View Full Version : Your first Mini......

09-09-2003, 11:18 AM
OK, nostalgia time for all you Mini owners & lovers. They say "you never forget your first Mini..."

How about you tell us all about your first Mini. Year, make, model, color, any adventures in it? Fun stories, etc.?

For you Mini lovers who don't own a Mini yet, how about you tell us about your first ride or drive in one?

C'mon.....let's get this joint jumpin'!

09-10-2003, 11:43 AM
My first.....and only.....Mini. It was a 1965 850 Deluxe with the over-riders and corner guards. Blue with grey interior. Two of my friends had 1000cc Minis, and one had another 850, even older than mine, with the push-button starter on the floor in green. The number plate was EBF486C, and this was the first car that I ever bought for myself images/icons/grin.gif

09-10-2003, 06:32 PM
My first Mini was a red 850, I bought when I was a strippling of seventeen. It had a floor start and long "wand" gear change. Registration number 477 DXO.

I taught my then girlfiend, (now long suffering wife), to drive and she somehow managed to break the gearlever clean off whilst trying to change into first gear. Being short of cash I couldn't afford a new one, (gear lever or girlfriend!), so I retapped what was left of the shaft to accept the gearknob. Worked out really well as i had to lean right over into the passenger to change gear!!.

Great little cars.


graemlins/savewave.gif graemlins/england.gif graemlins/savewave.gif

09-10-2003, 07:03 PM
First one was “partly-owned” by me and a friend. We were 15 and didn’t have driver’s licenses, insurance, or any other legal “details”. We drove it in the rural woods of the southern New Jersey pine barrens. It was an early ‘60s car that his Dad got for free (he ran a gas station). We blew it up in short order, but it promoted my interest in front-drive and I ended up co-purchasing a SAAB 93B with another buddy (he still owns it).
About 10 years later I bought a red ’61 850 Mini and dropped a 1275 in it. It was fun, but I was busy with a young family and grad school, so it got replaced by a VW Rabbit (Golf).
Later I bought a Clubman (which my ex still owns…we have this joke: I have "visitation rights").
A buddy of mine recently bought a red ’61 850 Mini on e-Bay and I got a ride in it last weekend. They are neat, but I can’t keep up with the toys I already have.

[ 09-10-2003: Message edited by: aeronca65t ]</p>

09-12-2003, 04:50 PM
Well, the 2002 MCS is my first but I grew up with Mini's. My parents had a Austin Mini back when I was a kid and my grandparent's had a travler that we stuffed three adults, two kids and a week's worth of luggage for a trip to the beach at Sheringham.

Larry Kronemeyer
09-14-2003, 01:39 AM
My 2003 MINI S is my first Mini, I compare it to my old GT6 MKIII, except it has Air, sunroof, and front wheel drive, and seats 4, loved the GT6 and the MINI is getting to grow on me after a day on a roadcoarse.

red baron
12-20-2003, 10:55 PM
My first mini was'nt really mine it was my girlfriends at the time a 64 850 that got the treatment ,head job twin su's s xtractors lowerd etc. we had a lot of fun in that till i went to pick her up from work one wet after noon in a big hurry lined up this paticular corner that i loved pulling around 6grand in 2nd and hit a little puddle then all **** broke loose,big bang instant lock up. coasted around the corner lifted the bonnet to find one very ventelated engine .standing there trying to think what happened and realised i had left the air cleaners off. ooopps, in my hurry to pick her up and had swallowed a belly full of water when i hit the puddle and instant hydraulic and bang,have owned many since. then in 79 i built and raced a 1071 powered riley elf on the dirt,1/4 mile, and was lucky enough to win N.Z saloon title in 1980 season with it. fantastic little motor car with a lot of special memories for me
red baron,no 56

12-21-2003, 01:46 AM
Well, my first Mini is the 1975 that I just picked up. Not too many stories to tell yet, but I'm sure there will be alot to come. One thing that I don't think I was prepared for was the size of it. I pulled up outside the guys house, and thought that it was tiny!!

Alan Black
12-26-2003, 07:42 PM
My first was an Orange '79 Clubman Saloon that I had while I was living over in England. I loved that car and drove it for about 1 year until it was written off by a Cocker Spaniel. Last year I picked up a 1960 Mini that I am looking to do a full restore on sometime next year. I can't wait until I get it going so I can be driving a Mini again.


12-29-2003, 05:39 PM
HJC 94 was a 1960/61 blue 850 originally, bought at an auction in Liverpool for 40 pounds in 1968.
Immediately taken home, rear subframe replaced, new brake and fuel lines (inside), engine replaced by 998 with 731 cam, home re-worked head, Lucas comp distributor, Janspeed inlet & exhaust manifolds, 1.5 in SU carb.
Front brakes became 2LS (better than all disks at at that time apart from Cooper 'S') with vacuum servo and hard linings. 4.5"J x 10" wheels with Dunlop SP3 tyres.
That's better - now it goes a bit. Or at least it did until my wife argued with a Bl**dy great red letterbox in the snow in the winter of '69, and lost. She was o.k. - a bit bruised and stiff - but the Mini was done.
I saved the best bits for the next one....

12-30-2003, 11:19 AM
Those letterboxes were (are?) substantial peices of work, cast iron if I remember right? You would lose any argument with one of those, in a Mini or not images/icons/grin.gif

I once dealt with a head-on accident in Edgbaston, Birmingham, involving a Mini van.....it had hit one of those old Rover P4s, and lost! The Rover had a dented front grille, the Mini was toast! No serious injuries thogh, it was at a relatively slow speed.

12-31-2003, 12:54 PM
They say you never forget your first Mini....and how true it is. My first Mini was a used 1071 "S", and I'll never forget it.....and partularly my first trip in it, from Hartford, CT to Sebring, FL and back. Three Thousand Miles In A Mini.
This was back around '67 or '68...in addition to doing some racing, I was also an SCCA Flagman. Every year I used to take some vacation from work and drive down to Sebring to work the 12 hour Grand Prix of Endurance.
This particular year, I had just picked up a used '64 Morris Mini-Cooper 1071 "S" and thought that would make a grand little car for the trip.....oh, to be so young and stupid again!
Another flagging buddy of mine decided he'd like to come along, and we left a bit early so that we could take the "scenic route" down. So, the two of us 6+ footers squeezed 2 weeks worth camping gear into the back of the Mini, and off we went.
We took the Garden State Parkway down to the southern tip of "New Joisey" and camped overnight at a State Park near Cape May. In the morning we took the Cape May Ferry over to Delaware.....then trundled along the Delaware Coast, thru Maryland, into Virginia and crossed Chesapeake Bay on the Kiptopeke Ferry.
We decided to take the "real costal route" and drive down thru the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We camped overnight at Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. In the morning took the ferry to another island, then another ferry to the mainland. As I started the Mini up to drive off the ferry.....SMOKE! Lots of SMOKE! Drove off the ferry and popped the bonnet. The fan belt had self destructed.
Well, this was in early April, and the weather was pretty cool, so we soldiered on to the first available help. It was a small gas station/garage in absolutley the middle of nowhere! The "mechanic" discovered that the water pump had seized......solid! His southern accent was so strong we could barely understand him, but he said something like: "If'n this here thang is anythin' like the old Furds, mebbe I can squeeze some grease in there to free it up so's you can get a bit futher." Well he did....and it worked! He even found a fan belt (for a garden tractor, or something) that fit......sort of.
So......off we went, buzzin' right along down the coast of North Carolina, into South Carolina on two lane roads (the Interstates hadn't been built yet)....thru the rural south with it's billboards "Help Save America. Impeach Earl Warren. Join the John Burch Society"....and it's many small "Jesus Saves" signs (under which, one wag had scribbled "S&H Green Stamps" ).....until we got to Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, just before Charleston.....the......SMOKE! Again! Well, we pulled into the nearest gas station and inquired as to where we might find a water pump for the Mini.
Now, mind you, the Deep South in the '60's was not exactly a hotbed of LBC activity.
The gas station owner (after the usual "We don't see many of them furrin' cars around hyar") allowed as how "Snarling Ed's Auto Parts" (or some such) over in Charleston would be the only place that "jest might" have some furrin' car parts.
Off we went, steaming, to see Snarling Ed. Well, of course Ed didn't have a water pump for a Mini 1071,......said he might be able to order one, but it would probably take a week or so to get here. But he said, "If'n you boys is in a hurry, you might try "Sneaky Sam's (or some such) Junkyard" about 10 miles south of town. He's got a few furrin' wrecks over there." He gave us directions, and off we went.
Sneaky Sam's was way out in the boonies, but after getting lost a few times, we finally got there.....after closing time. So, we camped outside the gates for the night.
In the morning, Sam showed up in a beat up old Ford pickup. "You boys need sumthin?" (S**t no, Sam. We like camping out at junkyards!)
Turns out that Sam was a really nice fellow. "Wal.....I've prob'ly got sumptin' at'll fit, and if not, we'll make it fit." We pulled the water pump from the Mini, and he pulled the water pumps off every BMC car he had in the yard (about 7 or 8) until we found one that looked pretty close. He even made us a new gasket out of some gasket cork he had. I put it on, found an old fan belt that fit, and when we were finished, asked him how much. "Walllllll.......would 5 dollars be too much?" Sneaky Sam, we love you!
Onward to bigger and better things. We had another taste of southern hospitality in Claxton, GA ("Fruitcake Capital Of The World...Home Of The Famous Claxton Fruitcakes"). We stopped at a State Campground for the night. There was nobody at the gate, so we went in and spent the night. As we came out in the morning there was a Ranger at the gate, so we stopped to pay. "Walllll.....I didn't catch ya comin' in, and ya couldn'ta taken up much room in somethin' that small......so I guess I didn't catch ya comin' out either. Have a nice trip." And added, "If you boys are goin' south, be careful goin' thru Ludowiki......they got some mean speed traps there."
Stopped for breakfast in Claxton, and on the way out, the girl at the cash register told us, "If you're goin' south, go real slow thru Ludowiki.....they run a speed trap there." And....as we were headed out of town, a cop that was directing traffic motioned us over, and told us the same thing. Nice town, Claxton, Georgia. If you ever need a fruitcake, make sure you buy one made in Claxton.
Well, we crawled thru Ludowiki (I think we got passed by an old lady using a walker) , resumed speed and continued southward toward Florida.....and got nabbed for speeding at some other flyspeck town. Fined 25 bucks on the spot, and off we went.....poorer, but wiser.
We finally made into Florida, and picked up the Sunshine State Parkway. The traffic consisted almost entirely of blue-haired old ladies in Cadillacs going 40 miles over the speed limit. We pulled off into a rest area for a stretch, and in came a beautiful BRG Ford GT-40 with Pennsylvania plates. We asked about the car and the man and his wife told us they had to stop every half-hour because of the heat. "Does the engine overheat?" "No, the engine's fine....but the **** cockpit gets so hot, we can't stand it".
Off we went again and came upon a shiny red MGA by the side of the road with it's bonnet up. Young guy and his wife...newlyweds on their honeymoon. "We just bought the car last week. It's been going just fine, and then it stopped." Got in and turned the key. Dreaded silence. "Have you got a jack and a knockoff hammer?"
"Yes", he had. I jacked up the right rear, took off the wire wheel, and gave the SU fuel pump a whack with the knockoff hammer. "Ticka....ticka....ticka....". Problem solved.
We continued south, playing leapfrog with the GT-40. We'd be cruising at about 80 and they'd give a little honk and a wave as they blew our doors off.....then at the next rest area, there they'd be, out of the car, parked with the doors open. We'd give a toodle on the horn and a wave......and a few minutes later, Zoooooom, there they'd go again.
We finally got to Sebring at about 9 in the evening and drove the Mini out to Highland Hammock State Park where we had camping reservations.
A large contingent of flaggers from New York and New England Regions of the SCCA usually went down to Sebring every year to work the race, and we all made reservations for the same area at the campground.
We entered the park, past the large "No Alcoholic Beverages Allowed" sign, and checked at the Park Ranger's Office. "Are you part of that group down from the Northeast?" I said we were. "Well, when you get over there, please tell those guys to keep the noise down....or we'll have to go over there and confiscate all that cheap wine they don't have."
As we pulled in, the annual "Great Armadillo Hunt" was underway. Since Duncan and I were sober, we were unanimously selected as scorekeepers. The game usually took place as the sun was going down, and the contestant's blood alcohol level was going up.
Now, for you who don't know what an armadillo is.....it's a small four legged critter with an armored hide (sort of like a miniature Sherman Tank) that, when frightened, rolls up tightly into a ball. The rules were thus: with a piece of chalk, mark out a bunch of squares on the top of a picnic table, and put a contestant's name in each square. Each contestant would then take a flashlight and go hunting their prey. When they found one, they'd rush back to the table and place the armadillo in their square and go search for another one. Of course, after a couple of minutes, the armadillo would poke his head out, see he was safe, uncoil, hop off the table, and trundle off into the night. When the tipsy contestant returned with another capture, he'd see his square empty and accuse all and sundry of having stolen his armadillo.
The night air was rent with song...."Praise the Lord, and pass the armadillo"...and saying..."An armadillo a day, keeps the doctor away!" Eventually, with enthusiasm and energy spent, the contestants would stumble off to their respective tents and pass out.
The next morning we went over to the course, registered, and were assigned our corners. We worked the three days of practice and the 12 hour race.
To tell you the truth, I don't remember that much about the race.....and the trip back to Connecticut was (relatively) uneventful.....but I'll never forget that trip down.
After all, getting there is half the fun....isn't it?

12-31-2003, 11:00 PM
My first Mini wasn't mine at all! It belonged to a fellow engineering student at FAU. It was a 1962 850 that had been "Cooperized". I didn't have a clue what a Mini was let alone a Cooper at the time. I figured the Mini had a 1275 and I had a 1293 in my Spitfire and at the time, the Spitfire was the reigning F production champion, so I could make this little shoe box look pretty silly.

Here we are, two boy racers, on the campus air strip converted to parking lot. Me embaras the Mini ... NOT! It was obvious the moment we left the parking places the Mini was a car to be reconed with. He left me in the straights, he left me on the turns, it was only under braking that I had any chance. (He hadn't opted for the Cooper disks) Unfortunately, there wasn't too much braking going on; so my Spitfire and I looked pretty silly being blown off by that little shoe box.

There's a reason Minis have a reputation. I learned that those many years ago and have respected it for all this time. I now own My first Mini: a '72 Canadian 1000 that has been "Cooperized". And yes, I did opt for the disks!!

01-27-2004, 06:27 PM
My first mini is my current one, a Clubman van. And it's work in progress or more correctly a project upon which I can build up my skills. I've done a welding course but I have a long road ahead. Still, better than taking snorting coke of the stomach of a pole dancer - what a vacuous life that would be...

01-28-2004, 02:36 PM
Hi Angusdog,

Took a quick view of your website, I've never heard of a Mini Clubman panel van before. I only thought they made panel vans with the original front end Mini's.

As far as you know, was yours originally built as a panel? maybe a converted station wagon?

01-28-2004, 05:00 PM
The van was never produced with the Clubman nose though. It may have had the panels grafted on, or it could be one of those fibreglass pieces that were the rage for "updating" Minis back in the seventies.

01-28-2004, 10:08 PM
Wrong again !
The Mini van was definitly built with the clubman front sheetmetal in the Australian Zetland factory during the early 1970s. When they changed over to the clubman style they dropped the earlyer sheet metal and built them alongside the clubman sedan and the clubman GT
I did an aprenticeship with the Western Australian Leyland distributors when they were released, and they built literaly thousands of them, they were on the road EVERYWHERE. As Angusdog is in New Zealand I would gues that it is probibaly one of the Australian built ones.

01-28-2004, 10:41 PM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr> Graham said: The Mini van was definitly built with the clubman front sheetmetal in the Australian Zetland factory during the early 1970s.

Thanks for that info, I only asked the question because I'm always after arcane automotive facts that no one probably cares about, those Aussies have always built their own style of cars just like the above example shows.

I've always been fascinated about all the different cars they make into Ute pickups in Australia, way more than anywhere else in the world.

racing girl
01-29-2004, 04:38 AM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Sherlock:

As far as you know, was yours originally built as a panel? maybe a converted station wagon?<hr></blockquote>

The Minis were definitely produced in this body style in England, looks like for export too. I remember little mini vans zipping around the streets. Popular if you were a tradesman, like an electrician for example. I've seen them with ladders strapped on top that were longer than the van!

Here's a picture of another one...

Mini Van (https://users.argonet.co.uk/users/nrbateman/wsmoc/gallery/dkj.htm)

RG graemlins/england.gif

racing girl
01-29-2004, 04:46 AM
We had two minis growing up. I learnt to drive in one of them, all I remember was that it was burgundy! But I do remember it having wonderful electrical problems if it rained hard. Especially, it seemed, if we were heading North on the M1 motorway (freeway), in the outside lane, in the pouring rain... and suddenly, the engine would cut out, and you had to negotiate two inside lanes of traffic that were now going faster than you, and you had to do it before you lost all rolling momentum! Dry out the electrics, points and such, if you could, and she'd fire right back up and away we'd go again. And just when you were getting confident that all was well and it wasn't going to cut out again, bam... there you'd be, struggling to get on the hard shoulder before the car stopped rolling! Fantastic in the dry though!!

RG graemlins/england.gif

01-29-2004, 04:48 AM
Actually, I was referring to a Mini delivery van with the Clubman front end, I know they made the vans with the original front end from 1962 to the early 1980's (and have seen several of them), I have just never seen any Clubman delivery vans before.

01-29-2004, 09:16 AM
Yes, we do do some strange things down here at times,and Leyland did more strange things than most. Austin freeways (A60s with 6 cyl B series engines), Austin Kimberlys and Tasmans,(Austin 1800 replacements with 6cyl E series OHC engines), Marina 6 with the E series 6 Cyl engines and did you get the 1800 ute (pickup to you blokes I surpose) just to name a few that spring to mind. but it's interesting that as far as minis go, there must have been quite a demand for mini "utes" and station wagons (estate cars ) but the only ones I ever saw came in from G.B. Obviosly the management didn't consider there would be a big enough demand, but it does seem strange when they were building vans with almost the same panelling anyway. With the Mini production down here I "think" that they went back to the older style sheet metal when they assembled them CKD after the Zetland factory was closed and sold off. I am not that familiar with the british history but I gather they ran the older style Mini and the Clubman side by side in the home market, and eventualy dropped the Clubman, out here when they released the Clubman they discontinued all the earlyer models, including the Cooper S, which was always more popular than the Clubman GT. Did they ever have the GT in Britain ? I don't think I have ever heard it mentioned over there.
I don,t pretend to be an authority on Mini history here or in Britain, and what I am saying is only from memory, But I was involved with them on a dayly basis for quite a few years, and I don't think I will be too far off. It's nice to see they are still so popular overseas.

01-29-2004, 09:49 AM
Back to the Question,
My first mini wasn't realy mine. It was my brothers. In about 1970 Norm bought 2 minis for $50 one mini 1000 going and licenced with a completely worn out engine and collapsed idler gear bearings buisily pumping metal shavings all through the engine (scrap value only) and one Morris Mini Minor 850 with a very good motor but had been rolled, and all the panel work was completely smashed. Anyway we took them home and when I went home on the weekend a couple of weeks later I showed him how to lift the body off the subframe, and we changed the engine trans suspension subframe and steering. It worked quite well, and I think the only things that went wrong with it were tyres and the very anoying habit of stones knocking the electric wire off the SU electric fuel pump when we were hooking down our country gravel roads, meaning you had to get out and crawl under the back of the car to put the wire back on the pump. Not what you need if you are going out and are dressed up in your good clothes. Anyway she did her job quite well, and was driven a lot of miles mostly on unsealed roads and usualy as fast as she would go, about 70 MPH. Norm eventualy sold her for $500 to one of the local shearers, but she remains vivid in both our memories.

01-29-2004, 12:54 PM
The Mini Clubman 1275 GT was produced and sold in the UK. The only van sold there was the traditional type. The Clubman front must have been one of those Australia-only models.

01-29-2004, 01:11 PM

To my knowledge, having done some research on Mini history, the Countryman wagon was dropped from production when the Clubman Countryman was introduced, while the delivery van and pickup (ute) versions continued in production until about 1985 or so worldwide.

And you aren't the only country with interesting versions of cars, I've read scattered bits of information about cars built in much maligned South Africa (justifiably so...), but there are a fair number of unique and interesting variations that stem from that country as well. It almost seems to be something to do with the "western"-type countries of the southern hemisphere, South Africa probably being the most technically advanced country in Africa. And of course Brazil is also famous for unique cars as well, but having more influence from German manufacturers.

Hmmm... maybe time to do some research to write an article on Mini history... or history of Australian vehicles... South African vehicles...

01-30-2004, 11:28 AM
Yes South Africa has had a varied history, and a few Australian cars turned up there in American guise, like some Holdens badged as Chevy's ect.
I was told once from a source that may know that leyland sent the tooling for the P76 V8 to South Africa to use in their trucks. It seems a shame for such a good engine to have ended its production as a commercial only unit as it was a very good car unit back when.

01-30-2004, 10:47 PM

North America basically received the same cars as made in England or elsewhere in the world. One notable model, only in Canada, was a car called the Envoy sold throughout the 1960's. It was basically the same as a Vauxhall Victor and Viva and mainly built for separate marketing through a different branch of General Motors sales.

And, kind of back on track..., as some American BCFers may know, sales of the classic Mini stopped in the United States in 1967 while Canadian sales didn't stop until 1980, giving us a much better stock of Mini's compared to the States. And now that the classic Mini is so popular in North America (and worldwide), Canada is a great hunting ground for potential Mini owners.

01-30-2004, 11:41 PM
Yes ! Its amaizing how much value GM worldwide got out of the Vauxhaul Viva, I havn't heard of the "Envoy" before, but out here they probibaly did the same sort of thing with the Holden "Torana". It started out as a 1200 push rod 4cyl in about 68? updated to 1750 OHC in the late 60s and then they basicly extended the front and shoehorned the 6 Cyl full sized (for Oz)Holden sedan engine into it, up to 186 cubic inches. In this guise it was one of the most successful Australian sports / racing cars of the early 1970s. The high performance XU1 version was a real quick car and used to eat most V8s.It finnished up bearing little resemblance to the original English version and its performance was something the original desighners wouldn't have imagined in their wildest nightmares.I am shure you know about it, as looking at your postings you seem to have a real good handle on a lot of our local history . I am pretty much a novice at these computer gadgets, so when I figure out how to drive it a bit better I will post a couple of picks of one.

01-31-2004, 12:10 AM
Hi Graham,

I suppose you could call me a fairly serious student of world automotive history who has an extremely photographic memory, now how to make it pay somehow graemlins/crazy.gif . I you go up to Writer's Corner here on BCF I have posted a few articles, some of them historical in nature including one on Vauxhall North American history, including that info on the Envoy I mentioned (Writer's Corner is in the links area of BCF).

Anyway, have to run shortly, off to write a first draft of a new article on Mini history.

02-01-2004, 06:52 AM
My first Mini is the mini I have now, since I'm a new convert to Minis from motorbikes. It's a Clubman van (a model unique to Australia and New Zealand), bought as a project for NZ$300 (approx US$180) and some significant rust but not a great deal in the important van panels.

I've done a 18 week, 2hrs a week MIG welding course and have a 150 amp MIG... Having converted to Minis from bikes, I've also converted from working with wood to working in metal and this is part of that switch.

Whipped a rear subframe off at the wreckers today (8.00am on a SUnday morning in the drizzle!). Only took me 20 minutes in total and cost $35, so fairly happy with that.

I've got a website in progress at https://www.ozone.co.nz/minivan/ mainly drivel and need to crack on and get it up to date (build a gallery etc and update where I'm up to with the work.

And guess what: I haven't driven a mini since I borrowed my mate's Clubman when I was 16. I'm 37 now and will probably be a lot closer to 40 when I drive my van, but I've got the colour scheme sorted already.

02-02-2004, 11:07 AM
Go Angusdog,
If you are a new convert to Minis you wont regret it. I have only had a few of them over the years, including 2 Mokes, and never a Cooper, but one day ----?-- maybe. I do have an awful lot of respect for them though, as the fact that over 30 years after I first started working on them I still like em. and dont be scared of the mechanicals either, (like a lot of people) once you get to know them they are simple and easy to work on.

02-23-2004, 07:56 PM
Hi everybody,

I'm a new member here, from Sydney, Australia.

My first MINI was a 1967 Morris Mini Deluxe. It had ~33000 Miles on it when I bought it in 1998. It was Sierra Beige and was immaculate. So many people love Minis over here and I got heaps of smiles and conversations in petrol stations. Even the son of the original owner found me once and asked if he could sit in the seat of the car he learnt to drive in.
Unfortunately it had four-wheel drum brakes and I wasn't diligent in adjusting them often enough and had a very nasty accident, so the car got written off. I'm so ashamed about this and sadly, I only have one photo of this car.
My second MINI is a project car.
It is a '78 Leyland Clubman Panel Van. I read on this forum that Australia was the only country to have made this model of the Panel Van. I now understand why I can't find any photos of this model on the 'net! I plan to learn a bit of welding and painting on this car. I want to set it up as my first work van, being an apprentice electrician.
My daily driver at the moment is an E30 BMW 318i with 333342 Kilometres! It has been a very, very reliable car over the last 4 years. I have bought a BRAND new motor for it (what a score!), and when the MINI is up and going I will start to strip it down.
I will be asking lots of questions about the MINI project, so thank you in advance,

Jonathan Clifton

02-25-2004, 12:18 PM
Hi Jonny, and welcome to the forum!!

Yes, it seems that the Clubman panel van was unique to Australia, but we have two of them here on the BCF! Quite a few members from Australia and New Zealand now as well. Glad you found us.

02-29-2004, 02:53 AM
Wow. My first post is about my first mini. It's a red '60 with push button start (seems to be quite a few of them). It started life with an 850, but somewhere along the way, it got a ported 998 Cooper head with o/s intake valves, a 731 cam and an LCB. Since then I've put in a 1098, carrying over the cam & head and adding an HIF6 carb. I've also ugraded the brakes to late model 8.4 discs and it rolls on 13" Chevy Monza wheels. I currently have a 1380 nearly done on my workbench.

As I was reading this thread, I noticed the locations of some of you. Steve, are you currently in Milwaukee? And what a coincidence, ThomP is from Wellington, FLORIDA, and the next post from Angusdog is from Wellington, NEW ZEALAND! Interesting.

03-01-2004, 03:00 AM
Hello and welcome.....

Yes, still in Milwaukee, even though every time I say it, part of me screams out "WHY?" Not a bad place to be, all told, if only the weather was halfway decent!

03-27-2004, 07:28 PM
Hi all, just new to this forum today.

My first Min I purchased in the Mid 70's, was supposedly a 1965 1275 'S' although it only had 1 fuel tank & dry suspension. Had always wanted one since my older brother had one when new in the 60's. Unfortunately that part got the better of me as well as the car.

I drove the car from Hackensack NJ to Pittsburgh Pa and had to get used to the short wheelbase as well as some loose steering that the seller had told me about prior to purchase. That steering, along with no seatbelts & one too many beers managed to have both me and the car damaged in a big way.

Needless to say, I survived the car however not so well so I cannabalized the 1275 engine/trans/brakes and found another donor car which I now have.

This present car is a blast - I autocross it during the warmer months, did pretty well under SCCA ruling locally. Then a local club started a "vintage class" for cars 25 years & older but the car had to be on street tires. Mini didn't mind & smoked a 914 & 914-6 by 2.5 seconds!! Impressive for a forty year old car. Still get grins every time I'm behind the wheel.


03-28-2004, 09:29 PM
My 1st minis were inthe late 70's. We had a race team and I payed most of the bills so I can claim ownership. One was a 1293 'S' race sedan campaigned as a C sedan in the Bulova series in Canada. We had a prime driver who was very quick and in fact had the Mosport lap record from time to time.He returned to England and I and one other shared driving for a couple of years before the team broke up.
This car was pretty well developed at the time. It had 13in. wheels with F Atlantic brakes and a'detachable' front end for ease of access. At the time these were illegal but we got round this by pop riveting which was technically permanent and could be separated with plyers for quick access in the pits. This resultad in a rule change to allow fibreglass detachable front ends The compression ratio being in the 11s and gas required to be 'commercially available at the pump', we would buy av. gas at the local airfield for racing.
The crank has 3 mains which was limiting for development and the Weber 45 DCOE tweaky.
The other car was an ice racer(? a sop to the bill payer). This was a spaceframe with a mini shell and a 1310S engine(one of our blocks bored out and illegal for hard track). This car was very fast and only used for studded class. It ran on Hekkapolitas(???) double chisel studs(I still have them if anyone is interested). I was 'Studded champion of Ontario' for 2yrs(yes yes yes ladies I've heard all the jokes but no propositions!).This car was really a 'silhouette' and the roll cage saved my neck on a couple of occasions(literally). There was a beam axle on the rear, hydrolastic suspension and servo/discs on front.Entry/exit was through the window-easier when inverted. Calculated max. speed on track about 107mph
This mill is currently being rebuilt to go in a1979 mini 1000 which we are restoring 'ground up'The shell is down to bare metal and awaiting new Heritage front fenders etc befoore paint and assembly.
Advice re. suspension/ brakes etc. would be welcome

03-29-2004, 08:10 AM
Welcome Minicoop23!

.....and cool story, Hotdoc!

Have you guys posted pictures in the "Member's Rides" section of BCF?