Author Topic: Any news of CF 1 yet Kelly ?  (Read 4258 times)

Classicus

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Any news of CF 1 yet Kelly ?
« on: February 28, 2017, 15:20:17 »
Hi Kelly any luck or progress on the whereabouts of CF 1 yet....?
   
   http://acfrua428.activeboard.com/t15997972/cf-01/
   
   Thanks [:)]
   
   Paul

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Any news of CF 1 yet Kelly ?
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2017, 22:28:06 »
Sorry I dropped the ball on this one but I will look everything over again and see if we can't come up with something.
   
   1967 428 Frua Chassis CF3 participated in our AC show at the Simeone Museum last week.

marsh

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Any news of CF 1 yet Kelly ?
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2017, 22:46:10 »
Hi Classicus
   
   It's good to see my IMCDB posting on CF1 appearing on the hallowed pages of this site - I genuinely take the compliment :-)
   
   I'd also love to hear where the car is now - it took me ages to find it back in the early 2000's and with the benefit of  hindsight, I should have bought it when I had the opportunity, had I been in a financial position to do so (and I sadly wasn't...)
   
   Oh the regret...
   
   Marsh

Classicus

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Any news of CF 1 yet Kelly ?
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2017, 16:54:23 »
Hi Marsh good to hear from you, was the car for sale at the time and did you get to see the car ? I often read your detailed history and information on CF 1 which really fills in all the gaps left over from the period articles in the entry.
   
   I've also often thought as it was Derek Hurlock's favourite car it would be fantastic to see as many 428s as possible all gathered together one day at an annual AC meeting in the UK. So hopefully Kelly will have some luck as possibly the first step towards this unique and once in a lifetime goal....[:)]
   
_______________________
   

   http://www.imcdb.org/vehicle.php?id=13910&PHPSESSID=d5ee2491a4e895ec9430c1e0427b4278
   Ref. last Forum posting at bottom on 4/1/07 (with grateful acknowledgements)
   
   
__________________________

   
   "This particular car was the sole original prototype built by Frua in Turin and then became the factory demonstrator. Carrying the chassis number CF1, the car made its debut at the 1965 Motor Show in London and registered shortly thereafter with the Surrey registration number LPH800D and saw active service as brochure photography car, test mule and (the then only available) road test car, with an excellent review in the December 1966 edition of Car magazine, including the cover shot.
   
   Very early on, the car was initially marketed as an AC 427, but subsequent cars became 428's, named after the Ford engine then fitted as standard to sporting AC's - as the 427 'side oiler' was significantly more expensive to source, AC were notorious for occasionally fitting these cheaper units into some Cobras to unsuspecting owners.
   
   On delivery from Frua in Turin, the car was fitted with a manual box, but an auto was substituted very early in its life when in the ownership of AC and in truth the definitive specification of this and indeed any 428 was very much subject to ongoing tweaks. There are rumours that it was bodied in alloy, rather than the steel for all subsequent production cars, though this is unsubstantiated.
   
   It isn't clear exactly why the 428 was chosen for use in the UK TV series "The Avengers", though it is well documented that the writing and production team of Brian Clemens and Gordon LT Scott were true petrol heads and as a result it's possible they were aware of this new exotic offering from AC, though it would be surprising if the use of the car was anything more than a combination of good timing and a friendly chat with Derek Hurlock/Jock Henderson of AC. A Jensen Interceptor would have been a possible rival to be featured in the show, but was receiving its fair share of celluloid time in ITC's The Baron.
   
   Following filming in the summer/autumn of '67 it was then sold by AC to its first private owner who had actually wanted a Cobra as a birthday present for his wife, but as Mk 111/AC289 Cobra production by that time was running down, they bought this instead, directly from AC Sales Manager Jock Henderson and allegedly with no knowledge it had been featured in the show.
   
   Five years later it was advertised in Motor Sport magazine and sold to the US in or around 1973 and against all the odds it survives completely intact in the USA, with less than 40k miles on the clock from new and still on its original Avon tyres and sporting its unique metal hood cover, which was not adopted for general production on other 428's. In 2006 it was advertised by its long term owner mustangsonline for $120 000, but I'm not sure if it sold though. I fell in love with this car as a schoolboy back in the early 1980's following Channel 4 re-runs of the Avengers and spent the next 20 years trying to trace it.
   
   

   
                       
Linda Thorson in "The Avengers"

   
   Since the car left the UK in the early 70's, the trail had gone cold and it was widely rumoured to have been broken up to surrender its chassis identity to form the basis of a Cobra clone, like a number of other unfortunate 428's (and unbelieveably the threat of this continues to this day as the value of genuine Cobra's climbs ever higher). I find it quite incredible that it actually survives, so maybe one day I'll finally get to own it! There are a number of excellent photographs of the car on the Frua.de web site including shots of the car being constructed at Carrosserie Frua in Turin during the summer of 1965, right up to the present day with its current American owners.
   
   It is true that Steed originally drove the car and it was then passed onto Tara. Linda Thorson couldn't actually drive at the time of filming (though she was having lessons I think). For whatever reason, she didn't take to the car (or maybe AC just wanted the car back, with it being one of a very few 428's in existence at the time), so she moved on initially to a very early Lotus Elan +2 registered NPW999F, followed by a series 1 export only Europa, PPW999F, both finished in red.
   
   The 428 convertible was officially known as a drophead coupe, not a spider and yes, Keith Moon owned a white fixed head coupe, registered EMX431J though he is rumoured also to have had a drophead too."
   
   
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marsh

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Any news of CF 1 yet Kelly ?
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2017, 19:21:35 »
Hi Classicus,
   
   Thank you - the car has been something of a labour of love to be honest and every once in a while I edit the piece, which I suspect doesn't show me in a good light, but it seems to be the only tangible piece out there that relates specifically to the car. The most recent edit has a little more content than the post above; see below...
   
   Back in the early 2000's, on the off chance, I searched the registration number out on the web - it may even have been in the days before Google, if there is such a thing; it was something I'd done any number of times, without success, but this time I got a positive match from Mustangsonline.  I then contacted them by email as to enquire about the car and the owner at the time was kind enough to share some recent photo's in the workshops of Mustangsonline, now sadly lost in the mists of time.  LPH appeared to be in very good health, looking for all intents and purposes to be no different from when it graced Saturday night TV, with it's original British cast aluminium number plates and its metal tonneau cover still in place.
   
   The owner suggested it was completely unmolested and was even still sitting on its original Avon tyres, which I guess dated from its time with first private owner Brenda Messenger.  The car was certainly up for sale then, at $120,000, though I suspect that it wasn't being actively marketed, as it didn't appear anywhere visible as being for sale; I'd have certainly spotted it.
   
   I do find it surprising that it hasn't resurfaced in recent times as the wider world of car enthusiasts have finally recognised the appeal of 428's, after so long in the shadows.
   
   Marsh
   
   This particular car was the sole prototype built by Pietro Frua in Turin and then became the factory demonstrator for AC Cars. Carrying the chassis number CF1 (CF for Carosserie Frua), it made its debut at the 1965 Motor Show at Earl's Court, London and was registered shortly thereafter with the Surrey number LPH800D. It saw very active service in a variety of roles including brochure photography car, test mule and (as the then only available) road test car, with an excellent review in the December 1966 edition of 'Car' magazine, including a particularly moody front cover shot.
   
   Very early on, the car was initially marketed as an AC 427 and the earliest AC produced press material did refer to the car as exactly that, but subsequent cars after CF7 were referred to as 428's, after the capacity of the Ford engine then fitted as standard to all sporting AC's. The 427 'side oiler' was significantly more expensive to source from Dearborn, and AC (or more accurately, Carroll Shelby Automotive) were notorious for occasionally fitting these cheaper 428 'Police Interceptor' units into Cobras unbeknownst to unsuspecting owners; and ultimately all subsequent Frua bodied ACs had this cheaper engine fitted.
   
   On delivery from Frua, the chassis was initially fitted with a manual 'box, though an auto was substituted very early in its life when the car was still in the ownership of AC. In truth the definitive specification of this and indeed any other 428 was very much subject to ongoing tweaks as is so often the case in limited volume production cars. It is rumoured to have been bodied in alloy, rather than the steel for all subsequent production cars, and when the car was advertised for sale in 1970 (see below), the accompanying description did suggest this was indeed the case.
   
   It isn't clear exactly why the 428 was chosen for use in the TV series, though it is well documented that the writing and production team of Brian Clemens and Gordon LT Scott were genuine petrol heads and as a result it's possible they were aware of this new exotic offering from AC, though it would be surprising if the use of the car in the series was anything more than a combination of good timing and a friendly chat with Derek Hurlock and Keith Judd of AC down in Thames Ditton.
   
   Mind you, there were few other more exciting British built high performance sports cars newly launched to the market in 1967, excepting perhaps the Interceptor or FF; Jensen had a well established relationship with Lew Grades' rival production company ITC who produced The Baron, which was also on air at the time of the ABC produced Avengers (though by 1967 it was a couple of years old and featured a rather (by then) old fashioned Jensen C-V8, falsely registered BAR1). The more contemporary factory supplied Interceptors regularly appeared in ITC's 'The Champions', notable for their Sandwell district 'EA' registration numbers. That said, you can quite see John Steed tooling around the Hertfordshire countryside in HEA4D, the first production FF!
   
   Although still relatively new, LPH800D was in fact quite battle scarred by the time it featured in The Avengers - the passenger side front bumper had a nice ding and you can also spot a big dent in the driver's side door from some camera angles. Following filming in the summer/autumn of '67 it was presumably refreshed and then sold by AC to its first private owner who had actually wanted a Cobra as a birthday present for his wife, but as production of the home market coil sprung AC 289 Sports by that time had all but ended, they bought this instead, directly from AC Sales Manager Keith Judd and allegedly with no prior knowledge of its small screen fame, which is surprising given The Avengers was at the time the most popular show on British television with regular audience figures of 8 million plus from its peak time Saturday night slot.
   
   In April 1970, the car was advertised in Motor Sport magazine and by that time this owner was well aware of it's former TV role, mentioning somewhat snootily in the ad (complete with a photograph of the car)'for those who care for such things'. The asking price was £3250 and the car had by this time covered 29000 miles and significantly was described as having aluminium bodywork. The owner at that time was a Brenda Messenger, who lived in Ledborough Lane in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire and she claimed that her husband was growing a little too attached to the car for her liking, so she was seeking something 'a little more feminine, such as a Mercedes SL'. I'm not sure how long the car took to sell, but it eventually appeared Stateside in or around 1973. In the long period since the car left the UK, the trail had gone cold and it was widely rumoured to have been broken up to surrender its chassis identity to form the basis of a Cobra clone (or 'air car', as they're referred to by the Shelby American Automobile Club), like a number of other unfortunate 428's (unbelievably this practice continues to this day as the value of genuine Thames Ditton constructed Cobras climb ever higher, with at least 5 428's of the total 81 built known to have suffered this fate).
   
   I fell in love with this car (and more to the point, with Linda Thorson) as a teenage schoolboy back in the early 1980's following Channel 4 re-runs of The Avengers and a subsequent profile of the 428 over two editions of Classic Cars magazine in 1983. I spent the next 20 years desperately trying to trace it to confirm that it had survived. Against all the odds not only had it survived, but it exists completely intact in the USA and remains exactly as it left the factory, with less than 40k miles on the clock, still on its original Avon tyres and sporting its unique metal hood cover, which was not adopted for general production on subsequent 428's. In 2003 it was advertised by long term owner mustangsonline for $125 000.  The car sold onto a new owner at that time and survives to this day in safe and appreciative hands in the US.
   
   With the passing of time, what seemed like an impossible amount of money then now seems like a positive steal - how much is it worth today, should it come to market? Quite possibly $400-500,000 I would venture to suggest given its historical significance...
   
   I find it quite incredible that it actually survives, so perhaps one day I'll finally get to own it. There are a number of excellent photographs of the car on the Frua.de web site including shots of the car being constructed at Carosserie Frua, Turin during the summer of 1965.
   
   It is true that Steed originally drove the car and it was then quickly passed onto Tara. Actress Linda Thorson couldn't actually drive at the time of filming (though she was having lessons I think). For whatever reason, she didn't take to the car (or more likely that AC just wanted it back, with it being one of a very few 428's in existence at the time and filming being done in distinct slots, rather than in one go presenting a logistical headache), so she moved on initially to a very early Lotus Elan +2 registered NPW999F, followed by a series 1 export only (but right hand drive) Europa, PPW999F, both finished in bright red with black trim and judging by the consecutive registrations, both cars were probably registered at the same time for the express purpose of being Lotus press or customer demonstration cars.
   
   The 428 convertible was officially known as a Drophead Coupe, rather than a spider and yes, Keith Moon did own a white Fixed Head Coupe, registered EMX431J though he's rumoured also to have had a Drophead too, though that remains unsubstantiated and no photographs have yet surfaced. There is a suggestion that Led Zep drummer and utter petrol head John Bonham owned one too, though there may be some confusion here as he certainly owned a 427 Cobra in the mid 1970's that carried the famous 'COB1' registration number. This car was apparently bought from dealer and former Le Mans winner Duncan Hamilton, though the car photographed in Bonzo's biography, written by his brother Mick is a standard bodied 427, rather than the long wheelbase twin turbocharged special that 70's Cobra 'restorer' Brian Angliss subsequently built; and it was this car that was later owned by Cobra specialist Rod Leach of Nostalgia. The Bonham Cobra merely carried the COB1 plate for a time and that number then passed onto the Angliss special at a later point in time.

Classicus

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Any news of CF 1 yet Kelly ?
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2017, 11:39:25 »
Interesting update thank you indeed and now entered into the Register, hopefully helping Kelly a bit more in her search as well. It just has to be out there somewhere....! [:)]
   
   http://acfrua428.activeboard.com/t15997972/cf-01/

Cargirl

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Any news of CF 1 yet Kelly ?
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2017, 00:59:55 »
I'm back on this again.  Spent the entire day on it.  Can anyone tell me what color the car was when it was last spotted in the US?

marsh

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Any news of CF 1 yet Kelly ?
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2017, 17:01:30 »
Kelly, I think it's still in its original paint, which is a metallic dark red with black trim.
   
   The key to finding the car will be to trace the proprietor of mustangsonline, which I think may now be defunct, as there are no signs of it trading on the web.  I'm sure those in the Mustang community would be able to provide a lead, as it was a well known purveyor of all things 'stang.
   
   They bought the car in or around 1973 and I've seen no evidence that it has changed hands in the intervening 15 years since I first located the car via their website.  Of course, it could have changed hands discretely...
   
   regards
   
   Lee

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Any news of CF 1 yet Kelly ?
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2017, 23:08:49 »
Lee, you are correct.  The car was advertised on Feb. 2, 2003.  Here is the ad copy:
      Frua Prototype
   
   
   AC Frua Prototype Serial. #1 of 28 produced. Right hand drive. Only car with hard convertible boot. 428 with automatic trans. Built by AC Cars of England.
   $125,000.00
   
   Unfortunately there is no contact info here.  I found the info on a site that preserves old websites.  But at least now I have a true lead.  If they advertised  it here they most likely advertised elsewhere.  Maybe mustang magazines.. car magazines..

Cargirl

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Any news of CF 1 yet Kelly ?
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2017, 03:55:47 »
Another company currently occupies the address for mustangsonline.

marsh

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Any news of CF 1 yet Kelly ?
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2017, 23:33:04 »
Well done Kelly, that's absolutely brilliant progress; I sincerely hope I play a part in its' discovery, second time around, so do keep us posted on progress.
   
   The name of the owner of Mustangs Online temporarily escapes me (and it's driving me absolutely mad!)
   
   Interesting to note that between the dates of April 1970 when the car was first advertised for sale in Motorsport magazine and February 2003, when I stumbled upon the car, it had only covered an additional 11000 miles, so it was clearly little used during its new life stateside.
   
   It also retained its original UK tyres at this point and the two of three photo's I was sent back in 2003 showing the car in the Mustangsonline workshop suggested it remained highly original and intact, with its original Bluemels Pyramoid number plates still fitted, clearly displaying the registration number LPH800D and the unique hood cover in place. I can only apologise that I didn't have the foresight to retain these photo's, but life became a little crowded soon after and LPH faded from the forefront of my mind for a time.
   
   Good luck in your search Kelly; hopefully CF1 won't slip through the net again!
   
   Lee

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« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2017, 01:11:24 »
Let me know if you think of the name.

Cargirl

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Any news of CF 1 yet Kelly ?
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2017, 18:55:58 »
Final update:  The car has been found.  I am happy to report that it is in its original color and configuration.  However, out of respect for the owner's privacy, I am unable to divulge more information.

marsh

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Any news of CF 1 yet Kelly ?
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2017, 18:58:09 »
Fantastic Kelly - well done.
   
   One question, has it remained in the same ownership since 2003?  Did it find a new owner at that time?
   
   Lee

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« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2017, 20:00:17 »
Lee I sent an e-mail to you from the site to contact me directly.  kelly@classictag.net