Thursday, 5 November 2015

639 HYM Zephyr

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

The second-generation Ford Zephyr is a marvellously imposing thing. Wearing its American styling cues proudly on its sleeve (or whatever the automotive equivalent of a sleeve might be - door handle?), it represents the chrome-and-fins aspirations of late-fifties/early-sixties Britain, with a gruff 2.5-litre straight-six providing an appropriate soundtrack.

This particular '59 Zephyr has an interesting past. It's been racing for over forty years; it was in private ownership as a road car until the early 1970s, when it was purchased by a pair of Morgan racers, Bruce Stapleton and Bill Wykeham, who prepared it for competition use under Classic Saloon regs. It then passed through various other racing hands before being bought by Tony Dron in 1987 - he rebuilt it to 1959/60 works specs, with the project documented in Classic Cars magazine. He owned it for ten years and used it for nineteen classic rallies, including the Historic Monte Carlo and the Historic Rally of Great Britain and, as you can see, it's a racer to this day. Nick Mason drove it at the first Goodwood Revival in 1998, Jeff Uren owned it at one point (he'd won the 1958 British Saloon Car Championship in a Zephyr...), and these photos show it in action at Goodwood's 73rd Members' Meeting, under the eager stewardship of current owner Alistair Dyson. It still looks and sounds glorious, testament to its fastidious upkeep - it may have been battling since 1974, but there's plenty of fight in the old Zephyr yet.

More 73MM photos here.

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