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Mystery Car on Pistonheads (Via the blue forum)


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2 hours ago, Mr Pastry said:

In my opinion he has manipulated the proportions to show what he wants it to be.

I would like to see the ad referred to.  Does it include photos?  1964 Autosport, probably not.

 

 

It doesn’t include photos, nor does it include the line “it will be in that obscure book about buses and on Pistonheads one day” so it’s all circumstantial I suppose.

 

1E41D748-0334-430E-B1B6-124D467FA00D.jpeg

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Interesting, sort of fits, but as you say circumstancial.

Certainly there were not many specials around then with gullwing doors, but we don't actually know whether this one has, given that the shut lines may have been retouched and don't entirely look practical.

Going back to the CAD  model it is just an artist's impression, and I would like to see scale size driver and pedestrian figures with it.

It is generally accepted that the car in the photo has 15" wheels and 78" wheelbase. 

The model looks to me as if it is scaled for the much discussed Sunbeam Alpine - 13" wheels and 86" wheelbase.

 

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1 hour ago, garethj said:

It doesn’t include photos, nor does it include the line “it will be in that obscure book about buses and on Pistonheads one day” so it’s all circumstantial I suppose.

 

1E41D748-0334-430E-B1B6-124D467FA00D.jpeg

All we need to do now is phone the number still scratch our heads. 

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44 minutes ago, Dick Longbridge said:

All we need to do now is phone the number still scratch our heads. 

The bloke who drew it up has been on the local Facebook groups so he’s definitely putting the effort in 👍

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3 hours ago, garethj said:

The bloke who drew it up has been on the local Facebook groups so he’s definitely putting the effort in 👍

The bloke who drew it up got a bit obsessed about it, put in a huge  amount of work creating his 3D model, declared that it was beyond any doubt that it was some kind of Alpine-based special, then kind of lost the plot and got very stroppy with anybody who was sceptical about his hypothesis, despite the fact that no compelling evidence for said hypothesis was forthcoming...

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1 minute ago, Alusilber said:

The bloke who drew it up got a bit obsessed about it, put in a huge  amount of work creating his 3D model, declared that it was beyond any doubt that it was some kind of Alpine-based special, then kind of lost the plot and got very stroppy with anybody who was sceptical about his hypothesis, despite the fact that no compelling evidence for said hypothesis was forthcoming...

I bet he's a bundle of laughs at parties.

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1 hour ago, Alusilber said:

The bloke who drew it up got a bit obsessed about it, put in a huge  amount of work creating his 3D model, declared that it was beyond any doubt that it was some kind of Alpine-based special, then kind of lost the plot and got very stroppy with anybody who was sceptical about his hypothesis, despite the fact that no compelling evidence for said hypothesis was forthcoming...

On the flip side, he’s drawn a car from an old photo and he’s sure he’s right.  All the other people who claimed it was a Saab Sonnet thought they were right too.

Unfortunately, taking what people say on the internet as a statement under oath and getting cross when others disagree is rarely a path to tranquility.  He’s done a pretty thorough job, had a geek-fest on the way: marvellous.

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22 hours ago, garethj said:

It doesn’t include photos, nor does it include the line “it will be in that obscure book about buses and on Pistonheads one day” so it’s all circumstantial I suppose.

 

1E41D748-0334-430E-B1B6-124D467FA00D.jpeg

To be fair, this is quite a remarkable find considering this bloke (it's two blokes I think, isn't one in Germany with a slightly different story?) is convinced the car is a Sunbeam Alpine, and here's an ad for a Sunbeam special with gullwing doors. Then again, 'special chassis' means it can't be an Alpine, right? TBH it's all a load of bollocks isn't it, nobody can be certain about any of it.

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3 minutes ago, barrett said:

To be fair, this is quite a remarkable find considering this bloke (it's two blokes I think, isn't one in Germany with a slightly different story?) is convinced the car is a Sunbeam Alpine, and here's an ad for a Sunbeam special with gullwing doors. Then again, 'special chassis' means it can't be an Alpine, right? TBH it's all a load of bollocks isn't it, nobody can be certain about any of it.

Not an Alpine, so what sort of Sunbeam would you actually base a futuristic gullwinged Special  on in 1961?  Presumably not a pukka vintage one as they were already valuable.  I can't think of any model that would be particularly suitable.  

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We’re well past conjecture here, but maybe he means he’s added a few links to the rear axle or a front anti roll bar.  Added some outriggers to support a more flimsy body?

Could be almost anything and doesn’t prove or disprove anything either 

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There just isn't quite enough information in the photo to deduce anything more about the car.  If the wheel stud pattern was visible, for example, that might give some clues.  I don't think it is going anywhere unless another version of the photo can be found - different angle,  or one which hasn't been retouched as I am convinced it has.   The answer may be lurking in a photo library somewhere, but probably not available online as it would have shown up by now. 

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2 hours ago, barrett said:

To be fair, this is quite a remarkable find considering this bloke (it's two blokes I think, isn't one in Germany with a slightly different story?) is convinced the car is a Sunbeam Alpine, and here's an ad for a Sunbeam special with gullwing doors. Then again, 'special chassis' means it can't be an Alpine, right? TBH it's all a load of bollocks isn't it, nobody can be certain about any of it.

To be fair, I hadn't noticed the detail about the gullwing doors until now. Intriguing for sure. 

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4 hours ago, barrett said:

To be fair, this is quite a remarkable find considering this bloke (it's two blokes I think, isn't one in Germany with a slightly different story?) is convinced the car is a Sunbeam Alpine, and here's an ad for a Sunbeam special with gullwing doors. Then again, 'special chassis' means it can't be an Alpine, right? TBH it's all a load of bollocks isn't it, nobody can be certain about any of it.

Unless “special chassis” actually meant the builder shortened an Alpine floorpan to give the roughly 78in wheelbase that the mystery car seems to have…🤔

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2 hours ago, Alusilber said:

Unless “special chassis” actually meant the builder shortened an Alpine floorpan to give the roughly 78in wheelbase that the mystery car seems to have…🤔

Alpine came out in mid-1959. Assuming it took a minimum of six months to build that thing, and being generous to say that it was completed in December 1961 and given a new registration, that means the car could only have been like at most 18 months old when work started at most. Who would buy a almost brand new unibody car and then set about removing every single body panel, shortening the floorpan, then scratch-building a brand new body on it to give it proportions which are nothing like the original car?

Could have started with a crashed/written off new Alpine I suppose, but I just don't think anyone would. You might take the engine out, and chuck it in a new chassis, but the Alpine engine is nothing special is is basically identical to that found in all manner of other Rootes cars.

I would put money on 'Sunbeam special... special chassis' being a Sunbeam 10hp or possibly Sunbeam-Talbot engine in a bespoke chassis, or off-the-peg proprietary chassis from Watling, Buckler, Halifax etc etc

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1 hour ago, barrett said:

Alpine came out in mid-1959. Assuming it took a minimum of six months to build that thing, and being generous to say that it was completed in December 1961 and given a new registration, that means the car could only have been like at most 18 months old when work started at most. Who would buy a almost brand new unibody car and then set about removing every single body panel, shortening the floorpan, then scratch-building a brand new body on it to give it proportions which are nothing like the original car?

Could have started with a crashed/written off new Alpine I suppose, but I just don't think anyone would. You might take the engine out, and chuck it in a new chassis, but the Alpine engine is nothing special is is basically identical to that found in all manner of other Rootes cars.

I would put money on 'Sunbeam special... special chassis' being a Sunbeam 10hp or possibly Sunbeam-Talbot engine in a bespoke chassis, or off-the-peg proprietary chassis from Watling, Buckler, Halifax etc etc

Maybe this Sunbeam Alpine from the mid ‘50s?

image.thumb.png.869ba0b4b0fa107a98284dd86967a9f5.png

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14 minutes ago, garethj said:

Maybe this Sunbeam Alpine from the mid ‘50s?

image.thumb.png.869ba0b4b0fa107a98284dd86967a9f5.png

Yes, I was thinking the '53-'55 Alpine (being, I presume, body-on-chassis) could be a more plausible basis for the 1961 aluminium-bodied special in the small ad. Made in quite small numbers though.

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The special in the Autosport ad seems to me to be just as interesting as the blue thing.  It would be an amazing coincidence if they were one and the same, and the blue car actually turned out to be a Sunbeam of sorts.   But I feel they are two different cars .  The Alpine Mk 1 had a separate chassis.  Wheelbase 96.5", front track 47.5", rear track 50.5", 16" wheels, and a 2.3 litre, 4 cylinder engine.   It would be a possible basis for a special, but surely it would be a much larger car than the blue thing.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
38 minutes ago, Dick Longbridge said:

Spotted this one on CrapBook earlier. I see it's been mentioned on Pistonheads previously. I reckon the bloke replying at the bottom has a fair point...FB_IMG_1658823538529.thumb.jpg.b5bf0e25bf1bbcacfc40b05d71470a75.jpg

 

Screenshot_20220726-091721_Chrome.thumb.jpg.b5c02fae008afb609e12a4628c0724e8.jpgScreenshot_20220726-091643_Chrome.thumb.jpg.f295f23ea417d50671d134473ef54571.jpg

That is an interesting one.  I have seen the pictures before and it is certainly a well made chassis.  I think though that it is a larger car than the blue one.  The writeup says that it now has a Falcon Mk2 body which is quite a hefty piece of kit - about the size of an MGB or MX5, and usually 90" wheelbase.   The mystery car is smaller than that.  I'm not dismissing anyone's theories out of hand.  I am intrigued by it,  but there is a lot of wishful thinking going on.

Incidentally I have restored 1950s Specials and built a few cars of that sort from scratch, so I know what I am talking about.

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43 minutes ago, Mr Pastry said:

That is an interesting one.  I have seen the pictures before and it is certainly a well made chassis.  I think though that it is a larger car than the blue one.  The writeup says that it now has a Falcon Mk2 body which is quite a hefty piece of kit - about the size of an MGB or MX5, and usually 90" wheelbase.   The mystery car is smaller than that.  I'm not dismissing anyone's theories out of hand.  I am intrigued by it,  but there is a lot of wishful thinking going on.

Incidentally I have restored 1950s Specials and built a few cars of that sort from scratch, so I know what I am talking about.

Someone suggested the orange bodyshell could have been a heavily modified Sirocco GT shell if I remember correctly. Any ideas on that?

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32 minutes ago, Dick Longbridge said:

Someone suggested the orange bodyshell could have been a heavily modified Sirocco GT shell if I remember correctly. Any ideas on that?

Definitely not, it's just a home-built job.

If it wasn't for the fact it has a GRP body I'd say it was a pretty great match for this...

1E41D748-0334-430E-B1B6-124D467FA00D.jpeg

...seeing as how it used lots of Rootes components, has a 'special chassis'  and gulwing doors.

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33 minutes ago, Dick Longbridge said:

Someone suggested the orange bodyshell could have been a heavily modified Sirocco GT shell if I remember correctly. Any ideas on that?

I'll just get my anorak....

The Sirocco GT was certainly about the right size and shape, but it was fairly okay as it was, so why would anyone modify it extensively? Bear in mind that a bodyshell wasn't particularly cheap at the time.

My thoughts on the orange body  - what is it made of?  The write up mentions fibreglass, but somewhat out of context.  Looking at the general shape, the curvatures, and apparently thin panels, and the detail of the rear end/boot opening it looks like aluminum.   I think it is amateur built, maybe over- ambitious but not a bad effort tbh.   It is usually easier, cheaper and quicker to make a one-off body in metal than fibreglass, which a lot of people don't realise.

The space frame looks very similar to one of the Falcon designs, but presumably the Falcon lickers have looked into that.

 

   

 

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