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Thread: early mini7 restoration, looking for history.

  1. #1

    early mini7 restoration, looking for history.

    Hi there, these are some shots of an early mini7 that was last raced in the late 70's

    The last known driver was Mark Spargo but we are looking for previous drivers/owners or any pictures or history.

    Some distinctive features of the car are the large hand beaten steel flares and also the recessed electrical switch on the right rear corner. We believe it may also have had AC Delco stickers on the rear flanks with this paint work.

    Previous to being white the car was painted bright green, and prior to that a bright orange.

    We are looking for pictures and information so that it can be brought back to race condition under schedule K.

    Any info or leads would be well received, thank you.

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  2. #2

  3. #3
    Semi-Pro Racer kiwi285's Avatar
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    Great to see another historic race car saved from oblivion.

  4. #4
    Note: I have listed this on behalf of a friend. He has registered as username MiniDr. He's not a frequent user of the internet but may comment from time to time. Thanks.

  5. #5
    What an amazing barn find! Thats a neat little car, and showing its history. Are you certain it ran as a Mini 7 and not in Sports Sedans or OSCA? Those flares are a real work of art. They've even gone to the trouble of adding the standard metal strip to the outer edges of them. Good luck with your search.

  6. #6
    Yes this car has all the usual Mini7 running gear of the time. 850 engine, drum brakes etc. We do know that the car was last raced by Mark Spargo in the Lime green colour and then later in the colours you see it here. It sounds like the car was sold by Mark because he was no longer able to race with the steel flares.

    The car is built from a very early shell, probably a 59.

    There is also speculation that the original bright orange colour is there as the car was originally a Reg Cook car.

    These are the bits of info that we would like to know more about, or see in any photos people may have.

  7. #7
    Semi-Pro Racer
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    I believe the orange Mini-7 raced by Reg Cook was owned by John Provo

  8. #8
    Was the Reg Cook Mini 7 different to the one he raced in early 1970s NZ Saloon Car Championship?

  9. #9
    It sounds like Reg built a few minis over the years. He hasn't been contacted yet for info but is on the list.

  10. #10
    World Champion
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    Those flares look very like the ones Shaun Burton had on his Mini7 in the early 90's. I think his were deemed illegal as they constituted an aerodynamic aid which was forbidden, although I know he did compete with them on. This makes Steves comment on whether it was an OSCA car at some stage relevant. Shauns car was black in the time that I knew it. Reg has had a 'hand' in lots of cars over the years, not the least Mini's, and his attempts at lightening have to be seen to be appreciated. I believe his tool of preference was an angle-grinder!!!!!!

  11. #11
    This shell seems reasonably original apart from flares and front valance mods for brake cooling. The original well modified 850 engine is all machined etc awaiting assembly and is/was a good engine mods wise. It will be reassembled in this state to run as it last did.
    Suspension and brakes are all as last raced with the usual mini7 tricks of the time and again will be rebuilt to stay as such. The car was last raced by Mark probably around 78/79 and sold to a new owner who dismantled it to this state and it's been in dry storage ever since. It may have had normal fibreglass flares at some stage before the steel ones were built, this is one of the things we don't know.
    Re the angle grinder- I haven't seen signs of this sort of work. It is a 59 shell so is very light to start with. I can't quite remember but I think it still has its rear parcel bins and possibly the rear seat base but I would have to check. Actually I'm pretty sure the rollcage main hoop is inward of the bins.

    Before panel work begins the owner is really trying to find out which of the drivers/colour schemes/ sponsorship the car would be best restored back to.

  12. #12
    I personally would love to wash, vacuum, dust it. Put the mechanicals in it and go racing after growing huge sideburns and a moustache!!! But thats just me! :0)

  13. #13
    If it is a 59 Mini and orange it is poss Jimmy Harveys 73/74 CMR Team car. I helped Jimmy build it but apart from being a 59 and orange its hard to tell. If the orange on the tank is overspay ( its the right colour) then it isn't Jimmys as we did a bare shell paint job and the colour around the windows is too reddish to be right, the isolation switch looks wrong, I think we neatly welded it in to the shell, all those screws and pop rivets look like too much weight! The flares aren't Mini7 because the regs said only trim the wheel arches and fit those skinny GRP flares. Jimmy is still about, I could dig up his number if you like.

  14. #14
    I'm not sure about the orange on the tank and where it came from. It's interesting that you recognise the way that the isolation switch was done. Was this the way and the position that Reg mounted them, giving us a hint that it could be a CMR prepped shell? The orange around the windows is definitely an earlier colour and is quite bright.

    Jimmys number would be great! Even if it's not his car He may be able to help.

  15. #15
    This is the car Reg raced during the early 70s. Had a 1300 (ish) motor I think?

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  16. #16
    I have studied the pictures of that car Steve and I think it's a later shell as you can see the indentation for the windscreen rubber in the surrounding panel. 59 shells don't have this. I have also studied the other earlier car that is in the Mini and Imps thread with the 12" wheels and number 100 on the side. This one looks like an early shell with similar bonnet pinning but no rollcage at the time. Does anyone know what happened to that car? Did it become a CMR car later on?

  17. #17
    Weekend Warrior
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    MY CMR Support Team photo on the lunchroom wall has John Provo owning the 200 car, 1973/74.

    I don't know how many minis Reg had but there must have been a few as he also raced one at Waikaraka Park for a short while.

  18. #18
    Found out today from the owner that this car was run by Mark Spargo in the bright green colour with the steel flares before he painted it the colour scheme in the photos.

    And yes Adrian that is the petrol tank from the car. It is a very early tank and has fittings to match the pump etc mounted in the boot.

  19. #19
    Just giving this a bump to see if anyone has had any thoughts about it. Also in case there are any new members that may have some ideas.

    Thank you for all contributions so far, they have been very helpful.

    Heres a random pic to say thanks...

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  20. #20
    World Champion
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    My Dads pics of Reg's Minis

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    so 100 is at Levin Jan 68, 200 is Pukekohe Jan 73

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