The ease of adding an extra engine afforded by the Mini’s subframe configuration wasn’t lost on several ‘special’ builders. One of the most entertaining was concocted within earshot of the Longbridge plant, in Barnt Green village.
Barnt Green Post Office and shop was run by Tony and Pat Fisher, two great motorsport enthusiasts. (They spent their 1961 honeymoon driving an 850 Mini in the Tulip Rally, Tony won all four British Rally Championships in 1962 driving his own 997 Mini Cooper and the Fishers were leading lights in the Hagley Car Club – Pat has remained so after Tony’s death in 2009).
In the mid-1960s, Tony, in comjunction with friend Dave Butterworth, built a twin-engined Autocross special. It was called the ‘Bufi-Mowog’ – Bu= Butterworth, Fi=Fisher and ‘Mowog’ was the parts trademark cast into things like BMC cylinder blocks.
To avoid the complication of dealing with two manual gearboxes, it was decided to use an 1100 automatic rear unit, adding a supercharger to bring the power up to a similar level to that of the 1071 Mini Cooper S engine installed at the front. So the idea was that the driver concentrated on operating the front engine and transmission, and let the automatic unit at the back just do its own thing.
This made it pretty hairy to drive, because you could never be quite sure when the rear unit might chime in with a kickdown, and so on. In fact, the only driver who could really get the best out of the Bufi-Mowog was Pat Fisher – maybe it needed feminine intuition to anticipate that capricious rear engine!
It was quite a successful machine however – it would be good to get together all its competition history and find out what became of it.
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics 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 unfeasible adventures all across Europe.