Thursday, 23 September 2021

The Belgian Ogle SX1000 barn find

Don't tell me that all the good barn finds have been found by now. If you are determined to find a car, you will find it, or so I believe. I'd heard about an Ogle SX1000, one of just 6 left hand driven cars, that was sold new to Belgium and supposedly still there, somewhere. To cut one long story very short - I found it - in a barn. 

It's a non-runner but also a unique car, which has seen some work done to it, but which is also still mostly very original. Apart from the engine (a later 998), the wiring (a real mess), the carpeting (replaced) and the bumpers (missing) all of the parts seem to be there, with even some spares. Some minor welding has been done to the front floors, but even those still seem to be the originals. What's more: the original Belgian registration document is there, dated July 1962. I have found out some of its history yet and found that the car was sold through Jaguar dealer and Mini racer Julien Vernaeve of Ghent when new, supposedly to a doctor. The original registration is in the name of a lady, whom I still hope to track down. Were there ever any other lhd cars that were sold on the European mainland? I'm not sure but don't think so.

So... after a lot of deliberation and negotiation the car is now here with me in The Netherlands. As with genuine barn finds it was very dusty and I took plenty of pictures of it in that state. However, I gave it a wash this morning and was surprised how well it came out. Oh, that great colour is a Jaguar Bronze seen on E-types of the same era, and I think it's one of the best hues for the SX1000. So... there you go... another myth debunked and great find found! Do let me know what you think.


An Ogle SX1000 sold new to Belgium, which was hidden there until last week
Picture Jeroen Booij

A non-runner, but it seems very original to me with most of the parts there
Picture Jeroen Booij

1 of 6 left hand driven cars, it's possibly the only one sold new to the European continent?
Picture Jeroen Booij

Bumpers are missing and rear lights are not the originals but it's quite complete
Picture Jeroen Booij

The paint colour is Jaguar Bronze seen on one or two more Ogle SX1000s
Picture Jeroen Booij

Garage Viaene was a former owner, but Jaguar dealer Julien Vernaeve originally sold it
Picture Jeroen Booij

Supposedly sold to a doctor, I hope to find out more about its early history now
Picture Jeroen Booij

Interior needs work with the wiring a real mess but again, it seems complete
Picture Jeroen Booij

That's the cover to get access to the petrol tank, battery and spare wheel
Picture Jeroen Booij

Doors open and close beautifully. The SX1000 was a well developed car
Picture Jeroen Booij

Unfortunately the original Cooper 1000 engine has been replaced by a standard 1000
Picture Jeroen Booij

69 Ogle SX1000 were made and they are one of the most sought after Mini derivatives
Picture Jeroen Booij

It's not perfect and needs plenty of work, but isn't that a real beauty?
Picture Jeroen Booij

Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Visiting Hambly Cars

You may have heard of Derek Hambly who revived the good old GTM as the Hambly Coupe in 2016 as a retirement project and who'd built a number of cars since (more here). Latest is a stunning reincarnation of 'LLG 187G', which may be better known as The Green Mean Machine to you, or the very first car built by Howard Heerey back in 1969 (more here). 

When I saw a picture of the car at the Stoneleigh show at the end of August I knew I wanted to see it in the flesh, so it was good to be over in the UK once again last week. Derek and his little team were happy to have me and show me around, take lots of pictures of their latest car and have a cup of tea. Thank you guys! I will write a more comprehensive article about Hambly Cars and 'LLG' later. 


The Hambly Cars dream team. Left to right: Edward, Anna Maria and Derek
Picture Jeroen Booij

The Green Mean Machine is back now, thanks to Derek Hambly and his team
Picture Jeroen Booij

The car has become a real stunner with great attention to detail thanks to its owner
Picture Jeroen Booij

Correct badging, only the paint colour is different, now a Corvette metallic green
Picture Jeroen Booij

10" Dunlop D1 wheels, Fiat 850 rear lights, even number plates of the correct type
Picture Jeroen Booij

The engine is a 1275, originally it was an 'S' with twin SUs and hot cam set at 7,000rpm
Picture Jeroen Booij

Interior looks great, too, in all its simplicity and period correct-ness
Picture Jeroen Booij

Derek Hambly in his workshop. He and his little team do and make just about anything themselves
Picture Jeroen Booij

Another early car that is now ready to be built. Note original chassis behind it
Picture Jeroen Booij

Derek had just come from the local circuit of Brands Hatch where he'd been racing his own car
Picture Jeroen Booij

Monday, 20 September 2021

Visiting a reader in the UK

Reader Stephen Bulling got in touch just a year or two ago, and with such interesting messages that I was eager to catch up when in the UK next time. Despite the current rules making a visit to the country not particularly easy I did manage to do so last week and did meet up with Stephen in Essex. His hearth is full with Mini based cars and he owns a lovely little collection of them. Below is a selection of photographs of some of Stephen's cars, an Ogle SX1000, a Mini powered Davrian Mk7 and a Mini recently converted by Neville Trickett into a MiniSprint. Thanks for having me Stephen and taking the time to show me around.

Stephen was not the only person I visited in the country. Later this week I'll post some more pictures that were taken during another fabulous meeting. Stay tuned.


Stephen Bulling bought this Ogle SX1000 in 2007. It's now been fully restored
Picture Jeroen Booij

It is equipped with a 1275 with multipoint injection and airconditioning. He uses it!
Picture Jeroen Booij

An avid Maximum Mini reader, Stephen knows his Mini derivatives and owns several
Picture Jeroen Booij

Among them also this Davrian Mk7 racer. It will be turned into a road car soon 
Picture Jeroen Booij

Most of the Davrians came with Imp power - this is a rare mid-Mini-engined example
Picture Jeroen Booij

And how about this? A proper MiniSprint by master coachbuilder Neville Trickett
Picture Jeroen Booij

The car needs finishing touches but the mechanicals are ready, again it's Mpi powered
Picture Jeroen Booij

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Is Nick's Heerey the missing show car..?

The Heerey GTM found by Nick Wilkins in a farm yard earlier this month (click here) may hide an interesting background. Its ultra-1970s metalflake purple paint has struck a chord by builder Howard Heerey. 

Nick wrote: "The car is getting more interesting. Howard Heerey remembers a nail varnish purple show car being built... This one was built to a very high standard and was fully trimmed in side with purple carpet. It’s fitted with a servo and the full heater. It’s got Cibie Iode headlights. 6 inch Cosmic wheels with Goodyear Rally Specials on. The speedo only shows 19 miles, which looking at the tyres would be right as they still have the moulding tits on them. The engine is an 1098 with extra stays off the remote. The body is in fantastic condition with traces of the twin pin stripe still visible on some of the paint. The tub is very rotten so will need lots of love or even a new one. It’s just turning in to a fun car to try and trace its history as it must have been quite special to have been finished to such a high standard. The windscreen is dated 1971 and I will look at the dates on the switch gear when we get it apart. The story continues... who knows might be the missing show car…"

Well, that is interesting indeed. Does somebody remember having seen the car in the early 1970s? I guess it's one you wouldn't forget about too soon...


Much of the 'nail varnish purple' paint has flaked off, but not all
Picture Nick Wilkins

The speedo only shows 19 miles, which looking at the tyres could be right
Picture Nick Wilkins

The engine is an 1098 with extra stays off the remote
Picture Nick Wilkins

The body is in fantastic condition but the tub is very rotten. Note plastic petrol tank
Picture Nick Wilkins

Cibie Iode headlights are quite special and not too easy to find
Picture Nick Wilkins

Air intakes at the back are a specific feature not seen on all the Heereys
Picture Nick Wilkins

Is this the most 1970s paint colour that there ever was?
Picture Nick Wilkins

Corbeau seats are another thing specific for the period. Glass is all there
Picture Nick Wilkins

Monday, 13 September 2021

Biota works racer: BUY 1OR2

A message from Tim Harber: "Just posting this link when I put 1972 into this library. There’s hours of fun looking at old clips but if you look at the 'Scene ‘72 Take 7' film you will see a millisecond of the 'Works' Biota BUY1OR2 from the rear. All good fun…" (click here to see it)

"Oh, Jeroen: BUY1OR2 comes from when some notable Mk2 racing Jaguars in the sixties had the registration BUY 1 and BUY 12. That is Buy One or BUY One Too. Hence BUY One or Two. Not a proper reg but a bit of a piss take."

Good one Tim, thanks!


BUY 1OR2 - Buy one or two... "Not a proper reg but a bit of a piss take"
Picture via Tim Harber

BUY 1 - the infamous Jaguar Mk2 racer's registration was an inspiration
Picture southdownsecure.com

As was its sister car: 'BUY 12', seen here with Graham Hill behind the wheel
Picture flickr.com

Wednesday, 8 September 2021

Scamp six-wheeler survivors

It's not very often that you come across a barn find Scamp six-wheeler, but two of them turned up in about a week's time. First there was the Mk2 rescued from one very rural barn by arch-Maximum Mini fan Tony Bucknall. Tony went there for another car and took the Scamp as a bonus. However, the barn was so full of stuff, he could only see the front of it. He wrote: "The Scamp I really didn’t want! And until it was dragged out I didn’t know it was a 6 wheeler! It has Cooper 'S' brakes, carbs and braided hoses. I think it was destined to be a nice build, but has been sat well over a decade."

The other car re-appearing is another Mk2 that has been seen lying in the woods for ages but is now rescued by Darren West and Mickey Bates. It's got some unusual features such as a curved windscreen and sliding doors and it looks very much deteriorated, but Darren sees a challenge in that. He wrote on Facebook: "We hope to get it back up and running". It would be fantastic to see these cars being brought back to life! 

UPDATE 16:00: John Keith Halliday writes: "Hi Jeroen. Just read your article on the six-wheelers. The second one looks like a Mk1. You can see rear subframes and the sides look lower than a Mk2 (although difficult to see sides with the sliding door open). Thank you for all your articles. Keep up the good work. All the best." Thank you John, I think you are right!


Tony found another Scamp: "But until it was dragged out I didn’t know it was a 6-wheeler!"
Picture Tony Bucknall

Hooked up behind his van and ready to be transported for the first time in ages
Picture Tony Bucknall

The Scamp six-wheeler will join Tony's collection of Mini based cars. He has quite a few!
Picture Tony Bucknall

"It has Cooper 'S' brakes, carbs and braided hoses. I think it was destined to be a nice build"
Picture Tony Bucknall

Another Scamp six-wheeler spent much of its life deep in the woods
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

But the car has now been rescued also, this time by Darren West and Mickey Bates
Picture Darren West

Another challenging restoration but Darren wrote: "We hope to get it back up and running"
Picture Darren West

Tuesday, 7 September 2021

Is Sue's Grantura Yak really a 1967 car?

Sue Willis wrote to me about her newly purchased Grantura Yak: "Hello Jeroen I am a new subscriber to your blog and wonder if you can give me any help with my new purchase of a Grantura Plastics Ventura Yak. I purchased it from a friend who is 92 and hasn't driven it for some years but it's a runner and I intend to spend the winter sorting it out properly. He needed the garage space for his mobility scooter and I happened to be in the right place at the right time!"

"There doesn't seem to be much information on the internet and it has a Q registration meaning 'indeterminate age' (as I'm sure you know). The log book gives it a date of 1988. However the chassis number is GP/YAK/011/67 - does this mean it was built in 1967? Looking forward to hearing from you. Kind regards Sue".

I had to dig into the magazine archive as the original press release that I have of the Yak is unfortunately undated. But I found that the first appearances of the car in the motoring press date back to October 1969 (The Autocar, Hot Car plus Car & Car Conversions), so I think it's safe to say the first production Yaks appeared in late 1969. So... what does that make of Sue's car? Anyone who has an idea, let me know!


Sue took over this Grantura Plastics Yak from its former 92 year old owner
Picture courtesy Sue Willis

"It's a runner and I intend to spend the winter sorting it out properly"
Picture courtesy Sue Willis

The chassis number seems to indicate it was a '67 build. But is that even possible?
Picture courtesy Sue Willis

The Grantura Yak is not mentioned in the motoring press before late-1969
Picture Jeroen Booij archive