The Car in the Father Brown mystery/drama series

Pat

Silver Supporter
#1
I'm a big fan of period mysteries and especially enjoy Foyles War and Father Brown. There is a question some of you in the UK may be able to answer. What is the convertible Lady Windermere (Bunty) drives? Very, very cool and I've never seen one over here.

On a side note, Father Brown's little village of Kembleford apparently has a murder rate that dwarfs that of Chicago.
 

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Nick

Bronze Supporter
#4
I'm a big fan of period mysteries and especially enjoy Foyles War and Father Brown. There is a question some of you in the UK may be able to answer. What is the convertible Lady Windermere (Bunty) drives? Very, very cool and I've never seen one over here.

On a side note, Father Brown's little village of Kembleford apparently has a murder rate that dwarf's that of Chicago.
It is indeed a Triumph Roadster, despite being an MG man I would have loved one, you could have had this one ;) prices have more than doubled in the last 10 years.

1949 Triumph 2000 Roadster for Auction - Anglia Car Auctions

Commonly know as the Bergerac car over here, another good series in my opinion, worth a watch if you can get it.

The Cult of Bergerac - Triumph Roadster Problems - YouTube

P.S. nothing wrong with them if they are looked after and maintained properly!
 

Pat

Silver Supporter
#5
Thanks so much for the information. It's such a beautiful car and reminiscent of the prewar Delage. The art deco influenced lines are simply stunning.

The 1938 Delage:
 

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#6
Thanks so much for the information. It's such a beautiful car and reminiscent of the prewar Delage. The art deco influenced lines are simply stunning.

The 1938 Delage:
I love those Art Deco cars. I’d love to see modernized versions of those cars built (major manufacturer or component cars). A few examples that I like:







 

Pat

Silver Supporter
#8
Fabulous car Nick, thanks for sharing. Those cars are simply sensuous.
It's a shame that had to have the Bride of Frankenstein photobomb the pics though. ;)

This prewar 1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider was at last year's Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance and won Best of Show Concours d'Sport. Incredibly, this car was actually raced and won in 1949-50.

As much as I love GT40's if I had the financial means for any car I wanted, I'd be hard pressed not to go for something like the 1925 Rolls-Royce Jonckheere Phantom I Round Door Coupé. Second pic.

Nick and Justin, you've now made me late for dinner ;0

$10M Cars? Original 1925/34 Rolls-Royce Round Door Coupe vs Modern Vision by Dutch Designer Ugur Sahin
 

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Pat

Silver Supporter
#10
That is a truly stunning car Nick.

If it's yours:

1. I'm truly envious
2. You must provide more pics.
3. I wouldn't kick the Bugatti out of the garage for a spot or two on the floor though.
4. I'll need to tell the wife I'll be late for dinner again.
 

Nick

Bronze Supporter
#11
That is a truly stunning car Nick.

If it's yours:

1. I'm truly envious
2. You must provide more pics.
3. I wouldn't kick the Bugatti out of the garage for a spot or two on the floor though.
4. I'll need to tell the wife I'll be late for dinner again.
No that's not mine, it's a mere 6 cylinder :eek: (Hudson engine) mine is an 8 dear boy!! :). Also a link to a video showing my friend using it annual MOT test as an excuse to take it for a drive, and a video of one of the few cars I would swap it for if they gave me some money on top ;)

WP 20150926 09 02 45 Pro - YouTube

My Edited Video - YouTube
 

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Pat

Silver Supporter
#12
Beautiful! and thanks for sharing Nick. I enjoyed the you tube videos but they were so short. Can you share any history of the car? I just turned my dictionary to the word "elegance" and a pic of your car was there. ;)

You sir, are my hero of the month!
 

Nick

Bronze Supporter
#15
Beautiful! and thanks for sharing Nick. I enjoyed the you tube videos but they were so short. Can you share any history of the car? I just turned my dictionary to the word "elegance" and a pic of your car was there. ;)

You sir, are my hero of the month!
Hero of the month hi praise indeed, I was just lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time to buy it. The real heroes are the guys in the 30’s who built these cars with just hand tools and a good eye, no cad, computers, CNC machines etc. Must make sure I don’t post anything on the politics thread and may hero status may make it to the end of the month ;)

Not sure if this is what you were after, but here you go

Brough Superior cars were built by George Brough manly known for building what a journalist at Motor Cycle magazine termed at the time, the Rolls Royce of Motorbikes. George was a larger than life character, for example when asked how many cars he built he would say around 1000, it was more likely just over 100, all records were lost in the war. His own Brough 8 Cylinder car has a side step instead of running boards. This allegedly came about as a result of his liking to visit the local pub in the car; some say the landlady was another attraction for him, not for me to comment on that. Apparently one night after a fairly lengthy stay at the pub sampling it’s liquid wares, on the way home he failed to negotiate a railway crossing correctly making it necessary to remove the damaged running board, and replacing the boards both sides with a step.

It is often said that he was not a good engineer, as with both the cars and the motorbikes, he took the best bits he could find and put them together, personally I think this is a bit of an injustice. He was certainly ahead of his time when it came to publicity and marketing. If his bikes ever attended a race meeting unlike many other manufacturers, they turned up immaculately presented. He was also a very accomplished motorbike racer. His family made him give up racing after his bike went through the finish line at a fair rate of knots, unfortunately he was not on it at the time, and passed the finish a short time afterwards. In fact a well-known photo of him with two sticks talking to Lawrence of Arabia on one of the many Brough bikes he owned was taken shortly after this incident.

George decided to build cars in the early 1930’s, he built a couple of prototypes using meadows engines but felt they were underpowered, until he settled on the 8 cylinder side valve Hudson Engine, Chassis and running gear for production cars. Sales began in May 1935 and around 25 8 cylinder cars were built with around 13 known to have survived. The chassis with Hudson engines were bought in from the US, then despatched to a little known coachbuilder WC Atcherley (more information in the book WC Atcherley the lost coachbuilder) for the bodies to be fitted before being returned to the Brough works in Nottingham for completion. George was good friends with William Lyons founder of Swallow Sidecars Blackpool and therefore of obvious interest to a motorbike manufacturer. Swallow Sidecars became SS cars and after the war for obvious reasons changed name to Jaguar Cars. Some think William may have had some influence over the body design, in my mind it would not have looked out of place on a period Jaguar chassis.

Legend has it that after around a year Railton who were a bigger concern than Brough, who were also using a Hudson 8 cylinder engine in their cars complained to Hudson about them supplying a competitor and after 1935 Hudson only supplied the 6 cylinder car to George.

Possibly to counter any customer negativity towards a loss in power of the 6 over the 8, George built one 6 cylinder Alpine Grand Sports Supercharged Special bodied car nicknamed Girl Pat after a notorious boat of the time. The car survives and is actively campaigned by its owner mainly in Vintage Sports Car Club hill climbs. Around 75 6 cylinder cars are believed to have been built, 3 of which were saloons.

Just before the war George built his final car a Lincoln Zepher V12 cylinder engined Charlesworth bodied saloon. This always had cooling issues as the engine was set very low. It is owned by the same owner of George Brough’s car but has sadly not been on the road for many years. I saw it about 20 years ago and am really jealous of the owner’s 3 Brough’s she also owns a 6 cylinder saloon.

During the war George took out the rear seat of his Brough and used it as a delivery vehicle for up to 12 Rolls Royce Merlin engine cranks at a time, that his works had the job of machining. This car is said to have done over 300000 miles with minimum maintenance with no problems, and we think we are so clever now.

After the war George did not manufacturer any more Bikes or Cars, just continued servicing and maintaining his customer’s machines whilst also doing precision engineering for others.

My own Brough is a 1935 8 cylinder and I became the custodian after a long search for one in 2000. I was very very lucky. Fred joined the Railton Owners Club which covers Brough cars and contacted me as he was looking for a Brough car and I had built up some knowledge of most of the available cars in the UK and around the world, he owned a house in Tucson and spent summer in the UK and winter in the US. In 2000 he rang me as he had just returned to the UK, to ask if I had seen the Brough for sale in the Sunday Times, he had just found and purchased a Brough in the US that needed restoration if he hadn’t he said he would not be phoning me. To cut a long and at a couple of points painful story short I was able to buy the car.

Incidentally Fred’s Brough had an interesting history, he found it in Arizona, and its previous owner was apparently very pale. This fact was somewhat lost on me until he explained that most people in Arizona would not be particularly pale, the previous owner was pale due to his business dealings. As a result of these business dealing he had, what we would say in the UK, spent some time at “her majesty’s pleasure”. He was also concerned about shipping the car back to the UK in case customs had sniffer dogs and the previous owner had stored any of his business “products” in the car.

It has been a privilege to be the custodian of the car and has given me many happy memories especially when being used as bridal transport for family weddings and in the past paid for bridal transport. It is also been great to take to show’s as I am a bit shy when it comes to talking to strangers no problem when you have a Brough people come and talk to you. One highlight was an old boy of about 80 coming up and saying if my car had been the only one in the show it would have still been worth coming. Another was a discussion with an expert who was adamant the car was a fake as “Brough never made cars.”

It is a wonderful car to drive, it has a 3 speed reverse gate gearbox but the torque of the engine means in top you can go down to around 10mph and accelerate up to maximum, the period advertisement stated “90 in Silence” I think they must all have been a bit deaf in those days. Rolls Royce archives show they obtained a Hudson 8 Cylinder engine to take apart as they could not believe how smooth it was. Having owned a 1931 Rolls Royce 20/25 the engineering on the Rolls engine is far Superior to the simple side valve splash lubrication Hudson 8, but the Hudson matches the Rolls Royce in smoothness. It’s only Achilles heel is a very small radiator and an engine that produces a lot of heat. OK when on the move but if it gets hot and the engine cuts out for whatever reason it can be a nightmare, not helped by modern petrol to get started again. Never used to be a problem as usually you are on a minor road somewhere but I have noticed recently a lot more abuse being thrown my way by other impatient motorists who have been held up for 30 seconds or so.

Well if you have got this far you have done well, but in my defence I was asked :)



Pictures of the full Brough range can be found here.


Brough Superior Cars
 

Pat

Silver Supporter
#17
Nick, you've been elevated to "Hero of the Year" status.
What a wonderful "auto"-biography!
The fact that you have Merlin cranks and bride bottoms in the same seat alone makes the story a classic. Every car has a story and it's fantastic that you've shared yours. Thanks so much.
Don't be concerned about my political rants. Most of the time I'm just waxing nostalgic for the days of civility in the paddock when it had funny jokes, pretty girls and great stories (like yours).

One other question, would you be interested in adopting a 70 year old American? He's reasonably educated and almost potty trained ;)

Thanks again.
 

Nick

Bronze Supporter
#18
One other question, would you be interested in adopting a 70 year old American? He's reasonably educated and almost potty trained ;)

Thanks again.
Not really, can't have an older guy with more attributes than me in the house, my wife might realize she has been short changed :)

Should clarify George Brough carried the crank shafts in his car, don't think mine did but mine has had many brides and bridesmaids in it, all shapes all sizes all beautiful.

Oh and it carries George Brough's sixth cousin 3 times removed according to the Brough Family Organization Utah USA ;)
 
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Pat

Silver Supporter
#19
One of the issues I have with the "new retro" cars is while their styling is beautiful, they seem to be overdone in what I'd call the "bling factor". Compare your Brough or any of the prewar pics I posted earlier to some of the modern retros. They seem a bit garish in comparison. For example, consider the Chip Foose's Ridler award winner vs the less "blingy" 1940 Packard or this gorgeous Delahaye. There is a certainly purity to the earlier cars I just find more appealing.
 

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Nick

Bronze Supporter
#20
Well they do say originals are usually the best, to me the retro ones can never get the wheels and tyres right, to small and fat. Having said that I have 17inch wheels on my 40 :( Liberace’s Packard used to attend quite a few classic car shows near me, gold leaf covered body, gold plated door handle and quite garish.

There have been a couple of high quality Kit Car manufactures in the UK that I think got very close, Atlantis and Royale I have there brochures, seems to be my reoccurring theme me sadly neither are still in business
 

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