Popular Tags Cars

This Is The Story About A British Carmaker That Sadly Never Made It

Video / Comments

This car should have been a legend.

The dream of starting a car company sounds great but the reality of actually doing so is typically totally different. Small boutique sports car companies come and go quite frequently, with only a few managing to survive. As a young man, Bill Atkinson found his way to Piper Cars because they were the only ones in the UK capable of adding some performance to his Rover 2000. That was back in 1968. Upon arrival, he hit it off with Brian Sherwood, a Piper Cars employee, who showed the latter the company's latest project, the Piper GT.

Based on a club racer, the Piper GT was a fiberglass-bodied prototype for what soon became the Piper GTT. Atkinson was one of the first to purchase the Piper GTT, and he further improved its build quality because, well, that's an area the English weren't particularly good at back then. Because of his improvements, Atkinson soon joined the company.

Why Kia Should Build An Affordable Sports Car
Why Kia Should Build An Affordable Sports Car
The Evolution Of The Muscle Car
The Evolution Of The Muscle Car

Then tragedy struck: Brian was killed in a car accident. With the true English spirit of "Just get on with it," that's exactly what Atkinson and a fellow employee did. Together, they launched the Piper P2. Atkinson, of course, had his own P2, but later sold it because of his growing family. Years later, he received a phone call from a Piper restorer offering to sell him back his old car. It was in desperate need of a complete restoration, but no matter. Atkinson has now gone full circle with Piper Cars, once again improving the quality control he once did as a young man. Check out the full story in this latest Petrolicious video and learn about one of the coolest, and, frankly, oddest British car companies that sadly never made it big.