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1950's Rowell Bob Tail Gerry Buck's V car M&E ERA #1557 Red Arrow II design
E&M Maserati M&E Special #1138    


Amazing what you find in a loft!

This car, with a Rowell MkII motor was discovered in a loft. It was part of a huge collection of model related items that had been amassed by a keen collector. Everything was ‘squirreled’ away in his loft without the knowledge of his family. His reasons are not known, and it was some considerable time after his death that his son entered the loft to find all these treasures. This was the only car related item and was eventually offered for sale at Gildings. It is typical of a mid 50s, bob tail car, with Grenwyn ‘flinging’ rear tyres. The Motor has been attacked in the ‘normal fashion’ by having the exhaust stack sawn open, the fins shaved and the ignition assembly removed.  Nov 07


Gerry Buck’s V car resurfaces.

The picture heading the Gerry Buck article shows him holding the pan of a Mathews V car. Apart from a statement that he had one but would not be using it, nothing more was known, until Bill Langley brought the story up to date. In 1945 the Chicago Club were so taken with Gerry’s enthusiasm that they sent him the V car, wheels, tyres and sparking plugs as a gift.

At some stage the car was built using a very extensively modified McCoy 60 motor, but there is no record of it having been raced. In the 80s when the collection was being split up, Bill obtained the car, so locating at least one of Gerry’s cars that are not yet accounted for.

Thanks to Bill and Pat Langley for the picture and details Oct 07


A Rare Coincidence.

Just like number 11 buses, you don't see a M&E ERA for ages and then two come along at once. Even more of a coincidence is the chassis number of 1557, just two less than the white example featured in 'Pitbox' in Nov 06. This pristine model, complete with a 5cc 'K Vulture' was sold on eBay in July and is the first of the ERA bodied versions to come on to the open market. Its condition and rarity ensured that it would be a good marker for current value.

With the final bid of £2000 coming from the other side of the Atlantic, it just failed to top the £2200 (hammer price) paid for a 'Special' at Christies in 2004. Never the less, this and other recent  auction items show a distinct hardening and upward trend in prices which is probably tempting a few more gems to be rescued from lofts and sheds and offered for sale. What chance now a 'Challenger' or 'GP Austin' bodied version of the M&E being discovered and put on the market?

Thanks to Mark Powell for pictures and details.
July 07


Non identical twins?

These two cars have recently turned up thousands of miles apart, but seem to have started their lives much closer together. Both the cars are built to the Jack Gascoigne ‘Red Arrow II’ design that was unusual in having a chassis of welded steel construction. Gascoigne was obviously very competent as a sheet metal worker as most of his cars were constructed this way. The similarity does not end there, as both cars have engine mounts made and drilled specifically for the 10cc Westbury ‘Ensign’ motor. The mount for the 'Ensign' is so unusual that the chassis must have been made with this engine solely in mind. This would date the cars to 1948 or later. Where the two do differ is in the area of the gearbox. The car now residing in California has an integral steel framed box as per the original plan, while the car from Staffordshire has a separate E&M gearbox located only by the axle bearings and the ball joint, almost certainly a later alteration. The American car still has its original body but no wheels, while the English car has its original E&M wheels and tyres but no body. The similarities in construction and power unit of the two cars would indicate that they probably originated from the same builder, but who?

For details of Red Arrow see Model Car News August 48

Thanks to John Goodall and Ron Reiter for photos                                       April 07


The 'Antiques Roadshow Maserati'

This pristine example of the E&M Maserati turned up on a recent edition of the BBC show from Norwich. It originally belonged to the grandfather of the person that brought it in. Some might question the valuation but the car has a Mechanair fitted, still with the inverted tank the wrong way up, and no electrics at all. Being unfinished the tyres have never turned in anger so are in first class condition as is the rest of the car. A Stentor in the rear, a tank and battery box, coil and condenser plus some period wiring, a bit of work and there is a desirable car. But how much is it worth, and would you agree with the valuation given? Watch this space!

Thanks to James Rowley Hill for photos and details.                                   Feb 07


A special M&E Special.

Yet another example of this car has turned up after being salvaged from a garage 'mucking out' session. It is probably the best preserved M&E car yet to be discovered, and to add to that all the original packing and stock labels, as well as the drawings and operating instructions were still with the car. It is the 7th 'Special' to come on to the market in a relatively short space of time and the 16th of the various body styles.

The labels show that it is serial number 1138 and was checked and packed on 23rd January 1948 and from the signature it would seem that this was done by Mr E.A. Thornton, one of the co-owners of M&E.

The general condition of the car is excellent, apart from the slight scuff on the 'cabin' and the electrics which are due to be replaced with period components and wiring. The engine is the normal 6cc Stentor MK1.

Thanks to Gary Maslin for photos and scans.

Feb 07