Like all Minis, the Lamm Cabrio has something of a cult following. Launched as a Rover product in the early 1991, the Lamm had already been in production for three to meet a demand for open-topped Mini motoring, before it was backed by the factory.
Rover was so impressed, it built its own version the following year. Here, we get the story of the Lamm versions from an original family member, and feature a car that appeared in contemporary marketing material; it’s rather different now!
Words and pictures: Gerhard van Ackeren
A lovely car in a lovely setting…
BEING a regular reader of AROnline, I found the section with Mini Cabriolet. Back in the early ’90s my father did all the paperwork between Lamm and Rover and I worked for Lamm after school putting the roof mechanics together for the Mini Cabriolets. We still have copies of the paperwork and documents for each car built for Rover. It was a total of 75 plus another 25 cars that were supplied to Rover. The wine-red colour was chosen for a specific reason: for Rover all the body-kit parts had to be made in the car’s final colour before painting to avoid bright spots from stonechips.
A total of about 175 Lamm Cabriolets were built between 1988 and 1994, as Lamm sold quite few themselves. The cars sold faster than they could built them even the Lamm Cabriolet was far more expensive than the later Rover model. Lamm had patents on all of his modifications and he did not want to sell them to Rover. Even though the cars sold quicker than anything Rover people said it was priced too high and the production cost for the whole car needed to be cut, so the final sales price could be lowered by about 10,000DM (today about 5000 euros). So they started to look for their own solution to mass produce a Mini Cabriolet – but it was not the success they expected…
Luxury interior harks back to ’60s specials from Radford and Wood & Pickett.
Another thing is that Lamm featured many options so you could configure your Mini as you wanted it. People who ordered the Lamm Minis usually put a lot of options in like the MG Metro engine with oil cooler, Sports Leather Seats, four-speaker Hi-Fi System, EU-certified adjustable suspension parts (Lamm put a lot of money in testing and certification of their products).
Many Lamm Minis were driving around my area here and are still arounf. I know of ten cars within 20 miles here, most of them still in first ownership and during the summer in regular use. The most important thing Lamm did to the cars was a solid rustproofing from new.
Here’s a picture of my car how it looks today. The girl on the brochure is our neighbour’s daughter, she looks older now.. The grey car on the early brochure pictures is mine – but looks different now as I bought it back in quite worn condition in need of interior restoration, wheels gone, Corbeau Seats falling apart etc. My Cabriolet was built July 1989 and a bit different to the later models built for Rover.
Unmistakable rear view…
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.
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