OPPERMAN STIRLING

Built, Stirling Corner, London, 1958
500cc
4 wheels
4 seats
The only known surviving example

S.F. Opperman & Company built a variety of mechanical items during their long history, including the Motocart, which was generally used as an agricultural vehicle, and the Unicar, a small four-wheeled saloon with fibreglass body and Excelsior engine. The Stirling was unsuccessful, not due to any fault with the car, but because the company did not have the credibility and influence of more established car makers. Only two examples left the premises at Stirling Corner, Boreham Wood, Herts, both bearing the overall appearance as seen here, and both being completed in 1958.

Stirling number 1 had a version of the Excelsior twin-cylinder two-stroke engine enlarged from the usual 328cc to 424cc, and fitted at the front. The body, which some might think the work of Italian stylists, was of glass fibre reinforced plastic, and the car showed great promise. The pictures here show Stirling number 2, which incorporated various modifications, the most important of which was the use of an Austrian Steyr-Puch twin-cylinder four-stroke of half-a-litre, at the rear. This car was built with left-hand controls, and was tested extensively on the roads of Austria before returning to Borehamwood. It is unique, Stirling number 1 having been destroyed many years ago.

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