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The Raymond Mays Special Or Raymond Mays V8

The car could claim to be part "ERA", part "Standard" and part "Raymond Mays"

 

On page 34 of this magazine Alan Mowlem wrote the story of how he put FLN 386 "Back on the Road".

In 2016 Stewart Wilkie is telling his story of how he is putting FLN 386 "Back on the Road (again)".
A dedicated Raymond Mays / ERA web site is being developed.

No need to buy a magazine for this story! - just pop over to Raymond Mays (Bourne) 1899-1980. on Facebook..................

(Photograph - Copyright Acknowledged - The Automobile of May 2003)
Also see my Flickr album - My Raymond Mays odds and ends

 


How did the Raymond Mays Special get to be made? ……………
Raymond Mays was great motor sport entrepreneur with wide-ranging interests in support from the automotive industry, sponsorship, car dealership and performance conversions. He as an individual, ERA and BRM also tried to transfer sporting success into road car projects - some worked, some didn't..................................

Before ERA– plans for a road going car……………
While racing the 4.5 litre Invicta Mays, Cook, etc. considered making a road going version of the car.

The ERA racing team – plans for a road going car…………
1 – A Riley MPH with an ERA engine was worked on - only one made.

2 – A partnership with Autovia Cars Limited of Coventry was investigated but not progressed to production.

3 – Harry Mundy designed a 4 litre 6 cylinder OHV ERA engine. The 4343cc engine was part built before abandonment.

4 – A 4 litre engine based around two ERA E-type engines in a V configuration was proposed but abandonment due to excessive cost for road car use.

5a – Close contact with the Standard Motor Company Ltd. brought about plans for a sporting car based around the company's 20hp. V8 engine. Discussions were held as to naming the car ERA-Standard or Standard-ERA.

5b – The ERA partnership broke up – Humphrey Cook left the Bourne premises taking the ERA name and the E-type racing project while Mays and Berthon kept Mays' favourite R4D racer and the ERA/ Standard V8 project in and around Mays' Bourne home.

After ERA– plans for a road going car……………
The project became the "Raymond Mays Special" and a company was formed to produce it – "Shelsley Motors Ltd."

Directors were Raymond Mays, Peter Berthon, Philip Merton, and Lancelot (Lance) Prideaux-Brune.

Prideaux-Brune was owner of Winter Garden Garages, Holborn, London who became sole agents for the car.
CM (Dick) Anthony was the Works Manager at Winter Garden Garages and would be responsible for servicing the cars once delivered from Bourne.

Production ……………

In 1939 the the car was given strong launch with full press reporting and full page adverts and a four car entry in the RAC Rally.

From The Motor 2 May 1939 - when the average worker would earn about 200 per year! …..
Sports Saloon 495
Sports Tourer 495
Drophead Foursome Coupe 495

 

(Photograph - Copyright Acknowledged - The Autocar of 14 April 1939)
Also see my Flickr album - My Raymond Mays odds and ends

 

 

The four car RAC Rally team……………

4 seat tourers bodied by R.E.A.L. of Ealing
pale blue - driven by Raymond Mays (reg. FLN 385) - Rally number 164 - starting from Stratford-upon-Avon
cream ---- driven by SCH (Sammy) Davis (reg. FLN 386) - Rally number 141 - starting from Torquay
green ----- driven by CM (Dick) Anthony (reg. ??? ???) - Rally number ??? - starting from ???

drophead coupe clothed by Carlton.
dark burgundy - driven by Lancelot (Lance) Prideaux-Brune (reg. FLN 388) - Rally number 175 - starting from London

 

(Photograph - Copyright Acknowledged - The Autocar of 28 April 1939)
Also see my Flickr album - My Raymond Mays odds and ends

 

 

The four car RAC Rally team…………… Results................................
Group 5 - open cars over 15h.p.
18th. in class ---- Raymond Mays --Test 1 32.2sec. - Test 2 23.8sec. - Test 3 51.4sec. - Total points 892.6
26th. in class ---- SCH Davis ------ Test 1 33.8sec. - Test 2 24.6sec. - Test 3 53.8sec. - Total points 887.8
Not cassified ---- CM Anthony - crash damage - Did Not Finish

Group 6- closed cars over 15h.p.
30th. in class ---- L.Prideaux-Brune --Test 1 38.6sec. - Test 2 26.6sec. - Test 3 58.2sec. - Total points 876.6

The Second World War ended production with only one more vehicle bringing the total production to just five ?..................................

(Photograph - Copyright Acknowledged - origin unknown)
Also see my Flickr album - My Raymond Mays odds and ends

 


Drophead Foursome Coupe --- Drophead Foursome Coupe" (by Carlton) FLN 388 is reported to be in the USA.

(Photograph - Copyright Acknowledged - The Autocar of 5 May 1939)
Also see my Flickr album - My Raymond Mays odds and ends
(Photograph - Copyright Acknowledged - The Standard Motor Club)
Also see my Flickr album - My Raymond Mays odds and ends

 

Sports Tourer ---

"Sports Tourer" (by R.E.A.L.) FLN 386 is very much alive and still cream - but what happened to the other two?

 

 

Photograph - Copyright Acknowledged - The Autocar of 14 April 1939)
Also see my Flickr album - My Raymond Mays odds and ends

 

Sports Saloon ---

As for the fifth car - said to be fitted with a "Standard open body" - was that the "Four-door Four-light Saloon"?

Was it actually a hard top saloon as shown on the left?

 

 

 

 

 

Photograph - Copyright Acknowledged - The Autocar of 14 April 1939)
Also see my Flickr album - My Raymond Mays odds and ends

 


Where did the information come from? ..............................

What I have read……………

Raymond Mays (Bourne) 1899-1980. on Facebook
The Standard Motor Club web site
The Autocar 14 April 1939 - page 610-611 - a two page review of the "An Entirely New Make - the RAYMOND MAYS".
The Autocar 28 April 1939 - a review of the first part of the RAC Rally.
The Autocar 5 May 1939 - a full review of the RAC Rally and results page.
The Motor 2 May 1939 - page "advertisements 25" - full page advert for the "NEW - and thrilling!" Raymond Mays Special by the Winter Garden Garages Ltd.
The Autocar 5 May 1939 - page 32 - full page advert for the "Raymond Mays Special" by the Winter Garden Garages Ltd.
The Veteran and Vintage Magazine – 1966? - page 208-210 by Michael Sedgwick on the history of the make mostly featuring "FLN 388"
Classic Cars Nov 1973 - news of the ERA engined Riley MPH
Thoroughbred & Classic Cars July 1979 – page 26-27 – by Alec Rivers Fletcher on the story of the cars and black & white photos of "FLN 386" .
The Automobile November 1988 – page 74-76 – by Alec Rivers Fletcher on the story of the cars and colour photos of the Carlton car in green.
Classic & Sportscar Magazine November 1991 – page 108-109 - "Special Investigation - A casual conversation with an elderly neighbour set Alan Mowlem on the trail of this unique Raymond Mays Special; here he describes how he eventually became the car's proud owner."
The Automobile May 2003 – page 34 – Alan Mowlem wrote the story of how he put FLN 386 "Back on the Road"

What I have not checked ……………

The Motor 4 April 1939 page 340 - Car Announcement - The New Raymond Mays Special
The Autocar 13 June 1941 - a "retrospective evaluation by A.F. Rivers Fletcher" of "FLN 386"

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