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Robert Harbinson Special (circa 1951)


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#1 BritishV8

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 19:10

For an upcoming article about a Cooper-Porsche, I'm trying to track down background information about a one-off special with aluminum bodywork by Robert Harbinson.

The first Harbinson Special was built in Northern Ireland in 1951. It was featured in at least one major British car magazine sometime between late 1951 and the beginning of 1954... I'm not even sure which magazine! (The Autocar? The Motor? MotorSport?) Based on seeing that article, an American named Gordon "Tippy" Lipe tracked down Mr. Harbinson and hired him to fabricate more elaborate custom aluminum bodywork for his famous "Pooper".

Perhaps these photos may bring back memories:

(The Harbinson Special under construction.)
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(The Harbinson Special at completion.)
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(The well-known Lipe Cooper-Porsche as it now appears.)
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Please help me fill in any details you can!



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#2 D-Type

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 19:57

There's a brief article, half a column or so, in Motor Sport for January 1954. Basically it says it was based on a Singer Nine Bantam, with a very compact radiator supplied by bobby Baird which allowed the builder to keep the bonnet line low. he built the body himself aiming to minimise the panel beating required.

#3 Allan Lupton

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 21:49

There's a brief article, half a column or so, in Motor Sport for January 1954. Basically it says it was based on a Singer Nine Bantam, with a very compact radiator supplied by bobby Baird which allowed the builder to keep the bonnet line low. he built the body himself aiming to minimise the panel beating required.

Those certainly look like Singer nine wheels!

#4 BritishV8

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 20:57

Thank you, gentlemen!


I've got my article all wrapped-up and uploaded now. Curious? Here's a link:

Tippy Lipe's Cooper-Porsche ('Pooper') Racecar, circa ~1954

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