Thursday, 18 March 2021

Jack Fisher's Specials make it to print

Several of you tipped me off about a new book by Peter Speakman and Kenny Baird, which came out last month, describing the doings and dealings of Scotsman Jack Fisher. Fisher famously ran a garage and dealership in Edinburgh and competed in a great number of cars, the majority of them designed and built by himself. From his own memory there were 22 of them, and they are all described in this lovely little book, some in a few lines only; others more extensively. You have probably heard of the Mini based Fisher Spyder (here) and Fisher GT ('Maximum Mini Find of the Year 2020' - more here) but there were clearly more than these alone! 

Like Colin Chapman, Trevor Wilkinson, Eric Broadley and Jem Marsh - to name just a few - Fisher, too, started small with an Austin 7 Special, but later cars also used Fiat, MG, Riley, Jaguar, Alfa-Romeo and Lancia power. The Mini based GT and Spyder are relatively extensively described here with some new information and a few new pictures (to me, at least). But I was also surprised to read there were plans to come up with a Formula Junior car using a mid-mounted Mini engine/gearbox as well, and that as early as 1959! From the book: "This was advanced thinking for the time, as FJ cars of this period were mainly front engined. The project was subsequently aborted as Jack felt the rapid development of the Ford FJ engine would leave the BMC unit uncompetitive." Now that would have been a novelty!

Apart from the 22 cars there is a chapter devoted to competition history and one to the Fisher Specials as they are today. The Fisher GT was originally painted silver - a colour photograph taken back in 1965 is there to prove it - and it will be repainted in that hue, too. Other then so many books repeating old information and pictures, this is just about the opposite. It's small and only for the happy few who know about these cars or are interested in them, but it will be right up their street, too, as it is made with genuine enthusiasm for these cars. It's 120 pages in a small format but no doubt worth the 20 pounds including postage and packing. Buy it here.

Jack Fisher stars on the cover of a lovely little book about the man himself and his cars
Picture Jeroen Booij

The Fisher GT was one of the Mini based Specials built by Fisher. It was found only recently
Picture Jeroen Booij

The Fisher GT Mk2 was also Mini based but saw a greater number of incarnations...
Picture Jeroen Booij

...and was eventually turned into the Fisher Spyder with Gropa Spyder body
Picture Jeroen Booij

The history of Fisher's Specials is illustrated with some unique historical material, too
Picture Jeroen Booij

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