Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Home grown Specials (5)

Why on earth would anyone take three totally different cars from three different eras and cut 'n shut them together into one motoring mix, previously unseen? The late Douglas Meredith provided us with the simple answer: "I wanted something different", or so he said back in 1997. And with plenty of time on his hands as a pensioned panel beater, Douglas from Welshpool set himself to the task of grafting together three cars to build one most unusual special back in 1989. The base was provided by a 1979 Mini 1100 mated to the rear end of a 60's Triumph Herald convertible and the front end of an 80's Ford Escort. Doug strengthened the Mini's floor, chopped back a set of Mini Clubman front wings and fitted these, narrowed and shortened a Escort Mk3 front and mig welded that on. The bonnet became a mixture of Mini Clubman and Escort. Next, he chopped the roof and rear end off the Mini, took a Herald and cut the rear off that, narrowed it by one inch, mig welded that on the Mini and made the convertible roof fit the Mini windscreen surround. Easy eh?! The wheel arches were subtly widened and the car was painted in a bright cellulose red. It took the much experienced Meredith three years of work and an estimated 2,600 GBP in costs. The Herald leftovers were used as a greenhouse to grow tomatoes and strawberries, so that was a nice bonus! He did sell the car not too long after that, though, and I understand that it recently made it over to The Netherlands. 

That's a strange bumper on a Triumph Herald isn't it? It looks narrower too.
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Hang on, it's an Escort with a Mini badge. Or not? Bonnet is a mixture of these
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There's no doubt that there's a Mini in the Meredith special. The conversion is all-steel
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Meredith wanted a convertible and that's were the Triumph rear came in
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The hood fits the Mini windscreen surround. Imagine the work going in it!
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The late Douglas Meredith with his unusual Mini special back in 1997
Picture courtesy Martin Vincent

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