Tornado Cars

Tornado Cars Advert 1
Tornado Cars Advert 1
An advertisement for Tornados, featuring Thunderbolt, Tempest and Typhoon models

Tornado Cars Ltd was founded in 1957 by Bill Woodhouse and Tony Bullen, who were based in Mill End on the site of what was is now Fairway Tyres. It is believed that about 25 people worked there. The story was written by Martyn Morgan Jones to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the first production, and you can see the museum's video of him talking about it here.

The first model was the Typhoon Sports, available either as a body for fitting to a Ford chassis (following a then current market trend for "specials" based on these mechanical components) or with a Tornado-designed and manufactured chassis to which a range of engines and transmissions could be fitted. A range of other cars followed, and at least 500 Typhoons of all variants are believed to have been produced up to 1964.

The company was been bought in 1963 by an experienced Jaguar racing driver and associate of the Jaguar company, and renamed Tornado Cars (1963) Ltd. A new high-performance car was produced using components mainly from Daimler, and was seriously considered for production by Jaguar having shown excellent handling and performance - just two weeks after completion the car had won the Rallye de la Route in France, driven in to 6th place by Pat Moss.

Cash-flow problems forced the company into liquidation in 1964, however. This story will be expanded with local input in these pages, but in the meantime Graces Guide and Wikipedia will provide useful information.