1963 Rochdale Olympic: Rare Little Racer!

1963 Rochdale Olympic

Here’s one you don’t see very often. Well, actually I’ve never seen one until now! It’s a 1963 Rochdale Olympic and it was one of the first fiberglass monocoque cars ever built. Lotus may have beat them to it, but I’d argue that this car is much more unique. Power was provided by a little Ford four banger and although it didn’t put out a lot of power, with a sub-1,400 pound curb weight, this thing had to be a little screamer. So, if you can appreciate something a little off the beaten path, you can find this one here on craigslist. It’s located in St. Louis, Missouri and the seller does not have a price listed. Thanks goes out to one of our facebook followers, Joel H, for the tip!

Phase 2 hatch

The photos leave a lot of questions unanswered here, but the opening rear hatch tells us that this is a phase 2 car. These cars were available in kit form or fully-built from the factory. I have no idea which this is, so you will want to check on that because it could affect the value. Depending on the skill of the builder it may be hard to determine if it came from the factory or not though. Supposedly these cars could do 0-60 mph in 11 seconds and hit a top speed of 114! I’m sure that would be a frightening experience, but that’s an impressive accomplishment for such a humble little car.

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Comments

    • jim s

      thanks for the information.

  1. SoCal Car Guy

    Rear glass looks like E-type Jag.

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      That was my first reaction too. Just think, you could own a baby E-Type! Let’s just hope the seller doesn’t think it’s worth E-Type prices. I haven’t been able to find any past sales or price guide listings, so I have no idea what it might be worth. Any guesses?

  2. tom

    …want…

  3. Tom S.

    Once again, CL turns into a poor photo contest. Would it have been so hard to roll it out of the garage? Google some images and you’ll see that these are neat looking cars. I’d never heard of the brand before.

  4. Dolphin Member

    A Rochdale Olympic, attractive design, with a compressed-down Ferrari 275 GTB kind of front and a compressed-down E-Type coupe kind of rear as So Cal Guy said. I guess that’s what happens when you set out to build a small car based on some great lines: things necessarily end up looking compressed-down.

    I haven’t been able to find a photo of the interior, which would be important to me since the body is all ‘glas. Would it be attractive or just ‘glas-plain? If the latter, that would be a negative because I like nice surroundings when I’m inside, and many of the cottage industry cars done in ‘glas ended up being plain inside.

    No interior shot, only night shots of the car on a hauler, no details, no price.
    Time to move on……

  5. jim s

    again another car that should be on ebay or at a highline auction. the few photos/text will not sell this. i do not remember seeing one of these before. looking at the photos on the club website these look like they are MGB size, but i could be wrong. i hope it gets restore by someone who knows these. great find

  6. Paul B

    These are the coolest looking things going in their own fun, silly, perverse way. Somebody save this one!

  7. Leo

    @Jim
    Why do you feel every unusual car will only sell on EBay or acrooss an auction block? More cars are sold direct than through those venues. BTW “rare” doesent necessairly equate to “high dollar” sales figures. There are lots of “rare” cars that sell for low dollar amounts because the cars never gaind a folowing

  8. Bobsmyuncle

    Very cool car. Never heard of it before, I have a bit of a hangup with the wheel on the wrong side, which I had assumed they all were before checking out the listing. Very cool, good contribution!

    I think I’ll be calling tomorrow for more info.

  9. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    Caught a picture of this one at a show in the UK in 2012. Car looked nice up close as well apart from color choice not being my favorite. Hope you find good things, Bob!

  10. MartyB

    Thanks for adding the car here. It is listed locally here in STL. Love hearing about unusual cars!

  11. Doug M. (West Coast) Member

    @Jamie, Now you just r e a l l y impressed me!! Pretty nice to be able to just pull up a picture of a Rochdale out of your inventory! Great work! It is actually a pretty nifty looking little car!

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      @Doug M…it’s truly sad the amount of British car trivia I have. If only they were financial reward rather than ruin!

      • tom

        I sounds like the car might have been imported by a Jag dealer in Kansas City, MO. There is a license plate/frame bearing a dealer’s name in a box of parts.The plate is a MO plate from 1965. The seller bought the car last week from what he believes is the second owner.
        It hasn’t run in years, but it is a 1500 Ford GT, so not very complex. The seler states that the car seems solid, including the all important suspension mounting points.
        I still want…

  12. Mark E

    The CL ad now lists a price of $7500 which seems fair, considering the decent condition (in the pics anyway) and the rarity. It would be an oddball you’d never see coming the other way when you’re driving it!

  13. Tony Stanton

    Hi Everyone,
    My name is Tony Stanton and I run the Rochdale Olympic History Archives for the ROC here in the UK. I think this is a car lost to the club since 1965. Can someone please send me the link in to the CL site and an e-mail address for the current owner?
    If you open this link I think it is car 3)
    http://www.rochdale-owners-club.co.uk/rochdale_usa.htm
    and while if you are reading this article if anyone knows any details of any of the cars on the list please let me know.
    This link will take you into a site I run with photos of Rochdale Cars
    https://www.flickr.com/groups/rochdale_cars/
    My car is the Red one reg no 902 DUF.
    Kind Regards
    Tony Stanton, Compiler of the Rochdale Olympic History Archives.

    Like 1
  14. Bobsmyuncle

    Seller never contacted me, and the posting is down, I imagine it sold before it made it’s way here. Too bad, I think it would have fit my wants very nicely.

    • Tony Stanton

      Has anyone please got contact details for the man who sold the Olympic and has anyone please got copies of the other 2 photos off Craigs List.

  15. tom

    News Flash!!
    The Olympic is now listed on Ebay. The seller listing it also has it advertised on his website (Petesclassiccars.com) for $11,500.
    Sigh…

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