Flather Special

Dennis Flather was a wealthy Sheffield steel merchant who first competed in a Marwyn fitted with a Scott engine and other modifications which he called "Marott" (MARwyn scOTT) in 1948. Given that the Marwyn chassis was somewhat lacking and the Scott engine was rather less powerful than a JAP, the combination was less than successful. Replacing the Scott with a Vincent Grey Flash engine for 1950 and renaming the car the Blue Flash failed to substantially improve things.

At Brands Hatch in 1951, the driver is Spike Rhiando.

Flather Special Brands 1951.jpg (17666 bytes)

For 1951, he built his own car along the lines of a Cooper Mk V but with fairings over the front suspension and rather more ground clearance. Initially, it ran with an HRD engine but this did not produce the required power and a JAP was substituted. Dennis' business was steel and the car was formally called the Flather Steel Special, something that was not officially permitted at that time.

Spike Rhiando was the primary driver, having abandoned his Trimax, known results being:

Silverstone 5th May 1951 Daily Express International Trophy, 17th

Goodwood 14th May 1951 International Trophy, 6th in heat

Silverstone 18th August 1951 Commander Yorke Trophy, 3rd in non production race, DNF in Silverstone 100

Dennis had a range of automotive interests, including being a founder member of BRM, and in 1954 he hired former speedway rider, Australian, Bill Harris to maintain his cars and compete in the 500. The second Flather Special was built and driven by Bill in 1954, a brave decision given the Cooper domination by this time. Much lower and clearly Cooper influenced, it used a long stroke Manx engine with wishbone and coil front suspension at the front and a de Dion at the rear located by twin trailing arms. Bill had rather more success with this car and continued to compete through to 1959. It  went to the US after this and appears in the hands of Jim Haynes through 1960.

Bill Harris takes a shortcut to avoid collecting the leader, Philip Robinson at Cadwell Park

flather.jpg (40059 bytes)Some known results for Bill in the Flather:


Aintree 29th May 1954 Opening Meeting, DNF

Silverstone 17th July 1954 British Grand Prix, DNF

Silverstone 21st August 1954 Commander Yorke Trophy, 5th in non production trophy


Cadwell Park 31st May 1955, 1st in heat, 5th in final

Cadwell Park 1st August 1955, 2nd in heat

Cadwell Park 2nd October 1955, 3rd in allcomers heat, 2nd in handicap heat


Aintree 21st April 1956, 11th

Cadwell Park 21st May 1956 Sheffield Telegraph Trophy, 2nd in heat, 2nd in final

Oliver's Mount 6th July 1956, 2nd in heat, 3rd in final

Mallory Park 16th September 1956, 1st in heat


Mallory Park 22nd April 1957, DNF in heat, 1st in consolation final

Silverstone 18th May 1957, 5th in race 1, 4th in race 2

Cadwell Park 5th August 1957, 1st in heat, 2nd in final

Mallory Park 22nd September 1957, DNF

Oulton Park 5th October 1957 Gold Cup, 7th


Mallory Park 7th April 1958, 2nd

Silverstone 4th May 1958 Daily Express Trophy, DNF

Mallory Park 11th May 1958, 5th

Mallory Park 28th June 1958, 3rd

Crystal Palace 5th July 1958 Redex Trophy, 9th

Cadwell Park 4th August 1958, 3rd

Oulton Park 20th September 1958, 3rd

Catterick 4th October 1958, DNF


Mallory Park 26th March 1959, 3rd

Oulton Park 11th April 1959 Empire Trophy, DNF

Aintree 20th June 1959, 3rd

Bill left Flather's garage in the later part of 1959 to form the Alexis marque with Alex Francis, building Formula Junior and Formula 2 cars. He returned to Australia in 1965.