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Mini Clubman car, adapted for use by disabled driver, England, 1978-1979

Eddie Freeman was born with very small arms and legs as a result of his mother taking the drug thalidomide during pregnancy. He had this car adapted so he could still drive. Freeman wanted a black Mini 1275 GT, but had to settle for this Mini Clubman. Freeman was keen the car retained its style. To give him more headroom, the floor was lowered rather than raising the roof. This also meant the car looked like other Mini Clubmans rather than being obviously converted for a disabled driver. The rear door let him drive his motorised wheelchair in and out of the vehicle. Eddie passed his driving test in the car in 1978. It is highly personalised inside with gadgets and other internal fittings, including a drinks cabinet. A number of these cars were also adapted for his friends.

Object number:

2003-6

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Glossary: disability

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