Film car saved from crusher
One of Gerry Anderson’s futuristic vehicles built in 1968 for TV and film appearances has been saved.
James Winch, a fan of the TV science fiction vehicles associated with Thunderbirds creator Anderson, bought the six-wheeler that had been discovered on the Canary Islands. The car – based on a Mini Moke – was restored by Classic Car Services in Harrietsham, Kent.
In March 2014, one of two Moke-based six-wheel ‘jeeps’, created for the film Doppelganger (1969 – aka Journey to the Far Side
of the Sun) and the TV series UFO (1970), were spotted in a general scrapyard in Tenerife.
Seeing it as a valuable piece of sci-fi and TV history, James negotiated to buy the vehicle
from the reclamation centre and bring it back to his home in Essex. Designed by
specialist Derek Meddings and
built by Space Models of Feltham in 1968, the converted Moke had extra subframes fitted to the rear.
A glassfibre shell was married to the Moke, retaining the original A-series engine. Front lights were borrowed from the contemporary Vauxhall Viva. Wheels were black Minilite style alloys, while a Plexiglas front cab forward design screen sat ahead of a dummy instrument panel.
The other Moke ‘jeep’ survives in Italy, while James has another Gerry Anderson ‘star car’, based on a Ford Zodiac MkIV, which he hopes to begin restoring soon.
Down to earth – the restored futuristic six-wheeler based on a Mini Moke.