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Yimkin Engineering


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#1 Mistron

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 20:57

Despite  committing the beginners mistake of bidding far too early in my enthusiasm to get it, I have become the (very!) proud owner of this:


13226659784_23e6600238.jpg

 

As soon as I saw it I recognised the chassis as being a Yimkin - built in the late '50s and into 1960 by the London firm better known for their tuning accessories for the Minor and early Minis.

 

I'm not sure how many they built, but I doubt more than a handful. Anyone got any idea?

 

I compared the chassis for sale with the photo in one of my old 'Special builder' books and it is obviously different, but closely related, so I assumed it was an original which had been modified, but I noticed the lack of front suspension mountings which confused me.

 

13226663464_eafe64bfc4.jpg

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A bit of a web search later and it seems that whilst the original cars were built to race in Formula Junior or as sportscars with cycle wings and single curvature alloy bodywork, the company began work on a Mk2 to take a fully enveloping body but it was not completed....... It seems likely that this is the car I have bought.

 

Does anyone have any contacts for anyone involved with the company at the time?  If I can get its identity confirmed then I should be able to get it registered correctly down the line.

 

Currently my thoughts are that it'll take a 1100cc A series as though it would have run in 1100cc sportscar racing against Lotus 11s etc, with the Microplas Mistral Body that's available again.

 

A proper late 50's racer in the making?

Happy days!


Just need to get it up from Sussex to Fife and work out how to get 2 projects into a single garage........ :-)

 

Al



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#2 Mistron

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 20:59

OOPS!, double post - Moderator, can you delete one please?

 

Ta,

Al



#3 GMACKIE

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 21:04

I see what you mean about you "enthusiasm."  ;)

 

Looks like an iteresting project.



#4 bradbury west

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 21:54

Alastair, I will pm Don Sim's  tel no and e mail info. to you. Last time I spoke to him he was on simply wonderful form, memory sound as a pound, trenchant views, just the sort of stuff you need. Brilliant guy.

Roger Lund

 

edit  Have sent e mail to you.


Edited by bradbury west, 17 March 2014 - 21:59.


#5 Mistron

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 22:09

TNF is great!

 

Cheers Roger.

 

Al



#6 Bloggsworth

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 23:12

I was always puzzled as to why the top mountings of the front springs were on the top wishbones. The last time I drove a Yimkin was at Brands on a freezing cold day in early '65/66, can't remember which. Richard Groombridge was looking to sell his "A" Series powered one - After I slid off, twice, at about 5 MPH, we called it a day! My "Inheritance", £400 of British Rail War Stock 1945 (or something like that) turned out to be worth a bit less than bugger-all, so I couldn't buy it.

 

Note! The rents then were cheap enough to build racing cars in Sloane Street, an area where a single car garage now probably costs in the region of £500,000!

 

Ah Fife. I may be moving up that way soon - ish. I could quite happily live in Crail, Pittenweem or Anstruther, though the wife might think it a bit cold and prefer to live nearer to her home city of Dunblane; either would be quite handy for Knockhill. If we sell our house in Barnet, we could probably buy a mansion in Fife. I go to St Andrews to fly my kite, nice strong and consistent wind and the roar of Tornados from Leuchars.


Edited by Bloggsworth, 17 March 2014 - 23:13.


#7 D-Type

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 23:48

Ah, Fife!

 

If you stand on the top of Largo Law, Knock Hill, or any other Fife hill and look east, the next highest point is the Ural Mountains.  So the east wind has a good long way to acquire its chill.

 

But, if you get a sunny day whan there's no wind - Fife is lovely


Edited by D-Type, 17 March 2014 - 23:53.


#8 Dipster

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 07:02

I "stayed" in Fife for a while many years ago, in Kircaldy. I lodged in a SSHA (Scottich Special Housing Association if I recall correctly) tin house. In the winter I awoke to ice on the inside of the windows and looking forward to the landladies Scottish fry-up breakfast!

 

The chassis looks an interesting project to say the least. Wan't Don Sim the man behind the Divas?



#9 Peter Morley

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 08:30

Pooks have got a Yimkin brochure for sale on Ebay at the moment.



#10 eldougo

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 08:37

kVCuChE.jpg

Looks like it was only 2 cars made according to A-Z racing Book. Great find hope youhave fun. :wave:


Edited by eldougo, 18 March 2014 - 08:41.


#11 Bloggsworth

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 12:51

Yes, Don Sim was Diva - I worked there for a while, and even in that short period there were two "Sponsors", Leo Bertorelli and Sir John Samuel, a lovely chap, he once drove a Diva down to my father-in-law's house and took him for a spin; he later went on to make the Enfield electric car.



#12 Mistron

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 19:24

kVCuChE.jpg

Looks like it was only 2 cars made according to A-Z racing Book. Great find hope youhave fun. :wave:

The A-Z of sportscars suggests 6 + the 2 Juniors, though one of the selling points of the sportscars was that they could be easily converted fo Juniors, so they may actually have been included in the 6.

 

I think there is one racing in FJ (or there was at Goodwood in fairly recent times), but does anyone know the whereabouts of any of the others?

 

Al



#13 Cirrus

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 19:51

does anyone know the whereabouts of any of the others?

 

I take it you've tried the obvious. If RagBag doesn't know then they'll probably be very hard to find...



#14 Garsted

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 19:57

I wonder why they changed the side rails to curve outwards where they meet the scuttle bulkhead? Not exactly sound spaceframe design practice - there must be a reason.  To make space for a proper 2 seater perhaps?

Steve



#15 Mistron

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 20:26

I take it you've tried the obvious. If RagBag doesn't know then they'll probably be very hard to find...

Yes, am waiting to hear back from both Duncan R. and Don Sim.

I've also messaged Ed Gasier as I believe he raced on in the '80s, so may know of any others.

 

Meanwhile, a trawl through the bookshelves produced this:

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Al



#16 eldougo

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 05:35

The artical on the "Maybe"  or translated in Arabic "YIMKIN"...... :up:  Maybe we will see it on the track on day .

 

Thanks Mistron.



#17 ry6

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 10:50

There was a Yimkin racing in Rhodesia during the early 60s.

I think it was the successful driver Clive Puzey who raced it.

Clive of course campaigned the ex-Gary Hocking Lotus 18/21 ? Climax (or Lotus 18M ?)for a few seasons and even upgraded it to 2.5 litre form if my memory serves me right?



#18 Mistron

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 20:26

My research is still going on until the chassis arrives, but I've spoken with Both Don Sim and Richard Groomridge, and so far neither have been able to identify the origins of the chassis.

 

Don is adamant there were only 6 cars built, and the one raced by Clive Posey as a Junior with an A- Series is the one owned in the 80s by Ed Glasier and now run by Alessandro Ripamonte in Italy.

 

Dom recalls Richard Groombridge building his own car which was called the 'Divette', and Richard says this is the only one he had and wasn't actually a 'Yimkin' as it differed  from them significantly, so, anyone got any ideas what happened to the other 5 chassis?

 

Al


Edited by Mistron, 05 April 2014 - 20:26.


#19 Dipster

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 05:53

The artical on the "Maybe"  or translated in Arabic "YIMKIN"...... :up:  Maybe we will see it on the track on day .

 

Thanks Mistron.

And if we do, and it is successful, we could rename it "Mumkin" (If my memory has not gone completely is Arabic that translates to "It's possible").



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#20 Mistron

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 09:53

Ha ah, that is an ideal name for the resultant special ! (though it sounds a bit like a character from an Oliver Postgate animation from the '70s )

 

Al



#21 bradbury west

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 12:14

Al, have you spoken to  Ted Walker about the other cars? Or Spencer Elton?

Roger



#22 Mistron

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 13:36

I never seem to get a reply from Ted? is his email the one on the Ferret site?.

 

Might give Spencer a try

 

Al



#23 Mistron

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Posted 24 September 2014 - 22:55

I know Don Sim went on to form Diva (and Tunex Conversions) after leaving Yimkin Engineering, in about '61, but does anyone know what Mike Handley went on to do? Or did he stay on at Yimkin, which seems to have been  the servicing arm of the Gordon & Glynn sales concern run by a Mrs Herbert. On her death in '63 the whole concern seems to have passed to Mike Braby who was both a business and racing competitor - he raced a Britannia in FJ.

 

I've been in touch with a chap who has confirmed that he was consulted on the development of my chassis, and it is as he saw it in about '63. This would imply it was perhaps  developed after DS (and Richard Groombridge) formed Diva, but I've not been able to confirm which employees of Yimkin may have been involved after Don left

 

Anyone any ideas if Mike Handley continued with Yimkin, or elsewhere in racing? 

 

Al