Wednesday 31 August 2022

Endless summer of 2022

August 2022 appears to have seen more classic car shows and meetings than the two years preceding it. A collection of sunny pictures made it to here a couple of weeks ago (click) - here are yet more of them that I came across or that were sent over in the last month or so. Keep them coming.

Matt Butler's son took his Siva Buggy for a trip. Matt: "Dad, can I borrow the Bug to go camping with a friend? Hmmm. OK - but be careful and don't go too far. One week later they're at the seaside!"
Picture via Matt Butler

Matt again: "England, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, France. Now at Calais, the adventure is nearly over. Don't doubt the next generation!" Well said and well done boys!
Picture via Matt Butler

A very nice Mk1 Scamp seen on Malta. I believe it is for sale, too
Picture via Andy Turner

Many more Scamps made it to a meeting in Stourport last weekend. 
This Mk2 was pushed to the limits during the event 
Picture Becca Sydney

The number of cars attending the Scamp meet was impressive. Here a nice Scamp six-wheeler
Picture Roman Byk

Speaking of which... This Andersen Cub six-wheeler on Spanish plates was spotted last week in France
Picture via Thomas Laurent

And yet another Anderson Cub six! This time on Portugese plates and spotted at the 
All British Field Meet in Ontario, Canada
Picture Burton Reif

Last weekend in The Netherlands - the Euregio Meeting saw Mini Marcoses, Midases and Pimlicos.
Unfortunately I couldn't make it to the event. One Midas owner drove all the way from Tallinn, Estonia!
Picture Rolf Roozeboom

The Causeway Coast Mini Show in Northern Ireland saw a variety of Mini derivatives. This is an Indespension Jiffy that was turned into a camper van. Nice!
Picture Neil Kilbane

These cars are facing the Atlantic Ocean. Here a Midas Gold convertible disguising as a Ferrari
Picture Neil Kilbane

A rarity on its own, this particularly good looking Onyx Tomcat also at the Causeway Mini Meet
Picture Neil Kilbane

The Whitby Morrison 'Batman Special' ice cream van of Andy McPhail at the 
Dorset Steam Fair last weekend. Look at that shadow!
Picture Andy McPhail

If there's one person who continues to surprise me with his finds in South-Africa it's Leon Daniels. 
This is his latest discovery: an Elswick Envoy in highly original condition
Picture Stuart Neil Greig

How about this for a parting shot? An RTV at the Scamp meeting in Stourport on a beautiful night
Picture Tyler Hughes

Thursday 25 August 2022

Nimrod in brochures

Just some groovy promotional material for the Nimrod from the Maximum Mini files for you to enjoy. Although the car was manufactured originally in 1972-1974 only by Nimrod Engineering, several revamped versions by a number of companies appeared between 1979 until as late as 1986. Not too many of these cars were manufactured! It did bring forth some lovely advertising and brochure stuff though. A fully facelifted version was planned and did make it to a prototype somewhere in the 1980s, but it never appeared. Unseen pictures of it did emerge here years ago (click here). Enjoy!

Tuesday 23 August 2022

One-owner Camber GT still hides in barn

The Camber GT and Maya GT have been covered extensively here with articles on every car known to me. 'NPM 14F' was a bit of a mystery for some time. Back in 2011 there was very little known about it with only two sketchy pictures in the files (here). But not long after that I learned the car survives and was sent a few more pictures (here).

I spoke to the car's owner before who told me he'd bought the kit directly from Camber boss George Holmes and used it as a daily driver for several years. He made a trip to Germany in the car in 1968 or 1969, remembering it felt pretty small on the autobahns in between all the big BMWs and Mercs! Originally it used the 850 engine of the Mini that was used as a donor, but after a few years this was replaced by a 1000. Another couple of years on and it was time to fit a 1300 with race cam and big valved Cooper 'S' head! 

I also learned the Camber had had various colours in its life. Originally it was red, but at one time it became gold with a yellow stripe when people started naming it 'the Banana Split'. The car still needs a comprehensive restoration.

NPM 14F - a rare Camber GT that has been barn stored for decades now
Picture courtesy Gary Scott

Still owned by its original owner, it received several engines swaps and repaints over the years 
Picture courtesy Gary Scott

But this is it's last guise and the state it was put away in a barn all those years ago
Picture courtesy Gary Scott

Wednesday 17 August 2022

Filing the Wildgoose

Wildgoose Mini campervans appear here only occasionally. Every now and then one comes by when it is offered for sale, but the last time more of them were seen here was quite a while ago. Perhaps the time has come to see how many survivors there are today? I have pictures of a few, but why don't you tell me which ones you know about? Let's kick off with '108 FPO', which was the car used in the brochure and some of the PR photographs. Happy holidays if you are still enjoying them!

The Wildgoose was available in two variants: the Popular 2 and the Brent Super VEB
This is the 'VEB' with the abbreviation for 'Vertically Extending Body'
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

It was registered '108 FPO' and was used in a number of PR photographs, brochures and motoring magazine articles. It's unknown to the DVLA but could it survive?
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

Monday 15 August 2022

Mystery Mini derivative (81)

We know by bow that there are some extraordinary Mini derivatives to be found on the islands of the Caribbean. The wacky Moke-style cars of Petit St. Vincent (click here), the Carimoke, Minilan and Royal Bank Special of Barbados (click) and the 'Party Yaks' of Trinidad and Tobago (click). The car below was spotted on Trinidad and Tobago also, but even it's owner doesn't know what it is. Ramesh Sookdeo wrote: "The owner applied for a certified copy but didn't get any as yet. We don't know even what type of car it is." 

Although it definitely looks to be Mini based I have never seen it before either, although I quite like the Tonka toy looks of it, with big roll bars and fat Cobra drag slots. Anyone here who's seen it before..?

Mystery Mini based Jeep style car hails from Trinidad and Tobago
Picture Ramesh Sookdeo

Thursday 11 August 2022

Roamer in Germany

The Roamer, which was also known briefly under the names Arividerci Winchester and Moon's Moke remains a bit of a mystery. I have asked for more information about the cars before (here), but don't seem to get any further. 

One of the Roamers has been in Germany for quite some time now and I receive a message about it every now and then. Daniel Schultheimm wrote two years ago: "Hi Jeroen, I was looking for some information about the Roamer, a Metro based kit car, and found an article from you on Maximum Mini about these cars and there is a picture of one which seems to be the same as the one a friend of me bought last week and now we are looking for some history of it. It was stored for about 15 years in a shed in Germany."

More recently I received another message about it from its current owner. He wrote: "Hello Jeroen, I bought a strange car based on Mini-Metro called 'Roamer'. Yesterday I started the restoration. I tried to fill the hydrolastic system and fortunately I was successful. Today I will take out the engine. Kind regards, Turhan." 

I understand that previous owners have had troubles trying to register it, although I did find a picture of the car on German plates also. Let's hope this Roamer will get on the road at one point, meanwhile all information about thee vehicles is still very welcome.

Turhan's Roamer is undergoing a restoration in Germany but it remains a bit of a mystery
Picture Turhan

Engine will be out by this time, but it's the registration which causes trouble
Picture Turhan

Earlier picture if the same car 'It was stored for about 15 years in a shed in Germany'
Picture Daniel Schultheimm

I also received this picture of the car. That's surely a German plate. Maybe a temporary one?
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

Tuesday 9 August 2022

Unipower GT finally freed from Japanese warehouse

One article that keeps arousing interest here since it was published in 2016 is about the Unipower GT in the Japanese warehouse. Read it here if you forgot. This GT car was originally registered 'NPN 16F' in the UK in early 1968 and made a regular entrance at shows in the 1980s before it went to Japan in 1988. It was only driven a few years there before being stored in the now-infamous Pro Auto warehouse in Gifu without moving a wheel in decades to come.

Well, it has now! A customer of Yuji Kagawa, who runs Mini specialist shop Miniflag in Japan, has freed it from it long-term hiding and Yuji gave it some much needed tender loving care in the last months or so. His shop Miniflag is based in Hashima, just 10 miles down the road from the Pro Auto warehouse in Gifu.

Yuji wrote: "The current owner rescued it from Pro Auto Service and he also rescued the Janspeed racer 'JAN 4'. The Pro Auto shop is in chaos and there is so much clutter that there is nowhere to walk. There is a tremendous number of cars and parts (so much so that the world market price changes)." And about the Unipower: "Of course there are places to fix, but I think it is a valuable Unipower GT with a very high degree of originality. The car has recently had its exterior reworked and maintained, but it has not undergone a full restoration, making it a very rare Unipower with many original parts remaining. The engine is not a 998 Cooper unit, just a regular mini 998 with double SU carburettors and Janspeed exhaust. Maybe it is original. There is also a rare and genuine storage compartment. The instrument panel seems to be the original and I'm pretty sure the seats are original. I think it's the same with the Kangol seatbelts. Best regards, Yuji."

The Unipower is now offered for sale on behalf of the owner. A great chance to purchase what seems to be a lovely car. Click here to visit the Miniflag website and here for the Unipower ad.

This Unipower GT spent the last decades in a derelict car collection in Gifu, Japan
Picture Yuji Kagawa / Miniflag

Amazingly, it has come out now, and survives particularly good having only had a respray and some tlc recently. Note that rear light have been modified earlier in its life
Picture Yuji Kagawa / Miniflag

According to Yuji Kagawa the car comes with a very high degree of originality
Picture Yuji Kagawa / Miniflag

He thinks the engine is not a 998 Cooper unit though but a regular Mini 998 with twin SUs
Picture Yuji Kagawa / Miniflag

But it comes with this - the rarely seen luggage compartment that can be taken out...
Picture Yuji Kagawa / Miniflag

...As it can be fitted in the car's opening boot behind the engine. I'd only seen one before
Picture Yuji Kagawa / Miniflag

Bucket seats and Kangol seat belts are believed to be original items also and do look good
Picture Yuji Kagawa / Miniflag

Even the original shift pattern decal survives. Gear lever is of course placed in the sill
Picture Yuji Kagawa / Miniflag

Petrol tank, servos, washer reservoir, spare wheel and of course the car's chassis plate, it's all there
Picture Yuji Kagawa / Miniflag

Monday 8 August 2022

Larry's Unipower GT competition racer - a New York street car

I've been in touch with Larry Cieslinski of Rochester in the state of New York since a year now, after he showed me the image of the Unipower GT copied in below. Chatting to Larry is good fun since he traded, bought and sold hunderds of interesting cars, mostly in the 1970s and 1980s, the Unipower being just one of them. He added:

"It was one of five factory race cars and had a 1293 engine. I owned a company named Access Foreign Automotive at the time and sold my two Elva sports racers to buy it, one of these was a Mk2 with a Coventry Climax engine and the other a Mk4 I think or Mk5. I bought the car from a close friend of mine, Michael Grey, and used it as my street car just as I had used my Elvas. I owned 750 cars over the years and had another 500 parted out, 60 percent of them were British. We rallied a 1275 Mini and had a perfect Morris Cooper 'S'. I've led a colourful life and it isn't over yet!"

The car appears to be chassis number 23, which was raced by Ecurie Canada back in 1969 and I also found an article in 'Competition Press & Autoweek' dated October 1967 showing the same car on Lime Rock circuit next to another GT. Interestingly, the article mentions Rex Woodgate and Robin Seel as US sales representatives for the Unipower marque. The name of (the late) Rex Woodgate did ring a bell and so I got in touch with his son Chris, who wrote: "Nice of you to get in touch. I really wish I could be of more help but in 1967 I was 3 years old... I do remember seeing a Unipower running and on a trailer a few times, thinking it was 'compact' but super cool! Dad always spoke about them with great affection, but any details I am more than vague on. Mum is 96, but still pretty sharp, I will quiz her when I get a chance for further information. I have copied my Brother Neil. Being a tad older he may be able to add something ? Very Best, Chris."

Unfortunately Neil Woodgate didn't remember much more than his brother: "My recollection is equally vague. There were two of the cars but something differentiated them. Maybe the GT title or one was open top or maybe just colors. One was a mustard yellow I think. Think it was relatively short lived, no more than a couple of seasons. And concur that based on the pose, size, RayBan glasses and hint of a mustache, that’s Rex in the middle. Hadn’t heard the name Robin Seal in some time but recall he was the UK representative partnering with Rex."

It seems that the car, just like Larry, led a colourful life, too. Feel free to ad more info if you like.

Larry's Unipower GT when he owned it in the 1970s. It was formerly raced by Ecurie Canada
Picture Larry Cieslinski

The same Unipower in 1967 with US marque representatives Robin Seel and Rex Woodgate
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

Friday 5 August 2022

A Margrave Mini on Malta

Model car builder Max Derrez recently bought a book and was surprised about the sheer number of cars using the Mini's base. The one he ever came across was a Wood & Pickett Mini Margrave on the island of Malta when on holidays there years ago. "The owner told me he'd rather sell his wife than the car, or so he said to me", Max added. He didn't have any pictures of the car did he? Well as a matter of fact he did!

They arrived just a day later: "Hello Jeroen. See attached pictures of the W&P Mini that I saw on Malta back in 2001. These photos aren't very good as dawn came in when I took them. The car came with the Vauxhall grille and had all of its side seams removed, which must have been quite a job. As I wrote to you before, the owner knew he had something special. Very best, Max Derrez"

That is, of course much appreciated. Anyone here who knows more about this particular car, registered 'JAB 905' on the isle of Malta..?

UPDATE 13:00: Other fellow-Dutchman Henk van Brakel photographed the same car on the island of Malta in 1997 when it was still on its British plate: 'FOX 767L', added below now. Thank you!

Reader Max Derrez spotted this Wood & Pickett Mini Margrave on Malta back in 2001
Picture Max Derrez

Max wrote: "The owner told me he'd rather sell his wife than the car, or so he said"
Picture Max Derrez

Dark shadowlite windows, deseamed, fabric roof, Webasto and more... Do we know this car?
Picture Max Derrez

The car must have been a UK-import as Henk van Brakel spotted it on Malta on its British plate
Picture Henk van Brakel

Tuesday 2 August 2022

Summer 2022 - the show is on

It's summer and it's showtime once again! I have been sent lots of pictures of cars making it to shows in the last month or so and share some of the best of these here, together with some more bits and pieces that may interest you folk. I hope you'll enjoy them - and keep those pictures coming. 

Over in Australia this Jem was spotted last month by a friend of Ogle owner Neil Griffin. Neil wrote: "Jeroen, a friend who now lives in South Australia saw this at an impromptu car show over there." 
I think it's a Taylorspeed built car?
Picture via Neil Griffin

Neil Kilbane of Ireland spotted this 1977 Jimini Mk1 "Came upon it at a car boot sale about 25km from me. The guy said he had it for 20 years but never had it on the road. He was looking for €3500 for it!"
Picture Neil Kilbane

Not one but two Mini Ice cream vans with 'Batman' bodies by Whitby Morrison. One of them is owned by Andy McPail, who took this picture on a show at the British Motor Heritage Centre in Gaydon
Picture Andy McPhail

US reader Burton Reif attended the Mini Meet West in Kingston, Washington with his Ranger Cub, which he drove from Portland Oregon (previously seen here). He was surprised to see a Mini Marcos Mk4 driven all the way from Sacramento, California!
Picture Burton Reif

And a picture from the other side, giving a better view on Burton's Ranger. This photo was taken by the Marcos' owner Michael Kimball who is a keen Mini Marcos promotor in the US
Picture Michael Kimball

Three coachbuilts in a row! Gorgeous Radford Mini De Villes left and right with a Wood & Pickett Mini Margrave in between them, all three absolutely stunning cars owned by one and the same enthusiast
Picture George Knight

Mini Jem racer Pete Crudgington took this picture at Castle Combe of his own racer (left) back to back to the Mini Marcos Mk3 of Sam Polley. Both race in the CSCC Swinging 60’s Series
Picture Pete Crudgington

Ever saw a Status 365 from the underside? I hadn't! Stimson-fan Paul Wylde took this picture while his mate's Status was placed on the lift for some work to be carried out
Picture Paul Wylde

Another Mosquito came out of its hiding in July. Damien Lescroart wrote: "I knew about the existence of this Mosquito for years but never found any info or pictures of it. It appeared today"
Picture via Damien Lescroart

Mark Glasher's pretty Unipower GT made it to the prestigious concours d'elegance of the Goodwood Festival of Speed in June. It came out in a class for mid-engined 1960s cars
 Picture DrGrumoLunatic / Youtube

A well-used Birchall McCoy was seen at a show not far from my place in The Netherlands recently. It's the only McCoy that I have ever heard of in my country, and I really should have been there!
Picture Erik van den Eijnden

Also in The Netherlands, this Ogle SX1000 is in for a brake overhaul. Oh, hang on, it's my own car!
The full Cooper 'S' braking system was incomplete and clogged but works fine again by now
Picture Sipke Blom

Maximum Mini fan Barry Tilbury has been collecting Mini variants for years now. But it was only recently that he managed to find a place to put them all together. Scamps and more here...
Picture Barry Tilbury

...And more! Hat tip to anyone who can identify all of them under those covers, they're all Mini derivatives... Barry wrote: "When are you in the UK next I would love you to visit" Great!
Picture Barry Tilbury

Barry's latest purchase is a very interesting Mk1 Biota, which now joins the others. The car was seen here before when it was found on a peacock farm in Wales back in 2014 (click here)
Picture Barry Tilbury