The Frisky Coupe
The concept of a Frisky Saloon was demonstrated at the 1957 Earls Court Motor Show when the Meadows FriskySport was launched .
1957 Prototype saloon
The saloon displayed was based upon a prototype Sport that had had the body cut back well behind the engine on either side to incorporate child seats, topped off with a special elongated roof extending beyond the rear body joint. The roof also incorporated a very large un Frisky like rear window. This Saloon never made production but the seeds of a "solid roof" Frisky had been sown.
The Frisky Coupe Press test car
The new Frisky saloon "The Frisky Coupe" was announced in August 1958 and one was made available for the Press. The Autocar road test No. 1702 of September 1958 did it proud with a three page review.
The Frisky Coupe show car
The Coupe was launched at the 1958 Earls Court Motor Show and it was not just a natural progression from the FriskySport, it was indeed just a FriskySport that had had a roof glassed on. In fact the original Sport windscreen complete with its chromed surround was still in place along with the Wipac dash and Wipac indicators behind the doors. Those of you with eagle eyes will probably be able to identify it on the press release photos and also spot that a front windscreen had also been used at the rear. (Which never made production, a pity, because it looked good)) The rear joint had also been glassed over.
The new chassis
Also on display was a rolling four wheel chassis that had had the original Dubonnet front suspension, replaced with MacPherson strut type suspension as used on the Sprint prototype and the new Family Three which was also launched at the Show. It was announced that this new chassis was to be used on the Coupe and future production FriskySports. (This did not happen)
Production of the Coupe was due to start in August 1958 officially from chassis 0150, both cars shared the same production line and sequence of chassis numbers, the intention being to make batches of the Sport then the Coupe. Towards the end of 1958 about twenty five cars a week were reported to be produced with plans to increase this to fifty.
Frisky Coupe in the new body
The early Coupes used the Sport chassis with a modified body, Dubonnet front suspension, a Villiers 3T engine and quarter chrome corner bumpers with no over riders, but transferred over to the Family Three body as soon as it became available along with its Lucas dash, lights and Family Three interior they retained the Dubonnet front suspension and shared the "FriskySport" chrome script on the front.
Coupe at Oulton Park
A small number of Coupes were built using the new chassis, and one was raced at Oulton Park in 1958 but priority at that time was given to Family Three production which had the larger market potential. The new suspension unfortunately gave problems, and the new Mk2 Family Three went back to the original Dubonnet suspension,
During this period Gordon Bedson and Keith Peckmore had arranged to join Lightburn in Australia to develop the Zeta Sports car and Frisky Cars was having financial problems which eventually resulted in a compulsory winding up order being made in June 1959.
Future Coupes built later under the new management, utilised existing stocks of parts / bodies etc. including the new Family Three Mk 2 body.
The one thing all Coupes have in common is they are now the rarest of the production Frisky cars. The reason for the demise of the Coupe was the fashion of trying to turn "your Coupe" into a Sport by chopping off its roof (in some cases quite literally). Unfortunately the Family Three body was not the same as the original Sport body a fact discovered too late by unlucky owners who found they had just enthusiastically destroyed their car!
Simple message ...
If you manage to get hold of a Coupe look after it, only six are known to have survived!