Wednesday, 19 December 2012

The Fletcher files (3)

It's funky Fletcher time again. With part 3 of the Fletcher files, describing each car known separately. After having taken over the manufacturing rights of the Ogle SX1000 in 1966 and having raced his own car - this one - boat builder and racing driver Norman Fletcher found it time to market his car as the Fletcher GT. The production version was unveiled at the Racing Car Show of 1967 - where it shared a stand with a selection of Astrali steering wheels. It's the first time the fully redesigned car is shown in public, as the Fletcher has a redesigned front and rear compared to the Ogle. The headlights were now fitted in recessed Perspex cowls and the rear was sharper styled and came with light clusters from the Austin 1800. After the show orders for road going Fletcher GT’s came in, and a Swiss dealer is even said to have ordered 30 cars (who can confirm this?). However, supply from BMC turned out to be a problem and Fletcher chose to concentrate on boat building rather than on his cars. The show car changed hands several times and was transformed into a race car later. It was fully restored in 2009 and made it to the Spa 6 hours race that summer, but was crashed and seriously damaged. I understand it is restored, but it hasn't been seen on the track lately.

January 1967. It's showtime! Fletcher GT shares London stand with Astrali steering wheels
Picture Jeroen Booij archives 
It's the first outing of a Fletcher GT with both the modified rear as well as the modified front
Picture Jeroen Booij archives
Rare flyer of the Fletcher GT, handed out on 1967 Racing Car Show, shows redesigned car 
Picture courtesy Paul Stanworth

In the late 80s the car looked as if it was raced by Evel Knievel. By 1990 restoration was needed
Picture Jeroen Booij archives
Four years later the patriotic paint scheme has come off, revealing the original white
Picture Jeroen Booij archives
It's then repainted blue. Roll bar and reversing lights must have been fitted at one stage 
Picture Jeroen Booij archives
The new owner decided to built it up as a racing car and paint it maroon with silver stripes
Picture Jeroen Booij
Ouch! The first race after the restoration meant serious trouble at Spa; body broken in two 
Picture courtesy Claus Ebberfeld

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