Thursday 29 September 2011

Deep Sanderson 105 'Twini' (1)

Months after Silverstone Auctions hammered off a historic Deep Sanderson (see here and here), the auction house will offer another such car in their sale of November 4. This time not the DS 301 Le Mans car but the unique DS 105 (it is for sale for a while, see here or contact Sovereign Car's Larry direct at 07860 969696). And again it is thought it may well break the barrier of World’s Most Expensive Mini Derivative. Will it? Who knows. But as a bit of a Deep Sanderson devotee, let me guide you through the car’s history as it surely is one special car.

In fact, according to its late designer, Chris Lawrence, it was the most fun car he ever built. This while the task of building it came by chance as in fact Daniel Richmond, of Downton Engineering, had been approached to do so as he had been largely responsible for the twin-engined Mini Cooper that nearly killed John Cooper, too. Due to that accident BMC banned to build any more such cars and so Richmond handed over the task to Lawrence, with Downton supplying the two 1071cc engines (I think - other sources mention 1137; 1171 and 1200cc - JB).

But who was this customer? That, too, is somewaht fuzzy. In his biography Chris Lawrence writes it was Reg Harris – a motor sports enthusiast who had won several champion titles as a cyclist in the late 1940s and early 1950s (more here). However, most period literature does not mention Reg Harris but Reg Philips, another motor sports enthusiast who’d built and raced a few specials before (see here). But whichever Reg it was; he ordered the car as a single seater. Lawrence said about this: “I made it absolutely as simple as I could, with a Mini subframe at the front (...), and a Deep Sanderson cross member and suspension at the rear hitched together with a few strategically placed one and a half inch square tubes. The rest of the build put the driver in the middle, with a small fuel tank behind him and a suitably body trying to make something that was inherently ugly look good. Finally there were lots and lots of linkages working two gearboxes, two throttles, two clutches and the rest simultaneously.”

But work was half ways when Reg announced he could actually not afford the car, and Lawrence decided to keep it for himself and find a buyer when finished. It was just in time ready to be entered – unpainted and with number '1' – for the 1963 Boxing Day race at Brands Hatch, where it attracted quite a stir. Only weeks later, the car made it to the LawrenceTune stand at the Racing Car Show on 22 January 1964 where the upper half of its body was taken off to show its unusual mechanicals. Still unsold but now at least painted, Lawrence drove it again in April that year at the Grovewood Trophy at Mallory Park where it raced against Formula 2 Coopers and Lolas. An earlier problem with the cooling circuit was now solved and the car did well. Lawrence wrote: "It was huge fun. I can remember just hooting with laughter in my crash hat all the way round." What he did not know is that his life would take an unpredicted turn soon after. More on that in part 2.

The Deep Sanderson 105 under construction at LawrenceTune's, autumn 1963
Picture courtesy Autosport magazine
Finished but unpainted at its first outing: Brands Hatch, boxing day 1963

Lawrence takes place behind the wheel as original buyer could not afford car

The 'Twini', now painted, at the 1964 Racing Car Show in London
Picture provided by Mick Walsh, Classic and Sports Car magazine

Mallory Park, Easter 1964. Chris Lawrence sits in the Deep Sanderson 105 

Wednesday 28 September 2011

Mini Mare resurfaces in USA

You may remember this post about Innocenti Mini Mare beach cars. I always assumed just three were built by Carrozzeria ORO in the early 1970s after Ferdinando Innocenti asked them to do so. However, there is at least one more as I just found out after celebrated photographer John Stanmeyer got in touch. John wrote: "Hello Jeroen. Stumbled across your blog while doing research on a car I have. The car in question is an early 1970's Mini Mare Innocenti. The car has been in my family for nearly 40 years. When I was a child between the years 1972-1976 we lived in Nassau, Bahamas. My father bought the Mini Mare from an Italian fellow. When we returned Stateside in 1976 we brought the Mini to America. In 1978 I restored the car but in the last few decades it has been garage kept and not driven. Today it rests in my barn, all original, though needing restoration once again. On a related note regarding existing Mini Mare Innocenti's... I lived a number of years in northern Italy. One weekend I was in Portofino along the coast and in the driveway of home overlooking the ocean was a Mini Mare Innocenti. This was back in about 1985. Needless to say I was surprised and thrilled as I'd never seen another Mini Mare  before. No idea if that one still exists but thought to mention. All My Best, John." In fact his message triggers me to find out more about the car in Portofino, too. Could it have been one of the other three cars? Or was it a fifth? Who knows more about it? Or about John's car before it got over to Nassau? Italians, come in!

4th Known Innocenti Mini Mare is nearly 40 years in the Stanmeyer family
Picture John Stanmeyer

Tuesday 27 September 2011

Mini Coupe: classic trick

Don't think the new Mini Coupe is an all-new concept. It was done before, only not by Longbridge. In the UK you could have your Mini converted in a sleek fastback coupe by a company named New Era (they built 3), but it were the Aussies who really knew their fastbacks. Bill Buckle of Brookvale, New South Wales converted your car into the Buckle Monaco which he did some 30 times; there was a coupe conversion from a company named 'Automotive Refabrication Pty. Ltd.', again in Brookvale (more information welcome - I have only one 1967 advertisement). And last but not least there was the Ecurie de Dez 2+2 from Des Higgins in Salisbury South. Higgins built only 5 such cars, but when you have to believe the contemporary reviews from Australian magazines "it has a quality to be seen to be believed. It looks anything but a home-grown special". In an advertisement that I have it is in fact named 'Mini Coupe', see below. Nothing new here.

Ecurie de Dez 2+2: a Mini Coupe avant la lettre

And a rare survivor. Raked wind screen and sloping fastback lines
Picture: Craig Watson

Modern Mini Coupe does same trick with raked screen and sloping roof

Monday 26 September 2011

Mystery Mini derivative (16)

Because of it being very low, lacking a wind screen and having a white over green paint scheme this racer reminded me of Jaguar's infamous Group 44 racer for a second. But I suppose it has nothing to do with that beefy V12 powered machine. In fact it is Mini powered, or so is said, with its engine a la Landar R6 behind the cockpit. Unfortunately that is all I know about this car. The fact that it does use headlights could mean it is meant to be entered for endurance racing or it could be an attempt to have it road registered. Who can tell?

Nothing known on this low slung race car, apart from its Mini motorisation

Thursday 22 September 2011

Much more on MoBi-One

More news from Morris Bishop, the man who built the Mini based car that 'can virtually park on a postage stamp'. See more here or even watch a great little movie of the man himself demonstrating 'MoBi-One' here. Morris wrote: "Hi Jeroen. We are now back in Spain and I have had time to sort out the inevitable problems after being away for three months. I attach some of the pages from a draft of my memoirs that I am writing - there are more but I do not want to become a bore!"

"One of my favorite pastimes was competing in what used to be called 'driving tests'. This consisted of a series of tests to negotiate a complex course laid out with pylons against the clock, and whoever could do it fastest was the winner. The national championship was run by the British trials and rally drivers association (BT&RDA) and consisted of about 20 rounds held all over the country. Back in 1967 I was elected to the driving test committee and got permission to seek a sponsorship deal so that we could popularize the sport, and raise its profile in the eyes of the general public. Because I knew Stuart Turner, the sports director of Castrol, I secured sponsorship from them, which allowed for a much more professional series of event to take place. We rebranded the sport 'autotesting' to get away from obvious connotation. At the same time, I had my sights set on winning the Flather Star which was for the overall 'fastest time of the day' (FTD), so I decided to design and build a special: a car that does not have to comply with any production car restrictions, but is put in a separate class, and only competes with other specials and the times are loaded with a 10% penalty."

"Analyzing what would make a winning car I dreamed up a four wheel steering vehicle that would have an inside turning radius of approximately 4 foot. I decided to base the build on BMC 1100 mechanicals and bought a burnt out wreck. Some 6 weeks later it was ready for testing. The first few events were mainly to discover how to drive the beast. It quickly became clear that I was suffering from a lack of power, so I wrote Alec Issigonis at Longbridge Birmingham to see if he had a spare Cooper S engine laying around! And to my surprise and delight he organized one to be sent to me via their development facility Downton Works. Two weeks later I competed and won – and never looked back I achieved a back to back win of the championship 1969 & 1970. Since then many of the special drivers have built four-wheel steering vehicles." Nice story, isn't it? I really have to thank Morris once again. Now, wouldn't it be good if we could track the actual car down, too?

MoBi-One in full four-wheel lock on its way to another win
Picture courtesy Morris Bishop

MoBi-One's four-wheel steering works surprisingly simple
Picture courtesy Hot Car magazine

A letter from Alec Issigonis, much to Bishop's surprise
Picture courtesy Morris Bishop

Bishop's prize cabinet. He won the BT&RDA championship in '69 and '70
Picture courtesy Morris Bishop

Wednesday 21 September 2011

So what's the story behind this Cox GTM?

I had several people asking me about a car that is currently offered for sale on eBay: a Cox GTM that is fully race prepared for its current owner (see here). Do I know it? Yes, I do. And what do I think about it? In fact I cannot say other than that it is beautifully and professionally built and looks the part, too. So why is it so expensive? Compared to other GTMs you may have seen it is expensive, yes. But then, this car is fully race prepared. I'm even convinced the seller won't make much of a profit on its £15,750 asking price as the time and budget spent on it were not particularly tight. In fact I have seen it being built over the last few years.

So why is it being sold? I phoned up the owner to find out. And it's quite a story. Let's start at the beginning. He used to race a Lenham bodied Austin-Healey Sprite in the FISC competition, which he won in 2006. After that the Sprite was sold (that's what happens to winning cars, isn't it?), and it was decided to build a new racing car. That's when the Cox came in. The car was sold new as a kit from the factory to a RAF engineer, who built it for night rallying - popular in the late 1960s/early 1970s. But when he was away on duty overseas a friend borrowed it for a rally, only to go off in the first corner. The owner was so annoyed that he decided to put the car away in the garage. This was 1974, and it did not come out untill 1997 after he'd died. Next, his wife and brother decided to have it rebuilt and they started work, had all the panels in the tub renewed and repainted it yellow. They almost got to the point of having it finished, but decided to sell it when the current owner came in. He took it over to have the restoration started all over once again and have it fully prepared for the racing track. Last year it was finished. It comes with 1380cc race engine, Quaife close ratio straight cut gearbox and limited slip differential, and just about all the running gear new or rebuilt. The colour was changed back to its original blue.

So, once again, what made him decide to sell it? The answer is simple: after all these years he is not into racing cars anymore after having become a father, twice. He does still compete on the track but now in classic karts. So don't say you always upgrade to bigger cars in competition! Receipts of all the work carried out come with the car and I am told the total of all these is exceeding the current asking price by some 60%. A nice detail is that all the old invoices are with it, too, even the original bill of sale of 1968. I am pretty sure the market for this race prepared Cox GTM is very limited, and so does the owner. So if it won't be sold in the end, he will keep it. But if you are after a car that is ready to race and are fed up with all the Sprites, Midgets and Mini Coopers on the grid, then this could be a rare opportunity indeed.

Work on the Cox GTM is half ways here. Note air intake at the front
Picture Jeroen Booij

Resplendent in its original colour, the GTM is now fully race prepared

Monday 19 September 2011

ADO 35 is alive and well

There have been two takes on the Mini by the great Pininfarina, and both prototypes were made in conjunction with BMC themselves. Although we will probably never be sure about it, I suspect the British Motor Company to have been impressed by David Ogle's Mini based Ogle SX1000, speeding up their plan to build a similar car themselves, a task they asked the corporation of Pininfarina for.

The two different prototypes built were named 'ADO 34' and 'ADO 35' for 'Austin Drawing Office' and the subsequent numbers that the projects were given (some more information here). ADO 34 comes as a two-seat, open-top sports car that is well known among Mini enthusiasts. It has featured in umpteen magazine articles and books and spends it days in the British Motor Heritage Centre in Gaydon as 'The roadster that could have been'.

ADO 35 is the opposite in many ways. That particular prototype came as a closed coupe to seat four in the first place but, secondly, has just about never seen publicity, triggering me to find out more about it. The car was said to have been built as a potential Sprite/Midget replacement and was thought lost for decades untill it resurfaced in the late 1980s. In fact, not much more than the all aluminium body survived but still there were some Italian fittings to be found such as Ferrari door locks and a Ferrari window winding mechanism. The car's owner decided to restore it to its full former glory and over 20 years have passed since.

It took me a while to track down the owner, and now that I have spoken to him I understand he'd rather not have his unique coupe photographed and wishes to remain anonymous, which of course I respect. He told me that progress has been slow because of the inability to source front and rear screens, but that the car is now in one piece. I understand it comes in its original colour now, which is aptly named Farina Grey. Never the less he was kind enough to send me a lovely line drawing of ADO 35. So, boys and girls, see here the Mini based coupe that could have been...

A line drawing of the Pininfarina designed 'ADO 35' Mini based coupe

Friday 16 September 2011

Readers restoration: Davrian Mk8

You know Davrians and you know they are Imp based, don't you? But don't be surprised to find that Davrian Developments sold 5 Mini powered Mk7s as well as 5 Mini powered Mk8's in the 1970s and early 1980s, too. Rare stuff, and I remember well it took me a while to find these models for photography when working on the book. But more recently I got in touch with Stuart Lever who owns a 'Davrian Mini' too: a lovingly rebuilt Mk8. He wrote: "Hi Jeroen. Love the blog (and the book), very interesting. I have an A-series Davrian that was ordered as a kit from Davrian Developments in 1981. The first owner/builder was Chris Brown from Scotland who built it primarily for a road car but also for the occasional sprint outing. He built it with an A-series engine and 'box from a 1275 GT. The engine had quite a lot of work done to it with bigger valve head, 531 cam and twin 1½" SUs. The car was used for several years and then laid up as Chris moved around for work. I saw it advertised in 2006 and bought it straight away. Originally I had Aprillia Mille two-cylinder engine ready to put in but thought better of it!"

Stuart's Mini powered Davrian Mk8, one of only five built 

Aprilia engine was considered for the rebuilt - fortunately A-series won 

"Then I just stripped everything down and rebuilt it all with a different interior (out went the original Talbot Sunbeam dash), but initially keeping the original engine. After a while it felt as though it just lacked torque so it was either a bigger bore or turbo and the turbo route won. Since I wasn’t going to race it I kept the original bottom end as it did have relatively new parts installed and thought I could get it all sorted and then build up another motor if needed. The head was highly modified and I used the strongest clutch and an ultralight flywheel. I also used a cam with less overlap. The turbo is a hybrid Renault 5 and the intake fabricated to use twin throttle body mounted injectors. I also built an ECU from a kit which was very cost effective. I used an air/water cooler as it is much easier to package in a mid engined car. It all went together very easily and mapping quite straightforward. I am on my umpteenth map now but its quite good fun making changes. The car is now very torquey and quite powerful (currently on 1.1 bar boost) so really good to drive in the dry. Can be a bit of a handful in the wet though!" Thank you for your story, Stuart. It's very good to hear from readers with such nice Mini derivatives!

Davrian was stripped and rebuilt. Its 1293cc engine gives some 165bhp

I had never seen an A-series engine with Renault 5 turbo before

Thursday 15 September 2011

Mystery Mini derivative (15)

Time for a Mystery Mini Midget, as this time's Mini based mystery car was used for Midget racing in the UK's early 1970s competition. I know more then I normally do about the car as it made it to a mention in a report in Hot Car magazine in 1971. It was snapped back then when driven by a chap named Hedley Leyton and sponsored by Radio Luxembourg 208 (their frequency in its day). One of the captions mentions the design is from Bob Waterman, and it seems to me he was influenced by the late Allan Staniforth's design for the Terrapin. Could he have been the same Bob Waterman that used to be head mechanic for Team Lotus in the 1960s? If so, I would be surprised if only one car was built...

Sponsored by Radio Luxembourg and piloted by Hedley Leyton
Picture courtesy Hot Car magazine

The design is said to be of Bob Waterman. The Team Lotus man?
Picture courtesy Hot Car magazine

Wednesday 14 September 2011

Showaddywaddy's TiCi

Modern cars all seem to be marketed in some sort of glamourous way in which even a new Land Rover, not too long ago a no-thrills country device, is unveiled by Victoria Beckham at Kensington Palace. Don't think Mini derivatives will ever be associated with that kind of glitter. But hang on, I forgot all about the TiCi. The cheecky little Mini based city car that was backed by ERA founder Raymond Mays and promoted by racing driver Stirling Moss by transversaly parking it in London's city with a string of dolly birds in and around the car. That should have been enough to attract some of the more glamourous types, shouldn't it? Well, according to some sources it did just that. And apart from Sir Clive Sinclair, who is said to have converted his TiCi to electric power, the late 'catwoman' Eartha Kitt (see here) is said to have bought one, as did Dave Bartram and Romeo Challenger of glamrock group Showaddywaddy (click here at own risk).

Alleged TiCi owners: glamrockers Showaddywaddy and catwoman Eartha Kitt

The car reputedly driven by the two band members wore chassis #5 and is currently owned by TiCi enthusiast Ian Mitcheson, who owns three of these little Mini derivatives. Ian wrote to the Showaddywaddy fan club to see what was true about its background: "Hi folks, 
I am a fan of SWW and saw them a few years ago when they came to 
Cleethorpes. My question however is about a car allegedly owned by 
Dave and Romeo (...) It's a small yellow two seater with a Mini 
engine at the back, fun but not very practical. The designer of the 
car lived not too far from the guys in the group so its not 
impossible. Does anyone know anything about this, I guess a photo 
would be too much to hope for?"

Next, it took a while but a picture did come in the end from John Langham, who wrote: "Not sure about Dave or Romeo having a TiCi, but I was in business with Trev (band member Trevor Oakes - JB) at Leicester Camera & Video Exchange and we bought a TiCi for promo - we drove around in it with a giant Kodak box on top! I remember what an awful car it was to drive - I couldn't wait to get back to my Granada Ghia!" Okay, okay, that's not all too glamourous, but perhaps somebody else can shed a light on the other TiCis owned, or not, by 1970s celebs?

TiCi city car was used to promote Leicester shop in 1970s

Tuesday 13 September 2011

MiniSprint estate becomes a trend

You may remember that the original MiniSprint traveller (or estate) was unearthed in Australia earlier this year (see here). Well, it now looks like it is not on its own for much longer as at least two replicas of the legendary MiniSprint workhorse are being built at the moment. First I got a message from Colin from the UK a while ago who wrote to tell me he was working on such a project: "I'm building a tribute car to the 'lost', now discovered, MiniSprint estate!" and he added a few pictures to that, too. Next was an email from the continent from an enthusiastic follower of this blog who wishes to remain anonymous. But he did sent a few pictures of the project, too. And it seems they are both doing a proper job in converting these cars.

Funnily it seemed that Neville Trickett built more then one official MiniSprint in the 1960s as pictures of two such cars, both black but with different registration numbers, appeared in a magazine article and a brochure at the time. However, it now appears that the cars on these pictures, registrations GMR 4D and AOU 960C, are one and the same car with some small modifications. Trickett confirmed this to Mark Forster of Mk1 Performance Conversions. Never the less, there was a second MiniSprint estate in the late 1960s as Cars and Car Conversions magazine built one such vehicle as a project car with registration number 5564 KX. Now I wonder where that went...

This original MiniSprint estate, registered GMR 4D, is in fact the same... this one, registration AOU 960C. Despite minor differences
Picture courtesy Cars & Car Conversions magazine

While this one is an unofficial conversion done by C&CC mag
Picture courtesy Cars & Car Conversions magazine

This here is Colin's replica undergoing severe surgery in his workshop

And that's the master surgeon standing next to his 'Sprinted' traveler

While a very similar replica is being built on the Continent, too

Note single piece rear door being used on this particular conversion

Monday 12 September 2011

Camber/Maya files: RKM 473G

We are nearing the end of the Camber/Maya files series, as I am running out of information on known cars, although I have a few surprises left. Anyway: information on some of the Camber and Maya GTs was brief but in some cases these articles lead to previous owners or even current owners of cars that I thought could have been scrapped. Have a look in the files by clicking here to see what I wrote and found out about in the last few months. Other cars have been very thoroughly described over a period, which helped the research, and the car that is featured here is definitely one that fits that bill.

And there's a good reason for that as its owner in the 1970s was no one less than the one and only true kit car guru mister Peter Filby. In the many, many, magazines that he published in the period the 'Maya Maynot', as it soon became known, was a regular topic and it can be seen in the background on pictures in other articles too. Originally the car came with 850cc engine "which expired rather suddenly at an unmentionable speed, so Caroline, and her boyfriend Peter Filby, decided to drop in something a little more healthy like a 998 Cooper lump", wrote Hot Car magazine in 1975. At around that time the headlights were changed to rectangular units from Hillman's Avenger, a job that was carried out by the Lenham Motor Co. Also the colour was changed to 'Tinned Salmon' with a black stripe plus a front spoiler was fitted, while later pictures show it with a rather amazing rear spoiler in Can Am style, too!

The car was used on a daily basis, which did not do much good, and a couple of years later it was decided to refurbish it somewhat more thoroughly as "the general air of dilapidation was not helped by the rather unusual styling, which although bizarre at first, does tend to grow on one", wrote Filby. A series in Alternative Car magazine followed. The engine, brakes and steering were rebuilt, starter engine, fuel pump and dampers were replaced, the doors were fitted with new hinges and interior panels, and the body work around these was strengthened. A new rear window and new windscreen rubbers were fitted, sound proofing, rubber mats and new seats were ordered and the car was repainted in Ford Olympic Blue. It cost some 55 hours and 550 pounds (material only) to do the job. Some issues later, the car was advertised for sale in the magazine for 750 pounds only, which seemed a bargain. Where did it go? It appears to have been on the road for the last time in 1983.

UPDATE 24 May 2017: the car survives and is beautifully restored in Japan. Click here.

The Maya GT in its original guise, including 'frogeye' headlights
Picture courtesy The amazing sports car journal

Oh behave! Filby's then-girlfriend with the car, now with Avenger lights
Picture courtesy Hot Car magazine 

By that time original 850 engine was replaced by a 998 Cooper unit 
Picture courtesy Hot Car magazine

Some years later the 'Maya Maynot' was overdue for a major restoration
Picture courtesy Gerry Hulford

This is what became of it at the time. Colour is Ford Olympic blue here
Picture courtesy Alternative Car magazine

That's a nasty rear spoiler! But who bought the car from Filby?
Picture courtesy Alternative Car magazine

Tuesday 6 September 2011

The Tricar treasure trove

From six-wheelers over to three-wheelers, as I am still looking for an ABC Tricar to photograph (see here). Meanwhile, however, I am learning more and more about these Mini based three-wheelers thanks to Trevor Powell who got in touch after having read my call for a Tricar. As a matter of fact Trevor is the son of ABC (Auto Body Craft) founder Bill Powell and he has a wealth of old pictures, documents and other information that he is willing to share. What's interesting is that according to Trevor no less than 4 of the three-wheelers were equiped with the square nose section in Clubman style. And the green car of which I wrote it was non-standard (this one) was one of them. Oops!

In fact Trevor owned an ABC Tricar himself at one point and that, too, came with a Clubman style nose. And he found a picture of it, too. Trevor writes: "I could only find one picture of 'BFD 88J' my second car with the Clubman front, taken in 1973, it is just visible. That's me in the picture with my wife Melanie. We were both 18 then and have now been married for 35 years. Flared trousers and 5J Cosmic alloy wheels and Dunlop SP68 tyres... those were the days!" Fortunately his love for Minis hasn't faded over the years, as he continues: "I am currently restoring a couple of ex British Vita 999cc 8-port, ETCC Minis, KDK 320F and HDK 443E" Pretty nice too, Trevor! And thank you once again.

Flared trousers and Cosmic alloys: Trevor at 18 with his ABC Tricar

Friday 2 September 2011

Six appeal

After yesterday's boat inspired and wooden Hustler 6 I began to wonder what other Mini derivatives were ever equiped with six wheels, and took a deep dive into the archives. The result even surprised myself as I came up with no less than 9 Mini based six-wheelers that I had amassed over the years, just about all of them Mini Moke type of vehicles. I am sure the Hustler must have been the most successful of them all as I have seen quite a few, but it clearly wasn't on its own. The full list, in alphabetical order, below.
But perhaps you know of more such contraptions?

- AEM Comanchero Six - a 6-wheel version of the AEM Scout, it has to be rare
- Andersen Cub 6 - and a 6-wheel version of the Anderson Cub, pretty rare too, I reckon
- Hrubon Schmitt 6 - oh yes, a 6-wheel version of the ultra short Hrubon Schmitt, just a prototype?
- Hustler 6 - the well-known 6-wheeler Hustler version of the late great William Towns
- MDV Six - the brochure of this van shows a 6-wheeler, but did that ever reach production?
- Scamp 6 - you guessed it: a Scamp 6-wheeler, several were made as far as I know
SHADO Jeep - two were built for the movie and television screen, at least one survives (see here)
- Stimson Midi Bug - This could have been the Safari Six prototype says Stimson fan Paul Wylde (here)
- Stimson Safari Six - Definitely one of the more quirkier of Mini derivatives, several were made

Rare Comanchero Six by Automotive Engineering & Manufacturing

The Andersen Cub '6', who ever saw one of these in the flesh?
Brochure picture courtesy Wayne Morris

The thing about the Hrubon Schmitt was its length, but a six-wheeler? 

William Towns' Hustler 6 surely was the most popular of them all

The MDV (Multi Developments Vehicles) Six as shown in brochure

Robert Mandry's Scamp was available as a six-wheeler, too

This is one of the 'SHADO Jeeps' as it was used to advertise a garage
Picture courtesy

Barry Stimson's Midi Bug is said to have been a one-off prototype
Picture courtesy Car & Car Conversions

And the Stimson Safari Six, a very sunny vehicle indeed
Picture: Jeroen Booij

Thursday 1 September 2011

Do the Hustler

So you have a yacht and are now looking for a nice tender to it to spent the last days of Summer on the Cote d'Azur or Italian lakes? Look no further, as a wooden Hustler six-wheeler has come up for sale in Sienna (Italy) that will suit nicely. Apart from the wood that it usually comes with, this one uses a teak bonnet in typical deck finish to fit the boat. There is plenty of chrome too that reminds of boating on the great wide open, think air scoops, flagpole and, naturally, a big compressor boat horn right in the middle of it. Big fun to blast the tourists away on your way to the boulevard or harbour. Then there's the interior in very sunny marine tints. Think aqua coloured leather and carpets with white piping. The 10" wheels are colour coded too, so you may have to retrim the interior of your yaght to fit the car, but where else would you find such a bargain at only 23,000 Euros (!!) Buyers click here. Non buyers click here to have some period fun too.

Is it a yacht, is it a classic speed boat? Nope, it's a Hustler. Really

The marine theme is continued into the interior. But where's the compass?

Colour coded wheels, jet skis on the roof. I bet William Towns loved it