The Red Fox was John Wheaton’s bargain basement model, being £20 cheaper than the luxurious Flying Vixen – necessary in the tough trading conditions of the early 1930s.
Simple blade mudguards and no petrol tank rain gutter helped to cut costs, as did a reversion to a 3-speed hand change gearbox, a lightweight front fork and coil rather than magneto ignition.
This machine has had an exciting history. In the 1960s it was rebuilt for classic racing using a J A Prestwich 500cc JORZ power unit. This potent engine had originally been built in JAP’s race shop and supplied to the Vincent HRD company for their 1934 Isle of Man Senior TT entry.
The high camshaft engine, with two oil pumps and a bronze cylinder head, developed 45 brake horse power using a 14:1 compression ratio.
Later in the 1930s the JAP engine passed to a successful car racer from Cardiff called Clive Lones, who fitted it to his Morgan and competed at the Brooklands banked speed bowl in Surrey. After the WWII the engine re-appeared, powering Lones’s home built open cockpit race car called Tiger Kitten. This was almost as successful as those Formula 500 cars built by the young John Cooper – who of course went on create his own Formula 1 Grand Prix team.