Mysterious Mini-based racer discovered in Portugal set for restoration.
The latest stories from the world of Minis, including a rare Mini Marcos discovery.
Some 41 years after it went missing, the Mini Marcos that participated in the 1966 Le Mans 24 Hour race has been found by Jeroen Booij, author of the Maximum Mini series of books about Mini-based cars.
The diminutive 1289cc Cooper S-powered GT came 15th overall at the legendary French endurance race, behind an array of Ford GT40s, Porsche 906s and Ferrari 275GTBs. It was the only British car to finish that year and no doubt the crowd favourite, nicknamed ‘La Puce Bleue’ (The Blue Flee). It is sometimes regarded as Le Mans’ most heroic entry. Due to its disappearance in 1975, the car has been cloaked in mystery, with several people searching for it ever since.
Booij received a tip-off from Portugal earlier this year and decided to investigate further, with his efforts eventually leading him to the car – or what was left of it. Just about all of the Marcos’ mechanicals have disappeared, but the shell still has evidence of its original blue and yellow paint scheme and the painted white roundels under several more layers of paint. All the signature markings and holes are still there, too, including the flared arches, holes for auxiliary lights and the big 80-litre fuel tank that was specially made for the car.
Despite being over 50 years old, the body is in remarkably good and original condition. Booij is planning a full restoration in order to bring it back to its original Le Mans spec – watch this space for more updates.
Evidence of the Marcos’ original Le Mans colour scheme can still be seen.