1978 Ford Capri Mk III 3.0 S (138bhp V6)

The Ford Capri Mk I was originally launched in January 1969, a master stroke of Ford’s marketing. The Capri was ‘The Car You Always Promised Yourself’ and squarely aimed at the ‘baby boomer’ generation.

1974 saw the introduction of the Ford Capri II where the mechanicals were much the same as the previous model but with completely new bodywork incorporating a most useful hatchback and a much roomier interior. Engines ranged from 1.3 to 3 litres and, depending on size, were built in either Britain or Germany. The Mk III followed in 1978 with minor tweaks and is recognisable by its quadruple round headlamps replacing the oblong ones. The S (Sport) replaced the former GT. This particular car has modified bodywork with swelled wheel arches, wider tracks, and special wheel equipment together with after market spoilers.

The Capri was a very successful model for Ford with production running from 1969-1986, and will be on display at Dundee Museum of Transport for the entire summer.

On this day: 3rd April (1832), the full extent of the Dundee and Newtyle Railway line opens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

George Kinloch, Dundee’s first elected MP, was a great supporter of the idea of a Dundee and Newtyle railway. In 1826, Kinloch piloted a Bill through Parliament, leading to the creation of the Dundee and Newtyle Railway Company – wherein he swiftly took upon himself the position of Elected Chairman. Charles Landale, a civil engineer within Dundee, proposed two routes in which the new railway should go through. One route would go from Dundee to Forfar via Douglastown, before making its way to Mill of Newtyle, whilst the other route would take a direct route from Dundee to Mill of Newtyle. The latter route was chosen. The railway would provide Newtyle with potential for growth, as it was a promising industry. However, it was difficult to reach from Dundee. Prior to the construction of the railway, the only mode of transport to Newtyle was a stagecoach to and from Blairgowrie that only came 2-3 times a week during the summer months. Furthermore, with the industrial nature of Newtyle, the railway would offer the working-class citizens of Dundee a cheap method of travelling to Newtyle. A final major benefit of this railway line was its ability to transport various products (such as coal) cheaply between the two towns. In 1831 the railway was officially opened and was one of the earliest railway lines in operation.

For passengers, during the summer, the train would run four times daily – at 8am, 10:30am, 1pm and 4pm. In the winter the train would miss out the 1pm timeslot available during the summer. First-class passengers would pay 1s. 6d.; second-class passengers would pay 1s. 3d.; and third-class passengers would pay 1s. Due to the train company making a loss in its later years, an ‘extra first-class’ was added to the fare prices – at 1s. 8d. The carriages of the train were divided into compartments for the respective classes: first-class had the most room, with a single carriage, split into three compartments, each holding eight passengers. Third-class travellers would have to make-do with a great number of passengers crammed into open compartments. The trains would also carry all kinds of goods: from manure, to coal, to bricks, slates and stones. Charges would be made according to the number of tonnes the goods weighed, and the mileage required. Pricing would be divided into 4 miles, 4-7 miles, over 7 miles and any distance. Dundee and Newtyle Railway Company employed 26 different roles. The Manager at the top, who would be paid £70 a year; a humongous salary in comparison to the ten-way men at the bottom. The annual cost of the railway (including coal, maintenance, wages, etc.) would cost £3,400.

The Company was unprofitable for its shareholders, and there was an unsuccessful attempt at raising the prices of third-class passenger fares from 1s. to 1s. 3d. in 1836. This had caused a decline in the number of passengers from 40,378 to 29,387, further causing the Company’s profits to dwindle and forcing the Company to return their prices to their prior state after just nine months. Various accidents were happening to the railway workers due to bad design in some areas, or simply due to negligence from other staff. This gave the Company a bad reputation. Thomas Coupar a porter, was working on the railway track in Dundee on the 23rd April 1841. He was killed after another member of staff failed to alert Coupar that the train was about to move off. A year later, the Inspector-General of Railways inspected the Company’s railway line, leaving a scathing report on the many technical issues present. Both the financial and practical issues lead to the eventual demise of the Dundee and Newtyle Railway company. In 1865, the Company’s railway line was absorbed by the Caledonian Railway company, before the Caledonian Railway Company was taken over by London Midland and Scottish lines in 1923. In 1948, the railways of the UK were nationalised. The final death of this railway line itself was to occur in 1967, when the very last section of the line – the route from Ninewells Junction to Maryfield – was closed.

Information and photographs from:
Dundee Museums and Art Galleries Extension Services, 1981. Albert Square, Dundee, DD1 1DA, now: The McManus, Leisure and Culture Dundee.

Ford – Sierra RS Cosworth – 1986-1987 (United Kingdom)

The Sierra project was instigated in 1983 by the head of Ford Motorsport to create a competitive competition car. Ford then engaged Cosworth, who had developed the likes of DFV engines for Ford in the sixties and seventies (Cosworth-Ford were very successful in Formula 1 at this period). The Sierra 3-door was selected as the base vehicle, and they improved the Sierra’s performance by fitting a turbocharger and twin overhead camshafts, along with other modifications to achieve a much greater performing Sierra RS Cosworth. The car also featured lowered suspension and aerodynamic aids such as the strategically placed rear spoiler, with comments on the car saying it had an adequate aerodynamic drag.

The RS Cosworth helped to improve the poor, and somewhat undeserved, reputation that the Sierra had earned since its introduction in 1982. It was identifiable in difference to the standard Ford Sierra family saloon thanks to its RS body kit, large rear-spoiler and modified front grille and bumper. Initially 500 cars had to be manufactured for homologation purposes, relating to Group A racing. Production spanned 1986 to 1992 with further models such as the Sierra Sapphire 4-door RS Cosworth and the more powerful Sierra RS Cosworth 500. The car was only offered in three exterior colours (black, white and ‘moonstone’ blue) and one interior colour (grey). The Sierra Cosworth was highly successful car both in rallying and racing, providing a ‘Halo’ effect for the rest of the Ford range.

The Sierra RS Cosworth on display at Dundee Museum of Transport is a 1st generation 3-door model with a 5-speed manual gearbox. Its layout is a front longitudinal engine, which drives the rear wheels. A Cosworth 4-cylinder YBD 1993cc, Garrett Turbocharger, twin camshaft engine develops 204 bhp. It performs 0-60 in 6.5 seconds and has a top speed of 149 mph.

Ford Fiesta – Mk. III – 1996 (1.1 Litre). Charity Car

 

To toast Burns Night, the Dundee Museum of Transport celebrates its’ Tartan exhibit.                               The ‘Highlanders’ Jo Williamson, Gordon Blair, Rick Wright, and Brian Meldrum set out from John O’Groats to Siberia (via the Gobi Desert in Mongolia); and back through Russia. The 14,000 mile (22,500 kilometres) journey in two Ford Fiestas was accomplished to raise money for Findacure: a charity working to promote research into rare and fundamental diseases.

Jo Williamson sadly lost his wife to a rare form cancer caused by a faulty hereditary gene. The money raised is going towards research into potential treatments to find a cure for Phaeochromocytoma. Jo’s twins have the SDH-B gene and medical issues, while there is also a risk that their children could inherit the disease.

£30,000 had been pledged to Gordon and Jo before the journey took place. The no back-up vehicle or support crew drive took nearly eight weeks, travelling through 24 countries with the Highlanders raising the profile of the terrible disease Phaeochromocytoma. They also received donations for Findacure as they travelled.

Gordon Blair had the task of selecting two suitable cars, and having considered several makes, identical Fiestas were selected for their tough reputation and simple mechanics. Semi-independent torsion beam rear suspension helped the ride and refinement. The Mk. III was the first model to get Ford’s mechanical anti-lock braking system and featured a lean-burn engine. The two cars did not feature any electronics – so there was less to go wrong. Both cars performed without problems and returned safely to Perth.

The DMofT received one of the cars as a donation: to preserve the vehicle as an achievement, and keep the cause publicised. It is presented as it returned; although the mud on the outside has been removed, you can still see the dust of the Gobi Desert and Mongol Rally route on the dashboard inside the car!

Driving the route in Central Asia.
The Fiesta’s induction into the Dundee Museum of Transport.

 

Standard Motor Company – Little Nine – 1933 (United Kingdom)

Founded in Coventry in 1903 by R.W. Maudslay, the Standard Motor Company was financed by Sir John Wolfe-Barry through a £3,000 gift.

Their first car was in production by the end of 1903 and featured a single cylinder engine. Production had increased thanks to expansion into larger 6-cylinder engine cars by 1906. To accommodate this, a new factory was moved in to; though the company had switched to aviation production during the First World War and manufactured over 1,000 aircraft.

The post-First World War era saw vehicle production resume, with 10,000 cars manufactured by 1924. Smaller and more streamlined vehicles were being produced by the late 1920s: such as the fabric bodied 9hp Fulham. Other manufacturers including Jensen, Avon, and Swallow were to purchase Standard Motor Company chassis.

The rear-wheel drive 1933 Standard Little Nine had two main bearings, coil ignition, 12-volt electrics, four speed silent third gearbox, and a cart spring frame. It had a 1,005cc/1,006cc 4-cylinder side valve engine producing 22bhp with a top speed of 54/55mph. Weighing 16cwt, the Standard Nine was the smallest and cheapest car available from the Standard Motor Company in the early 1930s (costing around £145 at the time). This was regarded during the period as expensive for a ‘family car’, though this model sold well with the ‘upper echelons of society’.

The saloon was available in several colours. It featured fine quality leather upholstery, with matching head cloth and pile carpet. Front seats were independently adjustable, and the four doors feature wind-up windows. All doors feature a locking device, and room for maps and other driving articles (including dashboard space for parcels). Other objects of the car include a rear vision mirror, protection glass, screen wiper, speedometer, clock, oil pressure gauge, electric horn, tool kit, licence holders and luggage grid (with spare wheel when new).

The Dundee Museum of Transport’s Standard Little Nine is the final production year MK II Ordinary model; though a ‘special coachbuilders saloon’ was manufactured too. Around 5,680 saloons were manufactured in total. A small amount of 2 door convertibles were produced to special order, though this made the convertibles very rare (with as little as 12 ever made).

 

 

References (all accessed on 10/01/2019):

Culshaw; Horrobin (1974). Complete Catalogue of British Cars. London: Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-16689-2.

https://www.standardmotorclub.org/post-vintage-commission-numbers.html

https://www.classicandsportscar.com/guides/classic-cars-a-to-z/standard-little-nine

 

Look who’s 50!

Today we celebrate the 50th birthday of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!

Released on the 17th December 1968, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang has become one of the most well-known British musicals. We are so lucky to have ‘Gen 22’, a MGM licensed replica, on loan to us from a private collector.

To mark the occasion, museum volunteers have decorated Chitty for her birthday! Come see her before the end of December during museum opening hours of Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 10:30am to 3:30pm (closed Boxing Day). The museum will be closed throughout January, re-opening for 2019 on the 2nd of February.

Gen 22 on her birthday

 

Victoria Alexandrina Drummond: Britain’s first female Marine Engineer

A career not suitable for a lady

Victoria Alexandrina Drummond was born in 1894 at Megginch Castle near Errol. Victoria showed her interest in mechanics from an early age but didn’t start her career until 1922, where she sailed as 10th engineer on board SS Anchises. Due to her gender, Victoria never managed to gain her British Chief Engineers, despite making 37 attempts. However, she was successful in gaining a Panamanian Chief Engineers Certificate.

During the mid-1940’s Victoria was part of the SS Bonita at Southampton. It was that time when Victoria was acknowledged and took charge of the engine room and kept herself the engines running after an attack by enemy bombers. When arriving at Virginia, she was given a hero’s welcome. Victoria was awarded an MBE for her devotion to duty and a Lloyds medal for bravery at sea.

She kept on sailing in various vessels and she sailed amongst many convoys during the rest of the war. After the war ended she sailed as Second Engineer until 1959 when she finally became Chief Engineer. She remained a Chief Engineer until she retired in 1962.

Victoria died in 1978 and was buried at her birth place. She will always be remembered as Britain’s first female Marine Engineer, first female Chief Engineer, and first female member of the Institute of Marine Engineers. She stood up to all adversity and opened the door for all the women that followed in her footsteps. Victoria is a key part of the Dundee Museum of Transport’s Caledon Shipyard display. She is also part of Dundee women’s trail and a plaque is devoted to her, located at Bell Street.

 

Tay Rail Bridge Disaster

Do you have any objects relating to the Tay Rail Bridge Disaster? We are building a display on this very topic however we don’t have many objects in our own collection.

If you have any objects, please get in touch with the museum manager Sam on manager@dmoft.co.uk or call 01382 455196 to discuss a potential loan.

 

MidgeT-TD – 1951 (United Kingdom)

As a tribute to Morris Garages, MG is a sport automobile constructor founded in 1924. At first, MG was a Morris retailer created their own models by replacing the bodywork of existing Morris’. After many expansions, the success was there: the demand exceeding the offer, they had enough notoriety to get their proper identity and they parted from Morris Garage. The MG Car Company Limited was born in 1928.

T Series marked the transition between the small series production and the industrial automobile era and its exportation. With the automobile market in high demand, the British government pushed the company to sell abroad. These series, and in particular the TC, TD and TF, were amongst the first models imported in large numbers to the USA justifying the slogan of the leaders: ‹‹Export or die››.

In the lineage of the typically British roadsters, the TD was remodelled to increase the comfort and satisfy the most demanding customers. MG put the XPAG motor of the TC on the new frame developed from the type Y sedan. The TD had a new front suspension with independent wheels, composed by two triangles and helical springs instead of leaf springs. Steel wheels replaced the thread wheels, a first for a MG, along with bumpers, installed for the first time on the Midget TD.

To answer the request of the USA market, the left -hand driving was provided for the first time on a MG.

The TD turned out to be a commercial success since its inception and allowed for an increase of MG sales, in particular toward the USA. The production of the TD ended in August 1953 after the production of 29 915 copies.

ITERA – 1980 (Sweden)

An innovation which appears good on paper but turns into a commercial fail: this is the story of the Itera bicycle developed by Volvo. Substituting metal with plastic was the peculiar idea of a Swedish designer. In 1978, funding was released for this composite plastic bicycle project by a Swedish organisation, The Swedish National Board for Technical Development. In 1980, a functional prototype was produced and in 1981 the first models were presented to the press and to the retailers. In 1982, the bicycle models manufactured in a factory in Wilhelmina (Sweden) appeared on the market. Made of composite material with injected fibreglass stick rims all tinted in the mass along with polyamide wheels, the Itera is equipped with 3-speed Sturmey-Archer derailleur in the hub, including the dynamo, an anti-theft key, and an XM9 Iscaselle saddle.

The bike was delivered unmounted in a cardboard box, but there were complaints from purchasers about missing pieces or tools for the mounting. There were many reasons for the failure of this model including difficult maintenance, lightweight structure and replacement and replacement parts becoming out of stock to name a few. Plus, the Itera presented a certain fragility depending on the climate: if it was too cold, the frame could break and it was unbalanced. In reality, the perfect concept wasn’t quite so perfect: nothing could replace the good old metal frame. The Itera wasn’t the commercial success hoped by Volvo. The production ended in 1985 after approximately 30 000 copies and Itera became a collector’s item.

The Itera is on display in hall 3 of the Museum and is on loan from a private collector.