Wednesday, 23 September 2015

The end of the Martini Mini

I often wonder why there are so little Mini based cars from the continent. Italy, France, The Netherlands, Belgium - there have to be more cars built then the handful that I know of. Or how about Germany? The only German Mini based car that I know of is the Martini Mini ASC (for Austin Cooper 'S'), built in 1964 by Willi Martini. Martini ran a BMW dealership on the Nurburgring track and had already rejoiced the German cottage industry with some low volume production cars before he turned a wrecked Mini into something very cool (design buy Uwe Bahnsen, built with BMC dealer Dieter Mohr). Anyway: the car was campaigned seriously at the 'Ring (10:50 lap time at the then-22.8 kms long track) and transformed into a Mk2-version before it was crashed heavily in June 1966 by driver Ralf Juettner. One picture of the wreck was published in Maximum Mini 2, but there are several more, donated to me by Wolfgang Thierak. Below a selection of them. Oh - and if you do know of any other continental Mini derivatives - do let me know.

This picture was published in Maximum Mini 2, but there are quite a few more…
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

Look at this one of the wreckage being loaded on a trailer. It's amazing Juettner got out unhurt
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

The crashed Martini Mini arrives at the Martini garage - now the home of BMW Motorsport
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

Onlookers aplenty. I don't know who the 'driver' is. Could it be Ralf Juettner, who escaped unhurt?
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

The leftovers must have formed quite an attraction in between the BMWs at Martini's garage
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

The Austin Cooper 'S' engine is clearly visible here. The car got scrapped, but the mechanicals?
Picture  Jeroen Booij archive

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