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Billy Needham, Coldwell Engineering

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From I recall was the start up of Coldwell Engineering, Hallam area, Crosspool by Billy Needham.

 

This garage specialised in the race and preparation of cars for racing and was expert in the modification of pre War Austin 7 specials. Later he found further fame in preparation and racing of Minis and I beleive instigated a twin cam variant in 60's.

This garage was a godsend to budding enthusiasts with post vintage sports cars for advice, and I regularily visited the garage for advise and spares.

 

Billy Needham no longer at Coldwell , probably sold out.

Anyone any information on where Billy Needham moved to after Coldwell ?

 

Gary Marshman

North Wales

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Hi Gary,

Don't know what happened to Bill Needham, he used to look after my MK 2 Cortina Lotus way back in 1968. I believe houses have been built where Coldwell was ?????.

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Alligin,

 

I looked up Coldwell Lane in the last 12 months or so when I was in Sheffield, and it appears Coldwell Engineering is still there, but I believe under new ownership.

 

Your Mk2 Lotus Cortina must be worth some £20 k now ? I remember a good friend of mine, Slotter Carr, bought one in 1971 from Bee Bros, Division St.

 

Gary Marshman

North Wales

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Bill is alive and well (he was at Harewood hillclimb last June....).

 

He still has the Coldwell Mini, into which he slotted a modified 1 litre BRM F2 engine in the late 1960's, and it still goes well. I don't know if he has the Cooper JAP as well.

 

He sold his premises on Coldwell Lane to John Cockayne (after they sold out the department store, anyone remember that?), who used them to refurbish vintage Rolls Royces, but that business closed some years ago.

 

Gary - any relation to Ben Marshman/Forrest Marshman of Grindleford?

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That is amazing Bill is still competing in Hill Climbs. Didnt realise he had a Cooper Jap. Always astounded me on the output obtained from these engines.

If he competes at Harewood is it reasonable to assume he still lives in Yorkshire ?

 

Forrest Marshman, of car accessory fame, I recollect my late mum and dad meeting up with him circa 50/60 's and they were unable on brief meeting to establish where our origins collide.

 

Gary Marshman

North Wales

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I tried to rebuild a 1932 J2 MG in 1961 and Bill got the engine going for me - and sorted the electrics out.

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My family had a post-war holiday bungalow on the cliffs at Barmston (near Brid) on the East Coast and so did the Marshmans (ie Forrest Marshman and family). They were famous for their land yatchs (or sand yatchs) - great fun on the beach. Oh and pretty daughter too. I have photos somewhere in the attic.

 

Forrest Marshman, of car accessory fame, I recollect my late mum and dad meeting up with him circa 50/60 's and they were unable on brief meeting to establish where our origins collide.

 

Gary Marshman

North Wales

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That is amazing Bill is still competing in Hill Climbs. Didnt realise he had a Cooper Jap. Always astounded me on the output obtained from these engines.

If he competes at Harewood is it reasonable to assume he still lives in Yorkshire ?

 

Forrest Marshman, of car accessory fame, I recollect my late mum and dad meeting up with him circa 50/60 's and they were unable on brief meeting to establish where our origins collide.

 

Gary Marshman

North Wales

 

Hi guys,

 

It's Bill's daughter here. He's still hill climbing the mini twin cam... Although he told me today he's having some major work done to the pistons,.. Apparently they aren't all pulling their weight equally!

 

He sold the cooper jap 500 a couple of years ago. All is well :0)

 

---------- Post added 29-03-2015 at 10:02 ----------

 

He sold Coldwell Engineering in Sheffield in 1975 and we moved to north York moors where he started Coldbeck Engineering and carried on his work and racing. Now he's in Lincolnshire and still rebuilding engines etc rather than full customer cars... He'll never retire!

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Good to hear from Bill Needhams daughter , of the continued interest Bill has in hill climbing.

I probably first met Bill Needham circa 1961, where his advice to 'we' budding vintage car enthusiasts was vital to keep them running, being our only daily driver, in those days.

Will look out for Bill in the Twin Cam Mini on the Hill Climb scene, although myself usually only attend the VSCC event at Loton Park in Sept, with friend Chris Harrill in his MG K3.

 

Gary Marshman

Noth Wales

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I remember looking at the mini, we were working next door on Coldwell demolishing an old block of stables, I seem to remember they had a date stone of 1600 and some.

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Hi Gary,

 

Good to hear from you. I'll let him know of your post. If you want to get in touch with him just pass on your email address or number and I can give it to him. I'm not sure of his email address!

 

Cheers,

Leonie

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Not only was Needhan Engineering a race tune specialist and vintage protagonist,but also a bona fide crash repair and garage for everyday mechanicals.

From my usage of Coldwell Eng., my dad George Marshman found his service on two occasions to be genuine, when in 1964 Coldwell recovered my dads car from an accident on A1 near Pontefract and repaired it, then on another occasion in 1970 I rolled dads car ( naughty me) on outskirts of Sheffield, and again Coldwell Eng. came to the rescue , recovering and fully repairing the car.

Am sure several other people would offer similar experiences of work carried out by Billy Needham.

 

Gary Marshman

North Wales

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