13th February 1967 - Mini Scorpion
The inspiration for the Mini Scorpion came from Chris Humberstone (CH) seeing a Broadspeed Mini. This vehicle had a normal Mini front combined with a fastback. CH decided to design a front for the Broadspeed conversion and market same. However, the Broadspeed fastback project had issues and therefore CH decided to market the nose on its own as a kit. The kit was priced in 1966 at £39 and could be fitted in less than an hour. CH states that 1000 were made with 18 months.
CH made a lightweight version of the nose for Felday Engineering. This company was founded by Peter Westbury in 1963. CH stated that the car was quicker in a straight line, but was lacking in stability.
The Spanish connection. A gentleman called Francis Alcaraz ran a company called Albion SA in Madrid, Spain. As a Spanish Mini concessionaire he had problems meeting Mini demand in Spain due to import quotas. His idea was to get around this problem by putting Scorpion noses on Minis and importing them as Scorpions. Descibed as charming by CH, Alcaraz ordered ten initial cars after meeting CH at Heathrow. CH notes Alcaraz spoke perfect Englies on account of him being educated at a British public school. By CH’s account the deal worked well with Scorpion Car Company fitting the fronts in the UK and then shipping to Spain. CH states that hundreds were sold with one winning the Spanish Rally Championship.
Additional to the above, fifty cars were fitted with a lift-out glass roof panel (see top picture). CH regretted never registering the roof design as it had massive potential.