Rarer than rare Railton finds new recluse

Riley Riley

You might remember British car designer Bill Towns who died in 1993.

He is probably best known as the designer of the revered Aston Martin DBS and futuristic Lagonda models.

Towns also had a finger in a few other pies and one of the last projects before his death was a pair of convertibles called the Railton F28 Fairmile and F29 Claremont — both released in 1989.

Railton was a British marque made by the Fairmile Engineering Company in Cobham, Surrey from 1933 to 1940.

The company was started by Noel Macklin who was looking for a new venture after he sold his Invicta company in 1933.

The name came from world speed record car designer Reid Railton, although he probably had very little input in the scheme of things.

An attempt was made to revive the Railton name in 1989 but it was a shortlived, fizzling out in 1994.

Railton F28 Fairmile (front) and F29 Claremont (rear) 1989-1994.

The revival gave birth to two convertible models, the F28 Fairmile and F29 Claremont.

Both cars were featured at the 1989 Motorfair, held at the legendary Earls Court exhibition site.

They were based on the underpinnings of the V12 Jaguar XJS with new original aluminium bodywork.

So why bring up the name now?

The largest private car collection in Europe, Studio434, has just acquired the 1989 Railton Claremont.

The collection already has a number of other Towns designed models, including 24 Aston Martin Lagonda “Wedge” models (world’s largest collection) plus the Hustler and Huntsman utilitarian vehicles.

“I am a great fan of the iconic British car designer William Towns,” Studio434’s Rodger Dudding said.

”When I saw that the Railton Claremont was available at auction, I had to add it to our collection.

“It will now sit alongside our other William Towns’ designed cars including the Aston Martin Lagonda “Wedge” models, together with the unusual Hustler and Hunter vehicles.”

Studio434 now has more than 460 cars and motorcycles representing models from the early 1900s to the present day.

Many of the cars are used in films and TV series including Mr Selfridge, Peaky Blinders and The Crown — most recently some of cars were used in the Elton John biopic Rocketman.

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