I have always loved cars, particularly Mini’s. When I was 14 my Dad bought me a beaten up old Mini and we spent many nights taking it apart and repairing it. I learnt all about how engines worked and how to fix and repair the mechanics. I drove Mini’s up until my early twenties and then moved on to others cars but always held a special torch for the beloved Mini.
Many years later while driving along, a Mini passed me and caught my eye and it made me want one again so I searched EBay for a potential project.
I saw a local Mini that was mechanically a wreck, the engine didn’t run, there were no brakes and the electrics were all shot, but the bodywork wasn’t too bad. It was tatty but not rusty.
I won the EBay auction for that 1980 Mini and paid £127 for it – I was so excited, it had been over 15 years since I had owned a Mini and I couldn’t wait to tear it apart and see what condition it was in.
Over the next four years and over £5000 later I’d stripped every single nut and bolt and removed every single piece of car, cleaned, restored or replaced every part. I rebuilt a 1275cc engine, I restored and converted it to have disc brakes, I taught myself how to re-spray and completely re-sprayed the car myself in my garage – I had just enough room to do a corner at a time – It was tricky but possible.
I also managed some really impressive swearing, some amazing ‘Incredible Hulk’ moments, lots of actual blood and actual tears and even had pizza delivered directly to my garage and it was an amazing journey.
Now it’s finished, it lives in my garage, it doesn’t go out in the rain and I only do about 600 miles a year, but it instantly puts a smile on my face and draws lots of attention anywhere it goes