Kitted out ready for 40th anniversary of the Midas touch

IT is maybe stretching a point to suggest Greenfield was ever at the centre of the British car industry.

But for a period in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, hundreds of vehicles were manufactured in a village factory unit.

That’s why, on Sunday, August 31, owners will gather at Heybottom Mill on Oakview Road to mark 40 years since the first customer took delivery of his Midas kit car.

Former Jaguar development engineer, Harold Dermott, and Maurice Holt started their Saddleworth based D & H Fibreglass Techniques Ltd in 1975.

They began building another car under licence and largely forgotten by many-the Mini Marcos-before producing a more modern designed car they christened the Midas.

The vehicle made its debut at the Performance Car Show of 1978 with the first Mark One version sold to John Smith in August 1979.

For three years Harold, Maurice and their designer, Richard Oakes, produced upgraded versions. The mark two model was produced to gold, silver and bronze build standard.

Heybottom Mill-owned by the Scott family-stayed at the Midas base until 1982 when the company moved to larger premises in Corby, Northamptonshire.

Alistair Courtney, owner of the Midas company since 2003, told the Independent: “The first customer was called John Smith who came from North London.

“In total, we believe there were around 6-700 manufactured though we are not too sure.

“A lot of them have survived because they don’t rust due to being made out of fibre glass but it’s difficult to say just how many are still out there.

“However, because I have the remnants of the company I can still produce a car if someone wants one; mainly though we do restoration work.

“Sadly, the Midas has been overlooked as a classic car certainly by comparison with its Marcos cousin.

“But when they came out in the late 70’s and 80’s they got a lot of praise in the motoring press.

“Harold’s last model was the mark three convertible which featured on the front cover of Car Magazine in 1989 which was the biggest selling magazine of its kind at the time.”

An invitation has been sent to Harold to attend the 40th anniversary reunion, which includes a rally over the A 635 to Oil Can Café at vintage motor vehicle centre, the Carding Shed in Holmfirth.

“The club is trying to contact him to persuade him to come along,” added Alistair.

“He had an illustrious career after Midas and went on to work for McLaren cars.”

Midas and Mini Marcos owners are asked to arrive from 11.30am. On display will be the original prototype and potentially the first Midas which was chassis zero and which the factory built for themselves.

For more details of the event or Midas email membership@midasownersclub.co.uk

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