Wednesday, January 14, 2009

December 2004 Update

Heritiage's 3000 Mk11 (registered FOL 361L, chassis number ME 73244 DLBW) was included in their classic clear out auction of the 29 June 03. Needing restoration after a period of neglect and vandalism, it never the less appeared to be quite sound and a fairly easy project. Bidding fever pushed the finishing bid to £3,000, this was typical of the whole auction as most lots went for many times over estimate. Wish I had had a few cars in that auction!

As far as I know FOL 361L had been originally built for Triumph's sales exuctive Lyndon Mills, for his personnel use, what a company car! Not a prototype as such but one of the many V8 saloons and at least one estate (ours) built for the high and mighty at Triumph. This has been confirmed by Pete Clarke (ex Triumph experimental) who states that at one time he and a few others were running a makeshift production line in experimental churning these things out one after another. They would simply pull a part finished car out of the normal production stream, run it through experimental adding all the Stag bits as they went. This explains why these cars have 'normal' production chassis/commision numbers as against the more normal X prefix of out and out experimental cars.

Our V8 estate was registered by Rover at Lode Lane it was retained by them until at least 1975. I can only think that the reason for this was due to an internal BL promotion and whoever's company car it was at the time following them from Coventry to Solihull?

The Heritage trace for XXC is full of contradiction. Built in August 71, but not despatched until October 72? Built white with black trim (as we found it), but despatched Valencia blue with tan trim, and no evidence of it ever being blue? Destination (dealer) is listed as a direct sale to BLMC Rover Solihull as we know from the DVLA copies of the original log books.

The copies of the old green log books clearly state that the engine fitted when first registered was indeed a 2997 cc Stag V8 number LE 902 EBW.

As found in local scrapyard in 1983

This means it had only survived on the road for just over 10 years! Not good by todays standards when cars generally show little deteroration in their first 10 years. Mind you as I remember it all of those cars surrounding XXC in this picture, Cortina, Imp, Princess, were all younger!

V8 engine bay

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