Saturday, April 2, 2011

An Enfield car in 1964?

As we have mentioned, when Royal Enfield was taken over by the E&H P Smith conglomerate in 1962 at the death of Major Smith (no relation), who had led the company since the 1920's, things looked good for a while. In particular when Leo Davenport convinced superstar champion Geoff Duke to become associated with the company. Duke's involvement with Enfield's most visible result was the development of the GP5 racer, we will cover that in another post. It is claimed in the book "Geoff Duke: the gentle champion" that he also tried to convince the Enfield motor company to build an inexpensive car. It was going to have an Austrian made Steyr-Daimler-Puch air cooled boxer engine driving the front wheels, like the one that eventually went into the Haflinger all terrain vehicle. The romance of Enfield and Duke was short lived, however, as losses mounted and E&H P Smith decided to breakup the company, and the project never saw the light.

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