View Full Version : Buying an older mini. What would you do differently?

02-23-2003, 07:33 PM
I'm a newbie looking to take the plunge into buying a classic mini (MKI, II, or III). What are some of the things that you veterens would do differently if you could do it over again?

02-24-2003, 10:28 PM
I love mine, and I don't think I'd do it differently next time. I originally planned to buy a modest project car as a rolling restoration project. After careful consideration, and an honest assessment of my mechanical skills, spare time and budget, I decided to get a car built to my specs so I could drive it from day one.

I'm glad I did. As a 30 year old car, it needs enough TLC to keep me interested, and there are always little things I can do to customize it. If I had bought a project, it would probably be sitting in my garage in pieces waiting for parts, money or time.

I admire those who take basket cases and turn them into works of art. As much as I'd like to do the same, I realize my limitations. For now, I'm content to drive my beautiful little car.

One of the most common pieces of advice I hear is to make sure the body is solid. The mechanical systems are pretty simple, but body work can take a big chunk of time and money.

Good luck!

02-25-2003, 11:20 PM
Thanks Zanzibar. My hope is to get a runner with zero rust that I can then use to learn. I am not much of a mechanic, but I have heard that the engines are pretty simple.

I have seen some from some dealers going for $4K to $7K. Nice cars, but not show winners. Did you go through one of the larger dealers or buy local?

02-26-2003, 09:56 PM
Huck, I bought mine from Barn Hill Minis. I guess it's safe to say they're one of the "larger" dealers...of course "large" is a relative term when applied to Mini dealers. When I bought mine, I think they had shipped 3 Minis to the U.S. They've sold a lot more since then, but they still know every car and every buyer on sight.

Great guys! Before I started talking about buying a car from them, I didn't even know them. Now I consider them good friends. A lot of other customers feel the same.

Best of luck in your search. If you get a chance to get to one of the big Mini events,it's well worth the time. Spring Thing 3/7-3/9 in Florida. Mini Meet East 7/1-7/4 in Quebec. Mini Meet West 8/11-8/15 in Victoria, British Columbia.

$4000 - $7000 USD would get you a car ranging from decent and driveable at the low end to pretty nice at the upper end.

[ 02-26-2003: Message edited by: zanzibar ]</p>