Last weekend, while flicking through the latest issue of Classic and Sports Car magazine in my arm chair, I stumbled across Trevor Taylor's obituary. Taylor, who passed away on September the 27th, is mostly remembered for his Formula One exploits for Cooper, Lotus and Shannon between 1959 and 1966. However, he did more then just that. As a matter of fact, he had one very special Mini derivative made to race throughout the mid-sixties: the low slung Aurora.
For many years I believed the Aurora did not exist anymore and it was not featured in 'Maximum Mini'. That is untill I spoke to guy who knew somebody with a friend... It turned out the car survived and together with its current owner I rolled it from the barn in Southern England where it was stored so many years. That was about a year ago, so look out for it in the next Maximum Mini book.
That makes me think: when I did the first book, I was lucky to speak to many people who originally designed or built the cars that I wrote about, and some of them have now passed away too.
Cyril Cannell, designer of the Mini-based Peel Viking Sport, died on October 19, 2008 in Peel on the Isle of Man's west coast. Allan Staniforth, who was responsible for both the Mini based Terrapin as the Sarcon Scarab passed away on May 2, 2009, and Ralph Broad, the man who came up with the Broadspeed GT died this year in September. Sadly Taylor now followed them and I shall not be able to ask him personally about his days in the Aurora. May he rest in peace.