For no other reason than that it was stood right there in front of me, in beautiful condition, and it was for sale – oh, and because when have you last seen one? If ever.
Today’s Prime Find is being published a little later in the day, simply because this time it’s a find from the real world. Well, the other classics we feature obviously do exist in the real world, but they’re usually found on the amazing world wide web. In contrast, I’ve just met this fabulous little classic up close and in person during my current visit to the InterClassics exhibition in Brussels.
We’re in the category of “British Specials” today, and the car in question is my favourite Mini-based such. The Ogle SX has so many similarities with the much more well known Mini Marcos, but I’ve personally never really understood why it was and is the Marcos which stole the limelight, as that is a car severely challenged in the looks department. Whereas the Ogle is the exact opposite: A product born from a proper design house, it actually looks like a real car which was designed to be perceived as such too.
And it really was too – a real and serious car that is: The Ogle was only offered as a complete car, never as a kit, and I personally feel it could and should have had a great future back in 1962, as it was not only more beautiful than a Mini Marcos (not difficult to achieve) but also more so than a Mini. Tragically David Ogle died in a crash in his own 1000 SX and from there the project seemed doomed. Only some 60 finished cars were built, and yesterday in Brussels – stood before me in all its miniature GT splendour – was one for sale.
I hadn’t seen one for years, and what struck me the most was that this car actually seemed finished and solid. More often than not, the exact opposite is the case in this category of “British Specials” – even more so some forty or fifty years after their build. Yet this one gave the clear impression of being perfectly ready to be driven home, hibernate in your garage for winter, and then taken out for the summer 2019 without much other than a wash and polish.
Mind you, some will no doubt question the price tag of 55,000 Euro. Just as I did to the selling classic car dealer. He (naturally!) insured me that the price was absolutely fair, as this exact car was back in 1962 based on an original Mini Cooper. From there he proceeded to justify the price by explaining that as these today command prices in the 20,000-30,000 Euros category, this Ogle should surely be much more expensive. Well, who am I to argue? Both the exterior and the excellent interior was finished to a significantly higher standard than what is usually the case on cars like these, and the colour combination was nothing short of perfect for the car.
If you’re tempted, you’ve got the choice of either getting yourself to the InterClassics exhibition in Brussels this weekend, or alternatively you can contact Atelier B. Smets in Luxembourg by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
So there it is: I was truly taken by this rare mini-GT and simply couldn’t help but proclaim this Ogle the Prime Find of the Week as it is quite frankly a little gem. It is of course the norm for gems are rather precious – is this one too expensive? I am not sure – what do our ViaRETRO readers think?
With our Saturday instalment of Prime Find of the Week, we’re offering our services to the classic car community, by passing on our favourite classic car for sale from the week that passed. This top-tip might help a first-time-buyer to own his first classic, or it could even be the perfect motivation for a multiple-classic-car-owner to expand his garage with something different. We’ll let us inspire by anything from a cheap project to a stunning concours exotic, and hope that you will do the same.
Just remember – Any Classic is Better than No Classic! We obviously invite our readers to help prospective buyers with your views and maybe even experiences of any given model we feature. Further to that, if you stumble across a classic which you feel we ought to feature as Prime Find of the Week, then please send us a link to email@example.com