Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Broadspeed GT: replicas and resurrections

The interest in Mini derivatives appears to be rising, and so it may not be a surprise that someone is once again planning to offer a replica of the 1966 Broadspeed GT. I cannot tell you much as there is nothing certain for now, but as soon as there is news, I will let you guys know. It did make me wonder what other replicas/resurrections and what else have you, were ever fabricated with the Broadspeed GT in mind, and I came up with the following.

1. The Broadspeed GT by Brian Foley (1967)

Australian BMC and Alfa-Romeo dealer Brian Foley teamed up with Ralph Broad to produce Broadspeed GTs Down Under in 1967 after they calculated it was cheaper to build the cars locally then to import them from the UK. The Australian built GT differed in several ways from the British Broadspeeds, also because they were based on Aussie built Minis. Only four were built of which at least two survive.
Brian Foley's Broadspeed GTs were based on Australian Minis. 4 were built
Picture courtesy Craig Watson/The Mini Experience 

2. Graham West's car (1971)

This is a bit of an oddball. Graham West of Burton-on-Trent managed to buy an original but unused Broadspeed GT roof/rear section in 1971 and decided to graft it on a Mk2 Mini with flared arches and E-type inspired interior. The engine was a bored out 998 Cooper. Less then a year after having finished it, he offered it for sale for 860 pounds with only 7,000 miles on the clock.
That's Graham with his car, built from a Mini Mk2 plus original Broadspeed section 
Picture courtesy Hot Car magazine


3. Roadworks Design replica GT (mid-1980s)

The roof/rear section that Chris Stinton of Roadworks Design in Queensland, Australia, offered for sale was meant for enthusiasts wanting to turn their own Mini into a Broadspeed GT replica. It is unknown how many were fabricated, but several are known. It appears that the roofs were based on the Australian Broadspeed GT by Brian Foley, as they came with the small number plate recess of these cars.
A Roadworks Design replica GT being built. Note Aussie number plate recess
Picture courtesy Craig Watson/The Mini Experience


4. Downton GT by the Symbol Mini Company (1996-1997)

Stewart and Paul Mickleborough of Norfolk restored a genuine Broadspeed in the 1990s and decided to take a mould of the roof/rear section and offer replicas after the job was finished and the car was sold to Japan. They teamed up with Ralph Broad too, but could not use the Broadspeed name because that was taken by the Essex-based company of the same name. Eventually the car was marketed as the Downton GT and a conversion was offered at 4995 GBP ex VAT. Only one car was finished but two more roof/rear sections were sold and built as Downton GTs.
The Downton GT couldn't be named Broadspeed GT, but was very accurate copy


5. Broadspeed GT replica by Broadspeed Engineering Ltd (1996)

Simon Empson set up Broadspeed Engineering in Colchester in 1995 to sell and restore an impressive quantity of Minis and Mini derivatives of which quite a few went abroad. One of these was a Broadspeed GT. After the Mickleborough brothers came with their replica, Empson decided to do the same. His company offered replicas of the GT and GTS from 15,000 pounds. It is, however, unknown if any were ever built.
Simon Empson's Broadspeed Engineering offered a GT replica, too


6. Mini / Marspeed GTO by Church Green Engineering (1996-?)

Paul Wheldon set up his restoration business Church Green Engineering in Semley in the early 1970s. In 1994 he offered the Walker Minisprint; a year later his foreman Geoff Branston designed a Broadspeed GT lookalike (it wasn't an exact replica) with aluminium roof/rear. The conversion alone came at 8295 GBP ex VAT ex works and was meant for brand new Minis. There were agents in Germany and Japan, but in the end only three cars were built. One remains with the German agent; another with the Japanese one.
The full production run of the Mini/Marspeed GTO at Church Green's premises
Picture courtesy Richard Heseltine

7. Private ventures

A few people have been inspired to build a Broadspeed GT replica of their own as a one-off.
An all-steel Broadspeed GT replica, built by an enthusiast in Australia
And another private venture, like the one above this one's from Australia, too

UPDATE 31 JANUARY 2013: Four more Broadspeed GT replicas unearthed! Click here

UPDATE 21 February 2014: And even more Broadspeed GT replicas on their way! (click here)


16 comments:

  1. The Marspeed one was at the IMM in Scotland.

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  2. I always think it's a big shame that when ever there's talk about the Broadspeed GTs it's always about building replicas YAWN YAWN!!
    After bringing out the original press car EOP89D in 2009 at Goodwood & along with the original works race GTS EOP88D at mini50 I couldn't help but notice how little was spoken about these ultra rare & desirable cars on forums etc, but in contrast how much it talked about making replicas. People today seem more interested in recreating the past rather than finding something real, perhaps my attitude today is a little old fashioned but I wouldn't be playing with old cars if it wasn't that way. Todays replica is tomorrows fake.
    Chris Wooden

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  3. Chris,

    Perhaps the time has come for you to tell a bit more about your collection rather then just praising it in comments. You can drop your contribution at jeroen@jeroenbooij.com and I'm sure it will make a lovely article.I look forward to it.

    Jeroen

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  4. One month ahead and no reaction whatsoever from Chris. Pity.

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  5. And what about the replica thats coming on the market? any news yet?? We're all eagerly waiting

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  6. As I said I will let you know as soon as there is news. That's not the case now.

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  7. Is there any interest in people wanting to purchase a replicas? and the what are people willing to pay for one? as it takes alot of time to build one as i know because i have done it to exact scale and dimensions.there not many left in existence to purchase so to have one it is the only way .
    Nathan

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  8. Replica Broadspeed GTS for sale in New Zealand: http://maximummini.blogspot.nl/2012/10/replica-broadspeed-gt-for-sale.html

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  9. Broadspeed replicas continue to be found. See for four more this article: http://maximummini.blogspot.nl/2013/01/four-more-broadspeed-replicas.html

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  10. a customer has recently contacted me about building a broadspeed mini. Obviously building this as a one off would be a very costly exercise as the pattern and moulds would have to be scratch built.I just wondered whether anyone out there would be interested? I specialize in the design and construction of one off and small quantity fibreglass 'specials' and would be very interested in taking on such a project. If anyone has any details on their construction and assembly it would help in working out a price for the rear end. Thanks Gary GW-GRP DESIGNS

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  11. Looks like the famous Downton GT 2+2 is resurected again http://www.dep-o.co.uk/blog/mini-victories/ could we be able to see it at IMM this year?

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  12. The Graham West car can only be described as a replica then seeing as it was self built, who owns that car now then ?

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  13. NO NAME said "The Graham West car can only be described as a replica then seeing as it was self built".
    Well it may be a self built car but it used a genuine Broadspeed rearend/roof which the owner (myself) is only too happy to confirm & has never denied.
    Chris Wooden
    broadspeegt@hotmail.co.uk

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  14. The green car at the throttle shop for sale is in fact the white pictured here, same car

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    1. That makes sense. Thanks for the info!

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  15. Just to correct your comment about Church Green Minisprints, they started making them in the late 80's not 1994. Ta. Pete

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