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Duchess

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#237686
Paul Mossberg
Keymaster

@pmossberg

Hi Andre,

Interesting. I’ll take a look at my id tag and see what it says. I’m sure mine does not say limited edition.

But now I’m confused. Is this the same car as the one in your photo gallery? It’s VW based, right? I assume it is because of the carpet on the firewell under your id plate.

Here’s why I ask.

Every, and I mean EVERY, Classic Roadsters VW Duchess I have ever seen has a small step just in front of the rear fender, between the fender and the running board. It steps out over the outer portion of the rear suspension torsion tube. You can see it in the front 3/4 shot of my Duchess in the pmossberg gallery.

I see other differences from what I know to be CR Duchess cars.

The general profile of your rear fenders is not like any other Duchess I have seen. Compare it to mine.

Classic Roadsters did not provide the cover over the behind-seat space. Their roof cover was basically a “bag”, open on the leading edge. You slip it over the folded roof and the front edge velcros closed.

I can see the seat back in your car. But I cannot see the seats. Do you have a bench seat? Or are there separate seat bottoms? Duchess has a bench seat bottom.

The front running lights/turn signals have lenses unlike the original
TD. Duchess came with repro style turn signals. Again, see the ones on
my car. The Duchess didn’t have the English flag either. And your windshield wipers are installed opposite from mine. Granted, these are
minor points that could easily have been running changes during
production.

What year was your car built?

I need to check my history files, but at one point Gary Rutherford (original CR founder/owner) sold Classic Roadsters to one of the other kit manufacturers. That company essentially sucked the money out of Classic Roadsters and left it for dead. Gary eventually bought the shell of the company back and they are still in business, albeit without the MG kit.

It is possible your car comes from the post-Rutherford period and is another kit, badged and sold as a Duchess.

Take a look at Ringo’s car, which I am certain is a Duchess. In particular, look at the rear fender line and the “step” between the running board and rear fender. And the wiper motor is installed the same as it is in my Duchess.

Please understand, I’m not knocking anyone’s car. In fact, your MG is beautiful!

But I built my car in
1982 and have been around the kit car hobby ever since. I’m just trying
to make some sense of what I see. The more I think about it, the more I believe your Duchess was produced after Gary Rutherford sold CR. And it is another high quality kit, branded as a Duchess.

I look forward to reading more member responses to all this. Like I said at the start…I’m confused. 🙂

Paul Mossberg
Former Owner of a 1981 Classic Roadsters Ltd. Duchess (VW)
2005 Intermeccanica Roadster

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