Monday, 25 May 2015

IMM 2015 Lithuania in pictures

To be honest I didn't plan to come over to Lithuania for the International Mini Meeting (IMM) that took place on a peninsula near Zarasai in the north-eastern part of the country. But when MINI invited me to go it was a chance I had to take, and I am glad I did it! It was a fantastic weekend with several people being brave enough to drive their Mini derivatives over from thousands of miles, too. This is my photographic report about it. 


My favourite derivative duo of the event: the Mini Jem Mk2 of Andy Tyndale and 
Mini Marcos Mk3 of Guy Humphries. Great seeing you there chaps!
Picture Jeroen Booij

The boys drove London-Brighton just prior to bringing the cars over to Lithuania - a jiffy!
Picture Jeroen Booij

Guy showing his latest feature on the Mini Marcos. Air conditioning! And it had three internal positions too: Cabin (as shown); Feet (inside part turned down); Rain (inside part turned up)
Picture Jeroen Booij

Guy and Andy also took the cars to the Autotest to race against each other
Picture Jeroen Booij

The course was very narrow but the boys were pretty quick. Andy was slightly faster if I recall right
Picture Fabian Kirchenberger

But Guy's performance was least as impressive, flying the flag for England
Picture Fabian Kirchenberger

Speaking about impressive: how about a Freestyle driven over from Somerset?! I understand it was the company's owner Dave Smart who did just that, but unfortunately I didn't catch up with him
Picture Jeroen Booij

Now that's a neat idea. And very cheap too!
Picture Jeroen Booij

Your source for obsolete spares - and knowledge! Nick Rogers and Co. were there, too
Picture Jeroen Booij

Another brave traveller - the Mk2 Scamp of Alan Bland, all the way from Cumbria
Picture Jeroen Booij

Alan also took his Scamp to the auto testing track and certainly knew how to use the handbrake!
Picture Jeroen Booij

I catched up with Jouke Boersen and girlfriend Daphne of The Netherlands who brought over their Mini Marcos - an ongoing project with lots of work carried out yet
Picture Jeroen Booij

It's yellow now, but it's had several colour changes throughout the years, as Jouke shows here. 
Thanks for the coffee mate!
Picture Jeroen Booij

Another Mk4 Mini Marcos was bought in Sweden by Jan Pettersson just prior to the event. He lives in France and will now be driving the car back to his French home!
Picture Jeroen Booij

Jan told me he doesn't know much about the car's history but this sticker may suggest it was an original import to Sweden. More info here
Picture Jeroen Booij 

It has a full roll bar and there were several indications of attempts to make it lighter. For racing?
Picture Jeroen Booij

Unusual but very nice rear lights, too. Who knows the source of these?
Picture Jeroen Booij

Nice Dutch registered Domino Pimlico on 13 inch wheels
Picture Jeroen Booij

And a neat Midas Gold convertible from Darmstadt, Germany
Picture Jeroen Booij

MINI of Munich brought the Mengers four-door Mini over to Lithuania, previously seen here
Picture Jeroen Booij

And they were so kind to lend me and a colleague this car to tour Lithuania. This local lady liked it
Picture Jeroen Booij

And then she wanted to show us her place and offered us coffee and biscuits. There was, however, a bit of a language barrier - putting things mildly
Picture Jeroen Booij

Fortunately this duo of youngsters walked past and were happy to act as translators. After the coffee we gave them a ride to their home in the Mini, which they loved!
Picture Jeroen Booij

Lithuania is beautiful and the Lituanians are friendly people. The event took place on a peninsula close to Zarasai which turned out to be a fantastic spot for a meeting like this
Picture Fabian Kirchenberger

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

One Unipower GT that does survive in Spain

Not much information comes with these two pictures, but at least it's good to see that 'B-570090' survives. Or seems to do so. It's one of several Unipower GTs that came to Spain. Here's another Barcelona-registered one, plus one from Madrid and another on Madrid plates. Even Spanish EU commissioner Miguel Arias Canete has one! And then there were several Unipowers that were raced in Spain. This one in the '68 Barcelona 6-hour race and the one below at an unknown place and time. More info? You know where to find me.

Barcelona-registered Unipower is one of several cars that made it to Spain
Picture via Xavi Enrich

Dusty but looking good. Who knows more about this Unipower?
Picture via Xavi Enrich

This is believed to be another Spanish Unipower GT, but again, there's no more information
Picture source unknown


Monday, 18 May 2015

Swiss Stimson found - but who knows more about Swiss Mini Bug coffee bar?

A very nice Stimson Mini Bug has come up for sale in Switzerland, which makes me wonder again about the Swiss-built Stimsons, imported as kits by Carrosserie Brühwiler in Luzern. See here for some more information. Was this car one of the official ones? It may well be. The car appears to have the same kind of spats around the rear wheels as the one on the official picture. Oh - and this one in Switzerland seems to have them, too. But then there's this little plate under the bonnet saying 'Hesteller (builder): Lehner + Kocher'. Who were they? Another plate, on the car's body, says 'Another moulding by Fauchon Plastics Ltd'.

I asked Barry Stimson for a little clearing up and he said: "The Swiss bug looks nice...but sounds a lot of money (they ask 12,500 Euros-JB). Fauchon Plastics is the company I got to mould most of the production cars from plugs and moulds of mine. They moulded Mini Bugs simply for us. They did not have any rights to sell mouldings direct. I may have agreed that they could badge to say 'Another moulding by Fauchon Plastics' - I don't remember… it was all a bit laid back at that time. If it helped them I probably said okay. Or… I suppose they could have sold mouldings without my knowledge, but I don't think so."

But Barry wouldn't by Barry if he didn't come up with a nice little fun fact: "I had only one agent in Switzerland but I also remember there was a coffee bar, in Zurich I think,  called The MINI BUG. The table napkins had graphics depicting a Mini Bug....and a real Mini Bug, minus engine, set on a plinth or pole in the centre of the shop. I don't have any pix anymore…"

Now wouldn't it be nice to learn a bit more about that..? Who can help us with pictures or more information?

Swiss Stimson Mini Bug looks very nice. Note rear wheel spats and front spoiler
Picture courtesy mobile.de

Asking price of 12,500 Euros seems somewhat on the steep side though
Picture courtesy mobile.de

Was it a 'Carrosserie Brühwiler' car? It is said to have a 1976 registration...
Picture courtesy mobile.de

…and a 998 engine. Unlike Mini Bug in Swiss coffee bar, which came without
Picture courtesy mobile.de

Fauchon Plastics did most of the mouldings for Stimson's cars, but didn't sell bodies. Probably
Picture courtesy mobile.de

But who were Lehner and Kocher? Privateers building a Mini Bug for themselves..?
Picture courtesy mobile.de



Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Maximum Mini posters ready for shipment


Maximum Mini posters, A1 size - 594 x 841mms, are now ready for shipment to just about any address in a strong carton tube. Prices are £5.99 / €8.50 / $10.00 for the poster itself, but postage makes it more. Including postage and packing they come at:

To the UK

£13.50 for 1
£18.50 for 2
£23.50 for 3
£28.00 for 4
£32.00 for 5

To Europe

€18.50 for 1
€26.00 for 2
€33.00 for 3
€40.00 for 4
€46.00 for 5

To the US

$30.00 for 1
$39.00 for 2
$47.00 for 3
$55.00 for 4
$59.00 for 5

If you want more, just let me know and I'll make you a nice price. All messages please to jeroen@jeroenbooij.com

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Marcoses gather at Japan Mini Day 2015

While we had Blyton Park, Japan had its annual Mini Day - the 23rd in row and this time held at Tsukuba Raceway, some 75 kms from central Tokyo. This year saw a particularly nice gathering of Mini Marcoses: six of them in various guises made it for the nice picture below. I recognize some of these cars - the first in line actually is Maruyama's infamous Ford powered 'Shelby Special', while the second and third have come past here, too. Oh - and there appears to be a Mini Sprint at the bottom - maybe this one? When I was in Japan in 2008 I saw two very nice Mini Marcoses, too, but I don't think these made part of the line-up seen here. Perhaps readers will know where these cars are now?

Six Mini Marcoses (and a MiniSprint) in a row along the Tsukuba race track
Picture courtesy Alec Classic Mini 古都鎌倉ア

This Mk2 Mini Marcos was for sale with Turtle Trading in Tokorozawa some 7 years ago
Picture Jeroen Booij

While I spotted this one on Fuji Raceway: a very nice Mk3. It was race prepared
Picture Jeroen Booij

Friday, 8 May 2015

Looking back at Blyton Park 2015 (2)

Over to more Mini based cars, seen at Blyton Park during the Maximum Mini / Mk1 Performance Action Day of last weekend (click here for part 1). I agree with Ogle-owner Guy Loveridge who said: "Really great gathering, which the weather did NOT spoil!". TiCi owner Ian Mitcheson wrote to me: "Blyton Park seems to have established itself very quickly" and I can only confirm that. Let's make the 2016 version even better.

Goff Allen's stunning Mini Jem Mk2 came over fresh from its restoration
Picture Jeroen Booij

Back in 1968 Goff bought another Mini Jem from Robin Statham, he shows the original invoice here
Picture Jeroen Booij

He paid 225 pounds for the shell at the time and swiftly built it up from an old Mini. The car was registered XWW 98G and Goff wonders what happened to it after he sold it in 1971. 
Picture Jeroen Booij

Surprise! Colin Baines brought over his Broadspeed GT replica. The car was built in a record time prior to the show, using an original wrecked car from Japan as a template. 
Picture courtesy Stuart Watson

Other then the original, Colin, who owned a Broadspeed GT in the late 1980s, has decided his new car will have a full fiberglass body. And except for the doors, that's just what it is!
Picture Jeroen Booij

You will know that Neville Trickett has relaunched the MiniSprint for some years now and this is a stunning example of one such recently built cars
Picture Jeroen Booij

The primrose yellow suits the car particularly well and is great with the blue/grey interior, I think. But then open the bonnet and you find a seven-port cylinder head...
Picture Jeroen Booij

And what's better then one Trickett MiniSprint? Another two of course!
Organizer Mark Forster's blue car on the left 
Picture Jeroen Booij

While this one is owned by journalist Keith Mainland, here with his lovely wife Angélica,
 who is a veteran on the Carrera Panamericana road race
Picture Jeroen Booij

Ed Darwinkel's beautiful Midas Gold was driven all the way from Rotterdam 
- via Calais-Dover - a 500 mile trip
Picture Jeroen Booij

What would the Blyton Park event be without father and son Wilkins? This is Nick in the Biota Mk2...
Picture courtesy Stuart Watson

...And that's Derek in the ex-Cars and Car Conversions Cox GTM, of course driven on the track
Picture courtesy Stuart Watson

Another car that was seen on the race track was Paul Ogle's Fletcher GT - 49 years after it was raced for the last time at the Nurburgring - see here
Picture Jeroen Booij

Parting shot - a GTM Coupe, which gave its owner a huge smile on the 
Blyton Park track - that's what it was all about!
Picture Jeroen Booij