After rejecting the ADO34 and ADO35 projects to put the MG name on a Mini based vehicle in 1966 the conglomerate known as British Leyland Motor Corporation Ltd since 1968 re visited the idea of building a Mini based MG in 1970.
Project code ADO70 also known as the Michelotti Mini seen here is based on a 1275GT chassis and running gear a model which had been introduced in 1969.
The only mechanical modification to the car was the fitting of twin exhaust tail pipes.
Paul Hughes at the BLMC Longbridge works was responsible for the split Targa top styling and when the drawings were complete another member of the design team Robin Owen drove the new Mini 1275GT with it’s twin tailpipe modification over to Studio Tecnico Carrozzeria G. Michelotti in Turin, Italy
For two months Robin oversaw the removal of the original bodywork and it’s replacement with the new design at Michelotti.
On returning the Michelotti Mini to the UK it was immediately apparent that the new body was too heavy and that the twin tailpipe modification was insufficient to make for the lost performance, or to warrant putting the car in production with an MG badge.
New safety and emissions legislation in the USA were also responsible for halting any further development of the ADO70.
Thanks for joining me on this “Michelotti Mini” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again for Mercedes Monday tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now.
There used to be a joke that the first thing a man would do on the announcement that his partner had given birth to a boy he would go out and buy a Scalectrix set. And indeed I remember buying one for a friend as his wedding gift, prophetically his wife gave birth to three sons, triplets !
Scalectrix is Britain’s premier entry brand into the world of 1:32 scale slot car racing. Launched in 1957 Scalectrix has produced many sets based on various layout’s with two little Mini’s to race.
The 1970’s #3 1275 GT Mini shown here, picture courtesy of Nei Munn, is a fictionalised racer based loosely on the 1960’s Britax Mini Cooper .
It was perhaps no surprise to see a full size replica of the #3 Scalectrix Mini at the Mini Festival recently. The 1275 GT replaced the Mini Cooper completely in in 1971. The hideously restyled, by Roy Haynes, boxy front end was based on the Austin Maxi and was safer but comically less efficient aerodynamically than it’s predecessor. For all it’s faults the restyled Mini did achieve success in racing Richard Longman becoming two time British Touring Car Campion in 1978/79 in his 1275 GT and still has its fans today.