Thursday, 1 August 2013

Wells' Coldwell

A while ago I got in touch with Rob Wells, who's been buying, selling, racing, maintaining, building and rebuilding cars. All different sorts of cars but mostly racers. There'd been several Mini based ones, too, and coincidentally the Coldwell GT was mentioned. To my surprise Rob recalled he'd had one of those too (of only 4 built)! Unfortunately he didn't have any pictures of it, but when I looked in my own files I found that had some myself! Well, just two of them but it was good anyway. Rob easily recognized himself because of his helmet with 'Suzuki' written on it. He also remembered he'd modified the roof as the car was so low. And when you look closely at the picture below you will see that his Suzuki helmet just pops out of the open roof, with the rear view mirrors are right on top of it. The pictures were taken during a 6-hour relay race but Rob couldn't remember exactly when, but probably post-1973. He drove the car together with Bob Hurst and does remember the clutch went when he just came from a hairpin.

I don't know which of the four Coldwells this one is but can guess. It cannot be the one that went to race the Macau Grand Prix in 1970 (full story here), and I am guessing it's neither the one in the Maruyama collection that I photographed for my book (as that one has a bit of a documented past). It can also not be the one which Coldwell founder Bill Needham tracked down in a Sheffield garage some years ago, as that was still unfinished after all those years. That leaves only one car: the one that is believed to have ended up in an American museum of unknown wherabouts. Americans, come in..! 

Rob Wells in action in the Coldwell GT with modified roof. Note helmet popping out!
Picture Jeroen Booij archive 
Some fierce competition in 6-hour relay race. Note that Coldwell GT is lower than GT40!
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

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