The Outspan Orange car was shaped like an orange, had orange skin-textured fibreglass bodywork, and looked like an orange but was, in fact, a Mini – albeit a highly modified Mini with a specially fabricated chassis giving a 48-inch wheelbase.
Six of the customised minis were commissioned by Outspan from a company called Brian Waite Enterprises Ltd, based at Bodium in East Sussex.
They were built between 1972 and 1974 at a total cost of £20,000 and were used in advertising campaigns in the UK and on the Continent to promote imported South African oranges.
Rack and pinion steering provided the Orange with an impressive turning circle of under seventeen feet. The car had a top speed of 30 mph – it became unstable above 30 and prone to roll over, despite having over 200lbs of ballast built into the floor.
One of the original Outspan Minis is now situated at the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu and often used for promotions in Britain while another of the six is known to be based in South Africa.
The Outspan orange cars proved so popular that a toy ‘orange car’ was manufactured in 1972 by Oxford Diecast, with the slogan “The Amazing Outspan Orange” printed on the front.