Frogeye

08/26/11

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I was at a car show in Chico, CA and I was talking to another British car freak, Gary Marquis.  He had a very nice cosworth caterham seven at the show. 

He also has a crazy lotus esprit turbo powered Morris minor that is truly PSYCHO!.  But what do you expect from a college professor.  Dealing with students all day, they need some kind of outlet.

He told me about an Austin Healey that was sitting outside next to a barn rotting away.  It was owned by Paul Tullius who is a Lancia guru known around the world for his Lancia collection including a 1925 Lancia Lambda Casaro that has won numerous Concourse D' Elegances around the world.

I went by their house and Paul was out of town, but his wife showed me where the car was.  Paul got it from someone who knew he was a car guy and also knew that after sitting on the car for 10 years that they would never get around to fixing up as planned.  I could spend a month just going thru the junk pile in Paul's back yard that includes old airplanes, fords from the 20's and 30's, Lancia's, MG's, etc.

 

Here is a picture of Paul's Lancia Appia Zagato, as well as another of his Casaro bodied Lambda.

THE FROGEYE:

The Frogeye was not looking too happy and it really did need a new home.  These are pictures from August 2002 by Paul's Shed.  The Frogeye was not too eaten away by cancer, but it was VERY banged up and had about 6 layers of thick quickie track paintjobs.  It was disassembled some time in 1985 and every part was wrapped in newspaper and stacked in boxes, but they were not labeled. 

My wife said NO, so I passed on this poor car.  I really felt sorry that it was so deserted.

Little did I know that she had talked to Paul and convinced him to deliver the car 8 Hours South down to Los Angeles.  She stored the car at my friend Hady's House and arranged for it to be delivered with a ribbon.

Now that is my idea of the perfect wife.

She wanted me to start on the car right away, but I had a few other projects I wanted to get out of the way.  I also wanted to research what I could about the car. 

The car left the factory as a leaf green 948.

I know that it was driven on the road until 1963 where it was converted to a track car.  It was a track car until 1977 when it was converted to street use and re registered in California.  During the stint from 1963 until 1977 someone added a 1275 w/ a side draft Weber that was not the most high end fitment (I think the inner wheel well was modified with a 5 lb sledge.  A ribcase transmission was added.  The front end was converted to disk brakes.  It was painted White, and then forest green, then kelly green.  It was burgundy when reregistered in 1977. 

It has dash plaques from autocross and track events all over Northern California including ones from some Austin Healey clubs in the area.  The roll cage was cut out with a torch, and the front has been pretty bashed, and both sides and the rear now that I think about it.  I need to chip a lot of bondo out to truly assess what I have to do to the body. 

The 1275 looks great in the bores (like close to no miles).  The pan had NO sludge in it.  The valve cover had a engraved plate that said it was race prepared by Howe Cocharan.  I cannot find anything on this person, so I have no idea when it was done, or how well it was done.  I would love to get some more of an idea about the car before I finalize my Plan.

 

 

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