What is a Midas?
Midas is a brand name for a range of cars produced from 1978. A fire at the factory caused the demise of the Midas car company in 1988. Subsequently resurrected, Midas cars continues to this day.
What makes Midas cars special?
It’s just a kit car isn’t it? As the late Russell Bulgin said in Motor magazine, “the Midas is the world’s first non-kit-car-kit-car”. The kit build scenario was forced upon Midas by EU introduced Type Approval (TA) rules. The kit build was actually just a few hours work, designed to do the minimum to meet the TA rules, that could be completed by an amateur.
OK, Midas got around the TA rules. Surely it is still a cobbled together abomination using Mini bits by people in sheds?
No. Harold Dermott’s, Midas Cars owner, vision was a complete turn key car. This not being possible, whilst keeping within a target retail price range, the Midas was sold as a kit with Harold Dermott preferring sales of the kit specified with all new parts. Gordon Murray, the Formula 1 car designer, chose one. Harold Dermott went on to productionise the McLaren F1. The build sheet specifies specific lay ups of Glassfibre to create an immensely strong and lightweight monocoque chassis. The Midas is a well designed car and does not deserve the kit car label. Put another way. If you could have bought a composite monocoque car, such as an Alfa Romeo 4C or McLaren F1, for 25% less than list price purely by bolting some parts to the car yourself, would you call it a kit car or a good deal?
What does this Mini based package cost?
A Midas brochure stated on the cover “Only you will know the secret”. If you are reading this, then so will you, because a Mini 1275GT, the car many Midas are based on, is multiples the cost of a Midas.