Middlebridge Enthusiasts Scimitar Set
Stand number: 2-725
MIDDLEBRIDGE SCIMITAR has it all and were ‘BUILT TO LAST’
In 1989 Middlebridge aimed these Scimitars at the high-end Executive Market, where the more discerning buyer wanted a bespoke car that was also practical, individual, and had some ‘sporting’ characteristics. With room for 4 adults (or masses of carrying capacity), a unique timeless shape, powered by the Ford Cologne V6 EFI engine fitted to the legendary galvanised chassis that had been tweaked by suspension specialist, Harvey Bailey… potential buyer’s needs were readily met.
On our stand, this year, we show three different interpretations of the same car:
- Car 1 is finished in the more ‘traditional’ style that the factory produced in Lilac Grove, Beeston. It has been treated to a re-spray though still in its original colour of Porsche Marine Blue. As all cars were bespoke, customers could choose any colour of their choice. The interior is trimmed in Cream Leather with Blue Piping. This car is an ‘Executive’s Express’.
- Car 2 is at the opposite end of the scale and is painted in Orange. Some body parts and trim have been replaced with items made in stainless steel, the windows are also blackened. This car has been Christened ‘Asbo’ which its owner claims is quite appropriate as it does have ‘attitude’. It is a ‘Marmite’ car, and its bright colour does draw the admiring crowds…
- Car 3, now re-sprayed Red, is also something of an intriguing mystery. It was rescued from Scotland, entombed in a rotting barn, complete with overhanging decayed trees, which was all in danger of collapsing into the stream running nearby. It had been there for some 19 years. Originally it left the factory in Beeston, Nottinghamshire, painted in two-tone silver, one of the two cars finished in that style. It is fitted with the more powerful 2.9 24v Cosworth engine, but we’re not certain when. It was originally thought that it was factory-fitted, however it has recently been confirmed that it would have been illegal for Middlebridge to do the work as it wouldn’t have been homologated. The original owner of Car 3 used it specifically for road rallying which could be why there were no rear seats, or any fittings and bracketry, instead the spare wheel lived there, also the battery was in the passenger footwell. The precise ‘history’ cannot be substantiated by the original owner as he died whilst working in China and this story comes via his friend. This is a superb restoration of this stunning car. Apart from a body off restoration, the wiring had to be modified to return the car to a practical and everyday vehicle, including re-installing the battery and spare wheel beneath the bonnet. Rear seats and their brackets had to be sourced and fitted, etc… clearly this wasn’t a typical restoration exercise.
In 2014 the owner of Car 3 won the ‘Best Car’ award with his beautifully restored Blue Scimitar at our unique Silver Anniversary Event held at Gatcombe Park, the home of HRH Princess Anne, who is also a keen Middlebridge Scimitar owner. Princess Anne is one of four owners who have had their cars from new.
Many owners have restored their 30 years-old cars back to their former glory treating them to re-sprays and re-trimmed interiors. Most now have the retro-made ‘Middlebridge’ badge fitted to the grill and it is one way of ensuring that it is a genuine Scimitar as the back of each badge has an engraved coded number specifically for that particular car’s identity.
The Middlebridge Scimitar generally left the factory powered by the superb Ford Cologne 2.9 V6 EFI engine, mated to an uprated 5-speed Type 9 manual gearbox – or 4-speed automatic. The modified galvanised chassis supported an improved glass-fibre body that is 30mm thick in places. They were fast, economical, comfortable and reliable.
To this day 78 of the 79 cars made still survive both in the UK and abroad. ‘The MESS’ are trying to find that one missing car. They were, most certainly - ‘Built to Last’.