Saturday, 25 December 2010

My name is - #1 Carden Sport

One of the interesting things I have learned about Farnham the town closest to to my senior school this year is that it once appears to have had a budding motor industry. First I learned that it was home to the coach builders Abbots of Farnham when I was researching fourth blog on a BMW Fraser Nash, and now I find this cute little Carden cyclecar was originally designed by Sir John Carden, 6th Baronet who founded Carden Engineering in Farnham.

Sir John Carden Bt 6 is most famous for designing the Carden Loyd tankette which evolved into the well known WW2 Bren Carrier. He was also interested in building affordable light aircraft and cyclecars, this model, his side by side two seater, is his third and final cyclecar design. Readers of my previous Rowdy blogs might remember the AV Monocar which was his first design. Note the vehicle seen here has a semblance of independent front suspension a la Morgan, but no front brakes.

Despite being aimed at economy, the plan was for the car to cost just £100 on the road, notice the decorative brass electrical switches on the dash board.

The driver sits atop a 7hp 707cc / 43 cui two cylinder two stroke engine each cylinder sits either side of the transmission.

To get the motor started there is a kick start and being a two stroke apparently one can never be entirely sure which way the vehicle will proceed as the motor will happily spin the crankshaft clockwise or anticlockwise.

The bodywork was constructed of wood and fibreboard, the weight of vehicle is just 182 kgs / 400 lbs.

There seems to be a little doubt about what this little beauty is called, in the VSCC programmes Gerry Michelmore is listed as being the owner driver of the #1 Carden Sport, RM Auctions and others believe the model is called Carden Model 7 Cyclecar, Wiki makes reference to the car being called New Carden after the design was sold to Arnott & Harrison in 1922 and one owner R Dallas Brett painted the name Scarab on the bonnet of his which was purchased unpainted.

My thanks to TNFers Tim Murray, Vitesse2 and Markpde for helping me find out about the #1 Carden Sport.

Wishing 'Gettin' a lil psycho on tyres' contributor John Aibel a Happy Birthday and everyone who has played a part in this blog, however great or small, peace and goodwill.

Hope you enjoyed this 7hp edition of 'Gettin' a lil' psycho on tyres' on the first day of Christmas and that you will join me for a look at my favourite Formula One car tomorrow. Don't forget to come back now !