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

1 comment:

  1. Geoff Cartridge7 June 2012 at 13:49

    The late Jack Kaines who was co-founder of the Birdwood Mill Museum, now the National motor museum had an Ecurie de dez for maybe a year. It was of course British racing green which went with Jack's pretensions to Being British. Jacks car had an insignia painted on both front doors, the crest of the Proctor family who he apparently was related to. Jack was, he claimed, a former Spitfire pilot for the RAF or RAAF. He was a very large man when he was in his late 60's and he probably weighed close to 18 stone (250lbs). He had a round florid face, glasses and an outrageous handlebar moustache. Whisky and blonde floozies seemed to be his companions when his "grandmother" was not looking. He and his wife would drive from their home in Aldgate a place called "RottingDean" to birdwood and when they stopped the car would rise markedly as he and his "grandmother" as he used to call her got out. I cannot be sure what happened finally to the car. It was a treasure from its magnesium alloy wheels to its lights and interior. One thing is for sure, Jack wrecked the underside of the car when he went too fast and drove into a creek bed. If you have any questions about this. email me gacartridge@hotmail.com