SIXTEEN SPECIAL MINIS
For use in the balmier parts of the world, BMC built a small number of prestige cars in the shape of a most elegant ‘beach wagon’. Cars of this kind had been featured at Turin Motor Shows for many years, and, by definition, had neither doors nor windows. Protection from the sun, however, was afforded by either a metal canopy or, like the fiat Jolly series, by a ‘roof on top’ made of canvas.
In the Mini version of this theme, the Chief Stylist, Dick Burzi, himself of Italian parenthood, was given a free hand and came up with an entrancing and most elegant little car. They were made mainly for hotels de grande luxe who used them to carry customers from the bar to the beach and around the hotel grounds.
Two prototypes and fourteen "production" cars were produced in Longbridge before the project was axed.
The register has been created in order to track down as many survivors of this rare Mini variant, and to help owners restore and maintain these wonderfull little cars.
CONFIRMED SURVIVORS 8/16
THE FIRST PROTOTYPE
The first prototype built in late 1960/ early 1961 by the experimentel department at Longbridge. Unique grille, Elf/Hornet like end treatment, extended and ribbed roof and the lack of a rear window distinguish it from the other cars.
Car was found in a scrapyard in Athens, Greece in November 2010 and was restored over a period of two years.
THE SECOND PROTOTYPE
The Second prototype and the only RHD example. Famously loaned to the Queen Elisabeth II in the Sixties. The owner has owned this mini forover 45 years now and it has done just under 7000miles.
It was first put on the road in 1962 . It lives in the UK.
The car was gifted to a Canadian businessman directly from Lord Beaverbrooke, the Chairman of BMC at the time. He saw the car in the 1962 New York Motor show and wanted to use it as a jockey shuttle. The car has remained in Canada.
EX-QVALLE IDAHO CAR
It is a 1962 model and was given to Kjell Qvalle of San Francisco British Leland as a performance award. It sat for about 25 years in a back yard, before being restored about 10 years ago.
This car was sold at auction in 2005, to a museum in Colorado and then in 2016 to a privateer in California. It has only 978 miles on the odometer.
EX-QVALLE CALIFORNIAN CAR
The car is the ex San Francisco dealership intro car. That dealership was owned then by Kjell Qvale. It was surf blue, then painted dark green and then the last owner restored and repainted it in the original colour. It has 12k miles total. It sold on auction for 184.000$ in August 2014.
FRENCH EX-MONACO CAR
This car was originally white with red seats and resided in Monaco. It even had a red telephone on the dash!
It was recently restored by a classic car dealer in Cannes and is now for sale.
This car was up for sale in Bring a Trailer in November 2019. It was in the same family ownership from new.