The Fletcher Ogle GT is a rare Mini-based racer

11th August 2022
Adam Wilkins

Things were going pretty well for Ogle Designs and its Mini-based SX1000. The firm had built more than 60 of them and BMC had agreed to supply the mechanical components as long as the word ‘Mini’ didn’t appear in any marketing material. Then things came to an abrupt halt when company founder David Ogle was sadly killed at the wheel of an SX1000 Lightweight on the way to a race at Brands Hatch.


Ogle Designs decided to cease production of the SX1000 following Ogle’s death, and the production tooling and rights were sold to boat-maker Fletcher Marine. The Fletcher GT was the result, which deviated massively from the Ogle in its styling. The first two cars had revised front end and a revised rear end respectively, then one (or perhaps two) were built with both revised front and rear. Given that only four cars were built, they’re colloquially referred to as Feltcher Ogles to benefit from the recognition of its better known predecessor.

Fletcher Marine quickly returned to its core business, and the GT remained a rarity. This racing version, then, is a true unicorn, a car that has period competition history in club racing and rallying, and is now owned and raced by Mini enthusiast Jonnie Kent. “I’ve got eight Minis. I race historic Minis and in Mini Se7ens club racing. I just love racing Minis and I wanted something a bit different.

"I was looking for a BMC works Mini but I was let down on one and couldn’t find another. Then I saw the Fletcher for sale, read into it and bought it. I love it. That was four years ago!"


The car's first appearance at Goodwood was the 79th Members’ Meeting presented by Audrain Motorsport, where it took part in the Weslake Cup race for A-series powered cars. Suffice to say comparisons between it and Minis are inevitable. 

“It drives very much like a Mini," says Jonnie. "You’re a little bit lower down in it, a bit further back. The steering is a little heavier because there’s a Salisbury type diff in it. But once it gets going it’s hilarious.

"Out there today I thought I was going to get a good start. In Mini racing, I’m quite quick off the line. So I let rip, wheelspun off the line as all Minis do because they’re front-wheel-drive and realised that all these cars are rear-wheel-drive and they sit down and just go. I was left behind, leaving smoke trying to gain some traction."

Which does Jonnie prefer? That, it seems, is a very difficult question indeed: “When I’m in the Mini I feel I can throw it around more. It’s more boxy, chuckable. I don’t know why, you just feel a bit more of a lunatic in a Mini. With this you’re sitting there being a little more sensible, but in terms of going around a circuit as fast as you can, especially at a fast circuit like Goodwood, I prefer the Fletcher. If you want to be a hooligan, the Mini.”


Jonnie was hoping for rain in the Weslake Cup race, which would have benefitted the front-wheel-drive Fletcher. Since his car has a 1,380cc engine, he had to carry 70kg of ballast to help even out the competition with the 998cc and 1,098cc rivals. In the end, he started tenth and finished a respectable seventh.

“Up until recently, I’ve been very conscious of the fact I couldn’t fix it easily if it got broken. You can’t just go to MiniSpares for a new wing,” says Jonnie. “Recently, though, I got moulds taken of the back and front, which is probably the best insurance policy because I can recreate it. I’ll race it a lot more now. I feel happier taking it out and using it.” Well, we certainly hope we see it at Goodwood again, that's for sure. 

Photography by Toby Whales.

  • 79MM

  • Members Meeting

  • Ogle

  • Fletcher

  • Mini

  • Weslake Cup

  • 75mm_ogle_goodwood_23031727.jpg

    Members' Meeting

    This Ogle is an unusual pioneer

  • wesake-cup-79mm-video-10042022.jpg

    Members' Meeting

    Video: 2022 Weslake Cup short highlights | 79th Members' Meeting

  • goodwood_75mm_weslake_21032017_07.jpg

    Members' Meeting

    Why the brilliant Weslake Cup was a family affair