One of the most unusual Mini variants is currently up for sale on eBay, even if it does look a lot like a squashed Allegro (despite predating the the BL Baked Bean by over a decade).
The creation of eccentric engineer David Ogle, founder of Ogle Design, the SX1000 was introduced in 1962, with a bonded glassfibre body and was manufactured in Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire.
Its combination of light weight and unequal weight distribution made it rather prone to lift-off oversteer – a fact borne out, rather tragically, by David Ogle himself when he was killed at the wheel of a pre-production SX1000 shortly before the car was launched.
Ogle Design never really got over that and, whilst the SX1000 remained in production until 1966, only 66 are believed to have been made, with around 20 known to still exist.
This example, at £13,000, still needs quite a bit of work, but its rarity should see it reach pretty close to its asking price. All of the interior trim and body parts are there, along with the unique perspex rear screen, while everything else is from a Mini so should be relatively easy to source.
However, that wasn’t the case when the car was new – when Ogle Design first started to build SX1000s, BMC refused to supply them with parts even though the order was potentially quite a lucrative one.
That’s why, in order to get Ogle to build them an SX1000, interested parties had to first buy themselves a Mini (more often than not, a Cooper). For an extra £600 or so, Ogle would then use the Mini floor, bulkhead, inner wings, windscreen, subframes, suspension and running gear to build up a complete car to the customer’s chosen specification.
This car, chassis number 8, was originally used by Appleyards of Leeds as a demonstrator, and was initially gold (it can still be seen on the doors and bonnet, where paint has been sanded back), and comes with its original registration number.
What price originality, eh? Mind you, as ‘barn finds’ go, this one does, at least, have rarity value…