Monday, 22 June 2015

An ABS Freestyle down the street

I would never have believed that a Mini based buggy has been lurking in a barn about a mile from my house, but it turned out to be just so! Some years ago I came across a local Mk1 Mini Marcos and found another Mk1 a year later, which lives in Finland now, but both of these weren't as close by as the car below. A neighbor told me last week about it. He'd been chatting to a local man with a project car - Mini powered and rear engined - in his garage very, very local to where I live. I had no idea what to expect but was hoping for a good old DIY design, the quirkier the better. You can imagine my curiosity when we went there to have a look. I was somewhat disappointed when the car in question turned out to be an unfinished ABS Freestyle, but had to admit this was all rather nice to see one such car so close by.

The project was started at around 1999 or 2000 by Wim Lubbers in his father's garage. Wim's dad Martin even built a little extension for him to work on the ABS. Wim got quite far and placed a 1275 engine, fitted all of the suspension, brakes and steering. He also sourced headlights, ATS 13" wheels and most of the other parts necessary. But then he got married, had children and the project stalled. The wiring loom was never fitted and the plans to take it over to the UK for registration never materialized. And so the Freestyle, some fifteen years later, still resides in the purpose made extension while it never turned a wheel under its own power. Wim may finish it one day, he's not sure yet. If he decides to sell it, I'll let you know. Meanwhile, have a good look around your place - you never know what to expect.

An ABS Freestyle on a mile's distance from my house - I wouldn't have believed it!
Picture Jeroen Booij

Wim Lubbers started the project of building it in 1999 or 2000 but never finished it
Picture Jeroen Booij

All of the suspension in place, although rubbers may need replacing after another 15 years…
Picture Jeroen Booij

Clutch, brakes and steering rack are all fitted in ABS' frame but need finishing touches
Picture Jeroen Booij

Engine is a 1275 and is just about ready to be fired up. The Freestyle never ran
Picture Jeroen Booij

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