The Mystery Car

Only one picture of this car is known to exist, but now available as a bespoke period car

Do we know what the car definitively is? No. However, it is very likely to have a Sunbeam Alpine base. Could it be a gullwing? Yes. Could it have a flip front? Yes. Is it smaller than Alpine size? Extremely unlikely as we will demonstrate.

Let’s deal with the last bit first. After years of researching this car the body parts and latterly a chassis had all been designed. The legalities of registration had been covered and proven possible to achieve.

The Mystery Car is now available for purchase with a Ford 289 engine and bespoke aluminium composite, yes this is a period item, chassis. A latter day AC Cobra hardtop. We call it the Bracco MKVII by our brand Forte Vision.

Specification is completely bespoke and to keep within the licencing rules you will be helping assemble the car.

The Mystery Car project came about from many long running threads on car websites. Over several years many answers came to nothing, and it appeared, and in fact to this day remains, a vehicle that nobody knows the answer as to the designer, owner and whether it still exists.

3D Engineers took on the challenge and within a few weeks solved the car design in terms of size. The actual car we believe to be a Sunbeam Alpine based vehicle, but still there is no conclusive proof.

Getting to completion of the design involved reverse engineering parts parts, camera matching and moving between several computer programs with a high level of skill and knowledge and 3D scanning cars, car parts and areas of Oxford Street where it joins Vere Street.

Methodology used

Essentially it was a seemingly simple process of identifying where the picture was taken, when it was taken, what items could be identified within the scene, ascertaining the scale from all known items and then re-creating the known, or I should say assumed after analysis, parts and then re-creating the car. Once the car had been re-created possible donor cars were sought and then the design process was circled around again to see if the car we felt most likely to be correct, the Sunbeam Alpine, was a likely candidate.

Research techniques

Four major computer programs were employed. All were variations on a CAD theme. With parts of the vehicle and area of London identified, 3D laser scanning was undertaken to create reference material for use in the whole.
In addition to the tech side good old fashioned traditional research was employed. This involved researching picture sources, magazines, books, car clubs, regional Facebook groups, bus clubs, show programs of the period and much else.

The role of social media and car forums

This situation was interesting as the forum posts surrounding this car were extensive. Three thousand plus as I write this. Therefore, we analysed every post and put it into an Excel spreadsheet to ascertain an overall view of how good forums and social media were at solving this mystery. Spoiler alert. The answer is terrible.