Saturday 20 October 2012

Classic & Unique Electric Vauxhall

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A couple of years ago a friend from my local boozer mentioned that his Dad had a vintage electric car. Electric vehicles were in the news, Nissan being in the process of building their Leaf electric car in nearby Sunderland. I had to see the car, and video it, copy the historical documentation and put together a really good video presentation. This never happened - Sorry Alan.

So, here's the docs, photographs, unedited video clips and a little history of this remarkable vehicle....

An electric car built in 1946 from parts of a crashed Lancaster Bomber. Constructed by Colonel Austin Graves-Bates of the Cunard Line.

The 1946 Graves-Bates EV Special is based on a 1934 Vauxhall Bedford chassis, with instruments, switches & aluminium body panels from the WW2 bomber which went down near Ridlen, North Wales.

Lt. Col. Graves-Bates, Born 1891, died 1961, was the son of 2nd Baronet Sir Edward Percy Bates. He was wounded whilst fighting in the First World War, where he was mentioned in despatches three times. He was decorated with the award of Military Cross in 1917, and with the award of Companion, Distinguished Service Order (D.S.O.) in 1918. He gained the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in the service of the Royal Artillery. He fought in the Second World War between 1939 and 1943.

The car he built reflects his post-WW2 career with the Cunard Line, the original reversing switch having being marked "Ahead & Astern".

The video clips -

Old press clippings, docs & photos - (recent photos, way down this page)

Photographs taken during my visit -


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Unrelated to this post, below is an example of
eclectic science esoterica 

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WARNING - Many subjects outlined within this site are extremely dangerous and are provided here for information only. Please don`t experiment with high voltages or chemicals unless you are fully conversant with safe laboratory practices. No liability will be accepted for death, injury or damage arising from experimentation using any information or materials supplied.