A picture of the second (of two) built Magnum Spectre was posted on Facebook this week. The car appears to be fully restored and I'd love to hear more about it.
The two Spectres were made in the mid-1970s by carpenter Rohan Ash and his mate Arthur Wilshire of Auckland, New Zealand. They bought two written-off Leyland 1100s, one for each, and started work on the cars that were inspired by the Alfa-Romeo Carabo concept car. A magazine article was their only reference. Floors and mechanicals were retained, including the hydrolastic suspension and drum brakes, but they replaced the 1100 engines with 1275s from Mini Cooper ‘S’s. Some 30 metres of 25mm square section steel tubing was used to make a frame to place over each of the 1100 floorpans. The car’s bodies were made in fibreglass. Scissor doors like that of the Carabo were deemed to complicated and so Ash and Wilshire settled for more conventional opening doors. The hexagonal pattern of the rear lights, made of two layers of polycarbonate, proved to be another challenge. The interior was a mix of Mini, Datsun and home made parts. Once finished the duo offered replicas for sale from $8,500 but soon decided it would be too much work for them to run the business and deliver the kits.
Both Ash as Wilshire used their cars on a daily basis for many years. Ash supposedly gave his to a museum in 2003, although it ended up in private hands some time later. Wilshire moved to Australia, taking his Spectre with him and the car seen on the Facebook picture is his car, on a Queensland plate with appropriate 'O KIT 2' number. It's now painted bright orange and has undergone some changes. It's got bigger wheels and wider arches while the pop-up headlights have been replaced by more conventional units. I wonder if it is still owned by Wilshire?