Andrew Timmis had been in love with cars for a long time when he decided to become an auto manufacturer at the tender age of 18. The year was 1967, and Timmis was finding his studies at the University of Victoria "utterly boring."
Taking note of the growing interest in U.S. replicars like Brooks Stevens' Excalibur and Glenn Pray's various Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg efforts, he decided to go into business in his native Victoria, rejecting the idea of working for a big automaker or studying at the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, traditionally one of Detroit's prime sources of styling talent.
Instead, he would build a replica of the 1934 Ford V-8 Deluxe rumble-seat roadster, to be based on a semi-modified example he had acquired from a woman in Vancouver. Because of his experience as a hobbyist and restorer, Timmis was determined to make his replica as authentic as possible. This led to the idea of using real Ford components wherever feasible.
Of course, he already knew where to find many of those. Now he began tracking down others as well as additional parts sources. He also knew that original bodies would be hard to come by. Ford built only 11,187 roadsters for 1933-1934, a small number by Dearborn standards, and 25 years of attrition had taken their inevitable toll.
Thus, for practicality as well as cost, there was no choice but to use fiberglass for the bodywork, as so many American "cottage" producers had before. But first, Timmis had to learn metal-straightening techniques to ready his recently purchased 1934 for life as the master template for the replica.
According to the Early Ford V-8 Club's magazine V-8 Times, he was forced to sell his pristine 1940 Ford V-8 Deluxe coupe to finance the venture. This left him with only a bicycle for transportation, which he "rode down to a local fiberglass shop where all he could afford was . . . one gallon of resin at a time."
He then "built all the molds, found frame and mechanical parts, rebuilt everything, and completely finished his first car by March 1969. Not a bad accomplishment for such a young man."
Encouraged by the result, he laid plans for building an initial batch of 10 cars. These were duly constructed and sold by the end of 1974.
In the next section find out how the Timmis-Ford replicar is constructed and why this makes Timmis's coveted car that much more appealing.
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