1970 AF SpiderSOLD

1970 AF Spider

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Registration No: SFL256K Engine No: 12H5H1244 CC: T.B.A. Colour: Wood Trim Colour: T.B.A. MOT: Sept 2010

Reference Number 73886

as of 3/20/2010

Overview
Car 1970 AF Spider
VIN AB1AA0002 
Mileage 5,288 miles 
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Known History

The three-wheeled AF Spiders were produced by Alexander (Sandy) Fraser and designed whilst he convalesced from an injured ankle. The first prototype was created in his kitchen while he was still in the employ of Antique Automobiles/The Complete Automobilist. The aim was to create something with the charm of a Morgan three-wheeler but that was far more practical for everyday use. The Spider consisted of a Mini subframe, engine and running gear mounted in a hardwood frame, skinned with aluminium and mahogany-faced marine plywood. The only other metal involved in the construction was a small fabricated mounting for the single Mini trailing arm at the rear. Salient design features included full length wings to provide mudguarding, a boat tail and an exposed engine - a la Morgan. The first prototype was powered by a 1275cc Mini engine complete with Shorrock supercharger. The car's lengthy specification even included a dash-mounted engine oil level check, cruise control and a tow bar. It also sported a relatively massive 22 gallon fuel tank; though this and some other items were either trimmed down or dropped from later examples, in order to meet the 8cwt limit that applied to the UK tricycle class of the time. Some criticism of the car's aesthetics led to the Spider being superseded by the Grand Prix; a shorter version with a more rounded tail and mudguards instead of wings. Between 1969 and 1980 a total of seven Spiders, five Grands Prix and one four-wheeler were constructed.

 

The Spider on offer is the second one built. It was constructed in 1970 with an extra-long chassis for the 6ft 6in Colin Crabbe - F1 team manager, historic racecar sleuth and the man behind both Antique Automobiles and The Complete Automobilist. Powered by an Oselli-tuned 1300cc MG engine, it was tested by both Autocar and Motor magazines in period, and was apparently capable of running the standing quarter mile in a pretty impressive 16.7 seconds. The vendor claims the car to be in "very good" condition with regard to its engine, gearbox, electrical equipment, interior trim and bodywork. Fast, fun, frugal, and certainly very different from anything available today, the Spider was invited to the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Mini at the Goodwood Revival last year and is arguably even more relevant now than when it was conceived over four decades ago.