1959 Mr. Beep
Restoration Project #1548
Mr. Beep, the safety car
Mr. Beep was a project initiated by the BP Oil Company in the late 50s and early sixties. Mr. Beep, the safety car, was used to bring traffic safety lessons to school children and he was used during public occasions like the Canadian National Exhibition, fall fairs and other public gatherings. He also visited schools and made several television appearances. Often Mr. Beep was used in conjunction with police school safety programs.
The car underneath the Mr. Beep's façade was a small 1959 Zephyr convertible made by British Ford.
When we received Mr. Beep his fiberglass parts were in fair condition however he had been parked somewhere very damp for a considerable time and the car beneath was almost completely rotted away. It would have been prohibitively expensive to have resurrected the original car so a worldwide search ensued to locate another Ford Zephyr convertible. At first only a single candidate was found. It was in England and was fully restored. While Beep's owners were content to purchase the car, its huge price tag of over 20 thousand pounds made Dave Grainger, the Guilds owner, uncomfortable and he instructed his staff to keep looking. Not too much later another candidate was located, this time in British Columbia. It was also in very good shape like the English car however it was considerably cheaper and moving it to the Guild was also less expensive.
Once the donor car arrived the resurrection of Mr. Beep kicked into top gear and was the sole project of Larry Hughes, one of the Guild's brilliant craftsmen. Larry has stripped the car down, repaired the fiberglass, altered the donor car to fit, mounted the Mr. Beep body panels; body worked and prepped the whole car. The only thing Larry did not do himself was the painting which was accomplished by the Guild's master painter Barry Bolton. As of this moment Beep is in final assembly and he should be finished in the very near future.
You can see Mr. Beep's rebirth on the History Channel TV series Canadian Restorers which will air next fall.