A real shocker on the last day of the year: Barry Stimson died at the age of 82 yesterday. Barry was the man behind a great number of designs, many of them Mini based. Best-known of these was the Stimson Mini Bug, but there were also the Stimson Safari Six, Stimson Scorcher, Stimson Trek and many more. Apart from cars there were also boats, camper vans, bikes and even the odd amphibian or tracked vehicle, most of them coming to life in the 1970s and 1980s. He once told me: "Oh, there were plenty of other plans, I mean, I had some sort of design diarrhea at the time." Some of his ideas never reached production while others made it to the prototype stage. But apart from being a very prolific designer, he was a lovely and funny man in the first place who was always happy to see you and dish up some good stories from his many travels and all the vehicles he used on them.
Barry's wife Caroline told me that in September he'd had a stroke and had to have a blood clot removed from his brain. This morning she wrote: "Hi Jeroen. Just wanted to let you know that Barry passed away peacefully last night" I will start the new year with a series of articles about this very special man. Meanwhile, I wish all the best to Caroline and the rest of the Stimson family.