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Mark Holland 's Lenham LeMans Coupe.

 

Mark Holland LeMans Coupe

 

Mark bought this car early in 2012 after seeing it on the Bring a Trailer web-site in the USA. Click here to follow a link to the original advert and associated forum. It certainly created quite a stir and divided opinions on it's appearance, especially the original Cortina tail lights!

 

 

Mark says it started as a "1970 USA market MG Midget 1275 (GAN5UA 86097G). The car is claimed by a former owner to be the only period "factory" conversion done on a US spec car and shipped directly to the US after conversion. It has spent all of its life in Southern California, and has always been a street car that has never been driven in competition events. To meet the US regulations of the day, it was equipped with the Midget split rear bumpers."

Mark Holland LeMans Coupe 002Mark Holland LeMans Coupe 003

 

 

"As a street car, this one received the full optional Lenham interior package. The car remains largely a "time capsule" representation of the day it was built, with the exception of a 1983 repaint from yellow to red, and the recent changeover of taillights from the original Mk 1 Cortina to the Fiat 850, along with removal of the MG rear bumper guards and rearrangement of the license plate mount. The carpets were recently replaced with similar black material. The headliner was replaced with a light grey colored material (for a red car), substituting for a severely damaged brownish charcoal colored material (for a yellow car). A high mounted center brake light was also added to the rear window frame "

Mark Holland LeMans Coupe InteriorMark Holland LeMans Coupe Seats

Mark Holland LeMans Coupe DashMark Holland LeMans Coupe Engine

 

"The known history is that the car's transmission failed in 1972, after it had traveled 22,000 miles. It was delivered to a local mechanic, but the original owner never came back to claim her car. After a year, in late 1973, the shop claimed the unrepaired car through a mechanic's lien, and a new title and license plates were issued. That is why the 1970 car has a plate with a 1973 sequenced license number. In 1983, second owner Larry Gross purchased the broken yellow car, towed it home, repaired the transmission, painted the car red, and awakened the car from an eleven year slumber. He drove it for two years, adding another 13,000 miles, and traded it to third owner Rick Wilson in 1985. Rick only put another 3,000 miles on the car, before it again went back into long term storage at 38,000 miles. It was stored from the mid 1980's until early 2012, when I refurbished the car for weekend use after my purchase."

It looks as though Mark has a terrific car. The interior kit is very rare indeed; I only know of two other cars with this fitted. I have not yet been able to verify the claim of the 'only period factory built US Spec car' however, it is quite possible. There are no other US Spec cars on the Register. Both Mark and I will endeavour to follow this through. Mark is also trying to trace more of the car's early history and previous owners. More to follow....

If you wish to see Mark's BaT article regarding the before & after of the car then click here.

Finally, well done to Mark for getting this great car back on the road and into regular use! It is certainly a credit to him.

 

Many thanks to Mark for the use of his photographs and words.