Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Radford Mini De Ville GT

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis



...not just any Radford Mini De Ville GT, but George Harrison's Radford Mini De Ville GT. Starring in the Magical Mystery Tour movie, this was Harrison's own car that he'd had converted by Radford in 1965 from a stock Austin Cooper S. At first it was metallic black, and sported those unusual rally-style front lights and sideways-mounted VW Beetle tail-lights, along with a full-length Webasto roof and custom leather interior, although George didn't opt for the trademark Radford one-piece tailgate. In '67 the Mini was repainted in red and gold, and slathered with designs inspired by the Ajit Mookerjee book Tantra Art: Its Philosophies and Physics, something that John Lennon also did to his Rolls-Royce Phantom V.

After Magical Mystery Tour wrapped, Harrison decided to gift the Mini to Eric Clapton. The custom artwork didn't survive his ownership though, so what you're seeing here is the fully restored version. It's more of a best-guess than a faithful recreation as, for some reason, no detailed pictures of the car in period were available to work from - so its restorers had to piece it together using stills from the movie. Looks pretty incredible though, doesn't it?

Spotted at the 2016 Concours of Elegance - more pics here.











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