BCW History — 3

One of BCW’s problems was that, although the Gantrys ran a body shop, they hardly ever did any actual body work, preferring to tinker (sometimes disastrously) with the engines their mechanic, Mike Cosworth built.

Scant records indicate that the boys laid up some fiberglas fenders and bonnets, mocked up some doors and hammered out some aluminum skinned prototypes, but nothing much ever came of these efforts, and the boys soon lost interest in them, preferring the thrill of driving the souped-up engines in basically stock bodies.

The one full body job they were known to have completed, reputedly a Jaguar-engined special in 1950 or ’51, looked like an oversized TD crossed with Jag SS 100, though without the refinements of a passenger car. This Goodwood unofficial record holder (legend has it that the supercharged beast exceeded 170 mph, though the mark was challenged by a member of Harry Lester’s squad(1) and records have been lost) apparently came up for sale in 2009 (alas, sans blower), as part of the collection of the late Ted Leonard. Oddly, given Leonard’s interest in celebrity-owned and similar pedigreed cars, the vehicle was identified merely as an early ‘50s “special,” its provenance unknown, but is most likely the lost BCW record car. It is unknown who purchased it or its whereabouts today. Someone bought it, brought it to France, changed the steering wheel and sold it about Dec. 5 has been trying to sell it again for about a year now.

(1). The original link I had here profiling a sleek, aluminum skinned BRG special with a “Lester MG” badge prominent on its prow has disappeared. See footnote 1 in the new link for the probable reason why. Just more evidence–if any were needed–that, when one is dealing with fine old race cars, provenance is everything.

From the sweep of the fenders to the cowl-mounted windscreen wipers to the Brooklands steering wheel and the arrangement of the gauges, all signs point to this being the Gantry-built British Coach Works vehicle that nearly set a land speed record at Goodwood in 1951


About stuntmidget

I'm a poor mechanic and general wisenheimer. I love old cars and the stories behind them, true or not.
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One Response to BCW History — 3

  1. Pingback: Notes, 1-9 | bridgetmgtd

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