Tuesday, 21 June 2011

New derivative is a cross breed

It's not every day that a brand new Mini derivative is offered for sale, so when that does happen it surely deserves attention here. Well, there we go. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the Sprint GT by ABS Motorsport of Market Rasen. No, it's not a resurrected MiniSprint and neither a reborn Broadspeed GT. According to ABS "This Sprint GT GRP bodyshell is a sleek interpretation based on a mix of the MiniSprints and the Broadspeed GTs from the 1960's and 70's."
But you'd be foulish not to spot the real basis used for the new Sprint GT: it is the Peel Viking Minisport as designed by Peel Engineering on the Isle of Man in the mid 1960s. ABS started offering repro Viking shells some time ago, but very few were made. Perhaps it could do better with a new nose and a new name? The original Peel Viking Minisport's front section was swapped for that of a Mini Minus (not a MiniSprint), and there you have the basis for a Sprint GT. 

The GRP shell is bonded and laminated at the seams and has reinforcement around the subrame and component mounts. For 3,995 pounds you can buy one with doors (they are shorter than the standard Mini's doors), but it comes without a roll cage, which ABS advise you to fit. Click here to order yours.
Personally, I would prefer a repro Peel Viking MiniSport over a ABS Sprint GT, and in fact ABS is not the only company selling that. Andrew Carter of Nottingham, who took over the original Manx moulds in 2002 can build you one, too, for 3,685 pounds. Click here for more. What would you do?

A repro Peel Viking Minisport shell (left) is turned into the ABS Motorsport Sprint GT (right)

Original Peel Viking nose (left) is swapped for that of a repro Mini Minus (right) to form Sprint GT 

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