Friday 28 September 2018

Yak owner needs your help

Wednesday's Party Yak prompted Kevin Hook to write to me about his own Grantura Yak. He wrote: "Hi. I have a Grantura Yak but the registration plates are missing, except for one piece with the first digit, an 'E'. The chassis number YAK70032 seems short, making it impossible to find the reg number. Do you have any ideas please? It's been on the back burner for years now as I got disappointed over the reg... Two weekends would see it finished as its only paint now. It had a full nut and bolt rebuild, including a rebuilt 850 engine. I think the last digit was possibly 'J'. We thought a 'D' or a 'J' as it was broken. A 'J' would make it right for the year 1970. My fingers are crossed..."

Well, first of all, the chassis number 'YAK70032' seems all fine to me, as this has to be the 32nd Yak built in 1970. But then the registration. I have been searching the Maximum Mini files for pictures of a Yak with registration starting with 'E', but couldn't find any. Maybe a reader knows more..?

Kevin's Yak is 'on the back burner for years now' since he got disappointed over the registration
Picture courtesy Kevin Hook

He thinks he could finish the car's restoration in two weekend now. It's had a full nut and bolt rebuild
Picture courtesy Kevin Hook

But the registration remains a mystery. This is all that's left of the car's plates. It started with an 'E'...
Picture courtesy Kevin Hook

And that's the chassis plate. YAK70032 surely is for the 32nd Yak built in 1970
Picture courtesy Kevin Hook

Wednesday 26 September 2018

Trinidad's Party Yak in action

A message from Trinidad & Tobago, where Richard Sookdeo still enjoys his Grantura Yak and where tuning is taken to whole new levels. I was sent these little movies of the car known as the Party Yak (more here) in action and wondered what the other cars were. I now understand they are Mini Mokes with extra 24" inches of metal added to the back and 18 " to the front to be able to install a Datsun 120Y engine including its transmission and diff!

Video courtesy Ramesh Sookdeo

Video courtesy Ramesh Sookdeo

We now know the Party Yak, in yellow. But what are these other beasts..?
Picture courtesy Ramesh Sookdeo

Much-modified Mokes, is the answer. They have some skills in Trinidad & Tobago!
Picture courtesy Ramesh Sookdeo

Monday 24 September 2018

Buckle Monaco wins at Aussie show

A Buckle Monaco is a rare car. So the one that had been in Meaghan Lucas' family for so many years certainly was a coveted car. However, it needed work. Lots of work. And so Meaghan and Co. started a restoration many years ago, only to have the car finished last weekend for the All British Day in Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia. Meaghan wrote: "After 12 years of on and off restoration, my late dad's Buckle Monaco is out in public for the first time. I cannot thank my hubby James enough for helping me complete my dad's biggest project and dedicate the result to him. It was just so good! Even with only two hours sleep on the Saturday night it could not ruin it. The Monaco picked up a 1st place on its first event. The positive feedback from people was so overwhelming, it’s going to take days just to digest it all!"
Meaghan was happy to share the images here, so here we go. Thanks and congratulations!

This Buckle Monaco was restored by Meaghan Lucas over a 12-year period
Picture courtesy Meaghan Lucas

The car made it just in time for the All British Day in Parramatta last weekend
Picture courtesy Meaghan Lucas

Meaghan's father Kevin Lucas owned the car but he passed away before seeing it restored
Picture courtesy Meaghan Lucas 

The rare Monaco Mini coupe is now fully resplendent and looks awesome
Picture courtesy Meaghan Lucas

And all the hard work was rewarded: 1st place in class in the show and shine competition!
Picture courtesy Meaghan Lucas

Friday 21 September 2018

Le Mans Mini Marcos project: upside down

Yesterday I went over to the workshop once again to discuss some details on the Le Mans Mini Marcos project. And I was surprised to see the car being turned upside-down! This in order to work on the underside and reach some body parts that could otherwise not be reached well. The roll bar is now laminated in and with the double-skinned floors now fully restored, too, the shell is once again as stiff as it can be. The floors are now fully restored on both sides with no more holes and cracks whatsoever. We closed all of them as there were so many, and I'll just have to drill new ones to fit the seats and belts and so on when the time is there. The whole of the underside and most of the inside of the car is now painted in grey primer first (we found that under the original black) with a fresh satin black layer over it, just like it was when the car was new. I made a pattern for all the 139 holes that had been drilled in the car's front by Jean-Claude Hrubon originally (but taken out later in the car's life - see here) and these will return soon exactly to where the were back in 1966. More to follow, as usual!

Upside down! In order to work on the floors and several more body parts, this was necessary
Picture Jeroen Booij

Typical floor shapes of Mk1 model are well visible here. Some new steel strips were laminated in here, too. Also note original widened front arches and repaired front where radiator holes were
Picture Jeroen Booij

Working from old photographs, a very precise pattern was made in order to re-drill the 139 holes in the front at the right place once again soon
Picture Jeroen Booij

And all this came out of the A-pillars when the car was turned upside down. Nutshells, leaves, nuts and bolts, a roll of red tape and even chicken bones! No money, unfortunately
Picture Jeroen Booij

Bonnet appeared to be in a pretty sad state with much filler applied to it and loads of cracks. It has been elongated at one stage, too, but that bit is now cut off. Holes are there for H4 SU carburettors
Picture Jeroen Booij

Wednesday 19 September 2018

Market round up (Autumn 2018)

Time for the traditional market round-up, and although the end of Summer is not there yet (just a couple of days left), I call this one the Autumn 2018 edition. You have made me aware of another great number of Mini based cars offered for sale in the last couple of weeks, and I have added another few to these. Keep them coming!

A rare Andersen Cub Six-wheeler, this one is said to be imported from South-Africa. Ad here.

Deep Sanderson 301 is for sale once again, now in France. The price fluctuates heavily. Ad here.

Stimson Mini Bug project with no paperwork in Chelmsford. Cheap though. Ad here.

This Wood & Pickett Mini is seen for sale for some time now. I really like it. Ad here.

This is the Stimson Scorcher from the derelict collection that came by here several times. Ad here.

Rare ASD Hobo was spotted for sale before, too. Come on, somebody give it some tlc! Ad here.

Many of you tipped me about this intriguing Mini based wedge. I am still hoping to find out its history. Ad here.

Another mystery: a Moke replica, presumably home-made and looking rather good. Ad here.

This Scamp Mk2 sppears to be fully ready for the Christmas tree already! Ad here.

A very green Magenta Sprint. This one is in as new condition. Ad here.

Cool Unipower GT with racing history from the other side of the ocean. Ad here.

A right hand driven Midas Bronze in Belgium. Love the colours. Ad here.

French Mk4 Mini Marcos comes with a rather strong asking price. Ad here. 

Hrubon Phaeton, or is it a Schmitt? For sale in southern France. Ad here.

Q-reg Hustler Six is seen in an auction in North-Yorkshire. Ad here.

Birchall McCoy is said to need just some finishing touches. Cheap. Ad here.

Good-looking Foers Nomad, seen for sale in greater Manchester. Ad here.

The Tony Anchors' built Trimini is now offered for sale as 'Tritanic'... Ad here.

Tuesday 18 September 2018

Ogle SX1000 at Spa

A particularly good looking and quick Ogle SX1000 could be seen last weekend during the races at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium. The car has recently been fully restored and has been built up as an Appendix K racer. It was raced at Spa by owner Mark Burnett and Nick Swift of Swiftune fame. The car topped 185.9 km/h on the straight but I couldn't figure out where it finished as the results are somewhat unclear to me. Great job never the less!

Almost ready to go. The Ogle SX1000 is a recent restoration and is now being raced
Picture courtesy David Dunnebier

Proud owner Mark Burnett with the Ogle. It was restored and fully race prepared only recently
Picture courtesy Rolf Roozeboom

The car was co-driven at Spa by Nick Swift of Swiftune fame, who also prepared its engine
Picture courtesy Rolf Roozeboom

Friday 14 September 2018

Peel moulds believed not to be the originals after all

I make updates on my articles regularly, but thought this one deserved a posting on it's own. It is about the Peel Viking moulds of yesterday's story (click!). And they don't seem to be what they claim.

Viking owner John Fischer contacted me: "Regarding the Peel moulds: I made enquiries with someone I know about the moulds when they were offered for sale on Ebay. This is their response: Hi John, No they are not the original moulds from Peel. Those moulds were sold to Bill Last of Trident cars in the late 1960s. These blue moulds were made by the ex-employee of Peel Engineering George Gelling from a car on the IOM so that Neil Hanson from Douglas could build himself a car (as seen here - JB) (his Viking is claimed to be an original car but it is not). I bought the moulds in about 2004 from Douglas on the Isle of Man. Several bodies have been made from them. At least 7 to my knowledge. The red car in the Ebay listing was an original car I restored for Jeff Lane in the USA (as seen here - JB). The roof was so bad I put a black vinyl top on it to hide the wobbles. I have pictures of it when I bought it and during restoration. Grant Kearney can vouch for this as he saw the car un-restored. It was not made from the moulds on Ebay. I am annoyed about that claim as Jeff Lane might read it."

And so it seems that the moulds that are now in the Isle of man motor museum and the ones I wrote about in 2011 are one and the same set after all...
It make me wonder of the original set that went to Bill Last's Viking Performances could still be there, too..?

It is now believed that this set of moulds, currently on loan to the Isle of Man motor museum...
Picture Exo Sports Cars the same as this set, seen for sale 7 years ago and not the original set. Where would that be..?
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

Thursday 13 September 2018

Peel Viking moulds return to Isle of Man

Reader Richard Hawcroft came across an interesting picture on a forum recently. He wrote: "Look at this photo of the Isle of Man motor museum. It looks like the original moulds for the Peel Viking! Never seen them before! It was on Pistonheads, but they where more interested in the rusty E-type in the front. My eagle eyes spotted the Peel in the background..."

He certainly seemed to be right there, and so I decided to contact the museum. I got in touch with the director Darren Cunningham, who let me know: "Hi Jeroen, yes that is correct, the moulds have recently been loaned to the Museum. I'll be honest, I do not know the story behind them yet. I will ask the owners though."

Meanwhile, I did a little search and found that they were owned by Exo Sports Cars at least until recently, who offered them for sale a few months ago, together with a body made from those moulds plus most of the donor Mini parts to finish. Asking price was £5995.00 at the time. They wrote: "In 2015 Exo Sports Cars Ltd. secured the original Peel factory moulds for the Peel Viking and produced a bodyshell and dash from this mould. Considering the mould is over 50 years old, it is in remarkable condition and will produce a quality shell ready for painting and building into a turn key car. It was always our full intention to put the Peel Viking back into low volume production, but our other core products, have proven to be so successful, there simply hasn't been time to further develop te Peel."

Remarkably, somebody else told me he had the original Peel Viking moulds from the island back in 2011 (click here). These were offered for sale at the time, but I don't think they were the original set after all. I now believe these were made later to build a few Vikings at the time, one of them that can still be seen on the island in the hands of its enthusiastic owner and the other one in a US museum.

UPDATE 14 September 2018: These moulds are not what they claim to be, see here.

Forget the Jag. This is the picture that eagle-eyed Richy Hawcroft saw when he spotted the Peels
Picture Pistonheads

And there they are: the original Peel Viking moulds plus a shell are now back on the Isle of Man
Picture courtesy Isle of Man Motor Museum

And here are the same moulds when offered for sale by Exo Sports Cars just months ago
Picture Exo Sports Cars

Exo made one body shell from them with the idea to relaunch the Peel Viking. This never happened though and the empty shell is now on loan to the Isle of Man motor museum also
Picture Exo Sports Cars

The original set of moulds is not on its own anymore, though. This later set is still about, too
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

Monday 10 September 2018

Euregio Meeting 2018: Belgian Ardennes

The loveliest things about the Belgian Ardennes region? First of all there are the stunning forests with all those winding and twisting roads leading towards a mountain of some sort. Then there's the historic atmosphere that is just everywhere. It often gives you the idea that not much has changed here since the Middle Ages. Oh, there is the Spa-Francorchamps circuit also, where the historic six-hours endurance race will take place next weekend. But I was there last weekend for the Euregio Meeting 2018 in Stavelot just miles from the famous track. This is the yearly meet for anything Marcos, Midas and Mini based organized for some years now by Rolf Roozeboom and Frank Morskate. Frank had brought over his Le Mans replica, in which I was given a lovely tour over some of the Ardennes back roads, which was magnificent. Here is a little photographic report.

No, not mine! This is Frank Morskate's Le Mans replica, which formed the centre of attraction. The display was made by Rolf to recreate the weigh bridge scene of the famous old photograph below
Picture Jeroen Booij

17 June 1966: the car is weighed prior to the 24-hours race on the next day. I have a copy of the official weighing documents, I guess held here by the man with the flat cap
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

Relatively new to the weird and wonderful scene of Mini derivatives are Joël Notermans and his girlfriend Laura Rojas and their cool looking Midas Bronze
Picture Jeroen Booij

Ed 'the Hat' Darwinkel, on the other side, is just about as classic to the scene as his Midas Gold is!
Good to see you and the car once again Ed, the car is still a stunner
Picture Jeroen Booij

And the same goes for this Midas Gold convertible, owned by the ever-enthusiastic Peter Camping
Picture Jeroen Booij

Like Frank did with his Le Mans replica, Peter took me for a tour around the beautiful roads of the Ardennes region. Thanks guys!
Picture Jeroen Booij

This Belgian Mini Marcos Mk4 was brought over by Lillo Trovato (right) and his mate (who owns a Mini Marcos, too). Lillo is a teacher on the Automobile Campus Francorchamps specializing in composite technics. Note the carbon fibre bonnet on his car 
Picture Rolf Roozeboom

Another Belgian Mini Marcos, this one a Mk3, came from Raphael Bran, who has driven a range of rallies with the car, proof of it can be found on the rear side screen
Picture Rolf Roozeboom

Parting shot. I had a large print made of the picture to show, seen here with Frank's car
Picture Jeroen Booij