Jump to content

WTF is this ( non shite content )


Recommended Posts

Of course there was the other chap on the PH thread (the one who fell out spectacularly with the one espousing the Alpine theory) who came to the conclusion it was a special based on a pre-war Morris Minor chassis....

Link to post
Share on other sites

The mystery car was the original 1962 rear-engined prototype Gullwing Hillman Imp coupe, codenamed GHIMP.

PvBdBrA.jpg

After a drive around London Hillman decided to change the design a bit to keep it more in line with the little production saloon to be launched in 1963. 

The next incarnation, GHIMP 2, was designed and six complete prototypes were built.  This one is pictured during testing in the Nevada desert on 26th August 1962.

The doors were made of fibreglass and filled with helium.

 MaZkMyn.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a period Rootes Group pic showing  a senior test engineer checking out a Gullwing GHIMP 2 in the scorching Nevada heat.

y1Ol0K9.jpg

 

By late summer 1962 staff at Hillman had cut the roof off the silver-blue GHIMP 1 to see what it looked like, but decided not to proceed any further as it now looked a bit like a Sunbeam Alpine.  The remains of GHIMP 1 were dumped in a river.  Nothing survives except for one of it's chrome hubcaps, now owned by a collector and kept in a glass display cabinet with a little label attached.

PksmIMP.jpg

Where did GHIMP 1 end up?  Stuck on a river bed with the fishes?  Washed out to sea?  Was it rescued?  No-one knows.  (Or do they???).  Hmmm.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...
On 3/6/2021 at 1:52 PM, JeeExEll said:

This is a period Rootes Group pic showing  a senior test engineer checking out a Gullwing GHIMP 2 in the scorching Nevada heat.

y1Ol0K9.jpg

 

By this time staff at Hillman had cut the roof off the silver-blue GHIMP 1 to see what it looked like, but decided not to proceed any further as it now looked a bit like a Sunbeam Alpine.  The remains of GHIMP 1 were dumped in a river.  Nothing survives except for one of it's chrome hubcaps, now owned by a collector.

PksmIMP.jpg

Where did it end up?  Stuck on a river bed?  Washed out to sea?  Was it rescued?  No-one knows.

Is it April 1st?

Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Alusilber said:

I should feel a bit of empathy, because this guy clearly has a pretty serious personality disorder, but I just can't feel anything for somebody who seems so hell-bent on twisting history to suit their own narrative... which is that it's a Sunbeam Alpine. Who does that even affect except him? Grade-A nutter.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I always reckoned it’s a heavily modified version of the steel Daimler SP250 prototype. The fins at the rear are a dead ringer for one another. The base of the rear wing behind the rear wheel is damn near identical. If you look at the photo of the rear wing you can actually see the transition point between the donor and modifications where the fin suddenly widens out. That was my tuppence anyway after hours drawing the thing, even if I did make the wheelbase much too short.

F1114C4C-793D-4BF9-B323-AEAD14C319E8.thumb.jpeg.b315532e52dc5cb25c9ac33a96e2759a.jpeg

927067B8-90E7-4C69-9E23-333EB360E39D.jpeg
3C65994E-1654-4D17-BBC4-3028E3F212D9.thumb.jpeg.3d117d95c8fa5d650172432de44bafbd.jpeg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Has anyone confirmed the title and author of the book the pic is scanned from? Long shot but there might have been other images taken with different angles of the car. I appreciate it's from an era when you didn't just reel off dozens of shots but you never know

Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Mr Pastry said:

A special-bodied SP250 seems a lot more likely than any of the other theories, although to me the wheelbase looks shorter.    Is the photo 100% genuine, or has the car been cut and pasted from somewhere else?

 

10 hours ago, bunglebus said:

Has anyone confirmed the title and author of the book the pic is scanned from? Long shot but there might have been other images taken with different angles of the car. I appreciate it's from an era when you didn't just reel off dozens of shots but you never know

Here’s the book. There’s only one photograph of the car.

C1BEE0BD-BA91-423F-BB8E-AC443A64FC32.jpeg.3394c1bf391e208dac501bac0ddc00e3.jpeg45DB7DB3-AE51-4FEE-B103-3863D22A3224.jpeg.4d87eec8700591bda2d7f23c5039fce2.jpegDCB0085A-DC28-4EC2-859B-0B1641F884ED.jpeg.548e81d857be45e4bb3b8a4ad865475d.jpeg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Googling the author only gets hits on the book, makes me think he compiled the images rather than took them. If there's no credit for the picture we'll probably never know who took it

Having said that, Charles S Dunbar has various books about transport listed...

Looks like his full name is Charles Stuart Dunbar b. 1900 d. 1992

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
On 4/14/2021 at 9:41 AM, Skut said:

 

Here’s the book. There’s only one photograph of the car.

C1BEE0BD-BA91-423F-BB8E-AC443A64FC32.jpeg.3394c1bf391e208dac501bac0ddc00e3.jpeg45DB7DB3-AE51-4FEE-B103-3863D22A3224.jpeg.4d87eec8700591bda2d7f23c5039fce2.jpegDCB0085A-DC28-4EC2-859B-0B1641F884ED.jpeg.548e81d857be45e4bb3b8a4ad865475d.jpeg

There are now detailed 3D scans and designs created insomuch that the car could actually built from scratch. Weird concept when no-one has a clue what the car actually is. 

Interesting reading and impressive commitment. 

https://www.3dengineers.co.uk/reverse-engineering/mystery-car-case-study/?hcb=1

Edit: Despite the massive efforts of the design team, I don't think they've got the slope below the back window right. The original car looks to have much more pronounced edges on it. I'm assuming that's the fuel filler on the rear left too? Same location as an MGB...

CAD-models-created-Modo-classic-car-Another-Mystery-Car.png

Renders-of-car-CAD-models-created-in-Modo-classic-car-Another-Mystery-Car.png

Renders-of-CAD-models-created-in-Modo-classic-car-Another-Mystery-Car-photo-realistic.png

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a conundrum for sure but for what it's worth I think the car was real and not just a mock-up. It's incidental to a photo of buses in a bus book so mocking up and pasting in a fictional car is an awful lot of effort for no purpose when it isn't the main subject of the photo and will be overlooked by most viewers. The Sunbeam Alpine theory is nonsense: it doesn't look anything like an Alpine and it's implausible that such a radical concept would have got to the road-legal prototype stage and be casually driving around central London. I reckon it's a home-made one-off, possibly on a pre-war chassis; it's pretty sophisticated for a DIY job but I'm sure there were engineers in 1950s Britain skilled enough to put something like that together in their shed.

Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, quicksilver said:

I reckon it's a home-made one-off, possibly on a pre-war chassis; it's pretty sophisticated for a DIY job but I'm sure there were engineers in 1950s Britain skilled enough to put something like that together in their shed.

Yes, there definitely were - the Dawb 6 is just one example.

20190615_161922.thumb.jpg.45ddb7b7100dcb675ad07a76e956f486.jpg

This one's now in a museum - but could so easily have been lost.

20190615_162035.thumb.jpg.ec15423c8ee59ce49008fd1a34dcb200.jpg

The engineer who spent years scratch-building the whole thing (including the unique transverse in-line air-cooled six cylinder engine, with integrated gearbox) hardly ever drove it - once it was finished he basically just threw a tarp over it and left it in his workshop for several decades. The interest, for him, lay simply in the design and construction.

573505239_20190615_161910(2).thumb.jpg.1618fc44369d0f490700f607eb833c8a.jpg

But if it had been left outside, allowed to rot into the ground and eventually lifted from the brambles by a hiab as part of a deceased estate clearance, then we'd never have been any the wiser about its existence.

And if by chance it had been snapped on one of its rare jaunts on the roads, then I'm sure it'd have its own thread too...

It's all too easy for one-offs to fall through the cracks of history, and I think this is probably what happened to our mystery blue car.

20190615_161933.thumb.jpg.43c81d71cac8c034a592a591176af0ed.jpg

20190615_162004.thumb.jpg.cb2a6382a37a0be266d075e1989b1b7f.jpg

20190615_162046.thumb.jpg.2d663818b7e5d617972106f33935fd66.jpg


1962199871_20190615_161941(2).thumb.jpg.c98bafa08edcae1c219221c176cbe2c9.jpg

20190615_162059.thumb.jpg.268bf3c822413f33db0e6a142b74b24d.jpg

Linky-link to images of a Classic Cars mag article about this one from 1988:

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Datsuncog said:

Yes, there definitely were - the Dawb 6 is just one example.

20190615_161922.thumb.jpg.45ddb7b7100dcb675ad07a76e956f486.jpg

This one's now in a museum - ...:

I seem to recall that the museum claims to have mislaid or lost the keys to the car, so it's going to be a bit of a challenge if they ever need to shift their displays around....

Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Tadhg Tiogar said:

I seem to recall that the museum claims to have mislaid or lost the keys to the car, so it's going to be a bit of a challenge if they ever need to shift their displays around....

Sounds about right, for the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum... luckily, they only change their displays around every forty years or thereabouts, so they should be ok for a while yet...

Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Datsuncog said:

Sounds about right, for the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum... luckily, they only change their displays around every forty years or thereabouts, so they should be ok for a while yet...

It'll never run again anyway. Almost nothing at Cultra is viable for running. A fair few of the locomotive exhibits there are only held together by their paint.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems a professional photographer has been consulted and his opinion is that the car and half the people in the scene were pasted on top of the original photo.

Still an Alpine though, of course 🤨

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/14/2021 at 5:51 AM, Skut said:

 

F1114C4C-793D-4BF9-B323-AEAD14C319E8.thumb.jpeg.b315532e52dc5cb25c9ac33a96e2759a.jpeg


 

3sU2A71.jpg

iGxSaMQ.jpg

Later that day a minor accident occurred which involved (co-incidentally) another manufacturer's Morris-Minor-based 1962 prototype which was out being vigorously road-tested .

What were the chances of that happening?

After a brief fight both drivers went their separate ways.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is an interesting thread, I only caught the most recent postings then had to read it from the start to make sense of it!

There were quite a few British companies making kit cars at the time so it's possible it was a short run design or a special made by someone with the right skills, time & money.

It's possible some graphic artist needed to spruce up a picture of a London street & just happened to have a photo of a rare car & decided to paste it on, & stuck the women on top to not make is so obvious.

After it's original use it ended up in a photo library. and a few years later someone dug it out when looking for a colour picture of a London street & didn't bother to look to closely examine the foreground because they were concentrating on the buses.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Or maybe it's a ghost car, and this is the only time it was caught by a camera.  Maybe it's still haunting the streets of London to this day, taunting any attempt to make its phantom driver pay congestion charges by vanishing as it passes the cameras.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/24/2021 at 11:45 PM, Alusilber said:

the car and half the people in the scene were pasted on top of the original photo.

Seems very unlikely to me - the men obviously having to walk around the car don't look messed with, so unless there was a different car there that was somehow replaced (not forgetting this would be using 1960s tech) it doesn't make sense.

All just seems a lot of effort for a general street scene 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...