Mini – classic : Beach cars
During the early 1960s, a couple of Mini-based beach car designs were produced in limited numbers.
Fun in the sun
In his 1964 book “The Mini Story”, Laurence Pomeroy provides the following information on these fairweather variants:
“For use in the balmier parts of the world, BMC have built a small number of prestige cars in the shape of a most elegant ‘beach wagon’. Cars of this kind have been featured at Turin Motor Shows for many years, and, by definition, have neither doors nor windows. Protection from the sun, however, is afforded by either a metal canopy or, like the Surrey, 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 of which 16 have been made for the use of hotels de grande luxe who use them to carry customers from the bar to the beach.”
The concept obviously had its advocates, as a replica version of the original version appeared. According to Asopee Simeli, one such car called the Tigmark Mini Mille, which was spotted in 1998 came with, “…stripy vinyl bucket seats complete with three point racing harnesses. The roll back vinyl roof and minilite wheels completed the picture.” It should also be noted that the shape of the side opening closely mirrors the original.