Iota P1

In 1949 the chassis was redesigned by Dick Caesar and complete cars were produced by Iota Racing Cars of Alma Vale, Bristol, the premises of Dick Bicketton, although it would appear that manufacturing was performed elsewhere. Partners in the firm were Bickerton, Fry, Caesar and Bosisto. Unfortunately they could never really compete with the likes of Cooper, JBS and Kieft.

The Iota's major race success was Frank Aikens' win in the support race to the 1950 "Royal" Silverstone meeting, pipping Moss. The consistently best performing Iota was Tiger Kitten II of Clive Lones who set a new hill record at Prescott in September 51.

We believe that seven cars were built for Clive Lones (Prototype), Aikens (P1-0), Messenger (P1-2),Underwood (P1-3), Denis Taylor (P1-4), Clarke (P1-5) Tuck (P1-6) plus one or perhaps two spare chassis. The Iota concern then built two sports cars before folding.

Iota P1.jpg (23862 bytes)


The Iota cars shared their name with the 500 Club's monthly magazine and were the brain child of the original CAPA members, notably Dick Caesar. The principle was to provide a kit of parts to assist home builders. In 1947 a batch of 12 chassis and special components, such as the rear axle assembly, wheel hubs and front springs were produced. Individual builders could then add Morgan front suspension, an engine, and construct their own bodywork, though they didn't always worry too much about the body, choosing to modify the to suspension varying degrees instead.

These Iota's were usually given individual names, such as Freikaiserwagen (both Shelsley special and 500, Fry and Dunsterville), Stromboli (Adrian Butler and Bruce Mardon), Buzzie II (Jim Bosisto),  Zephyr (Jackie Breese) CBP (Tom Clarke) and Milli-Union (Gerry Millington). Non of the Iota chassis cars achieved a great deal of competition success, at least not in unmodified form but that wasn't the point. The 500s could have easily floundered if sufficient cars had not been produced in the first year or so and the Iota kit allowed impecunious enthusiasts to race for a few hundred quid. This was the primary intent of the sponsors and in this regard the project was certainly successful in establishing the momentum of the 500s.

Roy Clarkson's Iota (Zephyr) at Bo'ness, June 1948

The production Iota,  probably the prototype.

Winco Frank Aikens on the grid.

Frank Aikens in Iota.jpg (27863 bytes)

Review of the Iota car in Iota.