In the Rough: Unfinished Mini Jem Project in Florida

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This Mini Jem is an unfinished race build project that’s rumored to have been imported alongside surfboards in the early 1970’s, though it has remained in storage ever since. These Mini-based fiberglass cars were sold under a variety of names, but are probably best known as the Mini Marcos–this one’s believed to be one of around ten made in Australia by a company called Taylorspeed, however the car lacks any documentation. Roughly estimated to be a 1970 model, the car seems largely complete including engine and suspension, and though sourcing glass will probably not be easy, the rest of the project could be relatively straightforward thanks to decent looking GRP bodywork and good Issigonis Mini parts availability. Find it here on eBay in Jacksonville, Florida with reserve not met. Special thanks to BaT reader Kyle K. for this submission.

Taylorspeed is believed to have made only ~10 Jems, and this car’s LHD doesn’t quite make sense for either an Australian or British-built car–perhaps it was just the body that was purchased from overseas? The seller sounds to have only part of the story, and much of the car’s history remains a mystery. The squared-off rear window reportedly identifies this example as a MkII, and though wheels are referred to as Minilites, they actually appear to be period 10″ Cosmic items. More Jem history and specs can be found here.

In the Rough: Unfinished Mini Jem Project in Florida

Regardless of the car’s true origin, this Marcos/Jem is only roughly put together and reportedly hasn’t changed since the time of purchase. The wheels are reportedly the only addition since the car arrived Stateside (“so the car could roll”), and it’s unclear exactly what parts are included or missing–window seals appear present though there’s no sign of any actual panes. Bodywork is still free of mounting holes for taillights and gauges.

In the Rough: Unfinished Mini Jem Project in Florida

The BMC A-series engine–still with a chain attached from when it was dropped in–doesn’t run and the seller doesn’t know its displacement either. The matching gearbox is attached as well.

In the Rough: Unfinished Mini Jem Project in Florida

These Jem and Marcos kits were said to be easily assembled over a weekend with a buddy, and it seems like a good deal of work has already been done here, though there’s certainly more in store. Cataloging and tracking down parts will surely take up some time but the car could be a good start towards an interesting, fun and easy-to-keep racer/track toy.

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