British Model B

Deuce Cabriolet

I recently received these great 1932 Model B Cabriolet pics from Mr. David Morris of the United Kingdom.

It looks like a fabulous car! Here is the story in his own words:

The car was purchased new in England by a man called Gwylim Rice-Evans (a Welshman I believe). At the time of acquisition I spoke at length with Mr Rice-Evans, who was a fascinating character. Before and just following WW2 he was a Brooklands timekeeper. You will have heard of Brooklands... our old banked racing circuit in Surrey, here in the UK.

It is also rumoured that Mr Rice-Evans worked with Barnes Wallis in developing the bouncing bomb. There is some evidence to support this because when I initially wrote to him at his address in Essex I received a letter from the War Department asking me to call a certain number. I did and Mr. Rice-Evans answered. We spoke for hours.

The "one in a million chance"...these are the photos of the B which I found at an autojumble some years ago.

I suspect that these photos were taken in the late 50's or early 60's when Mr Rice-Evans decided to update the car !

The B Cabriolet was sold by Mr Rice-Evans in 1972 to a car dealer in Essex (near London) by which time it had been somewhat altered over the years. Ford Pilot bumpers, after-market headlights, vinyl hood and so on and so forth... Mr R.E. drove it every day for 40 years and not once did it let him down.

In 1973 it was acquired by a friend of mine who had always wanted a 1932 Cabriolet. At that time he began the amazing task of creating, over a period of five or six years the masterpiece that you see in the pictures.

From memory, I purchased the B in 1982 and during that time, other than pulling the head off a couple of times, rebuilding the carburettor, replacing the battery (twice), together with general servicing, the car is much as it was when the restoration was completed.

Regarding the cars origin... I don't know, but it was built in Canada as a right hand drive "export model" with the 14 hp small bore engine according to the original registration data and serial number.

It was later fitted with the current large bore 24 hp 4 cylinder motor and the registration updated !

As the photos show, the car bears a Don Sommer stainless steel quail and a spare wheel cover. The latter was made from eight pieces of metal; four around the tyre tread and four covering the tyre sidewall ! All welded together.

My pal who made it said "no problem, I'll soon knock one of those up out of aluminium"... Needless to say he didn't get his way... It's made of steel and subsequently finished with black cellulose paint as indeed is the rest of the car. The "stainless steel finisher" is in fact half round chrome plated brass with 2BA studs silver-soldered to the back.

The wheel cover was copied from the only other (original) known to exist here in the UK.

I also have a BIG garden !

David Morris
November 2008