Steve Hole tells the story of Manchester-based Beaujangle Sales Ltd. Images by Carol Hardy

Salford, Manchester-based company run by Nik Sandeman-Allen, a glassfibre specialist and well-known drag racer, Phil ‘Ziggy’ Smith.

The pair were passionate hot rod enthusiasts and ran separate operations (Smith as Mr Beaujangle in an Opus HRF called ‘Anomalous’ with Daimler V8) until they amalgamated their businesses, becoming known for building all manner of bonkers vehicles from their lock-up in Back Tootal Lane, Salford, under the Beaujangle Enterprises name. However, they were known to rodders as ‘Bojay’.

Smith, an ace welder, had previously worked on oil rigs and German shipyards before setting up his engineering business. Meanwhile, Sandeman-Allen had been running a factory in Belgium before returning to Manchester and he’d gone to Smith’s company to have some welding done. From that meeting, the two became firm friends and then business partners.

They turned their hands to beach buggies, chopper bikes, custom cars and drag racers, as well as general restoration work and car building, while, as mentioned, Smith had built a sand rail called Mr Beaujangle, the first in the UK, which went down a storm at the first Custom Car show at Crystal Palace in January 1971.

Around this time, they also introduced their T-Bucket ‘shell, a bargain at just £30 (about the equivalent of £300, today) which even came in your choice of coloured gelcoat GRP. It was rumoured that the ‘shell had its origins in an American product, but that was never officially confirmed.

If you wanted them to build it they would while they could supply options such as a pick-up bed, radiator cowling in GRP, axle tubes and even a chassis, should you wish. A Beaujangle T-Bucket was displayed at the second Custom Car show at Crystal Palace in February 1972.

By that time, however, the dynamic and incredibly enthusiastic duo had moved onto a new product called the Can-Am, inspired by those big banger American Group 7 Can-Am racers and more than likely by the American Humbug kit made by American Fiberglass Products between 1968-1971.

To coincide with the arrival of the Beetle-based 1300cc air-cooled Can-Am they joined forces with a new business partner, a chap called Kendrick Gough, who joined the company and probably added a bit of much-needed finance. At this point, they changed the company name slightly to Beaujangle Sales Ltd.

There was a hairy launch event for motoring journalists at Mallory Park in April 1972. Despite being described as ‘nicely handling for a beach buggy’, several of the invited journos got seriously out of shape spinning off approaching Gerrard’s and almost ending up in The Big Lake! Although no one came to any harm, there were unfounded, yet nagging rumours that one did get, ahem, wet!

Customers were required to shorten their Beetle floorpan by 5in just ahead of the front bulkhead to enable fitment of the GRP bodyshell available in pretty much any colour they liked. Kits cost just £150 (on launch (about ££1384, today) although required the customer to buy the missing essential options to complete a car such as a windscreen (£18), engine access panel in wire mesh, adjustable front suspension kit (£10), roll-over bar, trim kit and if you wished, a set of Wolfrace Slot Mag wheels.

In their marketing blurb and in response to the claims that the car’s front end was wedge-shaped, they claimed it had to be like that because it pushed the car into the ground acting as a downforce aid!

Smith claimed that a DIY budget build could be completed for £250 although a decent example completed to a high standard required an investment of around £700.

Sadly, slow sales and considerable outgoings saw the company call the receivers in by the summer of 1973 after around six Can-Ams had found homes.

Resurrected for a time by Lemazone in the mid-eighties. Didn’t last long…

Beaujangle Sales Ltd 1972-73

Lemazone 1985-87

Approx 6 made


Prior to joining up with Ziggy Smith and Kendrick Gouch, Nik Sandeman had a half-hearted attempt at a more conventional-looking beach buggy. He tasked his brother, Terry and friend John Keele, to create buggy kit. Wasn’t around for long as circumstances changed.

Beaujangle Enterprises Ltd 1971

Approx 3 made


The very obscure first product from Beaujangle Enterprises, priced at just £30, which they imported from the USA before they concentrated on the Can-Am. Very cheap at £30 and very basic. However, customers could choose their gelcoat colour included in the price.

Well-known drag-racer, of the day, Phil Elson, built a famous one with a supercharged Chrysler Hemi V8, known as ‘Sneaky-T’ in which he dominated the Competition Altered drag racing class between 1972-1975.

Beaujangle Sales 1971

Approx 5 made