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1928 Gordon-England  Feature

Restoration Feature on a 1928 Gordon-England bodied Standard 9Hp

The finished article looks fantastic........

We have touched on the rebuild of David Groom's Gordon-England bodied, worm-driven Nine Hp before, but as the restoration is now on the road, it is time to show you more: 

The cars first outing, the day after its MoT was to the Register Rally at Hay on Wye in August 2005. It certainly attracted a crowd wherever it went. David has finished the car in light grey fabric with a dark blue hood and interior. The painted surfaces are the top deck panel which is finished in aluminium coloured paint and the wings and wheels which are very dark blue.

I know little about Gordon-England, except what David has told me, as follows:

E.C. Gordon-England was an Aeronautical Engineer in World War One, who turned his skills to car bodybuilding in the 1920's. As you would imagine, body construction followed aircraft building practice at the time. A light ash frame was panelled in very thin ply, inside and out. That was then covered in wadding and thin fabric tacked over that. The top of the body was panelled in light aluminium. The body was isolated from the floor and attached to the floor panel at only three points, this allowing them to move relative to each other, the object being the avoidance of  creaks and groans. The resulting bodywork was light and promised enhanced performance from whatever chassis was underpinning it.

I have read elsewhere that many thousands  cars were built on Austin 7 Chassis through the late 1920's and David thinks about 50 cars on the Standard  chassis. David's body, the little that remained of it, was numbered 50. Such was Gordon-England's faith in his products that he entered an Austin Seven derivate in the Le Mans 24 hour race of 1925!   Probably the speed of things going past him explains why it covered only 9 laps before he realised the error of his ways.   With Henry Seagrave bearing down on him in the Sunbeam,  chased by a host of cars capable of 120mph plus, it must have been positively suicidal!

However, flush with funds from his Austin enterprise, Gordon-England then bought out the Holbrook bodybuilding company in the USA, only to see it go bust in the 1929 stock crash.  If anyone knows more of the history of the Gordon-England company or its cars, please send me an email and I will include this info on the site.

First, here are some during the restoration:

The starting point for the rebuild was pretty unpromising, with very little bodywork and no front wings

The body below the waist in now covered in fabric, with hood sticks and windscreen frame in place

The light plywood panels are evident in this shot

Side view with new wings attached

Rear view with rear wings fitted and spare wheel adjacent

Original factory photograph was all that David had to work from

Now, here are more of the car today:

Pretty boat-tailed design

Instruments, like all mechanicals are pure Standard "9"

The 9Hp power-plant. The car was catalogued, optionally, with a supercharger!

Attractive rear view

David really ought to have specified the optional boot-stay!

And finally, here are David and the Gordon-England captured at speed:

You are reminded that all photographs on this page and on this site are copyrighted, please contact the webmaster if you wish to use them. Be aware that they are highly compressed but print quality copies can be made available.

I am aware that there are other cars and information that could be added to this site to make it more comprehensive, so if you have material and photographs, please let me know.  Please send me, Phil Homer, a message at: Phil Homer