A selection of cars built by Retro Club members and contributors to the website
Since the interest in retro tethered cars gathered pace in the 80s, several hundred cars of all types have been constructed, many from original parts gleaned from swapmeets, bartering and via ebay. In the 90s, reproduction castings and parts made building somewhat easier although several modellers were happier starting from a drawing and making almost everything themselves. Of late, John Goodall has been making body sets for ZN and Oliver cars that make a perfect start for a replica.
|Oliver Alfa Romeo from Steve Betney||Modern version of a 1066 MRC for track days|
Reproduction Oliver castings were first marketed by Ivan Prior in the 1990s, then by The Retro Club for many years before the patterns were sold on, ending up with Paul Ironmonger who had intended to supply castings and finished cars. We are still hoping to have more details of this venture.
|Ken Procter 'Beretta Rosso' from Dave Cunliffe||Meteor, Australian copy of a Dooling F|
Many of the castings currently available are second or third generation, taken not from original patterns but from existing castings 'wobbled about' in sand. This can lead to body shells and pans that are significantly smaller than the originals and problems in mounting motors.
|Almost a Rowell Rapier by the late Gordon Farnsworth||Very rare ZN 2.5 car from John Goodall|
The Rowell Rapier has been the subject of several reproductions as it doe not require any castings, the chassis being constructed from aluminium plate. The version above pays lip service to the original, even to the use of a Russian MAC motor. The example below is to the original plan with the correct body parts, kindly moulded by George Blair.
|Rowell Rapier with Rowell motor||Masco Kitten £4.50 from ebay|
The cost of the Masco Kitten is slightly misleading in that it comprised the wooden chassis, four wheels and tyres. All the rest was the work of a Retro Club member. The Mills 1.3 motor was the only other expenditure.
|Magnificent Russell SS100 by Gary Maslin||Ian Moore Shadow produced by Ivan Prior|
The SS100 model is one of the earliest and largest tether car design published. The replica is over 2ft long and was carefully built by Gary Maslin to the plan and photos of the original. Gary was lucky enough to get all his reference material directly from D A Russell's granddaughter. The wheels alone are a work of art being spoked with 1mm dental wire. The lack of mudguards is obvious but intentional as they were never fitted to Russell's car.
|McCoy teardrop replica with large case McCoy 60||Wreford 'Half Pint' hand built by John Goodall|
Whilst some original parts, such as 1066 and E&M have been plentiful in the past, very little has appeared from ZN, apart from wheels and tyres. Builders have been very lucky as John Goodall has painstakingly formed, by hand, both 5cc and 2.5cc body sets to produce very accurate replicas of these rare cars.
|ZN 5cc from Steve Betney||Jim Cruickshank Magic Midget, 2nd version|
Sometimes though, and certainly in the early days, there were no parts commercially available so anyone intent on building a car had to work from raw materials, and some still chose to go this route if building replicas of early or one off cars such as the Procter 'Beretta Rosso' or the Cruickshank 'Magic Midget'.
Thanks to all those who have sent photos of their projects, more selections will follow along the lines of 'readers cars' that used to be a regular feature of the Retro Club magazine.