Lot 226 - 1957 Albatross Mk. III Speedboat
|Estimate||£18,000 - £23,000|
- British aluminium-hulled speedboat
- Rebuilt Coventry Climax engine
- Fully restored August 2014
Throughout the 1950s and 1960s Albatross Marine of St. Olaves Norfolk, produced aeronautically engineered aluminium-hulled speedboats powered by motor car petrol engines. Designed by Archie Peace, who with fellow engineer Peter Hives, son of the Rolls-Royce chairman, Lord Hives, had co-founded the firm in the late 1940’s. Designed around 1949/50, the first Albatross was built from aircraft grade aluminium which was readily available following the end of World War II and used Archie Peace’s novel method of flush riveted construction. The prototype weighed a mere 160lbs and was powered by a Ford 1,172cc sidevalve engine. Bruce Campbell joined the company and promoted the new design in the Mediterranean which soon became popular for water skiing and racing, winning the 6 Heures de Paris in 1955, and also with celebrities. Customers included Brigitte Bardot, Aristotle Onassis, Prince Rainer of Monaco, Grace Kelly, George Formby, Jon Pertwee, Lord and Lady Docker, Prince Bira and Prince Constantine of Greece. While in 1955 Prince Philip was given an Albatross by the Aluminium Development Association. The firm expanded into a second, larger building and in 1957 introduced a four-seat speed boat, the Continental. By this time Albatross was offering the Coventry Climax racing engine, the 1220 (actually 1,216cc) FWE power unit. With one of these fitted, the two-seater Albatross was capable of over 50mph. Sadly, Archie Peace developed multiple sclerosis and the original Albatross Marine company closed in 1966.
This beautifully restored 1957 Albatross Mk. III two seat speedboat named Roostertail, number A51, has had the hull totally refurbished and the flush riveting replaced and painted by Aston Martin specialists, Excalibur in Ellough Airfield, Norfolk. When the Coventry Climax engine was rebuilt, it was done to FWB dimensions which increased the cubic capacity to 1440cc but it retains the standard cam and valve gear to maximise torque for that added urgency out of the tight turns in classic boat racing. The engine is equipped with Twin 40 DCOE Webers and a bespoke water injected exhaust and comfortably hits 40mph plus at less than 5000rpm. Another feature is that it still has the original Albatross cable driven rev. counter which the owner, who has owned several Albatross boats, has never seen before. Finished in white with blue seats, this boat is supplied with the bespoke trailer and a file containing an operating manual and the expired MCA certificate. Since the restoration, the Albatross has been used sparingly, hence the excellent condition throughout.
Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Accordingly, buyers are on notice that each vehicle is offered ‘as is/as seen’ subject to the Terms and Conditions for the auction. Buyers are advised to inspect the vehicle in person or use a professional to carry out this service. Historics will not entertain disputes over descriptions.