WSM - News 2013

 

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News archives 2004/05/06/07/08/09/10/11/12/13 . .
Bentley to Sprite Pictorial file on almost everything bar WSM's that DW-S drove . .
Douglas Wilson-Spratt In Memorium . .

 

17/12/2013 Festive Calendar . .

'Equipe' GTS race series with AMOC published an itinerary for 2014, and a good one it looks to be - Brands Hatch GP circuit is an end of June definite and the season kicks off with Silverstone on April 5th.

06/12/2013 Slow Post From USA . .

Courtesy of Sports Car Club of America archivist Gary Horstkorta, we received WSM stationery from 1963 when Dr George Snively and Dr Clinton Chichester set up WSM America, Ltd. WSM's 203 and 204 were exported to San Francisco in May 1963, which prompted the fledgling business, and representation was advertised in New York, Montivideo and Santiago.

18/11/2013 Classic Car Show . .

The Classic Motor Show celebrated 30 years, and as the classic car scene is growing in popularity, it seems the UK’s largest indoor show is going from strength to strength - circa 65,000 visitors during the three days, and Saturday in particular was generally perceived as busier than ever. Alongside WSM 405, the Midget & Sprite Club stand featured Paul Webb's Brabham Sprite and Paul Freeman's Alexander Sprite.

15/11/2013 WSM Returns . .

Editor Simon Goldsworthy's industry at the Sywell Classic in September shines through with the 'WSM Revival' article in MGEnthusiast magazine. Part one delves into WSM history and elaborates on the forming of the current WSM Cars partnership, and part two next month features WSM 402 S2, the first Sanction 2 road car . .

11/11/2013 NEC Display . .

The Midget & Sprite Club at the Classic Car Show 15th-17th November will feature the Alpine blue Sanction 2 WSM of Geoff Hill. Last years appearance of the WSM MGB on the MGOC stand was a success and the Sanction 2 is likely to attract similar attention . .

04/11/2013 Targa Florio 40 Years On . .

Memorable return by three English drivers to Sicily and scene of the extraordinary 72 kilometre per lap race - click on here

01/11/2013 WSM 405 Update . .

The first WSM to incorporate a K-series unit wears it well. The engine series was introduced in 1988 and in the 1990's DW-S was much enamoured by the performance of his Metro GTi, subsequently christened 'Pocket Rocket' - it was in reference to this car that he was quoted in 1996 by Jon Pressnell in Classic & Sportscar as never having been overtaken in the Isle of Man. DW-S was certain the K-series unit would enhance WSM performance, despite the bhp that some 'A' series had achieved with development over the years. Certainly 405's owner Geoff Hill thinks along the same lines, and in due course will experience just exactly what DW-S had in mind . .

29/09/2013 Pistons & Props . .

The first Sywell Classic was an interesting addition to the classic car calendar, and there was an entertaining mix at the busy Northamptonshire aerodrome of classic cars, racers and aeroplanes. 50 clubs with a variety of stands, and aerobatic displays, dragsters and the Breitling Wing Walkers all contributed to an encouraging 12000 visitors crossing the threshold. The nostaligic setting was a trip down memory lane, as Douglas Wilson-Spratt learnt to fly in an Auster under the guidance of Les Hilditch, chief instructor at Sywell in 1967, while leaving a young W-S to wander the confines.

The WSM display included BXN, 208, 401 and 402

Good to catch up with aviators and friends Chris and Mavis Parker, with their award winning Volvo Amazon on display (left), and pilot John Mangan who drove from Norfolk in his TVR for the Club stand. Ex-Delta mechanic Eddie Wright and his family were welcome guests, and Eddie's grandson Haydn (right) had a seat fitting for the WSM he's saving up for.

TV camera's were filming in the WSM camp on Sunday, so a face for radio was wasted after all . .

Adrian Hall-Carpenter flew in with the Jodel Mascaret that DW-S spent so long restoring, and it looked in fine fettle. The airfield and event logistics meant a re-union of WSM cars and aircraft, as originally envisaged, will keep for a future date.

MG Enthusiast editor Simon Goldsworthy was on hand to record how the WSM partnership and Sanction 2 cars evolved.

'BXN' and 208 were in action for the runway Sprint during the two day event - father and son Woolmer (left) duked it out for bragging rights

Ex-Sporting Owners Drivers Club member Barry Twitchell and his wife Julie stopped by, and he recalled occasions spent with DW-S.

Realisation that all is'nt as it seems with WSM Cars partner Paul Woolmer . .

Ian Hulett continues his quest for additional weight loss in an effort to max performance with WSM 401 . .

A favourite other Sywell Classic item - maybe the 1960's split screen VW flatdeck incorporating a Dodge Viper engine, or maybe Elle and the Pocket Belles ?

The Jodel contingent had a constructive meeting before Hall-Carpenter returned to his Norfolk base

Doug Samuels, owner of the BMC replica transporter, convoyed the WSM 402 of partner Lorraine from Lincolnshire in his Toyota powered MGC

Although planned as a biennial event, the Sywell Classic may reconvene 27th-28th September 2014

20/09/2013 Cheeky Chops . .

Its not just the WSM that appears to have a cheeky grin on the road - Lorraine Noble-Thompson pictured in WSM 402 seems to have one, and I hope its not because the needle's too far over 70mph . . . ?

19/09//2013 Frogeye Book Launch . .

The latest John Baggott tome is still on the high seas as the container ship carrying 'Frogeye Sprite - The Complete Story' had a slower passage than planned due to the volume of books on board. John's considerable depth of knowledge on the Frogeye subject is augmented by a fastideous gathering of information, and very few stones remain unturned. But simply an A-Z it is not. No self respecting Sprite enthusiast will miss the fascinating story of the little car's design gestation to competition success, while charming the pants off many for 50+ years. Click on for a review of the book by Sebring specialist Martin Ingall, and signed copies are available from John on 01892 862656.

16/09/2013 WSM Fly In . .

Four WSM's have been invited to the inaugural Piston & Props event at Sywell aerodrome in Northamptonshire - alongside prototype BXN and 208 pictured left, will be 401 and 402 (right), and Adrian Hall-Carpenter will be flying in with the ex-DWS restored Jodel Mascaret. Already christened the 'Sywell Classic', the WSM presence is prompted by DW-S having learnt to fly at Sywell in the 1960's and being based there with several aircraft . .

Click on for more event information

15/09/2013 WSM 402 Racking . .

The first Sanction 2 road car continues to rack up the miles as owner Lorraine-Noble Thompson flits around the country - pictured left at Donington last week, and right, attracting attention at the Goodwood Revival . .

07/09/2013 Kilsby MG . .

WSM history and 208 guesting at the monthly Northants MGOC meet, and re-acquainted at The George with many familiar faces from the 2004 visit the Club made to the Isle of Man . .

06/09/2013 Roothams Rocking . .

Local MG Club members and guests enjoyed a sunny afternoon at the Woolmer residence in Colmworth

05/09/2013 Memory Lane . .

A week well spent in pursuit of 'evidence' towards the proposed WSM book 'Wings, Wheels and Wuzzums' - left to right Eddie Wright, Jim and Peggy McManus, young WSM fan Max (3 years old in October), Mick Hancock and Ivor Gurney (at Delta House) all had various gems to contribute. Icing on the cake was a tour around Sywell aerodrome with aviator Chris Parker and an air display by a visiting Spitfire.

For Sale 1992 Mercedes Benz 260E, arctic white/ blue cloth, 61,500mls, auto, ABS, ESR, Cruise, A/C, FSH, towbar + elecs one owner from new £1500 ono

Contact Jim McManus 01483 273826

03/09/2013 Genes In Mothers Pride . .

Owner of WSM 402 S2 Lorraine put a question to Mum Joyce, who had yet to see her daughters latest toy. 'Which out of all those cars in the car-park do you like the best ?'. "Warmed the cockles when Mum walked straight to the 'Douglas' . . ."

29/08/2013 Wuzzums Fly South . .

Ian Hulett and Clive Cocks are taking WSM's 401 and 210 to Angouleme for the Circuit Des Ramparts event in September alongside Paul Freeman in the Alexander Sprite. The narrow and twisty nature of the public road circuit should suit the agile Sprite's . .

28/08/2013 Watling St Assignation . .

The Kilsby MG Club have the WSM MGB on display at the George Hotel on Tuesday 3rd September - previous monthly meetings have included guests such as Mike Costin of Cosworth-founding fame. Although the straight, and in those days lightly populated A5 from Hockliffe, was a favourite proving ground for WSM's in the 1960's, its been a while since we've had one tramping along in that neck of the woods . .

31/07/2013 Shooting Brake Calibration . .

Classic & Sportscar's Alastair Clements ' . . donned wellies and Barbour to pick his finest sporting load-luggers . .' and featured the Jaguar XK150S conversion at number eight in the September 2013 edition.

30/07/2013 Wharf Factor 2 . .

Dennis Wharf was at the recent Brands Hatch HSCC Superprix with his camera, a favourite historics meeting and on the GP circuit. Following my sympathetic comment re the Triumph Spitfires coming to grief at Silverstone in June -

'I hate to see old racing cars being badly damaged, as I probably appreciate the effort that has gone into them too much, but at least two cars appeared almost written off, one totally destroyed by fire, while the other, the F3 Toj Modus I think, heavily dropped into the barriers, knocking all four corners completely off, plus even worse damage to the chassis - it appeared banana shaped on the back of the truck. A very sad and upsetting sight, but luckily no drivers were harmed - but only just. There were two car fires, one of which was near thing. Unsure as to the cause, such was the intensity, I imagine a fuel line came adrift pumping neat fuel onto a very hot exhaust. The car was so completely burnt out it was hard to identify, but a small piece of remaining bodywork indicated it to be either a March, Lola, or Chevron. This happened towards the end of the Martini Trophy race, for 2 litre Group 6 sports prototypes dating from the early seventies - the race and cars I enjoy the most . . '

14/07/2013 Sebring History Update . .

Interesting and satellite delayed follow-up to an email from George Katz in 2010 - 'Just recently, on your website I saw an email dated November 12th, 2010 from George Katz concerning the Sebring Sprite JAX12/791NAR and in which he said that he sold the car to a policeman. I was the policeman concerned and had the car for a couple of years before a Russian diplomat rear ended me. He did the decent thing and paid for the repairs which were carried out in a small workshop at Boundary Mews, St. Johns Wood, by a fellow called Humphries I believe. Anyway he made me an offer for the car and I sold it to him - my wife was pregnant with our first child and we needed a roomier vehicle.

Some time later the car found its way to the USA, was refurbished and upgraded before placing second in the 1996 Historics at Monterey when driven by Stirling Moss. It was later sold at auction for $44000 in 2010 I believe. So, presumably the car is still going strong after all these years ?

I left the police service in 1970 and now live in Canada where my present transport, a Ford F250 Super Duty 7.3 litre V8 turbo diesel pick up truck, does not corner quite as well as the Sprite.
Forgot to mention that I come from Perranporth, Cornwall, so I am keen on Healeys of course. Have had a somewhat peripatetic lifestyle, moving from UK to Ireland, USA and Canada so most of our possessions are never unpacked ! Since arriving here in Nova Scotia I am sure that I have seen a picture that I took of 791NAR, so I should be able to find it before long.
RegardsStuart Peters
'

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Email received November 12th 2010 - vember 12th - Email received from George Kat

'Whilst archiving a suitcase full of old slides and photos for posterity I came across some pictures of a car I used to own in the 1960's which might be of interest to you. I part exchanged my "hot" Mini for a Sprite which I bought from a mews garage in Swiss Cottage London , now long gone ( I probably saw the ad in Motorsport which I used to read at that time). The guys told me that it had been owned and raced by Douglas Wilson-Spratt and at the time the number plate was JAX 12. When I picked up the car they had changed the plate which I was annoyed about so they reduced the price of the car by about £50.00. The bonnet was fibreglass and the rear end was aluminium and it came with a detachable hardtop. I kept the car for about 7-8 years. I made the mistake of buying a new car (a TR4a) before selling the Sprite, so it languished on the drive for about a year before selling it on to a policeman. Does this car still exist ? If so perhaps you could put me in touch with present owner as I have other photos of the car, and could let them know further details. George Katz'

We passed details to Healey registrar Paul Woolmer - ' I am certainly aware of your old Sprite. As you say it was originally registered JAX 12, and owned by Jack Wolchover. Mainly used as a rally car on club and occasional national events, it was modified by Peels of Kingston with a light alloy rear and doors. The work was almost certainly commissioned by John Sprinzel Ltd of Lancaster Mews. It also had the 'works' spec wire wheel and disc brake conversion. The car now lives in the USA and I will contact the owner and ask if I can pass his details to you. In the meantime, I would be grateful to receive any additional photos you may have to add to my file on this interesting Sebring Sprite.'

24/06/2013 Bruce's Bonus . .

Bruce from Oklahoma and Bruce from Oklahoma are now confirmed Isle of Man and TT nuts. Yes, the weather was nigh perfect, and yes, the racing even more outstanding than usual, but the island blew them away . .

18/06/2013 WSM 405 S2 Feels Blue . .

The paint still curing in the oven, but looking nicely done. The 'K' series-engined WSM that DW-S had in mind is coming together, but probably never quick enough for owner and WSM fan Geoff Hill.

17/06/2013 Fezz Head . .

Not often the keys to a Fezza are chucked my way, let alone a 360 Modena convertible, but thats what happened when friend Steve had a few days coming up in Monaco. The Mountain Rd was closed after TT for clearing, but there's plenty of routes where the aural and physical beast was unleashed legally and without disturbing anyones day. Clearing 7500rpm with rag top tucked away was epic, as daughters concurred . .

16/06/2013 Wu ing The Crowds . .

WSM 402 travelled to Silverstone for MGLive and with owner Lorraine Noble-Thompson attracted much attention. The first Sanction 2 road car appeared to be a hit with the many MG fans, and there seemed constant scrutiny through the day. Named 'Douglas' in tribute to DW-S and affectionately known as 'WU', the silver dream machine set a few pulses racing . .

15/05/2013 WSM Underwear . .

WSM 405 receives the base coat preparation ahead of the Alpine Blue 'Metallise' finish specified by owner Geoff Hill. As WSM 405 deliberately echoes WSM 205 that Mike White commissioned in 1963 and subsequently raced, Geoff is in touch with Oxfordshire resident Mike to compare notes.

04/05/2013 Wharf Factor . .

Thanks to Midget Register historian Dennis Wharf who called past the WSM camp at Brands . .

'Thought the attached might be of interest. I took them up at Druids on Sunday afternoon. The car does look very smart now, more so even than I remember it in period ! Don't know if I've mentioned this, but I did in fact see the car in about 1975 looking very shabby indeed, so bad in fact I wasn't sure if it was the actual car. This would have been about the time between Robin Pinkerton's ownership - I think he sold in around '72 - and Barry Sidery-Smith buying it in '76 I seem to recall. Of all places it was parked in Long Melford High Street. I have a picture somewhere, will dig it out.'

23/04/2013 Motors TV at Silverstone . .

Motors TV present coverage of the 21st April Silverstone Vintage Sports Car Club meeting which includes the HRDC Allstars grid - the programme is broadcast again tonight (23rd) at 11pm, and Ian Hulett in WSM 401 fortuitously manages to be in the camera-car orbit through much of the race. A race report post-boat lag will duly appear at Race News on this website.

13/04/2013 Three Tales . .

A cracking 87 entries for the Manx Classic April 25th/27th, and fifteen pre-68 cars up to 1500cc makes for the most competitive Class 2a to date - visitors include Andrew Actman of Lenham Sportscars, Clive Cocks with WSM 210 and Paul Freeman with the Alexander Sprite. Stirring memories of bygone Willaston pursuits is the return of Eric Grundey in an MG Midget (left), but Class record holder in all three sections of the event is Dave Musgrove (right) in his Morris Cooper S.

12/04/2013 HRDC at VSCC . .

Motors TV are presenting live coverage of the 21st April Silverstone Vintage Sports Car Club meeting, which may go some way towards explaining an oversubscribed 'Allstars' grid and a truly eclectic grid of machinery. Two WSM's versus Milano GT, Cannon GT and Project 214 Aston Martin amongst others, and four WSM owners on the grid in Brian Arculus, Rae Davis, Ian Hulett and yours truly. Click on for entry list.

10/04/2013 Alpine Hue . .

As specified by owner Geoff Hill, WSM 405 S2 soon receives an Alpine Blue 'Metallise' finish that features on so many race and rally Alpine's. The third road-going spec Sanction 2 build is destined to have nearly 200bhp available courtesy of the K-series engine, hence the running gear modifications are mapped out in readiness. Having owned WSM 205 in period and perhaps having 100bhp on tap at most, Geoff looks forward to applying rubber to road with 405 . .

25/03/2013 Primed . .

Ian Hulett has finished prepping his steed for the Manx Classic. Pictured prior to MOT, the road-registered Sebring will be in good company as the Paul Webb Brabham Sprite also makes the trek North under its own steam . .

22/03/2013 Eight Inches Snow Use . .

Urrrgghh - one week away from Good Friday, clocks changing to Summer time, and we have eight inches of snow thats not going anywhere in a hurry ! Shades of winter 1963, so I'm told . . .

06/03/2013 Birthday Girl . .

Exported to New York for US serviceman Joel Nelson in June 1963, WSM 207 celebrates 50 years on 13th March. The aluminium-bodied racer returned to the UK in 2003, and featured on the Fordwater grid at three Goodwood Revival's to date. A pace setter on the HRDC Grand Touring Greats grid, and amongst the magnificent seven original WSM's at WSM 50 in September 2012 (pictured with Joel and wife Shirley), owner Rae Davis of London continues to embellish the marque.

02/03/2013 Hill Climb Power . .

On one of his rambles South, Geoff Hill gave WSM 405 S2 a once over now the K-series is offered up for size on the fourth Sanction 2 off the production line. As described by CCW this week, the tuned 1800cc engine promises to bestow 'monster performance' for the South Yorkshire resident, and will be considerably quicker than WSM 205 that Geoff owned in 1967.

01/03/2013 Pressing Matters . .

Classic Car Weekly editor Dave Richards and his team produced a comprehensive seven page report on Race Retro in todays edition - Murray Scullion caught up with the WSM MGB, while Mike Le Caplain captured the ethos behind the Sanction 2 builds.

28/02/2013 Classic Car Weekly . .

Comment in the weekly newspaper by Adam Sloman that WSM 402 S2 at the MG Spares gathering was . .'one of the highlights of the show', put a spring in the step of all concerned with the production of the Sanction 2 cars - Murray Henderson et al take a bow.

27/02/2013 History Files . .

Email and pictures this morning from Gary Horstkorta, archivist for the Northern Pacific Division of the SCCA and referring to WSM 203 that was exported in 1963 to the USA -

'Recently I have been able to spend some time looking for photos of the WSM. Good news, I was able to locate two photos along with the race program entry lists, all of which are attached here. The first photo is from a race at Laguna Seca in October 1963 which shows Dr Chichester drivng the WSM down the bottom of the famous "Corkscrew" and through old turn seven (now turn nine). The second photo is from the June 1964 race at the Port of Stockton, again with Chichester at the wheel. The car ran in the C Production class.'

25/02/2013 Retro Rewards . .

Celebrating a 10th anniversary and billed as Europe's premier historic motorsport show, Race Retro gathered a mighty ensemble of competition cars spanning 80-plus years. Alongside the Abarth award-winning stand, WSM was in the best of company with two cars on separate displays. The MG Car Club advertised the Ecurie GTS race series with the WSM MGB, and WSM Cars LLP had a stand dedicated to the Sanction 2 builds manned by Paul and Richard Woolmer, Andy Garbutt and Lorraine Noble-Thompson. On Saturday Sir Stirling Moss and Murray Walker OBE stopped by to admire WSM 402, and Mick Walsh from Classic & Sportscar and Mike Le Caplain from Classic Car Weekly rocked up to take some details. Racer Willie Greenrecalled his 2003 Goodwood Revival win on the Fordwater grid in the Alfa TZ2 with the WSM of David Gathercole in ultimately vain pursuit. Ex-BMC competitions boss Stuart Turner sped across the display halls to run his eye over the latest WSM production, while some of the rally cars that were under his command in period were thundering around the stages outside. Perennial racers Barry Sidery-Smith (left) and Anthony Binnington took the opportunity to greet Sanction 2 owner Lorraine N-T in suitable style, and the irrepressible 'Whizzo' Williams relayed memories of DW-S together on a four-wheeled hiatus in the 1960's, while taking in more than one form on the WSM stand in the shape of the lovely Andrea Naish.Amongst the 29,000 visitors, ex-rally co-driver and TV presenter Tony Mason, journalist Andrew Roberts, Midget & Sprite Club's Gary Lazarus and Sprite racer Jack Wheeler graced us with visits, while WSM owners Brian Arculus, Clive Cocks, Geoff Hill and Ian Hulett, Colmworth Classic Cars proprietor Paul Webb and wife Yvette, Sanction 2 engineer Murray Henderson, Healey competition secretary Joe Cox and David Abecassis, son of the late, illustrious George, were other notables passing by. We were pleased to catch up with Steve Suckling (left) and John May (right) as their help was instrumental in leading us to the subsequent recovery of the WSM3000. The five year search had began with John's visit to the Isle of Man in 1998, and the trail ended with Steve's telephone call in 2003 providing the contact details for Peter Welsh in West Gloucestershire. Other motorsport stars included Tiff Needell, current presenter of Fifth Gear and former Top Gear presenter, ex-BTCC three time Championship winner Win Percy, and Norman Dewis, Jaguar test driver who helped test and develop 25 Jaguar models in his career and is still involved in motorsport today. The level of interest in the Sanction 2 road car was very encouraging, while Dave Saunders on the MGCC stand (left) reckoned he could have sold the WSM MGB many times over - curious spectators enquired if further builds had been or would be produced ?

Retro moments . .

below, future WSM drivers . . ?

20/02/2013 Runners And Riders . .

The WSM workshops resonate to the sound of restoration and race prep as the WSM3000 strip down continues and a new race season approaches. Toby Milan will be driving the blue WSM 208 for 2013, while Mick Darcey continues to rack up track time with his ex-works MGB GT, and Jonathan Abecassis at the wheel of the Healey 100M begins his third season in the footsteps of grandfather George.

19/02/2013 On The Catwalk . .

Owner Lorraine Noble-Thompson reported much interest in the first road-going Sanction 2. Pictured right courtesy of Martin Ingall, the Midget Register stand was a definite attraction throughout the day.

18/02/2013 Showtime . .

Ahead of presentation at the MG Spares show at Stoneleigh on Sunday 17th, WSM 402 strutted his stuff for pictures reminiscent of the WSM 201 debut in 1962.

09/02/2013 DWS Flight . .

The long awaited debut of the restored Jodel Mascaret G-LDWS took place recently (picture left courtesy of David Moth). The aircraft had not flown since 1976, and was brought to the Isle of Man in 1983 on a trailer. The restoration was frustratingly near completion when DW-S passed away in April 2011, and guidelines for the aircraft sale by the estate executor included finding an owner to complete the build and return with a tribute flight to the IoM once the Certificate of Airworthiness was issued. To quote new owner Mike Howells - "Your Dads Jodel fly’s very well. He made an excellent job of the rebuild and I have flown the aircraft for about 11 hours whilst doing the test flying. Now all the paperwork is with the C.A.A. for the issue of the C of A."

07/02/2013 Deja Vu . .

James Elliott in Classic & Sportscar uncovers the Imperator GTS, a Hillman Imp-based special that Peels fashioned in aluminium for Peter Sheen in 1967. There's quite a resemblance to the WSM bodies produced by Peels between 1962-66, but only two prototypes are known to have been constructed.

05/02/2013 Your Letters . .

February's edition of the Austin Healey Club journal includes a letter from Bill Vero with memories of racing against WSM in 1963 . .

04/02/2013 Happy Returns . .

With WSM 202 taking her bow in 2012 at WSM50, we begin marking the individual birthdays of the surviving cars with WSM 203. Currently in Japan with Tazunu Kaneko, 203 was the only WSM built entirely at the Swiss Cottage Healey Centre premises in February 1963. After a mould was taken for future production, the car was exported (left) to San Francisco in May for George Snively and Clinton Chichester. Subsequent owners Takayuki Hata and Mazakazu Yahagi have maintained the car in excellent condition and it continues to be raced with historic grids.

18/01/2013 WSM On Show . .

Thanks to Mike Parker and the Midget Register, WSM feature at the International MG Show at Stoneleigh on Sunday 17th February. Courtesy of Sanction 2 customer Lorraine Noble-Thompson, the silver GT WSM 402 heads up the Midget Register display - click on the graphic for event details.

17/01/2013 Screen Debut . .

Work continues on the WSM3000 and the windscreen, which appears to be the original fitted item in 1965, is carefully removed. Testament to the design and build quality of the aluminium body is the integrity of the door and panel fits after so many years of neglect. In 2003, the first thing Dad did when re-introduced to the car after 37 years was to pull gently on the drivers door handle and open and close the door. After doing the same with the passenger door and the bonnet, he checked the shut lines and turned to me with that gentle smile and twinkle in his eye . .

16/01/2013 By Popular Demand . .

The WSM Car Club emerges as a result of enquiries from ex-owners and people associated in an assortment of ways with the brand. Even with so much online activity, it became clear further involvement was sought by those keen to strengthen links established, in some cases over 50 years ago, and people with more recent contact. Following WSM50 in September (left), and the Classic Car Show at the NEC in November (right), enquiries prompted research into whether the Club would be a practical addition. It appears this is the case and the membership number, although still an exclusive band, exceeds expectations.

15/01/2013 Arculus Expansion . .

The Arculus stable has grown - from Holland, a Lotus IX that ran in the 1955 Goodwood 9 hour race and finished as highest place Lotus in the hands of Tony Page, now sits beside Brian's Lotus Eleven Le Mans. In passing, Brian mentioned the Testa Rossa in the background that has been an ongoing project for some 15 years. Based on a 330GT but with an original aluminium 250 Testa Rossa body in Giallo Fly and on 16 inch Borrani's, there's hope that completion is in sight but both son and wife are hoping to get hands on too. The cars are in good company, as WSM 202 still heads up the collection . .

14/01/2013 Jaguar Still . .

The only picture I have seen of the XK150 that became the Tow Car in its previous maroon guise was sent by current owner Eugene from Switzerland. Bill Geldeard confirmed it was in the New Forest in 1964 and taken by his girlfriend Sylvia, whom he married two years later. They still both drive XK's as ex-pats (right).

10/01/2013 Which WSM Will . . ?

Despite getting quicker in WSM 202 last season, Brian Arculus is enquiring about a lightweight bonnet from WSMCars for the oldest of the known surviving WSM's. With Ian Hulett removing spinner ears from the already rapid WSM 401, I'll be curious to see what measures Clive Cocks with WSM 210 comes up with and whether he follows the Paul Woolmer diet ? It may be that Rae Davis is slowed by the extra weight of white paint that's due to replace what went missing from the back of WSM 207 during the 2010 Goodwood Revival startline hiatus, but I won't count on it.

09/01/2013 Savile Row . .

Not a reference to the late and disgraced TV presenter, but as with bespoke tailoring, so the Sanction 2 is measured up and minor adjustments made where appropriate - such a shame we could'nt get Geoff Hill in person and had to resort to a crash test dummy for WSM 405 . . ?

08/01/2013 Three Legs On Mann . .

Entries are looking strong for the forthcoming Manx Classic 25th/26th/27th April. In particular Class 2a featuring pre-1968 cars up to 1500cc may prove to be the most competitive yet, with several AH Sprite's making their debut from the adjacent Island and looking to usurp the home based WSM. The popularity is hardly surprising given the Governor's Sprint in Douglas, Sloc hillclimb in the South and mammoth Lhergy Frissell hillclimb in the North make for a challenging threesome that comes with the added attraction of Manx countryside and a warm welcome.

07/01/2013 Show Debut 22nd-24th February . .

Following a first WSM appearance at the NEC Classic Car Show in November last year, MGCC Director Dave Saunders has asked for the WSM MGB to be displayed at the popular Race Retro event at Stoneleigh Park in February. In 2011 28,500 people attended Europe's premier historic motorsport show, and this year Sir Stirling Moss and Murray Walker OBE star alongside the featured marques Team Lotus and Alpine.

06/01/2013 . .

Work has started on the WSM3000 restoration this week at WSM Cars, while the WSM MGB is looking at an early 2013 test session to blow the winter blues away.

04/01/2013 . .

It seems most race and series organisers involved in the Historic arena experienced a good 2012, and judging by recently published itineraries, expect 2013 to be as successful. 'Equipe' GTS under the AMOC banner continue to thrive under Duncan Wilshire's guidance, and a change to Dunlop tyres for the MGCC 'Ecurie' GTS series is a positive move. The HRDC, which featured WSM's on the Grand Touring Greats grids for the opening two seasons, have amalgamated the MGB50 entries with tin tops and GTG to form a new 'Allstars' ensemble, and with the Classic Sports Car Club wielding the impressive 'Swinging Sixties' and 'Classic K' grids, there's plenty of opportunity for WSM's to get an airing . .

01/01/2013 . .

Happy New Year