1938/1947 DELLOW PROTOTYPE
Historics at Brooklands | 26-Nov-2016 | Historics at Brooklands November Sale | Venue : Brooklands Museum
Category : Classic Cars
Lot No. : 117
Year : 1938/1947
Engine Size : See Description
Transmission : manual
RHD
Registration No. : CAB 282
Chassis No. : 283803
Engine No. : B123822C
No longer available - Sold or withdrawn from sale
 

 

Dellow Motors Ltd in Alvechurch near Birmingham was launched by
Ken Delingpole and Ron Lowe specifically to produce these charming
rugged road-going sports cars for the enthusiast to use on trials,
rallies and hillclimbs with many sporting awards won in the late
1940s and early 1950s. Dellows even took overall honours in the MCC
organised Daily Express National Rally and the Circuit of Ireland
Rally against mighty opposition - and they are still used
competitively today! 

Notable works drivers included Tony Marsh from Kinver (who went
on to become RAC Hill Climb Champion on no less than six occasions)
and Peter Collins from Kidderminster (who later drove for HWM, BRM,
Vanwall and finally for Ferrari.) Following WW2, post-war trialling
resumed and this car was specially built for Lewis Tracey, an
active member of SUNBAC, Hagley and District Light Car Club, the
Steering Wheel Club London and the British Trials Driver
Association with this very badge still with the car 70 years
later. 

Dellows are constructed from a tough steel bodyframe clad in
aluminium. CAB 282 was amongst the very first of the trials cars to
combine the legendary Austin 7 'A' frame with sturdier Ford running
gear and this suddenly changed the entire thinking that a big V8
engine was needed to compete successfully in trials.

With the engine set well back in the chassis and with the
seating almost over the rear axle, this combined with a large fuel
tank and twin spares, a 60/40 weight distribution was achieved
putting maximum traction at the rear axle.

This car is believed to be the third prototype built by Dellow
Motors and was constructed in 1947 using a 1938 Austin 7 van
chassis as these were slightly longer with stronger rear springs
fitted for greater clearance. She enjoyed a very active and
successful competition life including circuit racing, hill climbs
and trials becoming a multi award winning car along the way. The
earlier prototype panel work was eventually remodelled by
coachbuilder Lionel Evans of Radpanels (who built all the bodywork
for Dellow motors) circa 1949. One young Colin Chapman in
particular noted the efficacy of this Austin 7/Ford performance
combination ultimately leading, it is thought, to the development
of the Lotus 7. 

Eventually CAB 282 was sold and remained in the Birmingham area
until the swinging 60s when it was bought by a London gentleman in
Chelsea. The vendor bought her in 1977 in a dry stored but derelict
state but with all the key fittings intact. At that time, no
history was known and the relatively new Dellow Register had no
records either. However, thanks to a remarkable string of
coincidences, suspicions of a hard competition history proved right
as a remarkable archive of original period photographs gradually
emerged showing the true significance of this little car.
Remarkably, even film footage exists showing her on the 1948
Gloucester Trial with Radio star Kenneth Horne waving the cars
off!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YLmb08T0z4

Since 1977, she has received a bare-frame restoration followed
by a sympathetic reinstatement of all the original body panels, bar
the bonnet top and inner engine bay sides which needed replacement.
She currently runs with a Ford 100E, 1172cc side-valve engine and
period twin Solex carburettors on an Aquaplane inlet manifold with
a four-branch exhaust manifold and a three-speed gearbox. Whilst a
hood has never been fitted during ownership, there is an original
rudimentary frame plus a recent good quality mohair tonneau cover.
The original unrestored Marchal headlamps will also be included in
the sale. The photographic history features many original 10x8
black and white photographs from 1947 to the 1960s and, together
with much correspondence confirming its provenance, is probably the
most well-documented Dellow known. 

It was first featured in Sporting Cars in the 1980's (which
first led to its fascinating history being unearthed) and more
recently by Michael Ware in the respected periodical, The
Automobile. Still carrying its original registration, this charming
and well-campaigned trials car is fully road legal, starts on the
button and would be enormously well-received at any historic
event.
For sale by auction on Saturday 26 November 2016 with Historics at Brooklands, Brooklands Motor Racing Circuit, Weybridge, Surrey, Call 01753 639170