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Homepage. This page: Chassis, bodyshells and tuning parts for home-built Ford 1172cc specials in the 1950s.

Halifax car chassis and parts for home-built specials.

The section of the site looking at period suppliers of performance parts and services features several names well known to the special builders of the 1950s and 1960s. These include Aquaplane, Bowden, Speedex and Super Accessories to name just a few. The information leaflet for The Halifax Panel Beating Company Ltd featured here was kindly sent over by Peter, a visitor to the site who was having a clearout and wanted to find a home for this interesting item.
With the hobby of building a car at home enjoying great popularity with budding car builders up and down the country, Halifax put on sale not only a number of bespoke chassis designed for Ford and also Morris running gear, but also a range of sporty fibreglass bodyshells produced by outside firms. What now follows is a look at this leaflet, which Peter believes dates to 1959 or thereabouts. My thanks to Peter for sending this over to feature here.
Halifax tubular chassis leaflet

Fibreglass bodies on sale.

The leaflet begins with a list outlining the many different fibreglass bodies that they held in stock. They were, in the main, sporty designs although one exception is the Conversion Car Bodies Estate Car, which was a curious-looking machine and not remotely sporty. The list of bodyshells reads as follows.
  • Heron. Austin Seven Fibreglass car body, complete with floor.
  • Falcon Shells. Range of Fibreglass bodies including the Caribbean open version 115, full saloon 164. Also their new four seater Bermuda model.
  • Rochdale GT Saloon. 140. Rochdale Riviera model 140 complete with hood, frame and screen, also available with a modern hard top giving four seats at 148, and the new Olympic for Ford, BMC and Riley units.
  • The lovely AKS range of bodies, continental two or four seater open or the continental saloon at 160.
  • Townend 581. This smart little body two seater, which includes windscreen, head light covers and panelled doors all for 108, or the latest four seater in superb styling.
  • Markham Peasey range of bodies for Ford or the Super Sabre for Austin Sevens including the fabulous Celeste. Now this is a body you must see to believe, the last word in American sports car styling, all in at 145.
  • The new Conversion Car Bodies Estate Car. A grand dual purpose job for those wishing to combine business and pleasure. Price from 145.
  • The lovely Hamblin Cadets from 34 10s 0d.
  • The new Super Two, body complete with chassis at 99.
  • The new Nickri Laminates Alpine body with or without hard top, making a very superb Sports saloon from 89 or complete with wheelarches and fitted hard top with windscreen. 146 10s 0d.
  • The latest Ginetta Sports body a really first class car in every detail, designed for that little something extra in Fibreglass car bodies, with detachable hard top leaving a lovely all chrome superb windscreen and side windows in chrome frames for summer sports motoring. Price from 116.
  • The new Economy tubular chassis. The cheapest tubular chassis on the market today. Accepts post 1938 Ford units. Your own transverse springs and axles will bolt straight into position. Price 35 or 9 deposit and 12 monthly payments of 2 7s 8d.

Mark 2 Halifax chassis (Ford components).

Turn over the page and a photograph presents the Mark 2 Halifax tubular chassis, designed with Ford 10hp running gear in mind. Two versions were available, one with a 7' 6" wheelbase (59), the other with a 7' 10" wheelbase (61). Included were four Woodhead Monroe suspension units (springs and shock absorbers), panhard rod, propshaft tunnel, mounting pins, four silent bloc bushes, and a converted - independent - front axle. The latter required the car's builder to forward his own dismantled components, in order that Halifax could undertake their conversion upon them.
A selection of body mounting brackets and chassis outriggers were also available, enabling the fitment of virtually any body to the suitable Halifax chassis.
Fibreglass car bodies and chassis options

Morris 8 chassis.

There is a reference at the foot of the page to a chassis designed for Morris 8 running gear, costing 60. A separate leaflet describes this chassis, designed for parts removed from 1935-1938 built cars.
Chassis for Morris 8 running gear
"Our latest chassis is designed to take the above units and is a full length 3" tube chassis making 7' 6" wheel base to take all the standard Fibreglass Car Bodies when fitted with suitable brackets. It is also supplied complete with four new radius arms, four latest type coil spring suspension units, panhard rod, propshaft tunnel, engine mounting points, steering column, securing bracket, brake pedal bracket, extended front for radiator mounting.

Your own front axle is divided and fitted with silent bloc bushes. The suspension units incorporate shock absorbers, thus giving a low modern ride. The rear section of the chassis is designed to take four seats and extends over the rear axle, and as this model of car has hydraulic brakes it makes a very good reliable sports car indeed.

Price ex-works 59. Brackets and side outriggers to assist your particular choice of body 4 extra. Carriage to any part of Britain 1-5-0."


Returning to the main leaflet, opposite the Mk2 chassis description is a great photo of Halifax's bodyshell showroom-cum-workshop, with a variety of shells in evidence - including the very racey-looking AKS, alongside two Rochdales. Just visible to the right is an Ashley 1172, a Ford-based coupe not mentioned directly in their literature. A sign advertises its asking price - 160. The following information about the choice of shells, along with some advice about fitting them to a suitable chassis, is given...
"The bodies and chassis that are illustrated above and overleaf have been carefully designed for easy fitting by the average enthusiast with a normal kit of hand tools and a 1/4" capacity electric drill.
"They fit all the following Ford models: 7Y 1937-1939, E04A 1939-1948, E4969 (?? I think they mean E494A) 1948-1953, 103E 1953-onwards. The cheapest and most satisfactory method of building one's own car is to purchase a complete car that has either a corroded body or a broken chassis. These are obtainable in the price range of approx. 10 to 30. If the car is pre-war the chassis frame will most likely be in a poor condition, so if you purchase a new tubular chassis, the first thing to do is to remove the old car body entirely, the next step which we think is the most important to the novice is to take from the old car only one item at a time. We suggest starting with the engine for reconditioning, next your front axle for the axle beam, radius arms and track rod to be sent in for the conversion to I.F. (Independent Front) Suspension. The idea of taking each item off one at a time and checking each separate item and then replacing on the new chassis is that you only have one item on your mind at once, also you know just where it has come from. You also have the bolts for it and it is fresh in your mind, in this way you will be surprised how the work is simplified and moves quickly. If we have left anything in doubt we suggest you give us a call and talk things over; see the bodies for yourself, check and test for your individual taste."
"The very early models (wire wheel type) are not recommended for conversion due to the very poor braking system, also the fact that the models ceased in production 20 years ago, thus making spares more difficult to obtain."
"Now the following models: 7W 1937-1939, E93A 1939-1948, E493A 1949-1953, known more as the Ford Prefect models, all the parts are interchangeable with the 8hp models, with the exception of the propeller shaft and the torque tube, and these two items must be exchanged for the 8hp units, that is if you wish to keep to 7' 6", but if you wish to fit the Ashley 7' 10" body then the original shaft and tube can be retained, but we must be notified of this fact if a tubular chassis is ordered as we have to make the chassis 7' 10" wheelbase."
On the rear page there is a photograph of a Halifax chassis, fitted with a Ford engine and running gear, incorporating the coil/shock absorber units that replace the old lever arm damper and leaf springs found on the original Ford chassis. In the background are examples of Rochdale GT and Rochdale Riviera body.
Rochdale GT and Riviera cars plus a chassis

Other parts.

In addition to the tuning and upgrade parts already mentioned, Halifax could also supply the following items:
  • Rear wheel spacers
  • Seats
  • Headlights
  • Combined tail flasher and stoplight units
  • Fibreglass kits
  • Windscreens
  • Hoods
  • Water pumps
  • 4.7 crown wheel & pinion
  • Header tanks
  • Radiators
  • Remote control gearchange units

Parts and prices.

Included with this original leaflet is a separate price list for all the parts that Halifax had for sale at the time, which included a few items suitable for builders using later 105E Anglia parts.
  • Economy tubular chassis Ford units fits transverse springs 35.0.0.
  • Ford Mk2 tubular chassis with all suspension units IFS 59.0.0.
  • Ford 105E sports tubular chassis 70.0.0.
  • Morris 8hp 1935/1938 tubular chassis, IFS with all suspension units 59.0.0.
  • Austin Healey Sprite hard top 22.10.0.
  • Austin Healey Sprite modern bonnet 42.10.0.
  • Lightweight roof rack fibreglass boats from 35.10.0.
  • Ford Popular chassis 25.0.0.
  • Ford Popular chassis w/reinforced sides 30.0.0.
  • Cross flow radiators 7.10.0.
  • Large capacity rad with starting handle hole 10.15.0.
  • Ford export water pump 3.5.0.
  • Volks Waggon [sic] type head lights less bulbs 4.1.6.
  • Lucas 700 lamp with pilot light complete 4.12.6.
  • Lucas stop tail & flashing light combined 1.10.0.
  • Front flashing lights 0.15.6.
  • Chrome number plate illumination light 1.1.6.
  • Toggle light flashing switches 0.4.6.
  • Lucas windscreen wiper, double drive set 8.5.0.
  • Chrome door, boot hinges 0.9.6.
  • Curved wiper blades 0.11.9.
  • Chrome locking type door handles 0.17.6.
  • Chrome non-locking type door handles 0.9.6.
  • Flashing light control unit 0.12.6.
  • Flashing light column control switch 1.2.6.
  • Main wiring loom 2.0.0.
  • Wheel spacers complete with studs (per pair) 6.0.0.
  • Modern steering wheel complete with boss 3.5.0.
  • Latest wood rim sports steering wheel 4.10.0.
  • Remote gearchange units (chrome) 3.15.0.
  • Modern plain chrome wheel discs (Ford fitting) 0.17.6.
  • Four branch exhaust system from 6.10.0.
  • Suspension units, Woodhead Monroe or Armstrong shock absorber type 3.18.0.
  • 4.7 and 4.4 crown wheel pinions 7.12.6.
  • 15 inch wheels [Ballamy?] with tyres and tubes 9.0.0.
  • 15 inch wheels only 2.12.6.
  • Fibreglass kits from 0.7.6.
  • Chrome surround windscreen, toughened glass 12.0.0.
  • Hoods complete with frame and side curtains 20.0.0.
  • Seats, bucket and bench type from 3.15.0.
  • Straight through silencers 0.4.0.
  • Raymond Ways Soft Cushion Ride, Ford Popular (inc spring) 15.15.0.
  • Cylinder head water junctions outlets 0.10.0.
  • Header tanks with 7lbs pressure cap 3.0.0.
  • Dashboards from 0.0.0. (??)
Evidently, anyone planning on building their own Ford- or Morris-based special would have been well advised to pop into Halifax's premises at Akroyd Place, Halifax, to view the different chassis and body combinations that were on offer. If anyone reading this actually visited their showroom, and maybe bought some of their products, it'd be interesting to add in your memories of this once-well-known emporium. Akroyd Place still survives, although is no longer home to a fascinating range of 1950s Ford specials and associated goodies!
Return to the period car tuning companies section. More information on this type of car can be found in the Ford 1172cc specials pages.
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