Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Airways to Highways - GN JAP Grand Prix

A cycle car was a vehicle that weighed between 150 kg / 331 lbs and 350 kgs / 772lbs powered by an engine no larger than 1.1 litres / 67 cui that often qualified for reduced taxation. GN made such cars between 1910 and 1920 with proper wooden chassis.

On August 6th 1910 Britain's first qualified aviator E T Willows became the first man to fly across the Bristol channel in his dirigible airship the 30 HP JAP V8 powered 'Willow's No.2' on the way from his home town Cardiff to London. He accidentally dropped his packed lunch over Bristol. Willow's No 2 was rebuilt into Willow's No.3 'City of Cardiff' and became the first airship to cross the English Channel on it's way from London to Paris. Willow's celebrated his achievement on new years eve 1910/11 by flying his JAP powered airship round the Eifel Tower.

Richard Scaldwell brought together a 1919 wooden GN cyclecar chassis and E T Willows 1908 5112cc / 3111 cui JAP V8 to create the GN JAP Grand Prix special which he races in the Pre 1941 racing car class at VSCC events.

Amazingly after a days fun on the track Richard then drives his road legal racer home !

With thanks to Martin Squires for back ground information.

Hope you have enjoyed today's high flying edition of Getting a lil' psycho on tyres and will join me tomorrow for a look at a 200 hp Land Speed Record Breaker. Don't forget to come back now !


  1. I forget, what does "JAP" signify?

  2. J.A.Prestwich & Co Ltd they made whole motorcycles 1904 - 1908 and then supplied proprietry engines, after 1945 production was taken over by Villiers IIRC Racer.

  3. Is that the first car with side pipes?

  4. JC check out tomorrows post for side pipes on a vehicle dating back to 1905, though in both cases I believe you will find that they are primarily fitted to meet 110 db noise regulations at the venues where they are raced.

    I had a feeling you might like this one Paul as I am sure you will find out before long :-)