The Rochdale Owners Club was formed in June 1981 by a group of owners keen to establish a club exclusively for the Rochdale marque.
Paul Narramore did an excellent article in ROC54 on the better known Olympics that had taken part in competition and I do not intend to repeat all the information contained therein. So I thought I would approach it from a different angle, that is to say how many lightweight Olympics were produced.
It would seem that the quality of mouldings produced by RMP could at best be described as variable and therefore the fact that your shell has one or two areas of thin moulding does not classify it as a true lightweight. The following information has been taken from the Factory ledger and is therefore only valid for shells supplied up to September 1962.
The first listed order for a L/W is No 1588 dated 24th April 1961 and was from a Mr Wilkin of Amstelveen, Holland. It was delivered on 26th July 1961 to Youlgrave, Derbyshire and subsequently registered 797 URA. I have no record of any competition history, but the sadly neglected rolling shell still exists with its original owner, now in Kent. Details were published in ROC No 53.
Next L/W is No 1601 ordered on 7th June 1961 and supplied in August of the same year to Neville Hodkin of Doncaster. It was registered 8500 DT and features in Autosport and also in Haynes Guide to Component Cars. Unfortunately nothing seems to be known of its fate.
Order No 1662 dated 12th October 1961 was from Harry Ratcliffe. Whilst the ledger lists a cheque received for £100 there is no record of a delivery date, nor of the money being refunded. Harry Ratcliffe had previously collected an A type Olympic on 5th September 1961, but there is no indication that this had been a lightweight version.
Order No 1676 dated 2nd November 1961 was from G Dixon of The Lincoln Racing Team, Kirks Motors, Longdales Road, Lincoln and was supplied in December, a remarkably short delivery period by RMP standards. The Lincoln Racing Team subsequently ordered two further Olympics, but neither was specifically listed as lightweight versions. Does anyone know of this organisation ?
The last entry in the ledger is No 1717 from John Anstice-Brown and is probably the best known. It was subsequently registered JJH 20G and now resides with Keith Hamer.
This concludes all recorded lightweights up to September 1962, but of course there could have been more after this date. As far as I am aware there were no lightweight versions of the Phase 2 , unless of course you know differently.
Finally, at the NEC (2001) I obtained three photographs of the same racing Olympic. Two were taken at Snetterton in April 1963, the third at Mallory Park in October of the same year. The car was obviously a competition car only with no registration number visible, external hinges and sliding windows. The driver is listed as P Dobbi, C P Dodds and C P Doddi. Obviously spelling mistakes for the same driver, but which is correct?
All information gratefully received.
Derek Bentley - Olympic Registrar of the Rochdale Owners Club
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