J2 2217

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Current Owner: Stuart Andrews, Victoria

MMM No: 2403

Information: Built at Abingdon on 26th September 1932 as a 2-seater and sold by University Motors London on 11 October 1932.

History: Written by Stuart Andrews

The first owner was F.R. Wells of Digswell, Mill House, Welwyn, Hertfordshire UK.  Francis (Frank) Wells was a notable film producer in the early years of the UK film industry.  He was also an author and wrote a pictorial biography about his father, the famous author H.G. Wells, of War of the Worlds and The Time Machine fame.

In his years of ownership, Frank encountered a number of issues according to factory records of the day; this included a faulty crown wheel and pinion, deteriorating chrome plating and an out of balance crankshaft.  The selling agent replaced the crankshaft in 1934 after having it balanced by Laystall however not long after that Frank disposed of the car and it was subsequently exported to Victoria, Australia.
In Australia, the car was sold by ‘Select Used Cars’, owned and operated by the famous local M.G. racer Les Murphy. The car was first registered as 203-259 to a Mr Ronald A. McDowell of Nathan Grove, Caulfield South, Victoria on 26 March 1935.  Coincidentally, a few days after the sale, Murphy went on to win the 1935 Australian Grand Prix in a P-type on 1 April 1935. Mr Mc Dowell was a local business man who owned and operated an automotive spare parts business at 1212 High Street Armadale, the building now houses a jewellery store. He owned the car until 1945, after which it went through a succession of owners.

The car resurfaced when acquired by Peter Gostelow in the 1970s no longer with its original engine or body; it was now fitted with engine 2993AJ from J2-4417. This car had been imported to Australia as a rolling chassis along with a number of other J2s with sequential chassis numbers, some of which went on to be included in the Britannia Motors Race team, competing alongside Les Murphy in the P-type.

P.G. kept the car for over 39 years and during this time commenced a comprehensive restoration which unfortunately stalled due to health issues. By then the car had been completely rebodied with a new ash frame and repainted to a high standard in the original black colour scheme and many minor parts refurbished. Engine work included new valves and porting along with fitting a new forged steel crankshaft and new forged conrods and pistons. However, the body and engine became separated and ended up in the possession of different people for some years.

Stuart Andrews was able to purchase the body & chassis and the engine separately in 2022, reuniting chassis 2217 and engine 2993AJ and is working toward completing the restoration over the next few years.

  • Listing ID: 1818
  • Midget: J2
  • Chassis Number: 2217
  • Year of Production: 1932
  • Previous Owners: F.R. Wells, UK, 32-34
    R.A. McDowell, Vic, 35-45
    Peter Gostelow '70s-'16
    John Noble '16-22
  • Current Owner: Stuart Andrews
  • Original Engine Number: 768AJ
  • Current Engine Number: 2993AJ
  • Date Acquired: 6/3/2022
  • Current Reg: unreg
Contact details

Victoria,Australia,All Locations