Friday, 16 March 2018

Analyzing the Le Mans Mini Marcos: the radiator

I received a multitude of messages after last week's not so good news about the Le Mans Mini Marcos project (read it here). Also: several of you suggested restoration companies or body builders who would be willing to take on the job of restoring the car's shell. Thanks very much for all that.

Meanwhile, I have some good news, too. The search for parts continues and I am happy to be able to say I have now finally secured the car's original front radiator. More about how it was mounted to the car here. You may also recall that I mentioned the survival of this radiator before, but it took some time to actually track it down. Mister José Albertini, who owned the car in 1970, told me he took it from the car at the time and kept it for many many years before selling it to Italy. Where this original Le Mans part ended up on another Mini Marcos. Question was which car that was and where it was now...

Eventually I managed to track it down with help of Philippe Quirière. Remarkably, the car that used it untill recently was one that had been turned into a replica of the 1967 Le Mans Mini Marcos! After the Italian owner, this car went to France before being sold to the UK some years ago. The current owner is rally- and race driver Martyn Spurrell from Oxfordshire. When I contacted him and asked about an unusual radiator on his car he knew exactly what I meant. Also, he told me he'd taken it off as it was such an old fashioned item, and had replaced it with a more up to date rad. Fortunately he'd kept the old thing and after he sent me some images of it, mister Albertini was happy to confirm that it was, indeed, the original radiator for my car!

And so, I agreed on a price with Martyn. And when he was in The Netherlands earlier this week, it was only a matter of meeting up, which we did. The radiator is now back to where it belongs. The brackets to mount it on the car seem to have been modified at one stage, but this will be easy to fix. One thing is for sure: it will go back on the car, just like it was back in 1966.

Scrutineering at Le Mans, 18 June 1966. No doubt they inspected the car's radiators, too
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

Behind all these holes, a extra radiator and oil cooler were fitted. But they'd been taken off...
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

That's all there is now... But a search for the car's original radiator was started...
Picture Jeroen Booij

... and it lead to this car: a Mini Marcos currently owned by racing driver Martyn Spurell
Picture courtesy Martyn Spurrell

There it is! The original and most probably purpose-made front radiator of the Le Mans Mini Marcos
Picture Jeroen Booij

It's been modified, but former owner José Albertini confirmed it's the real deal. It'll go back on the car
Picture Jeroen Booij

Mores in this series here:

Analyzing the Le Mans Mini Marcos (2) - Holes for lights and details
Analyzing the Le Mans Mini Marcos (3) - Petrol tank, roll bar, pedals
Analyzing the Le Mans Mini Marcos (5) - Racing numbers and bonnet straps

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