Thursday 28 March 2019

Did 1910 Rolls-Royce inspire Roy Boulting's Radford?

When I came across a 1910 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost being offered for sale I immediately thought of the Radford Mini De Ville built for film director Roy Boulting. I have just one picture of that car, which appears to have vanished from earth. What these two vehicles have in common is their unusual paint job of green and black vertical lines on the body.

The Rolls-Royce with its 'Roi des Belges' style tourer body by coachbuilder Codogan was sold new in the UK but spent time in India upon returning to London in the early 1960s, when Alan Hancock became the new owner, starting a comprehensive restoration. I found that The Boulting brothers' film company was based at Riding House Street, London W1, while mister Hancock lived at Rex Place, London W1. That's very close to each other.

The Rolls-Royce is offered for sale for 900,000 pounds, see it on the seller's website here. Any more information on Boulting's Mini would be highly appreciated.

Film director Roy Boulting in his Radford Mini Deville in 1964. Note Edwardian style parking lights on b-post and signature green and black painting on the body
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

This 1910 Rolls-Royce is an Edwardian car. It's unusual paint scheme is similar
Picture Vintage & Prestige

Did this impressive motor car inspire Roy Boulting's Radford Mini De Ville?
It's 1960s owner lived very close to the Boulting brothers' company address
Picture Vintage & Prestige

Wednesday 27 March 2019

In loving memory of David Barford and the Barford Special

I received a message from Natalie Barford yesterday: "Hi Jeroen, a quick note to say dad passed away last week, I don't know if you did a follow up article after he'd sent you all the papers? He was 72 and it was very unexpected. I just found all the papers he'd sent you, thanks for returning them."

That was sad news. Natalie's dad David was the man who built the Mini powered Barford Special in 1968/1969. I'd been looking for more information about this car for some time (see here), when Natalie all of a sudden approached me. She got me in touch with her father and Dave was ever so nice to send me a very, very detailed report with lots of pictures and info on how he built the car (a bit more here). Did I ever write a follow up on the earlier story here? I didn't, and I am ashamed about that since Dave was so kind to send me all his stuff. Perhaps I didn't get to do it because it so much that it isn't going to be easy to distill it into an article suitable for here. I will give it a try never the less, perhaps in a little series of articles. In loving memory of your dad, Natalie. Here are some pictures to start with.

The Barford Special in 1969, built by David John Barford when he was 22 years old
Picture David Barford

A picture of the car's interior shows the steering wheel Dave even made himself
Picture David Barford

And here is the passage of him describing how he did just that
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

There are many more drawings in the detailed information he sent me 
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

And a newspaper clipping from the local paper with Dave at 22, dated January 1969
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

David Barford last year. He passed away at the age of 72 
Picture via David Barford

Tuesday 26 March 2019

Mini Jem fully restored - now for sale

Looking for a pristine Mini based sports car to celebrate the Mini's 60th anniversary this Summer? Look no further. One particularly nice Mini Jem has just come up for sale in France. It's a 1969 Mk2 that's been fully restored recently and only driven some 200 kms since. This owner clearly prefers working on cars than driving them.

I have seen a full file of pictures of the car's restoration and I dare to say this was a thorough job. The steel sections in the car's body cut out where corrosion had done its work and replaced before being re-glassed into the shell. The rear wheel arches were remade from the Mini Jem's mould while many new parts were fitted while building up the car - from its interior to just about anything bolted to its fully rebuilt 1293 engine. You can find all the car's details in the advertisement found here. Do keep in touch when you buy it.

Ready to go - as used for a wedding party only recently
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

Some time earlier - body fully restored and repaired and ready for primer and paint
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

Subframes were fully reconditioned and powder coated before being refitted
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

Lovely Mini Jem dashboard fully rebuilt with materials as close to the original as possible
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

The car is registered correctly in France. Old English White paint colour looks stunning
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

As clean from the underside as on its top
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

1293cc engine was rebuilt with new pistons, bearings, carbs, clutch et cetera
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

Monday 25 March 2019

Project X headlights looking for Project X

A remarkable message from Daren Worboys of Australia about the car known as Project X, which he owned at some point (more here). Daren wrote: "Hi I have had the headlight's from Project X since 1987 when I owned the car, I have tried to contact the owner and reunite them with the car but no luck so they are going in the bin in 30 days, I'm over them hanging in my little garage. The car is in Dural if anyone knows where I will post them there for free!"

Now, come on guys, somebody will know where the car is? It surely deserves to be reunited with these original pop up headlights!

UPDATE 24 June 2019: Project XZ is finally found! Click here.
UPDATE 28 June 2019: And now reunited with its headlights, too!

The pop up headlights seen here on the car just after it was finished in 1966
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

And the original units now. Former owner wants to donate them to the current owner of Project X
Picture Daren Worboys

An advertisement from Sports Car World when the car was for sale in September 1966
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

Friday 22 March 2019

10 Derivatives at NEC show Birmingham

Don't say that Mini derivatives are still underrated cars. As a matter of fact a big display with 10 of them can be seen this weekend at the NEC in Birmingham, where the Classic Car & Restoration show takes place. Paul Wylde, who is one of the enthusiasts attending the show with his Stimson, took a series of photographs for me to enjoy. And naturally I enclose them here for you also. Say hello to Paul and his mates when you are Birmingham this weekend!

Stimson Safari Six
Picture courtesy Paul Wylde

Cox GTM Cars and Car Conversions
Picture courtesy Paul Wylde

Domino Premier
Picture courtesy Paul Wylde

And a Domino Pimlico
Picture courtesy Paul Wylde

Elswick Envoy
Picture courtesy Paul Wylde

GTM Coupe
Picture courtesy Paul Wylde

GTM Rossa
Picture courtesy Paul Wylde

Jiffy Pick-up
Picture courtesy Paul Wylde

Mk4 Mini Marcos
Picture courtesy Paul Wylde

Minus Mini
Picture courtesy Paul Wylde

Thursday 21 March 2019

Serra MG Crazy is perhaps not quite so crazy

You know I squeeze in an Austin or Morris 1100 based vehicle here every now and then and I think it's time for just another now. Keeping in with the Spanish theme of earlier this week (Mini Jaba, click here), let's have a look at the MG Crazy. This was an MG 1300 based car built by Spanish coachbuilder Pedro Serra.

I found out that Serra had been offering a plush variant of the MG 1300 (the Spanish version as built by Authi of Pamplona) for some time in the 1960s. This was called the MG 1300 'Equiped by Serra' and came with the usual lavish coachbuilder's stuff. Leather, wood, carpeting, chrome plus the necessary extras such as wheel covers, sun roof and foggies.

But it didn't stop there. In 1969 Serra launched a full conversion of the MG 1300, now named MG Crazy. This was quite something else. Again, it was based on an Authi built car, but all of its original body had gone to make place for a brand new one in the style of a 1930s roadster. Not unlike the Siata Spring which came sometimes earlier and certainly also not unlike the MG 1300 based Magenta, which saw the light of day in Yorkshire three years later. It really makes you wonder if Mister Magenta Steve Johnson (click here) was inspired by the Serra design!

Anyway: the car was launched at the 1969 Barcelona Motor show and Pedro Serra hoped for production. That didn't happen. It was relaunched two years later at the same show in a slightly modified variant - just visible in a movie clip (click here and see it at around 0:30). Still, it never became a succes. Supposedly because it was too costly to build. Just 3 to 6 MG Crazy's are believed to have been made, but I wouldn't be surprised if there were even less. One was on show on a Serra themed display at the Barcelona Classic car show in 2017 and that's the one seen here.
I would like to find out more. Who helps me?

MG 1300 'Equipped by Serra' was a coachbuilt version of the Spanish made Authi MG 1300

El Fabuloso - the fabulous - Serra MG 1300 has to be rare. Who did ever see one one?

And then there's this: the Serra MG Crazy, as seen on the 2017 Barcelona Classic Car show
Picture Pere Nubolia photography

Small retro roadsters were a thing in the late-1960s, early-1970s. Think Magenta, think Siata Spring
Picture Pere Nubolia photography

Neat interior cannot totally hide its MG 1300 origins. I wonder if its body is GRP or aluminium?
Picture Pere Nubolia photography

MG Crazy - that has to be one of the crazier names ever to have graced a car
Picture Pere Nubolia photography

This example was seen in Barcelona in 2017. Who knows more? Note historical photos left
Picture Pere Nubolia photography

A different car, or the same? This was taken during the 1971 Barcelona Motor Show
Picture / Filmoteca Espanola

Wednesday 20 March 2019

Mini Jaba restoration - an update

Spanish reader and Mini Marcos owner Adrian sent me some photographs of the Mini Jaba's restoration. This was the car found in a Spanish scrapyard in 2013 (click here). It's looking not too bad I think. Adrian, who emphasizes the car is not owned by himself but by his friend Lorenzo Jejeje, adds: "But we are still looking for information and photographs from 1971, when the car was exposed on Salon Elegancia de Barcelona 1971." I'd love see more of that, too.

Much converted rear side came with 'Landau' roof and modified boot lid with spare
Picture courtesy Adrian 

The front was even wackier, with GRP flip front and cycle wings in a 1930s style
Picture courtesy Adrian 

The Mini Jaba now needs a full restoration, but more information is still welcome
Picture courtesy Adrian 

Tuesday 19 March 2019

Antwerp shows some Mini derivatives

It's 60 years of the Mini this year, with a great number of exhibitions, shows, parades and festivals on its way to celebrate the Mini's anniversary. I have been made aware of several shows which will have Mini derivatives on display also. In the UK, Australia, France and Germany. One to kick off with was the classic motor show in Antwerp, which to my surprise had a GTM Coupe on display that I used to own, together with a Mk4 Mini Marcos and a Hrubon Schmitt. Do let me know if you are organizing an event that's worthy of mentioning here. 

60 Years of the Mini display in Antwerp. GTM Coupe and Mini Marcos are there, too
Picture Francois Tasiaux

Still looking good and now on Belgian plates - this car was owned by your's truly one day
Picture Bart Vanreusel

Mini Marcos is rather nice, too. It's a Mk4 car 
Picture Bart Vanreusel

Wednesday 13 March 2019

Holmbarth / Automec Special - did it race?

This old picture of a Swedish racing car was posted on a board for Swedish historic racing by Claes Boreus earlier this week. He asked if somebody knew what the car was and reader Eddie Fitzgerald sent it over to me. Well, well, this is in fact the Holmbarth 1100 that is also known as the Automec Special. I wrote about the car not too long ago (here and here) and am happy to hear that by this time the car is supposedly fully restored - although I haven't seen it in that state as for yet. 

The picture is interesting as the car appears to be parked in a race setting and I wonder which one that could be. Some years ago Bjorn Bellander wrote to me 'The Holmbarth never succeeded in racing and I never saw it on the track'. Apparently it did get entered at least once, as also one of the pictures in an earlier post seems to show. Who knows more?

The Holmbarth 1100 / Automec Special in what seems to be a racing setting
Picture via Claes Boreus

Monday 11 March 2019

The 1000th post - a look behind the scenes

Wow. This is my 1,000th article since I started this weblog. I haven't counted the hours going into it, but trust me when say that there have been quite a few. All for your pleasure of course - and mine.

Now, over the years several people have expressed their curiosity on how I work and so I thought it would be a nice idea to give you for one time a little look from the other side of your screen.
Keep those questions, messages and snippets coming as it will secure this little corner in the world wide web to continue for another decade. Or so.

Video: Jeroen Booij

Friday 8 March 2019

Where is New Zealand Status Minipower?

Status Minipower owner Nick Gale contacted me a while ago, writing: "I very much doubt you know of it as it's been at the back of my garage since the late 1980s" (picture here). He also told me he had more Minipower related stuff lying around, and did even sent over some of it. What I found particularly interesting were pictures of a car in New Zealand. Nick wrote: "The race car, with real body so one of the eight made, was owned by Jason but I cannot find any of the long email thread I had with him when he was selling his car. All I have is his email and a few pictures."

That is an interesting car and I wonder if it is the one that was in The Netherlands for some time prior to be shipped over to New Zealand in - I think - the early 1980s. I have tried to contact Jason, but so far to no avail. I hope that somebody else may know more about it.

A Status Minipower in New Zealand. It has one of the few original Brian Luff made bodies
Picture via Nick Gale

Nose section is modified, though, as this car was built up as a racer. And used, too, or so it seems
Picture via Nick Gale

It is said to have been for sale in New Zealand with a man named Jason. Where is it now?
Picture via Nick Gale

Who needs a cushion when sleeping in a car as spacious as a Status Minipower..?
Picture via Nick Gale

One Minipower was exported from The Netherlands to New Zealand. Could it be this one?
Picture via Nick Gale