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Thread: Oddball British cars

General discusssion about other British cars that don't have their own forum (yet).

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    Yoda Sherlock's Avatar
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    Oddball British cars

    Went over to a friend's car storage yard today to see his latest acquisitions... a 1969 Reliant Scimitar GTE wagon (in orange [img]images/icons/rolleyes.gif[/img] ) and a 1972 Vauxhall Firenza [Viva HC 4-door]. Both rescued from a local scrapyard recently, so you can guess what kind of shape they're in. I've asked this before... anyone know what windshield - readily available in North America - would fit oin a Reliant Scimitar first series car?

    And for those who like oddball old British cars, the Reliant (British RHD) could definitely be available for sale, along with his 1961 Standard Vanguard station wagon project car (Canadian-spec LHD), and maybe even his Renault R4, and... [20 other old British sedans that may be available for sale... except for their Vauxhalls!]

    [ 02-27-2004: Message edited by: Sherlock ]</p>

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    Obi Wan PC's Avatar
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    Re: Oddball British cars

    Don't know anything about the Reliant but the Firenza shares brakes, suspension and axles with Jensen Healeys.


    PC.

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    Yoda Sherlock's Avatar
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    Re: Oddball British cars

    For those wondering what it is... Found this nifty picture of a Reliant Scimitar race car (not your typical race car)...


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    Re: Oddball British cars

    Windshield looks very much MkII Cortina from that pic!

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    Re: Oddball British cars

    I believe that it is a Ford windscreen, though not sure which one......most oily bits are Ford, so it would be a logical assumption. Nice car, the Scimitar GTE.

    [ 02-28-2004: Message edited by: Steve ]</p>

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    Re: Oddball British cars

    Sherlock;

    "Oddball British Cars", it's a redundant statement.

    With that said, you just have to love them. I've been fortunate to have owned and driven a 1963 Cobra 260 "Slabside", a '64 Sprite (H Production race car), a '65 MiniCooper "S", a '56 Bentley S1 and now (currently) a '73 Jensen Healey. I just can't get away from the fact that I do love the kinky little British sportscars.

    They are fun cars, great people involved in them and frankly more fun being around them that I've had in my clothes in a very long time. LOL.

    [ 02-28-2004: Message edited by: Jim Weatherford ]</p>

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    Obi Wan
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    Re: Oddball British cars

    Hello all,
    trivia:- the Scimitar GTE often AKA "Grand Tamworth Express" Tamworth being where the cars were made.
    Princess Anne used to own one and made the newspapers of the day by being booked for speeding in it.

    Alec [img]graemlins/thirsty.gif[/img]

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    Yoda waltesefalcon's Avatar
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    Re: Oddball British cars

    Neat little car. Also wouldn't oddball and British cancel each other out, leaving only a normal car?

    Cheers, [img]graemlins/thirsty.gif[/img] [img]graemlins/driving.gif[/img]
    Walter

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    Yoda Sherlock's Avatar
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    Re: Oddball British cars

    <blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr> Waltesfalcon said: Neat little car. Also wouldn't oddball and British cancel each other out, leaving only a normal car?
    <hr></blockquote>

    You see, truly dedicated oddball is when... there are 100 cars at the British car show - there are 30 MGB's, 20 Triumph Spitfire's, 15 Spridget's, 10 Triumph TR6's, 10 Austin-Healey's, 5 Jaguar's (various types), 3 Sunbeam Alpine's, 6 British roadsters (various makes), and to round it off nicely... one lonely, solitary, bright orange 1969 Reliant Scimitar GTE wagon [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

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    Jedi Knight philman's Avatar
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    Re: Oddball British cars

    picked up an operators manual for a BLMC 1800 the other day. covers woolsey & austin. travers mounted engine/tranny. never seen one in action.

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    Yoda waltesefalcon's Avatar
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    Re: Oddball British cars

    James,

    Thanks for clearing that up for me. So essentially it is an oddball among oddballs.

    Cheers, [img]graemlins/thirsty.gif[/img] [img]graemlins/driving.gif[/img]
    Walter

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    Yoda Sherlock's Avatar
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    Re: Oddball British cars

    ... And to possibly trump (or at least equal) my earlier finds, I just came back from seeing a 1950/52 Standard Vanguard Phase 1, one of our Canadian-spec LHD versions and a very nice example, current licence plates, well worn in nice shape but with some patina. A friend told me about it on the phone last night and I managed to track it down, parked in front of a local British repair garage.

    This is what it looks like (image grabbed off the web)


    [ 03-01-2004: Message edited by: Sherlock ]</p>

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    Obi Wan 78Z's Avatar
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    Re: Oddball British cars

    I came across a Ford Zepher [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]


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    Yoda waltesefalcon's Avatar
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    Re: Oddball British cars

    You mean Lincoln Zepher?

    Cheers, [img]graemlins/thirsty.gif[/img] [img]graemlins/driving.gif[/img]
    Walter

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    Re: Oddball British cars

    Now I'm as sad a case of Brit car nut as anyone, but why would someone rescue a Firenza? My wife owned one back in the 70's (cheap wheels), and I got to know its inner workings very well, from extensive repair work. It was very poorly screwed together (and I've owned 70's Jags and a TR8).

    The worst bit was the clutch. It was cable operated, which was fine for RHD cars operating the clutch lever on the right side of the transmission. On LHD cars, the cable would have had to make a very sharp turn to go from the pedal to the RH side of the trans. So, rather than re-engineer an effective solution, they bodged it. The cable ran from the pedal, all the way to the front of the car, round the rad and back to the trans. That way, the arc was gentle enough for the cable to work.

    Trouble is that cables stretch. On a 1 ft long cable, this isn't a big deal. On an 8 ft long cable, it is a huge deal. The cable would need to be tightened about 6 times a year to keep the clutch operating. If it was slack, the clutch wouldn't disengage and you had no gears, as the synchros would lock you out. I once rescued a woman who thought her trans was broken in her Firenza. I reached under the car, tightened up the cable adjuster and voila!

    This doesn't begin to compensate for the T-shirt material they used for upholstery (2 year life expectency), the incredibly fragile printed circuit board for the instruments or the astonishing rust. It developed a cracked block (no overheating, meticulous maintenance) at 70,000 miles and we walked away in relief. I still shudder when I think of that car!

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    Re: Oddball British cars

    78Z, Is that a 6 cylinder Zephyr? It looks pretty solid. I would love to have one of those. My dad had one back in the day, and it was quite the car at the time.

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    Jedi Hopeful sunbeammadd's Avatar
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    Re: Oddball British cars

    <blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by waltesefalcon:
    You mean Lincoln Zepher?

    <hr></blockquote>

    No, Ford Zephyr and Lincoln Zephyr are different.

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    Moderator Steve's Avatar
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    Re: Oddball British cars

    Yep......No Lincolns in the UK.

    The Zephyr wasn't a bad car, and this one looks saveable. Hope somebody claims it and gives it a good home.

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    Obi Wan 78Z's Avatar
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    Re: Oddball British cars

    <blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Inshan:
    78Z, Is that a 6 cylinder Zephyr? It looks pretty solid. I would love to have one of those. My dad had one back in the day, and it was quite the car at the time.<hr></blockquote>

    not sure - didn't get a look under the hood.

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    Yoda Sherlock's Avatar
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    Re: Oddball British cars

    <blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr> Inshan said: Is that a 6 cylinder Zephyr? <hr></blockquote>

    Until the Mk 3 models of the 1960's all Zephyr's and Zodiac's came with the 6-cylinder, so if the original engine is still intact it would be a 6-cylinder.

    As an aside Ford is well known for re-using their names for totally different cars:

    Zephyr x3
    - Lincoln (1940's)
    - British Ford (1950's to 1972)
    - Mercury in the States (1977 to 1984, dates approximate)

    Capri x4
    - British Ford - Consul Capri coupe (1961 to 1963)
    - European Ford (1969 to 1987)
    - American Ford (1979 to 1986)
    - Capri roadster - Australian designed (1991 to 1993/94)

    Point... Ford tries their best to confuse people [img]graemlins/crazyeyes.gif[/img]

    [ 03-02-2004: Message edited by: Sherlock ]</p>

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