Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Mystery Mini derivative (36): South-African Coupes

Over to South-Africa, where a most unusual Mini Coupe was unearthed recently. What it is? Well, it's definitely not a Buckle Monaco, Ecurie de Dez or New Era Mini but that doesn't answer the question does it? Arch Mini fan Leon in Johannesburgh made me aware of this find. The thing is that Leon owns a similar car of which virtually nothing is known. Both use a long wheelbase Mini (Van, Traveller, Countryman, Pick-up) that was built in South-Africa, but Leon's car uses the Mini boot upside down, while the newly discovered car comes with what looks to be a specially made boot, giving the car something like a Saab back end!

Leon wrote: "Hi Jeroen, a second home made looking Mini coupe derivative has turned up here in South Africa. It has a similar side profile to mine, but different boot. Both seem to have been built on one of the longer wheelbase Minis." The recently unearthed green car dates from 1965 and appears to have only just been painted. No holes in the boot lid suggest that the tiny little slots below were used to house the rear lights. Thius while Leon's car uses the Mini Van lights . He adds: "Neither are very pretty. I'm not sure if there is any merit in restoring mine, I'd love to hear your thoughts on it? Regards, Leon." Of course you should restore the car, Leon! I dip really like both but haven't got a clue about its background. Who does?

UPDATE 7 November 2017: Full story in Maximum Mini 3, and a bit more here.

Mini Coupe uses long wheelbase of a 1965 South-African built commercial Mini
Picture courtesy www.kznmini.europefreeforum.com
Steel fastback is cleverly grafted upon that. Tiny tail lights just fit under the boot
Picture courtesy www.kznmini.europefreeforum.com
There are definite similarities in the side profiles to Leon's SA-built coupe, shown here
Picture courtesy Mini Marcos Owners Club

Boots, however, are totally different with Leon's car using a Mini boot lid upside down
Picture courtesy MMOC/www.kznmini.europefreeforum.com


  1. Good day.
    Taking a chance and hoping this finds the correct person.
    The Mini Fastback is one of three my Grandfather build. It belonged to my Mother for many years before being sold.
    I would like to know who currently owns the vehicle as I would like to purchase it and have it back in the family if possible.
    Regards Vaughan

    1. Very glad to hear of you! I have found out a little more since this article, and included the car in my latest book - Maximum Mini 3 as the Edenvale Mini Coupe, as I understand it was made in that village. I found a few great photographs of a yellow car that was owned by a radio DJ at the time. Any more information would be very welcome, though. I can also make a new article with updated information if you like.

  2. Yes that is correct, My grand farther "Jan Frankiewicz" lived in Edenvale while building the Minis.
    I'll be honest, i'm not that interested about the publication of articles on it as i would like to buy it.
    Do you know if the Vehicle still is in South Africa and if so do you know who the current owner might be?

    1. I don't Frank, but I'm sure I'm able to trace him. If you send me some more information I'll write a new article and I'd be surprised not to get a reaction.