Sports car projects : ADO70

The sporting Mini

The original sketches by stylist Paul Hughes. (Picture: "MG: The Untold Story", by David Knowles).

The original sketches by stylist Paul Hughes. (Picture: "MG: The Untold Story", by David Knowles).

ADO70 was conceived by Harry Webster as a fun car for the US market. However, the project foundered when the prototype met with an apathetic reaction by Leyland’s management, and the required funds were not forthcoming. Although generally known as the Michelotti Mini, it should be noted that it was built – rather than designed – by the Italian company.

The prototype being prepared at Michelotti's styling studios in Turin. (Picture: "MG: The Untold Story", by David Knowles).

The prototype being prepared at Michelotti's styling studios in Turin. (Picture: "MG: The Untold Story", by David Knowles).

The finished prototype, as photographed for the archives at Longbridge. The car's "GB" sticker bears testament to the fact that it had been driven back from Turin to Longbridge. Paul Hughes is said to have been "disappointed" with the way his original design had been interpreted (and, indeed, altered) by Michelotti. (Picture: "MG: The Untold Story", by David Knowles).

The finished prototype, as photographed for the archives at Longbridge. The car's "GB" sticker bears testament to the fact that it had been driven back from Turin to Longbridge. Paul Hughes is said to have been "disappointed" with the way his original design had been interpreted by Michelotti. (Picture: "MG: The Untold Story", by David Knowles).

Following its rejection as production proposition, the car was left to rot at Longbridge, before being rescued and restored. It now forms part of the Heritage Collection at Gaydon.

Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Clsssics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasable adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

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Keith Adams

About the Author:

Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007. Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Clsssics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent... Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasable adventures all across Europe.

4 Comments on "Sports car projects : ADO70"

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  1. Chris Baglin says:

    This would have been easily mistaken for a Datsun 100A from the front- but unmistakable for anything from the back- more’s the pity. An interesting dud, but a dud nonetheless.

  2. Hilton D says:

    Agree with you Chris… the front is very much like the mid 70’s Datsun Cherry 100A, but with an air scoop. At least it still exists as an exhibit at Gaydon.

  3. KC says:

    I agree that it looks like a 100A at the front…..and I’ve now realised where that rear styling turned up a few years later http://www.caranddriving.com/images/used/large/honcrx2.jpg

  4. francis brett francis brett says:

    And Datsun built it and look at them now…………

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