Pilot Special

Pilot Special

Postby lakesrally » Wed Apr 15, 2009 5:43 am

Image

This is a photograph made into a postcard that I bouoght on eBay. On the back it is described as a Rover Pilot Special and was posted just after WW2. Does anyone know any more about it?
Stewart Devlin
1925 16/50 5-seat Tourer
1933 14 Pilot Saloon
1949 P3 75 Saloon
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lakesrally
 
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Re: Pilot Special

Postby andrewmcg » Thu Apr 16, 2009 5:36 pm

Hi there Stewart
Interesting photo, and just as a long shot from the archive records, could it be the following car ???
1933 14 spcl Reg No WJ 7040
There is an article in Freewheel No 167 of June 1981 regarding this Spcl together with a photo and on studying the photo in FW I can spot quite a few similarities with your photo.
The FW article is based on an article written by Major Alan Eadon that appeared in Autocar of May 11th 1945. It seemed he worked for Rover and built this special circa 1935/36 on the chassis of a 1933 14 whose body was written off, seems he cut the pre underslung chassis and shortened it quite a bit and modified the engine courtesy of Rover with speed 14 specs, new body was aluminium on ash frame and he used the car quite successfully in the 1938/39 seasons covering some 10,000 trial miles.
Just a long shot, but it might be the answer.
Regards
Andrew McGovern
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Re: Pilot Special

Postby lakesrally » Thu Apr 16, 2009 6:52 pm

Thanks for the ideas Andrew, someone (I think it was Mike Maher) suggested the Eadon Special when I first got the postcard but I did not realise there was an article in FW. I am at work just now but will look it up in FW when I get home next week. A replica is a tempting project, the bodywork on my Pilot would be a very expensive proposition to restore to presentable condition but a trials motor could be a bit of fun. I have two engines, both the early 14 Pilot type where the inlet and exhaust manifolds are on the other side though. Four branch manifold on the Special is a little odd for a six cylinder though, are there any clues in the article?

Regards
Stewart Devlin
1925 16/50 5-seat Tourer
1933 14 Pilot Saloon
1949 P3 75 Saloon
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lakesrally
 
Posts: 412
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2008 12:00 am
Location: Lake District, UK

Re: Pilot Special

Postby lakesrally » Sun Apr 26, 2009 5:27 pm

I have now looked up the article in FW and I think you could be right Andrew. It is difficult to be certain but the flat area in front of the windscreen on the postcard picture, where the screen could be folded down, agrees with the description in the article of the screen being chopped in half and reversed. I take this to mean that the original hinge was put at the bottom. Crude plywood wings also agree, the bonnet join and the doors all look very similar. It's a shame we have not got more photographs of Alan Eadon's car, particulary of the engine exhaust arrangement. The reverse of the postcard shows it to have been written by someone called Jim in 1948 from Wolverhampton. The article in FW describes the first outing to a trial starting at Stratford, which is not too far from Wolverhampton, maybe Alan lived in the Midlands area? There is no record on the DVLA web site for WJ 7040.
Image
Stewart Devlin
1925 16/50 5-seat Tourer
1933 14 Pilot Saloon
1949 P3 75 Saloon
User avatar
lakesrally
 
Posts: 412
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2008 12:00 am
Location: Lake District, UK

Re: Pilot Special

Postby lakesrally » Thu Sep 25, 2014 9:50 am

I sent a copy of the postcard to "The Automobile" magazine appealing for more information but never heard back from them so I thought they would not be interested in publishing it. However I see they have included my request in the current (October 2014) issue, page 75.
Stewart Devlin
1925 16/50 5-seat Tourer
1933 14 Pilot Saloon
1949 P3 75 Saloon
User avatar
lakesrally
 
Posts: 412
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2008 12:00 am
Location: Lake District, UK


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