Thursday, 30 May 2013

Siva & Stimson on film

Well, well, it's been very quiet on here for a while. But there's a good reason for that as I was on another jaunt through the UK to photograph more cars and interview people for the next book.
Meanwhile, Paul Wylde sent over some cool film footage that somebody was kind enough to post on the world wide web (thank you!). I understand it is from a BBC programme called Wheelbase that was broadcast in the 1960s and 1970s and was all about the lighter side of motoring. In this particular episode presenter Michael Frostrick takes five buggies to the beach, of which two are Mini based ones: a Siva Buggy and a Stimson Minibug 2. "Well, what's the future of the beach buggy?" says Frostrick. "In a nutshell it's here surrounding me, it's fine for sports as long as you know the sort of sports it's fine for." Spot on, boy.

I am anorak enough to see if I could dish out more about the Siva and Stimson in question, and was not surprised to find out both were demonstrators. TRU 902J is the white car used in Siva's advertisments which later became the demonstrator of Skyspeed, Siva's distributor for the London area. It also appeared in a test in the September 1970 issue of Motoring News. NPX 144J, the Stimson, had a rather sad history as this was the car that got written off in Monaco in Summer 1970. Barry Stimson had managed to persuade Jacky Stewart to drive the thing on the F1-course in Monaco for a parade lap preceeding the race. Stimson’s business partner Ian Smith drove the car down to France where Morning Telegraph-journalist David Benson took it over for a report, and then crashed it just before Stewart had even seen it. Ouch! It did appear in Benson's write up though in July, 1971, of which I enclose another picture. The Wheelbase footage has to predate that, I reckon.

Two Mini based buggies in BBC's 'Wheelbase'. I expect the programme to be of 1970 vintage
Courtesy of

The white Siva Buggy was a demonstrator for Siva's London distributor Skyspeed
Picture courtesy Motoring News

The Stimson Mini bug before it was written off. The lady is Ian Smiths wife Liz
Picture courtesy Morning Telegraph

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