Friday, 30 April 2021
What exactly is this Mini based motor caravan?
Thursday, 29 April 2021
Maxi Austin features French GTM
The UK is not the only country with specialist magazines such as MiniWorld and Mini Magazine, France, too, has a large following of Mini enthusiasts and its own share of Mini related journalism. Last week I was sent two recent issues of Maxi Austin - le magazine des anciennes Mini (the magazine about old Minis) and found some most interesting reading about Mini based cars in these, too.
There's a page about a Mk1 Mini Marcos that is being prepared for Le Mans Classic, a spread on GTM history and most interesting of all is a feature article about a French registered GTM. This car was offered for sale in Brittany, France last year (see here) but it remains a bit of an enigma. According to Maxi Austin it was imported from the UK and was 'more or less confirmed to be registered EBL 249K'. I had a picture of that car in the files for them while there's another one on the internet (here). In France, the car was converted to left hand drive and restored over a 10-year period. It certainly does look good and is registered as a 1968 Cox GTM now, although I am convinced it's not a Cox. Perhaps somebody recognizes it and knows more about its history?
Food for thought anyway, just how I like it. Maxi Austin-team - keep on going!
Wednesday, 28 April 2021
Mystery Mini derivative (75)
A Mini derivative that keeps on turning up for sale remains a mystery to me. The car has made it to the market several times in the last three years or so, and I have asked the various sellers for more information about its background. But it remains mostly shrouded in mystery.
All we know is that the car was based on a 1973 Mini Clubman, came with an 850 engine, a tube chassis clad with plywood and aluminium and distinctive looks. Is there a Hustler underneath? I first saw it for sale in Summer 2018 when it was in Hornsea, Lincolnshire (included in this listing). It supposedly stood for 20 years then and I managed to contact the seller. He wrote: "I understand it was a totally home-built example, but I will have a word with my brother and see if he can remember who he bought it from, to see if there is any history. Will let you know. Cheers, Barrie."
Unfortunately Barrie never came back to me. A few months ago the car was offered for sale again, now in Nottingham and missing its headlight covers and looking rather more rusty. I got no reply whatsoever to my message and don't know what happened to it. Anyone who does?
Thursday, 22 April 2021
For sale: the Scamp Motor Company
Wednesday, 21 April 2021
Gordon Murray's IGM Minbug explained
Tuesday, 20 April 2021
Alto Duo remains a real rarity
The last time I wrote about the quirky Alto Duo was 10 years ago (a Guinness book record car! click here), so I think it's about time to put it in the spotlight here once again.
Incredibly perhaps, the Duo was offered for sale from 1984 up until 1998, originally by its designers Tommy and David Gornall of Goosnargh, Lancashire but later also by Automotive Concepts of Portsmouth and Antoni Offert of Rhino Engineering in Lancashire. Under all those wings and in all those years, still just 18 materialized.
I could only find a few different cars in the files, with one registered 'Q469 JWW' seen below. DVLA tells us it's a 1986 car with 998 power and blue in colour, but it was seen in an orangey-red hue when offered for sale in Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland back in 2009. This while the pictures of it in a sort of camouflage print were sent to me last year only. Whatever happened to it..?
Friday, 16 April 2021
Gitane GT - a bit more information
Tuesday, 13 April 2021
Maltese Mini Marcos Mk1 now restored
Monday, 12 April 2021
AC Donington found in a barn
Friday, 9 April 2021
Mystery Mini derivative (74)
Thursday, 8 April 2021
A Unipower for Easter
Wednesday, 7 April 2021
John Lennon's Mini - green and a hatchback
The disappearance of John Lennon's Mini remains a great enigma. I wrote about it years ago, and judging by the number of clicks it keeps on receiving the article remains a Maximum Mini favourite (see it here).
All we knew for sure was that Lennon's Mini was a Radford De Ville, based on a 1965 Austin Mini Cooper 'S', registered LGF 696D and painted black. But now it seems that even that must be reconsidered. Keith Hawkins dropped me a line with two images attached, taken from film footage shot by John and Yoko themselves at John’s home ‘Kenwood’ in Weybridge, Surrey in 1968. This was done for a film project named 'Look at Me', which was recently remastered and published. Keith wrote: "Hi Jeroen, here they are, taken around 1968 I would think. Lovely colours, Lennon had great taste, regards Keith."
That surely must be John Lennon's Mini. But it's painted green and cream here, with golden Cosmic wheels like George Harrison's. What's more: it's clear now that the car came with the Aston Martin DB5 rear light units as Paul McCartney's Mini had them too, and with a hatchback door as Ringo Starr's! The best of all combined into one vehicle..?
UPDATE 27 January 2023: a replica of the John Lennon Mini is now in the making. Click here.