Wednesday, 30 June 2021
Monday, 28 June 2021
Reader Tony Fysh restored a Mk2 Mini Jem a few years ago but once finished considered selling it once again due to a lack of use. The car was sold swiftly through Maximum Mini but for Tony that was the start of a new restoration project: another Mk2 Jem!
He now dropped me another line about that: "Hi Jeroen. I have just completed the full restoration of my second Mini Jem. I have owned this car since 1986, would you believe! It will hopefully be on the road within the next two weeks after a two year restoration. Everything is new and as good if not better than my last one. Serious illness due to Covid slowed things down but I got there in the end. I will send more pictures once on the ground and roadworthy. Keep safe. Cheers, Tony."
Well done Tony, I am glad to here you are back in good health and in Jem ownership and hope you will enjoy this car for many years to come!
Thursday, 24 June 2021
Tuesday, 22 June 2021
Monday, 21 June 2021
"My friend Mike Garton went to work for Marcos. I was working in a garage in Peterborough, but we built the two cars together. At the end of 1967 he got me a job at John Woolfe Racing. Jem, a man of very few words, and I got on reasonably well and I did the racing cars for him. Mike took over as production manager for the whole thing and was got to make a six-months waiting list as Jem used to take cars out of the production line all the time."
"Chris Lawrence was a friend of Jem's and I remember we spent a lot of time working on the car and making it ready. After the car packed up Jem said let's take the oil pump out and see what's wrong with it. The oil came out like silver paint. The needle roller was stuck and it took us about an hour getting the oil pump out."
Thursday, 17 June 2021
This agricultural oddity has turned up for sale in North-Wales. It looks to be a cross between a Scamp and an RTV but I guess it has no links with these. Remarkably, it does use both the Mini subframes, with the standard dry suspension and comes with a 998 engine simply driving the front wheels. It does look ever so rugged and strong with its chassis from square tubing and those big Terra tyres. The seller writes: "I am told that a great number of Minis have been converted in the past when they were particularly cheap to buy and run, to be used on golf courses, farms and construction sites till more modern machines have been developed."
Indeed, this one could well have been made with on of these ideas in mind. Who knows more? The ad can be found here.
Tuesday, 15 June 2021
A month ago I wrote about the rediscovery and daring restoration of Andy Varnam's Ogle, which seems to be a prototype car (click here).
Meanwhile, Andy certainly hasn't been sitting on his hands. I can say as he keeps me posted on the car's restoration. He bought new floor panels, sills, inner wheel arches and a rear subframe mount panel and started welding with what was left of the original car. In the meantime he'd also taken off the subframes and the engine out and brought these to the sandblasters and also blasted the bulkhead and firewall. A week ago he wrote: "Think all the welding is done. Just a clean up now." The body, by that time, had been on and off the chassis a few times for test fitting. Andy: "The body wants a bit of jiggering to get it correct on the chassis, but it seems to be okay."
Now that's what I call a cracking job - more to follow!
Monday, 14 June 2021
It seems that slowly but surely the action is returning to the classic car scene with several events returning to the calendar and actually taking place! Below is a selection of pictures sent to me and found online from Mini derivatives that could be seen in the last week or so.
Friday, 11 June 2021
Wednesday, 9 June 2021
A rare Ranger Cub 4 has just made it to the market. While the three-wheeled Ranger Cub proved to be a hit for a short time in the mid-1970s, the four-wheeler version wasn't. Just four of them were sold and it seems that this one was never built. It's an empty shell which will need all the necessary Mini parts to turn it into a car. It's for sale in Sunderland, north-east England.
Remarkably, two other Ranger Cub 4 have been seen for sale in the last few years. There was another empty shell, also black, in 2014 (see here - it's not the same is it?), while a red car turned up in 2016 (see here). There was also the black car built by John J. Thomas and registered '524 NOA' that was used for some promotional pictures also. The red car may have been the one shown at the London Speed Show in 1975? Bot Cub4s can be seen in the pictures below.
UPDATE 17:30: The two black shells are the same after all, or so I have been told by two different readers. Thank you chaps!