Classic Cars Wiki
Classic Cars Wiki

The ERA E-Type was a racecar built just before the Second World War, there were only two built and they were not fully developed.

ERA restarted operations in Dunstable under new ownership in 1947, when Leslie Johnson bought the company.

The E-Types designated GP1 and GP2 were upgraded and entered into the 1948 season's races.


ERA E-Type Chassis GP1

ERA E-Type Chassis GP1. 2005 Silverstone Classic. by Wouter Melissen -

GP1 the first to be built in 1939 was upgraded by the works with Murray Jamieson-designed Roots-type supercharging and driven by Reg Parnell's mechanic Wilkie Wilkinson (who had supervised modification of the E-Types).

GP1 was entered into the 1948 British Empire Trophy race, but unfortunately had to retire with a broken connecting rod.

Later GP1, driven by Fred Ashmore, failed to finish the 1948 Jersey International Road Race owing to fuel starvation and defective steering.

In the 1949 BRDC/Daily Express International Trophy, Peter Walker took GP1 to within 1.2 seconds of Giuseppe Farina's Maserati in practice and finished fifth in the race, despite gearbox and steering problems, a leaking radiator, and the exhaust burning the driver's foot.

Walker was fastest in practice for Ireland's Wakefield Trophy road race, but a snatching brake forced him down the escape road at the first corner, here GP1's race ended when it was hit by an Alta that had already collided with Salvadori's Maserati 4CL.

Finally in 1950, GP1 was gutted by fire in a crash at the British Empire Trophy race on the Isle of Man, caused by driveshaft failure when the car was at high speed with Walker at the wheel.


ERA E-type GP2

ERA E-Type Chassis GP2. by John Chapman (Pyrope) on Wikipedia in the Donington Grand Prix Collection museum, UK

GP2 the second to be two built in 1939, which had been raced by Reg Parnell and Leslie Brooke, was upgraded and refitted with a Zoller supercharger and driven by Leslie Johnson.

GP2 was also entered into the 1948 British Empire Trophy race and tied with Parnell's Maserati 4CLT for fastest lap and finished fifth in the race.

Then after posting the fastest time in the opening practice session for the British Grand Prix, Johnson retired GP2 from third place on the first lap when a driveshaft universal joint failed.

In practice for the Coupe du Salon at Montlhéry he broke the lap record but again retired GP2 from the race with a fractured fuel tank after three laps.

In 1949 at Goodwood, GP2 broke a back axle universal joint in practice but Johnson took the car to fifth in the Richmond Trophy and third in the Chichester Cup.

In the first day's practice for the Jersey International Road Race, he was second fastest to Luigi Villoresi's record breaking lap in a Maserati but on the second day the engine bearings failed and the car did not race.

At Silverstone's 1950 Grand Prix d'Europe the supercharger disintegrated after two laps.


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