Thursday, 18 July 2013

Home-grown Specials (1)

We've seen lots of mystery cars come by in the past here. But when looking for a next 'Mystery Mini derivative' it struck me that I have quite a few pictures of cars that are pretty well described in the magazines or advertisement that I found, but that are clearly home-grown. So there was an idea to turn these into a little series too. Why not? Well, here's number one: the Barford Special, also known as the Barford 850 Special. It was built by the young man proudly standing next to it: DJ Barford from Peterborough, back in those golden days of speciual building: the late 1960s. According to Hot Car magazine (where the pictures came from) it took DJ nine months to build the car, starting from a wrecked Mini 850. The shell was scrapped and a brand new chassis was made out of 50 feet of box section steel. The basic body frame was wood with aluminium sheeting made up the surface. The height was kept right down and gull wing doors were accomodated in the design. Hot Car wrote: "The whole project shows real ingenuity and even the steering wheel was home-made for 6s 8d." Now that's the spirit! So, DJ, if you ever happen to find these pages do let us know what happened to yourself and your groovy special!

UPDATE 15 December 2017: David John Barford is found! More here.
UPDATE 27 March 2019: DJ Barford passes away at 72. More here.

DJ Barford of Peterborough and the Mini based special he built in just 9 months time
Picture courtesy Hot Car magazine

Razorsharp fastback lines and gull wing doors: as good as a Mini Special gets
Picture courtesy Hot Car magazine

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