Wednesday, 14 September 2016

What's the story behind Magic Alex' Mini?

Does the supply of Beatles-related coachbuilt Minis never dry up? It seems to be the case, after another Mini with a heritage incorporating The Fab Four has emerged - this time in Greece. Regular contributor John Reymondos knows more about it. He writes:

"Hello Jeroen from rainy Athens. You might be able to help me with information about a special Mini. A friend of a friend got his hands on a this Mini from Alex Mardas (a.k.a. Magic Alex), and he is trying to find out more about it. Apparently the car was a gift from John Lennon to Mardas. It seems to have been customized in a quite professional way, so I exclude any Greek period tuners. The bucket seats are period correct and dated. From the DVLA I get that this is an Innocenti Mini 1300, with year of manufacture 1975 but first registered on the 22nd May 1978. Any help will be appreciated. Warm Regards, John."

That's certainly interesting. John further adds the owner believes it could be a Pavesi conversion, but I would definitely say it looks more like a Wood & Pickett job to me. Not only do the wheel arches and nudge bars fit in with their coachbuilt Minis of the day - the seats look like Recaros to me, of which W&P were the importer to the UK. So… who knows more about this intriguing little car?

'Magic' Alex Mardas with John Lennon and Paul McCartney in New York in 1968
Picture: Alamy

The car looks like a W&P conversion to me, with typical wheel arches and nudge bars
Picture via John Reymondos

The interior is a mixture of standard Innocenti with many electrical add-ons - all believed period
Picture via John Reymondos

Recaro seats were introduced to the UK by Wood & Pickett in the late-1970s, so these fit in, too. 
This actually is a W&P publicity shot, showing similar seats
Picture Jeroen Booij archive


The engine (a 1300 on paper) may have been fettled with, too. Who can tell?
Picture via John Reymondos

'VOG 583S' is applied to a 1975-built Innocenti 1300. No W&P badges though...
Picture via John Reymondos

Period flyer from Wood & Pickett showing the nudgebars they had on offer for Minis
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

5 comments:

  1. Are those speakers embedded in the seat headrests?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know, but wouldn't be surprised.

      Delete
    2. It sure is - and as Jeroen points out would it confirm a possible W&P connection, it sure has a few ad on´s
      Have a look in this link.
      http://margrave-mini.com/downloads/files/WP-Margrave-Mini-1973.pdf


      Delete
    3. It sure is - and as Jeroen points out would it confirm a possible W&P connection, it sure has a few ad on´s
      Have a look in this link.
      http://margrave-mini.com/downloads/files/WP-Margrave-Mini-1973.pdf


      Delete
    4. It sure is - and as Jeroen points out would it confirm a possible W&P connection, it sure has a few ad on´s
      Have a look in this link.
      http://margrave-mini.com/downloads/files/WP-Margrave-Mini-1973.pdf


      Delete