The 1953 Swandean Sptifire Special
The Swandean Spitfire Special was built in 1952 by Michael Wilcock, owner of the Swandean Garage in Worthing, Sussex. Built on two Daimler Dingo scout car chassis welded end to end, the car provided, via its Dingo transfer case, full-time four-wheel drive - four speeds forward and four speeds reverse. The Daimler transfer case frequently broke, requiring a half-inch steel plate to be welded to the frame underneath the seat to protect the driver. The car employed a steering box from a Daimler Double 6. A Leyland truck clutch and a pre-selector gearbox from a Stoke-On-Trent bus was used. Later a Crossley prime mover gearbox was used.
The car's first outing was in 1953 at the Brighton Speed Trials where the brakes failed at the end of the first run causing it to crash through a wooden barrier on its way to Black Rock.
Subsequent trips to the Brighton Speed Trails yielded better results. To quote Wilock: "Below 100 miles per hour, wheel spin was possible on all four wheels, which is dangerous on courses like Brighton with a cambered road surface. Top speed in first gear was around 45 miles per hour; second, 80 miles per hour; third gear 150 miles per hour, plus. I have no idea how fast it would go in fourth."
In 1957 the car was awarded the team prize at the Speed Trials.
Later that year, the car was sold to St.Louis sportsman and aviator S.L. "Casey" Lambert. Casey repainted the car black and renamed it the Lambert Engineering Special. It was a permanent fixture at his residence in Minocqua, Wisconsin, and films exist showing Casey driving the car on the road.
In the late 60's, the car was sold or given to Fabian Woodzicka at the Sunflower Museum and Boatworks on Lake Tomahawk, Wisconsin. He had the car at his museum for a short time until his death in 1970. That winter the snow collapsed the roof of the museum, damaging the car. It is believed the car's body was removed at that time. Ownership then passed to the Schuette Brothers of Wausau, who owned it until about 1984, at which time the Traeger family in Chicago bought the car.
It was acquired by Hunter Classics, St. Louis in late 2004 and is undergoing restoration to its original configuration - part of which was a tubular body frame and aluminum skins fabricated by the workmen at D&D Classic Restoration in Covington, Ohio.
The above details - courtesy of Hunter Classic.