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Homepage. This page: Front-on view of a fibreglass-bodied Convair/Ford 1172 special.
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Barry's 1172cc Convair Ford.

Ford's 1172cc four-cylinder sidevalve engine found its way into all manner of varied applications, not just cars. In addition to powering many thousands of 103E Populars and Prefects, to name just two of Ford's pre-war rooted family saloons, the all-iron unit also found itself propelling cricket pitch rollers, industrial generators, and even the odd full-sized mechanical elephant! Never renowned for its power output, the engine was nevertheless a dependable old plodder and one that was well served by parts suppliers, new and secondhand.
While Ford themselves never fitted the 1172cc engine to a sporty, or performance, model in its lineup, manys the home DIY-er that eyed up this plentiful and cheap small engine to power their homebuilt car. Some chose to build their own chassis and body to suit the Ford running gear, while others instead opted to acquire a rolling chassis from a 103E or a Prefect, perhaps from a local scrapyard, and clothe it with an aftermarket fibreglass body. The Convair bodyshell as used on Barry's special was one of many that were available throughout the 1950s and into the 1960s.
DUR 21, registered in Hertfordshire during 1958, was Barry Lafbery's car, so thanks to him for sending over this head-on view of his own Convair. Compact, and with shallow doors, climbing in and out of the Convair with the roof raised - as it is in the photograph below - must have required quite a level of physical dexterity.
(Please click the thumbnail to view the full-size image.)
Convair car, front view
Convairs can be found in several locations across the site, as the following links demonstrate:
  • Convair based on an MG TC. Some years ago, Bob in the US sent me the story of the Convair he owns, and has done for several decades. This features in the "Your Cars" section of the site.
  • Convair history. In 2005, Angus got in touch with a brief history of the Convair company, including several photographs.
  • Ford-based specials. A section that looks at 1172-powered homebuilt specials in more detail.
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