1948 Djinn Monoposto Racing Special

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Lot 388
1948 Djinn Monoposto Racing Special

Sold for £ 34,500 (US$ 45,455) inc. premium
1948 Djinn Monoposto Racing Special


  • This famous and unique racing 'special' was designed in 1948 by Gordon Bashford and Olaf Poppe, two members of the team of engineers that developed the Land Rover, in collaboration with by Bill Townroe and Rupert Instone. The latter already had a number of successful 'Shelsley Specials' to his credit, including 'Martyr' and 'Mezzolitre'. Instone enjoyed considerable success with the JAP vee-twin engined 'Djinn' holding records and achieving wins at Shelsley Walsh, Gosport and the Brighton Speed Trials amongst other venues, and in 1950 the car finished 2nd to the great Ken Wharton's Cooper in the under 1500cc race at the Castle Combe circuit in Wiltshire, proving itself to also be a capable circuit car. The car's name – 'Djinn' – refers to the fiery supernatural being of Islamic mythology.

    After Rupert Instone's retirement from racing in 1959, 'Djinn' remained under wraps in his garage for several years before a friend – John Roberts – persuaded him to bring it out of retirement. John drove the car successfully for many years and ended up buying it. The accompanying VSCC documentation (dated August 1990) states that a number of modifications were made to the car following its construction, including changes to the suspension and the addition of a supercharger, fitted before the end of 1953. New wheels were fitted in 1980 because two of the originals were broken. Exact replacements could not be found so Compomotive wheels were chosen because of their general similarity to the originals. No other changes had been made since 1953. Supercharged and running on methanol, the 1,150cc JAP v-twin engine is said to produce around 120bhp, which reaches the ground via a Burman gearbox and chain drive to the 'fixed' (no differential) rear axle. The front suspension is believed to be Morris Eight derived.

    In April 2006, shortly before John Roberts passed away, 'Djinn' was purchased by Martyn Griffiths, a past Shelsley record holder and RAC British Hill Climb Champion. Over the succeeding few years 'Djinn' was totally rebuilt by Ewan Cameron of Cameron Engineering in Malvern, Worcestershire and on completion set its fastest ever time at Shelsley.

    The current vendor purchased 'Djinn' circa eight years ago from Martyn Griffiths, since when he has competed with the car in three meetings at Shelsley Walsh and two at Prescott. The gearbox was rebuilt by specialist circa one year ago, since when the car has only been used for a test session at a local airfield, while the engine is freshly rebuilt by JAP specialist Ewan Cameron. Described as 'on the button and ready to compete', this wonderful little car, so evocative of the 'build-it-yourself' spirit of the immediately post-war years but with the added cache of being designed by some of the brightest minds in the British motor industry, is offered with VSCC Competition Car Log Book.
1948 Djinn Monoposto Racing Special
1948 Djinn Monoposto Racing Special
1948 Djinn Monoposto Racing Special
1948 Djinn Monoposto Racing Special
1948 Djinn Monoposto Racing Special
Auction information

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