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The most comprehensive resource for the early mini fan anywhere

Bertone Mini Vip


By the mid 1960's everyone was offering their own take on the Mini.


Even the internationally famous Italian styling house "Bertone" were offering their own luxury mini.


The Mini VIP was very similar in many ways to the offerings from the likes of Hoopers & Radford, but their rendering of the front / grill area can only be described as "unique". Thanks to Paul Lips in Italy who provided these pictures.


The Broadspeed GT


Possibly the most beautiful of all the true Mini derivative cars the Broadspeed GT was the brainchild of Mr Ralph Broad of Broadspeed Engineering in Birmingham. Broadspeed were one of the most successful Mini racing teams of the early 1960's. Decoding to capitalise on this they developed the Broadspeed GT

a half steel, half glass fibre fastback Mini. Although this was initially envisaged as a luxury road going vehicle it became well known as a GT racer. A Broadspeed was once timed doing 145mph and was reputed to have overtaken an AC Cobra on the straight in one event.


Broadspeed suffered a major fall out with BMC in 1966 leading to them racing Ford Anglias


The Broadspeed GT


Read the CCC review of the Broadspeed GT.


The Broadspeed GT (Australian Specification)


After the demise of the Broadspeed GT in the UK. The moulds were sent to Australia where a small number of GT's were manufactured by Brian Foley Motors. The brochure produced to the left is for the Australian spec cars.


The Buckle Monaco 2+2.


Manufactured in the mid 1960's by Bill Buckle conversions of Brookvale. The conversions are available from as little as £400 and included new windows, interior, dash seats etc.


I don't imagine they sold too many, but we know that at least two are still going, one of which is a very successful historic racer in Australia.

       





The Biota


Manufactured by the Coldwell Engineering Company. The Biota was a Mini based front engined, front wheel open sports car. Reputed to be very well designed and engineered it still looks as though it has had a good few whacks from the Ugly Stick for my liking.


I have received a copy of a brochure for the Biota from Nick Rogers of Min-e-bitz in Sheffield. Thanks Nick.


The Camber GT


The "Checkpoint" Camber GT was a sub Mini Marcos variant kit car. It was available in the mid 1960's and was available in a variety of specifications, the basic kit coming in at £435. Certainly not the cheapest Mini based kit, but quite a good looking one.


The Cooper Car Company Mini Cooper S Traveller.


Click on the image opposite to see a copy of the original brochure for this incredibly rare beast. Only 6 were ever supplied. Two went to Steve McQueen! The car featured in the brochure has now been restored to its former glory. Keep your eyes peeled and you may see it out and about.


The "Contessa" GT


Another extremely rare brochure. This variant was produced by Contessa Cars of Halifax Yorkshire. The Contessa was a coach built style 1275 GT Mini Clubman with all the usual Radford style refinements including Wilton carpet, sound deadening, interior lights & other gizmos.


The Crayford Minisprint


Certainly NOT a Minisprint as you or I know one. The Crayford Minisprint was a convertible Mini . The most famous Minis produced by Crayford were the Heinz Hornets 57 convertible Wolsley Hornets that were given away as prizes in a competition. This brochure is for the Mini Saloon variant.


The Deep Sanderson 301.


Another "Holy Grail". The Deep Sanderson 301 was another rear engined Mini Cooper based sports / racer. One of the rarest and dare I say it most hideously ugly Mini cariants ever made, at least in this early form anyway. In this early form which in all fairness was much revised (see the DOWNTON PICS section), the finish leaves much to be desired, check out the picture on page 2. A much revised later version of this car is one of the only Mini variants to race at Le Mans.

       



The Fletcher GT


The Fletcher GT is another Mini variant that started off under another name.


Born as the Ogle SX100 it started out life as one of the most beautiful Mini Variants ever produced, see Ogle SX100 further down the page. However after the death of david Ogle it's designer in a car crash the project was sold to "Norman Fletcher (Sales & Development) Ltd. A company who's primary business was the fabrication of GRP boats. Fletchers had actually been supplying Ogle with the shells before they bought the project.


Anyway, once the deal was done Fletchers set about "improving" the design. Various Ogle / Fletcher hybrids are about some with a fletcher front & an Ogle back, some vice versa. The original Fletcher GT model that was presented at the racing car show has recently been restored back to it's original racing trim & should be seen out and about later this year.


Thanks to paul Stanworth the owner & restorer of the above car for the images reproduced here.









The Maya GT


Based on the Camber GT. This front engined GT. Combined sleek body lines for low wind resistance with a pug ugly front end. Definitely a retrograde step back from the Camber GT.



The MiniBug


One of the strangest Mini variants I have ever seen. This late 60's creation is possibly the bastard offspring from an unholy union between a Mini a Bond Bug and a NASA Moon buggy.


The brochure was obviously well aimed at their target market as it had no words. . . . .for those drivers too stoned to read.


Have you noticed that no one stands like this nowadays!



Mini Jem.


The Mini Jem was another "Plastic Fantastic" Mini based kit car. Originally designed as a development of the original Mini Dart the Jem retained a lot of the original DART features.


The project was sold a number of times throughout it's life & production finally ceased in 1976.




Mini Marcos.


By far the best known Mini variant is the Mini Marcos. Based on a Monocoque glassfibre shell which utilises Mini running gear in the conventional Mini FWD layout. Manufactured on and off from the mid 1960's. The Marcos is about as far as you can get from standard without ending up with something that isn't recognisably "Mini".


Click on the image for a multiple brochure download.




The Mini Martini.


Taken from a German magazine of the 1960's I have no more info on the Mini-Martini than you can see here. The following text was taken from the original Magazine article.


Take an Austin Cooper S that has fallen from a car transporter and put a light areodynamic plastic body on it. For sure, it is not too easy and the technical problems are not small, but it works. The floor of the car is seperated from the damaged body. After that the new GRP body is put on, some seats fitted.... then You notice that You have to put Your arms above your head to reach the steering wheel, so the steering column has to be lowered. Now You have nowhere for the cooling air to leave the car (In a Mini it is pushed sideways through the inner wings.) Therefore the radiator is mounted in the front. Battery and tank are fitted in the beck of the car so that it has the right weight balance. The advantages of this aerodynamic car can be easily be seen. When the car started running, With the standard transmission, you had to lift your foot at 170 km/h at the Bergwerk on the Nürburgring, because the car will rev to high. So we have to start again, bigger tires, bigger wheels, longer transmission, a 2 circuit brake system and so on. At first Mr. Martini was driving the car himself and reached a good third place at the Hansa Pokal race in heavy rain, standard tires and the engine wasn't even run in! We are really interested to see how the car will compete in the high horsepower "Eifel Air", when it is finished. Mr. Martini has big plans, he wants to build a little series of these and sell them to racing drivers. But where will he get so many damaged coopers from ?




Rob Walker / G.T. Equipment Co. Mini Sprint


The first commercial manifestation of the legendary Minisprint. Read what the originator of this classic Mini variant had to say about it. The rare brochure is courtest of Stephen Dalton.


Read more about Neville Trickett & the Minisprint HERE.












Stewart & Ardern Minisprint


Although not the first company to market the Minisprint, Stewart & ardern made the best attempt at selling it. They were the biggest, BMC agents in the London area and decided to go into limited production of this cut down Mini. Available in two sizes, low & lower, it's biggest problem was always the horrendous cost of modifying the shell by hand.


You would even get a Stewart & Ardern KEYRING with your new purchase.


As well as the catalogue, I have managed to add a copy of the covering letter & a copy of the price list sent out to potential purchasers in 1967. And at the bottom you will find a full copy of the press release issued prior to the 1967 Racing Car Show promoting the new "range" of Minisprints that were to be displayed there.


Click on the thumbnails for large scans.


I have recently discovered that GOY 764 D The Stewart & Ardern Mini Sprint GT featured in the accompanying advertisements was subsequently sold to the United States where it had a very successful club racing career for many years. Over the period it was modified many times & was eventually scrapped.


The original badges that GOY was sold with back in the late 60's. Unfortunately they are the last remains of this interesting Sprint.


The former owner writes;


I still have a few original parts as well as many good memories, same old conspirators as friends even today. My car (GOY) was featured in CCC July 1967. I’ve got the magazine and it shows the car with no S&A badge or Mini Sprint GT letters. They were located in the centre of the front hood where a regular badge would go and in the rear where on a MK 2 the 1275 would go. I started f-ing up the sprint immediately and removed and filled all the holes then i radiused all 4 wheel wells to fit the big wheels and tires and Grp 5 flares.










The Ogle SX 1000.


The Ogle SX1000 was one of the first glass fibre bodied Mini variants. Manufactured by David Ogle Ltd. It utilised 997 Cooper running gear and was manufactured spasmodically throughout the early to mid 1960s. The SX 1000 has the dubious honour of being the car that its designer Davis Ogle was killed in




The Radford GT de ville GT.


The original Mini Rolls Royce. Right from the outset in the very early 1960's a number of age old coachbuilding companies turned their attention to the humble Mini. Probably the greatest of these was Harold Radford (Coachbuilders) Limited. They could build you a tricked out Mini that costs as much as an E Type Jag!




Mini Magnifique .


Another take on coach built Minis from the Radford stable.




Radford Mini De Ville.


Yet another brochure on the high class Radford range of Minis.




Win a Radford Mini De Ville.


In 1965 the Daily Express newspaper held a competition to celebrate the production of the one millionth Mini. The prize for this competition was a beautiful new Mini Cooper S buolt to your own specification by Radford.


The prize was worth in the region of £1,500, not much you may think, but in 1965, £1,500 would buy you a brand new Jag and you would still have some change.


Check out the competition DETAILS.

The Twini Mini.


For a fuller story of the Twini_Mini click on the image to the left.









The Unipower GT


With its true sports car styling and rear engine, the Unipower GT is pushing the boundaries of Mini variants to the limit. It is however by far the most beautiful Mini based car ever made.


I do however believe they probably made a wider variety of brochures than they did cars.

       .

The Wild Goose.


Now then, should I be honest or tactful?


Sorry Goose owners, honesty wins every time. Reproduced here you can see an original brochure for what in my opinion are some of the most bizarre Mini variants of all time. The Wild Geese were produced in limited numbers during the 60's by a company in Worthing on the South coast of England, they were a range of Mini based motor homes. With their huge ply wood bodies and standard 850 engines just getting to your destination was an adventure in itself. I have spoken to one Wild Goose owner who claims that he once attained the heady speed of 60 mph in his. He also claimed it was one of the scariest things he had ever done.

Non BMC Variants
Variants of the Mini not manufactured by BMC
maya_gt.pdf mini_bug.pdf