This car started its life as a 1935 Rover 12 Saloon (unofficially and latterly known as the P1), but after being severely damaged in an accident in 1950, it was completely rebuilt at Reavell’s Garage in East Horsley in Surrey. The owner of the garage, Claud Vincent Reavell, led the project to make significant changes to the car.
After the car was stripped down, the chassis was shortened by nineteen inches, the engine and gearbox lowered by four inches, the cylinder head planed down and a new exhaust system was created to produce a better performance. The new aluminium body was made by Abbotts of Farnham in Surrey, on an ash wood frame.
Claud Reavell took the car on tour around Europe between 1953-8 and created a ‘passport’ for the car to record all of its journeys. Reavell toured France, Spain, Italy, Austria, Greece and former Yugoslavia, building up a mileage of around 150,000 miles. The adventure was reported in The Autocar magazine in August 1952.
The car was eventually sold to Don Langford in 1959, who had previously worked for Reavell and carried out much of the car’s maintenance. The Langford family continued to own the car until it was donated to the British Motor Museum collection in 2022.