What a find…is this a works car ?

what do you all make of this fantastic find……http://mk1-forum.net/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=8858

36 comments

  1. Lol – I reckon someones just spat his earl grey all over his computer ……… but its great to find the real mccoy sitting in a shed , and its not just a shell either more a complete car by the looks of it – jog on , lets see more of it

  2. Thanks for the positive comments chaps, we're very excited about this, and getting a good response from all, well most ! so far. Will keep you updated.
    Regards
    Dave

  3. northern monke wrote: “what do you all make of this fantastic find……[url]http://mk1-forum.net/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=8858[/url]”

    What do I think?
    I think I wish it was mine;)

  4. We believe the discovered car has its original subframes, suspension, seats and interior ( less dash panels ), tanks, glass and possibly doors, boot and bonnet so do not consider it as a re-fitted shell. We consider it more as the original GRX 309D less engine and dash panels. It is common conception that some cars have ex works registrations and exchange hands for good money but are in fact not ex works cars. It would be any buyers responsibility to understand exactly what they are buying, and the moral obligation of the seller to be accurate about what they are selling.

  5. Thats where the problem starts as no doubt the other owner of 309 will also say he has the same minus the original shell changed after a few events. I love the old works cars, but all that reading this story has made me think, if I could afford to buy one ever, perhaps dont. They all seem to be like Trigger's broom!

  6. H13JK wrote: “I think its a tricky one, as the shell is re-fitted. I would like to see this so called shell in the same hands as the 309 which is alive and well, as this is all part of the cars history. I in fact hope we dont find anymore 'shells', imagine if you had paid good money for an ex-works car and now find yourself in a similar situation. ”

    I imagine paying good money for a fake works car would feel worse…..

    Mick

  7. Would a re-fitted shell mean that it has been stripped and rebuilt ?……or a shell that was deemed past its best so stripped of numbers and disposed of whilst a 'refreshed' car carries on with the Reg no and its I.D.

    Mick

  8. would the correct way of looking at this car be, that it was registered ,then converted for competition use and when it was basically past its best disposed off (complete as it is now)…and a replacement car then built to suit its next intended use….as these are all hand built ,would it have not taken far too long to strip and reshell a car (using worn parts) than to just assemble a new car with new parts….this to me would make more sense

  9. HANG ABOUT – Where did re fitted shell come into it – didnt the chap buy a CAR from abingdon – which still has the chassis plate on the shell that it was first registered with ??

  10. H13JK wrote: “Thats where the problem starts as no doubt the other owner of 309 will also say he has the same minus the original shell changed after a few events. I love the old works cars, but all that reading this story has made me think, if I could afford to buy one ever, perhaps dont. They all seem to be like Trigger's broom!”

    In the complete absence of any works expert willing to comment on this car I thought it worth an attempt to clarify this topic to avoid the discussion going round in circles.

    I think it's fair to say that Abingdon didn't so much reshell a rally car when it was damaged as simply swap the ID and any expensive useful bits onto another built up car, sometimes a brand new one. If you analyse the photos of the various rally cars wearing the GRX 309D number plate on various events you will notice they're all slightly different, or in the case of the RAC and Sebring cars VERY different from the first car that did the Flowers in early '66. I think it's reasonable to conclude that at least three separate cars could have had this number on the bonnet in a fairly short space of time, as was often the case with quite a number of other works prepared Minis.

    As Dave rightly points out the discovered car in question looks somewhat more than just a discarded shell and by all accounts it still wears the factory welded original body number (not chassis number) for GRX 309D as manufactured by Longbridge and registered by the works along with many works related details throughout the car.

    However it would also be inaccurate to claim (and wisely nobody yet has done) that this is the only rally car in existence to ever wear this registration number. To the contrary it has been well illustrated by the owner of the Sebring GRX 309D that he indeed does have a strong claim for the car built specifically for this event that was shipped over to the U.S wearing the GRX 309D number plate, a seemingly brand new car that also featured a newly introduced Mk2 style bootlid. Whether it was officially exported by the works through the conventional channels is another matter.

    It would be impolite , unwise and improper to question the pedigree of the currently registered car on this or any other forum and it's to the guy's credit that have discovered this car that they haven't. By the same token to pretend this recently discovered car isn't what it is would seem like folly.

    As for the Trigger's broom analogy I'd say that certainly wasn't specific to works rally Minis, or even Minis in general. How many restored classic cars contain the majority of their original components ?

  11. pad wrote: “HANG ABOUT – Where did re fitted shell come into it – didnt the chap buy a CAR from abingdon – which still has the chassis plate on the shell that it was first registered with ?? ”
    Exactly…the car even came from Abingdon with an engine, although not the original 1275, a 970.

  12. spoon.45 wrote: ” Exactly…the car even came from Abingdon with an engine, although not the original 1275, a 970.” Errrrrr, a 970 Abingdon engine you say??????? Didn't GRX309D run a 970 engine in the Polish??????

  13. Its an amazing piece of an amazing jigsaw…great history and provenance….its going to take some hard work to reveal the full story and the finders really should be applauded for the effort put in so far……WELL DONE AND KEEP IT UP….its fascinating.

    Mick

  14. I think its a tricky one, as the shell is re-fitted. I would like to see this so called shell in the same hands as the 309 which is alive and well, as this is all part of the cars history. I in fact hope we dont find anymore 'shells', imagine if you had paid good money for an ex-works car and now find yourself in a similar situation.

  15. Are there any signs of repair to the offside of the car that appear on period photos to have been sustained on the Polish Rally ? It could have been a different car though ? It'd be interesting to see what lies under the paint !

  16. So are we saying the works teams were just poor at paper work or were careful with their budget and didnt want to keep registering cars? If a privateer did this he would be arrested for car ringing!

    Its a different thing to take a shell and refit it to taking another car and swap a few bits. Very interesting topic just hope all the owers of 309 are happy with their cars as this is what matters.

  17. All this is very interesting and just goes to show what a minefield ex works cars are. I love ex works minis, always have, always will, but will probably never own one. It appears to me that for every works car, there are countless people waiting to shoot it down as being a fake, along with a similar number backing the cars identity to the hilt. They could all be right, and also all be wrong. In my experience of some years competing in works cars (not minis) there have been numerous occasions of sitting in cars with different identities on two or three events but have been actually one and the same car. That particular identity would then be transferred to another car, or even more than one car over a period of time. So now we have a scenario of a particular identity relating to at least three cars and some time in the future, ie the present time, three different owners claim to have the car that X drove on A,B and C rallies. I have done an event in Wales in a factory entered car on the same weekend that a factory car with the same registration competed in Corsica. Well before that incident, there was a time when Motoring News, as was, reported the Circuit of Ireland and the Safari, held over the Easter period with a report and pictures in one weeks edition, showing two factory cars, one on each event, bearing exactly the same registration number. As I say, a minefield.

  18. This reminds me very much of Bob Freeborough's old car BOO something or other. A wonderful patinated car with much of the works modifications intact. Many of the scars etc can be seen in period photos when in works ownership. Unfortunately the original works registration was simply transferred to another car for another event.

  19. Ianrall wrote: ” It appears to me that for every works car, there are countless people waiting to shoot it down as being a fake, along with a similar number backing the cars identity to the hilt. ”

    That's a good point but in some cases, as with this one it's really not very complicated when the car has it's original factory welded body number and most of it's original panels intact , the owner is fully aware that it probably only did one rally. The other owners of subsequent rally cars that wore this plate have their own reasons to claim what they have as the owner of the Sebring race car has illustrated on this forum before quite successfully .Not necessarily a conflict of opinion there . However I do take your point that many people are so cynical about these cars, possibly brought on after so many works or works related Minis appeared like magic in the 90's, in a restored state and with little or no backstory.

  20. H13JK wrote: ”

    I just dont get why they didnt register them as new on new plates. ”

    Too much work I suppose when you have a world class rally team to run, much easier to just swap the number plates over and quite common practice as has been said with other factory teams at the time and ever since. Many works Mini rally number plates even found their way on to much later race cars as I'm sure you know.

  21. ( Ianrally ) I seem to remember that it was a ford…possibly a sierra…and didn't one works team'suffer from poor admin' when it came to a quartet of service vans having the same numbers..

    Bits being carefully stripped from one vehicle that's seen action,and then carefully transferred over to a new shell after carefully re-creating every exact clip and bracket,and the exact position of screws/holes/brackets etc would be amazingly costly and time consuming to do on a hand built unique car ,especially with some of the parts knocked up in the workshop by individual crew , it would be easier to make a fresh car using new parts…not from tired/used/worn/battered parts, what would happen when the car failed because some pre-used component packed in ?

    I can see it now 'sorry paddy the gearbox was mint six rally's ago , and the trumpets and cones were off your previous car…they looked ok to me,when I re-fitted them'

  22. Austin Powere wrote: ”

    Too much work I suppose when you have a world class rally team to run, much easier to just swap the number plates over and quite common practice as has been said with other factory teams at the time and ever since. Many works Mini rally number plates even found their way on to much later race cars as I'm sure you know.”

    The reason they didn't register many of these 'replacement' new cars was due to taxation. If a new car, with a new registration, was on their books, tax was due. If an new but unregistered car was sent to the Comps department and replaced an existing car, no tax was due. Creative accounting, not lax paper work. Most Comps departments worked that way to stretch their budgets.

  23. Austin Powere wrote: “Are there any signs of repair to the offside of the car that appear on period photos to have been sustained on the Polish Rally ? It could have been a different car though ? It'd be interesting to see what lies under the paint !”
    There doesn't appear to be any signs of repair to the offside, and this would support our theory that the Polish was another car. It would be interesting to find out what happened to Pauls car after the flowers, where to the best of our knowledge it did not suffer major damage. We think that the reg. number was at this point passed to the second car, Falls car for the Polish, so what happened to the flowers car between 66 and the early 70's ( when we can start to pick up it's history in private hands ) ? Was it 'discarded' from the works after one event ( if so why ) or did it continue to serve the comps. dept. under other identities ? The most unique feature of the car seems to be the double windscreen washers, and I have seen no other works cars, or pics. of works cars with this feature. Any thoughts appreciated.
    Regards
    Dave

  24. northern monke wrote: “( Ianrally ) I seem to remember that it was a ford…possibly a sierra…and didn't one works team'suffer from poor admin' when it came to a quartet of service vans having the same numbers..

    Bits being carefully stripped from one vehicle that's seen action,and then carefully transferred over to a new shell after carefully re-creating every exact clip and bracket,and the exact position of screws/holes/brackets etc would be amazingly costly and time consuming to do on a hand built unique car ,especially with some of the parts knocked up in the workshop by individual crew , it would be easier to make a fresh car using new parts…not from tired/used/worn/battered parts, what would happen when the car failed because some pre-used component packed in ?

    I can see it now 'sorry paddy the gearbox was mint six rally's ago , and the trumpets and cones were off your previous car…they looked ok to me,when I re-fitted them' ”

    You can see why they would take a whole new car and swap the special bits, I just dont get why they didnt register them as new on new plates. Mind you I worked in a garage when I left school for 18 months, the paper work was woeful so should I be surprised. 😉

  25. Anyone wishing to get an exclusive first look at this works rally Mini can do so at the Mk1 Performance track day at Blyton Park on May 4th. 😉

  26. Good to see the car being referred to as an ex-works CAR and not just a bodyshell ! We aim to get it to Beaulieu, as well as Blyton and possibly Oulton.

    Dave

  27. Excellent news Dave I cant wait to see it in all its glory….Leaving it dusty or are you cleaning it..I've never seen another works car in an as found state,so too display it like that would be very different.

    Mick

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