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Ford Cortina Mk1 GT REP548.


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#1 Cortmk1

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Posted 23 March 2021 - 17:16

Hi, I am new to this forum and hoping to fill in some gaps regarding the rally history of the Ford Cortina Mk1 GT registration number REP 548. In the early 1960's, it was owned and rallied by Mike Bowyer from Welshpool and the history I have so far is as follows:-

 

1963 RAC Rally was car no. 175 navigated by L. Vaughan. I have no more details of the event.

1964 RAC Rally was car no. 119 navigated by L. Vaughan. I have no more details of the event.

1965 Welsh Rally in January car no. not known navigated by H. Hughes. Went off the road on Epynt.

1965 Tulip Rally was car no. 104 navigated by Barry Whizzo Williams no details but suspect they ran out of time in deep snow.

1965 Kent Rally no. not known navigated by Tony Mason. Car ended up on its roof in mid Wales.

1965 Welsh Rally was car no. 32 navigated by Roger Willis. Car ended up on its roof in Myherin stage.

 

When I bought the car in 1967, it understandably required another bodyshell. I would appreciate any details regarding the car or crew and especially any period photos as the only one I have is on the 1965 Tulip. Thanks

 



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#2 RS2000

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Posted 23 March 2021 - 22:25

63 RAC driver listed as M. Bowyer.

64 RAC driver listed as M. Bowyer (I have REP548 listed against entry).

65 Tulip driver listed as Michael Bowyer. Results show "Out of classification" along with many others (probably OTL in the snow as you suggest).

 

I have entry/results from both Welsh Internationals in 65 (Jan and Dec) and may have some Kent data (7 Oaks and DMC Kent Rally run in Wales, not Kent). Will report later.



#3 RS2000

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Posted 23 March 2021 - 23:01

From "The Welsh Rally" (Mark Griffin and Martin Leonard):

Jan 65. No.25 Mike Bowyer/H. Hughes. Cortina GT. Cannot see in list of 38 finishers.

Dec 65. No.32 Mike Bowyer/ Unknown. Car Unknown. Cannot see in  list of 68 finishers.

 

From "Motoring News" report, via Peter Robinson's "Memory Lanes - The Begining":

Kent June 12/13/1965. No entry list and not in top 15 listed finishers but:

"Going down the map towards Bailey Hill (2372) Friswell/Taylor were reversing at a confusing junction when  they came into contact with Mike  Bowyer/Tony Mason's Lotus Cortina, the latter crew losing 15 minutes before they could continue".

"On the slippery hill at Stokley Wood (094409) Mike Bowyer/Tony Mason rolled their Cortina in spectacular fashion blocking the lane for following rally traffic. It wasn't until Simister, Reid, Gibbs and Tocknell had arrived that it became possible to move the badly bent car out of the way".

Map references then will be one inch to mile 7th series not later metric 1:50000.

Many Cortina GTs were being re-engined with TCs around then. The Lotus Cortina was homologated with leaf spring rear 1.6.65. (at last making it suitable for rallying - Nick Wa on here had one of the first) but that would not have affected non International events, so it could have been either or even a reporting error and was still a pushrod GT. 



#4 Cortmk1

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Posted 24 March 2021 - 08:34

Thank you for the input. I do know quite a bit about the Kent event as Tony Mason wrote the write up for Motoring News which is why we have the detail of where the 'incidents' took place. It is photos that I would really like to find, any ideas as I have tried the historic rally groups on FB?



#5 BRG

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Posted 24 March 2021 - 13:21

Map references then will be one inch to mile 7th series not later metric 1:50000.

As a point of detail, whilst the scale of OS maps changed, the grid of 1 km squares did not, so map references should still plot.



#6 arttidesco

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Posted 24 March 2021 - 16:04

Thank you for the input. I do know quite a bit about the Kent event as Tony Mason wrote the write up for Motoring News which is why we have the detail of where the 'incidents' took place. It is photos that I would really like to find, any ideas as I have tried the historic rally groups on FB?

 

Incase you have not come across it here is the Seven Oaks DMC fb page link, they seem to have photos of some of their events in the time frame you are looking for ;- https://www.facebook.com/sevenoaksmc/



#7 RS2000

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Posted 24 March 2021 - 16:48

As a point of detail, whilst the scale of OS maps changed, the grid of 1 km squares did not, so map references should still plot.

 

As you may know, the change in scale rendered many locations, especially in Wales, so different as to have made the difference between winning a rally or getting lost and losing it.....

 

As for the original question, which could have been better worded to avoid nugatory work, the fact I had the reg. no. on an RAC Rally list probably means I picked it up from a photo or film as part of RAC Rally research - Pathe or other film of 64 RAC (Google is your friend) or photos of 64 RAC in the Stanford/Digital Revs library (which no longer responds to my link - but Rupertlt1 on here was the expert on that site that I think first pointed it out). 
 


Edited by RS2000, 24 March 2021 - 16:49.


#8 BRG

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Posted 24 March 2021 - 18:04

As you may know, the change in scale rendered many locations, especially in Wales, so different as to have made the difference between winning a rally or getting lost and losing it.....

 

Well, I have heard a lot of excuses for navigators* screwing up and that is just another one. 

 

The initial series of the new 2cm to 1km (1:50,000) were photographically enlarged and then the roads were narrowed by some abstruse means.  Later series were re-surveyed & redrawn so should be exactly the same as the 1" to 1 mile maps, unless the physical topography had actually changed.  So a given map reference should locate exactly the same point whichever scale of map is used.

 

* I may have even made some excuses myself...it was not as map, squire, honest.



#9 Tim Murray

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Posted 24 March 2021 - 18:35

... and then the roads were narrowed by some abstruse means.


In the very minor navigation events/12 car rallies I participated in, I certainly noted that the first series of metric maps were much less accurate than the old 1” series when trying to call nasty bends etc. I assume this accuracy was lost in whatever means was used to narrow the roads.

#10 Cortmk1

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Posted 24 March 2021 - 18:48

Thanks for the responses guys, I feel a few more nights searching Google and Pathe are in order. I have contacted the secretary of the Sevenoaks Motor Club and he has put a request out to the membership for photos and info. I decided that my old 1" to the mile OS maps were getting very worn and recently splashed out on some good 1967 edition maps off Ebay covering the most of Wales so feel I am period correct now. 



#11 Cortmk1

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Posted 27 March 2021 - 15:50

Having spent a few hours going through the Stanford/Digital Revs library site archives, I have now found a couple of photos of REP 548 plus a few seconds of movie coverage on Youtube so feeling quite chuffed. My thanks to member RS2000 on here for the leads, and the search continues, seeing the car moving back in 1964 was very nostalgic.



#12 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 28 March 2021 - 06:45

The thing is that when it was 'reshelled' it ceased being the original car.

50 years in the motortrade has me quite adamant of that. All the shonky 'hero' cars that are bitsas!



#13 Cortmk1

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Posted 28 March 2021 - 12:27

When it was 'reshelled', the DVLA give it a new registration number in line with their policy at the time. However, Mr Ford deemed a bodyshell a 'service part' and many works race and rally cars of the 60's and 70's retained their original registration number despite several changes of body.



#14 Doug Nye

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Posted 28 March 2021 - 20:26

This is a fine example of the variability in perception of what constitutes "an historic car".

 

A motor industry standard conflicts sharply with that of the automotive archaeologist.  

 

In effect one man's reality can easily be another man's mere replica. For those seeking a proven relic from a great driver's career, mere occupation of a long-since vacated cuboid of airspace just won't cut it.  But hey, each to his own...the core enthusiasm's the same, it's only the standards applied that differ.

 

DCN



#15 Catalina Park

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Posted 29 March 2021 - 09:35

I think that Lee is basing his interpretation of re-shelling on current Australian laws, but ignoring the fact that the local manufacturers sold replacement shells through their parts and accessories businesses.
It is legal to re-shell a car in Australia as long as the proper procedures are followed.

Funny thing is that Lee's state didn't record the cars numbers in their registration system for a long time and only used the engine number. So if you kept the engine and changed the body they didn't know and didn't care.



#16 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 30 March 2021 - 00:46

When it was 'reshelled', the DVLA give it a new registration number in line with their policy at the time. However, Mr Ford deemed a bodyshell a 'service part' and many works race and rally cars of the 60's and 70's retained their original registration number despite several changes of body.

Probably because they did not tell the rego people.

As competition cars the whole car was in effect throwaway.

But calling a reshelled car the original was even then illegal.

And these days ofcourse even more so. 

A competition cars history is its value,, but saying rego X won such a such event but was a previous shell is not the cars history.

Though all of those old rally cars had very limited life spans as the shells were never designed to do that sort of life. Doesnt matter what brand of car, they all had quite finite lives.

Decades ago I looked at an old HDT XU1 rally car.  BUT it was stuffed. Cracked everywhere and generally buggered. 

Harry Firth was always blamed for the HDT Beast XU1 Sports sedan being not great as it was an old rally car shell and full of fatigue.



#17 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 30 March 2021 - 00:56

I think that Lee is basing his interpretation of re-shelling on current Australian laws, but ignoring the fact that the local manufacturers sold replacement shells through their parts and accessories businesses.
It is legal to re-shell a car in Australia as long as the proper procedures are followed.

Funny thing is that Lee's state didn't record the cars numbers in their registration system for a long time and only used the engine number. So if you kept the engine and changed the body they didn't know and didn't care.

They did not record the chassis number. But IF the engine number was different the car had to be inspected.

That has always been the case here in SA though since the 80s chassis numbers and then VIN numbers were recorded. 

It seems they are not so concerned with engine numbers these days but the VIN is sacrosanct, and that goes with the shell.

I can remember a friend had the shell replaced on his burnt out HQ when near new. Say 73. Car was torched. The shell was replaced with a brand new trimmed shell from GMH. But they used the front chassis, mechanicals from the old car. The fire was mainly inside the car, trim body shell were stuffed but most of the front was ok. Even most panels were used, singed but still ok once painted.

That shell ended up on speedway with used rails etc.



#18 Cortmk1

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Posted 30 March 2021 - 19:13

Its a shame that this post has been hijacked about the rights and wrongs of re-shelling a car, which personally I have no problem with. If it was good enough for the Ford Competition lads at Boreham Wood, its good enough for me. The reason for trying to get the information about REP's history was to fill in the background about Mike Bowyer's life. He was a garage owner when I knew him in the 1960's and then at the age of 50 had a career change and became a Marine Archaeologist and was the head diver when Henry VIII's warship, the Mary Rose was raised from the bed of the Solent in 1982. He died in 2014 and donated his body to Liverpool University for medical Science so he was not a run of the mill guy and I am writing an article about him.



#19 BRG

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Posted 31 March 2021 - 19:00

Its a shame that this post has been hijacked about the rights and wrongs of re-shelling a car, which personally I have no problem with. 

 

Welcome to the forum!!  Threads often veer off on unexpected courses, but often circle back. 

 

The question of provenance of classic competition cars is a bit of a bugbear hereabouts so it is not surprising that it came up here.  As you say, Ford Boreham re-shelled rally cars in period (not to mention being a bit cavalier about moving number plates form car to car and back again) and cars sold by Boreham usually were rallied in private hands and could well have been re-shelled again before they became seen as collectable classics rather than just another rally car.  But,as you say, enough on that subject.