Monday, April 4, 2011

Midas (Mini)

Here's something you don't see everyday...

This car traces its lineage back to to the Mini Marcos. (Also an extremely odd looking car. You can see a picture of one here.) An English compnay called D&H Fibreglass Techniques came to an agreement with Marcos in 1975 to take over production of the Mini Marcos. D&H decided that the Marcos was looking old, so they developed this more modern - but equally weird looking - car, the Midas.

The Midas is made of fiberglass. It uses a Mini engine and transmission. The Mini front subframe bolts to the car. It doesn't use the Mini subframe in the rear, but instead there is a beam, on which the trailing arms are attached. According to everything I've read, the bodies are incredibly strong. It weighs around 65 lbs less than a Mini, but according to the manufacturer its torsional rigidity was 17 times greater than that of a Mini.

With the 1275cc Mini Cooper engine in it, these were quick cars and were raced successfully.

While the exterior was bold and weird, the interior was plain and purposeful.

The Midas was sold as a kit, but if you weren't mechanically inclined or just had no desire to build your own car, they could be purchased through some dealers as complete, turnkey cars.

For whatever reason, car is listed as a 1965 car. The body is in very good shape and very orange. The seller says it "runs and drives", which is a pretty vague description. Mechanical parts are no problem to get as they're all from the Mini. Just about everything else, except the body panels, are from other cars, too. (The taillights are from the Triumph TR7, the wipers and wiper linkage are from a Fiat, etc.)

A bright orange, RHD, Midas is not a car you'd want to drive if you're in the Witness Protection Program. But, if you can get used to its looks and don't mind answering questions every time you drive it, this would be a fun car to own.

Located (appropriately) in Orange, CA, click here to see the eBay listing.

1 comment:

HouseNewbie said...

In California they give out a small number of vehicle titles in the beginning of the year for kit cars. As long as the vehicle meets requirements it gets a title and registration for model year 1965. So in the land of smog checks and car buybacks, you can register a kit car so it never needs a smog test again. Very strange laws here.