View Full Version : Thinking about buying a Mini

01-21-2002, 05:12 PM
Hi James, welcome to the forum! I am far from a mini expert and unfortunately, the Mini forum here is one of the lesser traveled (we're working on that). I have a friend in my local British Car Club how bought an "refurbished" older mini from a firm in California (I think). Im not sure of the details, but I do know they are very unhappy about the car they received. It smokes and leaks and just isn't up to the standards that were advertised. As I don't allow open vendor-bashing here (everyone has bad experiences with different vendors), I will find out who they delt with and advise you via email or private message. I do know there are places here in the states that specialize in selling olde, but restored Minis, and hopefully someone else could chime in who is more knowledable than I. Good luck and welcome again,

Basil graemlins/cheers.gif

01-21-2002, 06:40 PM
If you haven't visited minimania.com, it's a very cool site and may be of some help. I wish I could help more, but I'm a Sprite person myself! (Although the thought of having a Mini as a second LBC has crossed my mind several times...)

01-21-2002, 07:43 PM
Ditto what CaptO said. MiniMania (https://www.minimania.com) is a site to behold if you're interested in Minis!

01-22-2002, 04:46 AM
Hi all, my name is James and I am new to the forums. I sold my Corvette this past summer because a two seater just does not work for a family of four. I want to get my kids involved into this obsession with cars that I have and so I have been looking into various four seaters. Having always had a facination with British cars (almost bought an MG once but it was sold out from underneath me) I thought that the Mini might just fit the bill. I am thinking about both the new Mini and the original one. I am leaning towards the original Mini.

Is there any advice anyone can give me about the original Mini that I should know? Are they maintenance intensive? Reliable? Where is the best place to buy one? Any advice will be much appreciated! Thank you.

01-23-2002, 04:28 AM
Thanks for the tip on the site! Definitely a good place to start my quest (well that and this forum images/icons/wink.gif ).

[ 01-23-2002: Message edited by: James ]</p>

01-23-2002, 09:55 AM
Re: new vs. old Mini...

I've owned two older Minis and they're a neat "fun" car for the weekend. My kids were never that keen on riding in the Mini....back then, they liked our Plymouth Cricket better! Nowadays, most Minis are kind of old to be used as a daily dependable driver. Like most Brit cars they have a bit of...uh..."character" that can make every drive an adventure.
We looked at the new Mini, and liked them, but couldn't wait any longer (we bought an '02 Protege).
If you're going to tool around with your kids in this car, they'll be happier with the a/c and smoother ride (no 10" tires!) of the newer car. You'll be happier with proper safety belts and crashworthiness of a newer car and new car reliability. As a basic daily driver, I'd buy the new Mini. If this is just a "toy" or extra car, then the old ones are a good choice.

01-23-2002, 11:16 AM
Hi James, I've owned three minis in the past. They're very fun cars, but to use as a family vehicle, it'd be a bit of a stretch. Unless, of course, it was only going to be used for casual outings. With four people in a mini, acceleration is going to be slow at best. Also, the biggest drawback I encountered was that without a fifth gear, the mini screams on the highway. But as a fun car, it's a blast!
Maintenance is average Brit car stuff.


'78 Spitfire

Vancouver, BC

01-23-2002, 05:48 PM
I should have clarified that this would basically be just a "for fun" car. We have a 2001 Oldsmobile Silhouette minivan (ack! not a minivan!) as our daily driver. The Corvette was my fun car but it was limited when it came to getting my whole family in on my hobby ( I thought it was just too cruel to make the kids crawl into the cubby hole behind the seats, images/icons/tongue.gif ).

01-24-2002, 11:21 AM
Heh, Ok James, that makes more sense. Although one can be resourceful with small carrying options in a pinch. I used to carry a Marshall amp and 4X12 cabinet(ask basil) in my mini! Also used to drive with my parrot I had at the time on my shoulder while taking her to the vet. Bright green parrot, dark green mini.. what a combo! That used to cause a lot of rubbernecking from other drivers...

Vancouver, BC

02-15-2002, 09:21 PM
20 grand..order up a new supercharged 163 hp mini..the detail work on that car is amazing..

It will be the cult car of year..no question about it..

I don't know if I would sell my vette for it..but I do understand with more than one child it would be a pain..

order up a new mini and have a blast..

All for 20 grand and when the aftermarket gets up to speed..that car will be even more awesome..

Which corvette did you have?

02-16-2002, 11:38 AM
I am thinking about the new Mini also....your right that supercharged version sounds sweet.

I had a 1977 Light Blue Metallic with Smoke interior. It was an L-48. It was always owned by adults and was relatively unmolested (rare to find in mid-Seventies Vettes).

I used to post at the CorvetteForum once in blue moon. If you post there you probably know of Mr. Mojo. He is a good friend of mine.

02-22-2002, 11:20 AM
I just viewed the new "Mini USA" website the company launched. Really cool stuff, a little long downloading, by modem anyway, but still worth the wait. Choose your own color, get complete specs, even will give you the price, and where to buy. Try it!
Mini USA (https://www.miniusa.com)


02-22-2002, 05:24 PM
Saw several new Minis at the Chicago Auto Show last weekend-got a brochure too. I wasnt too keen on them until I actually saw one in person. AS someone said, the detailing on that car is very impressive. I've completely changed my tune.
PS-funny side note about the Mini stand at the CAS. In Europe, they're trying to position the Mini as the sort of car a trendy city dwelling young person would buy, the type of car you drive to fancy restaurants that serve display food before going to a bar that serves nothing but bottled water and plays house music. To this end, everyone working the Mini stand was about twenty five, wore charcoal turtleneck sweaters, black trousers, black Doc Martens, backstage "press pass" style nametags (with no names on them), short spiky "just climbed out of bed" haircuts, and those brown tortoiseshell style of glasses that are rectangular in shape and clearly had non-prescription lenses. Now, having everyone in uniforms is one thing, but these kids all acted the same, too, very snooty and standoffish. One would even say rude. God forbid that you actually ask for a brochure, or for information about the car! Clearly that's the market BMW's going for, which contrasted with the people actually interested in the car-families looking for an economical around town car. Anyone like the show stand employees was over at the Vespa Scooters stand, not the Mini stand. A bit of a marketing oopsie, eh?

02-22-2002, 11:30 PM
I just hope the dealers do not just order fully loaded models. Or tack on an additional window sticker next to the factory one that advertises all the nifty "dealer installed" options like $400.00 pinstriping and that much needed "glazing" and undercoating. Oh, and I hope they do not charge over list.

And than I woke up. images/icons/grin.gif

Maybe I am being too tough on dealers in general.

Nah.... graemlins/devilgrin.gif

02-23-2002, 10:23 PM
James-nope, sounds about right! After all, seen the markup on PT Cruisers? Yikes!

02-23-2002, 10:44 PM
At a local Chevy dealer, here in New Mexico, they have cars on the showroom fllor with an add-on called "Dessert Protection Package" for a few hundred $$. What is it you ask? A coat of wax graemlins/lol.gif


02-26-2002, 11:16 AM
I thought the two peice sunroof was cute. Personally, I would buy one with no added options. Except for maybe a full length cargo roof carrier. Wasn't even listed with one though. I thought $16,850 was a little steep for a base Mini, but then it's a BMW (German) selling a retro British car. images/icons/rolleyes.gif
Now I can understand why they chose to advertise the silver colored Mini. I do wish BMW success however, I know the MGF isn't selling to well over here (USA). Next I hope they'll make the retro Healey.
Johnny, 59 AH BN7, 75MGB

02-26-2002, 11:30 PM
You can buy the MGF in the USA?

04-27-2002, 03:33 AM
hi, i'm new to this forum.. sooo hello from nova scotia..(would you believe we had about 10 cms of snow today! the 26th of april! but i degress)anyway i have a soft spot for austin minis'.. bought one brand new from halifax british motors , up on maynard street ,in 1978.. and it cost $3475 out the door.. there was a blue one and a brown one on the showroom floor and i took the brown one.. absolutely loved it.. and of course in those days there were still lots around, so everyone waved to one another! and how i came to buy one? a buddy of mine had bought an older one as a beater for $25. but one night when he was slightly impaired he shifted into reverse going down the highway.. and of course blew the motor up! so the next day he went out and bought a new one.. i thought it was the bee's knees so went out the next day after that and bought one as well! my future wife and i had a blast in it. went over to the states (maine) camping.. and got lots of looks.. in bangor, you'd swear i was in deepest texas! this guy comes out of drugstore, looks at my mini and says...'i never saw a car that small afore" ..hehe. and of course the customs dudes at the border just waved us thru..
anyway kept it for 2 years.. and even by then rust was starting to take hold.. i think that 's what got most of them.. the dreaded tin worm.. and everyone drove them all year round, not thinking there wouldn't be any more some day. and they were great in the winter. .. unless the snow actually got too deep then the little mini would sorta bottom out on the lower end of the gearbox...
anyway who knows might get around to getting another.. some day...thanx