A Classic Car Mystery to Drive you Mad

Mystery classic car on London street


Read this at your peril! This is not a postcard, though it is not out of place here. It is a photograph that contains a car whose presence is entirely incidental; just what we are looking for in this blog.  Many readers will already have seen it as it has been posted many times over the years on many different forums because people want to know what the car is. So far it has eluded us all.

Many many times people have shouted out in joy on a forum, “I know! It’s a ___!” only to be brought up short by someone else who posts anther picture disproving the assertion. It’s like the end of a game of Cluedo. “I know! It’s a ____”. So we open the envelope and all discover, no it’s not. Maybe one element is right but not the whole thing.

Pistonheads Forum

For anyone tempted to guess right now on this blog, please do not. Please look at the Pistonheads thread called Another Mystery Car first  This thread was started on Tuesday 17th November 2015. It now contains 2,804 posts and scores of photographs of similar cars which are almost it, but not quite.  Here are just a few…

Ghia bodied Lotus 11 Harrington-Alpine harrinton alpine Lotus Elan Coupe Marcos GT-BE Reliant-Sabra Repco Record Sheen Imperator Skoda-1100-race-car

People have analysed it microscopically and used all their photo editing skills to try to get to the bottom of it.  A few examples…

Mystery Classic Car Photoshopped

Detail of a seam on the rear of a mystery classic car

Detail of windscreen on mystery classic car

Slightly Odd

People’s lives have been ruined. There are petrolheads all over the world spending their every waking moment trawling through old copies of motor magazines searching for articles and adverts. But nobody has found anything.  This is slightly odd because this car is clearly not a mock-up concept car; it is on the streets of London. You would have thought someone would have found it. Maybe it is a one-off vehicle used in a film? Nope. You can do a reverse image search with Tin Eye (You upload an image and it will find the same image and similar images wherever they are on the web) and it fails to find it even on the very comprehensive International Movie Cars Database.

From a book

When I first became aware of it I thought it was probably a postcard. However someone has tracked it down and it’s actually a photograph in a book called Buses, Trolleys and Trams by Chas. S. Dunbar. If you want to get back to the root of all this, get yourself a copy, they’re as cheap as chips secondhand on Amazon.


Now here’s a bizarre thing.  An artist by the name of Wallace Trickett  was commissioned to paint this…

Wallace Trickett Painting

It is clearly based on our photograph. The little white Ford van is in position as is the Ford Anglia. It is the same location but the buses have been re-positioned slightly and have changed from AEC Regent III RTs to become RouteMasters and the women have gone to improve the composition, but what’s happened to our much loved mystery car? It’s been usurped by a London cab.  People on forums have contacted Mr Trickett and he has responded, but there’s nothing to be learnt here really, it’s just another avenue that sucks you in and robs you of your valuable time. (If you want to see more of Wallace Trickett’s art, see Wallace W. Trickett Gallery)

Here are some of the forums where this has been discussed. It is not an exhaustive list.

It’s also been posted in print magazines but with no luck.

Will never be solved

If you have an opinion, keep it to yourself. If you have categorical photographic proof, you’ve been on Photoshop. This one will never be solved.

Go on, leave a comment!