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  • Writer's pictureBarrie Carter

Barrie's Workshop Woes

Updated: Nov 17, 2023

Sorry I've been a bit slow in building a new web site but a few hospital appointments and jaunts kept me away for a bit. In fact, I've got a season ticket to our local hospital and my own bed!!

Then Stella had keyboard cramp and customers kept coming in for coffee, but Alan slogged on building your 'T' types, MGA's, B's and C's with the highly skilled Tim, its been busy.

But I'm back, totally bionic and building engines as fast as I can.

I have an odd set of sales cars around. I tend to buy what I like and profit isn't the object. I long ago realised that I, and millions of others, are afflicted with the same disease, Classic cars- an incurable and mostly enjoyable affliction that follows us to the end. We buy, we sell, some we win, some we lose, and due to the demise of a large portion of our older devotees, the old cars we like find it harder to find homes, younger enthusiasts preferring to lust after 70's and 80's cars that they don't have to fettle at weekends, just use it.

So my humble collection of pre-war transport has been disposed of at tear inducing prices to a fading group of ageing devotees – but I did keep one gorgeous pre war goody.............

Sooooo – my first car was a Citroen Traction Avant. An incredibly underated car far in advance of its time. Did you know that Harry Ferguson took the engine design and developed it into our beloved Fergy tractor power which became the Triumph TR 2, 3 and 4? Don't believe it?

Try a Traction head gasket on a TR block! Very close, as is the dizzy and camshaft location.

Armstrong Siddeley used the front suspension set up, and Heynes nicked the Traction torsion bar suspension for his 'C', 'D' and 'E' types. And when I was Jack Knights manager we produced the steering racks, gears and suspensions for a lot of the F1 teams and we used the Traction gearbox back to front and upside down with our gears and diff for John Coopers revolutionary Type S2 F1 car for my old friend, Stirling Moss and my ex-boss, Jack Brabham.

So, our humble Citroen who built a monocoque design in 1932, (when we were still building out dated chassis cars,) and who's futuristic designs were vetoed as too radical by us, found their parts plagiarised in world class race winning cars by our designers with little acknowledgement to the origins.

Didn't know that, didya?!!! Oh dear and I seem to count 5 ….

And in W.O Bentley's autobiography he not only thought the Traction was a wonderful car, but he used one as his daily for years, as did Bill Lyons.

So much for the history lesson...Here's the cars......

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