Universally referred to as the ‘Mini’, the game-changing Alec Issigonis-designed small car started life in the late 1950s as the Morris Mini-Minor and the Austin 7, the latter frequently written as Se7en in advertising campaigns.

Motorcaravanners’ interest commenced with the launch of a van version in 1960. Its tax-efficient status meant it became popular for young adults. That said, this month’s Hall of Fame inductee – the Mini Wildgoose – was targeted at ‘the retired couple who desire the carefree (travelling) life’.

Certainly, the high price meant only the ‘well trousered’ on the hunt for the best campervan could afford them. Most expensive was the complex Brent Super VEB version (Vertically Extending Body).

To make the Wildgoose more affordable, it was also built on customer-supplied pre-owned vans and/or with a front-hinged canvas-sided rising-roof.

Mini Wildgoose
A front-hinged rising-roof variant

The Minivan’s (then revolutionary) front-wheel drive enabled its Sussex-based campervan converters to remove all original bodywork behind the cab and fabricate a wooden framed/aluminium clad motorcaravan body onto the floorpan, which itself had been modified.

Wildgoose was advertised as being capable of 70mph, which, considering its weight and the modestly sized engine, seems unlikely. At the time, road test journalists claimed that getting it up to speed wasn’t the problem, it was getting it to stop!

  • Mini Wildgoose built 1963 to late 1968 by Wildgoose Ltd. (Lead image) VEB Super Brent version; (above) front-hinged rising-roof variant
  • 62 were built, about 10 survive. A-Series 848cc 34bhp/25kW petrol engine transversely mounted driving front wheels. VEB conversion: £601 + base vehicle

A modern camper specialist, Wellhouse Leisure, announced record sales in 2023 too. Catch up on other Hall of Fame inductees too, including the Paralanian, a coachbuilt that some believe was among the finest ever made in the UK, and the CIM Autohome, the first UK overcab coachbuilt to achieve pan-European market penetration.

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