The Rochdale Owners Club was formed in June 1981 by a group of owners keen to establish a club exclusively for the Rochdale marque.
Rochdale Olympics sold in America and CanadaBy Tony Stanton.
I have been researching these cars for the past 30years, if you have been a previous owner, been in any way involved with them, own any photographs or would just like some more information yourself, please get in touch through the e-mail address at the end of the article.
Having been in correspondence with Karalee Smith (nee Heiner) from Provo, Utah, in America, who owned an Olympic P11 between 1964 and 1966, I thought we would look in to the Olympic,s sold to America and Canada, because our fellow club members who live over there may be able to fill-in some of the gaps in the history. Looking at passed information I think the general consensus is less than 10 cars went to America and Canada. So first we can look at the possible Agents or Dealers.
1 Sterling Automotive Engineering Inc, 2109 Sawtelle Blvd, West Los Angeles, California, CA 90025.
1 Sterling Automotive Engineering Inc, 2109 Sawtelle Blvd, West Los Angeles, California, CA 90025. Owner Jim Fouch(?). They were also a Turner dealer from 1963 to 1965. We have a black & white leaflet they produced in about 1964 with details and two photos of a very distinctive dark coloured Olympic with a wide light stripe from front to rear.
This may be the car Karalee Heiner owned which was a LHD Olympic P11, British Racing Green with a Yellow stripe front to rear. So where is this car now and how did it get from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City and what happened to Sterling Automotive?
2 Eurauto, Salt Lake City, Utah.
3 Maple Sports Car Products, 26, Stevens Crescent, off Guelph Street, Georgetown, (west of Toronto) Ontario, Canada..
4 Aeronautical Research and Development Corp, Boston, Massachusetts..
Now for cars we know were sold in America and Canada and still in use now.
Now for used cars imported.
3) Olympic Phase 11. Chassis No unknown, Licence plate EMV 552B. 1964. RHD. Owned by Alan Eggleton, Clacton-on Sea, Essex, England. Imported to Canada date unknown.
Now owned by, Richard Tabah-Bradner, British Columbia, Canada.
4) Olympic Phase 11. Chassis No unknown, Licence plate TLG 832D. 1966. RHD. Owned by Paul Delderfield, Falmouth, Cornwall, England. 1970 to 1976.
Owned by Skip Pack, Maidenhead, Berks, England. 1987 to 1995 car taken by Skip Pack to Berkeley, California, USA. Date unknown.
Repurchased by Paul Delderfield, and brought back to Cornwall, England in 1995.
Now for cars that are lost.
5) The 3 adverts below are I think of the same car being sold at different times.
5a) 1965 ROCHDALE OLYMPIC PHASE 1. 1.5litre GT. new 1963, 1600cc MGA drive line, new BFG 990s, mechanically excellent, needs paint job, best offer over 1,000. Don Usher, Allen park, Michigan.
Car and Driver July 1971 volume 17 page 89.
Update, I have been in contact with Don Usher, who now lives in Florida. He bought the red Olympic in 1969 from Udo Kruze from Detriot who worked for the Ford Motor Company, Dearborn and he had brought the Olympic with him from Germany. Don sold the car in late 1971.
5b) Olympic Phase 1. Chassis No 1784. For sale advert, 1987 in USA Kitcar magazine in Northville, Detroit, Michigan, USA.
5c) Jim Duncan, Michigan, USA. Chassis No REC-1784. For Sale in May 2000.
6) Olympic Phase 11. Chassis No unknown, Licence plate 5348 DK. Blue. LHD. Complete new running car collected in July 1963 from Rochdale and taken on a Tour of Europe then shipped from Rotterdam to Chicago,USA.
1st owner, Robin Rackham, Elgin, Chicago, Illinor, USA. 1963 to 1964.
2nd owner unknown, Sold in late summer 1964 (advert in Road & Track) to a young man from Kansas, USA. Car not heard of since.
Update, This Olympic has reappeared after 51 years with a little of its past history.
In 1965 it passed through Joe Egle Motor Imports, Park Street, Olathe, Johnson County, Kansas.
From 1982 to 2015 it was with James Woestman in Carthage, Missouri, (I would like to contact James Woestman)
2015 March on Craigslist in St Louis, Missouri. http://barnfinds.com/1963-rochdale-olympic-rare-little-racer/
2015 May with Pete's Classic Cars, Valley View Place, DALLAS, Texas, TX 75240. http://bringatrailer.com/2015/05/12/rare-in-the-usa -1963-rochdale-olympic/
2015 October sold on ebay and now lost again.
7) Sports Car Graphic July 1964 volume 4 page 26
Sports car graphic has on several occasions carried mention of the so called kit car the Rochdale Olympic. Some of your eastern readers may be interested to know that an Olympic is now operating on the East Coast. Acquiring a small car by mail is in itself a sporty proposition, but it has been very well worth the bother. The car is delightfully agile and responsive-being powered by the English Ford 116E engine that was featured in your magazine. The full monocoque fibreglass body is rigid and tight and has exceptionally pleasing lines fore and aft. All in all, the car offers more real personalized sports car for the money than can be approached in any other way! The total cost to my front door including all transportation, duties , etc was about 2450 Dollars. I would be happy to correspond with any of your readers who are interested in the Olympic.
John D Bitner, 1407 Ellenglen Road, Towson 4, Baltimore, Maryland
Car or owner not heard of since, I would like to contact John Bitner.
8) Olympic Phase 11. Chassis No unknown, Licence plate unknown, BRG with Yellow stripe. LHD.
2nd owner, Karalee Heiner, Provo, nr Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.
She bought the car in 1964 or 1965 from a European auto dealer in Salt Lake City, Utah and traded it to Gus Paulos Ford in Salt Lake City for a new Mustang in 1966. Car not heard of since.
9) Sports Car Graphic 1965 volume 11 page 81.
ROCHDALE OLYMPIC PHASE 11 GT 2 plus 2 Kit, Fiberglass, Cortina 1500cc tuned Ford, 100mph, 35 mpg, Major components custom factory installed. 75 percent complete, Needs Instrumentation, seats, exhaust, brakes (all supplied) lacquer. Best offer.
Martin, 2151 8th Ave, New York. 10026 N.Y. (This appears to be a new car, is this a dealer)
10) Olympic Phase 11. Chassis No unknown, Licence plate IDA 2311C. Owner and R.O.C. member in 1980/81. Bob Woods, 10517 Myrtle, Downey, Los Angeles, California, USA, CA90241.
Car or owner not heard of since, I would like to contact Bob Woods.
If anybody has any more information on these cars or dealers please contact,Tony Stanton at :-email@example.com (please use Rochdale in subject line)
Tony Stanton 2007 - Rochdale Owners Club
If you would like any information or would like to have an article published, please contact the webmaster
Copyright © Rochdale Owners Club