The Car


Some, might ponder the serendipity surrounding a gentleman named Bo Cheadle. An ardent Ford fan and collector of many significant machines, he just happened to be the right person; in the right place; at the right time, especially when it came to a funky little V8 powered, Series II Alpine. The Miles prototype had been languishing for years under the ownership of its Fresno keeper, Harold Lampson. To the best of my memory, the car (not operational) was only out amongst the Tiger public once - way back in 1981. Aside from acquiring a set of American Racing "8-spokers" to return the package to a more complete, original configuration, nothing had been undertaken in the way of revitalization.

I must admit the color distortion in these pictures doesn't do justice to the very bright, "candy apple" respray now gracing the Miles machine. Pictured here, awaiting the installation of a fresh interior, I thought you might enjoy seeing some early images of the work in progress.

Looking 400% better than the last time I saw it, the engine compartment has been returned to its original Miles-treatment black and, of course, sports a very tasteful refresh of all the major components.

As it happened, the Lampson family suffered the unexpected loss of their patriarch and minus his leadership, struggled to deal with the process of moving forward. The fate of the Miles car was entrusted to the son of a family friend, resulting in a Hemmings Motor News "for sale" notice. The ad was reported by the Internet bunch and within the blink of an eye, wheels churned to consummate a sale to a new champion. While it's not well-mannered to talk about the money involved, to point out that a purchase price well below what would have been on the table without the stressed nature of the sale, must have greatly fostered the decision to act. Fresh to the world of the Tiger, Bo had searched, found and purchased a MK II out of the Midwest just months in front of the Miles episode.

Even with that car consuming the talents of his restoration group, the possibility of adding the Miles relic to his collection could not be resisted. With the deed done, the car and its bits went into storage to await relaxed schedules. During the downtime, arrangements allowed for another much appreciated public outing during Tigers United XXII, in Eureka, CA. Attendees at that 1997 event had a rare look at the absolute beginnings of the Tiger saga, albeit through many years of unconsidered neglect. Now that a caretaker with resources sufficient to pamper this piece of history is in control, a proper rebirth, as you can see, is not far off.

As with any such project, there are still a few things to sort out. Even after a careful rebuild of the original hot rodders fuel pump, gas refused to stay confined within its chambers. Also proving to be a problem child, the thirty-six year old, borrowed cooling system filler tank failed to flawlessly fill its function, so is off for a resolder.

A freshly painted, plastic dash takes on a whimsical formed appearance, reminding us of its '50's origins. Still not completed, reworking the wiring has been one of those "your guess is as good as mine" challenges.

Definitely the product of careful attention, the "prototype" at this point approaches a second life as the forerunner of the marque. While the interior is being finalized, other parts of the operation are receiving attention. The "Silverstone" magnesium wheels suffered extensive oxidation, but are, we're told, in very good hands. Searching out that last little collection of missing tidbits, continues to occupy more than a few interested souls. As you can imagine, help with this project has come from many quadrants. When it's said and done, there will be many beaming faces, including those who have the opportunity to appreciate this resurrected artifact for years to come.


1996 Historical Glimpses Archive

1997 Historical Glimpses Archive

1998 Historical Glimpses Archive

1999 Historical Glimpses Archive

2000/2001/2002 Historical Glimpses Archive

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