Wednesday, 21 December 2011

The tale of the Mini powered Méan Sonora (2)

Last week I have been trying to trigger you with a story about the Mini powered Méan Sonora (click here) - here's the unveiling of that cliff hanger. It actually comes from Jean-Pierre Jacques and Daniel Dodeur of l'Amicale Méan Motor Engineering who found out the history behind the Méan Sonora BMC Mini. They wrote: "In 1967 the organizers of the Copenhagen motor show asked Jacques d'Heur to build and display a car that was powered by a Mini engine. Monsieur d'Heur liked the idea and promised them to do so but totally forgot, being busy building other cars. Some months later, in the mid of winter and with 12 inches of snow on the ground, a lorry entered the Méan castle grounds to pick up the finished car. Jacques d'Heur suddenly remembered about the deal he'd made, but only had an unfinished Sonora and nothing like a donor Mini to complete it."

"He acts quickly, though, and phones up all the local scrap yards to ask if they have something suitable for him. Over 40 miles ahead a Mini 850 with good running gear is located and is picked up that same day. Just five days later the Méan BMC Mini is finished and ready to be transported to the motor show in Denmark. Another three months later the car returns from Copenhagen and that's when these pictures were taken, at the castle grounds. To this day it remains unknown what happened to the car. It is also unsure if any other Mini powered Méan Sonoras were built." Perhaps somebody here will be able to tell? I am also interested in the show, could that have been the 1967 Racing Car Show that took place in Copenhagen? With some avid readers from Denmark here, I'm sure we may be able to unearth some pictures of the venue. Peter Camping, who instigated the chaps from l'Amicale Méan, also continues to research the Mini powered Méan, so there's nothing that can stop us, I would say.

UPDATE 19 August 2014: We got 'm! Click here

The Mini based Méan Sonora on the lawn of its birthplace in Belgium 

It's unknown if Mini based Méan remained a one-off. Note Sonoras behind

Long rear deck hides Mini power. Wheels (13"?) are clearly not Mini

850cc Mini engine was sourced at a scrap yard some 40 miles from Méan
Picture courtesy l'Automobile magazine

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