For a short video of the vehicle running please click here
‘EV’ is a rare survivor from the 1950’s ‘Special’ movement. She was built by a talented engineer, Stanley Ayris, in 1959. His son recalls that his father built many such cars right through to the late 1960’s in his garage in Essex.
In building this particular car, Stanley very much chose the best of what was available at the time. The ‘1172’ glass-fibre shell from Ashley Laminates had been introduced at the start of 1959 and was by far the most popular of all the specials with around 500 built in total. For the underpinnings he seemingly commissioned Fairthorpe to adapt their new ‘Zeta’ chassis to make it longer so that it could accommodate the 1172 shell.
His mix and match approach did not end with the main components. He purchased a brand new MG A 1500 engine and finished everything off with Triumph TR3 suspension and running gear. According to his son, he wanted a 2 + 2 sports car so that he could take the children on his motoring adventures. One peek in the car suggests that people really were much smaller 60 years ago!
It isn’t clear when Stanley sold 8840 EV but she appears next on an MOT certificate from 1970 with just 1,493 miles on the clock … in Scotland!
The car was then bought by Richard Rojek in 1975. He stripped the car down, found the engine bores still to have their honing marks, put it back together and promptly left it in his garage for 36 years. Upon retirement in 2009 he dragged the car back out and started to bring it back to life albeit a little later than expected!
Over the next 3 or 4 years he fixed brakes, fuel lines etc and finally had the bodyshell painted. The car was featured in ‘Sports Car and Classic’ in 2013 and Richard expressed his wish that he would like to drive from his home in Dundee to Goodwood for the Revival festival. True to his word, he did this twice(!) and this accounts for many of the 7,250 miles now showing on the odometer.
Richard decided to sell the car at Morris Leslie car auctions of Perth in December 2017. The car was featured in the ‘Classic Car Weekly’ auction preview and its ‘oddness’ attracted the vendor’s attention and a deal was done post auction.
Things have moved on. The vendor has rebuilt the gearbox, as there were numerous leaks, taking the opportunity to replace bearings, layshaft and second gear synchro which is known weak point of the MGA box. He then replaced the (original) clutch, rebuilt the twin SU’s and had the bespoke radiator re-cored by a specialist. Finally, her chassis was cleaned up and painted in epoxy paint and a new exhaust fabricated.
Cosmetically, the vendor decided to convert to new wire wheels shod in suitably period Dunlop rubber. The interior is also pretty much new as this wasn’t an area that had ever really been looked at before except for the original turned aluminium dash.
Other than a cramped driving position, she is pretty easy to drive. Performance is more than adequate and handling excellent. The vendor has taken her to quite a few local shows (winning one rosette!) and she gets an awful lot of interest as most people have either never seen one or at least not since the 1960’s! The vendor has no particular reason to sell other than the desire to restore, refresh and generally own as many old cars in my life as possible.
Auctioneers notes: This is a very rare car with its original MGA engine.