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In the Driver’s Seat: Henry Catchpole on the RML SWB

by Hagerty
8 December 2023 2 min read
In the Driver’s Seat: Henry Catchpole on the RML SWB
(Images courtesy YouTube/Hagerty)

The initials RML may not be very familiar, although the initials SWB no doubt will be. The former stand for Ray Mallock Limited while the latter, of course, stand for short wheelbase and are most commonly associated with the Ferrari 250 GT SWB, from which this restomod (if it is a restomod) takes its inspiration.

This particular SWB, however, started life as a hypercar. Let us explain…

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RML SWB

Most of RML’s work over the last 40 years has been undertaken on behalf of other people: things like Aston Martin and Bizzarrini continuation cars, some championship-winning World and British Touring Cars, the McLaren Senna GTR, the Nio EP9, and the Nissan ZEOD RC, which was the Garage 56 entry at Le Mans in 2014. All have emerged from the RML workshops.

But Michael Mallock (Ray’s son, who now runs the company) wanted something for RML to really call its own. The logical thing was to design a Top Trumps car with wild numbers. A hypercar to take on a Koenigsegg Jesko, a McLaren Solus, or an Aston Martin Valkyrie. But after a while Mallock realised that wasn’t the sort of car that he wanted to create. He wanted something that was modern but beautiful like a ‘60s GT – and something that was engaging to drive at any speed.

Thus the RML SWB was born from the underpinnings of a Ferrari 550 Maranello. Just 30 will be produced, each one costing £1.35million plus taxes, and each will be a tactile delight, with an open-gate six-speed manual gearbox, a naturally aspirated V12, and a cabin full of beautifully wrought metal switchgear. Ohlins dampers underneath and carbon bodywork up top complete the picture.

Of course, you won’t see a Ferrari badge on the outside or inside of the car, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any heritage associated with the RML badges. You see, the Mallock name has its own story, and in this film we take a look at the fascinating life of Arthur Mallock, one of motor racing’s true unsung heroes. It’s a story that involves some Meccano, the Official Secrets Act, and Max Mosley…

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