PIPER - A BRITISH CAR THAT HAS RISEN OUT OF THE ASHES OF UNFULFILLED RACING AMBITION

FOR SALE WITH H&H CLASSICS AT THE IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM DUXFORD ON OCTOBER 14TH

6/10/2020    

2008 Piper GTR  EVO Estimate £14,000 - £18,000

H&H Classics will offer two cars at Duxford on October 14 that emerged from the pen of Tony Claydon, a British freelance designer – the Piper GTR and the Fiero Grand Finale.

Tony believes the 2008 Piper GTR EVO which he designed and built for £50,000 including wind tunnel testing could now be a track-day car or even as a very unique road car. It is estimated to sell for £14,000 to £18,000 at the H&H auction on October 14 at Duxford.

The glamorous gullwing coupe has done only 50 miles from new. It weighs just 620kg and its aerodynamics have been checked by Kingston University, in Surrey.

The Piper GTR is a development of a car that was built in 1969 to compete at Le Mans. Piper was amongst a myriad of small British entrepreneurial manufacturers with huge enthusiasm and ability but little money. Sadly the whole back end blew away after a few laps.

John Markey of H&H Classics, a former race driver himself, says: “I remember the original Piper in 1969 appearing at the Racing Car Show in London and being very impressed with the concept. Lack of testing was it’s downfall and the car did not qualify at La Sarthe due to overheating……that was really the end of a brave effort but out of the ashes as it were, over the last few years, Tony Claydon, a freelance designer who for a brief period owned the original, has built a second car with aerodynamic input from Kingston University. With Twenty First Century thinking the car certainly is impressive and clearly the original in the sixties was way ahead of its time.”

The Piper in its original design in the 1960s

Tony Claydon says when he first set eyes on the original Piper he felt that the front end had possibilities but the back needed a total redesign and when going at speed the doors were liable to swing open! “You must remember they did their best working on a shoestring.”

“Because its so light with a 300hp engine fitted it would be a beast,” Tony says.

Over the years he has worked as an architectural designer and also produced designs for cars and boats including work for Colin Chapman, the brilliant design engineer who founded Lotus cars.

Tony was also commissioned to design a body for the final run of the Pontiac Fiero which H&H also have in the sale and is the only R/H drive manual Grande Finale.

1985 Pontiac Fiero 'Grand Finale estimate £10,000 - £14,000

The final version of the successful Pontiac Fiero, a right hand drive has a 2.6L six-cylinder engine

In 1994, Tony Claydon was asked to design a complete new body for a Pontiac Fiero in time for the Geneva Motor Show.

In the last two years, the vehicle has been up-dated to right-hand drive for the UK.

As a designer of the finale body style, the Tony confirms that this car is the only right-hand drive Pontiac Fiero Grand Finale in existence.

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