Tag Archives: Mills

Almost Fully Loaded – Austin Mini Clubman Wood & Pickett Estate #XL2W2524450A

Soon after I bought my first car in 1978 I started regularly driving over from Harrow Road in Wembley to Victoria Road in the Tropic of Ruislip to visit an old school friend, the route used to take me past the Wood & Pickett works from which all manner of blinged out and often bomb proof Range Rovers used to appear for the rich and famous that brought into the UK valuable foreign exchange, most notably from the middle east.

Austin Mini Clubman Wood & Pickett Estate, Silverstone Classic,

Bill Wood and Les Pickett learned their coachbuilding skills at Hooper & Co and left to set up their own business operating from Bills front room in 1947.

Austin Mini Clubman Wood & Pickett Estate, Silverstone Classic,

By the 1960’s Wood & Pickett now operating in Abbey Road, Park Royal were vying with their former employers Hooper, Radford, Minisprint, Ridgeway and a long list of others for upgraded Mini’s which could involve anything from minor cosmetic variations to fully loaded cars which were particularly popular amongst royalty, entertainers and sports persons.

Austin Mini Clubman Wood & Pickett Estate, Silverstone Classic,

Focusing on the top end of the market and with a little help from former Radford managing director, Len Minshull, and head of marketing Eddie Collins, Wood & Pickett’s Mini clientele included Twiggy, Laurence Harvey, Brian Epstein, Mick Jagger, King Hussein of Jordan, Hayley Mills and Elton John.

Austin Mini Clubman Wood & Pickett Estate, Silverstone Classic,

Thanks to the leadership of Eddie Collins Wood and Pickett expanded into the production of the aforementioned Range Rovers and in the late ’70’s to new premises in Ruislip where today’s featured 1978 Austin Mini Clubman Estate was sent from Cleveland Garages Ltd, Mont A L’Abbe, St Helier, Jersey having been purchased there on 17th August 1978.

Austin Mini Clubman Wood & Pickett Estate, Silverstone Classic,

The list of upgrades carried out by Wood & Pickett included deseaming the front wings, flared wheels arches, fitting 5″x10″ tech Del Mini-lite wheels, twin automatic reversing lights mounted under the rear bumper, direction indicator lights and repeaters to front wings, twin headlights, air horn, high output alternator, electric windows, electrically adjustable door mirrors, chrome front bumper bars with WP logo, bonnet lock, extra secure door locks, stainless steel finish to the top of the doors, body painted Rolls Royce Caribbean Blue, leather trimmed Wood & Pickett 14″ steering wheel in dark blue leather, navy blue leather rear compartment roll-over cover, blue velour seats, deluxe soundproofing of the interior, FM Radio cassette, but strangely on the evidence of these photo’s no electric aerial.

The only Wood & Pickett upgraded Mini Clubman Estate was then delivered to it’s thus far unidentified owner in Jersey and registered on the 13 December 1978. Subsequently #XL2W2524450A was driven just over 29,000 miles by the owner prior to being sold at the Silverstone Classic auction a couple of month’s ago, where the car is seen in these photographs, for a modest £11,250.

Wood and Pickett has since undergone a couple of changes of ownership and now specialises in Mini’s from premises in Leatherhead.

Thanks for joining me on this “Almost Fully Loaded” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a Mercury Monterey. Don’t forget to come back now !


Star Cars – Classic Motor Show NEC Birmingham

Last weekend I popped up to Birmingham for the Classic Motor Show at the National Exhibition Centre NEC, where some 1,700 classic vehicles were on display with another 300 classic motor cycles.

Dodge Charger R/T, Ford Mustang GT, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham,

Many of the exhibitors went with a film & tv star theme, of the Highland Green Ford Mustang GT’s and Black Dodge Chargers these two above endeavoured to recreate the scene from Bullitt where Steve McQueen sends the baddies into a gas station to meet their maker.

Ford Cortina 1600E, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham,

When I bought my first car, a FIAT, it had no external mirrors so the first thing I added to it was a pair of these. These mirrors were not originally supplied with the Ford Cortina 1600E either but the casting crew for the film “Made in Dagenham” over looked this detail.

Ford Escort 1850 GT, Classic Motor Show, NEC Birmingham

Polish European Rally Champion Sobiesław Zasada and Marek Wachowski shared this #14 Ford Escort 1850 GT on the London to Mexico World Cup Rally in 1970 in which they finished 8th. It featured in the Ford documentary of the event “Five for the Fiesta“. This is one of two survivors from the six car Ford Escort team the other being the winning #18 car driven by Hannu Mikkola and Gunnar Palm.

Rover 827, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham,

This Rover 827Si entered service with the Metropolitan Police in 1990 and remained in service with them until after a 151,000 miles it was sold to a TV company. It has subsequently appeared in the TV crime series The Bill and Inspector Wexford. In 2001 it was sold to it’s current owner a serving Police Officer who took her advanced pursuit driving test in one of these and drove many just like it in the early years of her career. It is thought to be the last fully equipped Police Rover 827Si a model which was to become the last British built police car to serve in the UK, excluding Land Rover and Range Rover models.

Sunbeam Alpine Mk III, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham,

The side pipe on this Hillman Alpine Mk III caught my eye, the owner fitted it because the original pipes that wound their way around the back axle caused condensation to form under the body panels and when the condensation got warm it accelerated the rate of rusting. This car appeared in the films “Trial By Combat” with Sir John Mills, “After The War” TV mini series with Adrian Lukis and “The Moving Finger” Episode of Miss Marple with Emelia Fox.

Rolls Royce Silver Cloud 1, Classic Motor Show, NEC Birmingham

Finally the Rolls Royce Silver Cloud above appeared in the films The Fast Lady and Carry On Doctor, driven in both films by James Robertson Justice,when it was painted black and in the current two tone livery in the TV Series Heartbeat and The Royal.

Thanks for joining me on this “Star Cars” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me tomorrow when I’ll be looking at Junior Johnson’s ’63 Chevrolet Impala SS. Don’t forget to come back now !