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Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Here's the Minotaur, one of British exotic cars you've never heard before

~Almost FORGET~ Exotic car manufacturers ranging from large to small scattered around the world are always coming and going, popping up with various models to meet the demands of their clients who have a lot of money. So it is not surprising that there are so many exotic cars made by them that are unknown to automotive enthusiasts until now. One of them is the Minotaur (pronounced 'Min-o-tour') from England, and might be you have never heard before.
The Minotaur Roadster (in pictured by Vision Sportscar) was first conceived by an automotive designer named John Forakis, and debuted in 1993 at the National Kit Car Show. (Picture from: RareComponentCars)
As quoted of PistonHeads, the Vision Sportscars was a British automaker firm was running under license from the now-defunct Pilgrim Cars, and the Minotaur is the first model from the company which was previously project under Pilgrim's helmsman, Tony Holmes
The Minotaur Roadster (in pictured by Vision Sportscar) was initially intended to be a racing car is inspired by a mid-engine sportscar with muscular bodywork and a low, wide stance on the road. (Picture from: RareComponentCars)
Well, the Minotaur supercar was initially intended to be a racing car is inspired by a mid-engine sportscar with muscular bodywork and a low, wide stance on the road. It's firstly conceived by an automotive designer named John Forakis. Course, he was not a new guy in the business, and known has been involved in the car's design and manufacture since 1975.
The Minotaur Roadster (in pictured by Pilgrim Cars) is built on a custom chassis (some say based on the Ultima tubular unit) that can accommodate a variety of power plants. (Picture from: Wired)
In short, to manufacture the supercar, Forakis founded a small operation automaker company named Minotaur Sports Cars Ltd. in Chatham Dockyards, Kent, England in the early 1990s. Forakis' company firstly introduced the Minotaur in 1993 at the National Kit Car Show. At the time, the car made a big splash in specialty auto magazines as well as the mainstream automotive press. Its adventurous style attracted a lot of attention, but it means nothing to the car sales which in the slow economy of that period. Besides that, the car maker also should be faced with the limited production capacity they have.
The Minotaur Roadster (in pictured by Pilgrim Cars) is featured with a pair of scissor style doors. (Picture from: RareComponentCars)
To deal with such production problems, then Minotaur Sports Cars collaborated with an Italian company called Simbol Design (formerly Automobili Lavazza) founded in 1975 by Enrico Lavazza. For more than 30 years, this Italian company has produced racing prototypes, kit cars and replicas. Some of the famous cars made by Lavazza include the K-1 Attack, Covini C6W, as well as the Simbol Design C8 which was later made the basis of the Minotaur. With Forakis' help, Simbol Design could be produced several samples of C8, between 1998 and the early 2000s, before shifted to other projects such as the Lavazza GTX.
The Minotaur Roadster (in pictured by Pilgrim Cars) has also implemented a kind of comfort features such as a pedal box that can be adjusted and operated electrically. (Picture from: RareComponentCars)
As such, they produced several turn-key kits and samples before closing their doors in 2007, due to no longer able to bear the car high production costs. With the end of Forakis's company, the rights and tooling were then acquired by Pilgrim Cars, an established kit cars maker like the Sumo, a small dune buggy inspired car. Coincidentally at that time, the company were looking to add some excitement to their product portfolio.
The Minotaur Roadster (in pictured by Pilgrim Cars) is powered by a mid-mounted 5.7 liter Chevrolet V8 engine for over 350bhp of power. (Picture from: RareComponentCars)
Along the way then the automaker changed the purpose of its manufacture so that some of them were intended to be sold as turn-key component cars for roads and some were assembled for track use. In development, the company also engineered two car versions, namely a targa version with a removable roof and a hard-top coupe.
The Minotaur Roadster (in pictured by Pilgrim Cars) has twin alloy radiators and twin alloy fuel tanks as well. (Picture from: RareComponentCars)
The Minotaur is built on a custom chassis (some say based on the Ultima tubular unit) that can accommodate a variety of power plants. Its prototype model was powered by a Rover V8 engine, but was later designed around a 5.7 liter Chevrolet V8 for over 350bhp. The engine is mounted mid-rear in a tubular steel frame which is then mated to a Renault R21 turbo transaxle to transmit engine power to the rear wheels. The power is considered more than enough to move its 2,500 lbs (1,160kg) weighted body in one stomp of the gas pedal. This car has dual radiators mounted on the side and dual fuel tanks as well.
The Minotaur Roadster (in pictured by Pilgrim Cars) drivetrain is mounted mid-rear in a tubular steel frame which is then mated to a Renault R21 turbo transaxle. (Picture from: RareComponentCars)
Uniquely, the Minotaur exotic car has also implemented a kind of comfort features such as a pedal box that can be adjusted and operated electrically, making it possible to move the pedal box forward and backward according to the driver's posture. It also has a telescopic steering column with various adjustments. Together with all these attributes are meant to make the car accessible by people with various body postures both short or tall.
This Minotaur Spyder (in pictured by Vision Sportscar) was lastly views in German. (Picture from: RareComponentCars)
Unfortunately, the complexity of production and the high cost of kits are still a barrier, not to mention the market conditions at that time which were increasingly dominated by high-end car replicas such as the Shelby Cobra, GT40, Lotus Seven, and many others, which were sold at a low price tags so that the price of the Minotaur could not compete with them. This then forced Pilgrim to give up in 2009 and sell the project to another company, Vision Sportscars. But just like its predecessor, Vision in turn also experienced financial difficulties and stopped in 2012.
Initially this Minotaur Spyder (in pictured by Vision Sportscar) was silver, and after having restoration about two-years included to change its color to black. (Picture from: RareComponentCars)
It is not known how many Minotaurs were made during its production period under all of those companies mentioned above. Many said that about a dozen Minotaur samples have been made including a prototype produced by Simbol Design (while other said only 5 ever made). Though it was quite a compelling design when first envisioned, it hadn't aged well in this day and estimated its turn-key component car has a price tag of £65,000 plus taxes.
As quoted of RareComponentCars, the story of the Minotaur may not ended yet, even though John Forakis had passed away in 2020, as his family retains the original jigs and molds for the Minotaur and reportedly his son, George Forakis plans to build one last car to be honored his father. *** [EKA [30082022] | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | HALDANE.NL | RARECOMPONENTCARS | WIRED | PISTONHEADS | AUTOBLOG | CLASSICANDRECREATIONSPORTSCAR | AUTOGESPOT.DE |MADABOUT-KITCARS ]
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