Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Jola and Grimes Autotest Specials

Autotest champion Alastair Moffatt - who recently purchased MoBi-One - found some more interesting Mini based vehicles in his photo files. He wrote:

"Hi Jeroen. I found these pictures of an autotest car named Jola, made in late 1970s and running a Mini 1430cc engine in rear on fiddle brakes so a handbrake for each of the rear wheels to do a handbrake turn. It got stripped in 1999/2000 and all the suspension and subframes plus engine went into an ABS Freestyle as you have in one of your books. It shows it losing a wheel at the Royal Dublin show ground in 1998 on a international event."

"And I got another car for you. Peter and Chris Grimes from Southern Ireland made this Mini Special from a cut down Mini from the late 1970s. Front subframe bulkhead and floor to just behind the seat were retained and then the rear end with a made up rear beam bringing it to the same wheel base as a Mini but with no overhang. In the photo from around 1998 at Birmingham, it was running a 1380cc Cooper 'S'. A very very light car with great vision all round. It won around 8 Northern Ireland autotest test championships and 5 British RAC/MSA championships plus 3 BTRDA championships.
It is still going today but now runs a Vauxhall Nova engine in a mini subframe on 14inch wheels."

Jola Special, run by Peter Jackson, used 1430cc Mini engine at the back
Picture Alastair Moffatt

Hmm... Royal Dublin show ground 1998 - when it lost a front wheel in the heat of the moment
Picture Alastair Moffatt

Wheel found. The Jola Special used so called 'fiddle brakes' for easy manoeuvring
Picture Alastair Moffatt

And another Mini based Autotest Special - the Grimes Special, which does survive
Picture Alastair Moffatt

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