1959 Tojeiro California concept car to auction at Russo & Steele
A unique concept car created by the influential automotive designer John Tojeiro is heading for sale at Russo & Steele next month.
Tojeiro's work as a chassis engineer, particularly in conjunction with the Ecurie Ecosse team, produced some of the most important race cars of the era, and his design for the AC Ace was transformed into one of the most iconic American sports cars of all time – the Shelby AC Cobra.
In 1959, whilst building a replacement chassis for an Ecurie Ecosse Tojeiro Jaguar damaged at Nurbugrring, Tojeiro felt driven to build a second chassis.
This second chassis took inspiration from the new Ferrari California body design, and he began work using specially-commissioned drawings by Cavendish Morton. He got as far as creating the complete chassis suspension and wire body frame, before a project to create a mid-engine car for Stirling Moss to precedence.
The chassis wire frame with suspension components remained unfinished, tucked away at the back of Tojeiro's workshop for years, before being acquired by Gilbert Dickson, an enthusiast and manager of the Tojeiro Registry who planned to complete the project.
However, he too was unable to finish the car and it seemed destined to remain an intriguing pile of parts - until a U.S collector spotted it on a visit with Dickinson, whilst researching a Tojeiro Climax, and snapped it up on the spot.
Having shipped the frame back to America, the project was finally completed and the unique 1959 Tojeiro California / TCAL59 Barcheta was born.
The car was completed to John Tojeiro and Cavendish Morton's exact designs, and retains all its original 1959 components.
To give the car its own identity, and to stand it apart from the Tojeiro Jaguars from which it was originally developed, Tojeiro had always insisted the car be equipped with an American engine. In keeping with his wishes, the California Spyder features a vintage six-cylinder five liter GMC motor, triple carburetors, and an overhead valve linked to a four speed transmission.
This unique piece of automotive history will cross the block as part of the Russo & Steele Monterey sale, which takes place on August 18-20.
The bookmarklet lets you save things you find to your collections.
Note: Make sure your bookmarks are visible.
Click and drag the Collect It button to your browser's Bookmark Bar.