Monday, 22 August 2016
This years Fairthorpe Gathering returned to it`s usual date of the first Sunday in August after last years date switch to take in the AutoSolo event, this provided us with a nice sunny day but with plenty of wind to keep us cool. This year the venue was RAF Twinwood Farm in Bedfordshire, American Band leader Glenn Miller left here aboard a Norseman aircraft on December 15th 1944 and disappeared over the English Channel without a trace, his disappearance still a mystery. On site the control tower has been restored as a museum to the famous Band leader and various other small museums use more of the war time buildings on the site which kept club members busy when they fancied taking a breather from talking about the cars.
Nine Fairthorpes assembled on the day from various parts of the UK, The list (in no particular order) were, WEW 707 (Brian Townsend), MMC 121J (Barry Stock), CSL 674 (Bob Balding), 4497 UB (Richard Holden), HSV 270 (Ray Starkey), 789 ERO (Martin Collins), UNT 760 (John Worthing), UNJ 203 (Brian Jackson) and BBD 496B (Rob James). Also Brian Waters kindly brought along the engine hatch from his Atom Major restoration, this has become a fixture of the recent Gatherings with a different part each year, I am now trying to guess which parts we will see next year, keep em coming Brian! Several other owners and club members attended, Graham Mitchell has recently acquired the ex Freddie George EM, as this requires a full rebuild he arrived in a very low mileage MG Midget, Dave and Gillian Malins arrived in their unique Tornado Tempest. A couple of EM`s were very close to making the event but running out of time to get ready were those of Alan Green and Mike Bridge, both were eagerly awaiting the chance to drive their cars on the road in the near future. It was also nice to see Multiple TX owner Gary Davis along, I am looking forward to seeing his Rover V8 powered car once it is completed. Amongst other members present were our club President Barry Gibbs and wife Honor, David Green with his son, Dave Bumstead and Anna and Derek Bentley. Unfortunately I was so busy chatting during the day I have probably missed some people off the list so apologise to you if I haven`t noted you here!
As usual there were two main awards up for Grabs and as expected the Furthest travelled award was contested between the `usual suspects`, Richard Holden and Barry Stock. The winner of this award is usually one of these two hardy owners who show dedication beyond the call of duty in travelling to the event year after year in all weathers, your effort is greatly appreciated guys. Richard`s mileage was 150 whilst Barry clocked up 211 miles, that is just to get there, at the end of the day they turned round and had that distance again to get home. Congratulations to Barry, this years recipient of the John Green Trophy.
This years Best Fairthorpe award was a hotly contested affair with a 3 way tie which caused a bit of head scratching, luckily three people were still holding onto their voting slips and were seemingly oblivious to the problem that was looming! Once they were handed in there was a single car which emerged on top, the winner being Brian Townsend, this years recipient of the Frank Collins Memorial Trophy, well done Brian.
Unusually we actually had a third trophy winner this year as it was decided to present John Worthing with one as he had trailered his `Barn find` EM to the event having only bought it two weeks previous and joined the club the week before the event. He had resisted even giving it a wash to show the as found condition before starting the strip down and rebuild, we were all interested to see that one of the cars horns was only held on by a very dusty pair of tights, I bet that was an interesting trip!
All in all, a great Fairthorpe day which everyone seemed to enjoy, I makes it all worth while to see so many owners and ex owners in deep conversation about the cars. I would also like to thank my long suffering wife Sarah for her help with the event and producing the various cakes which were eagerly consumed by people on the day . I can assure those that were not finished went to a good cause (me).
I hope to meet many (if not all) of you again at next Years Fairthorpe Gathering, the venue will be the Bubblecar Museum near Boston in Lincolnshire http://www.bubblecarmuseum.co.uk/
The date will be Sunday 6th August, I am hoping to have a Saturday convoy event as well to some of the local places of interest for those that wish to make a weekend of it. The museum have a very nice camping field for those with motor homes or tents and I will be providing a list of local B&B`s for those who prefer a bit more comfort, so make sure you put it in your diary.
Tuesday, 2 August 2016
Well this years Gathering is nearly here, now less than a week away and I`m keeping my fingers crossed that the weather will be fine on the day, it looks promising at the moment. Full details of the event can be found in the previous blog post below, one omission is the start time, Twinwood tell me the gates will be open at 10.30am so no need for a crack of dawn start unless you are one of the hardy Fairthorpe owners who will be in the running for the Furthest travelled award on the day! I hope to meet many old friends and owners on the day, if you have an interest in Fairthorpes you are welcome to come along and join us............
Wednesday, 1 June 2016
Some of the Fairthorpes at the 2014 Gathering at RAF Wyton
This years Fairthorpe Gathering will be on Sunday 7th August at RAF Twinwood Farm in Bedfordshire (MK41 6AB). Twinwood Farm is probably best known as being the take off airfield for Glenn Miller`s fateful last flight which disappeared over the English Channel in December 1944, his disappearance remains an unsolved mystery to this day. The aerodrome control tower has been restored and is now the Glen Miller museum, Other buildings house different displays including:
Twinwood Aviation Museum - featuring uniforms and artefacts recovered from German and Allied aircraft crash sites, as well as British aviation units and life in Britain during the war.
Rooms of a 1940s family home
Axis Museum - recreation of a German bunker, Russian and German artillery and weapons, and a display about Winston Churchill and the British Royal Family
Fire Service Museum - recreated 1940s wartime fire station with uniforms, equipment and vehicles
Displays of military vehicles
Entry to the museums is £4 per person and visitors to the site are asked to pay for museum entry on arrival, tea, coffee and cakes / crisps are available to purchase, we will be bringing some of Sarah`s infamous Fairythorpe cakes and some light refreshments. There will be the usual awards for the Best Fairthorpe as voted by those present and The furthest travelled Fairthorpe to the event. Usually 12-15 Fairthorpes attend the Gathering as well as a number of previous owners All are welcome!
Twinwood museum website which has directions to the site can be found here:-
This Wiki page also gives a good history to the airfield and is worth a look :-
Hope to see as many Fairthorpes as possible, there are a number of cars returning to the road this year, trailered cars are of course also welcome...............Martin
Wednesday, 25 May 2016
Fairthorpe owner Brian Jackson has been putting a few miles on his car this year already as he has taken the car to a number of events in the last few weeks. Brian`s Electron Minor is fairly rapid as he fitted a Triumph Dolomite Sprint engine a number of years ago and he used it for Sprints, Hill climbs and Autotests for many years with great success. He kindly sent me a couple of pictures taken in the past few weeks, the one at the top of the page was taken Outside Coventry Transport museum at their breakfast club on 9 April. They hold these each month from 9:00 till 11:00. Just park up, have a coffee at Esquires, & look around the museum. The one below was taken at Prescott Hill climb at the Rotary club day on 15 May.
Thursday, 19 May 2016
A Mk1 Fairthorpe Electron Minor is currently up for auction on Ebay http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1959-FAIRTHORPE-SPORTS-CAR-FOR-RESTORATION-KIT-LOTUS-EUROPA-JPS-TYPE-WHEELS-/231947452520?hash=item3601254068:g:ZlQAAOSwIzNXOrFU
The car is well known in the Fairthorpe Sports Car Club being owned by a long time club member who is now unfortunately in ill health so has reluctantly decided to part with the car. The owner used the car in Autotests and similar events back in the 80`s as well as daily transport.
The Fairthorpe was parked up on his drive many years ago under a tarp and has not been moved since so will need a full strip down and restoration. These cars are as simple as they come to work on and make great starter classics, the body doesn`t rot as it`s fibreglass and the ladder frame chassis is easy to repair once the bolt on bodyshell is removed. This Electron Minor is an ideal basis for a Historic race car and is eligible for a number of different championships.
The club holds all the moulds for this mark of EM and all the mechanical parts are available through the usual suppliers or on Ebay. Here is a link to the excellent Fairthorpe club http://www.fairthorpescc.com/
Wednesday, 11 May 2016
Some of you will remember the electric blue EM i had a couple of years ago, it was registered HSV 270, after I sold the Fairthorpe it passed through a couple of owners before being bought by current owner Ray Starkey. Ray has done a lot to the car since purchasing it including fitting disc brakes to the front of the car, over the last six months the bodywork crazing has been sorted out and the car is in the finishing phase of a respray and a change of colour to Red.
Previous to the Blue the car was Green, over the years a number of Fairthorpes have gone through a coat of many colours, it is interesting stripping the paint back to reveal what has gone before.
Ray say`s `The car was originally red gel. Paul and Darren at Brackmills Body Repair have done a fantastic job on the body and matching the original colour`
Ray has now completed the rebuild and has got the Fairthorpe back on the road, nice job Ray...........
Tuesday, 10 May 2016
Ralph Jannelli has posted a walk around video on Youtube of his Fairthorpe EM restoration, the car is now nearing completion with the first engine run due in the next couple of weeks, the seats are now away being retrimmed in Tan. The choice on colour has been made and the bulkhead has been painted British Racing Green in the engine bay area so that the engine doesn`t have to come out again once the main bodyshell is painted. Hopefully Ralph will post some more pictures once the car is painted up and finished. The video can be found at:-
Sunday, 3 April 2016
Clive Weelen has sent me some updated pictures of his Fairthorpe EM rebuild which is now making large strides towards returning to the road after an absence of over 30 years. My last update on the car can be found on a June 2013 post on this blog, you can see how far the car has come on since then. Clive is pushing himself towards the goal of having it on the road by sometime in June, hopefully by then we will have some sunshine for him to enjoy the open top motoring experience!
Sunday, 20 March 2016
Pathfinder Respray in progress
Stephen Griffiths has kindly sent me some pictures of his Rover V8 engine Fairthorpe Pathfinder which has just had a respray in 1970`s Ford Daytona yellow, the car was then trimmed with a new Black interior with matching stitched doorcards, handbrake gaiter and gear lever gaiter.
The seats are the originals but have been refoamed and recovered in marine vinyl with yellow stitching and a harness to match, the Corbeau emblem was scanned from the internet and stitched into the cover.
This car was our demonstrator when we were supplying the kits back in the late 80/s early 90`s.
This car was nicely restored by Brian McArdle and is now for sale with Ashsted Classic cars of Kenilworth, price is £6950. Here is the link to the advert, I would take the 120mph claim from a 948cc engine with a pinch of salt! www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C716359
Sunday, 10 January 2016
Following a request from someone for Fairthorpe Atom information and pictures for a future magazine article I decided to post a few of the Atom pictures here so everyone could see them. They also give a good idea of what the Fairthorpe works were like in 1955/56, the company was working from a building in the Market Place at Chalfont St Peter in Buckinghamshire during that period.
These photos give an idea of the mechanical layout of these early Fairthorpes, many parts used from the Standard Motor Company parts bin along with 250cc Motorcycle engines from B.S.A in the Mark 1 Atom.
As you can see from the picture at the top of this blog post the original car was somewhat `unusual` in its appearance, Ly Bennett the AVM`s wife went as far as calling it a `Pink pig` after the first car was painted that colour! The shot below shows the revised body which has been shaped on a part sized model, this style was a bit more conventional and has something appealing about it in a cute sort of way (well I think so anyway!)
The next two pictures show later bodied cars, and by this time different engines were being offered, the Atom II utilised a 350cc 17bhp motor, the IIa a 322cc 15bhp and the III a 650cc 35bhp lump!
Finally here is a photocopy of an original Fairthorpe Atom brochure which was produced in October 1955.
Hopefully this year will see more regular updates to the blog than last year.