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The “Samuri Classic”
Back in 1959, Spike owned a one off bodied racing C type MG. It was very small and light into which he replaced the engine with a Formula Junior BMC example. It had a phenomenal power to ratio and was extremely rapid and it is the lifelong love of this car that were the roots of this project.
In conjunction with Peter Gregory, a well known MG specialist, it was proposed that based on his idea of a Z powered “C” Type replica, a prototype of this pre war two seater period racing car was to be produced powered by a 2.6 short stroke 240Z engine and gearbox and to be called the “Samuri Classic”. The idea was that 25 examples would be built but unfortunately, before the project had barely got off the ground, Peter tragically died and so, despite the prototype having just been started, the idea of producing a limited number of these cars was stillborn.
However, Ian James, a friend of Spike’s, offered to buy the finished prototype thus financing it’s completion. After the rolling Chassis was completed in Spain, it was sent to Max Szewczyk’s workshop in the UK where the completed body and mudguards were finished and looked stunning. A bespoke 10-gallon fuel tank and a large-capacity radiator were made and installed, and the prop shaft was modified, and the transmission tunnel was made. Pedals, steering, seats, hydraulics, instruments, wiring loom and lights were all made or sourced and fitted until the car was finished.
Ian kept the car for a couple of years and then bought it to Spain where, after selling the last Super Samuri to Alistair Douglas, Spike persuaded Ian to sell it to him and he has it to this day. It is staggeringly fast and much admired wherever it goes and Spike regrets that due to old age etc, it was no longer practical to be put into limited production.