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An M&E Jigsaw.

The tethered cars from M&E Models of Exmouth are possibly the most common of the commercial cars that appear for sale, but this example is somewhat rarer being only the 3rd ERA bodied version recorded so far. The chassis is the standard model intended for a centre mounted engine, almost certainly a small diesel, and with a serial number of 1559 must be one of the last to be produced. The ERA body was to special order, and like all those from M&E, hand carved pine. It is not unusual for the wood to split, but this is a truly original 3D jigsaw. Luckily all the pieces are present and restoration would not be too difficult. It has yet to be decided what is going to happen with this rare example of a ‘common’ car.

Thanks to Simon Oldroyd for pictures and details. Nov 06


You have got to know where to look!

This super example of the M&E Models Special has recently found a very happy new owner. Almost everything about the car is original except the fuel tank and it shows little sign of any abuse. If that was not good enough it came complete with carrying (pit) box and accessories to run it. The car is an early example being number 54, which places it well in the first year of production towards the end of 1947. The 6cc Stentor was the standard engine used for that chassis configuration, which makes the car as good an example as you are likely to find. No wonder the owner is pleased. However, that is not the end of the story as these cars do turn up, and 5 have changed hands recently with a top price of £2200 being recorded at Christies.

The reason the owner is such a happy chap is that the chassis number and cost were almost the same. Yes, this is the sort of bargain that someone else always finds, but it was by virtue of exploring obscure categories on eBay that it was discovered. Yes, eBay, it was there for all to see and bid on, but only ‘if you knew where to look’.

Thanks to Mark Russell for the superb pictures. Aug 06


A piece of panel beating art.

This car was recently discovered in Scotland. Reputedly made by a watchmaker, it is a masterpiece of panel beating. The two halves of the body have been hand beaten from single sheets of aluminium to create this lovely, almost scale, racing car. Originally intended for a British 10cc racing engine, it was found with a Mowhawk Chief fitted. The workmanship is superb, but for some reason the car was never completed, which accounts for the superb condition of all the ZN running gear, wheels and tyres.

Update May 2012: Built by Mr R.G. Cameron, a watchmaker and Jeweller of gatehouse-In-Fleet, Kirkcudbrightshire.
May 06


There are still bargains to be had.

This car was found at a car boot sale recently. It is the original semi-scale Austin built by Captain Stubbs and featured in the Model Car Manual. It is the subject of a whole chapter on ‘building a high speed competition car’. Much of the design was by Ian Moore of the Derby Club and Drysdale Press published full sized plans for the car under the name 'Formula'. Warren and Clarke of Derby supplied castings for the chassis pan and a number of replicas have been constructed over the years.

The car is in amazingly original condition, even to Stubbs' rampant lion ‘scuderia’ emblem on the bonnet. It was, as the heading suggests, a bargain for the finder as it sold for no less than £2050 on eBay on 10th March 06.

Pictures courtesy of Matthew Harwood Mar 06.


The car illustrated caused a great deal of interest when a member of the public brought it into the Gildings saleroom on the viewing day for the ‘Gerald Smith’ engine Sale.

The car is based on an Electra ‘Buck 2A’ chassis kit with extensive hand made bodywork added. A 6cc Stentor drives through what looks like an E&M clutch to a conventional rear axle unit. All wheels and tyres are original ZN, which with the other components would date the car to about 1947 to 48. Fuel tank and ignition coil lurk behind the ‘radiator grill’. Interestingly, there is no provision for cooling the engine.

The car is well made but there are no clues as to its origins, other than a badge from the North London Society of Model Engineers. The car was discovered in an antique shop and is to be offered for sale at some stage by the current owner.

Thanks to David Moore for this item Feb 06