Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Australia's plans for Scamp and Mini Marcos production

Tony Cripps is the author of a book named 'Leyland Cars in Australia - a Chronicle' and he came up with some snippets unseen before, unfolding a interesting conversation. Tony started: "In 1987, the company looked at producing a Moke Mk2 and a substantial feasibility report was prepared. It was called 'Concept Paper for an Economic Multi-Purpose Vehicle', 6 pages and signed by Norm Prescott, who was a director of the company by that time. (...) Could have been a goer, but the concept vehicle pictured in the report doesn't have that 'appealing character' that the original Moke has."

However, there is no doubt that the pictures used in the report were actually no Mk2 Mokes but Mk2 Scamps! Tony added: "The report makes no mention of the Scamp, but the photos are obviously of an actual car and now having seen some photos on the internet, yes, this is a Scamp. The heading on the page just says 'Moke Mk2 General Concept'. It was thought that it could be made alongside Land Rover."

Scamp man Andrew MacLean came in next: "Yes, the Scamp frame and all the photos are lifted from the Scamp Mk2 brochure. I took over production in early 1987, as Robert Mandry had already stopped production in 1986. He'd also sold the Mini based RTV project to Lawrence Hawgood in 1986."

Tony Cripps added: "I should mention that the report is not produced on a company letterhead nor has any circulation or a report number. I would say it was a draft. The pictures are on the last page with a caption. Moke MKII General Concept and no reference to the Scamp which amazing really. Norm Prescott was a long-time employee of Austin/BMC/Leyland/JRA and very professional. This report came from his papers which were found after his decease so it might not even have made it to the Board.

Andrew MacLean: "I took over Scamp production in March 1987, the date of Norms proposal are May 1987, it would have been great to have sold them a franchise though! Wonder if they might be still interested if the report has only just come to light after 32 years?"

Almost at the same time, I was sent a picture of an old advertisement in the Sydney Morning Herald of May 1971, with somebody offering moulds for the Mini Marcos there. Now, we know a few Marcoses were imported to Australia, but I'd never heard of actual moulds over there. Who knows more?

Pictures of a Scamp Mk2 as used by Leyland of Australia and cheekily named 'Moke Mk2 General Concept'
Picture Tony Cripps

Another picture from the same report shows a chassis - and again it's that of a Mk2 Scamp
Picture Tony Cripps

Sydney Morning Herald, 18 July 1966. Mini Marcoses are to be imported to Austrlia
Picture via Michael Marczan

This ad comes from Sports Cars World of October 1967 and mentions the Australian Marcos agents in Knox Lane, Double Bay, News South Wales
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

Almost three years later this mystery ad turned up in the Sydney Morning Herald of 29 May 1971
Picture via Michael Marczan

No comments:

Post a Comment