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Tim Dyke's MPH models


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#1 Roger Clark

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 15:53

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Serious model collectors may be familiar with the incredibly detailed and well researched models of Le Mans cars produced by Tim Dyke's MPH models. Tim has a fund of stories about how he produced these models and particularly the research involved. At lunch today he allowed me to post the above picture of his 1950 Jaguars and the following story, in his own words, of an encounter with Lofty England.

My Lofty England story

Dateline - Summer of 1992


I was getting towards finishing my model of one of the three private entrants, which formed the team for Jaguar's first "dip into the water" at Le Mans in 1950. Although the three cars were privately owned and entered, the factory had sent along "Lofty" England,( later to be the mastermind behind Jaguar's glory years' triumphs at Le Sarthe ), to carry a watching brief, along with a team of mechanics to minister to the needs of the competitors.

I had done most of the research, but colour photographs of Le Mans at that period were like hens teeth. I had discovered the body colour of the three cars, one Old English White, one B.R.G, and one Suede Green, and had noticed from black and white pictures that they all carried non-standard seating, individual wrap around bucket seat replacing the normal bench. I could see that the backs of the seats were unpainted (aluminium probably), and that all three cars appeared to have the same seats. I therefore assumed there had been a batch of 6 seats made, probably by the factory, but had no clue as to the colour.

All my usual Jaguar sorces drew no conclusions, until some bright spark ( I wish I could remember who it was ! ) suggested that I phone "Lofty" at his retirement home in Austria. This source also happened to be able to give me his phone number out there.

Somewhat in fear and trepidation (I had been told the "Lofty" didn't suffer fools gladly !) I rang the number - the conversation went something like this :-

"Mr England , you won't have heard of me , my name's Tim Dyke, and I run a small modelling company called MPH Models."
Before I could expand further, he interrupted - "Of course I've heard of you, Mr Dyke, I am well aware of those beautiful Jaguar models you make". You could have knocked me off my stool ! "How can I help you ?" - Well, Mr England I am about to produce an edition of 25 models of one of the XK 120's that you supervised in 1950. I can see that all have non-standard bucket seats, and that they have unpainted backs , but cannot find any reference to the colour of the upholstery, which looks like it might have been the same for all three cars" - "My goodness, you have done your research, Mr Dyke, and I can help you there. If I had to describe the colour of those seat I would say they were "Mid Teddy Bear" - Holy Grail discovered at last !

Accordingly my models were upholstered in a tasteful shade of "Mid Teddy Bear", just like the man said, and I had had an excuse to speak to one of my all-time heroes - what a day !

I hope that Tim can be prevailed upon to join us with more of these stories. You can see more of Tim's wonderful models at http://www3.clikpic....s/articles.html

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#2 Alan Cox

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 18:37

That's a splendid story, Roger. Thanks for posting it. As you say, it would be excellent if Tim could join TNF as I know he will have a lot more stories to tell of his research into the history of the numerous excellent models which he produced.

Anyone interested in scale model cars should spend time with Tim's website. I wish I could have afforded one of his models!

Edited by Alan Cox, 09 December 2011 - 09:02.


#3 SWB

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 22:23

Thank you for posting that little story Roger, Tim is indeed a very great model maker and a gentleman. His tales are endless, and endlessly worth listening to. I wish he would join in TNF, he could start perhaps with tales of Mike Costin and the Maserati 450S, another good anecdote from his researches.

Steve

Edited by SWB, 09 December 2011 - 22:24.