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Thread: Rochdale Olympic (help needed?)

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

  1. #21
    Obi Wan 78Z's Avatar
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    Re: Rochdale Olympic

    Found a picture of a Riviera. Looks to be in the UK.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/carsbl...57604092974762

    1978 Triumph Spitfire 1500

  2. #22
    Senior Member duffy's Avatar
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    Re: Rochdale Olympic advert

    Hi All,
    I am led to believe the Olympic for sale advert I am looking for is in the July 1964 ROAD & TRACK magazine and includes a
    photo, if anyone can scan this advert and post it for me I would be most grateful.

    Kind regards

    Tony
    Old age and Treachery will overcome Youth and Skill
    1963 Rochdale Olympic PhaseIII - DUFFY
    www.rochdale-owners-club.co.uk

  3. #23
    Yoda kennypinkerton's Avatar
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    Re: Rochdale Olympic advert

    I would think scanning pages out of a magazine that still exists would be a violation of US copyright laws. And I'm pretty certain Road & Track would probably be glad to get you a copy of the ad if they have one available. You might want to contact them.
    I Drank What? -Socrates 399 BC

    Kenny Pinkerton
    1977 MGB, 1984 Alfa Romeo Spider, 2006 Ford F150,
    2015 sublime green Dodge Challenger R/T, 2016 Ford Edge

  4. #24
    gblawson
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    Re: Rochdale Olympic advert

    I would side with duffy's/tony's signature on that one!

  5. #25
    Yoda JamesWilson's Avatar
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    Re: Rochdale Olympic advert

    Tony:

    There's a copy for sale on US e-bay:

    https://cgi.ebay.com/Road-and-Track-Magaz...1QQcmdZViewItem



    You could probably get the vendor to confirm it's advertized in that issue; but you might then feel obliged to buy...

    James.





    An Olympic on Skye


    <span style="font-weight: bold">Healey Journal</span>
    Just 5 years into a 2 year project....
    1967 Austin Healey 3000, 1972 Jensen-Healey, 1962 Rochdale Olympic

  6. #26
    Senior Member duffy's Avatar
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    Re: Rochdale Olympic advert

    Quote Originally Posted by duffy
    Hi All,
    I am led to believe the Olympic for sale advert I am looking for is in the July 1964 ROAD &amp; TRACK magazine and includes a photo, if anyone can scan this advert and post it for me I would be most grateful.
    Well here is the advert,now please find me the car?

    Kind regards

    Tony
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Old age and Treachery will overcome Youth and Skill
    1963 Rochdale Olympic PhaseIII - DUFFY
    www.rochdale-owners-club.co.uk

  7. #27
    Yoda
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    Re: Rochdale Olympic advert

    The current resident:

    Castro, Laura

    404 Mountain St.
    Elgin, IL 60123-5492

    (847) 289-8976

    Elgin is a suburb of Chicago, if I can help.

  8. #28
    Yoda
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    Re: Rochdale Olympic advert

    A search of YellowPages.com white pages turned up 12 Rackmans, not a very common name it seems.
    Peter Hays, Chicago, Il
    1959 Morris Minor Convertible - "Truly Scrumptious"
    1959 Morris Minor Traveller - "Sammie"
    1963 Mini MkI Traveller = "Little Red"
    1956 Jaguar MkI 2.4

  9. #29
    Senior Member duffy's Avatar
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    Re: Rochdale Olympic advert

    Quote Originally Posted by Silverghost
    A search of YellowPages.com white pages turned up 12 Rackmans, not a very common name it seems.
    Hi Peter,
    Robin Rackham now lives back in England, he used to fly 747,s -- details of car below.

    Olympic Phase 11. Chassis No ? Licence plate 5348 DK. Blue. LHD.
    Complete new running car collected in July 1963 from Rochdale, England. by Robin
    Rackman and taken on a Tour of Europe, then shipped from Holland to Chicago,USA.
    1st owner, Robin Rackham, Elgin, Chicago, Illinor, USA. 1963 to 1964.
    2nd owner? Sold in late summer 1964 (advert in Road &amp; Track) to a young man
    from Kansas, USA. Car not heard of since?


    https://www.britishcarforum.com/files/Tony_Stanton.pdf (cars in America)

    Kind regards
    Tony
    Old age and Treachery will overcome Youth and Skill
    1963 Rochdale Olympic PhaseIII - DUFFY
    www.rochdale-owners-club.co.uk

  10. #30
    Jedi Knight billspohn's Avatar
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    Re: Rochdale Olympic

    Quote Originally Posted by WhatsThatNoise
    WOW!...If that GT was over here...I'd be all over it

    The Elva is about done...I NEED another basket case
    We had a basket case TVR Grantura around here for awhile ....better car than the Olympic!
    Current clutter: 1957 MGA-Jamaican, 1958 MGA Twincam (race car), 1962 MGA Deluxe Coupe, 1971 Jensen Interceptor
    2009 Pontiac Solstice GXP Coupe, 2007 BMW Z4M coupe Recently departed: 1965 Jensen CV-8, 1969 MGC roadster, 1969 Lamborghini Islero S

  11. #31
    Yoda JamesWilson's Avatar
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    Re: Rochdale Olympic

    Quote Originally Posted by billspohn
    We had a basket case TVR Grantura around here for awhile ....better car than the Olympic!
    That assertion is debatable:

    In point of fact the two cars were compared head to head in December 1964 by Small Car Magazine in the UK and they found:

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:] A kitcar's big characteristic now ... is that it's tailored to suit the needs of a minority for whom the big boys don't cater. Speaking as just such a minority , we'll <span style="font-weight: bold">say the Rochdale suits us better than the TVR Grantura.</span> But you may well think the exact opposite.

    The Rochdale on the other hand suits us as individuals phenomenally well in most basic respects. It is fast, civilised, astonishingly quiet, predictable, smooth riding. We really could believe at times ... that we were driving an all independent Porsche costing twice as much. Finish is the thing that lets it down... if we were to buy one the first thing we'd do would be to rip out all the trim and start spending money....

    If we did that, though, <span style="font-weight: bold">we would feel confident we'd got ourselves one of the very few really outstanding British grand tourers.</span>
    [/QUOTE]

    A more current comparison in Classic Cars from April, 1996 gave the edge to a modified TVR (with the advantage of a bored out &amp; "tuned" engine), but the four reviewers also said:

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:]
    RF: ...acceleration is lusty, the gearbox has a nice smooth action and the steering is direct, but I thought the handling suspect....

    DG: Performance is lively rather than outstanding, but it holds the road well and the suspension is medium to firm. ... A likeable little car with a bit of the boy racer to it.

    <span style="font-weight: bold">CO [TVR owner]: ...it has very impressive ride and handling, which came as something of a revelation. I was also surprized by its performance.... This is a very nice and underrated little car - and it certainly changed my preconceptions</span>.

    AS: ... It certainly goes well and is remarkably quiet: not rorty like the TVR. It's a deceptively quick little car and one that is very easy and pleasant to drive."

    MD: The surprize of the group- surprizingly refined with a ride second only to that of the Porsche.... Dynamically it is very good indeed. The steering is quick, light and positive, allowing you to hustle this little car along at indecent speeds.
    [/QUOTE]

    The styling didn't appeal to some of the reviewers, nor did the interior, and its ranking suffered some from those effects; along with the "disadvantage" of having a stock engine compared to the modified one in the TVR.

    When new the Rochdale cost £735 compared to £1216 for the TVR and £2064 for a Porsche 356.

    All-in-all a very credible performance when compared to the TVR then and now.

    While as a Rochdale owner I am certainly biased, but there's no doubt in my own mind that the Olympic is not in any way inferior to a comparable TVR. Someone might prefer one over the other, but there hardly seems to be any significant advantage either way. Personal opinions can differ, as yours seems to favor the TVR....

    Before buying my Rochdale I'd considered a lot of alternatives: TR6s or TR4s, Lotus Europas, MGAs, and yes, even TVRs along with non-LBCs like 240Zs, Alpines or Alfas... but the very good performance, and unique character and rarity of the Rochdale swung the day for it.


    <span style="font-weight: bold">Healey Journal</span>
    Just 5 years into a 2 year project....
    1967 Austin Healey 3000, 1972 Jensen-Healey, 1962 Rochdale Olympic

  12. #32
    Jedi Knight billspohn's Avatar
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    Re: Rochdale Olympic

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesWilson
    While as a Rochdale owner I am certainly biased, but there's no doubt in my own mind that the Olympic is not in any way inferior to a comparable TVR. Someone might prefer one over the other, but there hardly seems to be any significant advantage either way. Personal opinions can differ, as yours seems to favor the TVR....
    I think that's fair, James. Thanks for coming up with those passages on the two cars!

    I think the looks are a toss-up - both are rather...idiosyncratic.

    I think that the made from scratch all independent TVR suspension was definitely superior to the Olympic's, though whether one would notice the difference on the street is a fair question. I am not speaking about the TVRs before the Mk 3, BTW, as they used VW Beetle suspension at both ends and the Olympic would have been much better than that.
    Current clutter: 1957 MGA-Jamaican, 1958 MGA Twincam (race car), 1962 MGA Deluxe Coupe, 1971 Jensen Interceptor
    2009 Pontiac Solstice GXP Coupe, 2007 BMW Z4M coupe Recently departed: 1965 Jensen CV-8, 1969 MGC roadster, 1969 Lamborghini Islero S

  13. #33
    Yoda JamesWilson's Avatar
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    Re: Rochdale Olympic

    Its looks are really of their time; though some people have "modernized" the bodies with mixed results (there's one that's been re-styled as a Porsche 911). I think its best angle is 3/4 rear as can be seen in the BCF photo album.

    The designer later worked for Lotus on their racing cars. Then the Rochdale company just seemed to lose interest in making them and gradually production just petered out- unlike most of the big manufactuers that kept churning out product (like my Big Healey '53-'67). Rochdale still exist, making ventilation ducting.

    The Olympic's an "orphan" so very few people know about them. With only 20-30 still on the road, and with its unique design they're about as individualistic a car as can be found.

    I've not the collection you have (and it looks like a very desirable bit of clutter) but I'd like to think I've two of the more innovative British cars with the Olympic's unique molded-in-one-piece fiberglass monocoque and with my Jensen-Healey's Lotus 907 engine (twin OHC, 4 valves/cylinder alloy block, etc.) It's a real shame Lotus hadn't better sorted the engine out before production started so Jensen might have survived. But I've used lots of the later go-faster bits Lotus did develop, in rebuilding the engine.

    And they run (when they run) very well indeed, too....


    <span style="font-weight: bold">Healey Journal</span>
    Just 5 years into a 2 year project....
    1967 Austin Healey 3000, 1972 Jensen-Healey, 1962 Rochdale Olympic

  14. #34
    Jedi Knight billspohn's Avatar
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    Re: Rochdale Olympic

    Hey - I'm no stranger to factories failing to sort out engines prior to production - the MGA Twin Cam is a classic example.

    Yup, the Jensen Healey had a lovely engine and now easily fully sortable.

    Anoter car that would fit into your collection would be the original Lotus Elite - the same sort of chassis construction as the Olympic and just a real beauty to look at.
    Current clutter: 1957 MGA-Jamaican, 1958 MGA Twincam (race car), 1962 MGA Deluxe Coupe, 1971 Jensen Interceptor
    2009 Pontiac Solstice GXP Coupe, 2007 BMW Z4M coupe Recently departed: 1965 Jensen CV-8, 1969 MGC roadster, 1969 Lamborghini Islero S

  15. #35
    Yoda JamesWilson's Avatar
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    Re: Rochdale Olympic

    I'd love an early Elite... true works of art, and with the Coventry Climax engine a fantastic little car. I think it's the prettiest car ever made. But a little expensive since everyone else seems to think so too....

    There's a basket case AC Ace with the Bristol engine sitting in a farmer's shed out in the country near here I've heard about, maybe next summer I'll be able to persuade him to let me take a good look at it and maybe... I could get into some real trouble....


    <span style="font-weight: bold">Healey Journal</span>
    Just 5 years into a 2 year project....
    1967 Austin Healey 3000, 1972 Jensen-Healey, 1962 Rochdale Olympic

  16. #36
    Jedi Knight billspohn's Avatar
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    Re: Rochdale Olympic

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesWilson
    I'd love an early Elite... true works of art, and with the Coventry Climax engine a fantastic little car. I think it's the prettiest car ever made. But a little expensive since everyone else seems to think so too....

    There's a basket case AC Ace with the Bristol engine sitting in a farmer's shed out in the country near here I've heard about, maybe next summer I'll be able to persuade him to let me take a good look at it and maybe... I could get into some real trouble....
    The Ace would be a great project, and one that you could break even or make money on if you do it right, as values on the finished product are high.

    I have raced against them and in the higher states of tune they go like the clappers, although the transverse leaf front end isn't the best system going.

    Here is a pic of me in front of one that has a 100 D2 engine well prodified, at Portland.

    Current clutter: 1957 MGA-Jamaican, 1958 MGA Twincam (race car), 1962 MGA Deluxe Coupe, 1971 Jensen Interceptor
    2009 Pontiac Solstice GXP Coupe, 2007 BMW Z4M coupe Recently departed: 1965 Jensen CV-8, 1969 MGC roadster, 1969 Lamborghini Islero S

  17. #37
    Senior Member duffy's Avatar
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    Re: Rochdale Olympic (help needed?)

    Lost Olympics

    While at a Classic Car Show recently I had a long and interesting conversation with Derek Argyle who is Technical Secretary of the Wildcat Owners Club (replica Jaguar ‘E’ Types), now it seams that in 1963 Derek owned Olympic Phase 11, 589 CCJ, which was destroyed in a RTA in 1983. In the conversation Derek was telling me about Motor Sport magazine and Denis S Jenkinson,s (D.S.J or Jenks : Denis S Jenkinson was for over 40 years the continental correspondent of MOTOR SPORT the reason why myself and many others read Motor Sport and the passenger/navigator with Stirling Moss in the 1955 Mille Miglia) involvement in his Olympic and the Olympic Phase 1, 90FHO, of Dick Cawthorne.
    This made me think about my article on the 2 lost Olympic,s at Blackbushe 1964, because I knew D.S.J. was entered in a Allard Dragon Dragster, so I sent Derek a copy of the 2 photos, below is his informative reply.

    Dear Tony,
    LOST OLYMPICS
    When I got married to Maureen in Nov 1961 we came to live in Camberley, Maureen subsequently took a job with ‘Motor’ magazine as secretary to the editor Joe Lowrey who, within a year or so, retired and handed over to Charles Bulmer who at the time, was the technical editor. Fate plays wonderful games and it so emerged that Charles also lived in Camberley. Charles made us particularly welcome to the friends and acquaintances he had made over many years and these included Peter Garnier, Denis Jenkinson and, in time, all the Motor road test staff including Bowler, Dron, Cardno, Curtis, Bell etc.
    A Mini had suited me fine for two years or so, by which time I hankered for a faster, streamlined yet reasonably economical ear, as near to the true GT concept as possible. I sought pamphlets on every chassis and fibre-glass body and where possible viewed such components only to realise. that one would invariably end up with what is generally known as a ' special.' At all costs, the car 1 built must look virtually if not wholly ' production finished.' Finally a road-test of the original Phase 1 Olympic appeared in a popular weekly and after a little chat with Charles Bulmer I decided that no other car at a similar cost could offer such speed, good looks and economy.
    Unfortunately, I couldn't really afford a new one even in kit form, with mortgages and expensive wives to run, so we searched around the sporty motoring mags, and within a month were fortunate to see three such cars within a 120 miles radius. Now D.S.J. was visiting Snetterton and Debden that following weekend and he readily agreed to look at these Rochdales and take me motor racing at the same time. One of the cars was fitted with a Ford 105E engine and, though well finished, was struck off the list as underpowered. The second was a somewhat tatty, cream- coloured model belonging to a ' flying type ' but one which certainly did motor, with an M.G.A. engine. Car three had been assembled so that it was just about in a roadworthy state and was a Phase 2 with 117 miles on the clock. I immediately fell in love with this and just had to have it. It was being sold because of the death of its doctor owner and so I found myself making an offer, with a £50 loan from Jenks I paid £550 for this effectively new Rochdale.

    [img:left]https://[/img]
    April 1963 collecting 589 CCJ from Luton, with Dick Cawthorne behind in 90 FHO

    [img:left]https://[/img]
    589 CCJ after respray (note spotlights in nose)

    Jenks managed to borrow an Allard Dragon dragster powered by a 1500 pre cross-flow Cortina engine running with a blower and I went to Blackbushe to assist at the Festival. Much of the final preparation of the dragster was made by Colin Glass who can be seen in the picture on the right hand side wearing white overalls. I am kneeling in front of the dragster speaking to him and do not remember this picture being taken at the time. Dick was at the venue and the picture show his red car clearly . His car was powered by a 1500 Morris engine, the early B series, out of an Oxford I believe. ( Olympic Phase 1 ( 90 FHO )

    [img:left][/img]
    589 CCJ-- Blackbushe 1964 (note spotlights in nose)

    [img:left][/img]
    Blackbushe 1964- 589 CCJ Steel Gray on the top left (note spotlights in nose)-
    90 FHO Red on the top right- Derek Argyle kneeling bottom left- Colin Glass
    in white overhalls- plus Allard Dragon No 116 driven by D.S.J. (44years ago)

    Tony, if there is anything else I can help you with, memory obliging, I shall be pleased to write again. Once more thank you for the mail and those pictures of wonderful days gone by.
    Derek Argyle


    Dick Cawthorne : " The first I knew about the Olympic was a newspaper photograph that I spotted in South Australia. I thought it was beautiful and decided there and then that, if at all possible, I would have one when 1 got back to the U.K. The looks did it, but fortunately the specification fitted too - the right amount of accommodation for our two-and-a-half family, cheap spares, etc. All the difficulties of home building seemed to matter little to an inveterate special builder, but I had never before invested £500 in such pastimes and I was some time saving up to take the plunge. Meanwhile Rochdales were busy having a fire which destroyed their moulds and caused them to move to bigger and even filthier premises. Then Charles Bulmer (Motor Sport editor) took me out in the road-test car and the die was cast. Having decided that it had to be a Rochdale, I found that the firm at that stage only produced body shells, and I set about collecting the mechanical bits as cheaply as possible. The engine and gearbox came from Edinburgh in the back of the Renault Dauphine and the back axle from a breaker in Rainham and so on. After months of waiting, D.S.J. and I (that man again) collected the body and new front suspension from Rochdale with John Derisley's trailer behind the faithful Dauphine.


    [img:left][/img]
    L to R Nan Cawthone, Unknown, Colin Glass, young Frankie Cawthorne, Derek Argyle, Mike ? (Jenks help) and the legendly Denis S Jenkinson
    This is a never before seen photo of Jenks copyright Derek Argyle

    I feel envious of Derek Argyle, Dick Cawthorne and their two Olympic,s and there unassuming relationship with ‘Jenks’ I suppose with hindsight 589 CCJ could have been rebuilt instead of been cut up and 90 FHO is still around in Devon.

    And a quote I found on the internet to end this article on
    <span style="color: #FF0000">The 1955 Mille Miglia was won by Denis Jenkinson in a chauffeur driven Mercedes-Benz 300SLR</span>

    Old age and Treachery will overcome Youth and Skill
    1963 Rochdale Olympic PhaseIII - DUFFY
    www.rochdale-owners-club.co.uk

  18. #38
    Great Pumpkin JPSmit's Avatar
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    Re: Rochdale Olympic (help needed?)

    cool follow up - don't know if you saw this in the pictures postings, so, I'll repost here-

    Tony, was at Chapters (Like Barnes &amp; Noble) last night and reading

    Classic &amp; Sports Car (April 2009)
    Pg 20 has a picture of an Olympic

    YCD 298K belonged to a guy named Harry Wallace in Sussex, now being restored by a Jeremy Cottrell

    then.

    Practical Classics (April 2009)
    pg 21 in an article called
    Barn Find Hunter's Guide

    there's a picture of a Rochdale shell

    Both on your side of the pond but hey!

    Cheers
    John-Peter Smit
    1976 MG Midget
    1969 Vauxhall Viva GT
    1958 Fiat Multipla (Barn art)

  19. #39
    Senior Member duffy's Avatar
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    Re: Rochdale Olympic (help needed?)

    Hi John-Peter,

    Sorry about the delay in my reply.
    Glad to see you get some of our Classic Car magazines over there, we get about 20 different ones a month, which makes it expensive to buy them all, so I have to read them in W.H.Smiths or the local Supermarkets and buy the ones with some think of interest in.
    The condition of YCD 289K is a bit rough for a car not used much and then stored?
    Must have been outside.
    I do send the magazines articles on Rochdales to see if we can get any feed back from readers, some times we do.

    Getting a lot of photos on here now https://www.flickr.com/search/?q=roc...mpic&amp;s=rec

    Kind regards
    Tony and “DUFFY”

    Ps I was surprised I did not get any feed back from my last post with reference to Denis Jenkinson, I would have thought he would have been the Hero of the racing boys on this forum if they read Motorsport in the 60s and 70s, specially “Doc"

    pps I bet there are not many Threads on this Forum that have had 3300 views?
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Old age and Treachery will overcome Youth and Skill
    1963 Rochdale Olympic PhaseIII - DUFFY
    www.rochdale-owners-club.co.uk

  20. #40
    Luke Skywalker Roger's Avatar
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    Re: Rochdale Olympic (help needed?)

    Duffy,
    I've only just read your long post, and with great interest too!
    I well remember Dick and Nan Cawthorne, and I knew Jenks from when I was a very small boy and he was doing night trials with Holly Birkett. Charles Bulmer, too, originally because of the Austin Seven connection, and other names. Seems possible our paths may well have crossed at some time or other.
    My reason for posting is to suggest that the chap standing next to Jenks in the group around the dragster looks a lot like Roger Paxton. Could it be? He was certainly acquainted with others in that group.
    Roger
    Ancient Briton
    '67 Lotus Elan S3
    '72 Lotus Europa TC
    '05 Lotus Elise

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