As most of you should probably know by now, I love sifting through the Internet and Social Media platforms for cool, exciting and unusual stuff to cover in our weekly car column The Petrolhead Corner. As a result, the topics can go from a delicate vintage car in one week, to a ridiculously overpowered custom project in the next. And let’s not forget the occasional hypercar that gets launched every now and then! This week though, the Petrolhead Corner is all about excessiveness. Cars that have a little extra to them in any way, shape or form. Cars that started out as a fun little beach cruiser, a classic British roadster, or even a toy car!
If you’ve been reading our little slice of car culture on the regular, you will probably remember cars along a similar vein as today’s trio. We have featured cars with six wheels before, and even cars with twin engines. And yes, some of the most sought-after classic roadsters have also been covered, but mostly in separate stories. But today’s instalment mixes all three together as the cars I came across this past week are just too cool to pass up! And best of all, two out of these three unique creations are currently for sale!
6-wheeled MINI MOKE
The Mini Moke is a very peculiar car to start with, first created as a lightweight military vehicle but it failed to perform offroad due to underpowered engines, low ground clearance and small wheels. Instead, Mini rebranded it into a quirky little recreational cruiser for civilians. The boxy machine gained a cult-like status through several TV and movie appearances and it was only natural that several celebrities loved to whizz around in a Moke when enjoying life on the French Mediterranean coastline. The open-top spirit, quite literally as there are no doors and a foldable ‘roof’ made of tubing and fabric, meant it was perfect for life on and around the beach. A total of about 50,000 Mini Mokes were built between 1964 and 1993.
But what if you need a little more Moke? What if the basic and very small Moke is not enough for you? Admittedly, the size of the thing is part of the car’s charm but also a bit of a drawback. It can seat four but don’t expect much creature comfort or legroom, let alone space for any luggage. The answer to your problem might very well be this bright yellow six-wheeled Mini Moke! It was commissioned by a German car collector and was built by specialists Mini Mengers. It’s lengthened and widened, has a third axle, a new 80hp Mini engine, Bilstein suspension, a wooden crate to carry your stuff and more modern touches! It certainly looks wild and gives the Mini Moke a whole new demeanour. It’s for sale at Thiesen Hamburgh GmbH for a price of EUR 98,500, about half the alleged cost of the conversion.
The Double-Wide MGB
Next up we have a British motoring icon, the classic MGB. This little roadster was introduced in 1962 and is just about the blueprint of the classic British roadster. Small, lightweight, a soft-top foldable roof and a sporty attitude. It was in production for a very lengthy 18 years and was available in several configurations. Next to the roadster, MG built the MGB GT 2+2 coupe, the six-cylinder MGC and an eight-cylinder MGB GT V8 2+2 coupe. After a 12-year break, it was even brought back to life as the MG RV8 for a limited run of 2,000 cars. The MGB is a very sensible classic, one that many who venture into the classic car game start with, including our own Managing Editor Brice Goulard who at one point owned a light-blue MGB GT (the Coupe you can see below). There’s plenty of fun to be had with one, parts are widely available and if maintained properly it can even be considered somewhat reliable.
But if you’re a guy named Jim Stable, you might want a little more out of your sporty British roadster. So, as one does, you take a saw and cut one in half from bumper to bumper, widen it by 11 inches and put in a supercharged 5.7-litre V8 from Chevrolet and the suspension system from a C4 Corvette. It sounds mad, but if you look at it, everything is very well done and it looks like a proper restomod of the MGB. Jim Stable put a lot of effort into the car, as it now features a monocoque structure instead of the original body-on-frame construction. It also comes with a modernized interior, which is still in the spirit of the original MGB but with new and better materials. If you’re into this widened MGB, it’s for sale through Jim Stable over on WideMGB.com at a price of USD 200,000.
Hot Wheels Twin Mill
We go out with a bang, with the over-the-top Hot Wheels Twin Mill. Before we get to the actual running and driving Twin Mill, it’s important to note that this car started out as a toy car in 1:64 scale made by Hot Wheels, a range of toy cars introduced by toy manufacturer Mattel in 1967/1968. The Original Sweet Sixteen series, a set of 16 castings, became the launching pad for a brand that disrupted the industry for die-cast cars. The Twin Mill was introduced in 1969 and became one of the most popular and longest-running die-cast toy cars in Hot Wheels’ history. Designed from scratch by Ira Gilford, the concept car had two engines prominently sticking out of its long nose and a very short, or basically non-existent rear overhang. Getting in and out of the car, in theory at least, was done by opening up the canopy. It’s widely regarded as the first fully original toy car design by Hot Wheels.
To celebrate the model’s ongoing popularity, Hot Wheels commissioned a life-size working Twin Mill in 1998. It was to be built by legendary hotrod craftsman Boyd Coddington, with fellow-industry icon Chip Foose overseeing the project. Boyd Coddington’s company went bankrupt, however, and it wasn’t until the SEMA show of 2001 that the 1:1 scale Twin Mill was introduced. The car was built on a custom chassis and has two semi-exposed supercharged 8.2-litre V8s up front. The power is said to be around 1,400 horsepower, which is sent to the rear axle through a three-speed automatic gearbox. The car has undergone several colour changes in its life and is now finished in a Spectraflame Blue and sits on red-wall tires, much like the original toy car did. Check out the YouTube clip for more details on this insane machine!