It is now 8 years today since my good friend and mentor, (Arthur) Frank Pierson left this earth to join many of his friends and fellow competitors in the final Parc Ferme. I had known Frank since 1968 when he first started serious club rallying in a four door Mk1 Cortina GT registration number ARF 170D. He did many local club events before taking part in the Motoring News championship and then the 1969 Welsh International coming 7th overall and winning best First International award. Later in 1969, the car was re-shelled into a two door GT shell and morphed into a Lotus Cortina with even more success in the MN championship winning the Cambrian and finishing 4th position at the end of 19 events. The car still lives on owned by Frank's nephew but is now back into a four door shell.
In 1970, Frank built himself a Twin Cam Escort from a damaged bodyshell (and using a lot of the mechanics from his Cortina Mk1), becoming a very distinctive and successful car with the registration number TNT242J. This was rallied throughout the 1970 to 1975 Motoring News championships and also the Welsh and RAC Internationals and this took its toll on the bodyshell and a replacement 'big wing shell' built into the car around 1973. In 1975, Frank forsook road rallies and concentrated on stage events with considerable success winning the Welsh Stage Championship three years in succession (1976/77/78) and coming third overall in the 1978 Esso/BTRDA series. 'TNT' was now on its third bodyshell, an accident damaged and repaired Mk2 Escort shell, and this lasted Frank until he retired from competitive motoring in 1980. Sadly, the car was left neglected for many years standing outside in the weather until 2001, but by this time, the shell was scrap due to severe corrosion and yet another second hand bodyshell procured. The car was 50% rebuilt car when Frank sadly passed away but hopefully it will live again and the restoration is being continued by Frank's son.
So my question to TNF members is do you know of any monocoque car from the mid 1960's through to the late 1970's that competed regularly in Motoring News, stage and International type events that still retains its original bodyshell from new today, as from my own personal experience, I doubt many do?