Gavin McGuire, Tandridge, Surrey, UK, Tel: 01892 770310, 07770 316482, E-mail: gavinmcguirecars@gmail.com
 

Star Comet McEvoy Special

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Year 1932
Description

I have to start by saying that the only way to fully appreciate this car is to see it and go far a drive in it. Then you should take time to leaf through the four thick lever arch folders and the box file which make up one of the most comprehensive and informative sets of invoices, letters, photographs and other documents I have seen in connection with one single motor car! Fortunately I can send you a history of the car from its first appearance in 1932 which is summarised in a very informative article written by John McLellan and published in Classic and Sportscar magazine in July 1986.

The production of this splendid machine involves some important names from motor manufacturing and racing starting with Star of Wolverhampton who opened their doors in 1898 and made high quality machines until they closed in 1932 as people moved further towards buying cheaper mass produced vehicles. Other key participants in its history were speed record and racing motor cycle builder  Colonel Michael McEvoy and his associates Laurence Pomeroy junior (son of the famous Vauxhall and Daimler designer) and Morgan racing driver Henry Laird (grandson of the founder of Cammell Laird shipbuilders. The three of them acquired the UK licence for Zoller and set about persuading the motoring public of the performance benefits of supercharging ordinary road cars as well as significantly improving the performance of many a racing car. The last well-known name involved in its original build is Jensen who supplied the very stylish body.     

The next key figure is its last but one owner (an established Star enthusiast) who purchased the car in a fairly poor state in the mid 1960s then dedicated what must have been a large part of his time as well as a significant sum of money into a comprehensive professional rebuild of it which involved amongst others specialist coachbuilders Clanfield Restorations and vintage car engineers Basset Down before campaigning it in many VSCC events during the 1980s. He is also responsible for curating the detailed history of the car and its restoration and presenting it in a very readable form.

The current owner, who is also a well-known figure in the vintage and classic car world both as an important component supplier and a competitor, bought the car in around 2005 and subsequently had the engine fully rebuilt by Guy at Tim Walker restorations with Zoller supercharger input coming from Derek  Chinn.

And now to the car itself – the first thing that strikes you is Jensen Brothers handsome four seat sports coachwork which really is rather glamourous and will certainly attract attention wherever it goes. It has bucket seats in the front, a fully stocked dashboard to keep you informed and a good hood to keep you dry. The next thing to impress you will be its individually bench-built Star 2.1 litre 6 cylinder 7 bearing crankshaft engine which looks good, is very smooth and sounds purposeful. If you then peer underneath you will find that the car is clean, very solidly built and in thoroughly good condition. Finally, when its cover is removed , the purposeful looking Zoller vane supercharger dominates the front of the car and as any test drive will demonstrate,  it is not just there for show!  

Out on the road, apart from being well put together, looking good and being nice to drive you soon realise that as far as McEvoy was concerned this car really only had one purpose which was to demonstrate the efficacy of superchargers in increasing engine power with the minimum of engineering effort - and that it does to very good effect! However you don’t have to go roaring round the countryside to enjoy the Star as it is a very usable, easy to drive and comfortable touring car which also lets you take part in competitive racing, sprinting and hill climbing should the mood take you!     

This car is indeed unique and important as it played a part in promoting supercharging for road cars as well as racing cars and you won’t see another one at any event anywhere in the world. If you want something rare, interesting and rapid maybe this is just the car for you!           

 

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