Tojeiro California Spyder

In 1959, the famous car designer and builder John Tojeiro, most recognized for his work on the AC which later became the Cobra, began creating of one of his last front engine sports cars. The new car incorporated a tube frame structure similar to the early Ecurie Ecosse Tojeiro Jaguar that ran at LeMans, but with coil springs and concentric tubular shock absorber’s fabricated with the upper and lower A-arms in the front. Tojeiro’s design also had a DeDion rear axle located by parallel trailing arms on a Watts linkage with coil overs. Initially, John built a chassis to replace the crash cured Ecurie Ecosse racer from an accident at Nurbugrring and a second one, which you see here. Intrigued by the new Ferrari California body design, John asked friend Cavendish Morton to create a similar look for his new chassis. Once the drawings were complete, John began bringing them to life by producing the complete chassis suspension and wire body frame. He never finished the body, as he was then into mid-1959 and was working on a new mid-engine car, later driven by Stirling Moss.

The beautiful complete chassis wire frame with suspension components sat in the back of John’s shop until it was acquired by Gilbert Dickson, who managed the Tojeiro Registry. Gilbert planned on completing the project, but work and other projects prevented it. On a trip to England the last owner visited Gilbert in Surrey, England wanting to research a Tojeiro Climax and was shown this, the last front engine design of John Tojeiro, Vin number TCAL 59 purchased directly from Gilbert Dickson. The Tojeiro California Spyder was immediately crated and sent across the Atlantic to America.

TCAL 59 is now complete as John Tojeiro and Cavendish Morton designed it in 1959. The car incorporates all the original components preserved on the chassis. John Tojeiro recommended that this car utilize an American motor so as not to confuse it with the other Tojeiro Jaguars with a similar chassis configuration. With this in mind, the California Spyder was outfitted with a vintage six-cylinder five liter GMC motor, triple carburetors, and an overhead valve linked to a four speed transmission housed in John’s beautiful tube frame and connected to the DeDion rear axle.

Contact Chuck by phone at 520-977-5394



Finally finished and track tested.  

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