Specials & Sports Cars

Using Ford Sidevalve Components

Microplas

Microplas Ltd
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Micron Plastics, Woodcock Hill, Rickmansworth, Herts
Tel 3312
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Stiletto


In 1954 a group of 750 Motor Club members got together and designed an all enveloping body for their Austin Sevens that would be made from the new material fibreglass. They were, Mike Eyres, Bill Asthenia, Sandy Wemyss and his brother Tony, and one other, whose family money was the Caesar (sic) Shipping Group, who amongst other acquisitions had taken on Hunting Clan, who were amongst the very first people to do MoD reinforced plastics and Microplas had access to their technology. The new shell was called Stiletto which had a wheelbase of 6`9"


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Microplas Stiletto


New designs came thick and fast and by April 1955 Microplas announced what was to become their most popular shell, the Mistral. The price of £58 was to remain unchanged throughout production.


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Microplas Mistral


Designed for the 7`6" wheelbase of the then current Ford Ten it was soon mated to the new Buckler DD2 spaceframe.


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Buckler chassid Mistral


By now the orders were pouring in and the company moved to new premises in Mitchem, Surrey.
The Stiletto shell was soon adapted to fit the pre-Ruby Seven of 6`3" wheelbase. This shell was called the Scimitar and was priced the same as the Stiletto at £49.


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Roy Campbell in his 1954 Stiletto (love that headlight Roy)


By October 1955 yet another new shell had been announced, the Toledo. This was designed for wheelbases of 6`7" - 6`11".


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The people looking at the Toledo body shell on a rolling chassis are Frank Nichols of ELVA Engineering and employees. The picture was taken outside the workshop at Bexhill-on-Sea.


No new models emerged from Microplas after the Toledo, although the Mistral was available at a later date with slightly revised styling.


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Mk2 Mistral


The Stiletto was also revised into Mk2 form, although I'm not sure what the differences were apart from some of the colours being deleted from the specification list.
The Mistral shell was a very popular shell and was used by a number of firms to clothe their chassis inc Buckler, Fairthorpe and TVR.
It was used by Elmslie & Flockton Ltd in New Zealand and together with their own chassis was marketed as "New Zealand's First Kitset Sports Car".

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New Zealand Mistral 100E chassis


The chassis was available for E93A, 100E and 105E Ford engines and running gear. Prices for the New Zealand car were £135 for the body and £95 for the chassis. A list of extras was of course available and included Front screen, hard top and the badge pictured above. The company boasted that one of their own cars, fitted with a Inlet Over Exhaust cylinder head could reach the scary speed of 110mph.
Microplas diversified into boats and hardtops and they carried on well into the 1980's although I doubt if the car shells were available by this time.