Why a wooden car of all things? A Devon seaside childhood memory maybe, where a local craftsman had made a car from an Austin 7 chassis with a wooden rowing boat as the body. I’d already built or rebuilt an Alfa 75, a Spitfire, a Spartan, a Sportage and an Ambulance into motor camper but I thought that perhaps a wooden car was more within any DIY abilities I might have. How hard could it be to build a box?

Eventually in late December 2017, I was surfing through car related sites and in one called ‘Swapz’ came across an ad for a ‘Wooden Hustler with old Copper engine’. The ad was then six years old. It was described as an ‘unusual 6 wheeled car looking like a glass doored Popemobile’ and said that it had been stored for long time.

The owner confirmed that it was actually a Cooper engine, an A Series unit. My apprenticeship in Austin (Longbridge) had introduced me to the A Series engine series. An engine so successful it was in production for 49 years and renowned throughout the world. An engine appreciated by the car’s designer, William Towns

I’d liked the concept back in the 1970’s and was intrigued about a pioneering SUV with a body made entirely of wood and some research revealed that very few Hustler variants had surfaced since their creation. The minority as a wood monocoque (like the De Havilland Mosquito Fighter Bomber of WW2) and the majority as Steel frame supporting GRP bodywork. Both built primarily on Mini subframes, brake systems and suspension.

John Hall, the collector owner had driven it into a one of his coach houses 31 years before I saw his ad. He lived in Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire, and after a 600-mile round trip to meet him and agree the sale I then made a separate 600-mile round trip to bring it home to Devon on a flatbed recovery truck. The journey marked by interested people at each rest break and the loss of the roof and roof rails which were quite literally, blown away.

For the last 6 years my car has been restored in what my spare time I’ve had during two house moves, other projects and the demands of an extended family. And not easy (or cheap) The Coach house had been open to the elements leaving only the wooden body undamaged and rot free. Every mechanical part but for the engine and clutch had corroded to ‘solid’ and the tyres perished leading to complete replacement of every significant item.

During my restoration other owners have been both supportive and helpful. In the early days Paul Temple, ex Aston Martin came down to see my car and offer advice. He has been really hands on in restoring both a Hustler4 and then a second, more bespoke ‘4’. His cars are featured later in this site. He is one of several marque enthusiasts who own more than one, hopefully there are more out there waiting to be found.

Paul offered me some dedicated Hustler4 spares and from that interchange and being gifted a build ‘manual’ for a Hustler4 came the idea for these pages. Something done many years ago by the original Hustler Owner’s Club. A current Registry for interested or potential owners. Perhaps spares and services. It remains a work in progress and ideas or input from other owners or appreciators of the marque continue to be welcome.

Everything here is open source and already in the public domain including DVLA records. There is widely available information on these Interstyl Studio cars, and on their internationally renowned designer. Many have gone before me so to aid your own research various sources are provided throughout these pages (especially the ones most helpful to me). I’m grateful for all the work which others have shown before me.