A chop-top Mini, or retro-style on a plate…
To find out more, contact Kit Car magazine
IN 2003, having concentrated on the production of his own bodywork designs for several years, Paul Banham went back to his coachbuilding roots by offering this good-looking open-top version of the Mini. The aim here was to provide Mini-lovers with a nippy yet inexpensive sports car which retained the essential style of the original car.
While there have been other convertible Minis in the past, offered by companies such as Crayford, Daly Cars, Domino Designs, L&H and, of course, Rover themselves, the Banham’s unique selling point is its speedster-like styling elements: the chopped-down windscreen, twin roll-hoops and removable rear cover panel.
With so much of the original car retained, owners can take full advantage of the wide range of mechanincal and interior options available for Minis, while Banham can provide full weather protection equipment in deference to the great British weather…
SOME 30 years after the launch of the Austin-Healey Sprite, Banham introduced their modern-day interpretation of the car. While closely resembling the orginal car from most angles, the Banham Sprint is all Mini under the skin, with its transversely-mounted engine with transmission-in-sump presumably liberating some useful extra space for the occupants.
The Sprint also has an opening boot (the MkI Sprite’s boot could only be accessed from inside the car). Bulid time is estimated at 150 hours, and by all accounts the Sprint is every bit as good to drive as the Mini itself – but with the bonus of a better power-to-weight ratio.
Information and images used with permission from Paul Banham Conversions.
Further information on both these models can be found at their website
- All the cars I’ve owned : Austin Allegro 1500 Super - 7 June 2021
- Car of the Month : June 2021 – Stephen Wright’s Rover 75 Tourer - 3 June 2021
- Concepts and prototypes : BMC 10X (1968) - 1 June 2021