Thursday, 2 April 2009

GORDON MURRAY’S OLDEST KNOWN CAR RESURFACED

Just prior to the unveiling of Gordon Murray’s new T25 (his 25th design) the eldest known car by the British design ace has come to the surface: the IGM Minbug. Murray: “Back in the early seventies, if, like me, you didn’t like ordinary cars, you just built your own. At least that is what I did. I bought a £60 scrap Mini Van and designed an incredibly strong spaceframe to bolt its 850cc engine and running gear on. It was 300lbs lighter than a Mini and bloody good fun, with 15% more weight on the rear wheels as I moved the petrol tank and driver rearwards, all with the result that it handled really well. Having just married, my wife and I had planned to drive it around Europe. However, a couple of friends decided they’d wanted one, too, so instead of the European holiday my wife was there helping drilling and riveting alongside me! I did 40,000 miles in mine and it was such fun and yet still practical. I never should have sold it.”

For over ten years Murray looked for one of the four surviving Minbugs, but had just about given up, when journalist Jeroen Booij rang saying he thought he’d found one during the researches for his book ‘Maximum Mini’. At first Murray was skeptical, but this soon changed when the Dutch journalist came over to Surrey to show him the car he’d bought only hours before. With chassis number ‘01’ the Minbug that Booij had found in a Berkshire scrap yard happened to be Murray’s personal car. Booij left the badly detoriated Minbug at Murrays premises, where it will be exhibited in the future. Murray doesn’t know yet whether he will restore the car or leave it in the state that it is now.

Gordon Murray supplied the foreword in the brand new Veloce book: Maximum Mini by Jeroen Booij.
BOOK OF THE MONTH – Classic & Sports Car
This book focuses solely on the cars derived from the classic Mini. Small GTs, sports cars, roadsters and fun cars: Mini derivatives that changed the specialist motoring market completely in the early sixties, and new designs kept it busy for nearly four decades. From the well known Mini Marcos and Unipower GT that raced at Le Mans, to the very obscure but as exciting Coldwell GT or Sarcon Scarab, almost 60 cars are thoroughly researched, described and photographed in this book.
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