A NEW APPROACH IN AN AGE OLD BUSINESS+44 (0) 1926 691 141
Looking like a cross between a mechanical grasshopper and a fairground ride, "The Asteroid" was responsible for ensuring that the names of Brian Lister, Archie Scott-Brown, John Tojeiro and Don Moore will always remain in the annals of motorsport history First registered on 21/04/1952 and intended for race, hill climbs and sprint use, the Tojeiro-JAP was notable as (a) the first car to bear a `BHL' (Brian Horace Lister) chassis number, (b) the second Tojeiro made and (c) the machine that put Archie Scott-Brown on the map. Inspired by an Autocar article in which J. Onslow Bartlett had extolled the virtues of mating a modified Jowett Jupiter four-speed manual gearbox to the well-proven JAP 1100cc air-cooled V-Twin, Brian Lister chose a similar drivetrain for chassis BHL 1. Bodied in aluminium (except for the fabric covered tail), and wearing simple mudguards to comply with contemporary sports car regulations, the Tojeiro-JAP boasted an excellent power-to-weight ratio and low centre of gravity. Nicknamed `The Asteroid' by its creator, the two-seater proved quick with Brian Lister aboard but nigh on unbeatable once Archie Scott Brown took the wheel. Part of Lister's circle alongside renowned engine tuner Don Moore, Scott Brown won some eleven races or classes aboard the Tojeiro-JAP during 1952 - 1953 at Snetterton, Silverstone, Prescott and Thruxton. Keen to acquire a car that would be dominant in its class, Peter Hughes - another of Brian Lister's friends - began campaigning `The Asteroid' from the summer of 1953 onwards. Having progressed to the Tojeiro-JAP via a Delahaye and Allard, Hughes extended its winning streak at Shelsey Walsh, Prescott, Charterhall, Bo'ness, Crimond and Barbon etc. Although, arguably his most impressive result came during the Daily Record & Newcastle Journal International Race Meeting at Charterhall on 6th August 1955 when he piloted the two-seater to fourth place overall against larger-engined Connaught ALSR, Lotus and Elva opposition. A sometime 'Ecurie Ecosse' driver, Hughes was tragically killed in a road accident on the return journey from Le Mans where he had been assisting the team as a timekeeper. Thereafter, the Tojeiro-JAP is known to have passed through the hands of G.M.G. Oliver, Alistair Dent Hutton, Northern Sports Cars Ltd, Peter Jones, W. Richard Heylings, John Pacey, Richard Procter, John Baker, Jeremy Wade, Jonathan Bradburn and Frank Gourlay before entering the current ownership during late 2009. Discovered in a barn minus much of its original bodywork and drivetrain (the latter having been modified or replaced over time), the Tojeiro-JAP was extensively restored over the next few years. Still carrying its original `BHL 1' stamping, the chassis was refurbished to original specification as was the suspension. Road registered as `3 DPT' (the last of its period number plates which was issued in September 1959) the Tojeiro-JAP is capable of road as well as race use. Powered by an authentic JAP 1100cc V-Twin allied to an equally correct Jowett Jupiter four-speed transmission, it remains a truly invigorating drive with more performance to come if the engine were to be set-up for methanol. Rewarded with a 1st-in-class upon its return to the Bo'ness hill climb during September 2012, the two-seater claimed another 1st-in-class at Shelsey Walsh last May and enjoyed an outing at Castle Combe. A historically significant motorcar, chassis BHL 1 is offered for sale with an interesting history file (including a copy of its first buff logbook) and the MSA Historic Technical Passport.