|Viewing a must to best appreciate this magnificent vehicle.
This 1934 'Finton Silver Eagle Special ' is as far as our research shows the only vehicle in the world bearing this marque denomination. The origins for this name go back several decades and there is quite a funny story behind it which can't be narrated here.
The idea for this project eventuated when I bought a close to drivable-condition, restored 1934 Chevrolet Master 6 chassis, Engine ( 206 Cui ~ 3.4 Liter, 80 HP ), gearbox ( 3 speed and reverse ) etc. from a deceased estate. I was told by the widow that her husband used to be a mechanic and was rebuilding this Chevy to keep for himself.
But rather than restore the original 4 door saloon body we set out to design a two seater aluminium concept that was supposed to be reminiscent of a prewar board track racer or a racing special.
After some scalp scratching and several sketches a wooden frame was duly constructed by master panel beater / coachbuilder Richard 'Tich' Findlay and mounted to our Master Six chassis. The seating position was moved far to the back which involved remote-controlling the gearbox. Repositioning of the pedal assembly, mounting an outside handbrake lever and fasten the spare wheel to the outside of the body were other challenges to name but a few. While the car was converted to LHD a Jaguar MK V steering box was employed.
To enhance the performance of the otherwise standard 6 cyl engine, a free flow exhaust system was created and a 'Finton' inlet manifold was custom built to accommodate twin SU side draft carburetors instead of the single updraft model originally used. The notoriously unreliable cam operated fuel pump was replaced with a modern 12 volt electric unit and an alternator rather than a generator was fitted. A more modern radiator core was modified to fit behind the steel mesh of the grill.
The original Chevrolet wire wheels were cleaned and trued and matched to the body colour. 5 brand new 17" inch vintage tires where obtained to fit the rims and ' F ' hubcaps were handmade.
Provisions for an indicator and hazard light system were made and period looking items were subsequently fitted. Instruments are partly the original ones although there is no electric fuel gauge. Instead there is a 'Kiwi Fuel Gauge ' behind the seats consisting of a wooden stick that has some markings on it. Ignition is operated by a keyed cut-out switch.
The wooden frame was subsequently clad in 18 gauge aluminium sheet and over 150 louvers per each side of the vehicle (more than 310 in total) were hand cut and beaten into the body panels (rather than industrialized pressed with a dye) by Tich Findlay to make this racing special look more authentic like an enthusiast-built project constructed while burning the midnight oil more so than a factory produced item. The individually hand formed panels are joined together by an incredible amount of old school original aluminium rivets - rather than pop riveted, aluminium welded or screwed together.
After hundreds of hours spent on mechanical alterations and crafting the two seater body it was time to think about the interior. Having test driven the Finton by sitting on top of a wooden box we now modified some seats out of a vintage sports car to fit this body. An appropriate amount of new classic brown leather was bought to cover the seats and inner sides of the cockpit. But when we held it against the seats in the cabin it just did not look right at all. We therefore started the hunt for a sufficient amount of period leather from the 1930's to do the job. The leather needed a fair amount of ' reconditioning ' with hide food etc. but was eventually suited to be used for the task which by nature of the material became more of a challenge for our upholsterer Andrew Walker. Some of the leather originated from the original saloon seats of the donor car.
Some accessories like a leather jacket including period helmet and goggles for the driver, a mechanics overall, a rear mounted old leather suitcase and a Jerry can as well as an old leather ' College Bag ' to fit between the passenger seat and the custom made tank had been collected over the years and will accompany the vehicle. A racy looking fire extinguisher is mounted on the carburetor side of the chassis and there is a tonneau cover in case she is left out in the rain.
After honing out some more teething problems, ie. we had to take three leaves out of the rear semi-elliptic springs because the car is now much lighter than before, the Finton has now been test driven numerous times and runs and drives like you'd expect from a 34 Chev chassis with a 'Stovebolt' engine and big oil filled 'Knee Action Shocks' in the front.
She looks beautiful.
This absolutely unique ' Piece of Art on Four Wheels ' is now available for sale, looking for an enthusiastic new owner. Many more detailed photos and detailed UTube footage 2 parts at the following links.Part one. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Szx_e22eHs......Part Two.
Enquire! Please call NZ +64 3 326 5033 or email email@example.com for further information. |