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Major British Manufacturers of Tethered car equipment.

TEN-SIXTY-SIX PRODUCTS LTD.   1066 operated from Worcester from 1946 until early 1950 and was one of the most prolific manufacturers and suppliers of tethered car equipment. Their range included three 5cc engines, Falcon, Arrow and Hawk, the Conqueror, a 10cc engine, two different cars, the 5cc MRC and 10cc Conquest, and a tethered hydroplane. Parts could be bought individually, as kits for machining and assembly or as complete factory built items.   For an overview of the Company and products click here.
 

M&E MODELS LTD. M&E Models were an established model manufacturers and retailers based in Exmouth Devon producing a large range of model boats, yachts and model railway items. In 1947 they introduced a  tethered racing car chassis with a variety of options for engine types and mountings. Parts were available individually or as sets and impressive scale and semi scale bodies completed the models. In 1948 the smaller and simpler Wasp was added to meet the demands of class C racing.  M&E Models ceased manufacturing tether cars around the end of 1949.  For an overview of the Company and products click here.
 

J.A. OLIVER (engineering). John Oliver senior ran a cycle car and motorcycle repair business in Nottingham. During the war he used his workshop facilities for precision work on Government contracts. With the war over and little work for his original business he turned to the manufacture of small capacity model diesel engines. The original Battleaxe and Jaguar engines were made as twinshafts for car use along with a folded aluminium chassis sold as the Two-Five. In 1949 the engine that was to bring fame to the Oliver name was designed. This was the first of the 2.5cc RV Tiger engines. In twinshaft form it became the standard unit for virtually all C class cars. In the early 50s Oliver, started to produce a range of cast aluminium pans from the scale Alfa Romeo and semi scale Tiger Two-Five to the purely functional Tiger Bomb and Bottoms Up. Oliver probably produced more tethered cars and engines than any other manufacturer. So successful and powerful was the Tiger that it found fame the world over as an aero engine for team racing, combat and free flight.
An extraordinarily detailed history of the Oliver concern is available from John Goodall at
Barton Model Products

For an overview of the Company and products click here

ROWELL MOTORS Ltd. Rowell’s were one of the few British companies involved that produced cars and engines specifically for competition. Based In Dundee, Scotland, Rowell Motors introduced the first of the serious 10cc racing engines in this country in 1948. The following year they were offering high performance tyres and wheels and then introduced a complete car, the Rapier. By 1950 they were offering an updated  version of the motor along with a new car, the Sabre.  The Rowell engine was the most powerful British production engine and held several records. Problems with labour, material supply and the changing market were to be the downfall of this company.
For an overview of the Company and products click here.
 

J.S. WREFORD LTD. At the other end of the market, Wrefords of 25 North Street, Romford, produced two cars delightfully name the Pint and Half Pint. These cars were aimed at the home constructor and were based on a pressed aluminium chassis. A fixed rear axle and a simple gearbox completed the running gear with a basic but semi scale aluminium body to top it all off. The Half Pint was typically fitted with an ED BEE, Mills, Allbon or similar with the Pint taking up to 5cc engines. By the time the Pint was introduced rail racing was becoming more popular and the car could be bought with gearbox, steering axles, and rail guides to suit this use.
John Goodall replica
 

Z.N. MOTORS LTD. From Willsden in London, E.P. (Paul) Zere ran ZN Motors which produced equipment of the highest quality available for tethered cars. The wheels are works of engineering art and were complex and expensive to make and the subject of world-wide patents. Available in various sizes and styles to suit all types of car the wheels and tyres were safe to the highest speeds attainable. Complete 5cc pressed aluminium rolling chassis for spur driven motors were available and were highly competitive, with Tom Prest's recording the first ever 100mph run in this country. There was also a 2.5cc version available to compete against the Oliver products. ZN supplied cast pans for bevel drive 5 and 10cc engines and these again were very successful being used by competitors through the 50s until tethered car racing faded out. The company offered hand beaten scale bodies in two sizes as well as gearboxes, coils and a huge range of accessories for those building their own cars. ZN were also developing their own series of racing engines in the late 40s, when  the change in law regarding the imposition of purchase tax made the venture uneconomical and it was abandoned. All the surplus tethered car related items were auctioned or sold off, but examples of their cars remain rare. John Goodall replica
 

ELECTRA ENGINES. Electra Engines was in business for 4 years from 1946. During that time S.A. Smith produced an amazing array of parts for differing models, manufactured engines from a variety of designers, and offered a repair, building and tuning service as well. The Electra range included chassis kits for the Buck 2A as well as a pressed aluminium chassis for an E type ERA. The company had plans to produce a 2,5cc version of the ERA with a cast pan as well as a ‘mite’ sized car based on the 750cc Austin racer. Parts needed to complete these cars, such as wheels, tyres and gearboxes were all produced in the Chatham workshop. Sold under the Pioneer name, Electra also produced 5cc and 10cc engines specifically for car use. The company was also in the process of manufacturing a 2.5cc twinshaft when it ceased trading.
 

EXPERIMENTAL & MODEL CO. Based in Coventry, E&M only produced one car, which was offered as a complete car but it was one of the most impressive models available at the time. Called the Maserati, the chassis comprised two complex aluminium castings at front and rear held together by folded aluminium channels. The rear casting held the engine, usually a 6cc Stentor, and a complicated steering system. The drive was taken to an axle unit at the front of the car, possibly the longest drive shaft of any commercial car. The chassis was topped off with a pressed aluminium body and fairing. Sadly for the company it was a car without a realistic market and they soon reverted to their core business, although they continued to supply components until the decline of tethered car activity in the mid 50s. Numerous examples of these cars have surfaced recently as well as a number of gearbox parts.
For a more detailed look at the Maserati click here
 

MODEL ACCESSORY SUPPLY COMPANY. The longest title for the smallest and cheapest car produced. MASCO Products was closely tied up with Drysdale Publications and the Kitten was a simple kit design produced by G. Deason and supplied by MASCO. The purpose of the car was to allow ‘kitchen table construction’ without the need for any special tools and equipment. The car had a friction drive instead of gears and with its intended 1.3cc Mills engine was good for about 25mph. For just over £7 you could have your own working tether car.
 

REPLICA MODELS Based at 159, Sloane Street in the heart of London, this was just one of Guy Rickard's modelling ventures. Another was the famous Veron concern that took its name from his wife, Veronica. Guy was one of the 'Pioneers' and raced regularly, which he used in his advertising, pointing out that there was 'no mass production'. Replica supplied  their own axles, clutches, wheels and tyres as well as those from other manufacturers plus motors and other items required to build cars and go racing. Parts and kits were also supplied for the 'Alton Special', designed by Phil Smith along with two versions of a Bugatti, a scale model similar to one built for Veronica and a simpler 'Special'. The Rickards had their own track at their home in Beech, Hampshire.
For an overview of the Company and products click here

There were many other manufactures that produced cars, engines and accessories, but those mentioned are the most common that can still be found today.

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