This Westland Empire Aristocrat W-2 is a bit of an enigma in the car collector world. A one-off prototype built in Hereford, England, for an American market, this elongated sports car on a unique, tubular frame has a long, if somewhat mysterious past. Several former Westland employees remember seeing the little “Frogeye” model roll off the line in 1958, and there are rumors of a W-1 prototype on a standard Morris frame that accompanied it. After a quiet journey, there were sightings of it for a brief time in front of the Tucker Motor Company in Marblehead, MA, in 1959. How it managed to find itself across the pond remains intriguingly obscure. Soon after it made its debut in the United States, this example dropped completely off the radar for five years. Nothing is known about how it spent its adolescent years, but it reappeared suddenly in Burlington, VT, in 1964 on the lot of Carpenter and Mayforth, a dealership that specialized in, interestingly, eclectic British sports cars and all-American Fords. From there, it changed hands several times, spending most of its life outside or in ill-equipped sheds, until it landed in the hands of its current owner in 1981. Restoration began in 2003. The years of exposure to the elements had not been kind, and the only two things that guided the initial restoration was the fiberglass body and an original brass plate that indicated that the car was made by the Westland Motor Company in Hereford, England, along with the model number W-2. With a little sleuthing that was part automobile restoration and part archaeology, the owner and a team of experts were able to meticulously piece the sports car back together and return it to its former glory. Restoration took several years, and it received a refresh recommissioning in 2010. All parts that could not be repaired were still kept for posterity and to help maintain the vehicle’s provenance. What we currently know of its history has been previously confirmed via email by Bill Emerson, Curator Emeritus at the Healy Museum, and David Matthews of the Association of Healy Owners and is included in the sale. This one-of-a-kind sports car is an eye-catching cherry red and sports plenty of interesting details to pique the interest of any enthusiast, such as a 948 c.c. engine built using original manifolds and carburetors, a rebuilt original transmission, and the signature hood-mounted headlights that give the car its “Frogeye” nickname.
1958 Westland Empire Aristocrat--SOLD (Florida) - $0
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