Classic Van Auction Talk

Thursday 4 July 2019

1961 FAIRTHORPE ELECTRON SPORTS SPECIAL - BRIGHTWELLS AUCTIONS Leominster Classic Motoring Auction Centre Wednesday 10th July 2019

Leominster Classic Motoring
Auction Centre
Wednesday 10th July 2019

Free Viewing, 9.00am - 7.00pm on Tuesday 9th July 2019 
and on the day of the sale.

Lot No. 174
Registration Date 1961
Make & Model Fairthorpe Electron Sports Special
Colour French Blue
Registration Number 64 TPK
Chassis No. FD34832HE
Engine size 1,296 cc
Engine No. FD34832HE
Documents V5C; MOT March 2020 with no advisories; one old MOT; invoices etc
Estimate £8,000 - £10,000
Donald Bennett (1910 – 1986) was an aviation pioneer and bomber pilot who rose to be the youngest Air Vice Marshal in the Royal Air Force and is probably best known these days for leading the 'Pathfinder Force' from 1942 to the end of the Second World War. He has been described as: "One of the most brilliant technical airmen of his generation; an outstanding pilot, a superb navigator who was also capable of stripping a wireless set or overhauling an engine".
Those mechanical skills were put to good use in the 1950s when he formed Fairthorpe Cars in Chalfont St Peter building lightweight sporting cars that could achieve 60mph and 60 mpg. Following the success of his Atom and Atomata coupes, in 1956 he brought out the more sophisticated Electron, available as a kit or a fully built car and built around a new chassis with a GRP body and powered by a Coventry-Climax or a Standard Triumph engine. Although it did well in motor racing, the Electron was too expensive to sell in numbers and only around 700 were made before Fairthorpe folded in 1973.
First registered in March 1961, this unique Electron first came into our vendor’s hands in 1978. A professional engineer and chassis builder for Morgan, he completely rebuilt the car with the intention of using it for sprints and hill climbs. Acquiring a 1969 Triumph Spitfire MkIII as a donor vehicle, he rebuilt the 1,296cc engine and gearbox and fitted it to the Electron chassis, carrying out many modifications along the way to make the car as light as possible. He also designed and made the bespoke aluminium bodywork that still adorns the car to this day.
Named Francesca in honour of his French girlfriend of the time (who also insisted on the French blue paintwork), he never actually got to race the car and ended up selling it five years later with only a few hundred road miles under its wheels. Scroll forward 35 years and in 2017 he stumbled across the car for sale again.
By this time it had been languishing in storage for many years and was in need of renovation so he set about a second rebuild, fitting many new parts. These include all new brakes (including master cylinder and calipers), new clutch kit, all fluids changed with new filters as required, new fuel pump, ignition system, battery, tyres and tubes etc. Still showing only 1,256 miles on the clock which is believed to be the total mileage covered since the 1978 rebuild, it is said to be a very lively performer and comes with an MOT to March 2020 with no advisories recorded.
Registered as a 1961 Fairthorpe Sport on the V5C, it also comes with a tonneau cover, sundry invoices, an old MOT from 1987 and a nice 64 TPK number plate which is transferable. The attention to detail is wonderful and the car needs to be closely examined to be fully appreciated.


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