The Tojeiro Works were primarily concerned with racing when F.B.P. Bambridge of Guildford approached them in 1958 to supply a spaceframe chassis that could underpin his vision for a small capacity but high performance Coupe (indeed, that same year saw a Tojeiro-Climax sports racer contest the famous Le Mans 24-hours race).
To bring his enclosed two-seater to fruition, Bambridge tasked Wakefield & Sons and Competition Motors of Weybridge respectively with crafting its bespoke aluminium coachwork and undertaking its major assembly / road testing. Despite being powered by the same FWA 1100cc Coventry-Climax engine which was so beloved of contemporary racers and utilizing a competition-bred spaceframe chassis, the Coupes first owner covered some 20,000 miles aboard it commenting: 'Stability and controllability were far better than anything I had previously experienced and the ride was most comfortable'.
Perhaps inevitably the Tojeiro-Climax was raced by a subsequent keeper during the 1960s. It will be offered for sale on June 6th by H&H Classics
with an estimate of £65,00 to £75,000 at the RACs Woodcote Park Estate - their first auction of Sports & GT cars at this venue.
Bought by the present custodian in 2009 it was entrusted to Beacon Hill Garage for a ground up restoration to original specification and the end result is a superb example of an archetypal 50s sports car which could be raced or rallied in a multitude of events. It is believed to have done 38,000 miles.
The car retains its original Coventry Climax powerplant which has been refurbished. The suspension is highly sophisticated with a De Dion rear end and unequal length wishbones at the front with coil spring and damper units. The body is all alloy and was manufactured by Wakefields who were at that time one of the top organisations in the supply of prototype racing and sports car bodies.
Senior Sales Specialist and former race driver John Markey who sourced the car and was involved in its rejuvenation says: It is not in truth a race car, but having driven it, I would love to own it.
John Tojeiro (1923-2005) was born in Portugal and was affectionately known as Toj - an engineer and racecar designer his innovations helped to revolutionise car design in the 1950s and 1960s.
The son of a Portuguese father and English mother, the young John was brought to England in 1924 after the death of his father. Following service as an engineer with the Fleet Air Arm during WW2 he made his name in automotive engineering. Best known as a specialist chassis engineer, he produced a long line of successful racing cars, most famously in conjunction with the Ecurie Ecosse team, using engines supplied by Jaguar, Buick, Bristol and Climax among many. Perhaps his most lasting legacy was in producing a design which AC Cars developed into the AC Ace. From the Ace, Carroll Shelby developed the iconic AC Cobra marrying a thunderous American V8 engine with the lightweight British chassis.