This Mini Is So Modified Even Stirling Moss Had One
Photography by Nat Twiss
The Ogle SX 1000 occupies a strange place in the classic car world, namely as one of the few Mini derivatives that earned praise outside of so-called “kit car” press. Thing is, the SX 1000 is so uniquely different from the Mini that it’s a wonder this little rocket is still rarely seen, at shows or on track.
Photographer Nat Twiss caught this example in the wild, at the Silverstone Classic. The circuit is a natural home for the car, rather morbidly because David Ogle, namesake to his range of mostly fibreglass creations, died in an SX 1000 on the way to the Brands Hatch racing circuit.
Just as road racing was reaching its peak in 1962, Ogle had the great idea of grafting its glass fibre body onto a Mini chassis, thereby endowing the popular supermini with a more slippery shape. Like most such conversions, the project went through several iterations; first, donor cars were needed, then factory-built cars were offered, then the moulds made their way into different hands.
Built from a Mini van chassis—in order to increase its wheelbase while staying within the British Motor Corporation parts bin—completed SX 1000s left the factory longer and lower than standard Mini Cooper economy cars. At the time of his death, Ogle was just 40 years old, and this sort of mini-GT car was a fitting way for this ex-Second World War fighter pilot to get from A to B with good speed and good comfort.
Sir Stirling Moss thought so, too, and had one of his own.
With a hot Mini Cooper 1275-cc engine, the car was good for a healthy 180 km/h (110 mph). After Ogle’s death, the remaining parts were used up before the moulds were sold, eventually leading to the largely similar—but only four were made—Ogle Fletcher GT.
About sixty-six were built and roughly two dozen SX 1000s remain, and—through the magic of modern “coachbuilding”, a company called Nostalgia Cars in the UK will even build you your very own brand-new Ogle SX—though with an uprated engine, it’s now called the Ogle SX 1275.
As a design consultancy, Ogle Design lived on, gracing us with several interesting vehicles, including the Bond Bug and Luke Skywalker’s XP-34 Landspeeder.
But sadly, it seems that Ogle’s untimely death prevented the SX 1000 for making as much of an impact as it was no doubt capable of. Now, all we have are the few surviving copies of this pint-sized sports car.