Photo of the month
A 'Unique' line up of car from M&E Models
M&E Model of Exmouth added two tethered cars to their extensive range of models in 1947. The Wasp for C Class racing and a chassis kit for a larger car. What M&E did that was unique was utilise the skills of their 'in house' craftsmen, more usually employed in carving boat hulls, to hand carve a range of bodies for the standard chassis. These bodies were exquisitely made and often carry a mark to identify who carved it, either as a number stamp or initials. Two standard models were listed, the 'Special' for a rear mounted engine that bore little resemblance to any know prototype and the 'Challenger', a generic, front engined car with dummy exhaust stacks.
M&E went beyond this though in offering extremely detailed and scale bodies of the ERA and GP Austin as 'special orders' at premium prices. These bodies are masterpieces of craftsmanship with exhaust pipes, a multitude of louvers, mirrors, fillers, scale name badges and more. The insides of the bodies received very little attention with chisel and gouge marks very evident. The M&E catalogue lists even more scale alternatives, including a version of the 'Goldie' Gardner MG Record breaker, but none of these have ever been seen.
Around 700 chassis kits were sold as uniquely, M&E stamped each one with a serial number, on a plate for the early numbers and stamped into the rear chassis member for the later ones. Of the bodies, just three Austins have been found, one in derelict condition, while the 'Special' is by far the most numerous. The 'Challenger' in original condition is rare with the ERA being the most common of the scale bodies.