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Mystery Car

Passion, instruction, buying, care, maintenance and more, any form of vehicle discussion is welcome here
ReformedCharacter
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Mystery Car

#322630

Postby ReformedCharacter » June 29th, 2020, 7:49 pm

Can anyone identify this car? It was made in the mid 50's

Image

I'll be very impressed if anyone can identify it.

RC

kiloran
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Re: Mystery Car

#322633

Postby kiloran » June 29th, 2020, 7:59 pm

ReformedCharacter wrote:Can anyone identify this car? It was made in the mid 50's

I'll be very impressed if anyone can identify it.

RC

With just one headlight, it should be called a Cyclops

--kiloran

Mike88
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Re: Mystery Car

#322641

Postby Mike88 » June 29th, 2020, 8:40 pm

Swallow?

ReformedCharacter
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Re: Mystery Car

#322642

Postby ReformedCharacter » June 29th, 2020, 8:48 pm

Mike88 wrote:Swallow?

No. An image of the car can be found with the help of Google, in an issue of 'Motor Sport'. The image though appears to be an artist's impression with 2 headlights.

RC

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Re: Mystery Car

#322647

Postby Itsallaguess » June 29th, 2020, 8:59 pm

Image

Cheers,

Itsallaguess

staffordian
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Re: Mystery Car

#322655

Postby staffordian » June 29th, 2020, 9:24 pm

It has the look of a kit car, albeit a well built one, for hill climbing events or such like, but that's all I can offer.

Mike4
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Re: Mystery Car

#322662

Postby Mike4 » June 29th, 2020, 9:53 pm

Clearly not a road car as no number plates or road tax disc in the windscreen. So I'd say a car built specifically for competition use. Grass track racing or hill climbing perhaps, judging by the terrain in is parked on.

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Re: Mystery Car

#322670

Postby ReformedCharacter » June 29th, 2020, 10:16 pm

Itsallaguess wrote:Image

Cheers,

Itsallaguess

Well done! I'm duly impressed :)

The Gordano Motor Company was financed by Joe Fry (of the Fry's Chocolate family) and the company, as such, comprised a few members of the Bristol racing clubs, some of whom were pretty decent engineers. Unfortunately Joe Fry was killed hill-climbing, apparently he pulled off the side of the track to overtake someone and was decapitated by some wire that had been used to tie down a tree that had blown over. That ended the company. Only two cars were ever made, an open top and an enclosed one - for road and racing use. The open top as shown in the picture was owned by my father who was the company secretary. He sold the car when my mother was expecting me.

RC

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Re: Mystery Car

#322848

Postby PinkDalek » June 30th, 2020, 9:55 pm

This would appear to be an earlier brochure, in that there is nothing written on the front page. The centre plate appears to show the rear view (another artist’s impression).

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/GORDANO-SPOR ... 2953913291

6th April 1948 company headed notepaper also shown.

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Re: Mystery Car

#322964

Postby ReformedCharacter » July 1st, 2020, 1:05 pm

PinkDalek wrote:This would appear to be an earlier brochure, in that there is nothing written on the front page. The centre plate appears to show the rear view (another artist’s impression).

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/GORDANO-SPOR ... 2953913291

6th April 1948 company headed notepaper also shown.

Thank you very much PD, I wish I could make out the names on the letter, some of whom I would have known or heard about from my childhood. I'm tempted to put an offer in for the documents but I'm not really a collector of memorabilia. My mother disposed of many of my father's car related items - I think to one of the Bristol motor clubs - after he died, including a large number of pre-war and post-war motor racing programmes. The office and workshop in Alma Vale Rd. was well-known to me because it was owned by one of my father's friends. I believe that the other car - the enclosed model - remained in the workshop, in pieces, until it was disposed of after the owner's death. The owner, known to all as 'Bick' was the owner of a pre-war chain driven Frazer Nash, which was timed lapping Brooklands at close to 100mph. I was lucky to be given a ride in it, an experience not to be forgotten by an enthusiastic youth. As I understand it the Frazer Nash was considered to have an unfair advantage in hill-climbs due to being chain driven and without a differential which avoided or at least reduced wheel-spin and loss of grip. Cars were fun in those days.

RC

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Re: Mystery Car

#323029

Postby PinkDalek » July 1st, 2020, 4:45 pm

I can look later when not on a small screen but, from memory, the letter is contained in a separate image and the names of the 4 directors were clearly shown (including a Fry I think). I didn’t want to name them on here as one may have been your father but I don’t think the company secretary was named separately.

If you can’t find a clearer image and are happy for the names to be shown then feel free to say so. Others may even put the letter on imgur and post it here.

The info. is probably available at Companies House btw but probably not at the free service if the company was dissolved some years ago.

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Re: Mystery Car

#323037

Postby tikunetih » July 1st, 2020, 5:24 pm


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Re: Mystery Car

#323039

Postby ReformedCharacter » July 1st, 2020, 5:42 pm

PinkDalek wrote:I can look later when not on a small screen but, from memory, the letter is contained in a separate image and the names of the 4 directors were clearly shown (including a Fry I think). I didn’t want to name them on here as one may have been your father but I don’t think the company secretary was named separately.

If you can’t find a clearer image and are happy for the names to be shown then feel free to say so.

Yes please, I've tried to read them but cannot get a clear enough view, either poor eyesight or poor monitor :)

Thanks for your help!

RC

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Re: Mystery Car

#323053

Postby PinkDalek » July 1st, 2020, 6:39 pm

ReformedCharacter wrote:
PinkDalek wrote:I can look later when not on a small screen but, from memory, the letter is contained in a separate image and the names of the 4 directors were clearly shown (including a Fry I think). I didn’t want to name them on here as one may have been your father but I don’t think the company secretary was named separately.

If you can’t find a clearer image and are happy for the names to be shown then feel free to say so.

Yes please, I've tried to read them but cannot get a clear enough view, either poor eyesight or poor monitor :) ...


I can see the following but E&OE:

Directors

R D Caesar
J G Fry
P R Jackson
P McCormick

There looks like there's another director's name, applied with a stamp, that I cannot read!

The letter is signed by a director and the signature may be that of J Fry.


https://www.motor-car.net/british/item/19285-gordano names Dick Caesar.

Perhaps
Itsallaguess wrote:...
could link to his source of the image he captured on imgur but there's another similar one on page 21 (actually page 119 of the magazine) here https://www.motorsportmagazine.com/archive/article/april-1948/22/reports-of-recent-events-april-1948, with an additional paragraph about deliveries not beginning until April 1949.

Edit: There's a randomly found article about Dick Caesar here http://500race.org/people/dick-caesar/. I've no idea if they are talking about the Gordano but it includes In 1951 Caesar then produced a novel design for a small sports car for the road, using a 350cc Douglas engine in a lightweight monocoque chassis. Although prototypes were completed, this car never reached production..

That page gets you to the Freikaiserwagen 500 http://500race.org/marques/freikaiserwagen/.

There's more about Joe Fry and others.

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Re: Mystery Car

#323063

Postby ReformedCharacter » July 1st, 2020, 7:32 pm

PinkDalek wrote:
I can see the following but E&OE:

Directors

R D Caesar
J G Fry
P R Jackson
P McCormick

There looks like there's another director's name, applied with a stamp, that I cannot read!

The letter is signed by a director and the signature may be that of J Fry.


https://www.motor-car.net/british/item/19285-gordano names Dick Caesar.

Perhaps
Itsallaguess wrote:...
could link to his source of the image he captured on imgur but there's another similar one on page 21 (actually page 119 of the magazine) here https://www.motorsportmagazine.com/archive/article/april-1948/22/reports-of-recent-events-april-1948, with an additional paragraph about deliveries not beginning until April 1949.

Edit: There's a randomly found article about Dick Caesar here http://500race.org/people/dick-caesar/. I've no idea if they are talking about the Gordano but it includes In 1951 Caesar then produced a novel design for a small sports car for the road, using a 350cc Douglas engine in a lightweight monocoque chassis. Although prototypes were completed, this car never reached production..

That page gets you to the Freikaiserwagen 500 http://500race.org/marques/freikaiserwagen/.

There's more about Joe Fry and others.


Thank you very much for taking the time, I appreciate it.

My father was very much the car enthusiast in his younger days and I remember him mentioning Dick Caesar, CAPA, the Freikaiserwagen, the Iota chassis et al. The Douglas engine wouldn't have been for the Gordano; it was fitted with a 1.5 litre MG engine but I know there were plans to fit a Cross rotary valve engine. I don't know what happened to that particular design but I remember my father saying that it was a good idea but that there were problems with the valve lubrication which - he thought - could have been overcome with Castor oil, which eventually became known as Castrol.

In those days it was possible to have a lot of fun racing cars on a small budget, I know my father used to take part in time trials in an Austin 7 and that it wasn't uncommon for cars to be tipped on their side, the sump removed and pistons swapped if someone suffered a breakage!

I did get taken to Silverstone when I was a youngster and saw one of Graham Hill's last races and to Caste Combe a few times. My father produced the table showing lap-times and average speeds that used to be published at the back of the Castle Combe race programmes.

Thanks again.

RC


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