Thursday, 4 March 2021

Deep Sanderson found in Mexico-City (3)

You've read all about the discovery of a Deep Sanderson in Mexico-City (here) and the considerations of the man who found it (here) - now over to the man who bought it, with bits and pieces from the messages I received in the last two weeks or so:

15 February: Dear Jeroen, as Henry said, my name is Victor Milke. He found the car and evaluated purchasing it for himself, but I am very grateful to him that he is letting me purchase it. I have been looking for a Mini, which are rather rare and expensive down here... but to my surprise, this Deep Sanderson 301 not only fits the bill, but is also a very attractive one and with a great marque history and rarity! It seems like a very good car that perhaps with a good cleaning and recommissioning can be put back in the street. That is what I intend to do, at least that is the plan for the time being and even before seeing the car in person... performing a sympathetic restoration, aiming more to getting a nice usable little car in the end than a racing car or a beauty queen. I believe cars were meant to be used. I should have it in a couple of weeks and will send more detailed pics of whatever interesting bits I find, numbers or anything that you may consider useful to try to determine a bit more of the car's history, in case you could help me a bit with that.

16 February: It is apparently fitted with the 1960 Morris Minor engine of a car that was sold originally in 1960 in Mexico and was registered to that car's original papers. Unfortunately there is not much history on the car's papers, from what the seller tells us, but I will find out once I get it and update you with any interesting info. 

25 February: Dear Jeroen, the car is being picked up today but will be stored at a friend's place for a couple of days before making the trip to me. Once I get it I will give it a good cleaning and make a through inspection of the car which may tell us a bit more about it. I will have better pics for you soon... and I will be trying to find out a bit on history about it. The invoice has the past owners mentioned and signing on its back (that is how you transfer property down here), and I will try to locate some of them to see if I can find out something about it. The invoice, as I believe Henry or me mentioned, is really from a 1960 Morris Mini 850... surely that car was scrapped with its mechanical components used to assemble the Deep Sanderson on an original kit car that was somehow imported into the country. That is my theory. 

26 February: I am a purist and will prefer to do the car as a kit car for a sporty and cute toy... and not a racer. Therefore, no Minilites are on my scope, but the original wheels and hubcaps and I would love to see your pics of the dashboard of that particular car or any other original pics that will show what the cars used as interior light switches, etc... as I would would love to find suitable original type (probably Lucas) bits and pieces.

26 February: The car is stored at my friend's ware house in Mexico city now, just at the exit to the highway there... and one hour or more away from where it was this morning. I live 2.5 hours further north, but we have road repairs and the trip could take very long. I never went to see it and trusted Henry with his description and pics.

1 March: Dear Jeroen: The car arrived. I am pretty excited! It is a bit worse than what I saw in pictures, in the sense that I need to do everything... I was kind of dreaming that I could save the paint or interior, but no, I will have to do them... But the car looks pretty complete, not damaged or tampered with... so it is basically a great little project. We are doing a good initial cleaning and I will then be able to look at it better. Rat excrements made me not want to get inside and look at dashboard and details.... but I am attaching a few pics for you to see a bit more of the car. Later today, I will install a battery and start looking at what those switches are for. 

1 March: I would surely love to get a new wiring loom. But I wasn't sure if a Mini one would work, as this one has additional instrumentation and car size may also play a trick... it looks like headlights are far away from dashboard, at least comparing with a Mini. I was thinking of doing a new wiring installation to measure, trying to make it look as original as much as possible. For the time being, I will keep the engine it has... but I need to find the correct carburator. Currently it has a terrible installation of a Japanese unit and a water tank in the place where the carb should have been. 

2 March: Those holes in the front bonnet (probably Buick fender portholes), will be the first thing to go, once I paint the car. I am considering Primrose Yellow... to try to resemble the prototype ARX2, but I don't know yet. Yes, the carb will need to be replaced for originals, horizontal or twin SUs, don't worry. And I will have to find out what could be correct before that. Great that you tell me on the Mini wiring loom. I will get one soon, and also the interior switches and bits. Thanks again for all your help, Victor

So there we go for now. The car's history is still pretty much shrouded in mystery, but I'm sure we'll be able find out more. If anyone does have more on the background of this car in Mexico or wherever before, please get in touch. Myself and Victor would surely much appreciate that.


Cleaned and now with its new owner - the Deep Sanderson will stay in Mexico
Picture Victor Milke

"I was kind of dreaming that I could save the paint or interior, but no, I will have to do them... But the car looks pretty complete, not damaged or tampered with"
Picture Victor Milke

About two weeks earlier: the car is moved into the daylight for the first time in many years
Picture via Victor Milke

It's still a bit of a mystery exactly how this Deep Sanderson ended up in Mexico
Picture via Victor Milke

And up the flat bed trailer to make the trip from Mexico-City to its new home up north
Picture via Victor Milke

"The car looks pretty complete, not damaged or tampered with... so it is basically a great little project"
Picture Victor Milke

It will be in good company, too. Victor owns a number of other classic (sports) cars
Picture Victor Milke

Wednesday, 3 March 2021

Deep Sanderson 301 found in Mexico-City (2)

Following up on yesterday's discovery (this one), the story of the Deep Sanderson 301 in Mexico began to shape with every next message I received from Henry Davis, the man who found it. I have copied parts of his messages that followed in the next couple of days after his initial contact. I did reply to them all, but thought Henry's messages would be interesting enough for publication here. 

8 February: Hello Jeroen. Thank you very much for your insights, they are very helpful It believe the car has been in Mexico City most or all of it’s life. And cars here don’t rust as bad, it is high and dry. I will decide if I buy it in the next couple of days and will get back to you with more news.  If I decide to pass I can certainly put you in touch with the seller if you are interested.
Regards Henry 

11 February: Hello Jeroen. Saw the car today, I will appreciate your comments. It has a Mini 850cc engine (which is disappointing), and is registered with that number. One thing that concerns me is the angle of the steering wheel, it is angled sharply to the left (not parallel to the dashboard). I tried to take some pictures that showed it, but they don’t actually show the true angle. I also took some pictures of the steering shaft under the dashboard and it certainly has a weird angle. The other DSs I’ve seen in pictures don’t seem to have this issue. Could this have to do with the lhd conversion to this car? I have seen and driven some cars with a slightly angled steering wheel to the left, but this one is far worse than anything I’ve seen. I’d appreciate your thoughts. The carburetor is also an issue, as are these holes they opened to get the carb to breathe. Would a horizontal carb be the more common alternative? Also under the carb there is a water tank that I haven’t seen in other cars, and that might explain the need for a vertical carb. I guess the car had some over-heating issues, which would also explain the holes in the bonnet to try and help cool the radiator. The other thing I could not find anywhere was a serial number tag anywhere on the car.  Please share your thought with me, they will be of great help. 
Best Regards Henry 

12 February: Hello again Jeroen The Mexican licensing agency is closed for Covid (and has been for the last few months), so no way of contacting them. But the car is registered as an antique vehicle (with antique car plates issued for it). This requires the car to pass an inspection with a government entity. The inspection documents are there and so the car has officially been 'validated' as a 1960 Morris Mini. And the car has a tax sticker form 1972 affixed to the windshield, and registration papers dating from 1973. I’m guessing that the Mexican authorized were unable or unwilling to register it as a Deep Sanderson (a name surely not in their data base) and they registered it with the engine number and documents of what was probably the engine donor. The Mexican Registry was famous for marking cars that didn’t have a clear provenance, and that might explain the stamped numbers directly on the block -vs. the little plate which is easily removed. A car such as the DS would certainly have attracted special scrutiny. Just a theory anyway. 
Regards Henry

14 February: Hello Jeroen I have decided to pass on the Deep Sanderson, but a good friend of mine has made a deal to purchase it. His name is Victor Milke and I am copying him in this email so that you both can get in touch and have further discussions about the car. Victor and I are very good friends and this will allow me to stay close to the car and follow the process to bring it back to life closely. Thank you very much for all your help.  
Regards Henry

So it doesn't end there. There's more to come as Victor was the next to get in touch with a great number of messages. He is now trying to establish more of the car's history. But first: tomorrow's article will see the car being moved from its lock-up, possibly for the first time in almost 40 years. Stay tuned.


Engine number is stamped directly into the block. "A car such as the DS would certainly have attracted special scrutiny"
Picture Henry Davis

Different gauges - Smiths, Jaeger and 'SW'. Odometer reads out zero miles!
Picture Henry Davis

Headlights seem correct with wide chrome bezel, Riley sourced I believe?
Picture Henry Davis

Chassis is built around a central tube, seen here at the front. "Cars here don’t rust as bad, it is high and dry"
Picture Henry Davis

Nikki carb must have been fitted because nothing else was available? And what is that water tank below?
Picture Henry Davis

Steering column seen here worried Henry. "It certainly has a weird angle"
Picture Henry Davis

Wiring seems to be a bit of a mess and could do with a full refreshment
Picture Henry Davis

That front radiator must have worked hard to cope with Mexican heath!
Picture Henry Davis

Tuesday, 2 March 2021

Deep Sanderson 301 found in Mexico-City (1)

There is no doubt that the number of long-lost Mini based cars that are being found has increased considerably over the last couple of years. But the find of a previously unknown Deep Sanderson 301 in a totally unexpected corner of the world - Mexico-City - well, that even knocked me off my socks. 

About a month ago I was contacted by Henry Davis, who lives in Mexico. He wrote: "Hello, I have been reading your Maximum Mini blog for some time. Occasionally you write about Deep Sanderson, and seem to know quite a bit about them. Well I seem to have found one, and I’m thinking of making an offer to purchase it, but I have no idea about these cars. If I send you some pictures would you be so kind as to help me out understanding the car a little better? Thank you, Henry"

I must admit I was skeptical at first, but when Henry sent me the images there was no doubt that this was indeed a Deep Sanderson 301. And from what I could see it looked like an unmolested road car, which hadn't been touched for a long time. How on earth did it get there? Of course there was more to follow - that's for the next article.


A time warp Deep Sanderson 301 was found in Mexico-City last month
Picture via Henry Davis

Apart from a few very 1970s mods such as the air outtakes, the car is very original
Picture via Henry Davis

Road registered on Mexican historic plates. Badges are protected with Perspex covering
Picture via Henry Davis

A left hand drive car - possibly the only one? Interior seems very original, too
Picture via Henry Davis

This was always a road car. Standard 301 dashboard trimmed with wood veneer
Picture via Henry Davis

Remarkably, the engine is an 850. Note odd Nikki carburetor and signature gearbox
Picture via Henry Davis

The petrol tank in the front is not the long-range one seen in the racers
Picture via Henry Davis

Unusual but signature LawrenceLink rear wheel suspension is all there, too
Picture via Henry Davis


Monday, 1 March 2021

Another Carimoke to be restored on Barbados

Not long after the overseas adventures of Scamp-boss Andrew MacLean made it to print in January (more here), I received a message from Barbados of Charles Fuller Cowles, who's restoring one of the cars made by MacLean on the island. Well, actually this turned out to be a slightly later car using not Mini but Suzuki power, but it was nice to see it anyway (here).

Over to the next one then. Terrell Inniss contacted me last week: "Hi, I recently bought a Carimoke and while Google searching I found your blog posts. I live in Barbados and would love to talk to anyone here involved in its making. The engine is seized and I'm looking into the restoration with an engine swap. Any info or contacts would be greatly appreciated. Attached are some photos of the car in the restoration process Regards Terrell."

I have flashed over a few contacts, but anyone wanting to get in touch with him, too, just drop me a line.

Evolution Cars Carimoke owned by Terrell Inniss is being restored at the moment
Picture Terrell Inniss

The Carimoke is a Jimini made under licence on Barbados under Graham and Andrea Reeves-Law
Picture Terrell Inniss

And unlike last month's car, this one has the 998 cc Mini engine under its bonnet
Picture Terrell Inniss

Owner Terrell Inniss has taken it out yet as the car will be fully restored
Picture Terrell Inniss

Subframes are out, too. Front one seen here could do with a refresh 
Picture Terrell Inniss

Thursday, 25 February 2021

Meet the Endrust International and Slideaway Monaco Mini

Endrust sounds like a rust converter, as Slideaway sounds like a sunroof company, don't they? Well, that's what they are. But the British companies wanted to be a bit more than just that and decided to team up and start coachbuilding in the late 1970s, too. Undoubtedly with Wood & Pickett as their prime example. 

Needless to say, the Minis they offered were well protected to rust and came with a full sliding roof. The car that Endrust had on display at the 1977 Motor Show was on top of that equipped with vinyl roof and rear, a striped interior, wooden dash, steering wheel and door cappings, alloys and nudge bars, while one seen in a Slideaway advertisement added the name 'Monaco Mini' on its doors. Anyone who knows more about them?


Endrust International Mini was seen at the 1977 Motor Show in London
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

While Slideaway Monaco Mini was its sister model. Do they survive..?
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

Wednesday, 24 February 2021

Is world's saddest Fletcher GT now really death?

As a babysitter for all things Mini based I receive pictures of cars lost and found every week - keep them coming! One car that has intrigued me from the first time I saw it is a particularly sad looking Fletcher GT. With just four made the Fletcher GT is a real rarity - three of the four have been described here before

But this one - number four - was even more of that, having been converted to electric power and three wheels! The first pictures flashed over to here came from Paul Ogle, who'd spotted it in a scrapyard in the Midlands in November 2006. Paul and I tried to set up a rescue but it was to no avail. 

Then I didn't hear from the car until new photographs of it emerged in April 2016. It had moved but was certainly still not being cared for. And from then on more pictures followed every few months or years. And every time it looked worse. The last one I received came in in August 2019, when the car looked to have been replaced once more - to a pile of scrap. I wonder if that spelled the definitive end of this car..?

November 2006. A Fletcher GT is found in a scrapyard in the Midlands
Picture courtesy Mark Butler

November 2006. But unlike the other Fletchers it is converted to 3 wheels and electric power
Picture courtesy Mark Butler

Odd conversion can be seen through where the rear window originally was. Why and by who?
Picture courtesy Mark Butler

April 2016. First appearance after 10 years. That beam didn't do body any good
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

May 2016. Moved over to another place in Wednesbury. Nose section broken off
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

May 2016. Restall seats still there but car is looking sadder then ever before
Picture courtesy Mark Butler

November 2017. Everything can be repaired but this is going to be a mighty challenge
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

November 2017. Broken body gives insight in three-wheel conversion at the back
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

August 2019. Last sight of it, dumped. Is this car now really gone forever..?
Picture Craig Perry

Thursday, 18 February 2021

Turner Ranger to be resurected

If the global lockdown is good for one thing, it is for Mini variants coming out of the woodwork and restorations on them being started. Andy Downes dropped me a line about a rare Turner Ranger that's been unearthed recently. He wrote: 

"Hallo Jeroen, I got excited when I saw this today, it belongs to my local garage and they've dragged it out the shed to renovate it during lockdown (they love old cars and have many). It's a Calor (or Turner) Ranger and is a small runabout rather like a quad-bike. It has a Mini engine arranged front-to-back with one driveshaft driving the front wheels and the other the back wheels! Mini suspension with Triumph Herald differential on each axle and four wheel steering. You've probably heard of Calor Gas and the Calor in this vehicle's name is because some ran on gas others petrol, apparently they also featured in a James Bond film "For Your Eyes Only" I think. It seems 200-odd were made under licence from Calor. Please let me know what you think. Andy"

I knew of the Ranger and have it included in Maximum Mini 3, but it is splendid to see this survivor being taken care of. Thank you very much Andy!


The Turner Ranger used its Mini drivetrain placed vertically in the center of the frame
Picture Andy Downes

This rare survivor is going to be restored now that we're in a lockdown
Picture Andy Downes

Bit of the Ranger's body and more parts in boxes, it all seems to be there
Picture Andy Downes

Engines used were 1100s which ran on gas and mated to 4 BL axles driving all 4 wheels  
Picture Andy Downes

This is what a fully restored example looks like. This one owned by Gareth Thompson
Picture Gareth Thompson

And a front view. 28hp at 3,000rpm gives a 15mph top speed. A cab was optional
Picture Gareth Thompson

Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Book: La Mini de mon Père

French fellow-writer and Mini-man Enguerrand Lecesne pumps out his books at a considerable higher rate than I do! And I was both surprised as I was thrilled to find his latest work in the post this week. It's called 'La Mini De Mon Père', which makes it the latest volume in the French '... De Mon Père'-series. This series has proved to be a big hit in France for years now, starting with Citroëns, Renaults and Peugeots, but now expanding to non-French vehicles also.

It's not the first and most definitely not the last book covering the Mini's story from conception to the end of production in 2000 and using stock photography mostly. But at least Lecesne is trying to focus on the French market when he can, illustrating his words here and there with a picture of Alain Delon behind the wheel of a Moke or French singer Christophe (real name Daniel Bevilacqua) looking ever so cool leaning casually on his Paris-registered Cooper 'S' - this one really should have been on the book's cover!

It's when he focuses on France when things get interesting, I think. There's a spread on Taka-Hira's creations as there is one on the wacky Hrubon Phaeton / Schmitt and one on the Quasar Unipower. The derivatives chapter is not too long, focussing on the Mini Marcos, Broadspeed GT, Unipower GT, Mini Jem, MiniSprint and aforementioned Quasar, but it has some lovely photos of Marcoses and a Jem raced and rallied by Frenchmen which make it worth the purchase. 120 pages and you can find it here.


'La Mini De Mon Père' by Enguerrand Lecesne is out now
Picture Jeroen Booij

Coachbuilt Minis chapter includes the creations of Roger Taka-Hira
Picture Jeroen Booij

While the Mini derivatives one starts with Mini Marcoses being raced in France
Picture Jeroen Booij

More of them here. The psychedelically painted car was French also and is still missing
Picture Jeroen Booij

The Quasar Unipower was another French affair which made it to the book
Picture Jeroen Booij