During the period between 1983 and 2002, the car remained intact but immobile because
of a serious engine derangement. Pressure of work, grandchildren and other commitments
meant that the repairs were never really started and it was only the diagnosis of
terminal cancer that provided the urgency that was to see the car restored to racing
Sadly, Robert didn’t see the finished article, although he was instrumental in the
route chosen for the restoraton of the engine. After his death, the car passed to
his daughter, Lulie.
Lulie’s husband, Robert Hunt, felt that whilst the engine could be restored to a
reliable and robust state, the rest of the car was very much an unknown factor. Not
only had it lain unused for the past twenty years, but parts of it would not have
been attended to for a considerably longer period and in the intervening period the
weight of traffic had increased significantly (remember that throughout its life
HP6161 has been licenced for and used on the public highway). For this reason during
the summer of 2002, the car was fully dismantled for the purposes of inspection and
restoration. Details of the actual restoration can be found in the relevant sections
of the technical pages, but the finished vehicle was finally rolled out of its garage
on 7th August 2006, some four years and approximately 4500 hours of workshop time
Since then, HP6161 has been raced at Prescott and appeared at the Brooklands Centenary
and a number of other historic events. As it is licenced for road use, it has been
driven to events close to home, although the driving position and sparse comfort
of the cabin (such as it is) mean that longer-distance events require more planning
and a trailer.
left: Robert Wicksteed aboard HP 6161 sometime during the 1990s at Hoglens - the
family home outside Kettering in Northamptonshire.
Although highly polished (as it always was under his stewardship), the car pictured
here is missing all of the engine internals and its only appearance between 1983
and 2006 was for a push-on part at Silverston in the Alvis enclosure.