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  1. #11
    of the Croydon Teds
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    Suppose these pictures will be a bit surplus to requirements after the Motoring Research link, but I've uploaded 'em now so I'll post 'em anyway. Regarding the exhibition, it was great to see all the cars together, but as I said earlier, it was rather let down by the poor layout. The National Motor Museum doesn't seem to run quite so many exhibitions any more; there always used to be a different exhibition lasting all year every year and this would be in the spacious entrance hall, where you could fit perhaps a dozen cars, with plenty of space to move around them. In 2012, the first floor was extended with a temporary structure to accommodate the large Bond in Motion exhibition. For that year, the entrance hall was filled with various cars from the museum's collection to demonstrate motoring from the 19th century to the present while the four land speed record cars were moved into a small, enclosed space, partially in darkness and partially lit by the most horrendous artificial light.

    As a temporary move that was fine, but it has remained like that despite the Bond exhibition having finished five or six years ago. All the exhibitions since then have been held in the space formerly occupied by the record cars, which is not a large space, nor is there much room to walk move between the display area and the walls, and the supporting columns act as something of an obstruction, too. You'll see what I mean. Oh, and without wishing to open a can of worms, I might query the use of Kustom with a K...

    The cynical side of me wants to say that they a) couldn't be bothered to take the structure down and b) decided on change for change's sake to update the building, not that it needed updating. It was fine before, and people go to see the cars inside it, not the building itself. They could perhaps make a bit more space for the exhibition by getting rid of cars like the Peugeot 308 and Fiat 500, which are obviously only there because Beaulieu have some kind of corporate deal going on...

    Kev, if you want to see Metropolis for yourself, it will be in the Beaulieu exhibition until September. You could time it to coincide with an event: https://www.beaulieu.co.uk/events/
    Don't know about you, but I like the look of the Austin Seven Rally and the Graham Walker Memorial Run.


    The earliest of Saunders' cars on display was Mini Ha Ha, a 1964 Austin Mini 850 that a 20-year-old Saunders shortened by 2' 7" in 1983 and fitted with a twin-carb 1275 MG Midget engine, which apparently allows it do wheelies in reverse! It was last shown in 1986 before disappearing, but the shell was rediscovered in Ireland and the car has just been restored in time for the exhibition.




    Indecision was next along, in 1985. Originally a 1976 CitroŽn CX 2200, Saunders completely reworked the car in this space-age style and fitted the interior with a half-rim steering wheel, swivel seats and a red, heart-shaped bed in the tail section. CitroŽn's hydropneumatic self-levelling suspension helped the futuristic appearance of the car. It joined a private collection near London but was badly damaged in 2004 when a river burst its banks and filled the car up to its windows. Saunders restored the car for the Style et Luxe at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, repainting it silver from the original white. It is now part of another private collection.




    Run-A-Ground, a hybrid of 1969 Reliant Regal running gear and a Monbar 146 speedboat, was Saunders' offering for 1986, making use of an MOT-failure car and a brand new but badly flawed boat. With the 748cc Reliant engine, it's purely for show, and Saunders built Asorta-Transporta - another custom CitroŽn CX - to help it around international shows. He drove the car, erÖ boat... around the streets of Poole for 10 years, and up to the Chelsea Cruise, before it joined a private collection.


    Fast forward to 2002 and it's another Reliant, this time a 1989 Rialto, by name of Saline Warrior. Saunders was given the task of building a car over two days for a drag race on the BBC show Panic Mechanics. Emulating the old salt lakes racers, he fitted chopped the Reliant's roof, fitted a lengthened nose cone and Moon Disc-style wheels and treated the engine to a turbocharger. The car won the race. It was subsequently sold to some French enthusiasts called Les Triplettes de Bonneville who, over four years, built a full space frame chassis, added a fourth wheel and transplanted a 750cc Suzuki motorcycle engine. Saline Warrior was shipped to America for Bonneville Speed Week, when it unofficially broke the 750cc record, hitting 143mph. It has since topped 150mph. Apart from being resprayed in Les Triplettes' blue and white (Saunders painted it black) it looks the same as when Saunders built it. Les Triplettes bought the car at the Beaulieu Autojumble and they have raced at every Speed Week since 2009. They hold 29 world records and are France's most successful Bonneville team.


    A 1932 Hudson Terraplane, Hesperus was restored (or semi-restored, since it's a custom) by Saunders in 2017, though it was originally street-rodded in England in the '60s. The engine is the small block Chevy that was fitted in the '60s, and for some reason Saunders has decided to exhibit the car before its completion, not that you'd know it - only the interior remains to be done. Beaulieu believe that they're showing the car publicly for the first time, but it was at Wheels Day in 2017. And yes, that was the best photo possible...




    Tetanus, a 1937 Cord 812, debuted at the 2017 NSRA Supernats and has since received widespread acclaim, and rightly so - it's amazing. Although always a prestigious and exclusive car, apparently the gearbox was knackered and, with spares being virtually impossible to acquire, someone left this Cord to rot for over 50 years in a Yorkshire field so that it crumbled away, suffered denting from young rapscallions jumping on its roof while someone had crudely fitted a Flathead engine and gearbox where the Lycoming V8 should have been (there is an interesting potential back-story about this engine change involving the Polish stock car driver Jerzy Wojtowicz, the Cord's second owner, detailed in the current issue of Street Machine). Saunders cut away the original Westchester sedan body and rebuilt it as a two-door coupe. The wings were widened and reworked, the roof was lowered, widened and shortened, doors were lengthened and the rear was scratch-built using sections from a VW Beetle and Jaguar Mk. II. Red diamond-pleat covers the interior, while a 305 Chevy sets the car in motion. The name comes from a remark made by Saunders' friend when viewing the wreck: "I'm not touching that without a Tetanus shot!"

    I got told off twice for moving signs around to photograph Tetanus (even though I put them back), but I'm damned if I'm going all the way to Beaulieu, paying over £20 and then having to make do with only an almost frontal shot of Tetanus...

    Metropolis, Saundes' 54th build, brings us right up to date. Believed to have been requisitioned by Nazis in the Second World War and then left for over 70 years until being discovered in a French field four years ago. The cab's been chopped with the gutters brought down even further, the back of the cab and entire rear are hand-formed while the pick-up sides have been restored, lengthened and deepened. The body has been widened by four inches to fit its new chassis. The split windscreen is a new idea and the front wings are from a 1937 S.S. Jaguar and were found at the Beaulieu Autojumble.

    I'm sorry that the opening of this post was so negative. Beaulieu is a great place to visit, if dear, with a fantastic selection of cars. Not much that would fit in on Torqued Up, admittedly, but as long as you like European classics as opposed to just Yanks and customs there's plenty to see. On top of that you've got expansive grounds with a ruined abbey and the beautiful Palace House. It's just a pity that the exhibition wasn't well executed, since that was the main reason for my visit.

    As far as the show went, I thought it was great. Okay, it's not cheap since you're paying for admission to the museum, but it is big and there were some exceptional cars there. I spent the previous 15 years going to the Bromley Pageant of Motoring on that weekend, but that's become just as expensive as Beaulieu while simultaneously deteriorating in quality - empty spaces, unworthy modern show cars, corporate greed and organisational laziness have increasingly dogged it - so that the decision to go 90+ miles to Beaulieu rather than three miles to Bromley was definitely the right one.
    Last edited by Nigel Incubator-Jones; 19-06-18 at 09:45 PM.

  2. #12
    REV JIM RACING.
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    Great post nigel.thanks for that...loving that tetanus.

  3. #13
    Might as well be part of the furniture.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torment View Post
    Great post nigel.thanks for that...loving that tetanus.


    Wonder what the story is behind that Hudson

  4. #14
    Might as well be part of the furniture.
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    As post #12, but the colours used do nothing for me, far to bland. A nice candy apple red or a deep purple......

  5. #15
    Settling in
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    Loving that Hudson - got quite a thing going for four-doors at them moment!

  6. #16
    of the Croydon Teds
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    Jun 2013
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    Don't think I'm going to have time to do a proper write-up as I'd hoped, but I will just leave these two cars here, given their provenance. I'd not seen either before and didn't even know that the second one still existed (though I should have done, as it appeared on Ebay in 2011).




    This Model A, called Coffee Grinder, was built by Adam Coffee in Pennsylvania in 1959. In 1967 it was imported into this country by the pop artist Gerald Laing (who did some fantastic drag racing artwork you might want to check out), becoming the first ever American-built hot rod on British soil.


    Two years later, this T-Bucket, name of Boston Strangler, appeared on the British scene. Originally built in the 1960s by Rick Heinrick of Boston (that's Massachusetts, not Lincolnshire, in case you weren't sure), it was painted flake green and ran a 327 Chevy with four-speed. While touring the States in 1969, Jeff Beck bought the car and brought it home with him. It was involved in an accident and then rebuilt with a full-height screen, black top and purple paint. In the '70s, Beck sold the Strangler to John Bonham, Led Zeppelin's drummer. Apparently the car makes an appearance in the Led Zep film The Song Remains the Same, though I can't find it here: http://www.imcdb.org/movie.php?id=75244

    Still, multiple old Yanks, a period chop, a vintage Bentley and Andy's Instant T make me think it would be a very interesting film to see!

    After Bonham's death in 1980, the car was bought by Terry Richards of Birmingham (that's in the Midlands, not Alabama, in case you weren't sure), who rebuilt it with a blown 471, auto 'box and orange paint, which is how it appeared in the October '81 issue of Custom Car and is more or less how it appears today. It passed through John Cullen before Alan Bradley bought it and entered it into a pop memorabilia auction in 1987. The winning bidder was John Lewis, a Mercedes specialist who parked the car in his Parsons Green showroom. He passed away and the T passed to NSRA insurance assessor, Maurice Takoor, who showed it at the first NSRA Supernats at Knebworth at 1991, and again at the NASC Nats in Essex.

    A representative of Anheuser-Busch (American brewery best known for Budweiser, and the inexplicable 'Bevo Boat' Cadillacs...) approached Takoor, wanting to buy the car for display in a new American-themed restaurant chain called TJs, which was probably as tacky and dull as it sounds. The chain wasn't a success and closed down, though in its time it managed to lose the windscreen. The car disappeared for a while after that until appearing on Ebay, so I should say I was bloody lucky to see it last weekend, and get a possible world exclusive video of it running, which you can view here if you scroll down a bit: https://www.facebook.com/pg/StreetMachineMagUK/posts/

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