(click to enlarge)

Year: 1952

Dellow Mk IIB


Financing available⤵

Stock # NE-1952-19

This is my third Dellow. First a Mk I (40 years ago), then a Mk IIB (25 years ago), and now a second Mk IIB. And considering the extreme rarity of Dellows (207 Mk I, II, and III and a few later prototypes....not many, 1949 through 1956), something very special. In fact, the editor of Road and Track magazine wanted to purchase my Mk I, drive it across the country and use it to basis for an article for their magazine. Ultimately, I declined.

My 'new'' Mk IIB: a complete nut and bolt restoration and registered as an AACA competition car. Full history along with its original UK green log book. Not only well known by the UK Dellow registery, but have spoken (by e mail) to a member who was the last owner in England.

A Dellow? Okay, here is the story: in the 1920s and 30s, popular forms of British car competition were hill climbs or Trials. Hill climb is pretty simple.....start with a hill. As for Trials, a curious form of (very popular) motor sports with its venue on a muddy, bumpy, farm's property. Usually where one might see an MG, Morgan, or other small sports car. And an activity engaged in by, among other enthusiasts, a certain Ken Delingpole and Ron Lowe.

Now, after the war, they both continued in Trials....Delingpole the owner of companies providing hardware to the Auto industry near Birmingham, Lowe running one of his divisions. Lowe created a home built Trials car formed on an old Austin 7 chassis but fitted with superior Ford drivetrain, brakes, and suspension. And other enthusiasts then asked Lowe to build another and another. At this point, Lowe was considering moving on and going into the Trials car business (a few years later, a young Colin Chapman went in the same direction, and created Lotus Cars Ltd). Delingpole, about to lose his division manager, jumped in and with his considerable resources, joined in....DEL...LOW. Dellow.

It didn't take long for the boys to run out of junk Austin 7s donated for their chassis. But, in the years following the war, many materials were being rationed and directed to companies able to export and bring in US dollars....Jaguar, Standard, MG, Morris, etc. So, what to do?

Being ingenious, they scoured the countryside looking for the materials needed to put their car into production. First they came across a salvage yard with stacks of 3 1/8" chrome moly tubes. The result of scrapping UP3 coastal defense rockets....placed on the South coast in 1940-41 to defend against a German invasion, as the possibilities declined by 1942, the rockets were scrapped.

Tubing for body frames? Natural gas piping from bombed out houses and buildings. And finally aluminum panels from an RAF base....patch panels for bombers and fighters. All WWII scrap.

Ford Motor Company, not concerned with competition as they didn't build any sports cars, was happy to sell new drive trains and other components..... Much as they did for Morgan, Lotus, and so many others. And when Lowe went to a body constructor, he was asked 'what would you like your new car to look like?' To which Lowe responded 'I always liked the look of pre war BMWs.' And the twin oval grille, much like a BMW 327 or 328, became the 'look' of a Dellow.

Dellows, strong, with a huge fuel tank and twin spares, had wonderful traction in the mud, made an ideal purpose built Trials car. Also useful for hill climbs and even road driving. And were very successful for years.....even to this day, Dellows are still involved in this activity in England....as they know it, 'mud plugging.' And the drivers, 'mud pluggers.' Very weird.

My car.........perfect chassis tubes, one of which still retains the original Ministry of Defense ID sticker. Excellent body tubes, excellent alloy body. New cloth covered wiring harness, rebuilt Ford 100E engine WITH a rebuilt Marshall supercharger (an option from the factory), all new interior and trim, new (expensive) stayfast cloth top, side curtains, and tonneau cover, rebuilt cable operated brakes, all working gauges (including a perfect original Dellow speedometer), original chassis VIN plate, working turn signals, folding windshield, racing belts, electric cooling fan for hot weather use, inside and out, the car is spotless.

And, as a surprise, lift the passenger's seat cushion and one sees a small window in the wood floor allowing one to view the original MOD ID sticker on the rocket body!

Now I loved owning my two other Dellows but was always disappointed with the 3 speed transmission. Best compared to owning an MGB with only 1st and 4th gears. Going well in 1st, shift into 4th and it takes forever to slowly climb the torque curve. For my other Dellows, much the same.. into 2nd and struggle into 3rd. Yuk.

Which is why I was so excited about this car. Not only does the Supercharger raise the horsepower (and according to the factory, raise its top speed form 70 to 85mph) but also increases the torque making the car FAR better to drive. With this being my third Dellow, an impressive difference.

I had acquired a 1952 Morgan Trike in 2022. Great fun to take to shows but quite difficult on the road. Same (unsupercharged) engine but with a non synchromesh trans, heavy steering, and super stiff ride. And when I sold it, the Dellow seemed like the ideal replacement. JUST AS RARE and interesting for shows but far more usable on the road....even on a cooler or wet day what with it excellent weather equipment. That is, a REAL car.

Drove it five or six times....longest drive was 25 miles and it was effortless...brakes worked well, pulled nicely, effortless shifting, light steering, and far better ride, better in every way compared to the Morgan. And the to extra power and torque from the supercharged engine made the 3 speed trans really come alive, felt like an MG TF 1500....smooth and powerful (well, for a 1200cc SV engine). And quite enjoyable.

The point to all of this? It is all about the car hobby. Raced for forty years, had a great time, decided to move on to another car hobby but with less cost, no risk, a lot less time for preparation and when one considers that racing is 95% sitting in the paddock BSing with friends, a show is the same but 100%. sitting around. Not as different as one might think.

And then.......was offered my old super MGA back from its current owner. Not just any MGA, one we specially built for my use.....early MGB engine, 5 speed, wire wheels, dual circuit brakes, every option......and with limited room in my barn, it has to be one or the other. So, my Dellow is now (and not planned) for sale.

Remember, at a show, the fun is having something special. Something unique. Like my Morgan Trike. Truth is, you show up with a beautifully detailed MG TC and who knew. Five others and two nicer than yours! But with the Dellow, one doesn't have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to have something rarer than most Ferraris or Bentley, or Bugattis. For a tiny fraction of the cost.

And this car is eligible for AACA regional or National events. Very classy. And very exclusive. And yes, it has all of the AACA acceptance documents.

Where can you find such an incredible car for anything like this kind of money? No worry (ever) of paint, no possibility of rust, simple mechanicals, and being supercharged it has a rather exotic touch.

And even better, I have access to a friend's Ford 100E engine and transmission, both recently removed form a perfectly good running/driving 1959 Morgan 4/4 Series II.....exactly the same as this Dellow. And for not much, available to me or the next owner of my car.

If my deal with the MGA falls through, will not be disappointed. But as of right now, some lucky buyer has the opportunity to have a piece of world history and British car history. For the price of an MGA.

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