This was possibly the biggest challenge. The bodywork was basically some small repairs, strip and paint. However trying to exactly replicate a 1967 ORX series works car was a little bit more tricky.

A good customer and friend of ours Anthony Hart bought ORX 76F from Basil Wales (who basically drove the desk of the BMC competition department back then) as a more or less standard 1275 Morris Cooper S. The car was then brought to us for a "no holds barred" year long quest to build the best of the best ORX works replica, and we did. Every detail of this car is perfect and correct, the wiring loom alone took Simon 2 weeks to prepare and fit! It is without doubt a true testimony to what we can achieve and the pride we take in our work. If you ever get the chance to see the car in the flesh, which will be possible if you do the Minis to Monte, we are sure you will agree. The car has also been featured in Miniworld magazine and is definitely the most bespoke car we've built to date. The pictures speak for themselves, however to tell the full story would take longer than the car did to make!.

A few words from Anthony,

I first met Simon Drew of The Mini Works near Edinburgh on M2M 2004. Captivated by his rally car, HMX 135B, I persuaded Simon to build me a rally car, not quite as extreme as HMX, but something that I could enjoy using on Historic Road Rallies. Within only a surprisingly few months, GTX 158C was born – an Almond Green/OEW Mk1 Cooper S. GTX is demonstrably ‘wrong’ in absolute detail, but it is beautifully presented, rock-solid in performance and admired by many. Best of all, GTX has proved great, great fun!

Unfortunately, many will recognise the symptoms of an illness that often infects those bitten by the ‘mini bug’ – the insatiable desire to recreate something even better and more special! Towards the end of 2006, I at last found a project that could properly demonstrate the Mini restoration work of Simon who, over the previous few years, I had come to call a close friend.

The project I found was again as a result of an initial meeting with a M2M 2004 entrant – this time, Basil Wales. I cannot remember in which magazine I subsequently read that Basil was thinking of selling his Mk2 Cooper S however, fixated by mention of the evocative registration number ORX 76F, it took me only minutes to telephone him and arrange a meeting. Simon and I then flew south to see the car, together with the mass of parts that Basil had accumulated with the intention of turning 76F into a facsimile of one of its more famous ‘sisters’.

Encouraged by Simon, and recognising that I had little chance of ever finding and/or affording a true ‘works’ car, I agreed a price with Basil and 76F came north to Scotland in January 2007. Much planning and budgeting then took place, with my clear intention being for Simon to create a car ‘in the spirit of’ a works ORX car, not a detailed ‘replica’.

Just over a year later, the car is almost complete after a total ‘nut and bolt’ rebuild and ‘worksification’. I have asked Simon to take it to Beaulieu in June. Personally, I think that Simon has done an absolutely fantastic job – the bodywork is immaculate, the wiring is a work of art and the attention to other details (when I have allowed Simon to be an ‘anorak’!) is mind boggling. For me it is a real pleasure to know that this complexity of work can be completed, pretty much on time and pretty much on budget.

When Basil sees the car again, which he will do in Scotland in May, I do hope he feels that we have fulfilled his ambition for the car. Certainly we will soon find out whether 76F has ‘stamina’ because its first major outing will be on M2M 2008 – and the car will be starting from Oslo!

To read the Classic Mini article click here.

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