Thursday, 6 January 2011

Radford's wicked wicker job

Look out for this month's Octane magazine for a cover story that features two special Radford Mini de Villes. One is George Harrison's well-known psychedelic ride, the other Peter Sellers' least as infamous early conversion. The one that made it to the Pink Panther movie of which I have now forgotten the name.
Picture: Octane

I wondered for a long time how they actually did the wicker job on the car's sides, and earlier this year I finally found out when I photographed the car in the dealer that currently offers it for sale (for a price I wouldn't dare mentioning). I always believed the wicker pattern was painted on the shiny black piano paint finish, but it wasn't. The chaps at Radford took actual wicker that they sanded on both sides just long enough until it was a paper thin layer and varnished it (click up picture for the detail). That must have been one job! But that's what could be expected from the London coachbuilders, naturally.
Picture: Jeroen Booij

5 comments:

  1. Jeroen,

    The movie : a shot in the dark

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  2. Weren't those wickerwork lookalike stickers available from Rover at some point (during the early MPI years) ?

    I also remember having encountered a mini (possibly a window van) with the wickerwork painted on it, outside an minigarage in Luxemburg, on Lux. plates. It was about 15 years ago so must be peanuts for you to find out about Jeroen, as you don't seem to have much troubles hunting for much older information.

    I also remember one in front of the Ferrari garage in Saint Tropez, same period.

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  3. That's right Bart. I remember having seen a 1990's Min with stickered wicker work in France. For the rest: I think it must have been done more often.There was also a Wood and Picket Riley Elf that was given the wicker treatment in the 1960's.

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  4. A French company does wickerwork on cars: http://www.midway-prod.com/html/cannage.htm

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