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How's this for a barn find? Tojeiro 001


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#1 Exact10

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 03:16

I have recently found (ably assisted by some good friends) and bought John Tojeiro's first design.
Chassis 001 was built by John in 1952 as a replacement for his MG racer, little was he to know that what he had produced would be adopted by AC for the Ace and would eventually become the venerable Cobra. Apparently disillusioned by his MG's poor handling he decided to build his own car from scratch. Using twin 3"dia tubes running front to back' capped at each end by triangulated box sections- the front carrying a Morris 1000 steering rack, a transverse leaf spring and lower A arms radiating out below to morris front hubs. The rear in similar fashion housing the diff unit and topped by a transverse leaf spring, proper modern shocks were employed to take care of the bumps. An MG motor of 1250cc, topped by a Lay tall Lucas alloy head and fed by 4 Amal carbs powered the car, drive to the back wheels via a close ratio MG box and finally an ENV diff. Pressing the brake, a Girling dual circuit system with enormous Connaught style brake drums inside of Elektron wheels slowed and stopped the whole shebang.

Although Tojeiro was building the car for himself it was fateful that he was visited by Cambridge student Chris Threlfall, so impressed was he by what he saw he returned later and persuaded John to sell the new car to him. In Threlfall's hands it would win the first televised hillclimb on British television setting in the process a new record for under 1500cc cars on the Bo'ness run . He also entered and raced at many UK circuit venues including Goodwood.
001 was sold in 1954 to James Fiander who campaigned it with some success, an internet search on "Fiander Tojeiro" will find him listed in many of the races of the 54 season including Brands Hatch International where he came a creditable 3rd in heat 2 behind Archie Scott-Brown in a Lister MG and Brian Naylor in a Cooper MG, a 4th at Crystal Palace behind Colin Chapman, Scott-Brown and Tony Marsh and 10th at the British GP, Silverstone in July
I believe in 54 001 was crashed, possibly at Goodwood and rebodied in the 54 bodystyle, it was converted at some time to an MG XPAG 1446cc motor, retaining though the Laytall head and Amal carbs.
Following the copy of the UK registration document the final British owner, Henry Scrope, would sell the Toj for the princely sum of GBP100 to a buyer in San Francisco's Bay Area in December of 1963. There are reams of papers documenting the sale, letters back and forth, offers of help from Ian Raby, a report of condition from Chequered Flag and even the stubs of the US money orders used to pay plus all of the shipping and Customs receipts.
Arriving in California early in 1964 and still carrying the English registration number "KVE 304" emblazoned on the nose, 001 was campaigned for a few years before it's remarkable design was overtaken by the likes of Lotus's 23B. Stripped ready for a rebuild and left in the corner of a garage there it sat for many years.
When you look at the bare chassis you can clearly see the AC Ace and Cobra, very little having changed in AC's adoption. 001 is a landmark design and along with its fantastic history it's eligible for most every historic event in the world. Goodwood Festival, Monterey Historics, Mille Miglia etc.
001 can be found in the book "British Racing Green" by Pritchard (published in 58 I think) and in Graham Gaulds book "TOJ, John Tojeiro The Man And His Machines".

The Toj is now looking for a new owner, contact me if you'd like to own a serious landmark in motor history! exact10@comcast.net

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Shown here in it's 54 on bodystyle, the original shape looked more like a Healey Silverstone with cycle wings and a cyclops headlamp. Although rebodied, the chassis and underpinnings remain unchanged












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#2 Exact10

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 03:20

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Horatio (middle) ably assisted by brothers Sam and Lawrence
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Cobra's Grandfather!!!!!
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The XPAG MG motor, close Ratio Box, ENV Diff, Lay Tall alloy head, original brakes, dampers and exhaust are all there




















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#3 Exact10

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 03:50

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#4 Exact10

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 05:51

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#5 275 GTB-4

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 10:33

Stunning....how will you ever top that one :up: :)

#6 Charles Helps

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 11:52

Fascinating to see the car's insides - are those 4 Amal carburettors on a manifold loose in the cockpit? You may find that the aluminium cylinder head is actually a Laystall rather than Lay tall.

I think you are a bit optimistic in saying "before its remarkable design was overtaken by the likes of Lotus's 23B" - Fiander seems to have been regularly beaten by the Lotus Mk VIIIs and MG engined Mk VIs in 1954

#7 Exact10

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 13:37

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Thanks for the reply Charles,
I wrote Laystall when I sent the pics to a friend and he pointed out that it actually reads LAY TALL.
The Amal carbs are loose in the bodyshell, that's just as I found it, what's much more interesting is that Scrope, the English seller, writes about including a spare manifold for SU's, that was still beside the car wrapped in brown paper when we found it.
Fiander was regularly beaten by the current Lotus designs, especially when a worldclass driver like Chapman was at the wheel, but you can see that he was still up there mixing it with them. My point was that by 64 his car was so outclassed in design, it was rather like a Supermarine Spitfire (another groundbreaking design) trying to dogfight a Mig 15.












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#8 Exact10

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 13:52

Don't know how I'll ever top it Mick but watch my McLaren M10 thread!
I've found another rather surprising car hidden in a loft in Seattle.............
I'll also post some pics of a Healey 100/4 racing car that has been campaigned since 1953 when new.
If anyone knows of "Scuderia Pogo" let me know

#9 Charles Helps

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 14:34

Originally posted by Exact10

Thanks for the reply Charles,
I wrote Laystall when I sent the pics to a friend and he pointed out that it actually reads LAY TALL.
...

Your friend was right in what he says but that would seem to be a pattern making error Posted Image

#10 Peter Morley

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 15:02

The current Laystall heads (as on KOY500 our Cooper MG) have had the spelling corrected!!

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#11 Charles Helps

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 15:28

Thanks, Peter, it really does look like a pattern maker's error. The letter S looks quite a lot shorter than the others in your picture.

Is the close ratio gearbox in the Tojeiro an MG TC type with the horizontal join between the steel casing and the alloy remote control?

#12 Exact10

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 15:56

Charles, here are some pictures of the various parts including the gearbox, inside the cockpit you can see how we found many of the mechanicals, the engine is boxed and to one side.
The original radiator, header tank, brake cylinders and their reservoirs are all there.

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#13 Bloggsworth

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 15:07

Looking at the photo of the rear end, I dread to think where the roll centre was; Auchtermuchty if I'm any judge!

#14 Charles Helps

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 16:22

It's still for sale ....
Bring A Trailer website

I wonder whether anyone is still racing with multiple Amal carburettors?

#15 Charles Helps

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 11:38

Stephen Wilkinson has previously posted some pictures of the original cycle winged body elsewhere on the forum:
Cycle winged body -old photos

One of many difficult decisions for a potential restorer/rebuilder. I suppose it depends when the enveloping body was fitted.

#16 David Birchall

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 15:06

Cycle wings were banned on sports racers for international competition in 1953 (?). Presumably that is when/why it got the later body. The only sensible thing to do is to retain the present body surely? Anything else would be a replica.

Edit: looking at the cars in the link (cycled winged body-old photos) above it would appear to me that there are two cars represented as Threlfall's Tojeiro: The car in post 115 is quite different in detail to the car in the subsequent photos?

Edited by David Birchall, 22 October 2011 - 16:57.