Fairthorpe Cars history
Buckinghamshire, UK between 1954 and 1976
Fairthorpe Ltd was founded by Air Vice Marshall Donald Bennett. The first cars were lightweight models powered by motorcycle engines and with glass fibre bodies called the Atom and Atomota. In 1956 a new larger car, the open 2-seat Electron appeared using a Coventry Climax engine. A reduced price version using a Triumph engine followed in 1957 and was the mainstay of production until 1973 with about 700 being built. There was also a closed version called the Electrina but only about 20 were produced. The cars were available fully assembled or in kit form. Production peaked at about 20 cars a month.
1956 Fairthorpe Atom
A high powered car, the Zeta, was introduced in 1960 using a modified Ford Zephyr engine with up to six carburettors and a BRM cylinder head. Another version, the Rockette used a Triumph Vitesse 1600 cc engine, few were made of either of these models. In 1961 the company moved to Gerrards Cross and in 1964 to Denham, both in Buckinghamshire.
In 1967 Donald Bennett's son Torix (Torix Bennett) joined the company and a new car the TX-GT based on a Triumph GT6 chassis but with transverse rod independent rear suspension was announced. By this time the market for hand built small production cars was declining and the last model, the TX-S was a modified TX-GT with a variety of engines and the choice of the standard GT6 rear suspension. Only about 30 of the TX cars were made.
Another car, the TX Tripper, was produced by Torix's company, Technical Exponents, which shared premises with Fairthorpe. Looking like a psychedelic cross between a beach buggy and a sports car it was marketed as a TX and offered with either the Triumph chassis or a TX designed chassis. Triumph engines powered its various models: 1300, 2000, and 2500.
1969 Fairthorpe TXS
Fairthorpe Ltd remains listed (as does Technical Exponents Ltd) at Denham Green Lane (as at 2007), but Fairthorpe does not trade.
- Fairthorpe Atom - 1954 to 1957 - 250 cc to 650 cc, chain drive
- Fairthorpe Atomota - 1958 to 1960 - 650 cc, live rear axle
- Fairthorpe Electron - 1956 to 1965 - Coventry Climax engine. front disc from 1957. Final version with Triumph Spitfire engine. Body Microplas Mistral.
- Fairthorpe Electron Minor - 1957 to 1973 - Standard 10/Triumph Herald engine. Final version on Triumph GT6 chassis with Spitfire engine (1968).
- Fairthorpe Electrina - 1961 to 1963 - Closed 4-seat version of the Electron
- Fairthorpe Zeta - 1960 to 1965 - Racing version. Very few made.
- Fairthorpe Rockette - 1963 to 1967 - As Zeta but with Triumph Vitesse engine. Very few made.
- Fairthorpe TX-GT - 1967 to 1976 - 2-seat coupe with Triumph 2-litre 6-cylinder engine.
- Fairthorpe TX-S and TX-SS - Similar to the TX-GT but with a wider variety of engine and transmission packages, all Triumph.