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Godhap & Whent


#1

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Founded by Samuel Godhap and Martin Whent in 1957.

The first design was finalised in early 1958, with the aid of Martin’s recent acquisition of a business that produced a line of 1.6Lt engines… not that he remembered purchasing it. As a first facility, they bought a small, empty warehouse in near Worcester.

The Seax was a small 2 door sedan, uncomfortable and woefully underpowered. The Bowes-Lyon 4-101 at 1664cc produced 41Kw. In tests, it was only capable of a flying lap of just under 1:49 around Castle Combe, and (by agreement with Hawker Siddeley) a “Figure-Eight” of Dunsfold Aerodrome’s runways took almost 1:57.


#2

The first Seax was followed by a much sportier car, in the shape of the Stamford. A little trickier to master than the Seax, the Stamford was a much better car. It may not have been as good as some of it’s rivals, but in terms of performance for money, it was hard to match. Seen by customers as both a capable track car or a light sport, the premium interior was let down only by the standard quality radio. The decision not to fit power steering didn’t seem to deter many customers. The 120hp 2.5L Buckingham I6 gave the car plenty to brag about, including a sub-9 second 0-100 and a top speed of exactly 100mph. It was a touch thirstier than ideal returning 18.8 Mpg (UK) Available with a 4 speed manual and 3 speed automatic (£610.59d), they were sold with a 20% mark-up.

*Price displayed for manual version according to BoE Inflation Calculator


#3

In 1965, the first update for the Seax was released. Suspension and braking improvements, 50% more power, the option of a 6 cylinder from the Stamford… and even a wagon body was now available. Unfortunately, the safety features were still stuck in the 50’s.
The 2.5L 4M-2500 coupé had the 120hp version of the Buckingham and a 4 seat premium interior, which gave the Seax a new market… Commuter Premium.
The Seax was now offered with both a 4 speed manual gearbox and a 3 speed automatic transmission.

Note: Above claim on lap time can be verified on this circuit: Brands Hatch - Indy v2 Flying lap.zip (1.1 MB)


#4

In 1967, the first update for the Stamford was released. There were small touches of chrome (including a “140” hp badge) and a new bonnet, but otherwise it was visually identical to the '62… a valid decision given the 62’s low sales figures. Sports compound tyres, 4 wheel discs and a new manual gearbox made track enthusiasts take a closer look. It’s kerb weight of 923kg meant experienced drivers could lodge a 1/4Mi time under 16.5 seconds. Compared to the average income of £828, the £550 asking price put it within reach of most common workers.

In factory spec with a trained driver, this car managed a flying lap of Castle Combe Circuit in under 1m32s.


#5

By 1969, still using the same block, the BL4-101’s thick cylinder walls had been machined away, giving an 80mm bore, and combined with a new crank with more throw, for a 90mm stroke; increasing capacity to 1810cc. Now technically a 1.9L and fitted with a 4 barrel carburettor, output was 70Kw at 4900rpm, but it was still found exclusively under the bonnet of the Seax. This was not necessarily a bad thing, as it’s idle speed of 1100 rpm annoyed the absolute shit out of people at the traffic lights.

The 4 cylinder Seax was now simply called “1900”, while the 6 was, logically, “2500”. Both the coupe and wagon could be ordered with either an automatic or manual, and either the “1900” i4 standard or “2500” i6 premium trim. Even after 9 years of production and 2 facelifts, there was still no sedan body available, but that was how G&W decided to keep it. Improvements to the lineup included the fitment of power steering, and the switch to 2 piston front brakes. There had even been time and money invested in making the old body safer, bringing it up to par with modern cars. The front seats now had 3 point belts and head-rests, while the rear passengers still only had lap belts.
The 1900 was now knocking on 1000kg, could reach 158km/h, and had an average fuel consumption of 13.5L/100Km.
Although the asking price was now £521.59 for a manual 1900 (BoE calc), it was still sufficiently attractive to people looking for a comfortable commuter car.


Not only that, but there was an actual racing version of the car seen on tracks around the world. Fitted with a highly tuned Buckingham developing 117Kw (158hp), it never won, but was impressively agile (1.08g on 250m) and quick (not fast). Under 7.0 to 100, a full mile in 41 seconds, and 185Km/h in a minute on a long, flat straight and a theoretical max of 189.


#6

The 1973 Seax was to be the final face of the nameplate. As always, it was available with the BL4-101, which now had 93hp, (thanks to not only a much better camshaft, but also… a new tubular exhaust manifold; not the old gnarly one), or the new WC6-S227 “Windsor” 2.7L I6, which ran on 91RON ulp (but had no cat).
You could still choose either engine with the coupe or wagon body, but now the “2700” could be had with either standard or premium interior trim (“L” or “GL”, 1900 “L” only). The lower spec trim had cloth seats, an AM radio and everything else that was expected in a family car, while the premium trim (with all-leather cow interior, and big, brown, baby-seal eyes for headlights) now included an AM/FM/8-track player.
Performance was markedly superior to previous offerings. With the 4 speed manual, top speed was 158km/h, and under 13s to 100km/h, which was still easily surpassed by the 6 cylinder. The “2700” had a very useable 105Kw @ 5700, enough to drive the Seax (with the lower spec interior) to 180km/h, and had been known to reach 100km/h in a hair under 9 seconds.
A sportier version, the “2700 GT” was offered with the standard interior and radio, larger rear drums, a largely cosmetic rear wing (speed reduced to 175kmh) and badging.

WC6-S227 Windsor 2.7 I6 Spec (1973)
Bore x Stroke: 82.5mm x 82.5mm
Material (block/head): Iron/Iron
Valve train: SOHC 2 Valve/cyl
Cast internals
Compression: 7.9:1
Output: 201Nm @ 3700rpm / 105Kw @ 5700rpm

Comparative performance (ideal conditions):
“1900 L” 0-100 <12.6s 400m <19.1s vMax 158kmh Avg fuel 13.8L/100Km
“2700 L” 0-100 <9.0s 400m <16.9s vMax 181kmh Avg fuel 16.2L/100Km
“2700 GL” 0-100 <9.1s 400m <17.0s vMax 181kmh Avg fuel 16.3L/100Km
“2700 GT” 0-100 <8.7s 400m <16.7s vMax 176kmh Avg fuel 16.7L/100Km

Pictures to come