Family's dream to build classic 60s sports car comes true

While the new TVR grabbed the headlines at the recent Goodwood Revival festival, another sports car with Fylde coast roots also made its bow at the show.

The Mirage GT is the brainchild of the Whiteman family who have their specialist car body and repairs business, Mirage Automotive Developments, at Peel Park.

Mirage Automotive Developments have designed and built a sports car based on a 1960s Ferrari.  Left to right, are Leigh Whiteman, Matt Potts, Scott Whiteman and Terry Whiteman.

Mirage Automotive Developments have designed and built a sports car based on a 1960s Ferrari. Left to right, are Leigh Whiteman, Matt Potts, Scott Whiteman and Terry Whiteman.

The car has the classic lines of a 1960s Ferrari 250 but with modern engineering under the bonnet and has been a project eight years in the making.

The family originally ran Car Craft on Dock Road in Lytham before the business focus changed and they moved to Peel Road in 2006.

Terry Whiteman, 71, said: “At Dock Road we were mainly about doing MOTs, general maintenance and bodywork but here we decided to specialise in classic models and kit cars and our own project.

“The Mirage is my son Leigh’s dream, something he always wanted to do, the Ferrari 250 is his favourite car.

Library picture

Library picture

The original would cost £10m or more and there are only a few about, notable people only tend to own them and they don’t come up for sale very often. We wanted to recreate that look. We designed our own chassis brakes and suspension and we created moulds of the body shape.”

Leigh Whiteman, 47, said: “The Ferrari 250 is my all time favourite car. It is a classic, one of the greats. It has been a long road but we are really pleased with the results.

"Goodwood was great for us we had a terrific response to the Mirage, lots of inquires from abroad, the USA, Belgium, Austria Switzerland. We will have to build a left hand drive version sooner than we thought.

“We wanted to create not just the look, but the feel of the Ferrari and I think we have achieved that.”

Matt Potts behind the wheel of the Mirage GT

Matt Potts behind the wheel of the Mirage GT

Also available as a kit car, the Mirage GT tops 140mph and can do 0-60 in six seconds. To keep the true retro feel of a car from the 1960s the family have desgined it with no power steering and brake assist to allow the driver to get full feedback from the car. Inside, there is a leather interior and the dashboard has classic dials and a wooden steering wheel.

Under the bonnet is a BMW M52/M54 double overhead cam engine, a six speed gearbox