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With my AutoArt Peugeot 206 WRC still on the bench awaiting the final fitment of her new pinions, I was already thinking of what might be the next build... aside from the queue of reliveries!

Inspiration came in the form of my wife - or rather Mrs. 8's grandfather, who was a keen and rapid rally driver in the 1950s and early 1960s called J. W. 'Jack' Bowdage. Mrs. 8 was extremely close to her grandparents and talks fondly of her 'gramps' most days, but he had long since retired from rallying before she arrived in the world and so her knowledge of his motoring adventures is fairly sketchy - although she remembers him always driving something exciting at a fairly giddy pace!

The first clue could be found on the wall of my father-in-law's garage, where a number of rally plates are screwed in place from Monte Carlo Rallies, a Coupe des Alpes and the RAC. Subsequent digging in the in-laws' loft has revealed photos of several of the cars in action, including a Ford Zephyr, a Sunbeam Tiger and most spectacularly a Jaguar XK150 FHC slithering through an alpine pass past an upturned Borgward!

By far the most photos, however, are of a white Triumph Herald saloon. Here is one that my brother-in-law got framed for Christmas:

It seems that this was his favourite car, which was bought and prepped for rallying but also served as daily transport. My mother-in-law remembers zooming about the countryside in the back of it The Herald also turned out to be JWB's last rally car, as the era of enthusiastic amateurs gave way to the arrival of a more professional age and 'superteams' such as Stuart Turner's BMC outfit taking control.

Resin body kits of the Herald are a bit thin on the ground at present, so I bought a re-released Airfix kit. The mold is a bit tired but it's still a cracking little model, the only problem was that I'l fairly inept when it comes to fixing the chassis mounts to any kit. Fortunately fellow Forum member BritFix leapt into the fray and offered to help - as a Sixties car building expert he was able to counsel on which wheels to fit (Scalextric Ford Cortina) and provide the required enthusiasm and skills to put the fundamentals of my slot Herald together.

While the business end of the car was being built, I shpped around for the fixtures and fittings. When built, the Herald will have the roof light from the Scalextric Mini-Cooper 'Hopkirk', modified rally plate from the Scalextric Mini-Cooper 'Aaltonen', some PCS spotlamps and an Overdrive interior for the Mini-Cooper which fits like a glove. It'll need a bit of work to get it Herald-ised, but this interior should keep the weight down low and make a nice-handling car.

In addition I've been hankering for a decent Aston Martin DB5. The Scalextric one is a smorgasbord of wrongness, while the Carrera is a bit bulky and commanding silly money these days, but the re-released Airfix kit looks better than both of them - so this has been added to a two-car build. All being well, I'll end up with something as close to this as possible:

The mold makes the Herald look freshly-minted but shape-wise she's spot on and, once cleaned up, will be running on Scalextric wheels from the Ferrari 156 'Sharknose' (front wheels all round) and has a tray interior in place already, an unexpected bonus from m'colleague BritFix - whose work on the cars can be found here:

BritFix's chassis posts

I can't believe how good the cars look already, so now it's time to start slowly building them up into something worthy of the craftsmanship that's gone into them so far!

To be continued...
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