Author Archive for Alistair Courtney

STONELEIGH 2022 – The National Kit Car Show

This year’s show returned to its traditional May Day Bank Holiday Weekend slot and started to show signs of recovery. Last year’s show was postponed until the end of August and only one show hall was available (the other being used as a Covid vaccination centre). The weather was a bit better last August, but the turnout of kit cars was massively down on pre-covid numbers. The turnout for the Midas Owners Club reflected the trend with 10 Midas cars of all models present, up from last year’s half dozen.

Okay so this is still a long way off the 20+ that the club would get a couple of decades ago, but it is a step in the right direction. And with 10 excellent examples in attendance the club’s officers decided that we should hold the traditional concours/awards to go along with the club’s barbecue and AGM.

“Most improved by owner” went to Simon Camm for his mid-engined 1.8VVC K-series Gold Coupe
“Best underbonnet” went to Roy Forrester for his very tidy Mk2 Decathlon
“Most original condition” went to Craig Williams for his Mk3 Gold Coupe
“Best in every other category” went to Brian Badcock’s Mk2 Coupe

The “Furthest traveled in a Midas” category was won by John Orson, but unfortunately he disappeared before we could get a photo of him with Tony. However, if John had stuck around (and we had some trophies) then it might have looked like this:

The Practical Classics Classic Car & Restoration Show

After a two year absence we were back at the NEC for the PCCCR show. This year we were without club secretary Tony Moss who couldn’t attend due to an operation. This didn’t put off the club members who laid the carpet and set up the stand on the Thursday before the show :

The club presented three excellent examples of the Midas marque on a thoroughly professional looking stand and were rewarded by three days of warm interest from the show-goers. As usual we spoke to many visitors who remembered the cars from the 1980s and one, or two, former Midas owners.

Next on the calendar is the National Kit Car Show at Stoneleigh, which returns to its usual May day bank holiday slot.

2021 A slow restart, but a restart nonetheless

Coming after the COVID-19 enforced washout of 2020 and early 2021, only a few event organisers were brave enough to put events in 2021.

Two that did were club favourites The Mini Action Day at Castle Combe and the National Kit Car show at Stoneleigh. Both events were smaller and quieter than in previous years, but both proved thoroughly enjoyable for the Midas Owners who ventured out.

Castle Combe restricted entry to car owners and direct guests, but that didn’t stop club members partaking in their favourite activities:

It was a wonder that they could put on a show at Stoneleigh in 2021. The main exhibition hall had been turned in to a COVID vaccination centre and half the parkland was being dug up for HS2. However, the Kit Car community pulled together for a show in August rather than the traditional May.

The Midas Owners Club shared a block with our friend in the Mini Marcos Owners Club:


The polls officially closed at midnight last night and the votes from both the Facebook group and the Midas Forum have been counted up.

Category 1. Best Exterior.

First Place with 11 votes on Facebook and 4 votes on the Forum is No 4. Red Mk3 Gold Convertible belonging to Richard Streets.

Second Place went to No8. Red Mk3 Gold Coupe belonging to John Orson with 12 votes on Facebook and 1 on the Forum.


Third Place went to No1. Red Mk2 Coupe belonging to Ralph Woodrow.

Category 2. Best Interior

First Place with 6 votes on Facebook and 1 vote on the Forum was N06. The unfinished White Mk2 Coupe belonging to Ian Hardy – perhaps indicating that the original design is best after all.

Second Place was a draw, both with 6 votes on Facebook, between No8, John Orson and No10, the Blue Cortez of Justin King

Category 3. Best Underbonnet

First Place with 15 votes on Facebook and 6 on the Forum went to No.4 Richard Streets’ Gold Convertible with an incredibly tidy and well presented engine bay.

Second Place with 6 votes on Facebook and 2 on the Forum went to No.7 the BRG Mk2 Decathlon of Roy Forrester.
Third Place with 4 votes on Facebook went to No 10. Justin King’s Blue Cortez.

The judged categories.

After examining the photos closely the judges have decided on the winners. There were no entries in the Most Used category, which was going to be judged on average monthly mileage.

4. Originality – closest to factory intent

First prize goes to Roger Dewsnap’s Black Mk1, now looking much like it did in 1984.

The judges thought that Chris Nicholls’ Black Mk3 Gold Coupe, Ian Hardy’s White Mk2 and Roy Forrester’s BRG Mk2 Decathlon all merited a mention too, for all were very close to original except for one or two minor details.

5. Innovation – best upgrades from original spec.

First prize could only go to Justin King’s Blue Mk4 Cortez with too many upgrades to list – it took CKC two features to write up all the work that Justin has done.

The judges also thought that the improved dashboard on Jon Evans‘ White Mk2 and the re-trimmed interior of Ralph Woodrow‘s Red Mk2, were both very neatly done and worthy upgrades.

6. Most Ambitious Rebuild

Perhaps, we should have set a tighter definition for this category as the judges couldn’t decide between a finished rebuild that was ambitious in respect of working to a tight time constraint and another that has only just started and is ambitious in the amount of work required.

In the end the judges decided to call it a draw between Tim Brack’s plan to totally rebuild his red Mk2

and Sam Dewsnap‘s refurbishment of his father’s Mk1 (see Originality above) , completed in just three months. The work on Roger’s car can be seen on You Tube –

Thank you to everybody who sent in photos of their cars and thank you to everyone who voted. We may not be able to use our cars much at the moment, but at least we can still discuss them.

Virtual Stoneleigh 2020 – CONCOURS D’EXTRAORDINAIRE

The first entries have arrived for the Concours event.

1. Red Mk2 Coupe

2. Black Mk3 Gold Coupe

3.White Mk2 Coupe

4. Red Mk3 Gold Convertible

5. White Mk2 Coupe

6. White – Unfinished- Mk2 Coupe

7. BRG Mk2 Bronze Decathlon

8. Red Mk3 Gold Coupe

9. Black Mk1 Coupe

10. Blue Mk4 Cortez

11. White Mk2 Coupe

This car is currently inaccessible due to lockdown restrictions so the owner could only submit some external photos from last year.

12. Red Mk2 Silver Coupe – Rebuild

The final entry is entered in the “Most ambitious rebuild” category only

The names of the owners will be withheld until after the voting so that the competition is decided purely upon the quality of the car.

2019 Round Up

2019 started with another visit to the NEC in March for the Practical Classics Classic Car and Restoration Show. We were blessed with our largest stand yet and managed to find five excellent examples of the Midas marque to fill it.

Midas Owners Club at PCCCRS 2019

Once again we had many visitors including a return visit by Alex Riley of The One Show fame. In 2018 we had learned that Alex was a big fan of the Midas marque and knew the history of the cars. However, we discovered that he had never actually sat in one before and so we gave him the chance to try out Richard Streets’ Convertible for size (Alex is too tall for either the Mk1, or Mk2, without a Bulgin style floor!) So the next step for Alex is to actually drive a Midas.

Alex Riley tries a Midas for size

The next event for the Midas Owners Club was the National Kit Car Show at Stoneleigh. Held on its traditional May bank holiday weekend, this is usually the biggest gathering of Midas cars each year and 2019 did not disappoint.

Our club area had been moved from its usual location due to the Stoneleigh showground losing a large chunk of land to HS2, but we all found our spot okay and gathered in the tent for our AGM.

This year Roy Forrester’s Decathlon Mk2 took the Best Midas award after Roy had tidied up a few areas since last year.

Roy collects his plaque from Tony Moss

With the National Metro and Mini show having moved to August, our next event was a return to Shepton Mallet for the 2019 Bristol Classic Car Show. This year we had a long narrow stand so we had to park in two by two formation, which is not the best way of displaying cars, but nonetheless we had an enjoyable show capped by Meredith’s Mk2 winning a ‘Highly Commended’ award. Since these awards are voted on by the visiting public (and no Midas owners had voted since Tony had lost the voting slips) this was high praise indeed.

Meredith’s prize winning Mk2

In July we gathered at Alternative Cars’ workshop for the annual open day and barbecue. This year we had a larger turn out with twelve cars arriving under their own steam. Comparing the 2019 line up with that of 2018 and it is notable that this year we had five Mk4s arrive, whereas none made it the previous year.

2020 is the 25th anniversary of the launch of the Mk4 and this will be marked at many of the events.

Early arrivals enjoy tea and coffee

Whilst Midas owners attended both the National Metro and Mini Show at Gaydon in August and the Mini Fair at Stanford Hall in September, there was no official club areas at either event. Hopefully something to be rectified in 2020.

However, this year the club had a special event all of its own: The first Midas customer car was collected from the D & H Fibreglass Techniques factory at the end of August 1978 and to mark this important anniversary in the history of the Midas marque the club organised a gathering at the original factory site in Greenfield, near Oldham.

MOC meeting at Heybottom Mill, Greenfield.
Visiting cars included the original Midas prototype CNC297T, the first production Midas (chassis zero) JEH448V and a Mini Marcos similar to those produced by D & H before they introduced the Midas.

The current owners of the site, Robert Scott Ltd, kindly opened up their car park for our gathering where we were met by interested locals, including a former D & H employee, and a journalist from the local newspaper. After the meeting and photo-shoot we headed up and over the moors (and through a torrential downpour) to the Oil Can Cafe.

MOC members tuck in at the Oil Can Cafe

The next event on the calendar was the Mini Action Day at Castle Combe at the end of September. Usually this event is blessed with excellent weather and whilst the sun did shine brightly on occasion, unfortunately it was between rain showers. This did not deter the club members who turned up and a good day was had by all. The show itself is growing once again, with more and better trade stands and the club had a larger turn out this year.

Justin King takes to the track in his Midas Cortez

The final event of the year was once again a visit to the NEC for the Classic Motor Show. Once again another successful show bringing an end to the events of 2019.

2020 marks the club’s 35th anniversary as well as the 25th anniversary of the Mk4 Midas and we will be kicking off again at the PCCCRS at the NEC in March.

2018 Round Up

2018 was a bumper year for the Midas Owners Club. Events kicked off in March with our first visit to the Practical Classics Restoration Show at the NEC. Whilst this is a smaller show than November’s Classic Motor Show, it proved to be a lively and popular event – we are already booked in and preparing to attend again in 2019. Our stand was located close to the live stage, which meant we were located in a busy spot. Among the visitors to the Midas Owners Club stand were several celebrities including Alex Reilly (The One Show, The Classic Car Show and the original Top Gear), Jon Bentley (The Gadget Show, Fifth Gear and the original Top Gear), Mike Brewer and Ant Anstead (Wheeler Dealers), Tim Shaw (Car SOS) and no less than three Fuzz Townsends…

The most striking thing about the show was that it attracted more attention online than any other event that the club has attended. Partly this was thanks to Mike Brewer posting his ‘I’ve got the #Midas touch’ photo on his Twitter account – – but also thanks to the many Midas enthusiasts who posted up their own photos of our stand and helped to spread the word.

After we had recovered from our efforts in March it was off to Stoneleigh at the start of May for the National Kit Car Show. Once again there was a large club turnout with some 17 cars present on Sunday for the concours and AGM.

The standard of cars turning up for the concours has improved over the years, despite many of these cars being in regular use. This year Brian and Julie Badcock took the top prize with their immaculate Mk2, scoring well in all three areas of presentation judged: external, internal and under-bonnet

The brilliant sunshine of Stoneleigh was only matched by our visit to Gaydon at the end of May for the National Metro and Mini Show. We have always received a warm welcome at Gaydon and enjoyed the opportunity to look around the museum collections and this year we had the added bonus of being invited into the arena to show off our cars.

With a Mk2 Bronze (Brian Badcock), a Mk3 Gold (Richard Streets), a Mk4 Cortez (Tony Moss) and a Mk4 Excelsior (Alistair Courtney) lined up the marque was well represented.

June saw us back down in Somerset at the Royal Bath and West Showground, Shepton Mallet, for the Bristol Classic Car Show. The weather was good, but fortunately not as hot as 2017 (when ice creams had to be devoured immediately, before they melted). The club had decided not to attend the November show in Shepton Mallet, due to its proximity to the NEC show, instead we concentrated our efforts on the summer event and managed a line up of five cars.

This is always a friendly and popular show and we plan to return in 2019.

July is a quiet month for large shows, so the club gathers at the Alternative Cars open day. This year the attendance of Midas Cars was slightly down with at least three regular visitors attending in non Midas cars due to various issues.

This did not dampen the enthusiasm and camaraderie. Once again we all tucked in to a barbecue and enjoyed the opportunity to discuss all things Midas.

This year the Stanford Mini Fair was cancelled due to bad weather (yes there was one day of bad weather in 2018) so our next event was at Castle Combe for the Mini Action Day. This year we had a spot in the extended paddock, but again we were down on cars due to various issues. With just 4 Midas cars present we were outnumbered by our friends in the Mini-Marcos club for the first time in many years. The member to cars ratio was 2:1 so the opportunity to double our presence in 2019 exists.

We finished off 2018 with a return to the NEC for the Classic Motor Show and with the event falling more, or less, 40 years after the Midas marque was launched the club pulled out all the stops to make sure that our stand was well presented. Not only had we tracked down and borrowed the very first Midas, the original prototype that debuted at the Performance Car Show at the end of 1978, but we had also arranged to borrow Gordon Murray’s Midas-Alfa, possibly the best known (if elusive) Midas of all.

MOC stand just before the show opened.

Flanked by Neil Franklin’s Excelsior and Richard Street’s Gold Convertible these two notable cars provided much interest throughout the show. That brought 2018 to an end, but with several notable Midas anniversaries to celebrate next year, 2019 looks to be even busier.

2017 Round Up

2017 was another successful year and the momentum looks to be carrying us into 2018 at full tilt.

The show season started with the National Kit Car Show, AKA “STONELEIGH, the biggest kit car show in the world”.

Once again the club hoisted up its marquee on Saturday afternoon and proceeded to fill the rest of the pitch on Sunday.  A busy AGM voted through a revised constitution allowing club ‘steering groups’ to hold online meetings, thus bringing the club into the 21st century. That was followed by the traditional MOC barbeque.

Monday is usually a quieter day, but this year we had almost as many cars turn up as we had on Sunday, thanks partly to two Dutch members, who came to collect the club’s “Furthest travelled” award.  This prompted some debate. Peter Camping had come from slightly further afield, but had taken a ferry from Hoek of Holland. Eddie Darwinkel, from just south of Rotterdam, had driven down through Belgium to Calais so took the prize for the most miles travelled in a Midas.

Stoneleigh was followed by four smaller events:

The Prescott Classic Weekend is a chance not just a chance to mingle with other classic cars and their owners, there is also the chance to drive your car up the famous hillclimb course. Those who attended in 2017 have vowed to return in 2018.

Two shows at Gaydon, on consecutive weekends at the end of May, was perhaps a bit too much to ask for our club members, with just four cars turning up for the British Classic Transport show and a slightly different four cars for the National Metro and Mini Show. In 2018 Gaydon has dropped the first event so hopefully we should see a better turn out for the more relevant Metro and Mini show.

Club member David Stephens organised a parking slot for the club at the Mini Cooper Register Rally, Beaulieu, in early June. This was the first time that the club had taken a slot and we were met by a warm reception. It also gave us the chance to catch up with our former treasurer, Michael Horsley, and award him the Founder’s Trophy in recognition of his many years of service to the club.


Our small club stand at the Footman James Bristol Classic Car Show received a warm reception in more ways than one. The show was held on one of the warmest weekends in June. The temperatures were such that we had to make individual visits to the ice cream van situated outside the other end of the hall, otherwise the ice cream would have melted before it had been brought back to the stand.

The Bristol Classic is now the biggest car event in the West Country and the club will be taking a stand again in 2018.

Castle Combe’s Summer Action Day, should have been called the ‘British Summer Day’, for we had the classic mixture of sunshine and rain. At one point three members were seen finishing off their ice creams, purchased when the sun was at its brightest, whilst stood under brollies. Those who ventured out on track were also treated to the full mix of weather, from perfectly dry to rivers running across the tarmac.  We actually had five cars in total, the photo being taken late in the day after two had left, plus a couple more members who arrived in non-Midas transport.


August was quiet as usual whilst September kicked off with two outdoor events – The Haynes Rare Breeds Show on the first Sunday of the month and the Stanford Hall Mini Fair, the following weekend.

That gave us a couple of weekends to get our breath back before returning to Castle Combe for the Mini Action Day. Unlike our previous visit, in July, the weather was fairly settled. Too settled perhaps as the sun only got a few rare chances to show through the clouds. This didn’t deter our enthusiasm and whilst our numbers were down on previous years we made up for it with variety, with nearly every model of Midas represented.

October was another quiet month, with the defunct Exeter Kit Car Show now just a distant memory.

November started with a return to the Royal Bath and West showground for the Classic Restoration show. As this event fell one weekend before our ‘big adventure’ it was relatively low key with just two cars on show.

The ‘big adventure’ being the club’s debut at the biggest classic car event in the UK, the LANCASTER INSURANCE CLASSIC MOTOR SHOW, POWERED BY DISCOVERY, to give it its full title, or the ‘NEC Classic’ as most people call it.

We squeezed five cars onto our stand, ranging from Neil Franklin’s “Chassis Zero” Mk1 to the Mk4 of, er, Neil Franklin again! In between we had Meredith Phillips’ superb white Mk2, Chris Nicholls’ very original black Mk3 Gold Coupe and Stephen Kennedy’s excellent British racing green Gold Convertible.


As well as the cars we had a good turn out of club members, all resplendent in pale blue Midas Owners Club sweatshirts.

We all pitched in helping out on the stand each day, making sure that any visitors were met with an enthusiastic reception and that any questions were answered in full.

Our efforts were rewarded by a feature in Classic Car Weekly and an invitation from the show’s organizers to return again next year.

With the Midas marque hitting 40 years old in November 2018, you can bet that we will be keen to hold a suitable birthday celebration in Birmingham.


2016 Round-up

2016 was a busy year for the club. So busy that we didn’t get much chance to update the website. So by way of catching up here is a round-up of what we got up to:

May 2016 – The show season started with the big one: The National Kit Car Show at Stoneleigh. This has already been reported below, but is worth mentioning again in preparation for Stoneleigh 2017 on Sunday April 30th and Monday May 1st.  The club will be taking a large plot again and plan to attend with a marquee and barbeque for our AGM.

At the end of May we also squeezed in two events at the British Motor Museum at Gaydon. The Gaydon Festival of Transport was just one week before the National Metro and Mini Show, so a couple of Midas owners found themselves visiting Gaydon twice. However, free entry to the museum and the heritage collection, as well as the vehicles of the show itself, meant that there was plenty of interest to see on both occasions.


June 2016 – The club attended the Bristol Classic Car Show – see below- and the following weekend we also had a small plot at Castle Combe for the Classic, Kit and Retro action day.  This show continues to grow and this year the trade contingent was more focused on track action, so more cars were out on track.  The weather was excellent until just before 4.00pm when dark clouds started to gather to the West. We all headed back to our cars and those of us in convertibles just had enough time to erect the roofs before the heavens opened up.


July 2016 – The Alternative Cars Open Day and MOC Barbeque is now a strong feature on the club calendar. It is the only event each year solely dedicated to Midas Cars and the best chance to talk shop.   2016 saw a turn out of around a dozen cars and several more owners in attendance who hope to bring their cars in future.  Our run of excellent weather was finally broken, but only in the afternoon after we had already finished off the barbeque and held an informal club meeting.


September 2016 – August is always a quiet month, but September more than makes up for it.  For owners in the South West the month starts with the Haynes Rare Breeds Show.  This year a new format meant that a club patch could not be guaranteed. Consequently, the three Midas owners who did attend found that their cars were parked far apart. Hopefully things will improve for next year.  

The following weekend was the National Mini Day at Stanford Hall, where the club was represented by five cars. This included two Midas Bronze Decathlons, some of the last cars to come out of the Corby factory. Of the ten Decathlons sold, four belong to current club members. So hopefully we can get them all together in the near future.


Then the very next Saturday we were out in our cars again for the Mini Action Day at Castle Combe. Another MOC favourite.  A late change of date meant that the event had lost its “last Saturday in September” slot and this evidently was not met with enthusiasm as attendance was down generally and the trade stand contingent (one of the best features of the show) was particularly affected.

The members of the Midas Owners didn’t let that dampen their enthusiasm and at one point we managed to cram nine cars onto our stand. However, with several owners partaking in lapping sessions and a large contingent joining the lunchtime parade lap, the stand was not too crowded for very long.



November 2016 –  With the Exeter Kit Car Show now just a distant memory, the club again attended the Bristol Classic Vehicle Restoration Show at The Royal Bath and West Showground, Shepton Mallet. 

This year, without the Mini Marcos Owners Club joining us, we took a smaller stand and made up for quantity with quality.  David Stephens’ newly painted Gold Coupe grabbed a lot of attention, but the Mk2s of Brian Badcock and Meredith Phillips were equally smartly presented and also got a lot of interest.  Outside in the classic cars car park we were represented by a pair of Gold Coupes, those of Kelvin Kinkaid and Alistair Courtney who both helped out on the stand.

Once again this proved to be an excellent show to end the season. What it lacks in warm weather it makes up for in friendliness and we look forward to attending again next year.

So that was it for 2016, but 2017 is now upon us and the calendar page will soon be filling up with events for this year so remember to keep an eye on it for news of the club’s activities.

Bristol Classic Car Show June 2016

A new event for the club and another important step into the classic car arena.  We shared a stand with our friends, the Mini Marcos Owners Club and greeted many interested visitors over the weekend.

Stand 1 Two years ago the club decided that it should put its efforts into promoting the Midas marque in the classic car scene. With the oldest cars approaching their 40th birthday (yes we will have to get a Midas Mk1 birthday cake made for that anniversary!) and the last Harold Dermott built cars already over 27 years of age, the Midas sits more naturally alongside other classic sports cars than it does among  today’s kit cars.  Stand 3

Last year we celebrated the club’s 30th anniversary and included a stand at the Classic Vehicle Restoration Show held at the Royal Bath and West Showground, near Shepton mallet, in November. Thanks to the success of our stand there, the organisers invited us to attend their much larger summer show, the Bristol Classic Car show.  With a stand located by a busy thoroughfare, we drew a lot of attention.

We had three coupes on show, a Mk2 Bronze, a Mk3 Gold and a Mk4 Cortez. The Mini Marcos Owners club took advantage of the opportunity to swap cars overnight, so on Saturday they had two Mini Marcoses, but on Sunday they had a Mini Jem and a Mini Marcos. We were only missing a Midas Mk1 coupe to complete the lineage.