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Meet Claustro Phobia, the First Custom MINI to Become Guinness’ Lowest Car

MINIs are cute, perfectly functional vehicles – but not after Andy Saunders is done with them. If there’s one thing this mad genius slash designer slash car customizer loves anything more than MINIs is chopping them up and turning them into literal works of arts.
Claustrophobia, the custom MINI named by Guinness the lowest car in the world in 1987 13 photos
Claustrophobia, the custom MINI named by Guinness the lowest car in the world in 1987Claustrophobia, the custom MINI named by Guinness the lowest car in the world in 1987Claustrophobia, the custom MINI named by Guinness the lowest car in the world in 1987Claustrophobia, the custom MINI named by Guinness the lowest car in the world in 1987Claustrophobia, the custom MINI named by Guinness the lowest car in the world in 1987Claustrophobia, the custom MINI named by Guinness the lowest car in the world in 1987Claustrophobia, the custom MINI named by Guinness the lowest car in the world in 1987Claustrophobia, the custom MINI named by Guinness the lowest car in the world in 1987Claustrophobia, the custom MINI named by Guinness the lowest car in the world in 1987Claustrophobia, the custom MINI named by Guinness the lowest car in the world in 1987Claustrophobia, the custom MINI named by Guinness the lowest car in the world in 1987Claustrophobia, the custom MINI named by Guinness the lowest car in the world in 1987
The name Andy Saunders may not ring a bell with everybody but he’s very well known in the UK, where he’s from. His first major work was the MINI HaHa we discussed in a previous story and, since July is autoevolution’s Custom Builds Month, it’s only fitting we talked a bit about the car that earned Saunders his first spot in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Meet Claustro Phobia, the world’s lowest car, as recognized by Guinness in 1987. Claustro Phobia is a MINI whose roof has been cut in order to shorten the body, which was then extended. It sits ridiculously close to the ground and can only be driven if whoever is at the wheel peeks their head out of the sunroof.

Claustro Phobia measures 34.5 inches (87.6 cm) in height, and it’s been customized throughout. Carburetors peak out from the hood so, even if the driver could look out the windshield, they still wouldn’t have decent visibility because of it.

It was named the lowest car in the world in 1987 and was featured on the cover of the Extraordinary Records Books. It was also a major attraction at car shows and MINI events, and was eventually sold to the Yorkshire Car Collection and is now in a museum in Tokyo.

While Claustro Phobia marks Saunders’ first entry in the Guinness Book, it wasn’t his last. The mad genius has a total of three such records: in 2007, he earned back the Lowest Car title by building the outrageous Flat-Out, another MINI that stands just 21 inches tall (53.3 cm), and the following year, he got the Lowest Van title with a heavily modified 1980 Type 25 Volkswagen Camper.

While Claustro Phobia reportedly took one year to build, Flat-Out was build in just 3 days – in front of a live audience.

 
 
 
 
 

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