“Petroleum Power, Perfected”
Wyvern AutoSport are a small British car company specialising in high performance sports and GT cars. Formed in 1946 to produce the Swallow they have slowly expanded into the company that is seen today.
The Early Years (1946-1956);
Wyvern AutoSport was brainchild of G. S. Chappie, a coach builder by trade before the war with a dream to build the world most perfect GT car. The company was formed officially to market and produce the Swallow in early 1946 and, after several prototype engines from different companies which left a lot to be desired, it was decided that a small engine works was to be built on site to design, research and produce engines in house.
- First drafts of the Swallow Coupe are drawn up
- Wyvern AutoSport formed to produce the Swallow
- 5.0L 5000-12 is designed and produced as Wyverns first engine
- Wyvern Swallow is released to the public as a Coupe
- Wyvern Wren is released to the public as a Fastback Coupe
- Upgraded Swallow Coupe is released to the public
- Upgraded 5.0L 5000-12 is produced, fitted into the Swallow and the new Wren
- Wyvern Motorlab Department (WMD) is formed to start researching and producing sports/race cars
- 5.0L-S 5000-12 is designed and produced as Wyverns first sports tuned engine
- Wyvern Wren 6 Carb Special Coupe is produced, becoming Wyverns first fully dedicated sports car
- After finding outside investment, work begins on a larger factory to start trying to mass produce cars
- Work ends on new factory, put to work producing Kingfisher Saloons and Wren Road Sport Coupes along with the 3500-6 family of engines
- Upgraded 5.0L 5000-12 is produced
- 3.0L and 3.5L 3500-6 is produced, fitted into the Kingfisher Saloon
- Wyvern Kingfisher is released to the public as the mass produced 3.0L and 3.5L Saloon and the still handmade V12 Grand Saloon
- Wyvern Wren Road Sport Coupe is released to the public as Wyverns first attempted at a full production sports car
- Wyvern celebrate their 10th birthday
- WMD unveil the Wren Racing Coupe and 2.0L-RX 2000-6 prototypes
- Production of the Swallow is stopped
Wyvern AutoSport - Swallow ('46-'57)
The body outline for the Swallow was first conceived on the back of a envelope around the end of 1945 by the creator and then owner of the company, G. S. Chappie. Envisioned as a luxury performance, long distance cruiser with an emphasis on comfort and style. The Mk.1 Swallow ('46-'49) delivered highly on luxury and comfort but was sadly let down by its strangled 5000-12 power plant, never quite fulfilling its potential as a high performance cruiser.
Wyvern AutoSport - Wren ('49-)
By 1949 Wyvern had managed to recuperate enough of their costs back from the Swallow to be able to design the Wren. While looking similar to the Swallow its was designed to be a entirely different car, to fill a slightly lower price point than the Swallow. First released in a fastback variant with 2+2 seating and the new Mk.2 5.0L 5000-12 . The Wren became the first car to get a working over by the Wyvern Motorlab Department when in 1951, a small run of ten “6 Carb Special Coupe” variants were made, being Wyverns first purpose built sports car.
Wyvern AutoSport - Wren 6 Carb Special Coupe ('51 Special Edition)
Limited to just ten cars, the Wren 6 Carb Special Coupes were Wyverns first attempt at a dedicated sports car. Using modified Mk.2 5.0L 5000-12 engines, the 6 Carb Special could push 154mph. Instantly recognisable by it large rear wing and extra air intakes, it was hoped by the WMD to begin to push into racing off the back of this car.
Wyvern AutoSport - Wren Road Sport Coupe ('55)
Based on the outline of the Wren 6 Carb Special Coupe, the Road Sport is Wyverns first true sports car that wasn’t a special edition. Built in Wyverns newly semi automated factory in order to try push the brand out there further. To keep costs down it shares most of its interior with the Kingfisher 3.5L Saloon and uses the mass produced 3500-6 engine that has been tuned in house by WMD to produce 181hp.
Wyvern AutoSport - Wren 2.0L Racing Coupe Prototype ('56)
Produced as a concept platform for the coming years of motorsport development, the Racing Coupe stands as a testament to the type of engineers they had in their shop. Featuring an exact 50/50 weight distribution, the car was something of a marvel to drive, even in this slightly unfinished state. Due to being based entirely on the Road Sport variant, it could be homologated easily once enough cars had been produced, making it suitable for most type of racing to be done in it.
Wyvern AutoSport - Kingfisher ('55-)
Following third party investment in 1953, a new factory was built to start to be able to produce more affordable luxury cars while still keeping their top of the line models fully handmade. The Saloon variants differ in general engine size and trim level along with the 3.5L having uprated suspension and brakes.
Wyvern AutoSport - Kingfisher V12 Grand Saloon ('55)
The Grand Saloon differed not only in power plant but also in length (the boot and passenger area being slightly extended) and door orientation, this is due to the Grand Saloon being envisioned more as a limousine than a normal family car. The Grand Saloon also features Wyverns first attempt at a automatic gearbox to try make the ride as smooth as possible.
The 5000-12 family of engines was the first of Wyverns own design. A 36v SOHC V12 with a fully cast iron block and head. The Mk.1 5000-12 had the small quirk of it was designed to run off extremely low quality petrol (80 RON) in order to help counter the possible lack of decent fuel in the early post war years. The Mk.1 is almost considered a separate engine entirely from the family due to the niche it filled and its general poor quality compared to later generations.
5.0L-S “Six Carb Special” ('51)
When the Wyvern Motorlab Department set about their first project, it was logical to modify the 5000-12 before starting on new engine designs. The original 10 that were used in the Wyvern Wren special editions were Mk.2 engines that were taken off the shop floor and rebuilt to become almost entirely unrecognisable engines. High flow exhausts and intakes along with the 2 barrel 6 Carb fuel system from which it gets its unofficial name.
The 3500-6 was the first Wyvern engine designed for mass production, being released in a 3,0L, 3.5L and 3.5L-S with these models being slowly improved upon over the years.
The 2000-6 was a sharp departure to what Wyvern were known for. It would be the companies first foray into DOHC technology and using 4v per cylinder along with small displacement, high revving engines.
I will keep editing this post as I go along, Its a huge work in progress so bare with me. I will work out a way to make it easier on the eye eventually. I wont post all of the brands various trims and things, just a example of each model and any other special variants or first time things. I’m treating it a bit like a Wikipedia.
All constructive criticism taken on, and all help gladly received.