This is one of the more interesting stories we have featured in a while. In 1977 a group of eight men crafted what was intended to be an amphibious MINI by rigging four circular paddling mechanisms to a classic Austin MINI Cooper. The MINI sank, along with the dreams of creating a production model “Aquamini.” Now one of the creators is trying to find the vehicle.
The group of men that built the MINI were actual employees of the automotive company who took it upon themselves to create the vehicle in their spare time. Derek Liney worked in the company’s design office from 1968 to 1987 and was directly involved in a variety of eccentric MINI prototypes. Liney offers some interesting details about the AquaMINI:
“We built it in our own time. It had a fiberglass floor and was driven by paddles. We used it for two or three years - it even appeared on BBC Midlands Today.”
The AquaMINI made its formal debut at the 1977 Hapton Loade to Bewd raft race, but the prototypes were lost when their storage area caught fire and have not been seen since. Liney believes there may be a remaining prototype lurking somewhere, perhaps stored away, or resting at the bottom of some body of water. By bringing this story to the media, Liney hopes that someone in the public may have clues to the mysterious vehicle’s whereabouts.
h/t Birmingham Mail
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