- Written by webmin
So while researching CSX 3012, the 1965 Cobra that Elvis Presley drove in his 1966 film, “Spinout,” I noticed that the Cobra’s stunt double for the in-the-water scenes had about as much resemblance to the star car as the stunt doubles in Spaceballs did to their respective actors.
The guys on the Club Cobra forums (from which we borrowed these screenshots) noticed that too, and while they can tell us every detail about CSX 3012, they were also stumped as to the identity of the stunt double car. Interestingly, the stunt double car – not the hero car – is on display at the Hollywood Casino in Tunica, Mississippi, so if we’re really stumped, I suppose we can give them a call.
For now, though, let’s see how well our readers know their fiberglass sports car bodies. The whole car looks rather Crosley/H-Modified-size, so is it a Jabro? An Almquist? Something else?
UPDATE (3.November 2010): Called the Hollywood Casino, and they have it listed as a “handbuilt 1958 Austin-Healey” that was raced from 1961 to 1965. Then I did what I should have done in the beginning and asked Geoff Hacker if he recognized it. Indeed, he agrees with Jeroen below that the car is a Mistral, based on the shape of those vents on the side.
The Mistral’s an interesting case. The body design, penned by Bill Ashton, started out as a product of Microplas, a company formed to build fiberglass bodies for Austin Sevens in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire. The Mistral was Microplas’s second body design, released in 1955 and intended for the Ford Ten. At various points in time, Buckler, Fairthorpe and TVR all used the Mistral body on their chassis, as did Bob Blackburn down in Christchurch, New Zealand, who intended to go into full production with a Graeme Dennison-designed chassis, but couldn’t source enough Ford Prefect parts and so sold the body and chassis as a kit.
In 1956, Californian Bud Goodwin licensed the body from Microplas and sold it in the United States through his company Sports Car Engineering. (Geoff believes there may have been an East Coast company that licensed the body design as well.) Goodwin, who later went on to start Fiberfab, only sold the Mistral for a couple of years before selling Sports Car Engineering to a company called Du Crest Fiberglass.
Who mounted a Mistral body to an Austin-Healey chassis and raced it in the early 1960s so far remains a mystery.