Article header
Parts
Homepage. This page: A great old photo showing Miss 'BP' Bikini about to fill up a '50s Falcon sportscar.

A Ford-based Falcon Caribbean sportscar of the 1950s.

Trevor sent me this first Falcon photograph a few years back, and agreed to me showing it online. It's such a cracking photo that it is worth showing again. He was enquiring a) what the car was (he thought possibly an Ashley) b) who the young lady was, and c) where the picture was taken. If anyone recalls this garage, or perhaps the people in the photo, by all means get in touch.
The car to me looks like a Falcon Caribbean Mk3, one of many fibreglass sportscars that were built in young men's driveways in the '50s. Most utilised the humble running gear more often found under creaking old Ford 8s and 10s, although the lucky driver may well have opted for some tasty aftermarket tuning parts to bolt to the sidevalve lump, for some extra 'go'. The car in the photograph belonged to Trevor's father in the early 1960s, he lived in Danhill, East Sussex. The Falcon was registered either FOY or VOY 162. Does it survive?
A Falcon Caribbean
Does anyone know who Miss BP Bikini was? the scene is a small filling station, with an Austin agency and MOT garage on the same site. The two most visible petrol pumps are both pumping BP spirit, with some earlier pumps (one Esso) seemingly moved to the back and out of use.

2. Heather's Falcon Caribbean.

Heather got in touch in 2010 with a couple of photos of her Falcon Caribbean, seen when the car was around 10 years old, in the late 1960s. Heather adds: "I don't know who the [BP] model is, but looks a bit like me in period - I came 2nd in the Miss Max Factor, but was never near the Miss BP Bikini competition! And almost always had boys to fill my cars up for me. However, the best legs in the business belonged to my sister in law Copper, who is seen filling my Ford Caribbean with a hot water bottle. Sadly my ex-boyfriend, also pictured, blew my lovely car up coming back from Le Mans - as you may or may not remember, in period the roads to and from there resembled cobbled courtyards at best.
Happily though, my brother and also my present husband race historic Lotus Elites, Lotus Elan and Lotus 11 so Copper's legs will get plenty of summer airings this season. Yes they're still just as good (the legs, and of course the classic cars)."
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size image.)
Falcon Caribbean
Thanks for the photos Heather!

The Falcon Caribbean and other sidevalve specials.

The Falcon Caribbean was arguably one of the better looking Ford 1172 special bodyshells that were on offer at the time. Many different shapes and sizes of GRP shell were offered in the late '50s and early '60s to suit all tastes and pockets - the majority were sporty, low-slung numbers like the Falcons, either fixed head or open topped. Some looked good, others were more of an acquired taste. Most were fitted to a standard Pop chassis, although a small number, such as the Hamblin Cadet, were designed to fit the Austin 7 running gear. Some of the Ford-powered specials would have exciting sounding names, such as the Concordette, Fairthorpe Electron or Speedex Sirocco GT, whereas others were saddled from birth with less obvious name choices such as the Autobee Pacemaker, the Shirley, or the Conversion Car Bodies Naco Estate.
Enthusiasts with a taste for extra pace, and a chassis slightly more in keeping with their special's rakish demeanour, could opt to buy an aftermarket chassis to go under their sleekly-designed shell. The majority though stayed faithful to the Dagenham chassis and running gear. The biggest giveaway that your sporting machine was a Pop in pretty clothing, rather than an exotic from an Italian styling house, was the distinctive design of the Ford wheels (either in 16, 17 or 18 inch form). To avoid any visual similarities with your next-door neighbour's crusty old 10hp Pop or Anglia, you'd have to splash out on a set of 15 inch Ballamy rims, complete with smart chrome hubcaps, to complete the vision of sporty perfection. I'm sure though that the young lady in the photograph was more interested in getting the photo shoot over with, and putting on some warmer garments, than the style of road wheel fitted to this particular Falcon..
If anyone can shed more light on the Miss BP Bikini photo, or the people shown it, please drop me a line and I'll pass the information on. Shown below is an advertisement from 1961, showing a then-new Falcon Caribbean (sporting smart Ballamy steel wheels), and also advertising the larger 4 seater Falcon Bermuda.
An advertisement for Falcon bodyshells
Return to Old Vehicle Photos Page 7.
Custom Search
www.oldclassiccar.co.uk (C) R. Jones. Content not to be reproduced elsewhere.
Website by ableweb.
Privacy Policy, Cookies & Disclaimers