the art of ruddell


cliff and his cars


some people like to show pictures taken with celebrities, or presidents . .( like me and Clint on the right ) and some like to show pictures taken with their stable of cars . . . well . . this is neither; its a bunch of random vehicles, real and conceptual, that have crossed my path and caught my interest . . .




I don't remember this picture being taken but I remember the Hillman van, with its creamy paint finish and its Coventry Three Spires horn button! I also remember the long gone days like this where you could drive on the beach!


I do remember this day, another picnic . . I remember spending some time sitting in this Morris Minor in the garage before we set out, assessing the design of the dashboard!


this isn't the actual car but I clearly remember the first American car I ever saw, a yellow 57 Chevvy, in our street in Dunmurry(!?) I was struck by the slender screen pillars and its glorious turquoise tinted screen . . .


my father's company van from Coventry Glass - a reasonable vehicle, except for the vacuum wipers . . .

whilst still using a provisional license in 1969 my uncle got me driving his Austin Cambridge A60, towing a trailer of pigs . . .

The Austin A30 which I bought for 30 in 1975

Ed Abbott on the Devon Rally in his Austin A40 in 1975. I used to get a lift home from Tile Hill College with Ed in this hairy Austin!!

going to work in the winter - mid 70s: Kinwalsey Lane is not really on the way to Browns Lane, but hey - Minis like the snow . . .

Flying low in the Scottish Highlands in the Citroen GS. With a drag coefficient of 0.29 and Jaguar like ride quality it was noteable car.

discussing the XJ40 full size clay model with Roger Shelbourne, Lawrence Martin and Keith Helfet around 1980

Setting out for the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1978, Keith's nifty Elan +2 by the studio door.

1978 International Trophy at Silverstone - Mario Andretti about to unleash the Lotus 79 on an unsuspecting pit lane . . .

the Lotus 79 approaching Maggots . . . no JPS livery in 1978

Thursday morning July 12th 1979, the two Williams FW07s sit virtually un-noticed in the pitlane before first practice. A few hours later they would be the talking point of the circuit and would win their first Grand Prix two days later!

MOLE was the driverless car, with zero emissions, that drove itself once programmed.

full size rendering of the MOLE, that I presented to Chuck Jordan at Detroit's GM Tech Centre in July 1980

MOLE drove into your house and re-charged itself overnight from roof mounted solar panels . . . 22 years before Steven Spielberg's film Minority Report shows cars doing exactly that!!

the TWR XJS ( original Motul livery ) passing my Alfasud in the pits at Donnington during a test day in 1982

Tom Walkinshaw slides the car through Donnington's chicane during the test

working on the XJ40 full size clay model with Martin Brough and Ken Boulton, the model had two different halves.

proposed variation on the XJ40 full size clay model - raising the wing and boot line as well as a slightly taller glass area. But despite Jaguar's proclivity to add 4 inches to the length of its models, adding height was absolutely anathema to Bob Knight!

scraping a scale clay model, soon to become a new Jaguar saloon design; one thing I don't miss about the clay was its smell, and the way it stuck to your shoes!

the finished quarter scale model was then used to cast a fibreglass model, which, with a bit of clever photography, could look like the actual car!

on the trail of The Prisoner in North Wales in one of Jaguar Experimental's highly tuned Series 3s; this one was fitted with racing cams and valves.

This was one of Ed Abbott's experimental cars, used mainly to test the new 5 speed manual gearbox. Later it was installed with a 3.6 Italian VM diesel engine, as Jaguar began looking into diesel power.

A similar Series 3, DVC 785V, which was used for publicity purposes and for the Series 3 press launch.

Ed Abbott in the car, at high speed on the M.I.R.A. banking

exploring Arizona and the Grand Canyon in some sort of Lincoln

snooping round Derek Bell's Porsche 956 at Silverstone in the days when you could blag your way into the pits . . .

our annual pilgrimage to the Royal College of Art degree show in Kensington, this time in a LHD Series 2

testing a Lotus Esprit turbo and a Ferrari Mondial at the Gaydon test track

testing a secret new sports car . . . built from cardboard, plywood and foamcore . . .

Bob Blake's Ferrari Daytona outside the Studio door. If it was a dry sunny morning we would expect the throaty roar of the V12 arriving outside! Bob bought the car from Jaguar as a written off wreck and rebuilt and straightened it by hand . . . as you do

interestingly enough the car appeared in a Performance Car Magazine road test in October 1986 although little detail was given about its origins! We knew better . . . .

Stuart Spencer with the promotional Opel Manta from Andrews. Note several camouflaged XJ40s in the Jaguar experimental car park - this is 1985, a year before the launch of the car.

Le Mans 1988, the winning Jaguar XJR9 heads up towards the Dunlop bridge. The event was like a works day out - we kept bumping into people from the Factory!

picking up the Bennetts, returning from South America, in one of Keith Cambage's demo Daimler Limos . . .

April 1992 and the CDI Pontiac Trans Sport SE . . . my first visit to Grand Rapids. With its 3 litre V-6 I was able to amble round the lake to Chicago with the minimum of fuss during the week-end!

just the job for the weekly shopping - a really tidy Mini pick up

photoshoot for a magazine article whilst at CDI, showing a virtual sports car design on screen.

early morning light falls on little known ruddell sports car, on location in France, with admirer . .

Jim Clark's Lotus 25, chassis number R4, winner of seven Grands Prix in 1963, four on the same set of tyres, pictured at Classic Team Lotus in Norfolk.

the Matra MS80, still ripping round the track 40 years since Jackie Stewart won his first World Championship . . amazing

Racing Bentley from the 30s, or is it? Created on CAD and handbuilt in aluminium.

little known agricultural version of the Vintage Bentley, good for keeping the farm free of pests . .

with the XJ13 at the Browns Lane JDHT museum, only a few hundred yards from where the car was built in the 60s . .

spent some time driving round Bates Farm pretending to be characters out of a John Le Carre novel, with this cold war military truck . .

1929 Vanden Plas 4 litre Bentley with its Gurney-Nutting-Ruddell styled front and rear wings!

Looking round the new Jaguar F-Type in the visitor centre at Castle Bromwich.

Assessing the F-Type interior - Peter Wilson and Russ Varney in the background!

the Jaguar F-Type Coupe departing after we'd given it the once over. Now that is a nice looking car . .

Vintage Bentley Coupe, current project at VBE Restorations, based on the 1931 Gurney-Nutting Blower Bentley, with Ruddell styling . .

nearly finished - designed on CAD, handmade in aluminium . .