Monday 31 August 2015

Euregio Meeting 2015 - the people

It was a particularly sunny day, yesterday, when the Marcos Eurgio Meeting took place in The Netherlands, attracting a flock of Mini Marcoses and a handful of other Mini and Metro based cars. Due to the lovely weather and very scenic route plus start and finish location I was able to make plenty of nice photographs. For today some faces, later in the week I'll tell you more about the cars.

Peter Camping is one of my most dedicated readers, sending in snippets and unusual finds very regularly. This is his immaculate Midas Gold Convertible
Picture Jeroen Booij

Always there: Richard Porter took over his Mk2 Mini Jem this year. He's owned the car for 21 years now and had it just repaired and repainted. Note the extra air intakes on the bonnet 
Picture Jeroen Booij

Splendid car, splendid couple: Joost van Dien and Anne Nobels. Joost owns another Mk3 and more interesting cars. He's working on a Gilbern Invader right now
Picture Jeroen Booij

Ed 'The Hat' Darwinkel and his trusty Midas Gold were there last year and will be there next year. You'll have to love him for admitting that, apart from Midases, he's a big Allegro fan!
Picture Jeroen Booij

Jouke Boersen with well-traveled Mini Marcos and girlfriend Daphne - I made a similar picture of them in Lithuania (click here) earlier this year. The start of a tradition?
Picture Jeroen Booij

I hadn't seen Raymond and his GTM Coupe for years, but was really glad to see the car now finally finished. It's beautifully engineered and fully turbo'd. More about it soon.
Picture Jeroen Booij

Keith Rose restored this GTM Rossa prior to coming over with his lovely wife. It's one of the cleanest I've seen. Keith owned several Marcoses and Kingfishers, too 
Picture Jeroen Booij

Thursday 27 August 2015

Miss Tilling calls in

MiniSprint owner and author Keith Mainland had a little surprise for me this week, as he brought me in touch with Suzi Grant-Fernyhough. Suzi is the girl in the 1975 Tilling Mini de Ville advertisement, seen here some two year ago. She wrote: "Dear Jeroen and Keith, Bill Albert (whom I have known since the year dot) sent me this email as he recognised that it was a photo of me! Your mysterious “Miss Tilling” is in fact Suzi Grant-Fernyhough, who now runs the 96 Club in London, see here. My husband, at that time, was James Tilling’s business partner and it was through James and Ian that I developed my love of classic/cherished cars and les 24 Heures du Mans and I have been involved one way or another with the 96 Club almost since it began… I could also possibly contact Ian and see if he has memories of that period." Please do so Suzi, as the Tilling Minis are still much shrouded in mystery. Meanwhile, I did find another ad of Tilling's wind-up window conversion plus one of another fully converted Tilling Mini de Ville that was offered for sale in 1996 and registered 'LBP 446P'. Who knows what happened to that car?

It's Suzi here! That's her in 1975 - 40 years ago and still a classic car lover!
Picture courtesy Sascha Wilkins

Another Tilling ad, another Tilling girl! Feel free to get in touch with us, too…
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

 Plus another Tilling Mini de Ville with the signature Landau conversion. Where is it now?
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

Monday 24 August 2015

Racing a Stimson Mini Bug - not without trouble!

You think buggies are for posers? Think again as some were raced. Stephen Lawrenson got in touch recently to tell he owned a Landar R7 at one stage and carried on about his adventures with a Stimson CS+1 - the competition version of Barry Stimson glorious Mini Bug. Stephen bought that car after he'd heard of autocrosser John Bevan's exploits in one. He wrote: "I wanted a Marcos but couldn't afford one, when I read about Johns Bevan's Stimson. I thought now this could be a good thing to race because it was so light. The donor car was a 1962 Mini Cooper 997 but I used a 1071 S engine and sprinted and hill climbed the car for two years when the body was shot after me rallying the car for two or three years prior. I then changed the engine to a screamer 999S to race in up to 1000cc, which proved to be a good idea. With help from a friend we built it up from my Cooper. I managed to get a sponsor with MiniSport of Padiham to help with the cost of racing."

But then trouble started. Stephen: "John Bevan's car was sponsored by Cars & Car Conversions back in the early '70s and he used this car to win a championship in either '73 or '74, I think in autocross at a National level. When I bought my car it was the same as John's but when we went to an RAC meeting  they said it was a go-kart because the wheelbase was too short! We contacted Stimson in Portsmouth but they didn't want to know. I said they would be when I contact the RAC to say that John's car was illegal and the winning car was a go-kart. They then said not to say anything and made extension brackets to lengthen my car. It only needed to be 1" longer. We did the change to the radius arms and had to make mudguards to comply with the regulations as well. I hill climbed and sprinted the car for 2 years with class wins with a Cooper S 999. Then I sold the engine and wheels and the body to my friend Eric who converted it to a road going Stimson. Then I bought the Landar R7 in 1975/1976…"
Thank for sharing your stories and pictures Stephen!

Stephen Lawrenson at speed in his Stimson CS+1 racer, built after John Bevan's
Picture courtesy Stephen Lawrenson

Lightweight and short wheelbased - only a go-kart was shorter - just an inch...
Picture courtesy Stephen Lawrenson

Sponsored by Mini-Sport - the car's lengthened wheelbase is good visible here
Picture courtesy Stephen Lawrenson

Especially when you compare it to John Bevan's unaltered car on this picture
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

Friday 21 August 2015

Cool Maya GT shot - but who is that man?

Another great shot of the Maya GT 'HPN 13D' was found recently in a 1967 Dutch motoring magazine. I am not sure but suspect the man standing proudly next to it is the boss himself: George Holmes - anyone who can confirm this? The car was used for one of the brochures and was raced by a Mike Greenwood, but I still haven't been able to find out anything more on that. See here for more information about the car and click on the registration numbers below for all the other Camber GTs and Maya GTs that I have researched

NPM14F (Camber GT)
RLL8L (Camber GT)
FNU400H (Camber GT)
HPN14D (Camber GT)
DEN70D (Camber GT)
KOO589 (Maya GT)
HPN13D (Maya GT)
RKM473G (Maya GT)
PAP14F (Maya GT)
???208H (Maya GT)

The Maya GT demonstrator with - I think - George Holmes who designed it
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

Wednesday 19 August 2015

Who is going to save this Siva Mule? (Updated)

I hadn't seen a Siva Mule being offered for sale for a long time and was happy to see one being advertised from Lancashire this week. Well it wasn't much more then a rough chassis plus body, but wasn't that the way you bought it when the thing was new?
But hang on, that slot in the body's left hand side seemed familiar. Yep. This very car was offered for sale some two years ago in Walsall. It was complete at the time, with all the mechanicals, interior and its correct 1974 registration 'BUY 148M' - a real barn find or so it seemed. Now, its engine, suspension and all the rest of it ave gone while the registration number is defunct. What a shame another piece of Mini variants history is treated like this. Or is somebody going to rescue it? See the ad here.

UPDATE 20 august: Richard 'Dicky' Scott, dropped me a line with some good news. "Hello Jeroen, I'm actually the owner of the Siva Mule kit on Ebay, I contacted you when we stripped it down to restore it but due to work commitments etc. I've never got round to it. I'd just like to say that the kit comes with a full V5 and its original registration BUY148M. Also I have the engine."
And that's not all. Kelvin Kinkaid got in touch, too, writing: "I have the moulds and the chassis jig for the Siva Mule you posted about rescuing. So if anyone does what to rescue it or rebuild one it can be done." I can sleep again!

1970: the Siva Mule was introduced together with six more Siva designs!
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

Body/chassis kits came at 195 GBP. That's Neville Trickett himself behind the wheel
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

This surviving body and chassis (1 of 12 kits sold) is now for sale in Lancashire
Picture courtesy

Nice find… but the unusual slot in the left hand wing seemed familiar to me
Picture courtesy

Yep - that's the same car a while ago, complete and with proper registration at the time
Picture courtesy

Rough, but bucket seats, Mini mechanicals and reg. number 'BUY 148M' were all there
Picture courtesy

Tuesday 18 August 2015

A Hrubon holiday

Have you returned from your holiday, or are you going? Whatever it is and wherever you go: enjoy the summer while it lasts!

This is going to be very cozy - a Hrubon Schmitt towing a miniature caravan
Picture source unknown

Monday 17 August 2015

Not one but three Ranger Cubs!

Reader Ian Whitehead just finished the restoration of his Scamp Mk1 (this one) and now has a healthy appetite for Mini derivatives! He presented himself a Ranger Cub as the next thing to return to its former glory. What's more: it lead to enough spares for another two Cubs! It's very good to hear they are in safe hands with Ian as I remember the green car being offered for sale not too long ago in Leek, Staffordshire, when it was complete and registered… Keep up the good work Ian, and do keep me posted!

Ian just finished the restoration of his Scamp Mk1 and did a fabulous job
Picture courtesy Ian Whitehead

Next on the list: a rare Ranger Cub, or actually three of them! 
Picture courtesy Ian Whitehead

Black car is said to be an unfinished restoration but is nearly there
Picture courtesy Ian Whitehead

complete until recently, the green car is now not more than a bare shell
Picture courtesy Ian Whitehead

Yellow one has its chassis and some body parts. Plenty of spares, that's for sure!
Picture courtesy Ian Whitehead

Tuesday 11 August 2015

The Bee Gees Broadspeed (2)

I found a few more pictures of Bee Gees drummer Colin Petersen and his Broadspeed GT, taken in what appears to be his London garage. See the earlier ones, taken outside here. Another little search came up with a few words about Petersen and the car by a man named Billy Gates. He wrote: "Colin shared my passion for motor racing and had a quad headlight 330 GT 2+2 V12 Ferrari as well as an incredibly quick Broadspeed Mini with a lightweight fibreglass shell, crossflow heads and all the trick gear. I remember driving the Ferrari up the freeway to Coventry for a service, with Colin blasting by in the Broadspeed, and we went together to the motor races at Brands Hatch on several occasions. Colin and his wife Joanne lived in an attractive mews in Queensway. Joanne had previously been Brian Epstein’s secretary during the success of the Beatles and had some interesting tales to tell about the Fab Four. I spent many a night with the Peterson’s and their friends, Slim and Freya Miller, playing Monopoly and sipping Beaujolais."
Still, no trace of the car is found.

You've seen this picture of Colin Petersen, wife Joanne Newfield and the Broadspeed GT...
Picture courtesy Getty Images

But this one? Petersen must have preferred his Broadspeed over his Ferrari, garaging it at home
Picture courtesy Alamy Images

The steeply raked windscreen is good visible here. The drummer was a painter, too
Picture courtesy Alamy Images

Thursday 6 August 2015

Derivatives display produces new Unipower info

Two weeks ago - while I was enjoying a holiday in France - Pete Flanagan and friends organized a Mini based sportscar display during the Shelsley Walsh hill climb event. And Pete came home thrilled. He wrote: "Just a quick note to say what a great time we had at Shelsley at the weekend. We had Paul's Fletcher Ogle racer, (which has local history!), Goff's Mini Jem, my Unipower and we also picked up a lovely Marcos on the day. The weather stayed fine after all and the cars attracted lots of attention from a very knowedgable crowd. Being in the Midlands, steeped in motoring and sporting history, I suspected we'd get some good feedback which certainly came to fruition!"

"We met some very interesting folk who had owned cars like these from new in the 60's with some great tales to tell, especially a chap who'd been to Perivale to order a Unipower GT in 1968 and ended up going for a spin around Middlesex at break neck speed in Piers Forester's GT40! The Unipower that he bought was a 1275 S model, metallic blue, with Minilites, registered 'SJB 402G', does anyone remember it or know of it's whereabouts? He confirmed that the cars were built up completely, road tested and then partially dismantled for delivery (to get round the purchase tax). He was happy to sit in my car , being the first time he'd done so since the early 70's. Also heard some other great stories from pals of Forester, ex Downton staff members, and also a tale of a Landar R6 being restored locally! Could it be the Tim Dyke car? Safe to say that I'll be back at Shelsley as usual next year, doing it all again!"

That sounds like a good day indeed! I have checked out any history of a Unipower registered SJB 402G but couldn't find a thing on it, other than that it was a Berkshire issued number, dating back to 1968. Meanwhile, the owner dug out some old pictures of the car during his ownership looking very much like the real thing. He wrote: "The wheels in the photo are the standard ones but I changed them to Minilites when I bent one on a curb whilst taking a roundabout too quickly. I was stopped by the police for speeding many times but usually got away with a caution, but one time when going to Thruxton I was stopped when following a queue of cars after along stretch of duel carriageway. The policeman said he had been trying to keep up with me for 5 miles. His motor bike did 120mph flat out and I was still pulling away. He put me down for doing 90 as he said I was driving very well!"
Ha! Love those stories. Now let's see who knows more about it...

Great foursome at Shelsley Walsh. Left to right: Marcos, Jem, Unipower and Fletcher
Picture courtesy Pete Flanagan

As we've seen before here, Goff Allen's MiniJem is indeed a gem, fresh from restoration
Picture courtesy Pete Flanagan

While Paul Ogle's Fletcher GT is another regular enthusiast at Maximum Mini events!
Picture courtesy Pete Flanagan

You guys also know Pete's Unipower GT: stunning in every sense and with packs of history
Picture courtesy Pete Flanagan

But how about this then? A previously unknown Unipower registered SJB 402G
Picture courtesy Peter Knowles

Never mind the Ferrari, look behind! This Unipower was a 1968 car. Where is it now?
Picture courtesy Peter Knowles

Tuesday 4 August 2015

Prisoner Moke makes it to the market

Remember the amazing discovery of a supposed genuine Wood & Pickett converted Mini Moke, used for legendary tv series The Prisoner? The car was found by Olivier Bos in Holland four years ago now,  who was ever so keen to restore the car to its former glory - story here. However, things went quite different and due to circumstances Olivier now sees himself forced to part with his Prisoner project.

He will offer the car for sale during the auction held at Carfest South on 29 August at Laverstoke Park Farm in Hampshire. Unfortunately Olivier never found any proof of the car being one of the actual four Prisoner Mokes, but all indications certainly seem to be there. When I interviewed Wood & Pickett's Eddie Collins in 2014 he certainly remembered the car and even managed to get out some old pictures of it, see below, clearly showing the same registration number 'HLT 709C'. Anyway: if you ever wanted to own a Prisoner Moke this is your chance. See the auction description here.

W&P Prisoner Moke comes with all the right features, and many layers of dust...
Picture courtesy Olivier Bos

The car was brought over to Holland by one of the Prisoner film crew members
Picture courtesy Olivier Bos

The Penny Farthing logo on the car's bonnet is just another clue to its remarkable past
Picture courtesy Olivier Bos

The Moke was built by Wood & Pickett and used for advertisement, too
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

This little snippet mentions Weircrest Ltd. as distributor of the W&P Moke
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

This could be the same car, too. And, yes, that is Patrick McGoohan as 'Number Six'
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

Monday 3 August 2015

Enzo Ferrari's Mini Cooper gets feature in Ruoteclassiche

And we have something about the mysterious coachbuilt Mini Cooper S owned by Enzo Ferrari!
Italian magazine Ruoteclassiche has the car featured in their July issue, with pictures by Massimiliano Serra and words by Emanuele Sanfront. But unfortunately the article doesn't throw any new light on the car or the whereabouts of its modifications. The owner says the following about these: “I think that the modifications, to merge the styling of a certain visual impact to the sporty functionality, were the work of Carrozzeria Scaglietti. I do not know this for sure, however I believe that there could be good chances due to the relationship there was between Enzo Ferrari and Sergio Scaglietti, who merged his own company with the glorious Prancing Horse brand since the beginning of its history, and furthermore due to the fact that the paint used to modify the colour of the Mini was of the same kind used at the time to paint the production Ferraris."

The owner, Carlo Navone, is in fact the son of Giuseppe Navone who was in charge of Ferrari's testing department for race cars in Maranello from 1947 to 1950 and who won the Mille Miglia in 1948 in a Ferrari 166 S bodied by Allemano. Navone left the company in 1950 but returned in 1969 to become chief of the testing team for production cars only to leave once more at 1972. He took over the Mini from Enzo in 1970 and handed it over to his son years later. Pity he doesn't know anything more about the car's unusualities and the article just mentions them (lights, red leather seats and dashboard, radio with preset-channels, instrument panel, switches, gauges, mirrors…). The car originally came in red but is believed to have been repainted in metallic grey as soon as Enzo Ferrari got hold of it. It was grey until 2012 when Carlo Navone decided to have it repainted in red again. According to the article the 1275cc engine is said to deliver 90bhp and to come with twin Webers, but they certainly look like Dellorto's to me. Read more about the car here and here.

Thanks to Andrea Anania for the scans and the translation!

Picture courtesy Ruoteclassiche magazine via Andrea Anania

Picture courtesy Ruoteclassiche magazine via Andrea Anania

Picture courtesy Ruoteclassiche magazine via Andrea Anania