When Simon Benton first set eyes on the 1967 Austin Cooper Mini purchased by his dad as a gift for his mum in the Christmas of 1977, little did he know it would become the star it is today. The family car nicknamed the ‘Obie’ owing to its number plate and coinciding with the release of the film ‘Star Wars’ that same year, was a much loved member of the family and was in fact the car that Simon and his sister had learned to drive in. However, when it failed its MOT having clocked a worthy 93,000 miles it then spent most of it’s retired life in the back of his parents garage, where it remained untouched until it was rediscovered by Simon Benton who had the idea to restore the pre-loved family car into an electric power drive.

Simon quickly got to work and approached the experts at Suffolk based Bridge Classic Cars who specialise in the restoration, maintenance and sales of vintage and classic vehicles where it underwent its refurbishment.

Once the shell was complete it was sent to Electric Classic Cars in Newtown in Wales where its electrification process began.

“We were excited when we were approached by the team at Electric Classic Cars to design and manufacture an electric CAN Speedometer for this project,” explained Gavin Roberts, CAI’s Managing Director.  “We are seeing a growing increase in the desire for electric CAN driven gauges in recent years. Our clients are keen to retain the authenticity and aesthetics of the original petrol gauges with the power of an electric motor.”

The car has since featured in an edition of Quest TV’s “Vintage Voltage” and has been a feature of an ITV’s news story

You can see the “Obie” Mini at CAI’s stand, number 89 at Goodwood Festival of Speed this June, in all its glory.

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For more details, please visit the CAI team on stand 89 at the Goodwood Festival of Speed or:

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Photo Credit: Richard Heeley

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