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Lot '84: Birchfield Sports

Classic & Vintage Cars & Motorcycles, Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers (23 June 2010)

We are indebted to the vendor for the following description:

The Birchfield Sports is inspired by the famous Jaguar SS100 of the 1930s. Nick Topping created it originally as a one-off in 1982 before Clive Smart of Shapecraft in Northampton subsequently productionised it.

Clive, a specialist car builder, had his roots in the traditional craft of working with steel and aluminium bodies over a timber frame. Clive wanted to produce a car which would use the tried and tested mechanical parts of the Jaguar XJ6 but built onto a body designed on the evocative lines of the beautiful Jaguar SS100.

It was this concept which resulted in the Birchfield Sports. As a car for the amateur engineer to build in his own garage it was not a great success, simply because of the complexity of the design and the Jaguar parts used which require a fairly advanced degree of engineering knowledge. For this reason only about 20 were ever produced, most of which were put together by professional engineers, and they rarely come on the market.

The body is hand-formed from 16-gauge aluminium over a chassis made from 40mm square steel tube with a rigid backbone. The running gear was sourced from the tried and tested Jaguar XJ6 and used the straight-six XK 4.2-litre engine which gives fabulous performance in such a lightweight car. The radiator is a special 4-core by Northampton Radiators with a chromed 18-gauge brass surround and Bentley grill matrix. The wheels are bolt-on 6.5Jx15" chrome wires with stainless steel spokes.

The XJ6 engine, automatic gearbox and rear axle were all rebuilt by Jaguar specialist John Whyatt of Northampton, as was the braking system. The seats are the legendary Bostrom type upholstered in top quality hide with a walnut dash and Wilton carpets. It is fitted with high security seatbelts as required by the Ministry of Transport to pass the rigorous tests for a certificate of roadworthiness.

The car has been owned by myself for around eight years and kept at all times in a well-aired garage. It drives well and has an MOT until May 2011 but is not taxed and is currently on SORN. It is only reluctantly for sale due to knee and hip problems which mean that I can no longer comfortably access it.

Lot Details
Auction Classic & Vintage Cars & Motorcycles
Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers, Leominster, Herefordshire
TypeCar
Lot Number'84
Estimate£17000-£25000
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£16500
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Year2002
Condition rating0
Registration numberHNP 211S
Mileage-
Chassis numberSABTVR0385140870
Engine number78534
Engine capacity (cc)4235
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors