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20 years in the making - Report: Historic Specials Day

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An event to celebrate historic specials, with some interesting stories along the way.

'We’ve been organizing this event for the last 20 years which is ostensibly for pre-1965 cars, and is a unique event in the world' said Richard Disbrow, registrar of Historic Specials in the Fairthorpe Sports Car Club, who are also celebrating their 50th Anniversary this year. The day’s eclectic mix included cars from Buckler, Ashley, Lotus, Falcon, Tornado, Peerless, Shirley and Microplas to name but a few.

Rob Daniels, the Specials Registrar for the Ford Sidevalve Owners’ Club brought along his Shirley MK2, made by Shirley Sports Cars, of Birmingham in 1960. The car utilises the chassis from a 1938 Ford 10, but has been uprated to 1950’s technical specification with a Bowden independent front suspension unit, high ratio differential, Les Ballamy wheels and a Raymond Mays rear suspension kit and Panhard rod. The car was built by its original owner for his wife, but upon completion she didn’t like it, so it was left for the next 28 years, until rescued from an orchard in Stourbridge and restored.

Dick O’Brien from the Munster Vintage Motorcycle & Car Club, who was accompanied by Richard O’Rourke, drove his Ford Tourer over from County Cork in Ireland. He built the car in 1958 and only sold it in 1971 due to his growing family. He later purchased it back again, and following a refurbishment, it’s on the road once more. The chassis is a kind of copy of a Buckler arrangement, with a Ford 100E engine, and the body was built by Dick. The car is now virtually back to its original form.

Phil Shingler was displaying his rare 1959 EB 56 (Edwards Brothers) powered by an 1172cc engine with a period Willment OHV conversion. This is believed to be the sole example currently on the road in the UK.

Gerald Dawson purchased his aluminium bodied 1957 Hamblin Deluxe as an unmade kit of parts which was first displayed at the Specials day in 1990. Each year he would return with the car in various stages of build, until it was finished a few years ago. The Hamblin utilises an Austin Seven chassis and running gear. A fine line-up of Bucklers included Terry Tucker’s MK10 that sported an early and very rare RGS fibreglass body and mechanically upgraded with Austin A40 running gear.

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