The Carole Nash Barn Finds display always welcomes some recently discovered treasures and 2019 is no exception.
Robert Holmquist’s 1930 Standard Big 9 Arrow Special is a true collector’s item – because to bring it to the NEC, Robert has had to collect up all the parts to even make it look like a car!
“Believed to be the only Standard Motors Big 9 ever to be bodied by Arrow Coachworks, the car was laid up around 1960, with 250,000 miles on the clock,” explains Robert. “It was left to rot into the ground until 2011 when it was quite literally dug out of the ground by what became its third owner.
“Although he saved it from completely rotting away he never really got round to doing much else with it. Me and my friend Paul Walshe had been looking for a project for a while and found the Big 9 on eBay in autumn 2018.
“The car’s rarity and history made it such an interesting prospect.”
Robert began researching the car and discovered very little on the Big 9 so this example may even be the prototype. The car’s chassis number is one higher than a block of numbers recorded as being Avon (Jenson Bros) specials and is first in a gap of six spare numbers in between Avon cars, which might have been allocated to Arrow and not delivered.
Arrow made coachwork for several manufacturers' chassis including Morris, Wolseley, and Austin with the only survivors believed to be a handful of Austin 7s, although some are replicas rather than genuine cars.
The second owner of the car, Tim Squance of Follifoot, near Harrogate, purchased it from its first Yorkshire owner in 1947 with 48,000 miles on the clock. The car was then on the road almost daily until 1960, and active in Vintage Sports-Car Club events.
Registered on 30th December 1930, WX 6039 was originally a two-seater, but a rear dickey seat was added the birth of Tim’s daughter, as confirmed by period letters from Tim to the Standard Register (copies of which come with the car's history file).