1957 Rochdale GT Coupe
Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, U.K. | September 14, 2019
Rochdale Motor Panels and Engineering was founded in 1948 by Frank Butterworth and Harry Smith. They got their start producing automobiles in 1954, which were technically just fiberglass shells used by customers to re-body Austin Sevens.
The GT was the third such product launched by the company, and it went on sale in 1957. They had the Ford Popular in mind as a base, but by 1960 you could get it on Rochdale’s own frame, as the company had moved to produce its own cars outright with the introduction of the Olympic in 1959.
This example is based on a Ford Popular frame and is powered by a 1.5-liter Coventry-Climax inline-four producing 140 horsepower. The GT was far and away Rochdale’s largest success, with about 1,350 built in total. Rochdale closed its doors in 1973, and it is thought that only about 80 GTs survive. This one has been restored and is eligible for historic racing events. It should bring between $36,000-$49,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.