Lot 212 - 1952 Meteor 27-Litre V12 Special

Lot 212 - 1952 Meteor 27-Litre V12 Special

Lot 212 - 1952 Meteor 27-Litre V12 Special

Lot Number 212
Registration N/A
Chassis Number N/A
Engine Number R48696
Result Sold - £128,800
  • Powered by a 631bhp, 27-litre Rolls-Royce Meteor V12 tank engine
  • Jaguar XJ12 running gear
  • Has run successfully but requires further development

Having visited Robin Beech in Sussex and seen his Handlye Special (an enormous 27-litre, un-supercharged Merlin V12 one-off car that sounds just like a Spitfire), the vendor decided he ‘had’ to have one. Construction of this unique car commenced in Cape Town, South Africa around 2001 and after a year's search, a Meteor engine was found in Johannesburg that had been taken from a Centurion tank sent to South Africa in 1952, (the Meteor’s engine is the un-supercharged version of the Merlin).

Unable to find a suitable Rolls-Royce or Bentley chassis, the vendor settled for a double ladder, cross-braced chassis of his own tried-and-tested design. Jaguar XJ12 suspension units were chosen to be used, which endowed the Meteor with power assisted ventilated disc brakes and power steering, essential given the car weighs around 2,200kg. On completion, the weight distribution was found to be almost 50/50 front/rear, a figure most sportscar manufacturers strive for.

Having moved to England in 2016, the vendor had the engine rebuilt by Flight Engineers in Leeds, a company specialising in aero engines. The Meteor was tested on their dynamometer and found to develop 631bhp and 1,449lb/ft of torque, with fuel consumption expected to be around 5-10mpg. The rebuilt gearbox is a GM TH400 automatic from a Jaguar XJ12 (now incorporating drag racing internals), while the step-up gearbox was designed and built in Cape Town using helical gears (although more expensive, they are quieter than the straight-cut type). The car runs on 21" custom made wheels and Blockley tyres and is geared for a top speed of 204mph. The aluminium body panels are supported by a tubular ‘Superleggera’ style steel framework and a central driving position astride the gearboxes giving ample space for the driver, while two passengers can be accommodated behind, McLaren F1 fashion.

The vendor reports that the Meteor handles as easily as a Jaguar XJ12 and in February 2018 he was invited to participate in the making of a promotional video for the Saunton Sands Golden Mile event for pre-1955 cars and motorcycles, to be held later that year. This seven-mile run up and down the beach was the first real test of the car, which reached 80mph in first gear (the beach limit is 60mph). Subsequently the Discovery Channel of Canada made a short documentary showing the Meteor climbing the steep lane at its home in Devon, which has been shown worldwide. The Meteor has also run successfully at the Bristol & Bath Show where the crowd loved it. Having reached the stage where it can be driven, the Meteor needs only some further development and improvement, plus a final coat of silver paint. The car comes with a photographic record of the build and the vendor's own lengthier and more detailed account of its construction as well as various spare parts and rather importantly, a trailer that can accommodate it.

Interested parties should note that this vehicle is now offered without reserve.

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. All registration numbers, engine and chassis details are sourced from registration documents provided to Historics by the client or representative or HPI checks and buyers are to satisfy themselves as to the accuracy of these details. 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.

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