The famous racing A40 "Zoey" goes to auction!

Racing, rallying, drag racing etc etc.
Keith Bennett
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Joined: 09 Nov 2019 21:40

The famous racing A40 "Zoey" goes to auction!

Post by Keith Bennett » 15 Apr 2021 13:44

I'm indebted to Club member Kevin James for alerting me to the up-coming Bonham's auction on 22nd May at Bicester Heritage of the ex-Pat Moss, Monte Carlo Rally 1958 Austin A40 Farina
Registration no. XOE 778 Chassis no. AA2S62642
£ 40,000 - £ 50,000
US$ 55,000 - US$ 69,000
€ 46,000 - € 58,000
https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/26808/

"Zoey", as she was known, was featured in the first of the then-new Practical Classics magazine as their rebuild car by Terry Bramhall before entering her first race post-resto in the Coronation Rally. She vanished from the scene thereafter (rumours had it that Ireland was her new home) and it will be fascinating to watch how much interest she will attract.
Front cover of our Club's quarterly magazine
Front cover of our Club's quarterly magazine
Last edited by Keith Bennett on 15 Apr 2021 16:01, edited 1 time in total.

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scotty
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Re: The famous racing A40 "Zoey" goes to auction!

Post by scotty » 15 Apr 2021 15:46

i have known where she was for the last 15 odd years and rang the owner Adrian in Ireland every 6 months or so to see if he was ready to sell and offered £20k for the car unseen from his description but having now seen the condition I think that was a bit brave and will be astonished if it makes that money.

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Midlife
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Re: The famous racing A40 "Zoey" goes to auction!

Post by Midlife » 15 Apr 2021 18:03

I bought the Practical Classics and Car Restorer A40 restoration booklet when it was first published. It showed the extensive restoration that was carried out over a number of years and the booklet's introduction made great mention of our club. It also stated the the first edition of Practical Classics, April 1980, had a picture of ZOE on the front cover. I've attached a couple of scanned images, sorry about the quality of the introduction page.
A40 Front Cover_2.jpg
A40 Introduction_3.jpg

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Dave the rave
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Re: The famous racing A40 "Zoey" goes to auction!

Post by Dave the rave » 15 Apr 2021 18:50

I had it on subscription from issue 1 for 10 years. Still got them, in binders.
They'd actually bought the car about 3 years previously in readiness for the mags launch. Also, they cut up an excellent condition car for its panel work.
If in doubt....kick the Ruskies OUT ❗

Keith Bennett
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Re: The famous racing A40 "Zoey" goes to auction!

Post by Keith Bennett » 15 Apr 2021 20:10

Yes, many readers were aghast at the butchery which the "restorer" Terry Bramhall performed on the donor car. P.C. excused it on the grounds that, as Zoey was of considerable historical interest and would be entered into gruelling rallies when her restoration was complete, the strength of her shell was of greater importance that the fate of the donor car.

Prompted by the articles in P.C. it occurred to me that my own 1958 Mk1 would benefit from Mister Bramhall's attention once Zoey was complete. I was given his phone number and, to my surprise, he told me to take Gab over to his workshop in darkest Worcestershire. Zoey's restoration was finished in a great hurry in order to enter her in the Coronation Rally but for a short while both she and Gab shared Bramhall's workshop.
© Keith Bennett 2021
© Keith Bennett 2021
Once Zoey was gone, several other customers deposited their cars for restoration. Time dragged by, phone calls and letters went unanswered, and eventually I and the other owners discovered Bramhall had gone bust and fled the scene. Despite my having zero engineering or body experience, I was so bloody furious at what he'd done to a perfectly roadworthy (if rather rusty by then) car that I had the wreck trailered home, bought a BMC workshop manual and began teaching myself how to fix the car. Finally, when Gab was roadworthy once more, I was determined to track Bramhall down and run the bugger over. Luckily for him, I never found him . . .

Knowledgeable purists will no doubt be stunned at my spectacularly ignorant method of "restoration", as this photo will attest.
woeful Gab.jpg
The end result was a series of desperate bodges by me, all covered up by a beautiful paint job performed by a local classic car enthusiast. Technically Gab may be a very early car but she is a long way from being original. She is, however, my daily driver once again and she's proved to be a real survivor.

austina40sam
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Re: The famous racing A40 "Zoey" goes to auction!

Post by austina40sam » 19 Apr 2021 09:09

Your Gab is a lovely car Keith and i hope to meet her one day! We must get a picture with Gab and Ruby. Both daily drivers!

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scotty
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Re: The famous racing A40 "Zoey" goes to auction!

Post by scotty » 20 Apr 2021 08:47

Nothing but admiration Keith, to bring a car back from that condition to a daily driver with an admitted lack of skills is a testament to your tenacity and dogged determination. A daunting task for anyone.

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JA40
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Re: The famous racing A40 "Zoey" goes to auction!

Post by JA40 » 20 Apr 2021 09:34

I would like to "second" that comment. Quite amazing how you kept the shells integrity with all those panels removed.
Well done.

Keith Bennett
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Re: The famous racing A40 "Zoey" goes to auction!

Post by Keith Bennett » 20 Apr 2021 18:28

Sheer luck and ignorance, I assure you. And the only exterior sign seems to be that the wheelbase on one side is about ¾" longer than t'other! She still runs in a straight line, though, and doesn't scrub tyres.

exlkrs
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Location: Manc

Re: The famous racing A40 "Zoey" goes to auction!

Post by exlkrs » 20 Apr 2021 21:06

Keith, As someone who spent a lot of their life stretching bent ones of these back into line, I think thats' most acceptable! I suspect there were bigger discrepancies straight out of Longbridge!

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