Threadbone Vintage and Veteran Car Restorations of Longburton have confirmed that they have completed restoration of the 1956 Hillman Super Minx once owned by the late Professor Brian Thrupiece and used extensively by him during his regular trans-Dorset travels in the early 1960s.
Professor Thrupiece acquired the car second hand in 1962 from his old Cambridge bio-ethics tutor and early life mentor Dr Kenwood Cheffe. Dr Cheffe had bought the car new in 1956 from the Hillman showrooms in Soham (near Cambridge) but had been unable to drive it after August 1961 due to the onset of degenerative carpel channel-tunnel syndrome which, according to his niece Agnes Moulinex-Kenwood-Cheffette, rendered his "acceleration v braking actions somewhat random". Dr Cheffe was declared a danger to the public at Cambridge Magistrates Court in July 1961.
On acquiring the vehicle, Professor Thrupiece had it completely renovated at specialists in Osmington Mills and used it throughout the 1960s, parting company only when, failing to anticipate storm tides near Poole, it was washed to sea with the loss of a minor (and still missing) manuscript, a primus stove and two picnic forks.
The vehicle's whereabouts thereafter were unknown until January 2013 when a local dealer discovered it hidden under tarpaulin at a farmstead near Todber. Its owner, Aberdeen-born cattle farmer Angus Longhorn had bought the wreck from the Poole Dredging Company in 1971 in an ill-fated attempt to raise Egyptian geese.
Now lovingly restored the car even includes Professor Thrupiece's original numberplate and - rather more controversially - a windscreen sticker bearing his name together with that of an as yet unidentified "Audrey". Hillman expert Ted Imp doubts that the car sported the sticker whilst in the Professor's ownership. "For one thing he was fastidious about such things, secondly I don't think he knew and Audrey and thirdly, stickers of that kind hadn't been invented in the 196os ... so yes I am pretty sure it's not authentic."
The car will be on show at Threadbone Vintage and Veteran Car Restorations showrooms in Longburton until May 10th and will then go on sale. Record prices are expected though the "complete and thorough" renovation does not extend to the engine which is still "missing presumed lost".
The original brochure for the Hillman Super Minx (which includes and intriguing endorsement from a Prof T) can be downloaded here
[TOP]: Lovingly restored: THRU 007 Professor Thrupiece's prized Hillman Super Minx has undergone extensive restoration by Threadbone Vintage and Veteran Car Restorations of Longburton [note the controversial windscreen sticker]. [BELOW] The car in 1962 with unknown passenger. Note the recently erected Lyme Regis Tower in the background. Experts claim the apparent difference in colour between the two cars is the result of colour loss through deterioration of the original photograph. White is known to be a key component in the Professor's colour pallet. (See Thrupiece the Craftsman Exhibition, Threadbone Primavera Festival 2017). The red car is also a 4-door hardtop. [BOTTOM] A more plausible candidate for the original Cheffe/Thrupiece Super Minx. Restorers are anxious to trace this car which might give them a better clue vis-a-vis the details of the interior trim and cigarette lighter details. The woman standing by the car may be onetime DHRA Assistant Secretary Ms Constance Hennessy-Cork who disappeared in the early 2000s.