Broadspeed GTS: Spotted

For a car of such diminutive proportions, the Mini certainly left a lasting impression on the world of motorsport. From its famous rally victories on the snow-covered slopes of Monte Carlo, to the David vs Goliath battles with vehicles twice its size in the British Saloon Car Championship, the bite-sized Brit tended to punch well above its weight.

One driver with first hand experience of the Mini's sporting prowess was Ralph Broad, whose success racing the car in the late 1950s and early '60s led to him founding a team of his own: the creatively named Broadspeed. By 1965 the outfit's success had seen it become the official works team of BMC Mini in the European Touring Car Championship, taking the chequered flag in its class at circuits including Spa, Monza and Zandvoort on behalf of the brand.

Despite his success with the standard Cooper S, in 1966 Broad made the switch to racing Fords, and at the same time began work on his own significantly redesigned incarnation of the Mini. In its most thoroughly reworked form, the Broadspeed GT 2+2, as it was dubbed, featured a new interior, adjustable suspension, rear anti-roll bar and twin fuel tanks. It also received a tuned engine with a reworked cylinder head, a custom camshaft, re-contoured combustion chambers, a 10.5 to 1 compression ratio and a modified inlet manifold.

It also, of course, sported an entirely redesigned rear end. Crafted from fibreglass it was significantly more streamlined than the standard car's boxy behind. It did somewhat restrict access to the boot, though (in that it completely eliminated it) so fold-down rear seats were included, through which a storage space could still be reached.

Compared to today's Spotted, however, the 28 examples of the 2+2 which saw production before the factory was demolished in 1968 are positively common. Only one race-prepped GTS was ever made. That car, the one for sale here, had a claimed top speed of 140mph thanks to significant weight saving achieved though lightweight magnesium-alloy wheels, a lightened chassis and lightweight doors and bonnet.

Its strengthened sub-frame, undertray, fully adjustable front and rear suspension, competition dynamo, and further tuned 1,366cc engine made it a formidable foe for those it came up against. The car was campaigned throughout the 1966 and '67 seasons by Broadspeed's own John Fitzpatrick, securing multiple class wins and podium finishes during that time.

Broadspeed itself would go on to develop the fantastic XJ12 which raced in the European Touring Car Championship in 1966 and '77, while the fate of the GTS remained unclear until its recent restoration and listing for sale. For Β£90,000 it's now up for grabs alongside an equally immaculate 2+2, giving one enthusiast the chance to own two irreplaceable chapters of Mini-lore.

See the full ad here.

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (26) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Ahonen 22 Nov 2018

    Fantastic. When I was 15 and 16 I was a Saturday kid, plus school holidays, at a little tuning company called AVJ Developments in Worcestershire. The owner was a guy called Tony Jones, who was Broadspeed's chief engine man throughout the '60s. Sadly Tony was suffering from MS when I was there ('88/'89) and was gradually winding the business down, but the stories and anecdotes of the old days - including some tales about the development of this car - will live with me forever.

    I got to help work on Aston Martins, old Porsches, many Group 4 Escort MK2 rally cars and even things like Audi Quattros. As a start point in my own life in motorsport I couldn't have asked for a better mentor or experience.

  • cookie1600 22 Nov 2018

    "contemporary reports estimated to be capable of 140 mph"

    Considering a more standard Broadspeed was tested by Motorsport magazine and only got to 112 mph, that's a lot of lightening and a huge hike in power to make up the difference, considering the bodywork aerodynamics are pretty much the same. I imagine there was a lot of 'estimates' given for speed and horsepower back in those days, that was simply paddock talk.

  • GranCab 22 Nov 2018

    DB5 meets Mini .....

  • Esceptico 22 Nov 2018

    Cool car. But £90k?

  • Turbobanana 22 Nov 2018

    These are the two previously offered by JD Classics, right?

    IIRC the ambitious-sounding top speed claims were largely the result of the better aerodynamics over the standard car which, no matter how well tuned, struggled to get much past 100mph even as a 1275cc Cooper S.

    Tenuous link, but I used to work for the re-invented Broadspeed in the late nineties / early noughties, just as the business moved from Mini restorations to car imports. Still had a lot of old Minis around at the time, including the very first 1071cc Morris-badged Cooper S I believe. Also a Mini ice cream van.

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