Name That Car: Garbage Route Mystery Car


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While going about his business on a garbage route, reader John P. stumbled across this unique little car. It looks like a kit car, but after doing a little research, we found out that it was actually a production car that was also offered as a kit. Few were made, but they were actually very interesting automobiles. So, can you identify it? We will run an update after everyone leaves their guess in the comments below. Good luck!

UPDATE – Well, our readers guessed it in a matter of minutes! We have added a closeup of the hood emblem and you can read more about these unique cars below.


Read the comments below for more information about the Fairthorpe marque. We assumed these were relatively unknown, but it seems that many of our readers know a heck of a lot more about obscure cars than we do. Thanks guys. Now, has anyone figured out what that is underneath the tarp?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Jim

    Fairthorpe Electron Minor, believe it or not…Triumph 10 power…

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    • Kristi Evans

      Fairthorpe Electron?! I thought I was a car nut, but you guys are amazing.

      How many of these buggers were made? Looks like they were a load of fun in the day…

      Cool ‘mystery’ post.

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    • Robert J

      Well, you are really on your game Jim. First response and correct at the same time. :)

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      • Oli

        Ac that’s what it is

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    • Jesse

      Wow Jim, that was quick! Fairthorpe it is!

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  2. doug

    It looks like a Kaiser. Early to late 50s.

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  3. DolphinMember

    I’m with Jim. It’s a Fairthorpe Electron, but I’m not sure whether it has the 1100 cc Coventry Climax engine, in which case it’s an Electron, or whether it has the Triumph engine, in which case it’s an Electron Minor. The crunched in intake opening is not the way the front end should look, BTW.

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    • Jimmy

      I am pretty sure the Electron Minor (this one) was not offered with the Coventry Climax engine. The Electron was. I had one with a Stage 3 Climax and had a bit of success in sprints etc. Loads of fun and easy to make modifications to the body and suspension for just a few shillings (pre-decimal Limey currency !).

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  4. Borgward

    It is a Fairthorpe Electron just googled it !!!!! :D

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  5. frank opalka

    Now that we have settled that, whats on the trailer next to it

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  6. scot

    ~ these guys are quick on the trigger. has Prof. Hacker been notified?
    +1 what Frank asked. identify that.

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  7. Christian

    Looks like it’s an Electron Minor with Triimph engine (1957 – 1973)

    The Electron had a Coventry Climax engine (c. 30 built vs around 500 for the Minor) and has a much rounder side opening. There are some side openings in the front wings much like a MacLaren F1 ! :D

    BTW the grille may look flatter rather than triangular …

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    1958 Fairthorpe Electron Minor, The grill area is correct, the late models 1960- had oval grills.Jim is right with Triumph 10 power, although this car is a roller…
    Im glad the garbage man didn’t “trash” my car.

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  9. René

    before reading the comments, my guess was British ( Triumph, MG, Aston Martin)

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  10. Richard

    No question — it’s a Fairthorpe. Fairthorpe made cars from the late 50’s into the 60’s. many different models, but the Electron and Electron Minor were the most popular. There is a UK-based club that puts out a monthly newsletter and has a nice website.

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    • jean Lecointe

      Hi Richard, You are perfectly right, If you look at the gallery of photos of the UK webside you gave, photo No 12 shows exacly the very car on Barn Finds. It is supposed to belong to a member of the club who owns two in the US.

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  11. Webby

    The mystery car on the trailer looks to have 3 stud wheels, so I’m assuming it’s French.
    Beyond that, “I got nuthin”

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  12. Geri

    it’s the little known austinspriteMGtriumphmorganvauxhallfiat-
    or something like that, for sure it isn’t a Corvair,I can tell by the steering wheel.

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  13. Alan

    How about a Deux Chevaux? (Citroen 2CV)

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    • Horse Radish

      My first guess too, but those had 4 doors.
      Maybe a Mehari or other Citroen mod ?

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      • jean Lecointe

        Hello you two,
        Obviously you have not seen a 2CV for a long time. Several attempts have been made to use the 2CV platform to give it a better look or even a sports look. The little flat twin engine (425 cubic cemtimeters) was so weak that any sport tentative was a failure. The 2CV, howether, remains a historical automobile adventure that only Citroën in France dare to achieve. I own a 1957 and a 1985 2CV and I love them. Citroën is, one, or maybe the only car manufacturer which dared to put on the roads the first first industrial front wheel drive and the magnificent hydropneumatic DS. Useless to say that I am french….

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  14. james bond

    yup electron
    if i can see more of whats on trailer than maybe

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  15. Alec McCutcheon

    Can remember seeing the Fairthorpe factory in the 1980s after the company had closed down, it was near to Denham airfield in Buckinghamshire, UK near where I lived. The factory had long since closed down and was closed -up but the grounds were littered with fibreglass moulds and body shells from unfinished cars which could be seen through the fence – just Googled and found this picture of it on the internet:

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  16. Doug MMember

    Never heard of the first one, but Think it must have the triumph power, as the emblem on the hood appears to be the standard old triumph badge…

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  17. Andrew S MaceMember

    I’ll agree; it’s almost certainly a Fairthorpe Electron Minor, originally powered by a 948cc Standard 10 engine. Pretty rare car anywhere nowadays. Came close to having one about 35 years ago but couldn’t agree on a price. Sadly, that car met its end several years later in a massive barn fire. :(

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  18. Gene Stribling


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  19. Big Bill

    Its an Elvis or a Kaiser i believ.

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  20. Gene Stribling

    looks like a sprite

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  21. T Heckman

    it looks like a singer.

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  22. krash

    sorry gentlemen, but this is the extremely rare 1966 Broadhurst Apex…

    Each handmade body was to be shipped from a small factory in Birmingham, U.K. to Ontario, where they would be mated to GM’s legendary L62 6.0 liter 8-6-4 power plant..(Unfortunately, the bodies suffered from an acute sensitivity to the fine powdered coating, sneezing until their headlights popped out).
    The first (and only) shipment never made it to Canada, The freighter was blown off course during a storm, arriving two weeks later in Cuba. The Broadhurst Company said that it was not in the business of negotiating with any repressive regime and flatly refused to meet any of Castro’s anticipated demands, But Castro had made no demands. As he stated in a rambling seven hour address to his people, he was “a fan of American Iron” and had no use for “a bunch of Limey fiberglass planters” littering his beautiful beaches. He promptly shipped them back to England on the next Soviet carrier.
    Apparently he wasn’t the only person unimpressed by them. There were no orders for “the car without an engine”. Broadhurst went belly-up and the remainder of the bodies were auctioned off (rather than scrapped).. After changing hands a few times, they fulfilled their destiny as coin-op kiddie rides in Euro Disney…all except this one… which apparently jumped the fence while security was busy watching the parade..

    * Rather than scrapping the L62’s, GM execs warehoused them and @ 15 years later made the monumental decision to stick the motors in ’81 Cadillacs….(hmm, I wonder how that worked out)…

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  23. JLM

    Is it a Cunningham?

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  24. Ray Pittam

    I thought it was the Fiat that Vauxall was going to produce in around 1963

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  25. martin collins

    It is a 58/59 Fairthorpe Electron Minor with the early bonnet and doors, the badge is the oval blue Fairthorpe one which has a flying lady motif on it. Engine would have been 948cc Standard 10. I am the club registrar, more info on these cars can be found on the club web site which Richard has supplied a link to or on the Fairthorpe blog pages with lots of pictures and info at:-
    and the Fairthorpe Zeta site at:-

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  26. FRED


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  27. John

    OK, its a Fairthorpe, but is it for sale????

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    the electron has that aston martin db 2 front end look.

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  29. rancho bella

    gots to be a British thing………….and I though I knew stuff………….how depressing.

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  30. RT

    Here it is when it was more complete and had steel wheels:

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  31. sylvio

    its a 1958 Fairthorpe Electron Minor

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  32. Foxxy

    When I see these kind of cars I’m reminded to when I was in the 7th grade. I was a country boy that moved to town, and had no friends to speak of. I was sitting in our back yard one day and heard this bike fire up across the empty lot from my house at this old mans garage. I worked my way over there and peaked in the window of his garage and he was twisting the throttle on a Indian Chief. He saw me and told me to come in. We became instant friends and in 5 years time I learned more from that man than I could ever list here, but he was always dragging some kind of car home to fix up and trade for the next one. He was partial to brit, and italian sports cars. He came home one evening and had something on a trailer that I couldn’t figure what it was. The body was gone and it was just a chassis with the engine in the back and a transaxle. Over the rest of that summer and all of the winter he built a body on it out of 2×4’s and wire and fiberglass. I’ll never forget it cause I sanded on that car the whole time he had it. Every day after school I would sand on it and when he got home from work he would lay more glass and resin to it. It turned out looking great he painted it blue. He did a lot of work on the engine and trans-axle while I sanded my fingers raw. We never got to test drive it and he had a guy bugging him to sell it to him. I’ll never forget when the guy was trying to put it on a trailer he had 4 reverse gears and 1 forward. Kenny had to switch a gear in the axle to make it right. I often wonder where that thing ended up. When it sold he brought home an Amficar, but that is another story. -peace-

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  33. julian Gould

    Designed and built by Air Vice Marshall Bennett at Denham Bucks.

    Mostly crude little wagons that one tended to sit on rather than in.

    Engined by Triumph 10/herald and a few with Coventry Climax engines for competition. I expect that the climax engines went on to better things!

    They also made a really ugly 2 seater coupe but I haven’t got a picture.

    Air Vice Marshall Bennet also raced a Fairthorpe Zeta with a 2.6 litre ford Zephyr engine.
    Just like the Electron but with a longer bonnet (hood) .
    He was a brave man and we saw him race it in the rain at Goodwood. Frightening handling with wild slides out of the chicane.

    Really not worth restoring because it was never nice – unless you are “in to ” Trabants and similar.

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  34. Charles GouldMember

    The two seater coupe was the Fairthorpe Atom (get it, Atom, Electron), and it was quite ugly. google Fairthorpe Atom photos for details and photos.


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  35. Charles GouldMember

    Trailer car is definitely NOT a Deux Chevaux, but COULD be a derivative or kit car built on a 2CV platform. The rims are three bolts, but definitely NOT 2CV rims. Perhaps Renault?
    But think it might be a Citroen Traction Avant,. but they had five lug wheels later on?

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  36. Erik O.

    A fairthorpe.My heart leaped and came softly down. I remember a guy had one for a good amount of time One and a half blocks away from the house I grew up in.I was too young to buy it,but it should give you an indication of how old this find of yours is when I say I used to swing my Schwinn Fastback bicycle (baby blue with white lettering and a racing slick on the back rim…shifter on the cross bar) past it when one summer the owner decided to sell it.

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  37. Dean

    The car on the trailer is a 1948 Hillman Minx
    Convertible, actually a coupe Seville style top.

    The Fairthorpe was found as a roller, I have since finding it sourced a Triumph 10 engine and tranny for the car. As someone has mentioned it had steel wheels but was changed to wires somewhere along the way.
    I intend to restore the car as. Soon as time permits. Dean

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    • Scot Carr

      ~ ‘Convertible, coupe Seville style top.’?
      Is that a three-position top, similar to later Rootes cars, Dean?

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      • Dean Beckman

        The Hillman Minx has a “coupe Deville style top, 3 position top. Just looking at some of my barn find feature cars and saw this post I hadn’t responded to.

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  38. Ralph Jannelli

    That car is in Conn. There were two cars, I purchased one last September. It most definitely a Fairthorpe Electron Minor. There were between 500 to 700 made. Both of these are early MKI cars mine is a ’57, I believe the other to be about the same vintage.

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    • Jesse JesseAuthor

      Thanks for sharing Ralph!

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