Irish Speedwell & Downton Agents

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Nevsmini
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Irish Speedwell & Downton Agents

Post by Nevsmini »

I’ve been doing a bit of research on Irish Cooper S’s and came across some nice adverts from the 2 heavyweight tuning companies Speedwell and Downton. The Speedwell agents were based in Dublin (SI) with a company called LSE and were owned and run by the Hayes family. The Downton Agents were based in Comber (NI) and was owned and run by the Kane family. Below are some of there adverts that you guys might enjoy.
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Nevsmini
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Re: Irish Speedwell & Downton Agents

Post by Nevsmini »

Some more of there adverts
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Red Mist
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Re: Irish Speedwell & Downton Agents

Post by Red Mist »

Great find Nev!
Neil

Supersonic
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Re: Irish Speedwell & Downton Agents

Post by Supersonic »

Thanks for sharing these with us Nev.

I remember Ernest Kane and Kane’s of Comber very well. Bought a good lot of cars from Ernie. The bit at the bottom “please ask for A Kane or J McClements” made me smile. Andrew Kane was Ernie’s son and Jim McClements was the head mechanic and Workshop Manager. Andrew and Jim did car racing and where both top runners. Sadly Jim is no longer with us but I have fond memories of him as a knowledgeable mechanic and racer in his 1293cc Downton Wolseley Hornet.

My friend has Andrew Kane's Downton Cooper S demonstrator that should be at the shows this year :D :D :D

Alan

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UHR850
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Re: Irish Speedwell & Downton Agents

Post by UHR850 »

;) Many thanks, I think you made some people very happy with it (including me).

Kees
DOWNTON Mini is what I like a lot.
Mini 1000 Super de Luxe Mk3 1974 for Downtoning it.
Collecting 60th wooden steeringwheels.

Nevsmini
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Re: Irish Speedwell & Downton Agents

Post by Nevsmini »

Supersonic wrote:Thanks for sharing these with us Nev.

I remember Ernest Kane and Kane’s of Comber very well. Bought a good lot of cars from Ernie. The bit at the bottom “please ask for A Kane or J McClements” made me smile. Andrew Kane was Ernie’s son and Jim McClements was the head mechanic and Workshop Manager. Andrew and Jim did car racing and where both top runners. Sadly Jim is no longer with us but I have fond memories of him as a knowledgeable mechanic and racer in his 1293cc Downton Wolseley Hornet.

My friend has Andrew Kane's Downton Cooper S demonstrator that should be at the shows this year :D :D :D

Alan
Alan I think I have a photo of that Hornet racing in Kirkistown. I'll have look when I get home. SZJ1 and SZJ2 hornets raced quite a few times up there as well.

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UHR850
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Re: Irish Speedwell & Downton Agents

Post by UHR850 »

Yes please share it with us ;)

Kees.
DOWNTON Mini is what I like a lot.
Mini 1000 Super de Luxe Mk3 1974 for Downtoning it.
Collecting 60th wooden steeringwheels.

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mk1
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Re: Irish Speedwell & Downton Agents

Post by mk1 »

Kane's of Comber had a very long & profitable tie up with Downton. Amongst other things they would exchange staff on an occasional basis & occasionally enter rival teams in both Irish & UK races.

The "Downton Parts Room" was always kept locked as parts would otherwise go missing.

Image

This is a nice pic of Jim McClements, who worked for Kanes for many years and handled more Downton bits than most people can imagine.

Great info on The Speedwell agent in Dublin, not one I had come across before. Thanks Nev.

M
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rich@minispares.com
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Re: Irish Speedwell & Downton Agents

Post by rich@minispares.com »

Robert Dixon told me the story about the stores at kanes

it was his job as the 'boy' on a Monday morning to be given the list of parts needed for kits & cars that had been sold during the weekend, the door would then be unlocked and he had to pick all the parts and sort them for the various jobs for the coming week

he was telling me the other week about the mighty 2 door Austin GT they built that was Downton tuned
should you wish, you can contact me on rich@minispares.com

'long beard boss'

Supersonic
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Re: Irish Speedwell & Downton Agents

Post by Supersonic »

Thanks for sharing that photograph with us Mark that looks like Kirkistown Airfield to me.

Jim McClements was an incredible mechanic and driver. In the sixties over here the top four saloon car racers were Archie Phillips, Jim McClements, Alec Poole and Joey Greenan. Alec Poole would be best known but Archie (Dad) Phillips in his Riley Elf and Jim McClements ruled the roost. Alec Poole and Joey Greenan always had their work cut out for them when Archie and Jim were driving. All four drove Riley and Wolseley (Minis) and all were Downton prepared tuned cars.

My friend’s demonstrator Cooper S had the Downton conversation fitted by Robert Dickson at Kane’s when it was new in 1970 and currently Robert is painting this same car so many years later. Can’t say much more but can’t wait to see it back on the road again and have a drive in it

Eric Patterson still attends classic car shows with me and was in charge of the Downton store back then. I’m planning to get a group photograph of us all when Robert gets Elgin’s car finished and I’m sure Rich and Mark would love to hear Eric’s stories of his many years in Kane’s garage. :D :D :D

Alan

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