vancouver edition is on May 17th – followed on the 18th by a 120 km run from West Vancouver to Whistler. (British cars are going to do WHAT??).
location is probably Melbourne late 1950’s as i have two photos of this car
18 Ormond Rd, West Footscray
Its got a Briggs Cunningham vibe about the front end but I couldn’t find any images to support my hypothesis so its just gonna bug me for the rest of the morning, just like those damn Clues I can’t quite guess.
Sure looks like a kit car based on an MGA. I agree that it’s British.
Have you ever seen an original or new Allard?
Allard made more than just the J2. This does look similar to a K3 or Palm Beach, but is a bit too narrow in the grille for starters.
That roof and windscreen just have to be home-made surely?
It does look strikingly familiar, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. Also striking is how narrow it is!
It’s obviously a Denbeigh Super Sloth, the ride of choice for Balloonfoot Bodine.
Either that or the Australian Bistango Elroyale VIII (“The Miracle of Front Wheels Drive!”)
Well played sir, well played; I had completely forgotten about the Super Sloth.
Funny, I thought it was a Belchfire Eight myself.
The front end resembles an AC ACE but it is not. The greenhouse looks like it could be from a VW Beetle.
A high school friend had an Alvis that looked a bit like this, when I visitd him in DC IN the late 60s.
It looks like a Bristol 404. But there’s something odd about the windshield.
Has to be a kit of some sort? It looks like they were trying to make it look like a Bristol, but a lot of details seem wrong.
Way smaller than a Bristol, but bears echoes.
The panel gaps are too narrow to be a Bristol.
Little Tykes my First Cobra
It looks like a Berkeley to me – late fifties?
It looks small – to small to be Bristol or even an AC. The styling certainly looks like low-volume British clone of clearly ’50’s Italian. Too nicely detailed to be a Berkeley IMO. Could it be an early Ginetta?
If it had a continental kit I would peg it as a 70’s kit car? Somewhat related to this picture.
Following up, I scrolled through my small collection of British car books from the ’40’s, ’50’s and ’60’s and I struck out. Not a Berkeley, Turner, Ginetta, Rochdale, Dellow, Elva or Tojeiro. Not even a Peerless. I doubt it is a VandenPlas creation … even though they cheapened the brand in the ’60’s with their BMC 1100 variants, they were a premium coachbuilder and the greenhouse of this car looks more like a home-made copy of an AC coupe (itself an homage to the Cisitalia and other early Farina designs). Not to mention it’s front-engined, and as Paul points out the Coopers were all mid-engined. In the end, I suspect Kevin is right, it’s a rare example of the elusive Denbeigh Super Sloth (or is it a Super Chauvinist?).
Coopers were not all mid-engined. Apart from the 2-litre F2 Cooper Bristol ( which doesn’t seem to be related to this, since the Cooper Bristol had centre-lock wire wheels) Coopers built a few 1250cc MG engined sports cars in the early 50’s which were available as a rolling chassis. Not sure the wheels of the featured car are anything to go by, they have had their rims reversed and widened to increase the track and take modern tyres. The old Cooper wheels had integral cast brake drums.
Before BMC turned VandenPlas into a badge, ( much like Ford did with Ghia ) they would build whatever you wanted provided you were holding folding.
Its Super Chauvinist, but Sloth sounds pretty good too.
Only ended up on this page because I was
recalling Balloonfoot Bodine. I had never
heard of the Super-Sloth or the Chauvinist.
Funny! I have one old Car & Driver where
Loyd mentions the Woodhill Wildfire.
It’s a Talbot-Lago America with an Austin A35 roof grafted on.
OK, that’s wrong but AFAIK no more wrong than the other guesses. :^D
I dont know but am sure Ive seen another in Windsor NSW.
I hope someone knows what this is and it’s not another unsolved case like the 2/3 scale pre war Lincoln Zephyr look a like mystery car!
Looks like a Cunningham, or a
Aston Martin DB 2.
Paramount – Alvis Crested Eagle Coupe. Manufactured as an Alvis Crested Eagle in 1933 and then kept by the works. In 1946 it was purchased by Paramount Cars in Derbyshire and this lightweight body fitted with a 3litre dry sump engine. The body was built in about 1948 by the Jeffrey Brothers in Derbyshire. https://www.facebook.com/classicandrecreationsportscars/
Sorry, but that’s not even close. The mystery car is much smaller than an Alvis.
The car is a “one off” Cannon Cooper with aluminum body by Williams & Pritchard.
The owner is a friend of mine and has “in period” magazine articles and documentation of its origin.