Wednesday, 30 November 2022
Mallalieu's Microdot - what could have been
Friday, 25 November 2022
Happy Thanksgiving 2022
Friday, 18 November 2022
Agricultural contraption: the Goblin
And now for something completely different! This is the Goblin - a Mini based tractor. I'd never heard of it until a year ago when one turned up for sale. I soon learned the unlikely creature was marketed and sold in the late 1990s by Carlisle-based Goblin Vehicles. They used reconditioned 1100- or 1300cc A-series engines placed longitudinally and mid-mounted in a galvanized rigid space frame and mated to Land Rover axles, locked centre and lockable front and rear differentials. It was all designed to carry a 500kg or eight people platform load. And that's all I know - more information would be much appreciated.
Goblin Vehicles do appear to have sold a few, because Richard Hawcroft dropped me a line recently with another being offered for sale. "A new one for you", he thought, continuing: "This sold for £1250 (I think) at the Euro Auction near here this week. My brother said it was huge, it has Land Rover series axels, so that gives an idea of scale. You can just see the Mini radiator in one of the photos." I answered: "Believe me or not, but I’d heard about the Goblin before and it even seems there were more than just the one as I have some pics of what surely has to be another example?" Richard had the last words: Jeroen, I like to keep you on your toes"
Well, let me tell you he does. Cheers mate!
Wednesday, 16 November 2022
Ogles in Japan (1)
Friday, 11 November 2022
NEC Classic Car Show 2022: the Mini derivatives
Wednesday, 9 November 2022
Mystery Mini Derivative (84): Kiwi Twini
Twinis (twin engined Minis for those of you who forgot) were made in a wide variety. John Cooper's version became famous after it almost killed the man himself, but there were many more. You may be surprised about the number of Twinis built on Mini based cars too, or ones that almost saw the light of day. From Deep Sanderson to Butterfield Musketeer and from Scamp to Ranger. Read more about some of them here.
Tim Neal tipped me off about a Twini that's offered for sale in New Zealand. According to the seller it was built in Dunedin by a man who made more Moke style cars, all road legal ones but just with the single engine. This one, however, was different and was never road registered. It is now offered for sale, still as a project and as a 1970 Mini.
Apart from the mechanicals not much of the Mini's base appears to have been used with home-made steel floors, or so it seems, and a body which looks to be made of aluminium. It comes with a 'condition unknown' 850cc engine at the rear and a 1000- or 1100cc that has to be mounted in the front subframe. There are twin fuel tanks and 12" wheels. A rewarding project no doubt. See the ad here.
Monday, 7 November 2022
Stimson Safari Six, as seen on Swiss tv
Seen in a 1985 magazine: a tiny picture of a Stimson Safari Six. I don't think it's one I have seen before, looking to be registered 'GDW 531E'. Interestingly the snippet about the National Mini Day in June that year mentions the following: "Some of the more interesting vehicles at the really included the Mini Mk1 which starred in the BBC television series 'One by One' and a rare six-wheeled Stimson Safari Six, one of only 12 built. This bizarre machine has glassfibre bodywork on a space frame chassis and travelled to the rally straight from Zurich where it has received substantial television coverage."
Who knows more..?
UPDATE 18:00: Mystery solved! It's a young Colin Baines leaning against the car, which was his at the time (he's owned more than one!). Colin: "Ha! Yes this was me age 25 at the Mini Cooper Club meeting at Beaulieu, I'd just driven over from the International Mini meeting in Switzerland where it won 'Der Ungewöhnlichste Mini' trophy - (The Most Unusual Mini) on TV." Footage from it can be seen here. Thanks Paul and Colin!
Friday, 4 November 2022
What exactly is Paul's convertible?
Thursday, 3 November 2022
The Stimson Mini Bug of 'The Wombles'
Keeping up with the 'Mini based cars on British television' theme (last week's Unipower in The Troubleshooters here), I was sent this little movie clip below of 'The Wombles', which supposedly made it to the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest, famously won by ABBA of Sweden. If you go to 1:50 in the clip you will see three beach buggies, two of them VW powered but number three being a Stimson Mini Bug!
Barry Tilbury wondered if it could be his car, which happens to be another example that made it to a British television series in the 1970s (see here and here). Although the Wombles clip comes in a pretty low quality, the registration of the Bug seen in that seemed to be different from Paul's. 'LPM 317K' perhaps?
Well, almost. It turns out to be 'EPM 317K' and the car is known by arch Stimson enthusiast Paul Wylde who added "It lives in a field in Wales and the guy will not sell it - I tried." Pity. It is a great little car with some fun history that deserves some tender loving care after all.
The Wombles made it as an act to the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest, famously won by ABBA
And that's the car today, sitting in a field in Wales with the owner not wanting to sell it
Picture courtesy Paul Wylde