ERA R1A - The First ERA

ERA R1A was the first ERA built. Originally designated R1, until the advent of the B series in 1935, it was initially the Works 1500cc car. Its first appearance was in the Mannin Moar at the Isle of Man, in June 1934, driven by Raymond Mays, where it non-started. At the end of its first season, at Donington in October 1934, Mays drove it to ERA’s first road race victory.

ERA R1 is rolled out at Bourne in May 1934
ERA R1 is rolled out at Bourne in May 1934

OWNERS AND DRIVERS LIST - SEE BELOW


SIGNIFICANT SPECIFICATION CHANGES

During the 1934 season R1’s steering drop arm was mounted outboard, as it was on the other two cars built in that year, R2 and R3. For 1935 the drop arms on these three cars were re-mounted inboard, matching the position used on all the ERAs built subsequently.

1934 Bourne - With the outboard steering drop arm visible
1934 Bourne - With the outboard steering drop arm visible

When Bill Humphreys carried out his rebuild in 1938/39 he incorporated a chrome radiator surround.

1947 Lake Vallentuna - Parnell - Showing the chrome radiator surround fitted pre-war by Bill Humphreys
1947 Lake Vallentuna - Parnell - Showing the chrome radiator surround fitted pre-war by Bill Humphreys

The chrome radiator surround disappeared during Wilkie Wilkinson’s modifications in 1947/8, which produced a distinctive profile: the bonnet line was lowered and extended, and subsequently piston-type dampers were fitted front and rear with a horizontal connecting bar at the front. Rear axle radius rods were also added during the late 1940s.

1948 Tallaght - Hampshire - Showing Wilkie Wilkinson’s reprofiling
1948 Tallaght - Hampshire - Showing Wilkie Wilkinson’s reprofiling

May 1952 Charterhall - Flockhart - With the piston-type dampers and the horizontal connecting bar visible
May 1952 Charterhall - Flockhart - With the piston-type dampers and the horizontal connecting bar visible

In the late 1970s Sandy Murray and Tony Merrick restored the body of R1A to its original dimensions, the Hartford dampers were re-instated and the rear axle radius rods removed.
It has had a 1500cc engine throughout its life.

ERA R1A in 2008
ERA R1A in 2008

B

C

ERA R1A in 2008


OWNERS AND DRIVERS

1934 to 1935 - The Works
Drivers :-
Raymond Mays (1934-35 - 11 Appearances)
Humphrey Cook (1934-35 - 6 Appearances)
Dick Seaman (1935 - 13th April - Donington)
Tim Rose-Richards (1935 - 16th June - Eifelrennen)
Hermann zu Leiningen (1935 - 2 Appearances)
Oliver Bertram (1935 - 6th July - British Empire Trophy)

1935 A (Antonio) Valette
Driver :-
Antonio Valette (1935 - 29th September - Brno)

1935 to 1936 - The Works
Drivers :-
Kay Petre (1936 - 2nd May - JCC International Trophy)
Humphrey Cook (1936 - 2nd May - JCC International Trophy)

1936 to 1937 F S (Sidney) Cotton
Drivers :–
Sidney Cotton (1936 - 6th October - George Vanderbilt Cup)
Hon. Brian Lewis (1936 - 6th October - George Vanderbilt Cup)

1937 E (Eugen) Bjørnstad
Driver :–
Eugen Bjørnstad (1937 - 4 Appearances)

1937 to 1938 The Works
(Unraced)

1938 J (Jean) Trévoux
(Unraced)

1938 to 1942 W E (Bill) Humphreys
(Unraced)

1942 to 1947 H W Motors
Drivers :-
John Heath (1946 - 22nd April - Elstree)
Charles Hawkes (1946 - 15th September - Finchampstead)

1947 to 1948 R (Reg) Parnell
Drivers :-
Reg Parnell (1947 - 4 Appearances)
Joe Ashmore (1947-48 - 3 Appearances)
Fred Ashmore (1947 - 6 Appearances)

1948 to 1952 D A (David) Hampshire
Drivers :-
David Hampshire (1948-51 - 13 Appearances)
Philip Fotheringham-Parker (1948 - 2nd October - RAC Grand Prix)
Roy Parnell (1949 - 17th September - Autumn Goodwood)
Joe Ashmore (1950-51 - 3 Appearances)

1952 W R (Ron) Flockhart & A W (Alistair) Birrell
Drivers :-
Ron Flockhart (1952 - 4 Appearances)
Alistair Birrell (1952 - 4 Appearances)

1952 to 1955 A W (Alistair) Birrell
Driver :-
Alistair Birrell (1952-55 - 25 Appearances)

1955 T (Tom) Blackburn
(Unraced)

1955 to 1956 A W (Alistair) Birrell
(Unraced)

1956 W F (Bill) Moss
Driver :-
Bill Moss (1956 - 6 Appearances)

1956 to 1958 (Edmund) Smith
(Unraced)

1958 to 1959 E (Ellis) Hammersley
Driver :-
Sandy Murray (1959 - 11th April - Silverstone)

1959 to 1982 A G (Sandy) Murray
Drivers :-
Sandy Murray (1959-76 - 18 Appearances)
Vern Skirrow (1960 - 1st October - Silverstone)
Walter Hyslop (1961-62 - 3 Appearances)
Tony Merrick (1965-82 - 36+ Appearances)
Hon. Patrick Lindsay (1970 - 18th July - Silverstone)

1982 to 1983 D (Dan) Margulies
Drivers :-
Dan Margulies (1982-83)
Tony Merrick (1982)
Willie Green (1982)
Richard Bond (1983)

1983 to 1993 J (Jost) Wildbolz
Driver :-
Jost Wildbolz (1983-93)

1993 to 1998 P M (Peter) Rae
Drivers :-
Peter Rae (199x)
Tony Merrick (1993-96)

1998 to 2008 E D (Dean) Butler
Drivers :-
Dean Butler (1998-2007)
Martin Walford (1998-2007)
Frank Sytner (1999)
Julian Bronson (2002)
John Caffin (2004)
Ian Tate (2004)
Michael Windsor-Price (2005-06)
James Diffey (2005)
Simon Taylor (2007)

2008 to date (Dorset, UK)
(Unraced)