Q Cars

January, 2014

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THE BERKELEY ‘Q’ CARS

The Berkeley 'Q' cars were positioned to replace the B95/105 and were announced with launch material in March 1959. Properly referred to, these four new 'Q.' models where known as Q.95, Q.105, QB.95 and QB.1O5. The 95 and 105 designation referring to the previous B.95 and B.105 engine classifications.
The '95's had a Royal Enfield, 692cc, twin cylinder, 4-stroke engine, known as the "Super Meteor". It had a 7.25 : 1 compression ratio and produced 40 bhp at 5,500 rpm with one Amal carburettor. The 105 models had the Royal Enfield "Constellation" engine with a similar specification to the "Super Meteor", except that it had an 8 ; 1 compression ratio and produced 50 bhp at 6,250 rpm with an Amal 'TT' carburettor fitted.
The other differences concerned the bodies of the cars. The 'Q' and 'QB' models had larger bodies and were commensurate with the 1958 'Foursome’ bodies. 'The length being 11'- 1 ˝ ” and the width 4'- 6". Presumably, the shape and style of the body was unaltered from that of the 'Foursome' design, except that the 'QB's did not have the spare wheel with its cover mounted externally at the rear of the car.
The other difference between the 'Q' and 'QB' models was the seating arrangements. The 'Q's were designated as "Occasional fourseaters" featuring adjustable front bucket seats and a padded bench-type rear seat formed from the body mouldings.
The 'QB' models were described as "Roomy two-seaters, with extra luggage capacity". They still had adjustable front bucket seats, but the spare wheel was now stowed away behind the front seats within the 'luggage' area.
It would now seem that despite the press releases and the marketing, these models hardly saw the light of day and are very few in number, compared with the B.95 and B.105 versions.
The only 'official' mention comes from the "Autocar" Motor Show edition of October 1959, when it appears that Berkeley’s featured a red soft-top Q.B.95 and a blue QB.I05 with a black hard-top. Obviously Berkeley’s built at least 2 models of this series, but judging from the BEC Register and the memories of senior members of the club, none of these cars have survived to today.
The only known possible exception is that of the car owned by John Foulk of Belper, Derbyshire, which has the chassis number D/l -12, which is a 'Foursome' designation. This car was however assembled from a selection of parts by the Berkeley hard-top specialist, Peter Whalley of Blackburn in 1964. The engine is Royal Enfield number SMQA 6001. An explanation of this is possibly that Peter Whalley bought various in- complete cars from the liquidation sale at the factory and one of the 'Q' or 'QB' models was amongst them.
A rumour of another 'Q' car, comes from an East-London ex-member who knew of a deal between a Berkeley owner and Wiltshires, the Ilford Berkeley Dealer and Dismantlers. Apparently a 'Q' or 'QB' 95/105 were swapped for a Mini-powered T.60. The clues to the identity being the size of the Enfield powered car and its black hard-top. It could have been that this was the ex-show car.
The solution to this enigma, would be of course, to find some of these 'Q' or 'QB' models, but without doubt, they are the rarest of the production models.
 

I don't currently have any pictures of these cars, but you now that as soon as i do then they will appear here.

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This site was last updated Sunday, 03 April 2005