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1938 Standard Flying V-Eight

Len Barr went to Christchurch, New Zealand just to visit a Standard V-Eight!  Here is the story and photos he came back with:

During my recent sojourn in New Zealand, I took the opportunity to visit the Southwards Motor Museum to view their recently restored 1938 Flying 20 V-Eight saloon.

This particular car carries the UK registration number FGP 227 and I understand that the car was purchased in the UK and exported to New Zealand in the 1970’s.

As can be seen from the photographs, a very nice job has been made of the restoration, whilst retaining much of the original trim. The information notice attached to the car, gives limited information. It claims that 350 Standard V8’s were built, which I agree with. It also claims that there are nine survivors worldwide.

This figure I find hard to reconcile. I only know of three V8 Saloons, plus the two surviving Raymond Mays Specials with the V8 engine.

The known V-Eight saloons are:

CAA 917 – currently in the USA with Earl Potter (exported from the UK in the 1970’s)

FGP 227 – Southward Car Museum, New Zealand (exported from the UK in the 1970’s)

DT 8551 – currently with Digby Lovell in Yorkshire

I have since been told that there was one that was located in Christchurch, New Zealand and has since been sold to a buyer in Australia. So this only makes four surviving cars and the two Raymond Mays Specials with the V8 engine.

Do any readers know of any more Standard V8 saloons or where the Southward Car Museum got their figure of nine survivors from?

Leonard Barr

17th July 2012

Here are two more photos of the car,


FGP 227, the museum car's restoration is documented here. The author of that piece believes the car was exported to NZ in 1955 then subsequently sold to the museum in the 1970's

CAA 917 is still in the USA but is now with a new owner, that car is featured here.

I feel sure that there is at least one more V-Eight in NZ. It would be good if any sightings could be sent in to so that they can be published here.

Phil Homer

March 2012

I have just received some extra history on this car from Richard Salter.

I was idly googling a few car registrations from my youth when, incredibly, FGP 227 came up trumps. As you are no doubt aware, it is a rare 1938 Flying V- Eight, now resident in the Southward Museum in New Zealand, and was evidently a feature on your site in 2012. You may be interested in more of its background.

It was certainly in the UK in the 60s. I was a pupil at Devonport High School for Boys in Plymouth from 1964-71. The car was owned during that period by Mr George, the elderly Art master, and it was his everyday car. It was quite an attraction even then.

I don't know when he bought it, but he swapped it for a Rover P4 in 1970? because it was becoming too troublesome. I even got a lift in it once when he spotted me looking forlorn at a bus stop.

It looked exactly as it does in the museum - battleship grey (certainly not maroon) and with the rear number plate formed in blocks.

I'm intrigued that it ended up in New Zealand, but I'm glad it has survived, and delighted to rediscover it by the wonder of internet.

Keep up the good work.

Best wishes

Richard Salter


It is always good to learn more of the history of our cars. Richard (Webmaster) March 2014