Thursday, 19 September 2013

The Bee Gees Broadspeed

This year's July issue of Mini World magazine had an interesting feature on Broadspeed, with some nice new insights. One quote: "In 1966 the prototype GT and the race GTS were exhibited at the Racing Car Show at Olympia; even the Bee Gees pop group bought one." That last bit was new to me, and I wondered why I'd never seen pictures of one of the Gibb brothers with one such car. I was not on my own.

It now turns out it wasn't one of the Gibb brothers who had a Broadspeed GT but the band's drummer Colin Petersen. Maximum Mini fan Pete Flanagan was the one to let me know. He wrote: "I'd also heard that at least one of the Bee Gees had once owned a Broadspeed but until recently hadn't seen any proof of this, until now. Check out the photos of actor and later Bee Gees drummer Colin Petersen with his Broadspeed GT, Ferrari 330 GT and his girlfriend's Hillman Imp taken in March 1969, in a London mews by the looks of it. Petersen was an equal partner and drummer in the Bee Gees from 1967 - 1969 playing on five of their albums. His girlfriend Joanne Newfield was a former personal assistant to Brian Epstein, also a fan of the Mini as we know."

Pete continued: "I've had an old 'for sale' ad featuring a Broadspeed GT for quite a while; it was alledgedly the last proper GT. I can't quite remember which issue of Autosport the ad was from and it's possible Petersen bought the car in the ad or was the seller! I tend to think the latter but will check this up at some point. Regards, Pete." Isn't that just great? But the 'Bee Gees Broadspeed' does seem to be another celebrity Mini that has vanished from this earth. Over to the obvious question then: who knows what happened to this lovely little car?

UPDATE 20 September: A first lead comes from former Broadspeed GT owner Colin Baines: "I did have a conversation many years ago with a chap who saw mine at a meeting and said his brother's yellow Broadspeed caught fire on a trip to Spain and was scrapped. Now, I've never seen a yellow or sandy coloured one before... It will be interesting if any readers suggest anything?" It would indeed. Who's next..?

UPDATE 11 August 2015: Two more pictures of Petersen with the car emerge. See here 

Colin Petersen with all his toys: Imp, girlfriend, Ferrari, pet dog and Broadspeed GT
Picture courtesy Getty images 
Little and large. 'GKV 55D' is a 1966 registration; this photo dates from March 1969 
Picture courtesy Getty images
Open her up, will you? GT is said to have a 1250cc stage 3 engine
Picture courtesy Getty images
An ad for the 'Bee Gees Broadspeed'. Before or after Petersen? And where is it now?
Picture courtesy Autosport / via Pete Flanagan


2 comments:

  1. Tony Blore, the Broadspeed sales Director, has always claimed that a GT was sold to a member of the Bee Gees so this would confirm that the car was supplied new to Colin Petersen. The pictures shown surfaced about a year ago & are clearly taken in a London mews. The advert for GKV has an old London 727 telephone code which is correct for the Bayswater/Notting Hill areas which are well known for their mews houses so this again would confirm that the advert is when Colin was selling his GT. By way of interest Charlie Croker's flat in the Italian Job was located in a mews property in Notting Hill. Chris broadspeedgt@hotmail.co.uk

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  2. Petersen moved to England in 1966 and went back to Australia in 1974. Somewhere in this timespan he aquired and sold it probably.

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