Monday, 6 February 2023
Friday, 3 February 2023
Thursday, 2 February 2023
Bound to be an unsolved mystery for the rest of its life, the surprise was great when in December 2019 this Mystery Mini Derivative turned out to survive. I mean, it was seen in Wellington, New Zealand in the early 1980s and then believed to have been scrapped shortly after this picture was taken by Graeme Farr. It was also identified by a previous owner back in 2019 as the Eclipse.
Now, fast forward another three years and the one-off Eclipse still hasn't moved from the breaker's yard in Horopito. Steve Harris spotted it there only yesterday. Come on guys, what are you waiting for? All those boring cars that are being restored are the same - this one is unique. Don't tell me in another 10 or 20 years that I didn't warn you. This car needs saving.
Wednesday, 1 February 2023
About two months ago I wrote about the long-lost Mini Jem Estate, which turned out to be still alive (click here). And it wasn't on its own. From the article: "It's still in the UK and it's not the only exiting Mini based car the current owner has. More to follow." Well, the other car didn't come with much information - in fact there were just two hazy pictures of it and I was hoping for more, which doesn't seem to come. And so I'm sharing them here now.
Yes, that's a Biota and it seems to be one that hasn't been seen before (well, not by me). From what we can see it looks incomplete and pretty sorry for itself standing out in the cold. Is it a Mk1 or a Mk2? I can't really see it but tend to believe it's the latter with the non-opening bonnet bulge. Remarkably, a dashboard doesn't seem to have been fitted. Has this car ever been on the road at all? Engine and front suspension are there but again it's hard to say anything about these due to the picture quality. So there we go. Any further information about this car would be highly appreciated!
UPDATE 11:50: Biota Mk2 owner Robert Scott conforms it to be a Mk2: "Definitely a Mk2. Brake and clutch master cylinders are forward of the front bulkhead line, just like mine."
Friday, 27 January 2023
Thursday, 26 January 2023
Wednesday, 25 January 2023
Your help is needed: I am looking for a picture of a racing car named the Aldon-Viper BMC. This car was built by Aldon Engineering and raced in 1970 and 1971 by a man named Pat Ryan from Halesowen in the Midlands. The car was described as 'A slender chassis design, powered by a BMC Mini engine and used for sprints and hill climbs". I did speak to Aldon-boss Alan Goodwin.
Who has ever laid his eyes on it - or knows of a picture?
Tuesday, 24 January 2023
These cool pictures have been in the Maximum Mini files for ages and I thought I'd share them with you now. They are unique photographs of the Deep Sanderson 301 production car's pre-launch - well, I believe it to be that. The 301 was of course officially launched at the Racing Car Show of January 1963, but these pictures are not taken there. And so I can only think of this being a private little party to celebrate the car getting ready for its first showing to the world, probably in Acton where it was built by LawrenceTune Engineering. I have never seen them anywhere else. Anyone who knows more is welcome to add any further information.
Friday, 20 January 2023
Boy, is the first Mystery Mini Derivative for this year shrouded in - er - mystery! It's only believed to be Mini powered, but even that is not known for sure. The picture was provided by regular supplier Roald Rakers and was supposedly shot in 1969 during a race in Japan in what was known as the 'Golden Series Minicar Challenge'.
That does indeed look like a Mini engine poking out of the front to me, with two carburetors standing in the right position, aren't they? And those wheels may very well be 10" Mini ones also. But then... the Japanese had some small cars on offer, too. So... who knows more about this intriguing little racer from Nippon?
UPDATE 21 January 2023: Not a Mini derivative! According to Noriyuki Karikomi this is a Honda N360 based Phantom Formula Junior car. Thank you very much.