The Forgotten Engine - click the icon to find out more !
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Year manufactured........ : 1934
Chassis number............. : B44BN
Engine number............... : B7BQ
Engine type..................... : Straight 6 - 3587cc - 25hp
Coach builder................. : Hooper
Registration number....... : US8248
Body style......................... : 4 door Sport Saloon
Body colours..................... : Midnight blue over Carlton grey
Interior................................ : Pale grey leather
No longer in this collection
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Being an early series car this 3 1/2 has the front cross member exposed above the apron. The bodywork is in aluminium and does not carry either front or rear bumpers. The body style is similar to the Hooper exhibit for the 1934 London Show except that it had neither the rear quarter-bumpers nor spare wheel cover. (See p104 Ellman-Brown's The Silent Sports Car.) The paint work is in excellent condition; not quite conco urs due to its regular use. All shut lines are accurate. All doors are centrally hinged on the B posts with exterior locking on the nearside front door only. The boot has a top lid hinged on its forward edge; there is no lock, only over-centre catches. The spare wheel is mounted on the rear panel behind the boot. The trafficators have been removed sometime in the past and flashing indicators incorporated into the side and tail lights. The head lights are Lucas P100s with solenoid dipping actuation on the reflectors. The Notek spot lamp is centrally mounted on the cross tube and is an oval lense model. Either side if the spot lamp are mounted the twin Lucas New Alto horns. An additional Klaxon horn is mounted on the hammer bracket under the bonnet. There is a sliding sun roof that may be locked at half and fully opened positions; when closed it is completely watertight. There is a fresh air vent installed in the centre of the scuttle that is operated by a chrome twist knob under the scuttle rail.
The car upholstery is in nicely patinated pale grey leather on seats and door trims. Carpets are not original but appear to have been replaced a long time ago; they are also in pale grey with grey leather binding. The head lining was replaced about 5 years ago and is in pale grey woollen cloth. Woodwork is restricted to the window returns and dashboard. The former is in natural varnished grain whereas the dash is in a burr veneer - all being in very good condition. All instrumentation is o riginal and in good working order and includes an ash tray and cigar lighter. The rear seat has a fold down centre arm rest. The rear door trims also have small armrests that incorporate an ash tray in each. Beneath the rear seat is an access hatch to a tool stowage box. The front seats are of a wide bucket design. Underneath each seat squab is a lift-up lid that conceals part of the tool kit. Nearly all of the original tools and spares are in place. Mounted on the floor, between the seats, is the ex haust cut-out leaver. The complete mechanism is still in place although the exhaust system no longer has the cut-out. The windscreen opens with a top hinge allowing a small de-misting aperture or full upward extension. All door windows operate correctl y and each door has a lock catch that disables the exterior handle but still allows the interior handle to open its door. The door restraining straps are interesting features, being chromed metal plates inset into the tops of the doors and containing sprin g loaded stops to avoid straining the hinges. The key to the master switch box also locks the exterior passenger door lock. The petrol flap lock on the rear panel of the boot is operated by a separate key. Spare bulbs are contained in a cylindrical Luc as bulb holder clipped under the dashboard.
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Despite having covered roughly 175,000 miles, this car is in incredibly good mechanical order. Since acquiring the car, in April 1991, rectification work has been undertaken only as need arose. In no particular order, this has encompassed the following :-
Rear springs re-set and tempered
Rear driving dogs replaced
Rear hubs replaced and new bearings installed
Differential inspected and a new input shaft compound bearing installed
New rocker shaft fitted and valve rockers re-profiled
Complete re-wire of car retaining all original bakelite wire ferrules
The two original ignition coils were rewound
Bare metal re-spray of body - wooden cant rail above windscreen replaced at the same time
Front and rear brakes overhauled. Front brakes re-lined in 1999
One shot system overhauled
Fuel pumps overhauled with new diaphragms
Engine overhaul in 1998. This exercise was brought about due to an error when the previous re-bore was undertaken in the distant past - the pistons were installed back to front. This eventually led to ring failure. Fortunately, no damage was sustained by the bores. The block had been stamped as having had two service rebuilds - indicating a mileage of roughly 150,000. The engine is now bored out to +0.045". New pistons were fitted (the correct way round) and new big ends were cast and fitted. The oil pump was overhauled at the same time. Surprisingly, the forward water passages in the head had never been blanked off - this modification was also completed.
The car rides like a modern vehicle with cruising speeds of 60 to 70 mph. The gearbox is quiet and silky smooth. Steering is light and responsive; braking is very strong and accurate. The engine runs at 80oC in all conditions with a hot running oil pressure of 22psi at 50mph (as recommended) - tick over 12psi.
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The car was originally used as a demonstrator by The Clyde Auto Co. Ltd of Glasgow. It was acquired by the Hon. Mrs MET Berkley of Worcester on 3rd August 1935. On 26th April 1950 it was bought by Wing Cmdr. HC Smith of Hornsey, N8. The final factory record shows a transfer to Capt. DE Whatmore of Uckfield, Sussex on 17th November 1961. The buff continuation log book records Barry K Glover of Camberley from 11th November 1965 until 9th April 1978. However, a letter on file shows Glover in correspondence with Royal County Of Berkshire, regarding the car, in September 1964; so he must have been in possession by that date. George JE Allum then bought the car from Glover on 9th April 1978 and owned it until I bought the car (via a yacht broker!) on 12th April 1991. I sold the car, on 2nd September , to M Hughes in Darlinton, County Durham.
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