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The Eccles Rapier 1935


The Eccles Rapier was built in 1935 and is an original 1100cc racing car. It was built as a special order for Roy Eccles to race at Brooklands and in other Voiturette races. Tim Metcalfe (right) bought the car in 2001, prior to this the car had approximately six owners from new. The Eccles Rapier was owned for over 40 years by the McCall family. The body is still completely original.
Interesting facts:

• 1100cc supercharged engine, approximately 130bhp at wheels
• Most successful Lagonda to have competed at Brooklands
• Raced by Roy Eccles and his wife Marjory prior to Roy Eccles death in 1938
• Holder of the 1100cc Brooklands Campbell circuit lap record in 1937
• Raced at Brooklands, Donnington, Crystal Palace, Isle of Man, Shelsley Walsh and other venues pre-war
• Raced in Formula Two events post-war
• Competed in the first British race meeting after WW2 at Gransden Lodge in 1946
• Currently competes in VSCC races, hill climbs and sprints

The 1935 Eccles Rapier Special, an 1100cc supercharged offset single-seater Lagonda Rapier built for Roy Eccles in 1935 for racing at Brooklands and for other Voiturette races and hill climbs. Rumour has it that this car was removed from the backdoor of the Lagonda works as the Receiver was coming in the front door in 1935!
The car was by far the most successful Lagonda raced at Brooklands and between 1935 and 1938 some of its successes and major races at Brooklands included:

June 1935 British Empire Trophy
Retired
August 1935 BARC Meeting
Second Short Handicap, driven by Roy Eccles
(won at a speed of 104.67mph)
1st

March 1936
BARC Meeting
First Short Handicap, driven by Roy Eccles
3rd

May 1936
The International Trophy
Retired
August 1936 BARC Meeting Second Short Handicap, driven by Roy Eccles
(won by a 100yds at a speed of 108.80mph)
1st
  First Mountain Handicap, driven by Roy Eccles
(dead heat with King-Clark's blown MG at 68.60mph, only the second dead heat in Brooklands history)
1st
  Third Mountain Handicap, driven by Marjorie Eccles
(beaten by Clayton's Amilcar, both on scratch)
2nd
March 1937 BARC Meeting
Second Mountain Handicap, driven by Roy Eccles
(won at a speed of 69.74mph ahead of Bira and Connell's ERAs)
1st
October 1937
BARC Meeting
Second Campbell Circuit Handicap, driven by Roy Eccles
1st
September 1938 Dunlop International Car Races
First Dunlop Jubilee Trophy Race, driven by N S Brocklebank
(from 5th position, entered by Mrs Eccles following the death of Roy Eccles in January 1938)
Retired

It also raced in some of the other longer Brooklands races and held the Campbell Circuit (Brooklands road circuit) lap record for its class in 1937. Additionally, the car competed at Crystal Palace, Donnington and Shelsley Walsh pre-war driven by both Roy and Mrs. Marjory Eccles. It was also raced in the RAC Light Car race on the Isle of Man in 1936 driven by Roy.


From 1939 to 1948 the car was owned and raced by Ian Metcalfe. It is known to have competed in a number of national and international races including the 1947 Manx Cup, 1947 Coupe des Petites Cylindrees at Rheims and at the first post-war race meeting at Gransden Lodge in 1946.

From 1948 to 1950 the car was owned by HWM and raced by their employee Fred Hobbs at events including the 1949 Easter Monday Goodwood meeting and other early Goodwood events. Since then the car was in the same family ownership for nearly 50 years until being acquired by Tim Metcalfe in 2001 on the death of its previous owner. For the past 40 years it was only used occasionally for sprints and hill climbs, but has now been recommissioned and over the past two years it has regularly raced in VSCC and other events driven by various members of the Metcalfe family.


Photography by Mark Ballard



 
 
   

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