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Ford timelord


Bren

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Nice model.. but

 

23?! Quid postage, is he bringing it to me himself on the back of a gilded camel?

The relvance of the number 23 in the whole KLF mythology relates to the Illuminatus trilogy that they borrowed heavily from - i.e. the Justified Ancients of Mummu are a group in the stories...

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  • 2 weeks later...

It's all Datsuncog's fault.

 

Before he posted his fascinating essay in this thread I was oblivious to the KLF. Naturally I had to do some more research and now I've had Last Train to Trancentral stuck in my head for the past week. It is, as da yoof might say, a bangin choon, although my mum did ruin it slightly by mishearing the title as 'Last Train to Transsexual'  :shock: 

 

The story of Wanda Dee's involvement with the KLF is a fascinating tale in its own right, ending with the ultimate irony of a group who built their career out of unauthorised sampling attempting to protect their intellectual property rights.

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I liked the popular KLF stuff 'back in the day', it was different to the other shit about. I'd heard of the burning money stunt but not most of the rest of it so thanks Mr Cog for those posts.

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Should be an interesting listen, that!

 

I'm hoping to re-write my previous hacked-about screed to make it slightly more conherent at some point, too.

 

I'd missed out on the entireity of the band's weirdness back when they were current, so I'm mightily pleased that I've managed to fire up not only my own imagination, but have pulled a few others along too...

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You know, against my better judgement, and despite all the crazy that's running down the walls every time I look at this thread, I probably am...

 

 

Place your bets now, kids...

 

2/1 odds he doesn't respond

 

10/1 I get a polite 'fuck off' from his management team

 

40/1 he tells me to fuck off personally

 

150/1 he somehow manages to put an inside-out bullock into my greenhouse in the dead of night

 

10,000/1 he actually tells me what happened to the Galaxie

His reputation would suggest he'll tell you to fuck off but that's a predictable response and if there's one thing the KLF don't do it's predictable. The best way to subvert expectations would be by politely answering the question.

 

"Dear Mr. Datsuncog,

Thank you for your interest in Ford Timelord. I can confirm that the car is currently located in a container at our storage compound near Norwich.

Yours sincerely, James Cauty"

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I listened to it and quite enjoyed it. By no means something that should be taken as the gospel truth on the matter though, and no doubt OK'd by the KLF to further add to their legend.

 

There's enough truth in it though to make me think at least some of the more outlandish things might also be true.

 

In which case, they're both head cases.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just finished it, someone is going to make a film one day but they’ll probably need to wait until they’re dead .

I wonder if the hand at the brits thing was true?

 

The more I’ve thought about the the more I think burning a million quid is so perfect . Everyone is obsessed by money making it the most baffling and offensive thing someone could do .

 

Apparently 100k didn’t burn it good sucked straight up the chimney . A local handed 1500 quid into the police he found near by.

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  • 4 months later...

Still gnawing away on this one... like a dog with a bone.

It appears that Darren Tyler, the guy who runs the HuntTimelord.wordpress.com page, put out an info request on the Wimbledon Banger Racing Facebook page in February this year. 

Quote

Hi!!! Just Wondered if anyone can help or knows anyone who maybe can!!??? As part of my on going 1968 Ford Galaxie Manual Project, I Am looking for anything and everything Ford Timelord, original Ford WGU 18G, IE the KLFs 1968 Ford Galaxie Jamsmobile...… and also the replicas of course and all that have been involved in over the past 23 years or so! Please check out the Ford Timelord blog here!.... ?????? https://hunttimelord.wordpress.com/ I Am looking for any info/or any memory’s anyone may have or any photos anyone may have of the car at the charity stock car race at the Nordoff Robins charity event at Wimbledon 1991! Is well known that The KLF raced a Timelord there and armoured truck as well if anyone remembers that too!(or has pics!) There was also a Ford Timelord raced at Swaffham as well, was No 284!!! If anyone has any info on this too would be great! Last seen rusting away under tarpaulin at Bickers old yard in Coddenham?? If you know or know anyone who was there who may be able to help please feel free to get in touch, My Email is lummox99@icloud.com Any/all info given will all be credited on the blog to whoever gave it, For everything and anything Ford Timelord Check out the 1968 Ford Galaxie Manual Twitter Page. @Hunttimelord Big thanks!!! Best!! Darren?

https://www.facebook.com/pg/www.yal/posts/

It appears that Wimbledon was the venue for the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy charity race on 15 March 1992 (not 1991, as he says), when Jimmy Cauty drove the Chevrolet Nova hastily sprayed to look like the Ford Timelord. So that's some progress. As the earlier pics of the Nova show, Jimmy's car was No.70 - right at the very bottom.

824739330_Nordoff-RobbinsMusicTherapyCharityStockCarRace15March1992-ListofEntrants.thumb.jpg.852ade8d98950667bbfc27da9dcec9cc.jpg

But look who's in Car #68 - Piers Morgan, representing The Sun! Wow.

Darren also mentions that a second KLF-liveried 'Ford Timelord' was raced at Swaffham, numbered 284 - which might tie in with the rumoured last known location of the KLF's Galaxie, in storage near Norwich.

I'm guessing that "Bickers old yard in Coddenham" refers to chap named Glen Bickers, a now-ex Stock Rod racer with a penchant for Fords - though Coddenham seems to be in Suffolk. Some light social media stalking gives Mr Bickers' location as Norwich. I wonder whether the car under the tarp had been raced, or was still being prepped at that stage. Hmm.

I also turned up a brief discussion on the original Ebay Tat Thread way back in 2009, between VicSmith (last seen in 2010) and Wreckers (last visited in April this year):

Quote

I`ve researched the fate of this car into some depth, for reasons not known even to myself, and as far as I can tell, it was in superman 3, then the KLF bought it, used it in a few videos, released a couple of singles (the artist was actually credited as "Ford Timelord") then it was off the road for years, supposedly banger raced in the mid `90s, but that turned out to be a ringer, some sort of Chevrolet product made to look like a cop car, so where the Galaxie is now is anyone`s guess. Could still be rotting away in the KLF`s garden, along with quite possibly the KLF themselves.

Quote

this was raced at swaffham in the early nineties by a guy who owned a film production company

I'm not sure if Darren Tyler has found that nugget about Swaffham from these fair pages, or if he's heard that elsewhere - but all the same, could be a lead on a positive ID.

I've dropped Mr. Wreckers a line to see if he can furnish me with any more info. I've heard some other info through the grapevine, which this may support strongly...

 

Regarding the Chevrolet Nova raced at Wimbledon, Darren's Wordpress page posted up this quote taken from an article by William Shaw in the July 1992 issue of Select:

Quote

"After the recording of 'Moo' had been abandoned, Jimmy, Bill, and several of the KLF's friends turned up at the Nordoff-Robbins music therapy charity stock car race. They had been asked to appear in the JAMSmobile, Jimmy's custom-built American car they had featured in the 'Doctorin' the Tardis' video. But the original car was a wreck, so Bill and Jimmy built another. KLF's long serving video editor Bill Butt estimates they spent three nights customising a new car. And when it all seemed like the JAMS mobile wouldn't be ready in time for the race Jimmy went out to an Army surplus yard he knew of and came back with an armoured car. In the event they turned up to the stock car race with both. When it came to the race itself, Jimmy more or less wrecked the new JAMS mobile, driving with what could be described as undue care and attention."

 

Aside from the Galaxie, it appears that a fourth official incarnation of the band's 'Timelord' cop car also existed, in addition to the '68 Galaxie, '72 LTD and late-70s (banger) Nova:

1954393737_ChevroletCapriceTimelord-M25EventKTheMillenium.jpg.6fb40a96d7f0dbce378a2a02af685cf7.jpg

This early-80s Chevrolet Caprice was built by Bill Drummond for the K Foundation's '***K The Millenium' event in 1997, and is believed to have later taken part in the second 'M25 Spin' in March 1998  - an annual art happening organised by long-term roadie and collaborator Gimpo (Alan Goodrick to his mum, presumably) which consists of driving around the M25 continuously for 25 hours, while filming the whole shebang.

Apparently the first person to die in the M25 Spin wins a piece of original artwork by Drummond entitled 'Gimpo Gimpo'. Fittingly, the events were planned to run for 25 years, so you've only got another three years now to have a shot at the 'prize'.

So the story rumbles on... stay tuned.

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The list of entrants in the charity banger race includes 'PCs'  Loxton and Stamp from the Bill, I wish I could read the others.

If you haven't already, have a listen to KLFs Chill Out Album. It's a tremendous medley of clips constricted into a 54 minute track. Bill Drummond felt it illustrated how he percieved a journey through America's Deep South might sound. Even though neither of us have been there, I think it's a perfect rendition. There are some classic pieces in there such as Tuvan throat singing and clippings of speech from insane radio and televangelists. 

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9 hours ago, Datsuncog said:

I'm guessing that "Bickers old yard in Coddenham" refers to chap named Glen Bickers, a now-ex Stock Rod racer with a penchant for Fords - though Coddenham seems to be in Suffolk. Some light social media stalking gives Mr Bickers' location as Norwich. I wonder whether the car under the tarp had been raced, or was still being prepped at that stage. Hmm.

Nice further sleuthing Tim, though I'll help you with the above, which may help save some time trying to get in touch with Glen Bickers - but may also lead you down another rabbit hole!

 

Presumably, the poster is referring to Bickers Action Vehicles, located in Coddenham. For years, they've been the biggest name in the supply of specialist camera cars/trucks for TV/Film shoots in the UK. Here's a few examples of what they offer:

 

acc510ce-d56a-11e5-99a9-457682017ade.jpg

 

Chapman-TW-Dually2.jpg

 

A-Framing-.jpg

 

They also have much larger lorries and trailers for carrying cars on low loaders, so that cast members cat 'drive' along the road in a scene, whilst spouting off dialogue and being full method.

When in the UK, I had one or two jobs where I worked on their low loader vehicles up in Leeds but I didn't do an awful lot of low loader/tracking vehicle stuff back then, although I do the occasional day on them now and again, in NZ.

 

Here's one truck I've worked off a few times:

48201144686_34f9527b25_b.jpg

 

48201144326_8934de9c46_b.jpg

Stock images - none of the crew are me!

 

On a slight tangent, searching for an example of an NZ tracking vehicle, I came across this:

Citroen.jpeg?format=1500w

 

Citroen+rigged.jpeg

 

I think a HOLY SHIT! is in order! Someone on set told me of a guy we mutually knew of who had a Citroen camera car only a few weeks back, so next time I see him, I'll try and find out more info. 

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10 hours ago, Jon said:

Presumably, the poster is referring to Bickers Action Vehicles, located in Coddenham. For years, they've been the biggest name in the supply of specialist camera cars/trucks for TV/Film shoots in the UK.

Ahhhh, cheers Jon! Yes, that now makes a whole lot of sense.

https://www.bickers.co.uk/

Not a familiar name to me (guess they don't operate in Ireland!), but that completely fits with the emerging narrative here. I'll not go disturbing ex-racer Glen Bickers, who may or may not be a close relation to Paul Bickers, owner of Bickers Action Vehicles - but that's maybe irrelevant.

(While the surname Bickers seems uncommon to me, I appreciate that some areas have a high concentration of certain names... during my time living in Weston-Super-Mare, it never failed to amuse me how many local people were called Disney. My now-ex never did  quite understand my childish snickering at Disney Plumbing or Disney Building Supplies... "Bet they'd do a Mickey-Mouse job of it, fnarrr fnarrr…" - as far as she was concerned, it was just a normal everyday name belonging to people she went to school with. But anyway.)

Wrecker of this parish very kindly came back to me last night, with information that tallies exactly with this:

13 hours ago, wrecker said:

hi, yes think the bloke was called paul bicker. i was there and might have an old programme with it in. back then swaffham ran bangers with no yanks, then they tried it a couple of times a year and this turned up

So, at risk of speculating wildly, I'm guessing that our timeline for the original Ford Timelord might go something like this:

  • 1968: Car built in Detroit. DVLA says first UK registered as WGU18G in Sept 1968 (may or may not be correct)
  • 1970: Car supposedly brought over to UK (if you can believe what was mentioned in interviews).
  • Early 1980s: Car acquired by Pinewood Studios. Supposed to be some link with Superman 3 - but no evidence it ever appeared in the film. Pinewood apparently did source a load of rusty/damaged 60s & 70s US cars to use in the film's climactic scenes, set in a junkyard - possible that the Galaxie was intended for this but not used?
  • 1986: Car bought from Pinewood Studios by Flinton Chalk as a plain black Galaxie sedan for £300, and painted up as a US-style police cruiser by he and some friends from the Acme Auto Club.
  • Late 1986/early 1987: Car bought by Jimmy Cauty for £250ish, around the time he paired up with his former WEA Records associate Bill Drummond to record music together as the Justified Ancients of Mu-Mu (JAMs)
  • May 1987: Car used in promo band photographs, referred to as 'The JAMsmobile'. 'Pyramid Blaster' logo painted onto the front doors, to cover up Chalk's gold star logo.
  • September 1987: Car taken to Sweden in a tongue-in-cheek effort to resolve a copyright dispute with ABBA's label. Suffers total engine failure on the return leg, and recovered to the UK by the AA.
  • December 1987: Car apparently repaired and photographed by Melody Maker, being used as a makeshift platform by the band while defacing billboards.
  • February 1988: Photos of the car in Sweden, alongside a burning pile of LPs and cassettes, used on the cover of The JAMs second album.
  • May 1988: Car features on the cover of Cauty & Drummond's single 'Doctorin' The Tardis', with the band renamed 'The Timelords' and the car listed as 'Ford Timelord', a full band member. The Galaxie also featured continuously in the music video, fitted with a blue central dome lamp and two roof-mount searchlamps. Single goes to No.1 in the UK charts.
  • Mid/late 1988: Car used in promotional appearances and interviews for TV and print media. Seems to have been fitted with a red central dome lamp instead of the blue one, and blue grille-mount lamps. Band renames itself 'The KLF' and new logo is painted onto the bonnet and bootlid. Car appears outside nightclubs in London, with the lights strobing, drawing police ire.
  • November 1988: Car filmed driving from London to Spain as part of Cauty & Drummond's planned road trip film, 'The White Room'. Along the way, car was coated in white paint as part of the script; footage shows it looking extremely rough at this point.
  • December 1988: Car returned to Jimmy's home in London; white paint presumably cleaned off. 
  • Early 1989(?): another car obtained: 1972 Ford LTD, JLE67K. This was also painted as a police cruiser and possibly intended to replace the rusty Galaxie.
  • Early/mid 1989 (?): both the Galaxie and the LTD appear in a Beatmasters music video, both wearing KLF insignia.
  • April 1989: Tax expires on the Galaxie. No DVLA record of further tax or MOT.
  • Mid 1989: Ford LTD sold on, as it wouldn't run properly. New owner gets it running (HT lead swap).
  • Mid/late 1989: Cauty unsuccessfully attempts to borrow the LTD back for promotional use, as the Galaxie is now apparently a non-runner on his driveway. New owner cheerfully refuses.
  • December 1990: Galaxie pulled from the driveway and used for close-up shots in the music video for The KLF's '3A.M. Eternal' single. Car described by on-set music journalist as 'a ruined hulk'. Footage taken two years previously during filming for 'The White Room' then spliced with shots filmed on a low-loader rig, to give the illusion in the video that the car was moving under its own power - was Paul Bickers involved in this filming?
  • November 1991: Photographer Jon Mace takes a number of pictures at Cauty's London home shortly before he moves out, including some atmospheric shots of the Galaxie, with number plates removed and apparently in an advanced state of dereliction.
  • Early 1992: Car is apparently moved to a storage unit near Norwich.
  • March 1992: after dramatically announcing The KLF's retirement from the music industry, Cauty appears at a charity stock car race at Wimbledon in a Chevrolet Nova painted as a police cruiser. Apparently, the intention was to banger the Galaxie but it seems to have required more work than was feasible - and so the Nova was acquired and prepped at short notice.
  • 1992/1993 (?) Car in storage under a tarpaulin at Paul Bickers' establishment at Coddenham, Suffolk.
  • 1993 (?) Car is prepped as a banger and raced at a yank event at Swaffham, Norfolk, apparently by Paul Bickers.

So where does that bring us? Did the raggedy remains of the Ford Timelord die a gladiator's death on the oval as Car #284, crunched to bits in a corner pile-up, before being stacked and baled? Is it gone forever, then?

Well, very probably. I've asked Wrecker if he can remember how the day's racing went, and if he could put his hand to a programme from the day. That might help to establish what really happened.

However... was this even the real Ford Timelord?

We can now be sure that the car Cauty drove at the Wimbledon event in March '92 wasn't the real Timelord (and not even a Ford); but surely there was more than one knackered '68 Galaxie kicking around in the early 1990s.

As The KLF's car had been heavily featured on TV, print media and the front cover of numerous record sleeves for several years, it would have been the most obvious candidate on which to base an eyecatching paint job, if you happened to be racing  a car of the same type.

Could it be mistaken identity? Was the car at the Swaffham meet the real Ford Timelord, or was just it a replica?

Without access to detailed pics or interviewing those involved, it's hard to know - but what might just tie this all together is the Bickers Connection, if I may be so bold as to posit my line of thinking.

  1. We know that a chap by the name of Paul Bickers drove a KLF-liveried 1968 Ford Galaxie at Swaffham in the early 1990s. Three independent sources have each named this individual as racing, or storing the car in question.
  2. Paul Bickers is also a successful, longstanding businessman hiring trailer rigs for film work in the South-East. The KLF hired a trailer rig for the Galaxie to shoot a music video in London in December 1990. Chances are, the rig was hired from Bickers.
  3. Less than a year later, Cauty found himself in the position of having to move house with a very rusty, non-running but artistically significant car cluttering up his driveway.  I put it to you, the jury, that a few months earlier Paul Bickers might quite reasonably have said to Cauty, "if you ever need rid of that Galaxie, give me a call..."
  4. Paul Bickers has also been mentioned as having assisted Cauty in prepping the Chevrolet Nova for the 1992 charity stock car race. It seems the two worked closely on several car-related projects.

Assuming that it's the same Paul Bickers each time, then I think we have a strong link there. I think it's the same car.

So, WGU18G is well and truly dead, then?

On balance of probabilities, ladies and gentlemen of the jury - yes.

But...

Part of me fantasises that maybe it popped a driveshaft at the first corner of Heat 1, rolled gently onto the grass in the middle of the oval, wouldn't re-start, and then ended up being taken back to the yard - where it's still waiting. When Darren Tyler says the car that raced at Swaffham was "last seen rusting away under tarpaulin at Bickers old yard in Coddenham", does he mean after the race?

I know it's perhaps stretching credulity, but there's a small number of 'What happened to Ford Timelord?' threads on various car forums; consensus always seems split between "it was bangered in the early 90s M8" and "it's stored in a shipping container in Norfolk M8".

What if... they're both right?

conspiracykeanu.thumb.jpg.af5ac87128266fed2adba8a16aec53ee.jpg

Stay tuned, kids - this ain't over!

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Oh, and before I forget - that BX-based camera car is fantastic! Please, please do find out more about it!

As Claude Lelouche found out while trying to film his 'C'était Un Rendez-Vous' in central Paris, sometimes hydropneumatic suspension is the easiest way to cut out camera vibration...

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Yet more fascinating research there DC, and Paul Bickers certainly seems to be the common thread that ties all these odds and ends together so getting in touch with him might be the best way forward. I fear Ford Timelord has after all gone to the bridge, to the bridge, to the bridge now.

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