Jeroen Booij’s Compendium of Mini Oddities
Booij’s ‘Maximum Mini’ collects in 500 photos on 128 pages a masterful group of Mini based cars; from coachbuilt one-offs to production based racers, to simple fiberglass rebodies. Some of these are absolutely remarkable looking little machines.
I particularly like the Deep Sanderson 301, a GT bodied little beast that competed at the ’63 LeMans. It’s a terribly beautiful little racer, but sadly its race record failed to live up to the promise of her bodywork. She DNFed at LeMans—and every other major sportscar race the team entered. But that doesn’t take away from the sheer beauty of the thing.
Several years back at the Elkhart Lake Vintage Festival, I spotted a curious little rebodied Mini racer, the Unipower GT and was immediately drawn to it’s lines and proportions that, from a distance, made it see a much bigger and meaner machine than it’s Mini bones would suggest. One of 75 built, the little yellow machine was as much a pleasure to the ears as the eyes. The Unipower faired slightly better in the world of sportscar racing, with a career best of a 14th at the Trophée des Ardennes Spa 500km. Unipower GTs were entered in a number of major races (Sebring, Targa Florio, LeMans), but either crashed out early or failed to make the race distance. I’m not sure if Jeroen covers the Unipower in his book, but it’s hard to believe it wouldn’t be in there—this truly seems to be the final authority on Mini specials. Actually, that little yellow number in the lower-right on the cover looks like a Unipower, so I think that answers that question.