1971 Mini 1000 (MkIII) -
Location: San Jose, California
December 2005 in a spot clearly made for it...
This mini, which I named Dexter (Latin for right hand), had been my daily driver for over 11 years. I'm only parting with it to make room for a new car (I'm going electric). It's a great car for a local commute (140 miles to its small tank), a student who wants to learn how to work on cars (there is nothing resembling modern technology in this car), or someone who likes to collect classic cars and restore them (this is quite the blank canvass!) Be prepared to have conversations with complete strangers at stoplights, love notes to your car slipped under the wiper blades, and people risking their lives to take a picture of you while driving on the freeway!
November 2015, at the spa!
- Body: Mini 1000. 1971 British Leyland
- Colour: Red with White Roof and (unpainted) Black Bonnet
- Engine: 4-speed Mid-'80s Mini Metro 1275cc
- Steering: Right Hand
- Wheels: 10"X6" Mamba w/ Yokohama A008s Tyres
- Fog Lamps: 2 Carello + 2 ??
- Mileage: appx. 26 MPG (Smiles Per Gallon: Infinite!)
- Tank: appx. 6 gallon
September 2014 the only foreign car at a local car show
Imported from the UK to the US in the Spring of 2005, registered in California late May. The previous owners replaced the sub-frame a couple of years earlier. Originally had a 850cc engine with a magic wand shifter, which the previous owners had to cut a hole in the floor to accommodate. Upgraded to a mid-'80s Mini Metro 1275cc engine from Mini-Mania, and installed by Collins Classics in Burlingame. This also converted over to a rod change shifter, as well as moving from a generator and separate voltage regulator to an alternator, and upgrading the radiator. The only updates to the body have been a new front windscreen, and a new bonnet (both the original and the current one suffered from opening up on the freeway, but the original was very rusty and became unusably bent.) A newer radiator, water pump, and fan were put in in the Summer of 2014 (radiator cap came off and shredded the radiator fins, and broke the fan blades.) At the end of 2015 I had the car serviced (including the exhaust & head gasket), and is now running the best that it has in the past 11 years.
May 2006 - creative parking!
- Being British, it does leak oil (or as my sister says: Leaks like a Harley, and sounds like one too!) Maybe about a quart a fortnight. I can chuck in the container of kitty litter that I'm using in the garage for the leaks if you want.
- As it is registered as a 1971 vehicle, it is exempt from California's smog testing requirements. You won't have to test every other year, but you'll get mailings about getting cash for taking your clunker off the road...
- The speedometer is not the correct one for the wheel base/ratio. It currently is about 90% of reality (i.e.: if it says 60, you're going 66.) This also affects the odometer reading.
- The body still has all the original UK rust on it, and was obviously painted to hide some of it (rust bubbles). The major rust spots are the lower door sills.
- The interior has not been upgraded. The dash is a bit out of shape, the driver's seat is torn, and there are no rear seat-belts (California law grandfathers cars that did not have them originally installed, but once they are installed they'll be required.)
- There are speakers on the back shelf that are no longer hooked up to anything (they are used to hold my California number-plate in the rear window, so I haven't ditched them.) The car did have a stereo in it when I bought it, but it didn't work. I had it replaced, but it too started to fail (as well as the antenna breaking off due to weathering.) Well, the original designer (Alec Issigonis) apparently didn't feel people should listen to the radio in the car - but being a smoker, had many ash trays installed (though no lighter!)
- Speaking of electrical... It's still all original Lucas (prince of darkness) Electrics. I have most of the electrical going through the switched fuze. I had issues with battery drain from items as innocuous as the fuel gauge. Also, as the cover for the interior light was disintegrating, I never replaced the bulb to prevent accidental light activation.
- Fitting the average 'Merican!: I'm 5ft 11in, 260lb and I do quite well. There's an old joke: How do you get 4 elephants into a Mini? 2 in the front, and 2 in the back! (Didn't say it was a good joke...)
May 2015 - My 'Merican frame on the car's British frame.
- 4 Used 10" wheels (possibly Mini-Lites) and 1 slightly used Tyre
- Silver on Black classic UK number-plates (to replace the modern ones on the car)
- Bulkhead soundproofing (unused)
- Bonnet straps (unused)
- Haynes Manual (well used)
- (Possibly) 1 or 2 Speedometers (not accurate to this configuration)