Saturday, 18 August 2018

Turners, Talismans, Rochdales, Fibreglass Sporting Car FUN!

Last week I was very fortunate to have been given custody of a particularly rebellious orange Rochdale for the day!

Richard, the owner of the Rochdale Olympic, in his "HOT"cammy Tornado Talisman, Alan the Fairthorpe owner and myself had a great fun, 100 mile drive to the Cotswold Wildlife Park near Burford... appropriate place to meet more fibreglass animals!

Despite the wet... perhaps not a bad thing at all for slower speed "sporting".... the hundred miles whisked away as fast as the rain drops dashed from the screen of this incredible, streamlined little Olympic. Not a care at the super light doors devoid of such heavy things as windows, we sliced through the Dorset air along Roman roads without the slightest buffet or wind noise. Although I did make a mental note not to park the wipers to the right as that did make an excellent water deflector.... into my lap.

It was not without some trepidation to take someone else's car 200 miles and in the rain that we had needed for so long with the consequential extra slipperiness after such a dry period.
I needn't have worried.. Richard seemed to have confidence in me as he sped ahead in his superb sounding Talisman, the sound and performance belying the 1500cc engine.
Actually, that became quite a theme for the day... The engines: Tho' they be little they be fierce!
 Almost all of the cars illustrate that, small budget, home development, smooth flowing "plastic" curves
 equal: a great fun factor!

The Olympic was wonderful, quick, agile and nimble. The clutch and gearbox work in harmony the motor spirited and willing despite Richard's remark of being a little tired. Visibility is excellent with that wrap around streamlined windscreen and yes a very clear side view helped with the absence of door windows.

With virtually no wind noise and buffet, the cockpit revels in the ambiance of an untrimmed, unmuted little sportscar, nothing unpleasant at all, I could have added another two hundred miles to the day without too many breaks. Just a quick moment for a coffee and enjoy the aerodynamic statement of the Rochdale sitting, waiting...and then back into the reclined bucket seat and the connection of me and the car as I wrench down on the four point harness.

All too soon the 100 miles was up and we arrived in time as Richard, ever full of energy, organised the parking and layout, importantly thinking of the photographs to be had, he made sure there was order but no supermarket parking, we need to see the full lines of these Ducklings who have become Swans of the Rocket age!

As you can see we had a great representation of the wonderful interpretation and freehand creation that the then new fibreglass product opened to people with vision and aspiration.
Even the nearby Camels gave a grunt of approval before turning with a spit toward the modern car herd on the other side of the field!

We finished the day with a great introduction to the Turner car and the most organised and knowledgeable group that support these exceptionally successful little cars (with competition history far beyond the company size).

Finally on to Fiennes Restoration Ltd for a small tour of their historic Rolls Royce and Bentley workshops. Thank you to Fiennes Restoration for this kind opportunity.

The return Journey was every bit as much fun as before.

 Wet or dry the Rochdale made me smile and become a very audible third party commentator: as he.. "threads through the essess and sweeps up the hill, he's got the handle of her now alright... look at him go..."

Thank you Richard and Alan.

2 stroke Berkeley


Falcon, supercharged

Buckler, in family since '61

Gilbern Gt's



Martin Body

Richard ..Respect!