Thursday, 18 October 2012

The Fletcher files (1)

Ah, another picture of a lovely Ogle SX1000 on display. It is an Ogle isn't it? Not just for the big sign accompanying it, as for its instantly recognizable shape and badges. And than there's the registration number, suggestion it's an Ogle, too. When you are anorak enough to check it out on the DVLA database you will even find it is registered as such.

Still then, I don't think this is an Ogle.

But you need to see the rear to tell that. And I did find a picture of that, too. Now look again. These aren't the Mini rear lights placed horizontally as the SX1000s have them. Nope. These are Austin 1800 sourced units. As a matter of fact the whole rear is restyled with a sharper edge and rear bumpers rather then overriders only. Yes, this has to be one of the 4 Fletcher GTs built. When you look closer you will also spot the bonnet bulge: another Fletcher modification. But why doesn't it come with Fletcher's restyled nose with cowled head lights then? Well, I have no idea. Perhaps it was an SX1000 that was converted by Norman Fletcher before he finished modifying the front? A prototype? Or perhaps it was modified back to look like an Ogle later in its life? It is intriguing, I think.

The strange thing is that another Fletcher GT comes with the Fletcher front but with an ordinary Ogle rear. I'll write about that soon. In fact I have pictures of all the presumed four Fletchers plus one of a mystyery car that could be number 5. So why not turn these into a little Fletcher file? Stay tuned.

UPDATE 23 November 2012: Paul Fleetwood sent in a copy of an article that has the car featured. A quote: "It appears the car was one of the original (Ogle-JB) demonstrators, driven by David Ogle for a period before he was killed in a car crash in 1962. It was then used by the subsequent director of the company, Tom Karen, before the SX1000 project was sold to boat builder Norman Fletcher, with the addition of the rearward facing bonnet scoop and Mk1 Austin 1800 rear lamps (...). What makes this car unique is that the modification never made it into production, with lighting regulations forcing Fletcher into some dramatic styling changes at the front and the subsequent sale of just four Fletcher GTs following the car's relaunch at the '67 Racing Car Show."

All about this car shouts 'Ogle SX1000'. But I don't think it is one
Picture courtesy
There you go. The rear reveals the sharp restyling of the Fletcher GT
Picture courtesy Hakkaloyin

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