A very brief history of the Middlebridge GTE

Kevin Gladwin

Kevin Gladwin a very experienced engineer and was brought in as the Chief Middlebridge Engineer he was responsible for getting the new Middlebridge through Full British Type approval, He also did a lot of the build work on Middlebridge No 5 (HRH Princess Anne's) car, he also went on calls to Gatcombe and Sandringham when HRH had problems with her MB, on one occasion Kevin was called out to Sandringham and on arrival found all the front wiring loom stripped out, apparently Security had heard a noise coming from the car after HRH had parked it several people had tried to stop the noise by pulling at and playing with wires when Kevin arrived he soon diagnosed the problem and the cause of the noise "it was the engine fan and it was operating correctly" so no initial fault but the car now needed a lot of front end wiring work!!

Another of Kevin's responsibilities was to oversee production check the cars over after build completion and do the final shake down road test prior to customer collection; Kevin like others also verifies that 144mph is attainable in a Middlebridge. Fact; Kevin and Geoff Nightingale Middlebridge Leccy did happen to sign their names on the inner roof above the rear seats before fitting the roof lining of HRH Princess Royal's Middlebridge Number 5.

Dr Tom Karen (Scimitar Designer)

Tom worked for the Ogle Design Studio and is responsible for the original Scimitar SE5 design, he is also responsible for the likes of the Bush TR130 (Best selling radio of the 60s), Bond Bug (1970), Raleigh Chopper (1972), Reliant Kitten (1975) and the Leyland T45 Truck Cab in 1980 to name a few, I was fortunate enough to spend time chatting with Tom at the NEC (Classic Car Show) 2008 and was very suprised at his enthusiasm for Scimitars, Tom is a very likeable and obliging Gentleman and before he left me he was quite happy to sign my car, it was his first hands on experience of the Middlebridge Scimitar and he said "I really like this car and colour it has real presence , the interior is a vast improvement just what the Scimitar needed" Tom then kindly signed the interior tonneau cover.

The first picture charts the progress of the Scimitar GTE from the original design (SE5) to the last of the line (The Middlebridge).

David Pipe: Low Volume Production Manager. (Ogle Design Ltd)

Subject: Ogle involvement and the Middlebridge Scimitar.

Ogle Design Ltd and Tom Karen, had quite an extensive involvement in the early planning of the new Middlebridge Scimitar car. At the time, I was LVP (Low Volume Production) Manager at Ogle Design and ran the Resin Casting and GRP workshop. Together with John Fox, General Manager, and Roger Mills, Production Director, I attended several meetings with Peter Boam and John McCauley to discuss the modifications to the original styling bucks. These had been stored at Reliant in Tamworth and moved to Ogle's facilities in Letchworth. They were not in great shape but the patternmakers repaired the damage.

Ogle helped in the redesign of the front and rear body shape to incorporate more curves to the new bumpers and the patternshop modified the original styling buck so the new moulds could be produced. I also had the task of sourcing a maunfacturer for the 'shield' badges though this was taken over by Middlebridge. I remember some of the meetings as being 'tense' - the project at this stage was not public and Middlebridge were very strict on maintaining the secrecy which made sourcing the new shield badges almost impossible!

Yours sincerely,

Dave Pipe

(The above article is a real addition to the Middlebridge history area as it not only shows how much Ogle Design Ltd were involved with the Middlebridge Scimitar project but it also mentions the new shield badge as well and how early it was discussed.)

Mick Gaughran MESS Registrar

Harvey Bailey Engineering Ltd

Harvey Bailey (Suspension & Handling Specialists) have for many years been considered the Guru's in the field of fine tuning and improving the handling of cars both for the Motor and Motor Racing industries, their aim is to produce optimum control without the loss of ride and feel, Their equipment is fitted to many new vehicles as OE, They also specialise in off road vehicles, the emergency services and also develop systems for military applications.