It seems that slowly but surely the action is returning to the classic car scene with several events returning to the calendar and actually taking place! Below is a selection of pictures sent to me and found online from Mini derivatives that could be seen in the last week or so.
Monday, 14 June 2021
Friday, 11 June 2021
Wednesday, 9 June 2021
A rare Ranger Cub 4 has just made it to the market. While the three-wheeled Ranger Cub proved to be a hit for a short time in the mid-1970s, the four-wheeler version wasn't. Just four of them were sold and it seems that this one was never built. It's an empty shell which will need all the necessary Mini parts to turn it into a car. It's for sale in Sunderland, north-east England.
Remarkably, two other Ranger Cub 4 have been seen for sale in the last few years. There was another empty shell, also black, in 2014 (see here - it's not the same is it?), while a red car turned up in 2016 (see here). There was also the black car built by John J. Thomas and registered '524 NOA' that was used for some promotional pictures also. The red car may have been the one shown at the London Speed Show in 1975? Bot Cub4s can be seen in the pictures below.
UPDATE 17:30: The two black shells are the same after all, or so I have been told by two different readers. Thank you chaps!
Thursday, 3 June 2021
Tuesday, 1 June 2021
Monday, 31 May 2021
Thursday, 27 May 2021
Another mystery solved. This pretty Estate turns out to be the work of Les Clarke, who was a 29-year-old work study engineer with the commercial division of BL at Longbridge back in 1973. That's when his car was featured in Terry Grimwood's column 'TGs Home Brew' in Car & Car Conversions magazine.
Clarke had bought the 1964 Traveller for 100 pounds and used it some four years before the transformation started. That rear door is not a fibreglass unit as several were offered in the 1970s. No, Les took the rear end of a Mini Pick-up, welded that on the lower part of the Traveller door space and made the top opening door from a piece of heavy-duty tinted Perspex in an aluminium frame. The rear window is a heated Smith screen, the rear wiper from another Mini and with Imp bonnet stabilizers to hold it up when opened. Rear light units were indeed sourced from a BMW 2000 T. Lux.
Inside there were re-upholstered Cooper recliners and a leathercloth covered dashboard with home-made centre console. Clarke also fitted a 1275 engine with Innocenti cam, Sprite head, lightened flywheel, tuftrided crank and high-compression pistons as well as disc brakes. Graeme Farr was the man to dig out the article. Terry Grimwood added: "Hah! You'd think I would remember. Must be an age thing!" A massive thanks to Graeme and Terry! Now, over to the next question: does it survive..?
Wednesday, 26 May 2021
But did I know there had been another venture for selling Heerey GTMs in Belgium? I did not until I bought some brochures recently. One of them mentions a Belgian GTM agent in Brussels - Jacques de Bres - and a coachbuilder in Lier - Carrosserie Stoelen - which supposedly built and sold these cars for Belgian customers. I think it dates back to 1969 and the prices as well as the specs are interesting and include BRT tuned engine and 5-speed gearbox. Is the car pictured left hand drive? It's hard to say.
Tuesday, 25 May 2021
Report from the bramble bushes in Somerset. Remember this find of a Nimbus Coupe formerly a prototype car and later raced by Gary Shillabeer? Well, it has finally been freed from the brambles by Simon Denman. He wrote: "Hi Jeroen. I can tell you my late father was best mates with Gary Shillabeer and that’s who he got it from. I honestly can’t remember much about when dad got it from Gary, but I seem to remember some tension between my mum and dad when he bought it - hence why it was probably left in the orchard with the initial plan of waiting til mum calmed down!"
"Sadly Gary recently died too so I can’t ask him. I’m trying to find the other open top kit car which might be in brambles too which must have come from Gary at about the same time. I’m pretty sure I know where the front clam is - as for the main middle but I’m not sure my memory is it was bought from Gary at the same time and I think the main tub was green and the front clam was primer grey, it might of had scalloped sides but I haven’t seen it since I was a kid. We are clearing up the farm and are selling it all, so the Nimbus will be up for sale. I have also got a lot of other bits including a series bits - none of which I believe came from the Nimbus though. It would appear there is much of a Mini in pieces in one of the sheds! Including a complete 850 lump and Mk1 boot lid etc! I will be in touch with photos of what I can find of the other one. If you know anyone interested in the Nimbus feel free to point them my way before I stick it on eBay. Speak soon, Simon."
It sounds as if the open car could be that other Ian Shearer design - the Boxer Sprint. But then Ian told me years ago there was just one made (this one), so it has to be something else..? We'll see when Simon finds it, I reckon. In the meantime, let me know if you are interested in the Nimbus Coupe and I'll get you in touch with Simon.