Browse Publications Books B-971
2014-01-01

Rochdale Sports Car Pioneers B-971

The years following the Second World War saw Britain in the grip of shortages, rationing and recession. For those wanting a high-performance car there was little choice - either buy a pre-war model, or build your own.

This led to the conversion of the most unlikely vehicles into genuine sports cars, and a whole industry grew up using the newly-developed fiberglass material to facilitate conversions. Operating from a tiny back-street woolen mill, Rochdale Motor Panels became a market leader, and made it possible to construct genuine 100mph+ vehicles at a fraction of market prices. The late 1950s were a boom time, and by 1960 Rochdale was ready for a huge leap forward. The exquisite Lotus Elite had proved it was possible to use the material for structural purposes: Rochdale cleverly avoided all the problems faced by that vehicle in their breathtakingly simple Olympic design.

The book, with 240 full-color pages and 266 photographs, explores the difficulties faced in producing such an advanced design, and the social background to its unique place in motoring history.

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