Page 1






FRESH CONTENT, honest opinion

Nightmare g n i v i L with a

SHOWS Beaulieu Bristol L2B



Motorsport Memories In-depth news Products Diaries and much more fun!

John Rhodes

Goi ng Dow n Under



How to find a fault



about love:mini love:mini is your free community-based digital magazine with a fresh take on the Mini scene. Loaded with honest, independent opinion and reviews, in-depth reporting and social interaction, hot news from the scene and original Mini-related content, we can be anything you help us to be.


Mini Memories

interactive You Youcan cannow nowinteract interactdirectly directlywith withthe magazine, the magazine clicking by clicking on linksontolinks, topics of interest email addresses and enabling and video you toscreenshots, contribute at the enabling click ofyou a button. to broaden Onceyour we figure experience out how at the to click use more of a button. of this cool stuff, we will! FEATURE

My Club

your magazine To be able to create love:mini we rely on Mini enthusiasts from around the globe to send us reports and pictures of what is happening in their local area. We are always looking for more people to help contribute by sending us pictures and stories. You can contribute, and in so many different ways, so get in touch and get involved!



• any Mini featured

• independent opinion • info & advice • MINI friendly • original content • made by readers

about love:mini love:mini is thie first magazine to bring together coverage of classic Minis and MINIs, and through this we hope to build stronger bridges between the two Mini communities. We also want to promote the fun side of Mini-ing - with comprehensive motorsport reports, driving articles and challenges. We enjoy spirited driving and discourage reckless driving. As an independent publication, we are not restricted by ridiculous company policies, nor do we need to be nice about everything just to arse-lick advertisers. We can show you the real way enthusiasts work on their cars, give an honest review and opinion on topics and events, and, with an army of enthusiasts at the end of the mouse, we can do almost anything you’d like to see.

of charge. All contributors have voluntarily given up their time to write, photograph, or send stuff to us. We may not be able to pay for your contributions, but we’re all about you - the enthusiasts, and the cars - and not the shareholders. There can be some perks - such as free show tickets, or interviewing a Mini legend - but the limit is only limited by your imagination.

Social life


Brisbane, Australia

Website australia/




he day started as a on a navigation run in to the beautiful summer day Soon everyone started Queensland Hinterland. their at North Pine Dam until engines and departed The Mini Cooper Register with the westerly wind came their navigation questions and graciously invited the Mini blew a lot of our registration and first poker cards for Owners Club of Queensland a paperwork into the water. scenic drive to the first and stop at Tony and Kath set about The registration papers Woodford, meandering making this a wonderful via the had everything to do with picturesque Mt. Mee Range sponsored day to raise this day of days which funds with lots of Mini bends, was for research for the Crohns to beautifully orchestrated and collect their next poker and Colitis Association by Mini Cooper Register of card from Judy and Ray Australia. Australia stalwarts, Tony Retchless. and With lots of helpers and Kath Formosa, to undertake Unfortunately, Brian Heys’ donations - particularly a Poker Hand Run Day cash little beast had a clutch which and beautiful Darling Downs involved the purchasing problem and couldn’t make of meat from club member varying numbers of cards Bob (up Hooper of - the BBQ breakfast the trip. It was tucked up safe to five) at various locations and sound at the Formosa’s was finished in record time. Shady Rest Motel and was Rally:Circu it:Hillclimb:Autograss: Words Peter Scherer Sprint





Champion starts new campaign in winning form Fresh


faces and fresh cars with fresh liveries rock up at Rockingham.

eigning Mini Challenge champion just fell short of a hat-trick of wins in the opening rounds at Rockingham , when Chris Panayiotou clinched his maiden victory in the final race of the weekend. Only 0.769s secs covered the top three after qualifying, with Caudle’s new John Cooper Works Class car taking pole from ex-Formula Vee and Formula Ford racer, Jason Mills, with Panayiotou in third. Lee Allen just had the edge over Steve Liquorish for S Class pole and debutant David Ogden topped the Club Class. Caudle led the initial charge through Turn One from Panayiotou and Mills. But Allen made a sensational start and charged past Mills into the Deene Hairpin. As the lead duo began to escape Mills recovered third as Allen had the JCW’s of Jason Richardson and Chris Knox in formation behind.

Knox made it into fourth through Turn One for the third time and Richardson followed into Deene. Mills was next to fall as Knox charged by into Deene a lap later. Up at the front though, Caudle had everything under control and cruised to a comfortable victory. “I was a bit worried at the start, but I think we all made a few mistakes,” he said. Panayiotou was a comfortable second, but although Knox retained third from lap four, he had Richardson on his tail at the flag. Mills ended his race in the gravel at the Esses after an earlier power loss gave way to brake failure. “I had started to lose power from the third lap but when the brakes failed I managed to angle into the gravel. But after I got out it caught alight under the bonnet,” he explained. Former Sport Maxx Cup racer Chris Oakman rounded off the top

MINI 2011 Facelift



five after an almighty scrap with the determined Allen. “Loved it. I knew I would pick up a few places at the start, they had the edge over me at the Esses though every time,” said Allen. Chris Smith’s R56 was seventh and former MG Champion Lee Sullivan secured second in the class leaving Steve Liquorish S to fend off Dean Raymond for third in class. Kevin O’Connor took the Club Class spoils by a whisker from debutant David Ogden, having led all the way.

Race Two

Knox got the jump on Caudle at the start of race two, but the Champion shot down the inside into Deene to take charge again. Panayiotou grabbed third with Allen fourth after another demon start. Into Tarzan for the second time

Overhau ling the MINI’s look and two new models .


A social club for Mini enthusi asts, with weekly meets and fun for everyon e.


Submitted by Marie James


anchester Minis is in it’s 11th year and still going strong, with new members joining every month. We have over 100 active members and these spread from Cornwall to Leeds, not just Manchester . We are more than just a Mini club that meets once a month, we are more of a social club, and we meet every week on a Wednesday at the Cheshire Line Tavern, Cheadle. Most discussions are not Mini-related, but of course we do have the usual Mini chats, but just about anything passes as conversation. And we have quite few technically and mechanical a lyminded people, so that helps with any Mini or non-Mini related problems. We have an

and would perhaps be sent to our bedroom, where there was of course no TV or heating apart from maybe a hot water bottle at bedtime! If it got really cold then there was an extra paraffin heater for the hallway which ran on esso Blue or Pink Paraffin which were always advertised with a catchy tune on TV in the winter months. 1963 is also about when my own early memories of the Mini begin. At this time the Mini was just about the only front wheel drive car available, so even though my dad didn’t like them much, to my delight he borrowed one from his garage and car sales business to get to work in the snow a little easier — as Minis, with the engine weight over the front driven wheels, had much better traction in the snow than most of the rear wheel drive cars of the time, unless a heavy weight was placed in the boot and snow chains fitted to their wheels. The only 4x4 vehicles then were 24 love:mini

The se

online forum that anyone can join and there are sections on there for mechanical help, as well as all the all important upcoming events, and a general chit chat section. At the Cheshire Line Tavern where we meet, I often organise quiz and raffle nights for everyone (I’m the Events Organiser, so everyone kind of looks to me for things to do, but occasionally we get some nice fellows who arrange their own entertainme nt so I get to just join in and take a step back). All the proceeds go to the club funds which buys things like flyers, gazebos, banners, website renewals etc. We also do autotest nights once a year at the

The Mini had much better traction in the snow than most cars of the time




Manchester Minis



Words and photos Brett Nosse.

August 30, 2009

Club Profile:

Born not long before the Mini was launched, Martin Bell recalls his memorie s of growing up in the world alongside the Mini.

he recent snowy weather knitted by their mums to got me thinking back to keep out the cold, but I also the really bad winter & remember we still had to wear snow of 1963 which started short trousers despite the cold on Boxing Day 1962 and weather! lasted until March ‘63 in many places... back then we FeW luxurIeS still had to go to school each At home few had central day, staying home and playing heating, very often there would out in the snow would have be ice on the inside of my been considered skiving. For a bedroom window when you youngster, of course, snow is an woke up on a freezing cold adventure and I can remember morning! There were only two walking through the deep snow warm rooms in our house; the to school in Wellington boots kitchen, due to heat from the and climbing to the top of cooker and the coal-fired boiler tall snow piles at the sides of for heating the water, which the roads and driveways that had to be lit each morning with had been cleared. The school a dangerous-looking gas poker playground quickly became by my mum. One of my pocket an ice palace with one slide money stretching almost the length jobs of the playground. The bigger was to boys would run up and launch fetch the themselves on it, hurtling along buckets at high speed and unable to of coal stop for anyone in the way. It needed would give today’s health & from the coal bunker out in the safety conscious school staff a back garden. The other warm heart attack! room was the living room where Today it seems many schools we mainly watched TV and stop children going out to play which had a gas fire. However, in the snow even if they opened if any of us left the door to — much too dangerous… this room open and let all the Many boys used to wear dark expensive heat out into the cold woollen SAS-style balaclavas hallway we were in big trouble

Poker Day Run Celebrating 50 years with the Mini Cooper Register Austra lia



Share it Are you’re doing something exciting that you think others would be interested to hear about - then share it with the wider community? We are all about encouraging people to share their knowledge and get more involved in the scene. As a digital magazine we can be very dynamic in size and style, to accomodate any type of article. From home-made mods and stunning photos to club announcements and heated opinions, we have room for them all. Just get in touch.

Mini run

All free, thanks to you Everything you see in love: mini has been contributed free

cond refresh to the MINI’s appearance has been revealed, along with an announcement of two new diesel models for 2011. From September 2010, all MINI saloon, Clubman and Cabrio models will be subject to the update, although we expect newer models to feature elements of the new look. The subtle changes follow on from 2006’s refresh, which again moved the MINI away from it’s child-like look to something more serious. Overall, the cars have been touched up inside and out and there is also a new set of colours and a new range wheels to tie-in with the restyling.


Starting at the front you can see the most noticeable change in appearance is in the lower bumpers, front and rear, which have been extended downwards to conform to those new pedestrian safety regs and prevent knee injury in the event of a collision. This in turn has given the MINI a

The lock-up


Bruno Cottanceau Hello love:mini, my name is Bruno Cottanceau. I’m 54, single and I live in France. Here is a picture of my MINI Cooper S, which I have nicknamed UK GIRL! She is a 2004 Cooper S model, and has been treated to a few luxuries, such as a reprogramed ECU, JCW brakes, new WebSpoke wheels, JCW injectors and airbox, all of which has pushed the bhp output up to about 200bhp. I hope you all like my beautiful UK Girl as much as I do.

Got an idea? Have you thought of a cool idea for a feature you’d like to read about? If so, others would probably like to read about it too. We have contacts and authority all around the Mini industry and if you have a good idea for an article, we can try and help make it happen for you. Where possible, we would even set it up for you to write the article yourself, after benefiting from any relevant experience that goes with it.

more aggressive stance, which to join the foglight on the may be to the liking of most lower rear bumper. male drivers. The Clubman has had For Cooper S owners its who own tweaks with the rear have been crying out for brake light cluster confoming cooling vents - their prayers more to other models with a have been answered negating chrome surround, while the Cooper the need to remove the front S model has a wide opening foglights for a similar effect. between the two exhaust Optional xenon headlights pipes which replicates can be ordered with either the form of an air outlet and black reflectors or adaptive is bordered by chrome edging. lighting which turns the Inside the central facia headlights as you turn the has been darkened from steering wheel - essentially the contrasting light grey to enabling you to see round black, and a new LED display corners better. sits within the basic speedo. From the side the indicator The optional premium speedo now repeaters have been visually comes with a colour screen enhanced, looking less which can be used to watch plasticky and featuring a glass videos via an external device. cover with concentric circles. More chrome has also S owners are again treated to been added to the interior something a little more flashy. surrounding airvents and At the rear all MINI models on the steering wheel. now feature dynamic LED Trim colours have been revamped rear lights that shine brighter and claim to be made the harder you brake. Under from better materials than before. particularly hard braking Optional ambient lighting they will even flash to is warn now also available, covering following cars that you are 756 shades of colours, braking sharply. Additionally and the interior and exterior mirrors the reversing light has moved Showing us your Mini are available with autoposition stuff from the light cluster dimming.



My Mini Sam Renton Hello love:mini, Im Sam Renton, 20 and currently have my own media production company based in Stafford. I am a very keen photographe r and have restored my mini with my dad for the past 2 years. We bought it completely standard

from its previous owner in newark, the front was the worst but we were amazed with the condition of the doors and rear. We replaced the whole front and had it fully resprayed. I replaced the rear subframe and sprayed it a funky green. i have also given it a retro mk1 look, to set it apart from other minis. i hope to spray the front subframe and engine in the near future as well



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MORE potential customers


The Trend

Bitesize chunks from the scene

THis issue:


been months since the crux residential streets, and of the harsh winter weather those on the popular back-routes? These, hit the uK, freezing, cracking for the and time being, seem to be eroding our roads, but subject to still, today, neglect. At this rate, they driving around town there might just are be fixed in time for next countless potholes that winter. i am forced it’s easy to point at road to keep my eyes peeled tax (and for. And many other uK taxes) these aren’t tiny bumps and say that that are the councils and government occassional, these should are regular, wheelbe doing more, but swallowing canyons could there be more that can cause to this? Do these untold damage on people care? There’s the Mini, and even no arguing that uK the MiNi. what the drivers pay more than hell is going on? their fair share in taxes, one way or another, so Doing some errands today i had why don’t these plums to visit my local have some foresight council offices, and to realise that a bad low and behold winter — again where the worst road i councils were illhad come across led staright equipped with road salt to — will lead to more road the council building. Fortunately, damage and hence more repairs and someone had obviously resurfacing? pulled their sure the inconsistent weather thumb out of their ass doesn’t as there was help, but i’ve seen on Tv a massive resurfacing new truck and machines that can fill about six or seven people a pothole in working 20 minutes, a job that on this one 100m stretch would take a of road. i’m manual worker a lot longer. sure it would have taken them at As usual it seems the least all day to fix this beauracrats section, but are willing to what about all the odd take our money and potholes on offer very little in return. Thanks!

3000 miles and the love:mini Mini is still going strong. MiNi Countryman open day at MiNi OXFOrD gives us a good look. Meeting new friends in Australia. weather in the uK finally hits 25C. Aluminium billet alloy cylinder heads hit the market. Panic: two days before L2B and the Mini’s damper bolt snaps off.

Overhau ling the MINI’s . look and two new models

YOur views from the digital world

SAVE money


Born not long before the Mini was launched, Martin Bell recalls his memorie s of growing up in the world alongside the Mini.

DYNAMIC ways to communicate

Being a digital publication we can offer unique ways to communicate and interact with potential customers.


he recent snowy weather knitted by their mums to got me thinking back to keep out the cold, but I also the really bad winter & remember we still had to wear snow of 1963 which started short trousers despite the cold on Boxing Day 1962 and weather! lasted until March ‘63 in many places... back then we FeW luxurIeS still had to go to school each At home few had central day, staying home and playing heating, very often there would out in the snow would have be ice on the inside of my been considered skiving. For a bedroom window when you youngster, of course, snow is an woke up on a freezing cold adventure and I can remember morning! There were only two walking through the deep snow warm rooms in our house; the to school in Wellington boots kitchen, due to heat from the and climbing to the top of cooker and the coal-fired boiler tall snow piles at the sides of for heating the water, which the roads and driveways that had to be lit each morning with had been cleared. The school a dangerous-looking gas poker playground quickly became by my mum. One of my pocket an ice palace with one slide money stretching almost the length jobs of the playground. The bigger was to boys would run up and launch fetch the themselves on it, hurtling along buckets at high speed and unable to of coal stop for anyone in the way. It needed would give today’s health & from the coal bunker out in the safety conscious school staff a back garden. The other warm heart attack! room was the living room where Today it seems many schools we mainly watched TV and stop children going out to play which had a gas fire. However, in the snow even if they opened if any of us left the door to — much too dangerous… this room open and let all the Many boys used to wear dark expensive heat out into the cold woollen SAS-style balaclavas hallway we were in big trouble

“We had 40 at the top of our road! I had to drive a mile out of my way to get to the Post Office! They have very roughly filled them now, but they have done it so badly that it’s now like


Sonia Bowmar-scothern

Potholes still not filled wrecking out suspension.

Minty’s exhaust fall off!”

Rebekah Louise Johnstone

“I’ve been through three tyres and one Marcel Parkinson wheel in two months and last month my “I think they made mate’s car had £2000

Queuing for hours up to leave Crystal Palace on L2B.


on the which to join the foglight more aggressive stance, lower rear bumper. most its may be to the liking of The Clubman has had male drivers. own tweaks with the rear who more For Cooper S owners brake light cluster confoming chrome have been crying out for with a models other to cooling vents - their prayers surround, while the Cooper opening have been answered negating S model has a wide front the need to remove the between the two exhaust the foglights for a similar effect. pipes which replicates is Optional xenon headlights form of an air outlet and can be ordered with either bordered by chrome edging. black reflectors or adaptive Inside the central facia the lighting which turns the has been darkened from the turn you black, headlights as contrasting light grey to steering wheel - essentially LED display sits new a and The enabling you to see round within the basic speedo. now corners better. optional premium speedo From the side the indicator comes with a colour screen repeaters have been visually which can be used to watch device. enhanced, looking less external an via videos a glass plasticky and featuring More chrome has also cover with concentric circles. interior the to been added to S owners are again treated no TV or heating airvents and more flashy. surrounding a little done. it is really restyling. Trim apart from maybe you how something Showing on the steering wheel. a hot water At the rear all MINI models bottle at bedtime! If it got colours have been revamped Starting at the front you from now feature dynamic LED and claim to be made really cold then there was can see the most noticeable rear lights that shine brighter better materials than before. the is in an extra paraffin is change in appearance heater the harder you brake. Under Optional ambient lighting rear, and front braking hard bumpers, for the hallway which lower particularly now also available, covering warn by Pete Parmiter extended which have beenran they will even flash to on esso colours, and the of Blue shades or 756 Pink to are downwards to conform following cars that you Paraffin which were always interior and exterior mirrors Additionally those new pedestrian safety braking sharply. advertised requires a light has moved are available with autoinjury with job knee simple a catchy prevent to do and onlythe reversing regs and a very This is dimming. light This silver a tune cluster up collision. a on light of TV the picked in I event the from the winter in position Castle Combe r. At one. screwdrive MINI a the OBJECTIVE months. replace my boring black in turn has given for my silver Equinox to housing Change the 1963 is also about it. when my love:mini how I fitted Here’s numberplate own early memories of the Mini Start by unscrewing housing on a begin. At this time the Mini the four screws later Mini.

cond refresh to the MINI’s appearance has been revealed, along with an new announcement of two diesel models for 2011. all From September 2010, and MINI saloon, Clubman subject Cabrio models will be we to the update, although expect newer models to new feature elements of the changes subtle look. The follow on from 2006’s refresh, MINI which again moved the look away from it’s child-like to something more serious. been Overall, the cars have out touched up inside and and new setperhaps be sent to and there is also a would range where a new bedroom, of colours and our there was the course wheels to tie-inofwith


num ber plat Replaci ng the light hou sing



was just about the only front wheel drive car available, so even though my dad didn’t like them much, to my delight he borrowed one from his garage and car sales business to get to work in the snow a little easier — as Minis, with the engine weight over the front driven wheels, had much better traction in the snow than most of the rear wheel drive cars of the time, unless a heavy weight was placed in the boot and snow chains fitted to their wheels. The only 4x4 vehicles then were

The Mini had much better traction in the snow than most cars of the time


40 little speed humps ”

“Yeah we have a pothole at a mini roundabout about 5-inches deep.”

inconsistent weather is playing havoc with our Mini maintenance plans. Not all of us have heat, light and space in our garages, you know.


holding the lights in place - two on each light. This will make it easier when removing the housing.

Move in to the boot and unscrew the three screws holding the housing hold in place. Make sure to the old housing with your other hand so it doesn’t drop off, taking the lights


with it.

Pull away the rubber surround and gently take the lights out, the old housing can now be discarded, the new housing can now be fitted start by reattaching the lights then the screws in the boot. And it should look something like this. There we go, a new light housing fitted in the space of 5 minuets and it looks much better than the old one.

3. 2



TOOLS Phillips screwdriver Replacement light housing TIME 10 minutes DIFFICULTY 1/10 ALTERNATIVE METHOD N/A COST About £10 new






elcome to love:mini - your new, free, digital Mini magazine. It’s a community magazine made up from your contributions - so the more you get involved the better it will be! The idea came about after speaking to many Mini people and finding they had become disillusioned with the scene and dedicated magazines that limit themselves in what Minis they feature and through political red tape. We thought, ‘hey, we could create a magazine for the whole



community covering aspects that the others magazines don’t’ - and so here we are. We are a free enterprise and all the work is done in our spare time, but we think it’s worth it to be able to offer something fresh to the scene. So if you like what you see and want to see more then get in touch and keep your eyes peeled, ears pinned back and cameraphone at the ready for anything we could use. This is where it all begins - where it ends is up to you. Enjoy.

Winter 2010/11

Craig McBeth Editor


YOUR CONTRIBUTORS THIS ISSUE WAS MADE WITH HELP FROM: Martin Bell, Holly Brown Horsler, Norman Nelson, Keith Calver, George Edwardes, Paul Taylor, George Wright, Karen Davey, Dave Hale, Marie James, Anton Gihan, Brett Nosse, Rob & Jessica Ware, David Young, Mark O’Flanagan, Dave Drew, Bruno Cottanceau, Sam Renton, Carlos Lopez Michel, Andy Mullen, Callum Sinclair, Grant Woodhouse, Ben Whitehouse, Adam Nierzad, Andy Simpson, Phil Jones, Pete Parmiter, Dave Overfield and Mark Gameson. Copyright blurb

Copyright of all contributions remains with the original owner. love:mini produced content is copyright of love:mini. By submitting words and photos to love:mini you agree to allow us to use and reproduce this material in any way, shape or form (in a non-offensive manner) for the foreseeable future. We do not intentionally use copyrighted material without permission, and for the most part we have been given permission to use copyrighted material. However, if you believe we have used copyrighted material without permission, we will do what we can to make amends. Reasonable attempts have been made to find and contact any copyright owner whose material may have been used.





Time:warp 1963

Born not long before the Mini was launched, Martin Bell recalls his memories of growing up in the world alongside the Mini.




Mak in

The Mini had much better traction in the snow than most cars of the time

16 At Home with... John Rhodes, legendary Mini driver.


How things were back in 1963.

and would perhaps be sent to our bedroom, where there was of course no TV or heating apart from maybe a hot water bottle at bedtime! If it got really cold then there was an extra paraffin heater for the hallway which ran on esso Blue or Pink Paraffin which were always advertised with a catchy tune on TV in the winter months. 1963 is also about when my own early memories of the Mini begin. At this time the Mini was just about the only front wheel drive car available, so even though my dad didn’t like them much, to my delight he borrowed one from his garage and car sales business to get to work in the snow a little easier — as Minis, with the engine weight over the front driven wheels, had much better traction in the snow than most of the rear wheel drive cars of the time, unless a heavy weight was placed in the boot and snow chains fitted to their wheels. The only 4x4 vehicles then were


8 Timewarp

he recent snowy weather knitted by their mums to got me thinking back to keep out the cold, but I also the really bad winter & remember we still had to wear snow of 1963 which started short trousers despite the cold on Boxing Day 1962 and weather! lasted until March ‘63 in many places... back then we FeW luxurIeS still had to go to school each At home few had central day, staying home and playing heating, very often there would out in the snow would have be ice on the inside of my been considered skiving. For a bedroom window when you youngster, of course, snow is an woke up on a freezing cold adventure and I can remember morning! There were only two walking through the deep snow warm rooms in our house; the to school in Wellington boots kitchen, due to heat from the and climbing to the top of cooker and the coal-fired boiler tall snow piles at the sides of for heating the water, which the roads and driveways that had to be lit each morning with had been cleared. The school a dangerous-looking gas poker playground quickly became by my mum. One of my pocket an ice palace with one slide money stretching almost the length jobs of the playground. The bigger was to boys would run up and launch fetch the themselves on it, hurtling along buckets at high speed and unable to of coal stop for anyone in the way. It needed would give today’s health & from the coal bunker out in the safety conscious school staff a back garden. The other warm heart attack! room was the living room where Today it seems many schools we mainly watched TV and stop children going out to play which had a gas fire. However, in the snow even if they opened if any of us left the door to — much too dangerous… this room open and let all the Many boys used to wear dark expensive heat out into the cold woollen SAS-style balaclavas hallway we were in big trouble

r e st

22 Memory Lane

Your classic Mini photos pre-2000.


24 Storytime

A handful of your short stories.

UP TO SPEED 26 Club Profile

Getting a closer look at Manchester Minis.

30 Event Reports

This issue, some of the shows we have attended.

48 Motorsport

MINI Challenge, Miglias, Minicross and more...

MINI 2011 Facelift

Overhaul ing the MINI’s look and two new models.


@ The se @ @@ @ @ @ @@ @ @@ @@ @@ @ @ @ In-depth news on @ @ @ the @ @ @ @ @@ @@ @@ @@ @@ biggest issues. @ @@ @@ @@ @@ @@ @@ @ @@ @@ @@ @@ @@ @@ @ @ @ @@ @@ @@ @@ @@ @@ @ What @really gets our goat @ @@ @@ @@ @@ @@ @@ @ @@ @@ @ @ @ @ @ POTH @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @@ @ @ OLes @ @@ @ @@ @@ @@ @@ @@ @@ @ @@ it’s@@ @@ @@ @ @ Don’t @ @ @ @ @ back, @ @ get @ it @ @ @ hold @ @@ @@ @@ @@ @@ @@ @ @@ @@ @@ @@ @ your @ @ @ @ @ @ @ and @ off chest tell us @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @@ @@ @@ @ @ @ @@ @@ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @how @ @ @ @ @ you @ really @ @ feel. @ @ @ @@ @@ @@ @@ @@ @@ @ @@ @@ @@ @@ @ @ @@ @@ @@ @@ @@ @@ @ @@ @@ @@ @@ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @@ @ Your@@Minis. @ @@ @@ @@ @@ @@ @@ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @

68 On the Pulse

cond refresh to the MINI’s appearance has been revealed, along with an new announcement of two diesel models for 2011. all From September 2010, and MINI saloon, Clubman subject Cabrio models will be we to the update, although expect newer models to new feature elements of the look. The subtle changes follow on from 2006’s refresh, MINI which again moved the look away from it’s child-like serious. to something more been Overall, the cars have out touched up inside and set and there is also a new range new a of colours and wheels to tie-in with the restyling.

82 Shout/Rant

84 The lock-up


Starting at the front you can see the most noticeable is in the change in appearance rear, lower bumpers, front and which have been extended to downwards to conform those new pedestrian safety injury regs and prevent knee This collision. a of event the in a in turn has given the MINI


on the which to join the foglight more aggressive stance, lower rear bumper. most its may be to the liking of The Clubman has had male drivers. own tweaks with the rear who more For Cooper S owners brake light cluster confoming chrome have been crying out for to other models with a cooling vents - their prayers surround, while the Cooper have been answered negating a wide opening has model S front the need to remove the between the two exhaust foglights for a similar effect. replicates the which pipes is Optional xenon headlights form of an air outlet and can be ordered with either bordered by chrome edging. black reflectors or adaptive Inside the central facia the lighting which turns the has been darkened from the black, headlights as you turn contrasting light grey to sits steering wheel - essentially and a new LED display The enabling you to see round within the basic speedo. corners better. premium speedo now optional indicator From the side the comes with a colour screen repeaters have been visually which can be used to watch enhanced, looking less external device. a glass videos via an plasticky and featuring More chrome has also circles. cover with concentric been added to the interior to S owners are again treated airvents and surrounding flashy. more Trim something a little on the steering wheel. At the rear all MINI models colours have been revamped from now feature dynamic LED and claim to be made rear lights that shine brighter better materials than before. is the harder you brake. Under Optional ambient lighting particularly hard braking now also available, covering warn and the they will even flash to 756 shades of colours, are following cars that you interior and exterior mirrors Additionally sharply. braking are available with automoved the reversing light has Bitesize dimming. cluster position from the light

THis issue:

been months since the crux residential streets, and of the harsh winter weather those on the popular back-routes? These, hit the uK, freezing, cracking for the and time being, seem to be eroding our roads, but subject to still, today, neglect. At this rate, they driving around town there might just are be fixed in time for next countless potholes that winter. i am forced it’s easy to point at road to keep my eyes peeled tax (and for. And many other uK taxes) these aren’t tiny bumps and say that that are the councils and government occassional, these should are regular, wheelbe doing more, but swallowing canyons could there be more that can cause to this? Do these untold damage on people care? There’s the Mini, and even no arguing that uK the MiNi. what the drivers pay more than hell is going on? their fair share in taxes, one way or another, so Doing some errands today i had why don’t these plums to visit my local have some foresight council offices, and to realise that a bad low and behold winter — again where the worst road i councils were illhad come across led staright equipped with road salt to — will lead to more road the council building. Fortunately, damage and hence more repairs and someone had obviously resurfacing? pulled their sure the inconsistent weather thumb out of their ass doesn’t as there was help, but i’ve seen on Tv a massive resurfacing new truck and machines that can fill about six or seven people a pothole in working 20 minutes, a job that on this one 100m stretch would take a of road. i’m manual worker a lot longer. sure it would have taken them at As usual it seems the least all day to fix this beauracrats section, but are willing to take our what about all the odd money and potholes on offer very little in return. Thanks!

YOur views from the digital world


The Trend

chunks from the scene


“We had 40 at the top of our road! I had to drive a mile out of my way to get to the Post Office! They have very roughly filled them now, but they have done it so badly that it’s now like


40 little speed humps ”

Sonia Bowmar-scothern

“Yeah we have a pothole at a mini roundabout about 5-inches deep.”

Marcel Parkinson

“I think they made

Minty’s exhaust fall off!”

Rebekah Louise Johnstone

“I’ve been through three tyres and one wheel in two months and last month my mate’s car had £2000

HOT 3000 miles and the love:mini Mini is still going strong. MiNi Countryman open day at MiNi OXFOrD gives us a good look. Meeting new friends in Australia.

108 The Business

Finding out about Bill Richards Racing.

weather in the uK finally hits 25C. Aluminium billet alloy cylinder heads hit the market. Panic: two days before L2B and the Mini’s damper bolt snaps off. inconsistent weather is playing havoc with our Mini maintenance plans. Not all of us have heat, light and space in our garages, you know.

Bits to buy for your Mini.

Potholes still not filled wrecking out suspension. Queuing for hours up to leave Crystal Palace on L2B.

NOT love:mini

110 GEAR


SOCIAL SCENE 135 Challenge

Just for fun why not see how you do.

NB4X 92

138 After Hours

When you just want to chill out.

140 Noticeboard

Announcements, stolen Minis, crashes and misc.

141 Hottest Mini OwnerS


One MINI you won’t be able to miss.

92 Jack’s back

And threatening to be a real nightmare.

They put their picture up, you just have to vote.

141 Hook-up Zone Love Minis? Single? Meet others like you.


Weird and cool Mini stuff on the internet.


Driving upside down in Australia.

144 Changing Hands

Sell your Mini or Mini stuff for free.


146 Forthcoming Events

Check out the most upcoming events.





136 Get the look


124 Diaries

137 Street spirit

Upgrading MINI door check straps.

WORKSHOP Showing you how it is really done.

Learn about the MINI ONE MkII

Replacing the number plate light housing

by Pete Parmiter

This is a very simple job to do and only requires a screwdriver. At Castle Combe I picked up a silver light housing for my silver Equinox to replace my boring black one. Here’s how I fitted it.



Start by unscrewing the four screws holding the lights in place - two on each light. This will make it easier when removing the housing.


Move in to the boot and unscrew the three screws holding the housing in place. Make sure to hold the old housing with your other hand so it doesn’t drop off, taking the lights with it.

3. 2

Pull away the rubber surround and gently take the lights out, the old housing can now be discarded, the new housing can now be fitted start by reattaching the lights then the screws in the boot. And it should look something like this. There we go, a new light housing fitted in the space of 5 minuets and it looks much better than the old one.





OBJECTIVE Change the numberplate housing on a later Mini. TOOLS Phillips screwdriver Replacement light housing TIME 10 minutes DIFFICULTY 1/10 ALTERNATIVE METHOD N/A

Bleeding the brakes using an Eezibleed kit.

Finding a fault and fixing the problem.

of the MkIII classic Mini Cooper S.

COST About £10 new


Replacing a rear number plate housing.

What people have been up to with their fleets.

You recommendations for best roads to drive.




Reliving the life of the Mini

1963 L

ondon, 1963. The Morris Mini Minor Super DeLuxe (pictured) had not long been in production, (from October 1962), and world peace was on a knife-edge. The threat of nuclear war had just eased with the Cuban Missile Crisis in late 1962, and this was swiftly followed by a prolonged winter in the UK which became known as ‘The Big Freeze’. In March of ‘63 the UK government was advised to severely scale back the country’s railways to reduce mounting losses as cars became more affordable and people moved from using the railways as their daily transport.


Time:warp 1963

Born not long before the Mini was launched, Martin Bell recalls his memories of growing up in the world alongside the Mini.



he recent snowy weather got me thinking back to the really bad winter & snow of 1963 which started on Boxing Day 1962 and lasted until March ‘63 in many places. Back then we still had to go to school each day, staying home and playing out in the snow would have been considered skiving. For a youngster, of course, snow is an adventure and I can remember walking through the deep snow to school in Wellington boots and climbing to the top of tall snow piles at the sides of the roads and driveways that had been cleared. The school playground quickly became an ice palace with one slide stretching almost the length of the playground. The bigger boys would run up and launch themselves on it, hurtling along at high speed and unable to stop for anyone in the way. It would give today’s health & safety conscious school staff a heart attack! Today it seems many schools stop children going out to play in the snow even if they opened — much too dangerous… Many boys used to wear dark woollen SAS-style balaclavas


knitted by their mums to keep out the cold, but I also remember we still had to wear short trousers despite the cold weather! Few luxuries At home few had central heating, very often there would be ice on the inside of my bedroom window when you woke up on a freezing cold morning! There were only two warm rooms in our house; the kitchen, due to heat from the cooker and the coal-fired boiler for heating the water, which had to be lit each morning with a dangerous-looking gas poker by my mum. One of my pocket money jobs was to fetch the buckets of coal needed from the coal bunker out in the back garden. The other warm room was the living room where we mainly watched TV and which had a gas fire. However, if any of us left the door to this room open and let all the expensive heat out into the cold hallway we were in big trouble and

would perhaps be sent to our bedroom, where there was of course no TV or heating apart from maybe a hot water bottle at bedtime! If it got really cold then there was an extra paraffin heater for the hallway which ran on Esso Blue or Pink Paraffin which were always advertised with a catchy tune on TV in the winter months. 1963 is also about when my own early memories of the Mini begin. At this time the Mini was just about the only front wheel drive car available, so even though my dad didn’t like them much, to my delight he borrowed one from his garage and car sales business to get to work in the snow a little easier — as Minis, with the engine weight over the front driven wheels, had much better traction in the snow than most of the rearwheel-drive cars of the time, unless a heavy weight was placed in the boot and snow chains fitted to their wheels. The only 4x4 vehicles then

The Mini had much better traction in the snow than most cars of the time

were Land Rovers and these were mostly owned by farmers and people in the country, so no-one in London or the suburbs really had them, except perhaps as a garage breakdown vehicle or tow truck. The Mini was becoming the most common car on the road then, as UK Mini sales actually peaked with 134,346 sold in 1963, although worldwide sales would not actually peak until nine years later in 1972. Today, it always makes me smile when younger Mini owners think the classic Mini has always been owned by dedicated enthusiasts all waving to each other on the road, when the reality is, it was then just as common as, say, the BMW MINI is now. Mini drivers only really started waving or flashing lights at each other in the late 1980s, when Mini’s started to rapidly decline in number and disappear from our roads as everyday transport and became almost exclusively owned by diehard enthusiasts. SIMPLE FUN Another motoring memory from this time was the I-Spy books for children used to break the monotony of long car journeys. Basically, they were small logbooks where you tried to collect and cross off, for example, car number plates with the different area letter codes. Another book was for collecting sightings of different makes and model of

cars, until you earned 1000 points to send off for a special I-Spy badge. It sounds a bit like trainspotting maybe, but remember some cars, especially foreign models, were far more unique and unfamiliar sights on British roads then. With Minis we would be looking out for the rarer Mini Coopers with their black or white roofs, or a Moke would also be worth more points! 1963 saw the introduction of the first Mini Cooper S (1071cc), with Rauno Aaltonen winning the Touring car cateqory of the Alpine Rally only one month after its


launch. Rallying was much more in the mainstream of the sports news then and Rauno collecting the coveted ‘Coupe Des Alpes’ was the talking point of the event reported on radio and TV news. The Mini was not yet the wellknown giant killer of racing and rallying legend it was soon to become with the later famous Monte victories. Paddy Hopkirk also followed up with a 4th overall in an S on the tough 1963 RAC rally here in Great Britain. Around this time an Almond

Martin Bell I was born a couple of years before the Mini was launched in 1959, so I grew up with it always there in the background. My dad had a garage, car hire, repair and sales business in South London and so was involved with cars but he was not keen on Minis... ’too complex and cramped under the bonnet’ and so he mainly owned more conventional Fords and Vauxhalls. However I had three brothers who all owned modified Minis through the 1960s, ’70s, ’80s and even right up to today. We had Minis of all kinds, modified them and from the 1970s even went racing in Mini Se7en and Special saloons in the days when you could still ask advice from famous Mini tuning aces in the paddock, like Dave Vizard and Chris Tyrell. I joined the Mini Cooper Club (later the MCR) and also Chris Cheal’s National Mini Owners’ Club when they both started in 1979. I went to some of the first Mini show events, like Beaulieu, which only had about 40-50 Minis attend that first year. It was also much easier to win the concours then, much to my surprise I won the modified class at the first National MOC Show at Twycross Zoo, and still have the trophy! Whilst sorting out

some old Mini stuff in my garage recently I found a small green metal souvenir plaque from the ‘Mini 21st Birthday Party at Beaulieu 26th August 1980’. I remember going to this and again entering the concours, as there were very few annual Mini events then. It seemed like quite a small gathering after the Official Austin-Rover Mini 20th Birthday Party celebration held the previous year at Donnington which had been the biggest Mini gathering so far. At the time we all expected Mini production would soon come to an end due to the impending launch of the Austin Metro. I’ve been driving Minis and going to Mini events including all the big birthday party events ever since. Today, I still have one of my classic Minis, which I have had for about 25 years now, and continue to modify it (just about to return it to 10” wheels). I even replaced the bodyshell back when no one cared much about originality. I have a modified 2002 BMW MINI as an everyday driver and recently I have been helping my brother restore a few Minis (currently a very rusty Minivan). He has recently also got back into early classic Minis after having fun driving his 2002 new MINI Cooper S and modding his son’s MINI One!




Green and white Mini Cooper appeared on one of our neighbours’ driveways, but we still couldn’t convince my dad to get one and a new blue Ford Consul Cortina Mk1 soon became our more spacious and practical family transport. In the wider world of events in 1963 I vaguely remember US President John F Kennedy getting assasinated, but this was of more concern to adults, although as kids we were hoping his promise to get a man on the moon by the end of the decade would still happen. I remember being madly interested about anything to do with the space race between the USA and Russia and was excited at the prospect of a manned moon landing happening in the not-toodistant future. The Great Train Robbery


was also a major news story when on 8 August 1963 a mail train was held up at Bridego Railway Bridge, Ledburn in Buckinghanshire by a 15 strong gang of robbers from London, including Ronnie Biggs, and was soon being re-inacted by kids like us in the school playground! The train’s second carriage behind the engine was known as the HVP (High Value Package Coach) where registered mail was sorted and this contained valuables including large quantities of money, registered parcels and packages. Usually the value of these items would have been in the region of £300,000, but because there had been a Bank Holiday weekend in Scotland, the total on the day of the robbery was £2.6 million. (about £40 million today). The

John F. Kennedy

robbers had covered the green signal light and connected a six-volt EverReady battery to power the red signal light. At the bridge the robbers removed about 124 sacks which they transferred quickly from the HVP to a truck by forming a human chain.The bulk of the stolen money in used £1, £5 and £10 notes was never recovered. At the time, it was probably the largest robbery, by value, in British history. Holiday in bognor That summer we went on a seaside holiday to Bognor (few families went abroad then) in yet another of my dad’s Fords - a two-tone painted Mk2 Zodiac. Bognor is only down on the Sussex coast but it seemed miles from London to us, but there were

August 1963 A Royal Mail train is robbed of £2.6m in one of the biggest heists in UK history.


June 1963 Rauno Aaltonen and Tony Ambrose on their way to 1st place on the Coupe des Alpes.

very few stretches of dual carriageway and hardly any motorways (the M1 had only opened in 1959) so most car journeys involved long torturious sections of single carriageway A-roads, often held up in queues of traffic trapped behind slow moving cars and, worst of all, lorries or coaches belching out clouds of foul-smelling diesel fumes slowly trying to climb hills. Also, you had to pass through the traffic bottlenecks that many town centres had become and had yet to be by-passed. A big treat on such trips was to

Ford Zodiac Mk2

be allowed to sit up front in the middle of the front bench seat (no seat belts) and help dad change gear with the steering column mounted gear lever. Sunday was still a much quieter day then, with nearly all shops shut and no outof-town retail parks, DIY stores or garden centres etc. to visit like there is today. I can remember thinking that Sunday was a very boring day as a kid, except for the occasional drive out to the country or day out to some kind of event. A highlight were visits to Sunday club race meetings at Brands Hatch or Lydden in Kent. The meetings drew big crowds most weekends because there were less places open or things for people to do then. The saloon car racing was a favourite,

especially, of course, seeing Minis up against far bigger cars like Jaguars and the occasional big V8 American saloon car. My older teenage brothers were also starting to buy records around this time as my dad had just bought a brand new Phillips Radiogram. It was like a large wooden cabinet piece of furniture on thin legs which contained a radio and, most importantly,

Sunday was a very boring day as a kid


a record player — including a slightly unreliable stacking system for playing several 45rpm singles automaticaly like a jukebox. The volume was soon being turned up by us, and down by dad on the first Beatles album, Please Please Me, which my brother had brought home. I still have




the well worn and scratched vinyl LP in its torn cover. Little did we realise music history was in the making and the Beatles music would still be played today. Our TV then was very small, black and white with only two channels - BBC and ITV. It took a few minutes for the valves inside to warm up when first switched on. The sound came on first followed by the picture a little later. And when you switched it off a small dot of light would stay in the middle of the screen for quite a while after! 1963 was the debut of Dr. Who and my favourite enemy – the Daleks. I remember they became a bit of a craze and even my dad’s newspaper was full of pictures, stories and competitions about them. For my younger brother and I our best Christmas presents that year were battery-operated black plastic Dalek’s with a red flashing light inside. I recently saw one the same still in it’s original box fetch several hundred pounds on eBay! If only we still had them tucked away somewhere...



Highs and lows ON THE BOX Other TV highlights for me in 1963 were the puppet based childrens’ science fiction shows like Gerry Anderson’s Fireball XL5, Stingray (still shown on TV today because it was made in colour for the US), but my favourite of them all was Roberta Leigh’s Space Patrol series, until recently thought lost, but now re-discovered stored on old film reels in an old garage and re-released on DVD and YouTube. They may look a bit primitive now, but we looked forward to the next episode every week and if you missed it - with no way of recording anything - you had to wait months for a repeat. At the cinema the first James Bond film Dr No had recently been followed up by From Russia with Love but it was to be the next one, Goldfinger, which I remember best because I saved up all my pocket money for weeks to buy the gold Corgi Aston Martin DB5 diecast model car complete with a working passenger ejector seat, now also a sought after collector’s item! Unlike my Dalek this has survived and is stored in my loft with several other prized Corgi and Dinky cars, including some Minis!

Of the older generation? We want to hear your stories of growing up with the Mini.

Pictured left to right, from top: Martin Luther King gives his famous ‘I have a dream’ speech, campaigning for racial equality and an end to discrimination; TaB cola is launched as a diet version of Coca-Cola, preceding Diet Coke. TaB cola is still in production; A buddist monk sets fire to himself in protest of the persecution of Buddists in Vietnam by the country’s President, Ngo Dinh Diem. Diem was assissinated just five months later; Ferruccio Lamborghini opens up a new car firm to rival Ferrari; Anti-nuclear marches were common as the Cold War and space race hetted up; Myra Hindley and Ian Brady begin their killing spree of five children abducting Pauline Reade and John Kilbride in 1963; Malaysia is formed by merging the Federation of Malaya, Singapore, North Borneo and Sarawak; Prostitute Christine Keeler helped to bring down the British Government when Secretary of State for War, John Profumo, was discovered having an affair with her. She was also sleeping with a Russian spy. Profumo and later the Prime Minister resigned; A new island is formed when a massive underground volcano erupts. It is named Surtsey; Vostok 6 carries Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman, into space; Disney releases its 18th feature-length animation, The Sword in the Stone; Astro Boy cartoon first airs on Japanese TV; The first X-Men comic is released; Pope Paul VI is elected as the 262nd Pope, succeeding Pope John XXIII; The second James Bond film, From Russia with Love, is released less than six months after the first; Alcatraz Island is closed as a Federal Prison; The first Iron Man comic is released; The increase of car use saw a decline in demand for trains and the demolition of New York’s beautiful Pennsylvania station began, causing international outrage. Madison Square Gardens would eventually be built in its place.




At home with...

s e d o h R n h o J

dy d a P t a h ci ng w a r i n i M a s to w s e d o h R gend. ’ e l y e a k o g m n ‘S i ra l ly i n i M o t wa s Hopk i rk


Words: David Overfield/Mark Gameson Photos: Mark Gameson

n the Mini’s heyday John ‘Smokey’ Rhodes was one of the leading figures on the track. His infamous style of drifting the Mini sideways through corners made a memorable impression on the public and set him up for a host of wins. While Timo, Paddy and Rauno, were making headlines for their winning exploits on the rally stages of Monte Carlo, John was part of a pack of racers setting the pace on the oval circuit. We wheelspan our way to him at his home in the Midlands for a chat. love:mini: John you have had a successful motor-racing career and are well known in the Mini scene, what first got you interested in motor racing? John Rhodes: When I was younger I used to go and watch cars like the Auto Union (now Audi) cars race. In those days spectators could stand on the edge of the track with little more then a few straw bales or a row of tyres between them and the cars. This got me into motor racing and my career had three phases. lm: So this got you interested in motor racing, how did you actually get involved in the sport and what was the first phase of your career?



JR: The first phase started when I joined the Hagley and District Light Car Club, which in those days was the mecca for motorsport. We had people like Ken Wharton and Peter Collins - a whole host of Formula 1 drivers. lm: What car did you have to compete in at the time? JR: I had an Austin Seven Special with a supercharged engine. As you were competing against the very best who had very quick cars you had to constantly raise your game. If you got within half a second, or one second of drivers like Ken Wharton, which I did, you were very pleased with yourself - especially as I used to be my own mechanic. I actually

I changed a complete axle between events once

changed a complete axle between events once, for which I got a very nice award. lm: Did you meet anyone at the club that helped advance your career? JR: I met three brothers, Chris, Julian and Tom, whose family ran a Glassworks in Stourbridge and were obviously very wealthy. They could see I was driving very well and could see I was very good on the spanners. They asked me to go over to Chimay in Belgium. Julian had a Lotus Eleven which they trailered over on the back of a Land Rover and Chris had a Tojerio MG. When we arrived the first thing Julian did was to barrel-roll the Lotus. Chris then hit a well-known Belgium journalist in the MG causing both cars to burst into flames! So we had a mangled heap of a Lotus and the chassis tubes off the MG which we strapped on to the trailer. At that time you were only allowed to take £50 out of the country, and while going through customs a customs officer came up to us and said “excuse me sir, have you done anything to enhance either of these vehicles?” When we got back to the UK Julian said to me that he couldn’t take [the wreck] home as his mum would have a fit, so he gave me the wrecked Lotus which I repaired and put an MG engine in it and used it to compete in. lm: It sounds like the club was a very friendly place despite the rivalry when in the car?



John Rhodes

JR: Yes, it was a friendly place. I was good friends with a few of the guys; David Baker; Richard Attwood and Alan Evans, who was a trainee accountant. We were regulars in the pub and knew the doctor well. One day the doctor asked Alan how he was, Alan said ‘not so good’. So the doctor said; ‘look Alan, you need to do something different - this training to be an accountant is getting above you.’ I knew that John Cooper had got a kit for the MkI Cooper so I mentioned this to Alan - his father was chairman of a big company so he had plenty of money - I said I’ll build the car and we’ll share the racing, which is what we did. We had a lot of success with the car which of course was the start of the Mini Cooper S.

lm: You did well in the single-seater racing, did you continue in this form of racing? JR: Yes, The Midland Racing Partnership was formed and they found me a car which was a Cooper MkII. This was yet another prototype for the Cooper S as the engines kept getting better and better as Eddie Maher was tuning them for John Cooper. I did very well in that car and won a number of events. At the end of the year I attended a wedding. On the way back I was a passenger in a car, along with Alan Evans, who was in the back, and we were being driven by a complete idiot who crashed the car and put me out of action.

An idiot crashed the car and injured me

lm: By now you had obviously started to get noticed. Did you get any support from any influential names in the sport? JR: We had a lot of support for a guy called Eddie Maher who was a top engineer at BMC. He would make something like six different camshafts every month and give them to Ken Tyrrell for the Cooper team cars which I was racing against. I managed to get one of these camshafts and I was beating Tony Maggs and John Love - both drivers for Cooper - at Oulton Park until the steering broke. I never got another camshaft!



lm: What did you do after you had recovered from the accident? JR: I drove every conceivable Formula Junior car apart from the Lotus. Then, Bob Gerard, who was a very good amateur racing driver, got hold of me and asked me if I would like to drive one of his Coopers, which I did, and I went all over the place. lm: You drove in Formula 1 for a time how did you get involved in that? JR: I used to build the Cooper Junior Cars for The Midland Racing Partnership at John Cooper’s workshop in Surbiton and got to know the team manager ‘Ginge’ and all the top people - including John Cooper of

lm: What did your team think of your driving style? JR: The tyres used to reach 125 degrees and Dunlop were terrified every time I went out because of what I put the tyres through - I did have tyres burst on occasion. Although, in four years with the Mini Coopers I don’t think we had a breakdown. There were times when I’d say to Ginge this isn’t quite right and he’d say OK and I’d go away, come back, go out in the car again and say that’s much better and he hadn’t done anything to change it. lm: What was it like driving for the Cooper team? JR: Because Cooper was an F1 team - the McLaren of their day - everything was very well prepared. Ginge would always make sure my car was ready first so I could go out and set my time early and put the car away. If one of the cars got damaged we had another car set up exactly the same, this was a real benefit compared to some of the top guys who had invested all the money into one car. So, although they had faster cars, we were able to push ours to the limit and break them. John Cooper decided to sell the F1 team to Marks and Spencer and went to work with Britax. Ron Dennis used to wash my car when I was at the Cooper works. We used to see lots of famous names like Jack Brabham there too.

course. They were at Silverstone testing their cars with drivers Tony Banks and John Love at the same time as I was. Ginge was there, so I said to him ‘can I have a go in one of your cars’, to which he agreed. This was a great honour as he wouldn’t let anyone other than the team drivers drive his cars, and I was immediately on a par, if not quicker, than both of them. lm: So you were instantly in tune with the car, how did your driving style change with the different type of car? JR: In being as quick as I was my driving style changed and I obtained my driving style that is recognizable today. Going into Copse, the first corner, I shot in and, well, the brakes in those days were only tiny little discs and not very good at all, so I put the car into the corner and let it oversteer and floored the throttle. The car went round the corner in a complete drift and I decided this was the way to drive from then on. For the next four years in the Minis I used that style to help me win the championship with all the other drivers out to beat me. As tyres got better and wheels got bigger I had to drive ‘properly’ as my style would have turned the car over.

lm: So that ended your time at Cooper what did you do next? JR: I went over to British Leyland who at the time were the only people who could afford me. I got the same money as Paddy Hopkirk, which, to me, was quite extraordinary as rallying and racing were two totally different entities. This of course was during the time when Red Robbo (Derek Robinson, Trade Union spokesperson) was in charge of the company and there were strikes all the time. All the work on those red and white cars had to be done on the quiet, because if the union found out, that would have been it. They gave me the chance to race MGBs and Healeys. Peter Browning was a good as gold as a team manager. lm: Did you ever race with the likes of Paddy?



John Rhodes

JR: Yes, we did. In fact, when he gave me a copy of his book he wrote in it ‘John you were always faster then me’ which was nice. lm: What did you do when Leyland closed the competition department? JR: Throughout my racing career I had run my own workshop, although I hadn’t been about much while racing, but I went back to that. lm: Was that the end of you career? JR: No. I had a call from Lord March asking me if I would like to be involved in The Revival Meeting which I have now been attending for the last 10 years, where I have been lucky enough to drive a wide variety of cars including A40s, Riley 1.5s and Lotus Elites. lm: What is like to race at Goodwood? Is it is still the same track as it was when it closed? JR: It’s exactly the same, if you go off there you’re going to hurt yourself. I drove one of the Works cars with injection at last year’s revival to celebrate the Mini’s 50th. It was fantastic to drive something with small wheels again but the tyre adhesion is probably 80% better then it was and to drive a car like I used to physically hurts these day due to the grip? lm: What would you say was the best circuit to race at, Silverstone is obviously where acquired your driving style but is it your favourite track? JR: I never liked Silverstone because it is a speed circuit and when you think we were driving cars that was like a brick going through the air, so we weren’t fast enough, but Woodcote corner was absolute bliss because it was a corner that sorted the men from the boys.



lm: Back when you were competing it was very much a sport, unlike today, have you got any stories from then? JR: Back then no one really had any money and everything was done on a budget. John Cooper was given the bodyshells and tyres. At one time I had a MKII Jag and every two weeks I would go up to Dunlop and they would fit a new set of tyres to it for me because I’d drive like I was on the race track. Everything was given to you - your petrol tank was filled up at every circuit you went to too. lm: Have you had any involvement with the New MINI? JR: Mike Cooper asked me to go to Goodwood and drive the top brass from BMW round the track in his 210bhp MINI Cooper S which I did for four years. My son, Tim, had a MINI Cooper which Mike tuned up for him. It went like a rocket but it was too loud for me. lm: Why did you give up racing? JR: I had a big crash at Brands Hatch in 2006 which has affected my sight and I can no longer drive. I was very lucky as I went in to the tyre wall at about 80mph. The doctors said it was only the fact I was so fit after completing a charity bike ride a few weeks before that I didn’t suffer worse injures.

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Memory Lane Your classic Mini memories from 1959-2000

My first Mini Holly Brown Horsler Here are a couple of piccys of some of my Mini Memories, the piccys aren’t great quality but nevermind you get the idea.



This one is from my 20th This is of me getting Min my very first Mini as an 18th birthday birthday. Having passed my present from my parents. driving test that day, I got some nice new shiny bits for Min as birthday presents.


My 21st birthday cake made by my father-in-law Keith to look just like Min.




This is me just after I had my very first driving lesson in Min.

Bought new Paul Taylor Hi there, just thought I’d send you a pic of My Mini 25. The photo of the 25 was taken on August 1, 1984 - the day I got it. The other Mini (in th ebackground) would have been a neighbour’s. The car originally cost £4200 and it was my daily runner. I sold it back to the dealership in 1988, as I had taken up motor racing and needed the cash for a tow car! According to DVLA, it was last taxed in 1992.

Video history



Mini Memories

Find it at:

Longbridge General office block Demolition Longbridge, Birmingham, UK, was the main factory where the Mini was built thoughout its production. Since the collapse of MG Rover Group, which saw the plant close, the site has

been partially sold off for commercial and residential developments. This video is one in a series showing the bulldozers pulling down buildings, some of which first opened 100 years previous. Informative captions and sentimental music add to the tearjerker factor. Prepare the tissues.




Italian Job 1968-style by George Wright


am, my then fiancee, decided that we ought to go to Italy on holiday. Being but poor students, the only way was to drive, and camp. Easy, when you have a Minivan! So, after a bit of fettling (yellow head lights, GB sticker and such like), I set off from my house in Nottingham, down the old Fosse, to pick up Pam at Yeovil. Then along the south coast - no M25/M27 then - to Dover, where we spent the night. No need to pitch the tent as I had a mattress in the back! Next day, going up the ramp on the ferry, my engine cut out! The old problems with the electric fuel pump were back. Quickly switching the ignition on and off did the trick, and we were soon parked up. After an uneventful crossing we were off into La Belle France, stopping at a



Sharing your tales, new and old.

campsite nears Grays. Now you are probably blissfully unaware of what the sanitary arrangments in France were like nearly 40 years ago, but two bricks, a hole, and no running water once, just begins to describe it! So the next morning we sped off towards the Alps. I had only ever seen the place under feet of snow, it’s so very pictuesque. And we had plenty of time to take in the scenery, as the van boiled up quite a few times on the way up! We camped just over the border into Italy at Aosta, a famous town just over the pass, and still quite high up. We sampled some cheap Chianti, rough enough to take the enamel off your teeth, which taught us not to buy the cheapest again. Down the mountains the next day, and off to Venice, we camped at Mestre - the Newcastle on Tyne of Italy, famous for shipbuilding. The campsite seemed to be in a shipyard from the noise, and the mosquitos were like bats. We

awoke the next day bitten to death, and headed into Venice itself. A coffee just off the Piazza da Roma convinced me that if we wanted to have enough money for the petrol home, this was not the place to be! So off we shot, down the Adriatic Coast to just south of Ravena, to a pleasant campsite on the beach. To this day, Pam reckons she is the only person in the world to go to Venice, and not see St. Mark’s Square or the Rialto Bridge! We set up camp and by this time the fuel pump was becoming a bore. So off we walked, fuel pump in hand, to a garage some four miles away, along a hot and dusty road amid the mad Italian drivers. I paid the owner an extortionate amount of money when I collected the ‘repaired’ pump, and we settled down to a great time by the beach, watching the Germans organise

their families to do all the chores, and then go out and catch the chocolate bars dropped by small parachutes from planes flying along the beach. The time had come to pack up and go, and we had an uneventful journey back to Dover, apart from the rapid ignition switching every time the engine cut out! We were sat eating our lunch before sailing, when I happened to look at our tickets, that didn’t say 3.30pm, but 13.30, which was in 20 minutes time. We chucked everything in the van, and roared through Calais,


Do you use your Mini every day?

Mini Story

by Karen Davey

getting there just in time. And true to form, the fuel pump did its bit on the ramp, and we struggled to get on board. Back at Dover, we declared our Chianti (mid-price this time), only to be told we were only allowed half a litre each, not the litre and a half we had both bought. We must have both looked devastated, and poor, as we were waved through anyway. Back to Yeovil, I dropped Pam off with her parents and I headed up to the Midlands again, the fuel pump packing up seven times on the last part of the journey. A great holiday!


i, I am now happily using my Mini as my everyday car. Generally our relationship is very good but for one small problem! Ever since the engine was rebuilt it has been burning oil and try as I might I cannot stop the fumes entering the car. Opening the windows is a big mistake - because as all classic Mini owners know they have a tendency to steam up inside! What to do? Peer through the bit of the windscreen you can keep

clear with your demist pad or brave the fumes, open the window and get well and truly gassed. Tricky question - my husband now refuses to travel any distance in my car and threatens to jump out if I dare open the window. Only one solution left now - yes the engine is coming out - I will have a temporary 1000cc’s of snarling death instead of the 1293 I am used to, what a shock that will be, especially uphill! I need new valve guides and to have the piston rings checked, so no quick fix for me. If you see a Mini clubman 1275 GT in black pottering along at a very sedate speed it will be me pretending I am not in any hurry! Minis eh? Don’t you just love them?

Soap opera racing drama by Dave Hale


or some time now we have been advertising an ‘Arrive and drive’ package on our spare Mighty Mini. We have had a few tentative enquires and one rental. Most enquiries quickly turned down due to uncertainties on driving capabilities, drilled into me by my mum, who always said to me ‘be careful who you lend your toys to!’ Now imagine our surprise when we see an article in the Daily Mail by Tina Hobley saying she wants to race a Mini, and the same week a chap called and asked about rental. The caller turned out to be Oli Wheeler, Tina’s husband! Unfortunately the BBC had banned Tina from racing so Oli got the drive. Oli has been racing for some time, mainly in Caterhams and lots of karting - karting with the best, Jenson Button! But he fancied a real challenge, one where the driver wins and not the most expensive car hence his choice, Mighty Minis. 2009 was Oli’s 40th birthday, hence his race number 40! Oli’s chosen race was the 2009 season finale at

Silverstone. The race day came quickly and luckily qualifying passed by incident-free for the classic-mini team, thus leaving us time to enjoy some racing and meet Tina and the family. Our race was mid-afternoon, and we were all hoping it would stay dry. Fortunately it did, however the race didn’t quite go to plan. Oli had a great start moving up from 13th up to 7th in one lap. Unfortunately his race ended early. Whilst challenging for more positions he was tapped into a spin which ended his race with a very unlucky front impact. Oli is not disheartened from his Mini experience and says he wants to race for four rounds in future! Our classic-mini team (Caroline and David) should be racing at all the events this year - sponsorship permitting - as our main team sponsor CRS Risk has decided to leave us after five great years.



Social life


Club Profile:

Manchester Minis

A social club for Mini enthusiasts, with weekly meets and fun for everyone. Submitted by Marie James


anchester Minis is in it’s 12th year and still going strong, with new members joining every month. We have over 100 active members and these spread from Cornwall to Leeds, not just Manchester. We are more than just a Mini club that meets once a month, we are more of a social club, and we meet every week on a Wednesday at the Cheshire Line Tavern, Cheadle. Most discussions are not Mini-related, but of course we do have the usual Mini chats, but just about anything passes as conversation. And we have quite a few technically and mechanicallyminded people, so that helps with any Mini or non-Mini related problems. We have an



online forum that anyone can join and there are sections on there for mechanical help, as well as all the all important upcoming events, and a general chit chat section. At the Cheshire Line Tavern where we meet, I often organise quiz and raffle nights for everyone (I’m the Events Organiser, so everyone kind of looks to me for things to do, but occasionally we get some nice fellows who arrange their own entertainment so I get to just join in and take a step back). All the proceeds go to the club funds which buys things like flyers, gazebos, banners, website

Social life FEATURE

My Club

renewals etc. We also do autotest nights once a year at the pub we meet at, which always brings a good turnout of people as it’s great to watch. As well as attending all the main Mini events, we also organise a few of our own club runs, which are generally just to a chippy or a pub, but we try and stick to the A and B-roads as they are more fun! We also meet up for curry nights, or just a drive out when the weather is good. We attend many Mini shows throughout the year and often have a club stand to display all our lovely shiny polished Minis. We do a lot of camping!! In 2009 we went to Tatton Park Classic Car Show and we won 8th place out of 81 entries for Best Club Stand. We currently have a few Minis off the road being restored, I’m sure they’d like to keep you informed of what progress they are making, most of the info can be found on our forum where they post pictures of where they are up to, in the ‘Mini Projects’ section. Paul Howes and Richard King are just two of the many who are currently restoring a Mini or two. I personally have recently had my Mini restored by my partner (Paul Howes) who is a mechanic

and classic car specialist. After he spent nine gruelling months working on my beloved car, I got it back on the road in December 2008 and three weeks later a lady drove into the back of me at a set of traffic lights. Devastated wasn’t the word, but it’s the polite version. Thankfully it was quickly sorted out and I got it back at the end of January 2009 and it still looks fantastic. We’ve also had two Mini club weddings. One of which wanted as many Minis as possible to come. So a bunch of us came with our Minis and drove the bride and bridesmaids to the wedding venue. It really made her day and made it that bit more personal. We also go away as a club once a year, Angelsey weekends, Snowdonia weekends, all of which can be found on our website We are a very active club and always welcome new members. You don’t have to own a Mini, but if you are an enthusiast , ex-Mini owner, or your just into cars, you’ll enjoy an evening with us. The Mini scene is just the best place to be.

The_ a_ and_ b_ roads are _ more_fun



Club FactFIle


Social life

Manchester Minis



Formed 1998

o p q r s t u v

Meeting place Cheshire Line Tavern, Manchester Road, Cheadle, SK8 2NZ Contact details Club President Dave Vincent Events Organiser Marie James

Areas covered We have members from Wigan,

Why should people join your club? We are friendly Mini enthusiasts and welcome anyone with an interest in the classic Mini, (MINI owners also welcome). We do lots of major shows run by British Mini Club, as well as other local events such as Northern Minis Moorland and Coastal Mini Adventure, and also weekend camping rallies and watching racing, and going to classic car shows (not just Minis). We enjoy socialising and meeting new like-minded people, and there is always someone technical at hand to help with any car-related issues. We also try and hold raffle and quiz nights at the club, and do an annual autotest in the car park which always attracts a lot of attention.

w x y z

0-9 28


Altrincham, Ashton-underLyne, Leeds, Stockport, Cheadle, Bredbury, Manchester, Edgeley (all the Manchester and south Manchester areas really). Members Over 150 members, about 50 active members. Activities Car rallies, shows, camping events, charity events, chippy runs, autotest nights, raffle and quiz nights, social get-togethers. We meet weekly, not monthly as many other clubs do, so it’s more of a social gathering.

Membership fee £10 a year. Membership entitles you to discount at Moss Europe in Cheadle and usually gets you cheaper car insurance, when you are a member of a club. cars of interest Too many to list really. We have too many gorgeous Minis, it

wouldn’t be fair to point out any one. Project cars So many projects are on the go all the time, but Chris Jackman has a Clubman Estate project, Paul Howes has a couple of projects, one on his Mayfair Mini, a complete overhaul, and one on a Minivan, finishing off where the last owner left off. most desired club car? I think my Mini always gets a lot of attention. People say they love the colour and would have my car anyday. It’s a 1971, Teal Blue Mini 850 (converted to 1293 engine), with tinted windows. Restored in 2008. most popular paint colour? It seems to be blue. We have a lot of different shades of blue Minis. motorsport competitors?

We all like to take part in the quarter-mile dragstrip at Shakespeare County Raceway, and also Santa Pod. We used to have a member who raced his Mini, but he sadly moved away. in a band? No one the most? It’s a close call between Byrney and Richard King and Paul Howes. the oldest? Well the oldest roadworthy and running Mini would be mine, 1971, but I think for the oldest Mini I would probably say Paul Howes and his Minivan which I think is 1969. Tell us about some of your adventures together, the ups and downs, the banter, the breakdowns and fun times. So much to tell, the majority of events we do are on the website with links to pictures (not many write-ups for the recent ones) But in the past we did a tower to tower run, Blackpool tower to the Eiffel tower. That was a great adventure. We also did the International Mini Meet to Denmark, another great adventure, although we did have a Mini breakdown on the way back, and we had to leave him in Germany as we had a ferry to catch. His head gasket had gone and he barely got onto the ferry the next day. Our Moorland and Coastal Adventures are the best. So many stories can be told about the weekend’s antics it would take me all day to sit and write it. But let’s just say, we always get remembered when we go to the event, as we always have so much fun and join in as much

as we can. It’s become one of the events that is always in the diary and not to be missed. We all do get along so well, it’s just such a great club to be in. One other memberable bit of info is when we went on a night out for one of the member’s birthdays, we went to a curry house on the Curry Mile in Rusholme, and he was running late (the birthday boy, Tony

Barnes). We had all ordered drinks by then, and as he came in, we were ordering our starters. The waiter came over and asked him if he would like any starters, and his reply was “Yes please, 2 Cobras” we all riled with laughter. He didn’t hear that he had said starter and not drink. But it’s something that has stuck and it’s a running joke.

WHO’s WHO? Who’s the Chief? I (Marie James) get called “Manchester Minis’ big sister” Who’s the Techie? Various people have knowledge of many Mini technical issues Who’s the Computer boffin? Christopher Jackman and Richard King jointly Who’s the Anorak? That would definitely be Edward Lowick (moved to Leeds, but still a member and comes to events with us still) Who’s the Boy Racer? Paul Howes Who’s the Wise Owl? Club president, Dave Vincent Who breaks down the most? Not had any breakdowns for a while, the last was Robert Gough, when his clutch gave up Who is the one who always runs on empty? Tony Barnes (and his petrol guzzler) Who is the prettiest? Oooh tough one, we are all gorgeous! Who is the oldest? Dave Vincent Who is the most musical? Robert Price


My Club

Who is the cheekiest? Robert Price Who is the most likely to have road rage? Paul Howes Who is the most likely carry lots of spares? Christopher Jackman



Mini run

Moonraker Run Moles Mini Club event serves up fun, fancy dress and historical run Words and photos Rob & Jessica Ware



DATE April 24-25, 2010

Location Seend, Wiltshire

LENGTH Around 50 miles

Website www.moles



his year’s Moonraker Run demonstrates again how great the weather can be in April and how generous Mini enthusiasts are for charity. The weekend started on the Saturday afternoon with a tricky treasure hunt around Devizes, with clues leading us all over this pretty historic town, starting at Wadworth’s (the local brewery) Visitor Centre. It was then back to camp to get into fancy dress costumes and enjoy a BBQ and quiz. Never had we seen so many famous people in the field behind the Three Magpies public house as Billy Connelly, Freddie Mercury, Penelope Pitstop, Clint Eastwood, Matt Smith, Britney Spears and many more attended. (Of course these were our fancy dress costumes!). Our thanks to Jurassic Coast Minis who, somehow, ended up in charge of the cooking and the food was great. The charity raffle was a success with prizes donated from New Mini Day,

Wadworth’s Brewery, Devizes Motor Panels, WH Smiths and others. Sunday dawned bright, and after a hearty breakfast in the pub Minis from all over started to arrive. It was great to see such a mix of modern and classic Minis all in one place enjoying the same thing and loving Minis for what they are, great cars. This year’s run took us through Market Lavington, Pewsey, Alton Barnes, Calne, Bromham and loads more towns and villages. Driving through these was amazing, but Lacock was the pinnacle as all the tourists were waving and taking pictures as we went through. This was a brilliant weekend raising just under £400 for Dorothy House Hospice Care. Moles Mini Club would like to thank everyone who attended for supporting this great cause and especially Wadworth’s for their sponsorship and the Three Magpies’ landlord who again generously donated all the camping fees. There will be another run

next year, about the same time, so why not come and join in the fun. Watch the diary dates for details.


Autosport International Not really a show for Mini lovers of any kind, but they were there to be found.


ick Swift’ gorgeous St Mary’s Trophy-winning S was on the Kent Cams stand in all its glory. Nick had great pleasure in telling me that the Historic Masters Series is this year going to include a series just for pre-1966 race-prepared Minis Historic FIA Appendix K in both over and under 1000cc classes. Just like the good old days, when I was young and club racing and rallying was a hobby! The Dunlop stand was probably the biggest stand, with its famous Dunlop Cafe, Colin Turkington’s rapid BMW, a DTM car, plus the new R56 JCW Class car for this year’s MINI Challenge. Basically an R56 Cooper S with all the racing bits that are used abroad for the European JCW Challenge, using KW Suspension, six-piston brake callipers and 17” Dunlop slicks as well as a welded-in full rollcage. It certainly looks the part, but on the Saturday there

was no one from the MINI Challenge series to be seen! So no one could even enquire about test drives or costs. There were a few other Minis around, grasstrack Minis and Autocross Minis. Chris Dugan had a great display of picture cards illustrating 33 EJB (‘64 Monte Winning 1071 S), a 1964 Mini Cooper S in Surf Blue and a Cooper Car Co. racer of 1964 vintage. These cards are beautifully presented and well priced at £2-3 each, Chris can be reached on chris@ 02392 479467. The show itself was massive, anyone who had the slightest interest in motor racing would have found something of interest, £29 to get in plus £8 to park the Mini! But it was a full day. The Live Action Arena featured an hour long show with cars of all types, including some grasstrack Minis with two motorbike engines, beating

Words and photos David Young

the Autocross teams! The star of the show was the real Stig (Stig Bloemvist) in an original Audi Quattro racing round the arena on full opposite lock. The two main showhalls by mid-afternoon were packed, it took ages to get from one stand to another, people were looking at scantilyclad girls and having their pictures taken with them. I never understood why they have to have girls posing at car shows, but it does attract the boys so perhaps I have answered my own question. A number of stalls also had free hats and stickers as well as lots of simulators to try your luck on. This show, in its 20th year, is about the racing community getting together in the rainy season to show its wares off to the punters, the rest of the year they are too occupied with racing. It does that very well. I will certainly be going next year, athough I would advise on getting in early and leaving early!


Next event JANUARY 13-16, 2011

DATE January 15-16, 2010

Location Birmingham NEC, UK





Mini run

London to Brighton Sun, rain, camping and queues - it must be London to Brighton Words and photos Craig McBeth


DATE May 15-16, 2010

Location Crystal Palace, London, UK Brighton, UK

LENGTH 48 miles




ike many enthusiasts gearing up for LSMOC’s 25th London to Brighton, we ended up having a bit of a mad panic a few days before to ensure we could go. My mate, Pete, who had already bought a ticket for the run had been involved in an accident just a week before the event. A lorry had failed to spot him and tried to crush him as it moved into his lane. Thankfully he was fine, but the Mini was not. This was good news for me, as it meant that we would likely be taking my Mini, who had only been on the road a couple

of months and hadn’t been to a Mini show yet - let alone a journey of this scale. With a few days before setting off, and as usual before a long journey, I checked the Mini over. It was here that I discovered the bolt that attaches to the driver’s side top suspension arm and lower part of the damper had snapped clean off, leaving the damper flapping about. That can’t be good, I thought. I wasn’t too worried because I had another top arm in the garage, but, after consultation, the collective on Facebook suggested I should try and

just knock the old bolt out. OK, so I gave it a go - three hours of lube, drifts, a drill and a neighbour’s complaint later and I gave up. It wasn’t budging, even the drill had hardly made an impact. As it turned Friday - the day before we set off - I was starting to get a little bit worried. It took less than an hour to get the top arm off the car, but this meant I had to find somewhere within walking distance to see if they could get the bolt out. I took both top arms to Chippenham Vehicle Services who spent an hour with the blowtorch and

bench press trying to get the bolts out - to no avail. By this time it was 5pm on Friday and things were looking bleak. I called up some Mini friends to see if there were any second-hand spares that I could buy after Somerford Mini quoted me something astronomical. My regular life-saver, and the man who superbly welded up my Mini, came to the rescue, digging one out of his garage spares. Within an hour the new arm was on and the Mini was ready to roll. Pete arrived at mine at about 1pm on Saturday and we set off at about 2pm. I’d spent the morning loosely wiring in a stereo so we could have some tunes, but hadn’t secured the head unit. As we hit the M4 Pete found some

brown tape and stuck it down before going on to relieve his boredom by creating a dashboard from brown tape and masking tape. How very creative! Reaching decent speeds, vision became increasingly obscured as a number of bugs impacting the windscreen. As we entered central London we had to keep our wits about us with the busy traffic and masses of football fans who were out for FA Cup Final day, passing right through Chelsea along the way.

Mighty morphin’

Above and below: Matt black stealth turbo clubby. Nice.

Royal entrance

Arriving at Crystal Palace, where the run would start, we were directed to the bottom field. We parked up next to a group of girls and began to



Officially registration didn’t open until 5.30am, but people were queueing way before that. This photo was taken at about 7.30am, with many calling for registration to open on Saturday to prevent such queues.

set up camp. I’d bought a new fourman Lichfield tent from Argos and was hoping that it would at least stop condensation forming overnight - it didn’t. Pete and I pitched up the tent behind the car and left a wide berth between our tent and the girls’, as I didn’t want them to hear me snoring! Just a few minutes later, some fellow friends from Chippenham, Jas and Kayleigh, parked up behind us, which was nice. They’d come with some friends of their Mini Hoff Club, named in tribute to Hasselhoff. After a quick look around the venue we headed into town for beer and food. As we left the park we

bumped into the latest craze that the South Central Mini Club has adopted - fully body lycra suits, or, the Morphs. Drawing attention from Mini folk and locals the team were reveling in the limelight. The big screen was up and already showing films while people chilled out in the early evening sun, and a red Routemaster returned from ferrying early campers to London. After weighing up the fast food options in town we opted for Domino’s any size takeout option for a tenner. and split the toppings on half the pizza to our own preference. The evening parties of previous

The evening parties of previous years seemed to have been dampened down

Pete had wiped the sleep out of his eyes quicker than me on Sunday morning noticing this very cool W&P Mini with speakers in the headrest.



SmallCarBIGcity team.

Pete only received a few evil glares whilst driving my Mini after crunching into first gear.

As we headed south it was inevitable we would catch up with some others who had left early. Other traffic was minimal as we passed through Croydon. As we arrived on Madiera Drive at around 9.15am, we managed to get a prime spot not far from the traders.

No. of MINIS 1000s Weather Bright location Brighton seafront Cost £30 or free Highlight Camping and atmosphere at Crystal Palace Next event May, 2011

years seemed to have been dampened down, although a group of French campers no doubt used the language barrier as an excuse to celebrate someone’s birthday rather loudly! On our late night travels we also found a stupendously drunk Craig Jarrett almost passed out and facing the wrath of a fellow Mini owner by encouraging people to write ‘gay’ comments on the car. Needless to say, the owner didn’t fancy driving through Brighton with such comments, and set about scrubbing it off. We also came across one lad, the owner of the police van, who didn’t seem too happy about spending the night with two girls in a one-man tent! While the highlight for Pete was finding someone watching Lost via projector on the inside of their tent. Turning in at midnight, we anticipated a good few hours sleep before everyone woke at the prescribed 6am start. 3am we were awoken to engines starting and cars being moved into position. The night had turned rather cold and Pete decided to try and squeeze his 6ft 4in frame into the Mini for some sleep, while I perservered in the tent until 4.30am. One of the main complaints about any L2B I’ve been to has always been the queue getting out of Crystal Palace - with some runners not leaving until 12pm. I was mindful of this and wasn’t too keen to be stuck. As more people woke up, I started walking around chatting to people. At around 6am I saw a club make a break for it en-masse through the bottom gate to park outside the park gates and avoid



the queue. I ran to the Mini and followed suit, while Pete headed for the line for the run pack. At around 8am I met up with Pete again who had just got his pack, and looking over his shoulder could see the line snaking off into the distance.

Once most of the Minis had arrived - at about midday - the crowds soon picked up.

Beat the rush

I’d already decided to let Pete drive the Mini down to Brighton - after all he had bought the ticket for us - and after some careful words about some of the Mini’s foibles we set off ahead of the pack. We soon caught up with some others who had left early and convoyed through Croydon on to the A23/M23. Once on the motorway, we blitzed past most other motors and arrived at Brighton at about 9.15am. The weather throughout the day was a bit changable, but stayed fair for most of the day. As usual there were some Minis making their debut after an overhaul, and a plentiful selection of concours cars and dolled up club stands. Autotesting was on display to wow the punters, but it was Paddy Hopkirk, in attendance again, who drew the biggest crowd. Despite a mild panic when a child went missing for 15 minutes, the day was without incident. Catching



Rick Wyard’s cool rusty rat-look Mini.

Some Minis arrived any way they could.

Hardly any of the MINIs in concours were standard.

Anyone reported two loonies missing?

“I pull on this wire...”


Pirates of Bournemouth.

Stimson Safari Six

our eye was a Stimson Safari Six and Holly Brown-Horsler’s newly-styled Traveller amongst others. As the day came to a close we set off back to Chippenham through the back roads to Petersfield, Andover and Devizes, where, after a long, tiring day, I wasn’t prepared to sit in Sunday evening traffic. Pete said my overtaking was a little ‘ambitious’, but I swear I had loads of space before the Land Rover reached us! After a 270 mile round trip, we made it back and the Mini had proved itself up to the endurance test. What’s next?



No. of MINIS 100s Weather Bright location A farm just outside Bristol Cost £7 per car Highlight Club challenges and new venue. Next event June, 2011


Bristol Mini Day New venue hits the spot.



DATE June 6, 2010

Location Washingpool Farm, Easter Compton, Bristol, UK

Website www. bristolminiday.



he Bristol Mini Show has been somewhat of a lost soul in recent years, not having a place to really call its home. After a successful spell at Bath Racecourse in 2007, the event moved to Puxton Park, not far from WestonSuper-Mare, but neither felt like the right place for the Bristol show. In contrast, this year’s venue was brilliant. Situated just a mile from the Cribbs Causeway junction off the M5 in Easter Compton, the rural location had a familiar Mini show feel to it - and none of the soulessness of Puxton Park. With both grass and hardstanding available and

Words and photos Craig McBeth a field that didn’t overwhelm the show, it ticked all the boxes required for a Bristolbased show. Perhaps now it has finally found a place it can settle into. I was a little dubious about the decision to host the concours cars on a large gravelly surface, given the chance of stonechips, but that was only a minor issue in what was otherwise a great local show. Organisers had made efforts to include more club activities, with a big tent hosting its very own World Cup challenges. Traders were plentiful, as were the club cars and club stands. There was even the opportunity for

teenagers to try their hand at some autograss in the back field in an effort to encourage newcomers to the sport. The weather had its ups and downs, but by the end of the day a red neck and face gave a positive weather review. Long distance travellers, Torbay Mini Club, found room for my Mini on their stand and generally attendance seemed to be up on previous years - perhaps the more clement weather had a hand in that. Rounding up the day was a sackful of trophy presentations with perrenial winner Sandra Britton taking three trophies for Best MkI/MkII, Best engine

Spam, spam, spam spam


Fairground fun for the kids. Hopping with big balls between your legs, penalty shootouts and ball and spoon races were just some of the World Cup themed challenges.

bay, and Car of the Show. while Somerset MOC took the club games award and Paul Lewis won the Best MINI in show. As I left for home the roads were refeshingly clear and there were no queues to exit the showground. Driving back through the village some locals had even come out to give the Minis a wave and cheer, and courteously I responded in kind, giving them a pip of the Mini’s horn. Hopefully the show will remain at this venue, and if it does it can go on to become even bigger and better.

The very accomodating stand of the Torbay Mini Club - with some scruffy silver Mini (mine) taking a prime spot!

Heading to the Au

tograss trials.



Showtime Oldest Estate

The World Cup just got a whole lot more interesting!

Vauxhall Ecotec

Gerry Taylor was proudly showing off his Farina Grey Estate - officially the oldest known surviving Austin Seven Countryman. There were plenty of people interested in talking to Gerry, and it’s not surprising - having owned it since 1977, he has plenty of tales to tell!

Hi Craig, remember me? Nope.

Something my Mini can only dream of winning. John Deere Scamp looks wicked!

Wheely cool Driving with an Alsatian in the car must have been... err... tricky! Bristol Mod Scooter Club turned up.



My favourite find of the day was this Elswick Envoy. Created as a vehicle for wheelchair users, it’s based around Mini mechanicals and an auto engine. Owner Neil Bayliss is having lots of fun with his new purchase, having just driven back from the IMM in Germany! The spaceage, stealth-like angles just scream of retro cool.


Natalie Curtis won best car on a clubstand.

Mongol Mad

Every year there seems to be a team taking part in the Mongol Rally in a Mini - and this year it’s South Devon Mini Club favourite, James Cornner and his mate. Attempting to drive from the UK over 8000 miles to Mongolia, the pair will travel though many ‘dodgy’ countries, whilst raising money for charity. The Clubman Estate seems a decent choice, but not so sure how practical that banner will be!

Super Nova

Dean Collier’s Mini is home to something a little bit different, with a Nova GSi transplant, a bulging bonnet and snake vivarium vents.

Gareth Beech’s newly finished two-tone cabrio stood out with its Yamaha Brilliant Red centre stripe.




National Mini Cooper Day A Mini history lesson.

Words and photos Craig McBeth


DATE June 13, 2010

Location National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, Hants, UK

Website www.



here’s something about the National Mini Cooper Day at Beaulieu that sets it apart from the other shows of the season. It could be that it’s almost like a Goodwood Revival for Minis, where the oldest and most fascinating cars turn up. Or it could be that it caters for all tastes without even trying to, with MINI clubs now pitching up stands alongside classic clubs. When celebrities and Mini legends decide to make an appearance, this is their Mini show of choice. Despite being christened the ‘Cooper’ day, the appeal is more than just these nippy Minis. The location at the National Motor Museum in the New Forest, not far from the coast, has been blazingly hot every time I have been for the past four years; and the

quaint village, rural location and museum grounds are a beautifully picturesque setting for some gleaming Minis. Cooper owners do get privileged parking at the front of the car displays, and when you see so many lined up next to each other it really feels like a family reunion (and not just because I have a Cooper). Of course those with Coopers of historic interest get bumped up further in front, and every year there seems to be at least one battered Mini sat beside a lovingly restored rally hero. Amongst those heroes was TV chef, James Martin’s 1962 ex-Works Cooper S – 8 EMO. He bought it in 2009 for £67,500 (£13k under the guide price!), but wasn’t afraid to give it some beans as he tore up the grass in an enthusiastic display for

Checking detail judges

every last before the come round.

standard over-priced food vans offered up the usual grub. However, the museum restaurant was a refreshingly cool atmosphere and great for some respite from the sun. Prices were higher, looking at around £7-8 for fish and chips, but the difference in the quality of food was evident. I played it smart and got a bowl of chips and a coke for about £3.50. The museum is another area that is open to showgoers during the day, housing a few Minis, and other classic cars of interest. Another year, another excellent show at Beaulieu. This was the first Cooper Day I’d attended in my Cooper, so it was a little bit extra special for us both, and again it was great to meet up and make so many friends, new and old.

TV chef James Martin showing off in his rather expensive historic rally Mini.

the crowd. Over the loudspeakers, compere Graham Robinson kept visitors informed of the arena show times as they walked around the site, while also taking time to talk to other Mini historians. From

the arena club stands lined-up along the edge of the grounds while wave after wave of cars filled the space inbetween. Traders were arranged, mostly in the shade, providing mild cover to those slow browsing the goods on offer, while the

The day included Bournemouth Mini Club’s annual birthday celebrations.




Single-minded Broadspeed Drawing plenty of admiring glances throughout the day was Chris Wooden’s Broadspeed GT. Chris has a few Broadspeed GTs, but this particular car was the first of just 21 built and was also the personal transport for the designer’s wife - Mrs Broad.



The MCR set aside space for dedicated MINI parking too.

So many Minis, so much to see and so little time.

Historians. In a world of their own.

Taking the mic Regaling the punters with historical tales was Graham Robinson (right) and John Parnell (left). The historians talked about the myths of Minis and many of the great men and women behind it.



Mini run

The Royal Agricultural College was a beautiful starting location.

Minis for Heroes A simple idea that quickly became a phenomenon. Words and photos Craig McBeth


DATE July 11, 2010

Location Cirencester, Glos., UK

LENGTH 43 miles




ow many Facebook invites do you get each week to random meets and runs organised by Joe Bloggs from miles away? This is how the Minis for Heroes run started out, and, at first, it was anyone’s guess how successful/popular it would be, and whether it would even go ahead if there wasn’t an interest. But anything that aims to raise money for the Help the Heroes charity, as well as offer the opportunity to pass through the hallway of repatriated soldiers – Wootton Bassett – is bound to pull on heartstrings and draw some attention. And so, as the Facebook group swelled, the wheels behind the scene were set in motion to ensure it could

be pulled off smoothly. Gerry Watkins is the man who takes the credit for the idea and organisation, and as some of you may have seen in the news, these Facebookorganised events don’t always go as planned. With Wootton Bassett a stone’s throw away from me, it would have been rude not to turn up and stretch the Mini’s wheels on a hot summery Sunday. I didn’t know quite what to expect as I approached the starting location at the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester, and typical me, I drove up the wrong road to the start line instead of joining the queue from the back – sorry about that. Funnily enough though, as

I approached I could see no more than six or seven Minis, and for a moment I thought could it have flopped? Unbeknown to me at the time, hiding around the corner was a car park full of over 200 Minis waiting for the word go. Around 40 of whom had camped the night before at the local pub, and with nothing but praise for the hospitality. Departing from the front of the grand Grade II listed building, famous for spawning graduates such as Jonathan Dimbleby, a band of bagpipers played us out, as the motorcycle marshals held up traffic and led the way. After a quick U-turn round the roundabout we headed towards Wootton Bassett via Kemble and Crudwell before a

Stopping at Wootton Bassett to lay a wreath at the memorial.

Supporting their loved ones in action.

beautiful Wiltshire B-road past Cleverton and Brinkworth. As the Minis swarmed into Wootton marshals were powerless to stop local traffic mingling with the Minis. Gerry had little time to stop at the war memorial on the high street and lay down the Mini-shaped wreath in tribute to Britain’s fallen soldiers. Each of the hundreds of Minis filed past the memorial individually taking a moment to pay their own personal respects. Some Mini owners had come because they had a loved one serving in the forces, or had known someone who had been injured in conflict, while others just came to support the cause and enjoy a day out driving. The convoy then headed to Lyneham, a few miles away, where the RAF aircraft actually return with the soldiers. Passing the airfields we were directed down through Calne and Chippenham, where many cars got lost thanks to the traffic lights, finishing up at Castle Combe racing circuit which had kindly agreed to host the after-run meet and raffle.

Once the stragglers had finally turned up Gerry could get on with the raffle and make some serious money for charity. All in all, over £4,414.11 was made and over 223 Minis turned up and there was little room for criticism for the whole event – it was really well organised and exceeded all expectations. The marshalling was excellent, the facilities for camping, the involvement of the college and their willingness to help contribute further in future events, the route, the

Castle Combe circuit kindly provided an end point to the run to allow for fundraising.

end point at Castle Combe with food vans and a few autojumblers was all spot on. This is what a Mini run should be about. We had around two hours of driving on some lovely A and Broads. The weather was fine and whole event flowed like a dream. I, and I know many others, will be looking forward to this one next year.






Words Peter Scherer Photos


Allen and Caudle in the final battle for the title

Going down to the wire for the class champions.


ee Allen’s dominance of the S Class this year was finally confirmed at Thruxton, when another triple class win crowned him overall champion. For Luke Caudle there was disappointment, another two wins out of three, but a few points lacking to retain his overall title from 2009. Although Caudle had pole for the opening race, Knox nosed ahead into Campbell on the opening lap, but lost out again as they braked for the chicane. Following his podium finish at Brands Hatch, Chris Smith made it a three car break, with all three having a spell in front. Knox led up Woodham Hill for the second time, but outbraked himself at the chicane and saw both Caudle and Smith go by. A lap later Smith had edge at the chicane, before it became a two way scrap as Knox struggled to



stay in touch. After a number of exchanges Caudle managed to retain his slight advantage from lap 10 and took victory by 0.376secs. “I had never led a race before, but managed to keep cool. Luke pushed me hard, but there was only slight contact. It’s my best finish but I just couldn’t match Luke under braking at the chicane,” said Smith. “That was one of the hardest races I have ever had, but knew second would be enough for the class title. I still wanted to win though, but he was better than me every lap through Church,” Caudle replied. Knox retained a solitary third, “I got my usual good start and led, but then struggled for straightline speed. Once the club Class cars got between us I lost the tow and couldn’t


MINI CHALLENGE LEADERBOARD Final Standings Rank Driver Total 1 Lee Allen 397

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12= 12= 14 15

Luke Caudle 393 David Ogden 345 Chris Knox 328 Kevin O’Connor 318 Justina Williams 317 Lee Sullivan 284 Sam Osborne 283 Chris Smith 259 Craig Freeman 233 Jason Richardson 222 Sarah Parsons 202 Chris James 202 Dean Raymond 162 Gavin Bristow 143

catch up again,” he explained. Jason Richardson had run strongly in fourth after taking the returning Andrew Bailey on the second lap, but had a clash with a Club Class car at the chicane. “The top three had gone and then the other car turned on me. It damaged the steering and down the side,” he explained after retiring to the pits. Gavin Bristow had made his way by Bailey and retained a solitary fourth after Richardson’s demise, “a bit disappointing, they just got away from me,” he said.


Race Two

Knox again had the better of the start, with poleman Caudle second until Smith surged by into the chicane. They continued nose-to-tail, while behind them Richardson out-powered Allen for fourth and Bailey followed a lap later. Bristow had also lost out at the start and began to pick his way past Sullivan, before closing on Allen too. Having got alongside Knox into Noble on lap 3, Smith led into Allard on the next lap. But that allowed Caudle to threaten again and he managed to split the pair, by two wheeling through the chicane on lap eight. Caudle’s charge continued and he hugged the inside line past the pits on lap 13, only for Smith to fight back again at the chicane. Knox had started to fall back again, but with the lead pair side-by-side into the chicane for the last time, they managed to slow themselves up. Caudle‘s pace going in left him slower on the exit, making it a three-car drag race to the line. Smith claimed his maiden victory, with Knox snatching second, all three covered by only 0.038secs. “That was too close at times, but a good race. Halfway through I thought I had got a gap and then Luke caught me. I thought oh no and didn’t get a good run at the chicane on the last lap, but then Luke was slower out,” said Smith. “I just gambled on their tussle slowing them up, which worked,” Knox added. “I just braked too late into the chicane and it gave Chris the run to the line,” said Caudle. Bristow claimed fourth again after Richardson pitted with debris after a big spin. Bailey spun off at Brooklands on lap 6, which handed fifth back to Allen and a healthy class win over Sullivan and Raymond. “The rain shower put a bit of a twist on it, but I had the class sewn up early on and made it safe,” said Allen. “A bit lonely, just playing on my own,” Sullivan added.

The ExcelR8 team’s pitch is a hive of motorsport chat.




Race Three

Caudle, Allen and Ogden had all been crowned class champions, with only 3 points between Allen and Caudle for the overall championship and a reverse grid there was everything to race for in the final round of the season. Richardson had pole and extending an early lead, when his engine suffered a temporary misfire exiting the chicane. As he pitted Caudle took control, from Smith, Knox, Bailey, Bristow and Allen. The top three soon broke clear again and Bristow took Bailey for fourth on lap 6, before the safety car was scrambled after the unfortunate Kevin O’Connor had been tipped into the barrier opposite the pits. It came down to a one lap sprint from the green flag. Smith had the lead up Woodham Hill, but Caudle got by at the chicane to end his season on another win. “What a great season, unbelievable. ExcelR8 and my sponsors have been fantastic, and in the end it just wasn’t enough for the overall title this year, but with Lee Allen



moving up to the JCW car next year I may have to come back for a head to head...” said a smiling Caudle. “I was ahead into the chicane, made a mistake and lost it again, but hadn’t seen the last lap board,” said Smith. Caudle hadn’t either. “That was shaping up to be a good race, then I caught the club cars, out came the safety car and it was all over,” said Knox. Bristow and Bailey held station in fourth and fifth with Allen sixth. “I have got an R56 in the garage, so whatever Luke races next year I will, even it’s lorries,” said Allen. “I did have a bit of a scare though when I thought I had a puncture behind the safety car, so I backed them up before the green flag just make the place safe,” he added. Raymond was second in class with James pipping Sullivan for third at the chicane on the last lap, after changing a front tyre during the safety car period. Kounnis took the club class laurels, from Williams, Osborne and Ogden. “A stunning year in my first motorsport season, today I let them get on with it, just to make sure of the points for the class title,” said Ogden.

Find out more about UK MINI CHALLENGE.



FR IEN DLY Donington

Words Peter Scherer Photos


ason Richardson proved to be the man to beat in the nonchampionship season finale at Donington Park. He may have had R56 class champion Luke Caudle and Chris Knox up against, but he emerged from the day as a double winner - his first ever overall victories. No fewer than eight new drivers joined the line-up, along with this year’s Mini Challenge Champion - Lee Allen, Club Class Champion - David Ogden and Craig Freeman, who moved into the R56 class for the first time. It was a disaster for Freeman as he stalled at the start of the first race and got away dead last. It was three abreast though for the lead into Redgate, with Caudle gaining the initiative from Richardson and Knox as they charged through the Craner Curves. Knox snatched second at the Old Hairpin and had the lead a lap later, but Caudle retook into the chicane as the top three continued nose-to-tail. It was also a three-way fight for

Donington exhibition

End of season run-out for new setups and newcomers. fourth with Allen heading Chris Callister-Russell and Chris Smith. Richardson made it past Knox for second on lap 3, by two wheeling through the chicane, but the battle for the lead had allowed the next group to close on them too. After Knox had briefly retaken second it became four for the lead, with Allen having made a break from his group and tagged on behind. But Allen suddenly found himself in third after the young Scot careered over the gravel at the chicane, which gave the lead duo a slight break and Richardson a chance to challenge. “I had been alongside Jason but just misjudged it,” said Knox. Into the chicane for the ninth time it was side-by-side for the lead but Richardson emerged with a fractional advantage. Richardson gradually consolidated his lead and collected his maiden victory. “This has been a real team effort, we really wanted to deliver today and we did. Once ahead I just put my head down and went for it,” he said.

Caudle had been safe in second until a damaged manifold lost him power and having quickly retaken Allen, Knox took the place on the last lap. “I had just lost too much straightline speed,” Caudle explained. Allen was delighted with his fourth place, “yes happy with that, being so close to the leaders and first time in the new car,” he said. Smith had got past debutant Callister-Russell on the fourth lap, but gave it back to him on the last, “I had tried to get a run on Lee and put two wheels on the grass at Coppice,” he explained.




David Ogden was seventh, his first time on slicks and S class winner Dean Raymond was eighth, having led the class throughout. Aaron Steele managed second in class despite missing qualifying, having got the better of former European Truck Racing Champion George Allen early on. George was out in son Lee’s title-winning car and having his first race for 15 years. “Lee suggested it last week, so I said OK and had to rush around to get my licence,” said George. Although Sam Osborne dominated the Club Class, there was plenty of action behind. Debutant Paul Watson managed to escape in second, as Keith Issatt had to fight off new boys Lee Shropshire and Peter Priest for third.

Race Two

Knox got the jump on his rivals at the start of the second, heading Caudle and Allen into Redgate. Poleman Richardson was only fourth after being slow to get away. “It was George Allen’s fault he had been talking about green lights before the race and I was waiting for one,” he joked. Caudle was inches from Knox’s tailgate as Richardson reclaimed third from Allen, but Steve Liquorish was close in fourth, having taken over Chris Smith’s usual car. It was side-by-side for the lead again at the chicane on lap 2, before Caudle nosed ahead on the exit. Two laps later Richardson ousted Knox too with a similar move before closing down on Caudle’s lead. As they exited the chicane for the



seventh time there was the tiniest of gaps on the inside for the run into Redgate. Richardson took it and just held off Caudle under braking. But Caudle came back as strong as ever and retook the lead a couple of laps later at Redgate, only to lose out again to Richardson with four laps to go. “I had made a mistake and Luke got me back, but then he did the same and I got him,” Richardson explained. “I just couldn’t stay with Jason today, a credit to him. Looking forward to next season though, Lee Allen will soon be used to his car,” Caudle added. Knox retained third but dropped back on the last lap after a brief off at the Old Hairpin. Allen kept Liquorish at a safe distance for fourth and Ogden completed the top six. Freeman just held off S class winner Arthur Forster, who was out in Raymond’s car. “Proper racing, front wheel drive among some friends, it was awesome,” said the North East Touring Car playboy and sporting hero. Callister-Russell had a subdued race in ninth after an excursion and Steele completed the top 10. “It’s the cheapest form of racing I have done and I would certainly consider doing it next year, I’m seriously looking at an R56, I thoroughly enjoyed the day,” said Steele after taking second in class, from Allen Snr and debutants Bob Hosier and Len Coed. Osborne took the Club Class from Watson and Issatt. With Peter Priest taking fourth and an impressive fastest lap. “Apart from a bit of club karting I haven’t raced before, I really want to do it next year now after that,” said Watson, an opinion shared by most of the newcomers. Find out more about UK MINI CHALLENGE.


LEFT: Jason Richardson takes the win, and shows some promise for next season. BELOW: Richardson’s team, including Miglia legend Bill Sollis, will be back for 2011.





Words and photos MINI Australia

Phillip Island


Stokell’s superb Island drive

Stokell makes a blinding start and ascent through the grid to take the plaudits.


ecoRug Racing’s Paul Stokell has stormed to race 1 victory during Round 5 of Hertz MINI Challenge at Phillip Island. Stokell began race 1 fourth on the line after grid positions were based on practice 2 from Friday under the Force Majeure ruling. This was due to a small accident in qualifying involving Ken Wootton which forced all competitors back to the garage without completing a time. For this, no points were awarded for qualifying which in-turn meant no success ballast applied to any car for the round’s first race. It was a magic effort by the Queenslander to move up four spots and pass Championship leader Chris Alajajian on the outside of turn 1 on just the second lap of the race. Local favourite Sean Carter began on pole in his ON TIME EARTH R56 entry but was quickly reeled-in by the two series front-runners. To his credit the 19-year-old stuck with the pair which made for some exciting racing as the trio diced throughout the eight lap race.



After getting away to great starts Peter McNiven, Craig Innes and Josh Hunt all went off the track, on just the second turn of the circuit, relegating them down the order. Fortunately the boys fought back and all finished inside the top-10 with McNiven the best of the trio, finishing the race in fourth and proving that local experience counts for a lot around here in Phillip Island. The battle for fifth was also a fierce one with Beric Lynton and new comer Elliot Barbour running side-by-side on the final lap from turn four until the chequered flag, with Lynton taking the spoils. Unfortunately it wasn’t all smiles for the entire MINI Challenge contingent with the Woottons in the wars after Ken was forced in on the out lap with engine sensor issues. Son Chris was running

as high as fifth until a fan belt snapped, forcing the youngster to retire from the race. Scott Manson also missed the entire race after he failed to make repairs to his R56 Challenge car in time for the start. Pizza Capers UberStar Innes fought back diligently, after his turn 2 off, to finish the race 10th overall and in the process setting the fourth fastest lap-time for the day.

Race 2

Chris Alajajian has won his fourth round of the year in the final race, however, he saw a shade of pure brilliance by last year’s MINI Challenge champion Paul Stokell. After starting at the rear of the grid the DecoRug driver

Find out more about AUS MINI CHALLENGE.


pulled off one of the greatest drives in MINI Challenge history to carve up the field and win the race over teammate Josh Hunt. Alajajian’s consistency saw him finish the round on top of the podium but only by the slimmest of margins to 25year-old Hunt who showed superb form to finish on the podium in both races and just one point behind Alajajian for the round. The final rostrum step was claimed by another series debutant in Elliot Barbour who, at 19-years-old, showed great maturity to steer the McElrea-run R56 Challenge car home in fantastic style. Fourth overall was Gold Coast MINI Dealer Beric Lynton while Pizza Capers UberStar driver Craig Innes showcased his talents on the way to a top-5 finish during the Kiwi’s first motorsport trip downunder.

Unfortunately for local lad Sean Carter disaster struck in race 2 when the 19-year-old Victorian left the track on the opening lap, losing control on the grass and spearing back on, right into the path of series front-runner Stokell. It still didn’t deter Stokell and his team from re-entering the final race and pull off the miracle of all drives to win. Prosurv Racing’s John Modystach’s consistency paid off as he finished the round equal seventh with Kiwi Gavin Yortt, while Sydneysider Aaron Zerefos steered his Fiji Water entry to ninth as he diced with Brisbane-based Brendan ‘Cookie’ Cook throughout the weekend. Initially local Peter McNiven had won the round but was later deducted 44 championship points for a rules infringement prior to race 2.





Words and photos MINI Australia


Records smashed as Stokell closes the gap Alajajian’s poor form open’s door for Stokell on street circuit.


hris Alajajian has come up trumps in a battle with V8 Supercar legend Glenn Seton to win the opening race of Hertz MINI Challenge at the Armor All Gold Coast 600 – round 6 of the series. The JAXQuickfit Tyres driver was locked in a fierce battle with Seton until the veteran tried to pass Alajajian on lap 8, clipping the inside rear and spinning both competitors. Fortunately for Alajajian, the pair we’re far enough ahead of the field for him to rejoin the track and retain the leading position. Unfortunately for Pizza Capers UberStar driver Seton, the incident caused enough damage to the front right wheel that he slipped back to 13th before retiring to the pits on the final lap. Despite the setback Seton still picked up a maximum 36 points in the earlier qualifying session where he threw down a phenomenal final lap to snatch pole – off Alajajian – by a skinny 0.22 seconds.



Benefiting from the incident was Gold Coast MINI Dealer Beric Lynton who had a superb run to hold-off DecoRug Racing’s Paul Stokell after Lynton passed the 2009 MINI Challenge champion on the opening lap. Lynton steered home in second with Stokell topping off the podium places finishing just three and a half tenths behind the Gold Coaster. Fourth and fifth respectively went to the rookie pairing of Peter McNiven and Sean Carter as the two Victorian youngsters continue to battle for third-place championship honours. Coming home in sixth was Prosurv Racing’s John Modystach who had a sensational race to post his best finish of the year in the MINI Challenge series.

Race 2

Paul Stokell took Race 2 honours by the smallest margin in the history of Hertz MINI Challenge. DecoRug Racing’s Stokell pinched the win on the last corner of the 10-lap race

Surfers Paradise

when ON TIME EARTH driver Sean Carter ran wide. Stokell and Carter were neck-and-neck coming down the final straight, so much so they couldn’t be judged by the naked eye, but time control told the story as Stokell emerged victorious by a mere 0.01 seconds. Coming home third for a second consecutive podium was Gold Coast MINI Dealer Beric Lynton whose flat-out performance sees him as the top placed local driver for the weekend. Unfortunately Carter’s main rival for third in the championship standings, Peter McNiven, struggled with ABS issues in his Supercharger Batteries MINI R56 and dropped down to 13th for the race. This now sees the gap for third in the championship reduced to Carter’s favour. Despite starting from the rear of the grid after replacing an entire engine overnight – DecoRug boss Bill Gremos performed well on his first race in the MINI Challenge series, finishing 12th from his 16th

Find out more about AUS MINI CHALLENGE.

place start on the grid. Rounding out the top-10 was Gold Coaster Tom Pickett whose consistency is beginning to pay off despite limited experience of the category. Pizza Capers UberStar driver Glenn Seton put in a stella performance finishing fifth despite starting from 13th on the grid. The Gold Coast driver also posted the fastest lap of the race as he caved his way past eight cars over the 10 lap race. Unfortunately it was not all smiles for MINI Challenge drivers Brendan Cook and Chris Wootton who both retired from the race. Cook was subject to a passenger ride when the wheel nuts sheered completely off bringing his race to an abrupt halt. Fortunately there was no further damage as a result of the incident.

Race 3

DecoRug Racing’s Stokell was the most consistent performer for the weekend finishing with a third, second and first place result for the three races as he took top honours from V8 Supercar legend Glenn Seton with Gold Coast MINI dealer Beric Lynton rounding out the


top-3 for the weekend. Overall championship standings will now come down to the wire in Homebush with series leader Chris Alajajian having a less than sub-par performance compared to his usual winning ways. After taking victory in race 1 things didn’t go to plan for the Sydney driver as he was forced to retire with suspension damage after collecting some debris on circuit. Seton gave the Pizza Capers crew plenty to smile about from the 35th floor of the Mantra Sun City as he stormed home with a final lap of brilliance to give the Pizza Capers MINI R56 its first ever race win since the UberStar concept was introduced at the start of 2009. The legendary driver carved up frontrunners Stokell and Sean Carter on the very last lap, coming from third to pass both drivers on the

second to last corner and cross the chequered flag victorious for race 3. ON TIME EARTH driver Sean Carter put in a sterling effort with two podiums in races 2 and 3 to the finish the event fourth overall and, more importantly, close the gap to 13 points on rival Peter McNiven as the pair continue to battle for third place honours in this year’s MINI Challenge driver standings. The star driver for the event was racing debutant Troy Adams who finished each race inside the top-8 with an incredible sixth place in the final race despite limited racing experience and no experience in MINI Challenge racing. Surfers paradise? Or just paradise?




Motorsport Brands Hatch


Drew pips Astin after engine fault

Thompson out leaves opportunity that Astin can’t take. Words Roy Sisley


ave Drew took full advantage of Kane Astin’s misfortune in the closing stages to record his second race win in the penultimate round of the Miglia Challenge. The 17-car entry was reduced when 2010 champion Paul Thompson withdrew, as he was clearly in no fit state to race, despite setting some rapid times in testing. MGOC F Class Champion Martin Wills was a welcome addition as he had an outing in Endaf Owens’s car. Qualifying was halted after only three and a half minutes as three cars strayed off the wet track into the gravel at Druids. Once the session resumed Kane Astin took control to claim pole with a 60.292sec lap, ahead of Colin Peacock, whilst Aaron Smith produced his best qualifying showing so far to head the second row. Kane flew off the line to head Colin, Aaron and Niven Burge into Paddock. As the closely bunched mid-grid pack raced off the line, Mark Sims got clipped, sending him spinning off backwards into the Armco barriers, prompting the introduction of the safety car to allow the removal of the heavily damaged car. The race resumed for just one further lap before a spin by Colin Peacock at Graham



Hill DUNLOP Bend on MIGLIA CHALLENGE lap four, saw him collected by Niven Burge and Tony Le May, which led to Tony’s retirement. Kane led on the restart, as Dave Drew closed on Aaron Smith, before swooping past on the outside line into Paddock Bend on lap eight. Owen Stinchcombe and Mark Cowan were next up, ahead of a four-car dice for sixth led by Phil Harvey from Paul Simmonds, Robert Humphreys and the recovering Colin Peacock. Colin continued his upward progress, reaching seventh after passing Phil Harvey on the 11th lap. Sarah Munns’ climb up the order from her lowly grid slot ended after a spin at Graham Hill Bend prompted her to pit into retirement on lap 12, with both Paul Simmonds and Martin Wills also retiring on the same lap. Kane Astin’s hold on the lead came to a dramatic end with Dave Drew passing him on the final lap after the number 11 Miglia slowed with a broken con-rod causing Astin to limp round and be pipped on the line for second by Aaron Smith. Mark Cowan, Colin Peacock and Owen Stinchcombe completed the top six places after an eventful race.

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Slippery surface favours Hunters

While Paul Spark cements the championship title. Words Roy Sisley


DUNLOP ax Mini Se7en Hunter’s CHALLENGE mastery of the greasy conditions saw him record his fourth victory after an eventful race, which needed two safety car interventions. Paul Spark produced a strong recovery drive to clinch the challenge title. The 22-car entry included the welcome return of Terry Barringer restoring the Hunter’s Garage line-up back to its full complement. Max set pole with a 1.04.899 lap, which was over 1.5 seconds quicker than fellow front row occupant Gareth Hunt. At the start Max found himself swamped on the run to Paddock, with Gareth heading the order from Paul Spark, Andrew Deviny, Tristen Knight and James Bowers-Coulson, Gareth and Andrew had sideways moments at Paddock, before the leading pack was shuffled further as Paul Spark and Tristen Knight got out of shape at Graham Hill Bend, promoting Gareth Hunt back into the lead with Max recovering to second as the safety car was deployed so Anthony Towey’s car could be moved from the Paddock Bend gravel trap. As the green flags were shown at the start of the fourth lap, Max was quick to make his move, diving past Gareth on the inside line into Paddock Bend, with Gareth running wide into the gravel, where he was joined by David Robinson to prompt the return of the safety car.

Max was quickly into his stride again as Dick made it a Hunter one-two after passing Graeme Davis on the outside line exiting Druids on the eighth lap. Paul Spark was making rapid progress up the order after his earlier excursion, passing Damon Astin and Graeme Davis on successive laps to reach third on lap 10. Behind him Andrew Deviny headed a seven-car train disputing fourth, which also included Graeme Davis, James Bowers-Coulson, Damon Astin, Steve Trench, Tristen Knight and Nath Burge. Paul Spark closed on Dick Hunter, before passing him as they crossed the start line

to commence the penultimate lap, Julian Affleck remained in control of the S Class, with Kevin O’Shea his nearest rival on this occasion. Andrew Deviny remained in fourth with James BowersCoulson and Nath Burge following him home. Max Hunter spoke on the podium of how he eased off in the closing stages so he could glance at father Dick’s scrap with Paul Spark for second in his rear view mirror, whilst Paul was able to celebrate clinching the title, with Dick enjoying his return to the podium, as he commented on how the wet conditions sorted the drivers out.


Stunning Smith swoops to win

Brands Hatch

Peacock and Drew secure second and third in final standings. Words Roy Sisley


he weekend just got better and better for Aaron Smith, after qualifying third and finishing second in Saturday’s race, he recorded his first win after a masterful drive in the final round of the Challenge. Mark Sims was the sole non-starter after his heavy impact coming together with the Armco in the previous day’s race. After an overnight engine change Kane Astin was quickest away from the outside of the front row to lead into Paddock Bend from Niven Burge, Dave Drew, Aaron Smith and Colin Peacock. All was not well with Kane’s car, as he slowed and dropped down to sixth behind Tony Le May, before slipping further back as the race unfolded.

DUNLOP Niven MIGLIA found CHALLENGE himself heading a five-car lead train, which now saw Colin Peacock in third. Sarah Munns had quickly elevated herself up to sixth from her fifth row grid position and was striving to tag herself on to the lead scrap. Once again the safety car made an appearance after Mark Cowan ran wide into the gravel trap at Paddock Hill Bend. Aaron Smith climbed to third after passing Colin Peacock on the inside line into Druids on lap 10. Dave Drew was next in Aaron’s sights and the pair of them raced side-by-side during the 11th lap before Aaron

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Motorsport dived through on the inside line into Paddock on lap 12. Further back, Rob Howard was being kept busy defending eighth from Owen Stinchcombe, Phil Harvey and Robert Humphreys. Niven Burge’s hold on the lead was only to last for one further lap as Aaron repeated his inside line swoop into Paddock to move to the head of the field with two laps to go. Colin Peacock and Tony Le May both found a way past Dave Drew on the penultimate lap, but were unable to dislodge Niven Burge from his hard-earned second position, with the three of them covered by just 0.114 of a second at the chequered flag. Sarah Munns was a safe sixth throughout, whilst Kane Astin’s final finishing position of 13th rather summed up his weekend. The large crowd was quick to acknowledge Aaron Smith’s excellent drive as he circulated the circuit on his slowing down lap, a moment he is bound to savour for a long time. The joyous scenes on the podium rounded off a memorable race for everyone. Mini Miglia Challenge Final Standings 2010 Rank Car No. Driver Points 1 3 Paul Thompson 170 2 2 Colin Peacock 156 3 6 Dave Drew 151 4 11 Kane Astin 150 5 69 Tony Le May 141 6 53 Niven Burge 140 7 5 Sarah Munns 136 8 4 Mark Sims 125 9 99 Mark Cowan (N) 107 10 72 Rob Howard 103 11 26 Owen Stinchcombe 92 12 42 Paul Simmonds 89 13 21 Aaron Smith 88 14 10 Phil Harvey 84 15 28 Robert Humphreys 68 16 20 Endaf Owens 57 17 55 Michael Green 54 18 44 Paul Clark 44 19 17 Steve Whiteley 38 20 7 Dave Edgecombe 36



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Motorsport ROUN D 12

Max makes it two for the weekend Hunter makes it look easy in the wet.

Words Roy Sisley


unday’s wet conditions ensured that we witnessed another masterclass in driving in such testing circumstances by Max Hunter who duly completed a memorable double victory to round off the 2010 season with win number five from the eight races he’s competed in. Max found himself alone on the front row after Gareth Hunt pulled into the pits at the end of the green flag lap to non-start after an errant stone from his excursion into the gravel the previous day had remained lodged in the rotor arm compartment. Max led away into Paddock Hill Bend from Tristen Knight and Paul Spark, with Andrew Deviny passing Dick Hunter on the outside line to snatch fourth. Paul Spark rose to second after passing Tristen Knight as they started the second lap, with Andrew Deviny also finding a way past Tristen shortly afterwards. Nath Burge made it up to ninth after passing Darren Thomas at Paddock Bend on the third lap. Andrew Deviny slipped inside Paul Spark at Paddock Bend to rise to second as Max pulled well clear of his pursuers, with his ability to find grip through the corners aiding his getaway. Steven Hopper made a spectacular exit to the race after he ran wide into the gravel trap at Paddock Hill on the fifth lap, only for the car to dig in and flip over onto its roof. Steven was quickly out and able to reach a place of safety to the relief of the large crowd on the spectator banking. Tristen Knight and Dick Hunter



Brands Hatch

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were DUNLOP Mini Se7en disputing CHALLENGE fourth in fine style, while James Bowers-Coulson was heading a seven-car train scrapping over sixth, which also consisted of lan Deviny, Graeme Davis, Darren Thomas, Nath Burge, Steve Trench and Damon Astin. Julian Proctor was holding a clear advantage in the S Class, on the way to his second class victory of the season, having also triumphed For more information visit in the ninth round at Cadwell Park. the Mini 7 website or contact Steve Trench’s fine drive ended when Mike Jackson 0121 707 5881 he ran wide into the gravel trap at Paddock Hill on the eleventh lap. Dick Hunter secured fourth after passing Tristen Mini Se7ens Challenge Knight on the exit of Final Standings 2010 Graham Hill Bend Rank Car No. Driver Points on lap 12. Darren 1 35 Paul Spark 172 Thomas worked his 2 85 Andrew Deviny 159 way through the 3 46 Max Hunter 155 pack to clinch sixth, 4 8 Ian Deviny 148 a fine reward for 5 5 Graeme Davis 144 his endeavours after 6 24 James Coulson 144 three retirements in 7 6 Nathan Burge 142 a row. 8 37 Gareth Hunt 119 Max Hunter spoke 9 10 Darren Thomas 118 on the podium of 10 77 Tristen Knight 116 how his experience 11 50 Dick Hunter 102 in autograss racing 12 91 Julian Affleck (S) 96 had enabled him to 13 25 Mike Rayner (N) 88 search and found 14 60 Malcolm Keat 79 the grip in wet, and 15 69 Steve Trench 57 extreme, conditions, 16 95 Julian Proctor (S) 57 which he showed 17 30 Robb Addison 56 to great effect 18 34 Anthony Towey 53 throughout the whole 19 92 Kevin O’Shea (S) 52 weekend. 20 63 David Robinson (N) 52

In the Pit Dave drew

Name: Dave Drew Age: 39 Occupation: Garage/Recovery Operator Website: Racing Team: JD Motors Sponsor: Mini Sport Ltd / Vision Vehicle Solutions / JD Motors Current racing series: Dunlop Mini Miglia Championship Car number: 6 Car details: Red/White/Blue with 1300cc Swiftune engine Best series position: 6th Racing since: 2009 Racing history: None for the last 21 years How did you first get into racing and then racing with Minis? I was seven years old when my dad drove in the same championship as I compete in now, and I have strong, scary memories of some of his ontrack actions. We are also family friends of Paul and Boot Gaymer who both were very successful in the late ’70s. Paul winning the Se7en and Miglia titles back then, so the Mini racing has been very much a big part of my life. I have followed the same series on and off ever since really, and back in 2008 I went to watch the Miglias at Brands Hatch and met Ralph Saunders who was leading the championship at the time. I basically got talking with him and Ralph showed me what my life was apparently missing! Ralph helped me locate a great car and here I am. What appeals to you about racing Minis over other cars?

No race series I have seen even gets close to the action and excitement that both the Mini Se7ens and Miglias produce. The presentation and detail of every car is incredible and the racing couldn’t be any closer. Most Miglia races finish with a gap of about 2-3 seconds separating 1st to 9th places, and these cars don’t hang about 0-60 in just under four seconds and a top speed of 130mph. Need I say any more? What type of character are you in the pit? Too early to say. Rob Howard (Miglia backmarker) has a bit of a reputation, and answers to ‘Gorilla’ these days, but in fairness it’s all in good spirit. I would like to think of myself as Cole Trickle from Days of Thunder. I’m sure I will get some stick from that..!! With who do you have racing rivalries and why? We’re all rivals after the same thing, but one that sticks out is Sarah Munns, not only because of the female element but Sarah is very quick, and ever since I have been in the Miglias both Sarah and I have always been close on the grid and our finishing positions too. Describe your best driving experience? It has to be last year (2009) Round 4 at Brands Hatch. It was my fourth ever race in the Miglia, and I stuck it on pole position. Had that lap been in the race, it would have pulverised the standing lap record, I went on to get my first podium in the race (3rd).

CV joint exploded! No drive and no brakes! Thankfully it was during a practice session. What ambitions do you have for the future? To retain my race sponsors and together win a Miglia race, and aim for a championship title. What is your dream car? Apart from the Mig, the Audi RS4 estate does it for me! And I would love a Porsche GT3, but can’t have either as Mark Sims (Miglia Driver) has them both, and I would get some serious stick.. Who is your hero and why? Love him or hate him, Michael Schumacher. An amazing talent, and he will win another F1 Championship before he really retires. Who would you most like to race against? I would love to be in a Miglia race with Peter Baldwin, Ralph Saunders, Andy Hack and Bill Sollis, what I could learn from that race would be inspirational. What is your road car? VW Golf R32, a great Car. It reminds me of driving the Miglia in a comfortable kind of way, if that makes sense.

And you’re scariest driving experience? In the Miglia, at the end of Revett Straight at Snetterton, when front outer



Damper pulley damage caused by a loose bolt.



Keith Calver’s

Post Historic Touring Car Championship diary


fter the jumping out of gear issue at Thruxton and the Lydden Hill subsequent engine and transmission removal, and discovering of the cracked/split metalwork underneath the remote gear change unit, it was time to do something about that. Proceeding to remove the Quickshift gearlever and remote unit, I noticed the retaining cup for the gearlever was a little skewwhiff. Tugging gently upwards on the gearlever caused the whole lever and retaining cup to lift. That’s not right. Looking more closely, the retaining cup had lifted up over its retaining peg. Hmm. Removing the retaining cup I could pull the cup retaining pin, which also acts as a locator for the gearlever to stop it spinning round, out with my fingers. This should be a press-fit in the aluminium housing of the Quickshift lever. A little more experimenting revealed that with the pin pushed all the way into the housing, the retaining cup was not held in place, and therefore neither was the gearlever in a vertical plane, and with the pin pulled all the way out until the cup stopped it going further it was almost possible to rotate the gearlever. Going through the motions of selecting gears, especially the fore/aft movement showed the whole Quickshift assembly rocked back and forth. I then noticed that the retaining bolt of the aluminium housing/extension piece of the Quickshift on the driver’s side was wobbling around. I could unscrew this with my fingers, made easier by the fact the retaining bolt thread had been worn very baggy. Having removed the gearlever from the remote housing, I could see deep score marks in the rod extension eye piece the gearlever sits in to rotate the selector shaft. Looking at the nylon



Problem child

As one issue gets fixed another rears its ugly head.

ball at the end of the gearlever, the manufacturers had used externally ‘eared’ retaining circlips instead of just round wire ones, the ears had been banging up against the underside of the extension rod eye piece until it had bent them over, and with the lifting of the gearlever in use had caused the scoring inside the eye piece. Not only that but the plastic ball sat too high in the eye-piece anyway. So it looks like I have found the source for all my missed gear changes... not me driving like a muppet at all, but a failed and faulty Quickshift that, after careful inspection, is just very badly made. Being a copy of the original KAD one it looks as if the manufacturers (later discovered to be Minisport) have simply copied it without recourse to understanding the design and therefore the important factors of making it work correctly. In my humble opinion, it is a piece of junk. I returned it to the place I bought it (not the manufacturer) with a note explaining all this and the fact it had cost me two engine rebuilds and two races. I was not at all impressed, but somewhat relieved to discover it was not my driving!

Fits but no starts

The engine rebuild was making me a little concerned though. The crank ground up well and the rod re-sized OK with no obvious signs of distress. So a new set of rod bolts and crank bearings and a bunch of gaskets and that should all be fine. Except the big-ends needed a grind down to +0.030” to clean them up. No problem as regards to strength, considering I use standard 1275 cranks with the 1.750” big-end pin. The problem was that I don’t keep in stock race quality bearings at that size. And the crank was only returned to me on the

Friday morning of the weekend I had to get the engine back together again and in the car. There was nothing for it, I had to fit standard type reticular tin bearings to the big-ends. The main issue with using standard bearings in race engines is that they are badly affected by high temperatures as seen by parts in a race engine. To the point where they simply fall apart. I got the rebuild completed and back in the car by the end of the weekend inbetween other commitments with a view to finishing the installation Monday night then firing it up Tuesday lunchtime. All was going according to plan right up until the engine would not start Tuesday. Having spun the motor over to get oil pressure up and installed the spark plugs, the starter simply clicked futilely. I assumed the starter had cried ‘enough’ (one of the Brise Axial preengaged versions) after 5 years of use. Knowing my main men for my dizzies (H&H Ignition Solutions) were now offering a high torque starter, I gave them a buzz that afternoon. Though they did not have one in stock, they organised one to be sent directly to me from the manufacturers (Wosp). Great. So the fire-up would have to be Wednesday lunchtime. The starter duly arrived Wednesday morning. Wednesday lunchtime I whizzed home to get it fitted and the engine fired up. This unit has an external solenoid, of such immense proportions that it comes with one of the 3/8” UNC mounting bolts fitted. Worse, the solenoid is so big and mounted in line with the mounting bolts that the starter had to be fitted with the solenoid hanging down underneath it. This now meant the only way to do that ‘fitted’ bolt up was with a spanner as there was no way you could get fingers to it at all. The seriously restricted space

available between the subframe and the gearbox casing meant you could only turn the bolt one flat at a time – AFTER you had managed to engage it in the threads in the transfer gear housing. That one job took me nearly 20 minutes to complete! I was not best impressed I can tell you. With it fitted and connected up, I hit the start switch, and... lots of whirring noises but no engine turning over. AARRRGGGGHHHH!! NOW what? No time to faff about, I rang Brise and ordered another Axial jobby, though Tim Brise was somewhat surprised that the original one had called ‘time out’. With no time to play with (leaving for the track first thing Friday morning), he agreed to get one away to me for delivery Thursday morning.... the costs were starting to rack up a bit. Wednesday night I spent 30 minutes removing that WOSP starter motor, remounted the remote gear change unit on the now strengthened tunnel (2mm thick VERY stiff ally plate ‘saddle’) and fitted the old KAD Quickshift unit. Oh yeah – the KAD Quickshift. I’d replaced this with that dodgy Minisport unit at the beginning of the year because it had become resistive after several years service. The problem was that the original plastic ball had become sort of scuffed up. A quick chat with those fine fellows at KAD, and a new ball arrived in the post. Fitted that – and it worked perfectly again. Brise held good to their word and the new axial starter turned up Thursday morning. Fitted it Thursday lunchtime, engine turned over, coughed, spluttered, nearly fired, then stopped. Hit start switch again – ‘CLICK’, ‘CLICK’... Oh for Pete’s sake! I removed the new unit and bench tested it – perfect. Then benchtested the old unit. Perfect. Hmm. I then started thinking a little more clearly about what was going on. I then checked the clutch adjustment, and my suspicions were immediately confirmed... the flywheel had moved up the taper on the crank a long way. Enough to need a further 3/16-inch of adjustment on the clutch push rod... this meant the flywheel was now way too close to the starter pinion for it to engage. Looking at the old starter motor pinion confirmed this – the leading edge had been ‘machined’ flat by the ring gear teeth. I whipped the starter motor off, fitted a couple of washers between the starter and transfer gear casing and ‘Hey Presto’! It works! For some reason the flywheel taper had been spreading/ expanding having been removed/refitted a few times. Yet to be resolved as to why. Right now I was happy the starter

worked and I could fire up the motor. After getting the coolant temp up to 65 degrees (all I can manage with fast idle), I turned it off and checked for leaks. Nothing. Cool. I fired it up again and reset the ignition timing to what was required and I was happy with the installation. Except for those standard spec rod bearings of course.

Keeping it casual

Friday morning I loaded up and headed off to Lydden. A long haul – not made any easier by the M25 roadworks and the Blackwall Tunnel being shut. Still, I made it early enough to get signed in and scrutineered on the Friday evening – ours was an early start for a change. Signing on at 07:00, Scrutineering at 08:00, qualifying at 09:00. At least all I had to make was qualifying. The day dawned bright and sunny and very, very windy. Lydden circuit being in a natural ‘bowl’ was not too affected. Only those in the top spectator stand were ravaged by the wind. My car was ready except for the tyre pressures, which took me minutes to deal with. Suited and booted I headed off to the collecting area. The plan was simple – keep the gear change point at 7,000 rpm once warmed up, watch the vital signs and take it easy. Drive casual, if you like. And that is exactly what I did. What amazed me was the results showed I was only 1 second off the lap record for my class. That is twice now that I have driven ‘casually’ and been close to the lap record (did this at Brands). The only interesting bit in qualifying was finding out that a very worn tyre (no tread grooves left at all) has no grip. I fitted this to the right rear as it only needed to deal with the only left turn (Devil’s Elbow) on the circuit. First time round at meaningful speed I had maximum opposite lock on and a bootfull of throttle to stop it going all the way round! Anyway, 14th out of 20-odd starters wasn’t too shabby out of a grid composing me and all the others at over 1600cc. The main problem was going to be the two Camaros sat next to each other on the grid two rows in front of me. Sweltering in the heat of a bright and sunny day, we gathered in the collecting area for the race. Usual sort-out for grid locations, warm-up lap, re-assemble, lights on, off, and away. A decent start had me round the outside of the two Camaros – COOL! Or so I thought. First time into Chessons drift (weird up-hill right-hander that tightens at the exit)

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Motorsport and cars were going in all directions trying to avoid each other – like they suddenly realised it wasn’t a drag race and there was a bend involved. Squeezed way out to the track edge I had to back off or get forced onto the grass – and of course that brings the ‘me on pause, everybody else on fast forward’ syndrome into play. Dammit. Head down, concentrate on catching and passing cars as soon as possible. All went well until I came up against the Great Wall of China – the two Camaros having at it. In the end I decided to make a lunge between them – feasibly losing door handles, arch extensions and sill trims off both sides of the car at the same time. I made it through unscathed, but now the tyres had given off their best and the next group were some 70 yards ahead and I wasn’t making an impression on them. OK, time to drive casual again and see how quick I could go then. A 15 minute race, so some 16 or so laps... I had already done around 10. The gear change was working perfectly once again, so no problems there. The vital signs were all good and those big-end bearings seemed to be holding up OK. Then with a few laps to go – BIG metal scrunching/whirring sound started. A glance at the gauges – all good. Engine was running fine, car handling fine – so what the Dickens was it? I backed right off and the noise went away – everything was still working fine... so back on the gas. 50 yards down the track the noise came back. Since I was in ‘no mans land’ and had nothing to gain from continuing to thrash the car, I decided to retire before anything major occurred. Back in the paddock, off with the bonnet – nothing obvious to see. No fluids leaking out, nothing hanging off. So I loaded it and headed home. This is becoming one of those seasons... if it can go wrong, it will. Ho-hum. Since this was a Saturday race, I was home Saturday evening. That gave me Sunday to hook the motor out again, I’d planned on doing so to replace those standard big-end bearings anyway and to change the gearing for the next race at Snetterton... And soon found the problem – the damper pulley bolt had come undone. Luckily because it is a long one it was being held in by the engine mounting bracket. So now a strip down to see what had caused that.



Motorsport Words George Edwardes Photos Mark O’Flanagan




Clarke revives title hopes Bumper cars see double tight final.


en Clark took his first win of the 2010 season in dominant fashion to take victory at the Blyton Park track. The victory puts Ben thoroughly back into the title hunt, with five points separating the top three drivers going into the halfway stage of the championship. Ben started the day taking the fastest time of Heat 1 in front of the Edwardes brothers with a convincing heat win, which demonstrated to everyone that he would be the man to beat throughout the day. David Bell was a welcome addition



to the grid after missing the first three races of the year alongside Malcolm Dickenson who made his first appearance in the class after spending the last few years preparing his car. Heat 2 went the way of Tom Edwardes who closely held off Ben in a thrilling race. Kris Hudson posted the third fastest time even though he had been suffering from air filter issues that had resulted from dust blocking up his filter and therefore reducing engine power. It was Kris’ younger brother Keifer who would be the first casualty of the day with his second

Blyton Park

engine failure of the season leaving him out of the days racing at the end of the second heats. George took the fastest time in Heat 3 again in front of Ben. Mark Griffin continued to post competitive times in all of the heats securing him a good grid position for the A final.

All girl action

With the Minicross class once again producing bumper entries, a B Final was necessary to thin the grid down before the A Final commenced.

It was to be a two horse race however as Malcolm Dickenson had to retire at the end of Heat 3 with a blown engine. It was to be one of the best races of the day as Kelly and Sam went head-to-head over the five-lap final. Kelly was able to take an early lead as the lights went out which she held for the remaining laps. Sam fought gallantly as the two female Minicross drivers showed that they could fight just as hard as the boys on the track. The signs of a failing engine began to slow the charge as Kelly was able to pull out a 0.4 second advantage as they crossed the line. Kelly was then able to take up her place at the back of the A Final grid for what would be a great five laps of racing. As the lights went out Tom took an early lead into the first corner whilst Ben was able to slip up the inside of George going through the chicane. Ben then was able to pass Tom as the pack moved onto the back straights. The leading two drivers were then able to pull away from trailing pack throughout the race. The battle

The dusty, loose gravelled track helped to show off the best of Minicross.

for fourth place, however, continued to provide close racing as lap Mark, David and Richard jostled for position. Richard would be the fourth casualty of the day as a result of engine problems. A hole in the sump resulting in the engine seizing up as he went into the last corner.

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Tom was able to keep Ben on his toes as the pair crossed the line. George was the last of the podium finishes with a 4.0 second deficit on the leaders. Kris held off Mark to maintain his record of finishing within the top four at every event of the year so far.



Motorsport Words George Edwardes Photos Mark O’Flanagan




Extended highlights

Showtime for the TV with rolls and night racing.


he first British Rallycross night race was won by George Edwardes at the Lincolnshire track at an event that did not finish until midnight and saw the Minicross final shown live on TV for the second time this year. The final, the third outright victory for Edwardes this season, saw any of the leading three drivers capable of the win on the floodlit track. Ben Clark was once again the pacesetter for the day, taking two fastest times in the heats and pole position for the final. Once again showing that he is still the man to beat when it comes to racing at the Blyton circuit. Brian Wade returned to the class for the first time in 2010. However, it was championship regular Richard Wakeling who found himself missing from the grid, unable to change his engine in time and was still working on the car on the morning of the event! Heat 1 saw Ben Clark take the fastest time with Kris Hudson coming in, in a close second. George Edwardes managed to pass his older brother Tom on the last corner



of the last lap to take the third fastest time in the heat. This would be the last time that Tom would feature in the event as continuing problems in Heat 2 and 3 saw him not qualify for the final. Once again Ben took the fastest time in Heat 2, even with a scary moment going into the first corner unable to slow the pacesetter down. The biggest problem in the second sets of heats was due to the wet loose section. Keifer Hudson, who was running in a solid second position after a, so far, disappointing season, had to slow down due to not

Brian Wade has a spectacular roll into the fields but is OK to compete in the final.

Blyton Park

being able to see out of the windscreen. Kelly Bird showed her true pace after Heat 2 with third fastest times overall whilst Mark Griffin continued to set competitive times throughout the day. George took fastest time in Heat 3 although a dramatic barrel roll in the cornfields by Brian Wade became the talk of the field. The car was fixed in time, ready to compete in the final.

Spinning around

By the time the final began,

darkness had descended upon the track and the scene was set for a thrilling race featuring a bumper grid of 10 cars. As the lights went out, Clark suffered from a uneasy start, allowing Edwardes to take the lead into the first corner, followed closely behind by Kris Hudson. A spin from Kelly resulted in the remaining pack having to take evasive action, however everyone was able to pass

through onto the loose section safely. In an effort to make up for his disappointing start, Clark set about trying to pass Kris Hudson. Kris who was having to both defend and attack throughout the race managed to hold off Clark for the remainder of the race. As the front three cars jostled for position, Mark Griffin was able to close up the gap to third place. By the last lap

Clark became frustrated and ran wide, enabling Griffin to slip up the inside and claim third position and his first podium finish of 2010. Keifer Hudson came across the line in a solid fifth place in front of Sam O’Flanagan. At the halfway mark in the championship, the 2009 champion still holds the lead in the title hunt continuing his record of five consecutive podium finishes.

Late night racing set a different atmosphere.

Find out more about Minicross.



MINI 2011 Facelift

Overhauling the MINI’s look and two new models.


The se


cond refresh to the MINI’s appearance has been revealed, along with an announcement of two new diesel models for 2011. From September 2010, all MINI saloon, Clubman and Cabrio models will be subject to the update, although we expect newer models to feature elements of the new look. The subtle changes follow on from 2006’s refresh, which again moved the MINI away from it’s child-like look to something more serious. Overall, the cars have been touched up inside and out and there is also a new set of colours and a new range wheels to tie-in with the restyling. Starting at the front you can see the most noticeable change in appearance is in the lower bumpers, front and rear, which have been extended downwards to conform to those new pedestrian safety regs and prevent knee injury in the event of a collision. This in turn has given the MINI a more aggressive stance, which


may be to the liking of most male drivers. For Cooper S owners - who have been crying out for brake cooling vents - their prayers have been answered negating the need to remove the front foglights for a similar effect. Optional xenon headlights can be ordered with either black reflectors or adaptive lighting which turns the headlights as you turn the steering wheel - essentially enabling you to see round corners better. From the side the indicator repeaters have been visually enhanced, looking less plasticky and featuring a glass cover with concentric circles. S owners are again treated to something a little more flashy. At the rear all MINI models now feature dynamic LED rear lights that shine brighter the harder you brake. Under particularly hard braking they will even flash to warn following cars that you are braking sharply. Additionally the reversing light has moved position from the light cluster to join the foglight on the

lower rear bumper. The Clubman has had its own tweaks with the rear light cluster confoming more to other models with a chrome surround, while the Cooper S model has a wide opening between the two exhaust pipes which replicates the form of an air outlet and is bordered by chrome edging. Inside, the central facia has been darkened from the contrasting light grey to black, and a new LED display sits within the basic speedo. The optional premium speedo now comes with a colour screen which can be used to watch videos via an external device. More chrome has also been added to the interior surrounding airvents and on the steering wheel. Trim colours have been revamped and claim to be made from better materials than before. Optional ambient lighting is now also available, covering 756 shades of colours, and the interior and exterior mirrors are available with autodimming.

on the PULSE 2011 MINI Cooper S

2011 MINI One/Cooper/D

• • •

Bumpers lowered and widened Optional xenon headlights with Adaptive Lighting Redesigned side repeaters

• • • • •

Brake cooling vents in grille on Cooper S Integrated reversing and fog light on rear LED brake lights New wheels Restyled dashboard



The Works

Double D

As part of the redesign of the MINI family, two new diesel arrivals have been born in the shape of the MINI Cooper D Convertible, and the MINI ONE D Clubman. The two new diesel units have been improved to develop 74.3mpg and just 99g of CO2 per km. The 1.6litre units have also been intricately designed to produce the same optimum ratio between bore and stroke as the 2.0-litre engines fitted in BMW cars. The blurb claims they boast improved responsiveness and efficiency over the outgoing diesel units, also helped by their lightweight aluminium construction. Performance-wise the MINI Cooper D offers a maximum output of 82 kW/112bhp at 4000rpm and peak torque of 270Nm (199lb-ft) between 1750 and 2250rpm.. While the dash from 0 to 100km/h (62mph)



takes 9.7 seconds on the way to a top speed of 197km/h (122mph). The turbo-diesel unit powering the MINI ONE D develops 66 kW/90bhp at 4000rpm and places maximum torque of 215Nm (159lbft) on tap from between just 1750 and 2500rpm. The MINI One D completes the sprint from 0 to 100km/h (62mph) in 11.4 seconds on the way to a top speed of 184km/h (114mph). The improved petrol engines MINI launched earlier in 2010 will continue to be used in the all variants, offering 75-184bhp depending on which model you choose. Other tweaks within the efficiency of the car include new ‘thermal encapsulation’ of the drivetrain - basically storing heat to prevent wear and inefficiency in cold start-ups. This runs alongsde the MINIMALISM technology, which features Brake Energy Regeneration, electromechanical power steering, the Auto Start/Stop function and Shift Point Display. Five new colours will also be available, but not for all models. British Racing Green, Spice Orange and Ice Blue can be chosen, or for Cooper S buyers, an exclusive Eclipse Grey can be specified. The final colour, Chili Red, will now be available to JCW buyers as a contrast colour. To help owners with their choice of colours, MINI has developed three ‘design worlds’ which co-ordinates a selection of colours to suit a theme of ‘Rally’, ‘Classic’ or ‘Scene’.

The John Cooper Works (JCW) has also been overhauled with a new set of colours. Chili Red can now be specified exclusively for the MINI John Cooper Works and MINI John Cooper Works Clubman as a contrast colour for the roof and exterior mirror caps, and can be combined with the Pepper White, Pure Silver, Midnight Black, British Racing Green and Eclipse Grey paint finishes for the body. And to complement the effect, the standard-fitted 17-inch light-alloy wheels in Cross Spoke Challenge design can also be specified in black as a no-cost option. The interior of the extreme sports model, which is powered by a 155kW/211bhp four-cylinder engine, is kitted out with black sports seats featuring contrasting red stitching and trim elements in Chili Red. The steering wheel rim, the gearshift lever and handbrake lever gaiters also have contrasting red stitching. Another exclusive option available for the MINI John Cooper Works, MINI John Cooper Works Clubman and MINI John Cooper Works Convertible are Lounge Leather seats with red piping. The instruments of these three model variants are fitted as standard with anthracite-coloured dials.

New wheels for 2011 Images courtesy of BigBlogg

on the PULSE


Our View

The five-year overhaul was not critically needed, but it does help to keep the MINI feeling fresh and up-to-date with modern trends and rival models. As already mentioned the brake cooling vents on the S are a welcome addition, as is a fresh range of wheels and colours. LED lights can sometime be seen as a bit chavvy, but the dynamic element where they shine brighter depending on the strength of braking is pretty cool. Likewise with the adaptive headlights. Personally I think the restyled bumpers look better and give the MINI a better stance when viewed headon. Improving the side repeaters so they look less tacky is definately a good thing, as is enhancing the quality of materials used on the interior - although we are yet

to see this in the flesh. The dashboard switch from silver/grey to black gives a more mature feel to the interior, but the option of various shades of ambient lighting is a novelty at best. The introduction of two new diesel engines is welcome too. Having driven a Cooper D in Australia, I wasn’t impressed with its lack of pulling power, so these units offer hope of an improvement. All-in-all we quite like what has been served up, but there are some grumbles from other corners of the scene who wanted more from the JCW, or should that be less? suggests that the JCW should come with an options list allowing customers to remove items, making it more stripped out and lightweight, and why not?



Countryman launch Checki ng out the big brot her of the M IN I fa m ily.


The m

ost controversial MINI to date was unveiled to Mini clubs in the UK on May 29, 2010 at MINI Oxford. After sweetening us up with some breakfast we were led into a dark room with just the glowing words ‘MINI COUNTRYMAN. GETAWAY.’ visible. In the moderate darkness, sitting patiently we could see two large objects covered by sheets - two? MINI Chief Designer - Gert Hildebrand - came out and started to reel off all the spiel about the design and the reasoning behind it, before showing a short film. The long and short of it is



- yes there are two different models. One is the ‘standard’ model, for the ONE, Cooper and D, and there is a modified design specifically to appease Cooper S owners who want their MINIs to be more different to the base models. Pictured here are the blue Cooper D, and the metallic Cooper S. These are preproduction cars and the interior is not finished yet, so don’t take too much notice of the dull interior trim. We already know the Countryman and Beachcomber are using the same four-metre long platform (four metres, 11cms to be exact), and slightly longer than the MINI Clubman, it is quite obvious this is a BIG car. The whole car retains the

MINI look, just expanding on the proportions of each. The chassis has been raised for extra ground clearance and with ‘All wheel drive’. The super large wheels come at 17-inch as standard, with the option to fit 18 or 19-inchers. The roof has been shortened and comes with roof bars as standard on both models.

on the PULSE

MINI Cooper S Countryman MINI ONE D Countryman



Gert explained that a lot of time had been spent trying to design the largest rear door possible, for easy access and to help maximise leg and headroom. All four seats are fully adjustable, and the Cooper S models have an additional central rear seat, while the base models have the centre rail running between the seats. Other design tweaks include a clean rear hatchback, with the MINI logo being used as the opening handle, while other lights and lenses have been moved further outwards to maximise space. This includes side repeaters being



Both models feature roof rails and LED rear lights, while the Cooper S has restyled bumpers, grille and side repeaters to set it apart.

positioned on the A-panel, while the rear lights are of the LED type to conform to the facelift recently given to the rest of the range. As you would expect safety regulations have played a part in some of the design, and that mainly applies to the bonnet and front bumper, which fulfils pedestrian safety regulations by way of soft bumper which avoids knee injury and rolls the pedestrian on to the bonnet. The bonnet itself is spaced 60mm away from the engine block to help cushion any head impact. There will initially be 11 colours available, including Pure White (different to Pepper White) and a unique shade of brown - which seems to be coming back into fashion. It will be produced in Graz, Austria, most likely alongside the forthcoming Beachcomber. One element that was particularly pleasing to some in attendance, was the inclusion of brake cooling vents in the front grille. At the time, we didn’t know this would become standard on Cooper S models from 2011. As with many MINI models, one of the key elements of the design was ensuring that standard parts were used from models already in production. That means that most parts are interchangable with other MINI models, however the

wheels are five-stud wheels instead of the normal fourstud.

Two of a kind

The differences between the two models are slight in design - with the front and rear bumpers accounting for most of the changes. The base models have a thick slatted grille and no brake cooling vents, while the Cooper S model sports a more aggressive look, with a meshtype grille with the air scoop (normally seen on the bonnet) now placed centrally to direct air into the heart of the engine. The S also includes the brake cooling vents and twin exhaust. There will be five engine choices at launch from the MINI ONE Countryman (98bhp), MINI ONE D Countryman (98bhp), MINI Cooper D Countryman

(112bhp), MINI Cooper Countryman (122bhp), MINI Cooper S Countryman (184bhp). Prices for begin at around £16,000 for the ONE model and up to £20,000 for the Cooper S variant - although additional options are likely to inflate this.


We quizzed Gert on whether this MINI would actually be able to go off-road - after all with 4WD, chunky wheels and a raised chassis, the implication is that the Countryman is an all-rounder. Gert didn’t seem too keen to be asked about this

Our View

In all honesty, I wasn’t impressed. For a MINI take on other SUV type cars, yeah, sure, it’s quite good, but I just don’t see the purpose of it. It’s supposed to be a family car, OK, so just give it four doors - does it need to be SUV-like? It seems as though it is lacking in identity and purpose. Is it a true off-roader? If not, then why does it bother to have 4WD and a raised chassis?

- being a designer, not an engineer and gave me the impression that it is not an SUV and not suitable for offroading. However, MINI’s literature suggests otherwise stating: ‘The MINI Cooper S Countryman and MINI Cooper D Countryman can be ordered as an option with MINI ALL4 permanent all-wheel drive. Here, an electromagnetic centre differential positioned directly on the final drive varies the distribution of power seamlessly between the front and rear axles. In normal driving conditions up to 50 per cent of the drive is sent to the rear wheels, in extreme situations as much as 100 per cent. The result is a new,

So, it’s not a normal four-door family car, like a Mondeo, and it’s not a true off-roader, like a Land Rover. My suspicions tell me that as a business, MINI figured it would be easier to build two cars from the one platform (Countryman and Beachcomber) rather than two new platforms (for a normal four-door car, and the bigger Beachcomber). It does make commercial sense, but is it what the buying public

on the PULSE traction-led expression of the agile handling for which MINI is famed. The MINI Countryman comes as standard with the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system. Available as an option are Dynamic Traction Control (DTC, standard on the MINI Cooper S Countryman – both with front-wheel drive and ALL4 allwheel drive – and MINI Cooper D Countryman with ALL4) and an electronic locking function for the front axle differential.” The proof, we guess, will be in the pudding - once it’s launched we’ll soon find out whether it can traverse muddy hills or not.

want? Has the recession put people off the idea of these SUV-like cars - or Chelsea tractors - which are perceived to be gas-guzzlers (diesel = about 65mpg, petrol about 46mpg). Personally, I like this model the least out of the MINI family, but I do like the Beachcomber which is the same size. I would have preferred to see a proper four-door family car rather than this.



Beachcomber launch The lates t M IN I model is revealed in Detroit.



officially unveiled the MINI Beachcomber concept at the 2010 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), and love:mini was there to see it. It’s based on the upcoming R60 (Countryman) that’s just been released in Europe and will be in the US in February 2011. The Beachcomber concept is a 21st century update on the classic Mini Moke, as can be seen in the familiar grille shape and lack of doors and roof. At 2:45pm EST on January 11, 2010, the MINI press conference began with Ian Robertson, Member of the Board of BMW AG, Sales and Marketing, showing up in front of the press in a MINI E (the all-electric MINI being currently tested). After a song and dance by the MINI dance team, the MINI Beachcomber was revealed to the press from behind a wall. The MINI



Words and photos Chris Ordon Concept at first looked big, but comparing it to the MINI Clubman, it’s not that much bigger. The one thing I’m sure of is that MINI will not let the handling and the fun factor go away with this crossover. The only way to really tell is to drive it, but since this is a concept that won’t happen, so we’ll just have to wait for the Countryman to come out to find out about the fun factor and the handling.

Fearless fun

Here’s what Ian Robertson had to say about the MINI Beachcomber Concept: “The inspiration for the MINI Beachcomber Concept is clearly born from the MINI Crossover, combined with the vision of a radically open body concept. The result is a MINI that’s tough, fearless and ready for any open air adventure. It provides a highly emotional driving experience where you are in close contact with your surroundings, whether it’s cruising through town, enjoying rough tracks in the

mountains, or breezing along the beach. It offers extreme freedom in driving. Through its robust and versatile character, the MINI Beachcomber Concept also captures the spirit of the Mini Moke, which stood for adventurous motoring back in the sixties. The rugged appearance and the minimal body components and interior clearly reflect elements of the Mini Moke. This is further accentuated by the overall design language, such as the characteristic radiator grille. This concept has a new innovative all-wheel drive system, ALL4, as well as an elevated seating position. The MINI Beachcomber Concept can be driven without doors, a conventional roof and all other body elements which might limit the intensity of the open driving experience. This car retains its special character in all road and weather conditions. In the event of bad weather, drivers can quickly use the soft roof and lightweight doors.”

on the PULSE

Seatbelts are integrated into the seat, while a compass sits below the handbrake to aid navigation.

The rear door pack looks like a spare wheel holder, but is actually extra storage space.

Our View

fun, sporty, character of the MINI. Despite claims that lightweight panels and roof can easily be fitted should the weather take a turn for the worst, we’re not aware of any secret storage facility for these panels - and who is going to kart them around ‘just in case’? Styling-wise we like it a lot more than the Countryman, but still have some reservations about the drivetrain. If it uses the same mechanics and differential as the Countryman, then it might encounter some difficulties in its off-road role, but hopefully MINI will appreciate that this will be used off-road, unlike the Countryman which, from what we understand, will be pretty much a Chelsea tractor - looking like an off-road car, but without the capabilities to actually go off-road. Only time will tell, but we can’t wait - this is the most exciting MINI yet!

The rear has only a half door, but more awkwardly the rail runs right down the centre of the boot space, potentially obstructing large items of equipment.

The interior is likely to be updated again to conform to the new 2011 refresh, but you can see steering wheel grips and red leather snakeskin-like trim. Two new aircraft-like dials monitor the position of the car. Speakers also replace airvents.

We suspect the Beachcomber concept will go into full production, although it is likely this will be in Germany or Austria rather than Oxford. Internally it will include the centre rail that we’ve seen on the Countryman, however, seeing it run right though the boot doesn’t seem ideal for those wanting to carry large bags. Three new dials have also been added, with two to monitor the MINI’s position with aircraft-like floating horizon gauges, and a compass to keep drivers heading in the right direction whilst off-road. Because of the open-air design, the airvents have been replaced with powerful speakers to counteract the wind noise. The seatbelts have been cleverly integrated into the shoulder of each seat, doing away with chassis mounting points, and each seat is adorned with a sporting motif to reinforce the



Monty will continue to contribute to MiniWorld as a freelancer.


Monty quits MiniWorld The big man takes his bow.


serving MiniWorld Editor, Monty Watkins, has resigned from his post as the magazine moves to new owners. Kent based publisher, Kelsey, has bought the magazine from IPC, along with four other titles, after a strategic review by IPC resulted in selling off their niche mags. It had been reported that Monty


Future diesel models spied 2012 MINIs spotted on the German roads.

Motoraut has posted up these pictures of two new diesel MINI models which have been pounding the streets of Germany. Suspected to be part of a 2012 line-up both cars sport a ‘SD’ badge, indicating it is in fact a diesel.



According to onlookers the cars had a typical diesel sound to them. MINI hasn’t confirmed production for either model yet, but it does seem to make sense as it expands the brand. For the original story blog/1049870_spy-shots2012-mini-clubman-s-diesel

had left amid sale negotiations, but word from the MiniWorld camp is that he had, in fact, planned to leave some months ago. Nevertheless, the loss of Monty will be seen as a blow to the publication, which, under his tenure, successfully outsold rival magazine, Mini Magazine since its launch. Speculation about the future of the magazine is rife. With

Kelsey a smaller, more budgetconcious publisher, questions are being asked about how budget changes will affect the quality, regularity or marketing of the magazine, and its affiliated events. The fact that Kelsey already has Modern MINI on its books leads many to think that the two magazines could merge in the future. In the shortterm though, it will continue as usual.


MINISPACE design winners When MINI

introduced the centre rail into the new Countryman, it invited a whole host of accessories to be spawned. Taking advantage of the creative minds of MINI enthusiasts, the firm set a design challenge to create the ultimate ‘click on’ accessory. Having never run a competition like this before, there was a chance it would receive little response - but instead the MINISPACE team were overwhelmed by the creativity of enthusiasts. After narrowing the entries down to five, it was finally decided that “Fire in the MINI” by Satoshi Nakamura from Berlin, Germany, was the winner. As a result the design was produced as a prototype and Satoshi received a nice trip to the Paris Motor Show 2010. The team described the winning entry as “Thought-provoking and eye-catching, the delightfully jaunty idea of installing a contained fireplace inside a MINI was too sexy to pass up.”


The other top four designs were “MINI Star Karaoke” by chris_townsend25 from Southampton, UK; “MINI Gamer” by tillathenun from Rome, Italy; “Extra Steering Wheel” by dougRG from Guatemala City, Guatemala; and “Tag Your MINI” by alexkenny21 from Torino, Italy - which allows you to graffiti the inside of your MINI.

Head of Porsche

Hard core M

unich Univeristy student, Neal Steinhoff, has come up with this concept for the next generation of MINIs - dubbed MINI Core. It keeps the R56’s wheelbase but adds a slicker, rounder look to the car but keeps its traditionally short overhangs and ‘wheel at each corner’ philosophy.


MINI v Porsche

Challenging the big gun to a race.


summer, the head of MINI USA, Jim McDowell, embraced the spirit of MINI and decided to have some fun by challenging Porsche to a race - a MINI Cooper vs. a Porsche 911. Sadly, the Porsche bigwigs didn’t take the bait, and after a second hilarious and impassioned appeal from Jim, MINI

decided to find a Porsche and a driver to race against anyway. After designing a fair track, suited to both cars, at Road Atlanta, the race was on. After much internet hype and weeks of build-up the challenge finally took place on June 21. To find out the result watch the video links. Challenge gauntlet The Response The Race.




Ralph Broad passes away Engineer and racing team boss dies. ed founder, Ralph Broad, has died at the age of 84. Broad used Mini mechanicals to produce his fastback racers which competed against the Works and Cooper Car Co. teams in the British Saloon Car Championship in the 1960s. Racers John Handley,

John Fitzpatrick and even Broad himself piloted the Mini-based cars to famous class wins all over Europe. In the late ’60s he switched allegiances to Ford, becoming successful with Escorts, Capris and Anglias before returning to British Leyland working with Triumphs and Jaguars.

Main photo courtesy Paco Sanchez



Power steering US Govt. starts investigation.

The US

Government has announced it is to start an investigation into the power steering on MINI Coopers following 54 complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The issues relate to 2004/5 models, of which there is an estimated 80,000 in circulation, and this is


where the investigation is expected to begin. If further issues come to light regarding other models, this could be expanded. MINI has said it will fully co-operate with the investigations. It has been known for a little while that there have been some issues with the power steering in some MINIs. In 2009 the issue was raised by UK Consumer programme, Watchdog.

New clubs finder site

Search, find and plot local clubs.

The social

arm of the MINI brand MINISPACE - has relaunched its club finding website and directory, with new enhanced functions to make searching for local clubs easier. Displayed as a Google map, the site uses cached information to provide local clubs currently listed in the directory. You can also use the Google Maps zoom



function to show a broader or more precise area of the country. Users can search for a club specifically, using the club name, or by town or country, Club administrators can also submit details of their own group to be added to the map after filling out a few details. Find the finder here at: clubfinder

WANTED: Original Headrests Classic Mini interior firm, Newton Commercial, has run out of twin-post headrests, meaning it can’t refurb or sell any more until they get some more units. They’re the type used between 1993-95, so if you have some in your spare parts pile, you might be able to make few quid from them. 01728 832880

GET YOUR MINI FEATURED Unlike other magazines, we’re not just looking for the shiniest, most perfect Minis. We want to hear the stories of all types of Minis, from the dilapidated workhorses of the world to your latest creation - and everything inbetween. But most importantly we want to hear about you - the people and your experiences and most heartfelt moments. Those unforgettable occassions in a Mini that made your heart beat a thousand times faster and bring the biggest smile ever to your face.  That’s what love:mini is all about...




@@ @@ @@ @@ @ @ @@ @@ @@ @@ @@ @ @@our@Sho@ut @ @ @ Y@ @ @ @ @ @ a re it! pin ion? Sh@ n o@ a t o G @@ @ @ @@ @@ @@ @@ @@ @@ @@ @@ @ @@ @ @ @ @ @ @@ @@ @@ @@ @@ @ @@ @ @ @ @ @ @@ @@ @@ @@ @@ @ @@ @ @ @ @ @ @@ @@ @@ @@ @@ @ @@ @ @ @ @ @ @@ @@ @@ @@ @@ @ @@ @ @ @ @ @ @@ @@ @@ @@ @@ @ @@ @ @ @ @ @ @@ @ @@ @@ @@ @@ @@ @ @ @ WIN! @@ @@ @@ @@ @@ @@ @ @@ @ @ @ @ @ @@ @@ @@ @@ @@ @ @@ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 82



Walking in the rain near Geneva’s airport in Switzerland I suddenly saw this semi trailer parked on a loading bay. There was an ad on the lorry for a company repairing fuel trailers, but the building was empty and it seemed the company had moved to another location. So I jumped the fence, hoping that no german shepherd would come and have a bite at my throat, and took a few pictures. This was in the spring of 2008 and I googled a little to see if I could get more information on this unusual truck, but without any results. One and a half year later, a friend who had seen the photos, gave me the phone number of the proud owner. Not surprisingly, this man was a fan of british cars and owner of several Minis. He had received the truck as a wedding gift in 1990. His friends had concealed the truck they had built for him in a shed not far away from where the wedding party was,

and during the meal they drove it up to him. The truck was never registered, but is fully functional. The man used it as an advertisment for his company and still does. He told me he has just repainted it and is looking for parts to replace the missing ones. The truck can still be seen but now in an industrial area called Vernier, also not far from the airport.� Ydrolina Mini Cooper Thanks for this Ydrolina. It never ceases to amaze me what weird and wonderful creations people make from Minis.

no photoshoping or anything like that. In certain areas, such as Broken Hill, the area went dark as the sun was unable to penetrate the dust!! Brett Nosse

It looks like the MINI has gone extra terrestrial in this pic. We wonder what the Martians think make of it?


Hi Craig, Here are a few pics of us having a laugh at a MINI advert celebrating 50 years. Hilltop Minis founders, Jan and Rich, thought it would be funny to park their MkI in front of it and send you a few cheeky snaps. Dave Lane Yes, it would have been nice of them to include a classic Mini in the ad, especially one as nice as that one.

MINI on Mars?

Hi Craig, you might have heard about the dust storm that went all over Australia due to the drought! I thought you might like the photo of my MINI in the middle of it! Please note that there has been


Moss vouchers

Classic British car parts restoration specialist, Moss-Europe, is kindly offering a ÂŁ25 voucher to the best letter sent in to us each issue. No matter where you are in the world you can still get your vouchers, and then spend them on high quality bits for your Mini. To be in with a chance, just email us a letter!

@@ @@ @@What real@ly gets our goat @@ @@ @@POTHOLES @@ @@ @@ @ @ The @@ @ @ @ @@ @@ @@ @@ @ @ @@ @@ @ @@ @ @ @@ @@ @@ @ @@ @ @@ @ @@ @@ @ @@ @


The Trend

Bitesize chunks from the scene


bad weather may be back in the UK, but even before winter arrived there’s been cause for complaint about the state of the roads. Driving around town in a classic Mini is like doing an Autotest, swerving to avoid holes, bumps and subsidence. And these aren’t tiny bumps that are occassional, these are regular, wheelswallowing canyons that can cause untold damage on the Mini, and even the MINI. What the hell is going on? Doing some errands today I had to visit my local council offices, and low and behold the worst road I had come across led staright to the council building. Fortunately, someone had obviously pulled their thumb out of their ass as there was a massive resurfacing truck and about six or seven people working on this one 100m stretch of road. I’m sure it would have taken them at least all day to fix this section,

but what about all the odd potholes on residential streets, and those on the popular back-routes? These have been subject to neglect, and by the time they are fixed, new potholes will have appeared. It’s as if the roads get intensive treatment when things get really bad, but the general maintenance to prevent these problems aren’t considered. We all pay our fair share in taxes but surely road tax should go directly towards building and maintaining the network, and that this should happen over the course of the whole year, not put it off until the spring after the roads have crumbled. I’ve seen on TV new machines that can fill a pothole in 20 minutes, a job that would take a manual worker a lot longer, so aside from the capital costs for the machine this should surely be a no-brainer. As usual it seems the beauracrats are willing to take our money and offer very little in return. Thanks!

Your views from the digital world “I’ve been through three tyres and one wheel in two months and last month my mate’s car had £2000 worth of repairs from a pothole.”

Greg Haynes

“We had 40 at the top of

our road! I had to drive a mile out of my way to get to the Post Office! They have very roughly filled them now, but they have done it so badly that it’s now like 40 little speed humps ”

Sonia Bowmar-scothern

“Yeah we have a pothole at a mini roundabout about 5-inches deep.”

HOT 3000 miles and the love:mini Mini is still going strong. MINI Countryman open day at MINI OXFORD gives us a good look. Meeting new friends in Australia. Weather in the UK finally hits 25C. Aluminium billet alloy cylinder heads hit the market. Panic: two days before L2B and the Mini’s damper bolt snaps off. Inconsistent weather is playing havoc with our Mini maintenance plans. Not all of us have heat, light and space in our garages, you know. Potholes still not filled wrecking out suspension. Queuing for hours up to leave Crystal Palace on L2B.

Marcel Parkinson

“I think they made Minty’s exhaust fall off!”

Rebekah Louise Johnstone

NOT love:mini


The lock-up Showing us your Mini stuff

Bruno Cottanceau Hello love:mini, my name is Bruno Cottanceau. I’m 54, single and I live in France. Here is a picture of my MINI Cooper S, which I have nicknamed UK GIRL! She is a 2004 Cooper S model, and has been treated to a few luxuries, such as a reprogramed ECU, JCW brakes, new WebSpoke wheels, JCW injectors and airbox, all of which has pushed the bhp output up to about 200bhp. I hope you all like my beautiful UK Girl as much as I do.




My Mini Sam Renton Hello love:mini, I’m Sam Renton, 20, and currently have my own media production company based in Stafford. I have restored my Mini with my dad for the past two years. We bought it completely standard from its previous owner in

Newark. The front was the worst, but we were amazed with the condition of the doors and rear. We replaced the whole front and had it fully resprayed. I replaced the rear subframe and sprayed it a funky green. i have also given it a retro MkI look, to set it apart from other Minis. I hope to spray the front subframe and engine in the near future as well as change the interior.

Callum Sinclair

Carlos Lopez Michel I try to tell you a bit of history with ‘Beto’ my Mini. In 1994 my mother bought it for daily travel to college, since then I have kept it. It was a 850cc and now has a 1275cc, 286 Kent cam, flipfront and

Andy Mullen Here is my MINI. I am a mechanic and I did all the modifications myself. The MINI had the gearbox reconditioned in May and a new clutch. Here is how much I’ve spent on it: JCW carbonfibre dash £250 JCW filter £50 OMP strut brace £60 OMP lower brace £40 Spax coilover suspension £600, I paid £150 second hand

other things. I have done all the work, I am an industrial engineer and mechanic. I also maintain some of my friends’ cars. Last year I finished the trailer, done with another half Mini, just to celebrate 50 years. Greetings from Chile Carlos White S spoke wheels £100 Four-branch manifold £170 Milltek cat back exhaust £300 Facelift rear lights £60 Xenon headlights £300 Gloss black headlight rings £6 JCW aero grille £120 Cooper S half leather seats £150 second hand Spotlights £60 Carbonfibre bonnet scoop going on soon £89 So just under £2000 spent. This is my first MINI as I was only 19 when I purchased this but I am looking at getting a Cooper S next year!

Dear love:mini, I have had my Mini since 2009 as my first car, it a 1990 Rover Mini Checkmate 998cc completely standard. I’m 16 and I originally bought it off my nana for my 14th birthday and spent two years getting it ready, keeping it looking nice for when I start driving soon. It’s used regularly, I let my nana drive me around, ha-ha! When I start driving it will be used to get me to Mini shows. I’m hoping to attend the IMM and Mini In The Park, fingers crossed! And using it to get me back and forth to work and college. I’ve got alot of work to do to it though. I’m restoring it back to how it looked once it came out of the factory! I love it to bits. My nana owns three other Minis they are a A-reg Mini City E, C-reg Mini City E and a Mini 1000. The whole family litterally has Minis, we love them! It’s possibly the best car made. I am part of a Mini club called Welsh Rarebit Minis who are regulary found on the Wirral - Llandudno Run every year. So basically Minis are in my blood, and in 20 years time i’ll still be driving Minis! The classic ones that is!






If one of the main duties of a Mini is to turn heads, then Mark.Paul.Deren - aka Madsteez - has created something that is sure to do that... and much more.

Words Jessica Brown Photos Madsteez love:mini




rtist Mark.Paul.Deren, a.k.a. Madsteez, is a multi-faceted artist and designer who hasn’t let being born blind in one eye and having three first names hold him back. In fact, this human tornado of frenetic energy is busy



enough for three people. As an artist, he has held solo exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles and Tokyo, in addition to group showings all over the world, and is also the founder of WEENfaktory – which specializes in multimedia design including brand identity, creative direction, graphic and fashion design, packaging, flash animation and typography. However, this self-proclaimed ferocious kite-walking, nerd ropeeating, Dolorean-loving, zebra pinstripewearing

WEENBEAR is probably best known for his large-scale, vivid and multilayered paintings, where strange and familiar figures are integrated into abstract landscapes. For his latest project, though, Deren is going with a more MINImalistic approach. Deren has partnered with Southern California car dealership Irvine MINI to create their very own WEEN!MAL mascot – The MINIWEEN. In addition to creating the mascot, Deren has handpainting a MINI Cooper – donated by the dealership – with his distinctive art.

The MINI Cooper has been roaming the streets of Orange County, California, in 2010 visiting charitable events sponsored by the dealership. Irvine MINI has also teamed up with the Miocean Foundation – a nonprofit foundation dedicated to protecting and improving Orange County’s 42-mile coastline by reducing urban-runoff pollution. “We wanted to find a really novel way to raise some funds for our favourite charities,” said Irvine MINI Sales Manager Steve Rudkin. “We think Deren’s cuttingedge visual style will appeal to our trendsetting and environmentally friendly clients.” Not surprisingly, a car

is not the only unusual object that Deren has put his stamp on. In addition to his own line of shirts and bags, he’s covered a couch, sneakers, skis, snowboards and even designer jeans with his own distinct style. Which begs the question: What is left to WEENify? The answer, apparently, is everything. According to Deren, who is striving to be “the thugged-out Martha Stewart,” no object is safe. Everything – from toasters to nightlights, fishing rods to shower curtains, cookware to curling irons – is on the list. WEENTOWN here we come!

Deren’s style will appeal to our trendsetting clients








Living with a Nightmare



Boys and girls of every age, wouldn’t you like to see something strange? Come with us and you will see, this, our Mini of Halloween...


or it was a cold winter’s night when King Jack of Birmingham found life under new ownership. It all began many years ago when women lusted to look like Cindy Crawford and men aspired to be Bon Jovi. As was the case with 35-year-old Grant

Woodhouse (more Metallica than Bon Jovi), Jack’s future owner, who was living the dream working in a guitar shop – think Wayne’s World. “My life was all about guitars and bands, never into cars at all,” says Grant. “But once my first band started gigging I needed something to carry all the gear around in.”

Grant’s first car wasn’t a Mini, but it wasn’t far off - an Austin Metro 1.3. With the back seats down, the band’s equipment fit in no problem. “We were only gigging pubs, so the amps weren’t huge... yet!”, he explains. But by fate, the hand of God, or just Grant’s bad driving, the Metro died a few months later after a crash. Now, we don’t want to give Grant a bad name, but he says he also ‘bumped’ his next car – a Ford Fiesta 1.1, which was quickly followed by another Metro and Fiesta again. While on the search again, his sister mentioned a Mini for sale. “I laughed at her, telling her ‘it had best have a roof rack! How would I fit all my guitars in

Words Craig McBeth Photos Ben Whitehouse love:mini



Hand-painted by Grant.

Pinstriped doorcards, white seat piping and a multitude of skulls give a creepy Halloween feel.

the back of that?!’,” he recalls. But check it out he did, and after taking it for a test drive he was hooked, taking it off the guy for £500. “The first thing I did was stick some huge Spiderman stickers in the back windows,” says Grant. “I had that one for about a year and a half. She ran great, but one day just got slower and slower until she wouldn’t run anymore.” And of course in those days Minis were two a penny so not many people cared if they were run into the ground.

Mini,” he says. But it wasn’t long until Grant was back in a Mini – this time an Estate, after someone ran into The Tank, turning it into a tin. Using it as a workhorse for his gigging equipment the roomy back end and

inside froze up in the winter, but impress it did, and that girl is now his wife. Once he’d snagged her though, he swapped it for Clio; “because it had a heater,” he says. Smart move. Come December 2008 and through general conversation Grant mentioned to his then-fiancé that he’d love to have another Mini one day. And, as if by magic, one appeared for sale around the corner from their new house. “It was exactly what I was looking for,” says Grant, “black with a white roof, MkI grille and 10-inch wheels.” As an early Christmas present Grant bought Jack – which is actually short for Jacqueline – on Christmas Eve. She is a 1990 Checkmate with a standard 998cc engine.

I swapped a VW Beetle for a Clio, simply because it had a heater

‘Tank’ing it

As the band got bigger – as well as the amps – another Mini wouldn’t have been practical, so he bought another Metro instead, naming it ‘The Tank’. “It felt huge after the

Me and the Estate.



opening rear doors of the Estate made short work of loading and unloading. The Mini served him well for a good few years, until it too was written off by someone crashing into him. Again, this could have been fate, as after a year on foot Grant picked up a 1974 Purple Beetle which he needed to impress a girl. The Beetle drove like a boat, was slow, unresponsive, and the

The original workhorse.

Jack getting some TLC.

“Looking over her with my lack of mechanical knowledge, she seemed fine. The test drive took me back to when I had my first Mini 15 or so years ago. She drove great, so I struck, what I thought was, a deal with the guy.” After a cup of tea at home the desire to show her off to friends and family became too much, so they decided to take her out for a drive. “Typically for me, she didn’t start up, so jokingly she instantly became the Nightmare Before Christmas to us and I mounted a small Jack Skellington bust on the dash.” And so Jack/Jacqueline was born. However, Grant’s mechanical genius neighbour - Paul - has kept Jack running sweet as a nut ever since, and has even come to the rescue in emergencies when the lights failed and she broke down

twice. What a guy, the things people do for Minis.

A new adventure

With a new car, new year and soon to be new wife, the scene was set to embark on a new adventure into the Mini community, and a year’s worth of Mini 50 shows lay ahead. First stop was a cold January event at Bingley Hall, Staffordshire. “It was our first-ever Mini show and the seed of our new obsession. It showed us just why the classic Mini is known as the Mr Potato Head of the car world.” So they got in on the act and started their personalisation of Jack - buying a pair of headlamp eyelids and set of HT leads. Seeing the Betty Boop-themed Mini also gave them some food for thought, and in February that recipe began to take shape, with the interior given the Nightmare

BEWARE: Skulls bite.




treatment. The doorcards were painted black with white pinstripes to match Jack Skellington’s suit, while the window winders received Jack Skellington heads and Grant even hand-painted a new knob for the glovebox. At the spring Malvern Show the compiling of the never-ending list of extras began, but it was the radio-

controlled replica Minis that fascinated him the most. “I knew I had to make a clone of mine too,” he says. After popping along to a local Morris show, where Grant’s partner fell in love with beautiful Purple Morris Pick-up (ahh, we see, it’s the purple she likes huh?), the couple had a rather busy month in May – as they got married after 10 years together. Congratulations. But there was still time to visit Himley Hall and get some more stuff for Jack. Ticked off the list

As I was pouring the second tub of oil in, I knew it was too much...



was a set of wind deflectors and a shiny GB sticker, but now added is a flip front! “And I’ve found a strong new love for the Riley Elf! I will have one some day,” exclaims Grant.

Centre caps and tyre valves get the treatment. Cornwall was the honeymoon destination and Jack wasn’t going to be left behind. The newlyweds’ friends had decorated the Mini with balloons, flowers and the obligatory ‘Just Married’ sign, and on the way down south they were greeted with many cheerful road users pipping their horns to wish them luck. However, something tends to go wrong to make these trips more memorable, right? And a honeymoon is a perfect occasion. “As we passed Bristol we needed to stop for fuel, I filled up and was ready to carry on with our journey but I noticed my oil light came on and stayed on. In a panic I ran to the petrol station and bought a litre and poured the lot in the engine, waited a moment and checked the dipstick. To my bemusement it only

showed a drip at the bottom of the stick, so I shot back into the station for another litre... As I was pouring the second tub in I knew it was too much, but I was just going with what the dipstick was telling me. All this time my newlywed wife was telling me ‘that’s way too much, you know’. My initial response was: ‘what do you know about cars, you can’t even drive!’. I whipped out the

dipstick to prove my point and it was still just a little drip at the bottom of the stick. I looked under the car for leaks, but nothing. I couldn’t understand it. Then I had a brainwave; start the car, it may mix the old and new oil round a little. It did and I’d gone over the MAX point by a fair way. Panicking, I decided to hit the motorway and burn off the extra oil. As we got back up to speed I looked in the mirror to see a huge cloud of smoke behind us, I slowed down and as the smoke started to dissipate I could see the outline of another Mini behind us. I pulled over to the hard shoulder and, to my




Baby Melody is growing accustomed to her new surroundings.

Web-tastic. relief, so did he. After a brief introduction our new friend, Ben, from Minis of Tiverton (MOT), told us to follow him and he’d not only get us safely off the motorway but also get us some help. My wife - now quite smug telling me ‘I told you so’ while I was thinking I’d killed our little car - and I sat down for a coffee, Twenty minutes later Ben returns with another member of MOT, James. He whipped a trolley jack out of the back of his car, hitched up our poor motor and promptly drained our oil and refilled us back up to the correct level. I’ll always be eternally grateful to those guys, they not only got us out of a very sticky situation but also saw us safely back on our way.” Mini camaraderie strikes again.

Wonders of the web

Disaster averted the happy couple returned from their honeymoon and continued with their integration into the Mini scene. After picking up some chrome wheel-arch covers at Birmingham MOC’s Cannon Hill Park show, they popped along to



Mini Spares Midlands’ Open Day. It was here that Grant spotted a ‘50s American classic in black and green, sporting some cool handcrafted stainless steel cobweb headlight covers. “I knew they’d fit in perfectly with our Nightmare theme,” says Grant, “so I got talking to the owner and she told me to see Ms Metal’s website in the USA. It didn’t take me long to Google her and get a pair ordered.” With 2009 being the Mini’s 50th anniversary, it was fortunate that Grant and his wife had become involved just at the right time – and living in Birmingham, the IMM was just a stone’s throw away compared to some of the pilgrimages some other owners had undertaken. Being so close it would have been rude not to attend, so attend they did, and they were amazed to see so many Minis from so far away. “The best part for me was just wandering round the huge camping area looking at all the clubs and seeing how far people had come,” Grant remembers. After visiting the Uttoxeter show and falling in love with the ELF-240

Mini caravan and some 10-inch Starmags, it was off to Stanford Hall. “My wife found a lovely purple (Purple again!) Mini Pick-up that she took a fancy to and I now want my Mini deseamed!” Ah, the joys of Mini ownership and the many creative, and usually conflicting, ideas that whiz through our heads. As October finally drew in, the couple had decided that Jack had to be ready for Halloween and their trip to Disneyland Paris. Over the previous months they’d set the wheels in motion when Grant got a mate to make up some Nightmare… door and roof decals for the car. These finally came through and the bulk of the theme was in place and looking good. The trip abroad was an adventure in itself, with the

convoy taking wrong turns and the usual Mini maladies of oil leaks etc. as they drove through France. But they made it and met some good people along the way. “We made some more friends including Oz the Gopher & Phil, Martin and Emily, Sherrie Haslett, and Michael and Holly with the Tigger van – who had unknowingly inspired us to do this trip after seeing the Tigger van in last year’s review,” says Grant. “I was extra proud, as not only were we at the second home of Disney in a Mini for the Mini’s 50th, but it was Halloween too - my car couldn’t have been more appropriate.” After the show the couple ran back into the park to get a photo taken with Jack Skellington himself, perfectly rounding off the weekend.

Inspired by others at the Malvern Mini show.

Minis v Bugs

Even after a hectic year the couple didn’t let up on their travels. Just a few weeks later they shot off to the autumn Malvern Mini show. This was followed by a charity turn out for Children in Need, when word got round that there was a VWs vs Minis meet at the Waterman Pub near Coventry. Both CV1 Minis and Medievil Mini clubs welcomed the pair and as well as the Minis there was a mix of pimped out campers and bugs. “One lucky fella pulled up in his camper towing his Minivan behind him,” says Grant. “He said he couldn’t decide which one to bring, it would be like leaving one of his children at home if he had to pick just one!” And so the perfect Mini year was rounded off with a final show at Stoneleigh for Christmas celebrations where

they met up with friends they had made over past 12 months. Medievil Minis invited them to display Jack on their stand and the Horslers were there in full Christmas gear with a copy of their club newsletter which had Grant’s car on the cover. As far as introductions go to the Mini scene Grant and his wife have dived right into the deep end and have come out smiling. In future though the Mini is going to have to cope with being treated with a little bit of contempt and

One lucky fella pulled up in his camper towing his Minivan behind him

disrespect… why? Well you know what kids are like, and they’ve just had another addition to the family. Baby Melody was born in May 2010, and is fast becoming a regular on the Mini scene with the family – although how keen mummy is at being relegated to the back seat we’re not quite sure yet… As for Jack, he’s no longer a nightmare, as he continues to run like a dream, turning heads and most importantly, giving the kiddies a good scare at Halloween. Our man jack is King of the Pumpkin patch. Everyone hail to the Pumpkin King



A tour Down Under love:mini takes a journey around Queensland and hooks up with some friends.


t’s not every day that you get the opportunity to go to Australia. And when the call came in February 2010 to offer me and my family the trip of a lifetime for two weeks in Brisbane, we could only say ‘yes please’ and ‘thank you very much’. With only two months to prepare, a limited budget and no idea where to begin, we set about researching the area and drawing up places to visit. Brisbane is Australia’s third largest city, located midway up the east coast. and about 12 hours drive north (960km) of Sydney. It is built around the Brisbane River and is surrounded by a bowl of mountains. When we arrived in early April it was just entering autumn, but temperatures were still reaching



27-30°C. It was quite an adjustment from the chilly 5°C we had been experiencing back in the UK. We’d not even reached our ride from the airport car park when we spotted our first Mini in Australia. Without hesitating I approached the two lads sat in the classic Clubby and said a quick hello. Unprepared and cameraless, I missed the chance to get a picture, but was chuffed to have seen a Mini so early in the trip.

MINI loan

After a few days with the family I headed up the coast to Caloundra, where I had arranged to borrow a MINI from Coastline MINI Garage - a BMW/MINI dealership. The people there were great and

really friendly, much like most of the people we met on our travels. From my short time in the country so far, I’d noticed a lot of differences in the way they do things in Oz. We sat down and talked about cars in Australia and how they seem to be mainly Asian models. It turns out that the costs of importing European cars severely inflates the end retail price making them more of a luxury item to many Australians. Back in the UK we take for granted the number of MINIs on the road, but in Australia they are almost as scarce as classics are in England. And it’s not surprising. Having seen how incautiously the majority of the population drive, I too would probably opt for a cheap $15,000 Suzuki Swift over a $46,000 MINI



Dow ini n Unde r Our boat

Someone’s nicked me shoes and dressed me in a tea towel.

Looking inland from Tamborine Mountain.

Cooper D, like the one we were using. Perhaps BMW could use a bit of BL ingenuity and open up a plant down there to cut import costs and really break into the market. With new models such as the Moke-a-like Beachcomber - aimed at action/ adventureorientated customers - I for one think the Australian market would be ideally suited to the MINI brand and image, but to-date it’s hardly made an impact. For us though, it was the perfect car. Familiar and fun.

Big enough to fit a family of four and economical enough to go 800km on a full (40-litre) tank. And that’s not Driving Miss Daisy-type driving either. But when fuel costs nearly half of what it does in the UK, you can certainly afford to use a bit more. Driving in Australia was a real eye-opener (well both eyes really) - you need to be super alert to the standard multiple lane system. It was my first experience driving abroad, and with English signs and right-hand drive I thought how hard could it be. Driving itself was fine, but it did take some time to get used to having cars criss-crossing and overtaking from both sides, the frequent intersections and, dare I say, almost draconian speed limits. I didn’t see any rules in force that suggested drivers should ‘keep left except for overtaking’ and would regularly come up against a rolling roadblock of cars all doing the same speed. And braking distances - I don’t think it’s ever been mentioned

Posing outside Sundive diving and snorkling centre in Byron Bay after drying off.

over there with bumper-tobumper tailgating seemingly the norm. My biggest surprise, though, was to find a brand new motorway had been built to bypass the city - in which the politicians want to cut pedestrian deaths - only to discover it is a toll road, and because of this hardly anyone uses it. As an outsider looking in, it is easy to expect things to be like in the UK, especially being an former British colony,

Fuel costs nearly half of what it does in the UK

Lighthouses dotted the coast and offered great views. love:mini



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 Views to the Gold Coast and beyond...


Our first trip was about two hours south to Byron Bay where we went snorkelling. Having never done it before, we were kitted out in wetsuits and sent for laps in the local hotel swimming pool as guests watched on whilst eating their breakfast. How

embarassing. After sussing it out we headed out to the beach to help launch the boat which would take us 2km out from the shore to Julian Rocks. The conditions were perfect and once in the water we saw puffer fish, leopard sharks and lots of reef fish too, it was truly amazing - despite swallowing an unhealthy amount of salty sea water! The next day we set off to Tamborine Mountain for some amazing views out to the coast and inland. Stopping at a botanical garden - which seem to be everywhere - we soaked up the atmosphere and tranquility of the wildlife and lucious surroundings before enjoying the twisty mountain roads home. Having driven the Cooper D for a couple of days at this point, I was finding that for a diesel car it lacked

A deserted botanical garden

Kookaburra Play areas are everywhere



but unlike New Zealand, Australia looked to the Americans as inspiration in breaking away from the British rule - a rebellion of sorts (like doing the opposite of what your parents tell you to do). And as such you could spot a lot of American influences, even in simple things like road signs. As with most things though, once you’ve had time to adjust it quickly becomes second nature, and before long we were taking in some dusty backroads.

The sign we’d all been waiting to see.

The road home was a twisty one - perfect for the MINI.



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Brett’s MINI

Good to go kick some ass!

had arranged to meet up with fellow MINI owner Brett Nosse, who had travelled just a few inches on the Australian map - but a good six hour drive - to come and see me and join in the Mini run the next day. Brett is fortunate enough to have bought the reg plate ‘MINI’ for his car, and supersedes what I thought was a cool ‘MINI 92’ on my loan car. He tells me he’s also just bought the ‘Cooper S’ plate for his classic, so is very much

Back in the pits Brett accusing me of ramming him

the envy of some of his fellow enthusiasts.


To make the most of his lengthy journey we decided to go karting. Two 8-minute sessions for $30-odd bucks wasn’t bad and again the weather hadn’t let us down. Kitted up and briefed we set off and I set about finding my line. I found one and stuck to it, but it hacked off some of the more experienced racers who were almost queuing up behind

Doing the Burnley massive proud.

Brett signing on

the grunt and torque in the low rev range you’d expect from a diesel. It did have six gears, and is supposedly designed so it can be driven like a petrol MINI, but it is almost etched in stone that diesels are torquey, and this one just wasn’t. Nevertheless, it was a fine machine and served us well., covering over 1600km in a week - almost doubling the mileage on the odometer. On Saturday I

One of the two karting tracks at Kingston Park Raceway. love:mini



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The Mini Club Queensland Inc. had arranged a run while I was in Australia and so I asked to tag along. The trip was about 100km north of Brisbane to Buderim and a famous car collection called Bowden’s Own. It’s a family collection started over 35 years ago in order to preserve some




Car 26, a Morris Cooper S, was our car of the day. It actually ran in the 1970 Bathurst race, driven by Lynne Keefe and Arthur Olsen, finishing 36th.

Bowden’s Own

A surprising number of roundnose Minis turned up for the run, and with some cool accessories. Just check out those MB wheels.

me before finding a way past. Time up, and my arms were a little achey, but I was just getting into it. Brett and I checked times only to discover I’d only clocked up two laps. What? It turns out the transponder on the kart was faulty, so all eyes were on the next session. The ‘pros’ had gone off and this left us racing similarly experienced people. After chatting to the friendly staff we got put onto a double session - 16 minutes. I started at the back with Brett in front of me. I was feeling good and the rivalry was hotting up as we exchanged fierce words. Finding an improved line almost instantly I was using the brake a lot less and flying through corners at full throttle, teetering on the edge of the tyres’ traction. Buzzing round the track I was overtaking everyone, cutting inside at the corners and battling against the sideways slide. Ahead I saw Brett on the long straight, with a corner coming up that I take tightly and others go wide. Braking late I cut inside and he swerved off into the tyres, cursing as I sped off to take first place. I was overjoyed. Back in the pit we joked as he accusing me of ramming him, but we’d had fun and set off in good spirits ready for the early start the next day.



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I met up with some other Mini friends for dinner... of Australia’s most prestigious race cars. The collection now boasts over 80 cars and include Australian driving legend Allan Moffat’s 1972 Touring Car Championshipwinning Ford Falcoln GTHO Phase III, Peter ‘Brocky’ Brock’s 1978 Holden LX Torana SS A9X, and Dick Johnson’s 1982 Ford XD Falcon named ‘Tru-Blu’. The three-hour tour and talk by Dan Bowden explored all the history of these cars, as well as some great stories and anecdotes of the rivalry between drivers and manufacturers at the time. The garage has also started producing their own car cleaning products after years of research and unsatisfactory results with other brands.

The run itself was a simple affair up the motorway, but it was interesting to see how well kept the classic Minis were. Of course rust isn’t so much of an issue with the hot climate, and I doubt many, of the 30 or so, are daily drivers, but you could tell from the likes of MB Wheels, perfect sprayjobs and immaculate engine bays that a lot of love had been lavished on this little lot. We were even graced with a former Bathurst Mini that competed in the great race in 1970. And all too soon it was time to go. That evening Brett and I met up with some other Mini friends (Jess, Kirsten and Mitchell) for dinner at the best

Allan Moffat’s 1969 Ford Mustang

• Australian historical car collection • Premium car care products • Buderim, Queensland, Australia •

And here’s a garage most of us wouldn’t mind owning.

Dan Bowden regaled the crowd with racing stories




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steakhouse in Brisbane. It was nice to be able to sit and have a decent chat to some new people rather than the usual fleeting conversation, although I did think $27 just for a steak (no chips) was bit steep.

Zoo days

Australia Zoo was our last big hit of the week, but when we arrived on Monday we


Finally, a mouth bigger than mine!


One of the Glasshouse Mountains.

found our camera had packed in, so rather than miss out on some memories, we headed to the beach for the day where we built sandcastles and tried to bury my daughter up to her waist but she was having none of it! Tuesday then, and the zoo. I’m a big fan of Steve Irwin and it was great to visit the place he loved so much. The animals looked so happy and the enclosures were larger than some UK housing plots. It was at the arena show where they got up close and personal with the crocs - “This is what you don’t do to a croc... (splash splash)” - that it became particularly poignant though, with flashbacks on the big screen of Steve, his passion and his infectious personality. He will be sorely missed. After the show we took the opportunity to buy a photo posing with a koala - well how often is that going to happen? They also do shots with other animals including a tiger! But it must have been his day off when we went. In the kangaroo enclosure we were expecting to see maybe a few bouncing around

Lunchtime in the trees away from the walkway, but far from it. Some $2 kangaroo food and a walk into the sunshine found a whole gang of them sunbathing on the grass. A bit cautious I approached one with some food, who spritely jumped to his feet and had a little feed. Amazing, I was feeding a kangaroo. As the day came to a close we headed home, stopping off at the Glasshouse Mountains - narrowly avoiding a wild ’roo on the way. These large uprisings out of the ground are actually formed from volcanic lava. At one time the ground level of the area was the same as at the peak of the mountains, but years of erosion of the surrounding land has exposed them, creating these amazing rocks. That concluded our MINI tour of the Brisbane area, but it’s fair to say that there was still a lot more to see and do! A special thanks must go to Coastline MINI, who, without their help, most of this wouldn’t have been possible. If you ever want to buy a MINI in Australia these are the chaps to talk to.

Coastline MINI Sunshine coast dealership delivers a ray of light to new customers.


ust 100km up the coast from Brisbane is where you will find Coastline MINI garage, in the Sunshine Coast town of Caloundra. Situated on one of the main roads leading into the beachside resort, nestled in amongst a host of other car dealerships, Coastline MINI dominates the road with three MINIs peering over the balcony to be seen from all around. In a purpose-built, stylish and modern building, it’s impressive glass structure houses an award-winning team of around 60 professionals that can sell, service or part-exchange a MINI, as well as providing top quality customer service from the moment you step through the door. Such excellence has led Coastline MINI to become the No.1 BMW dealership in Australia. I spoke to Ryan McCabe and Karen Moye about the dealership and brand. With prices for a base model costing around $37,500 (and up to $65k for a Clubman JCW), it’s no

She served us well.

surprise the country is dominated by cheaper Asian cars. With European cars seen as a luxury over practical Utes, both Ryan and Karen see how the MINI is still quirky and fun enough to appeal to both the older generation, who remember the classic, and the young who can relate to the whole brand image. And their secret weapon to convince customers to forget about the price tag - a test drive! With finance deals to suit all, there’s no reason why more of Australia couldn’t be having more fun driving on those dusty backroads.

Coastline BMW • • • • • • •

MINI/BMW sales MINI/BMW servicing Part exchange available No.1 BMW dealer in Australia Award-winning customer service Nicklin Way, Caloundra, Queensland




Business Getting to know your Mini vendors

Bill Richards Racing

After working with the best at BMC Special Tuning, BRR continues with the same ethos.


e are a small, friendly company dedicated to building and tuning mainly BMC/A-Series engines for all forms of motorsport and road use. As well as building ‘one-off’ projects, we also service, repair and provide TLC for everyday road Minis. Bill Richards served his apprenticeship at the world famous BMC Special Tuning Division, before setting up Bill Richards Racing which moved to its present Ashford (Kent) home in the 1980s. Bill began racing in 1976 and continues to race his two selfprepared Minis and iconic space frame Metro with great success. Although Minis are our speciality, we also prepare



engines for other marques including MG, Triumph, Austin Healey and Ford. We offer a bespoke service in which the engine and car preparation will be matched precisely to your needs. Whether this be racing (Sevens, Miglias, modified or historic saloons, Mighty Minis, Minicross or grasstrack, rallying, historic, contemporary, stage or road) sprinting, hillclimbing, track

Services • • • •

Tuning Repairs Engine building Servicing

Champion into Class C.


Bill Richards Racing Team Clubman

Our self-built and prepared Clubman will once again compete in the Dunlop Motorsport News Championship (a championship which it has won outright in previous years). This is a modified saloon championship, which although mainly southeast based also visits Thruxton, Snetterton, Silverstone and Mallory Park. The field contains an eclectic days or standard/fast road use. Bill has a unique customer service philosophy, he encourages customers to get involved with the building of their engines and if possible, to spend a day with us at our workshop to observe their engine being engineered and built. We do not supply DIY engine kits or bolt-on tuning parts, and will not fit a tuned engine into an unsafe car. As well as our UK

Our Metro (a Maguire Mini spaceframe ‘wearing’ a Metro body) is undergoing a further year of test and development following the installation of her 300bhp 2ltr Ford Duratec. She will compete in the SEMSEC Sports and Saloon Championship. This unique championship is mainly based at Lydden Hill and Brands Hatch and provides a competitive ‘home’ for Special GT cars, Special Saloons, Modified Saloons and Sports Cars.

mix of machines including Nissan Skylines, various marks of Ford Escorts, SEATS, Peugeots, Renaults etc. Our Mini is powered by a 1480cc 16v twin cam KAD unit. As the head is ‘nonstandard’ the car is subject to a 50% capacity multiplication moving last year’s Class D

customers we have many customers and friends in the USA and Europe. Our engines can be shipped worldwide, and if circumstances permit Bill will supervise their installation and setup.


Our Tintop Mini fulfils many roles within the team: test car, racecar stand in, track day car, rental car and promotional/show car. In the past she has also competed in the BARC Tintop Championship and regularly stars at the Lydden Hill BHP shows. Business Profile Do you run a Mini-related business? Contact us for your free DPS profile and let our readers know what you’re about, and what services you offer.


Bill Richards Racing Unit 24, Ellingham Ind. Estate Ashford, Kent, UK TN23 6NF +44 (0)1233 624336





Bits and pieces for your ^Mini om bonnets

Total Paintworks Cust o.u k

w w w.totalpai ntwork s.c From £370

le bit dif ferent Wa nt someth ing that litt from the crowd? to set your M in i apar t t notice the cu stom Well, you ca n’t help bu works with their bonnets from Total Pa int or porated into the M in i lights ca ref ul ly inc nels. steel and fibreglass pa ldi ng in tu nnels we Ma nu factu red by lights, profil ing and adding the into the bonnet before ss dle na l creativity are en the possibi lities for perso o available. with bespoke desig n als

Rear lights are also available.

itg Megaflow Air Filterwww. From £49

MSX Crossflow Cylinder Head From £949

Carburretor specialists, Webcon, are throwing their hat into the aluminium cylinder head ring, with its own crossflow item. The heads are manufactured to the exacting standards expected of a Webcon product, and are up to 75% lighter than the original cast iron units thanks to the use of LM25 aluminium. The new head is designed to flow up to 25% more efficiently, offering full crossflow characteristics. It also features silicon bronze valve guides and is designed for use with Weber DCOE carburettors or throttle bodies using the same fitment pattern.



Air filter specialist ITG has designed this Megaflow air filter specially for classic Minis equipped with an SU HS4 carburettor. The filter has a special wedge shape to clear the bulkhead on classic Minis using a single SU carb and can be supplied with a baseplate to suit any SU. ITG’s unique flame retardant Tri-Foam system promises that the Megaflow filter will last at least four times as long as the equivalent standard filter and cleaning at service intervals will not be required.

Rear Coil-over Subframe From $1195

It’s a bit pricey, but this replacement item for the rear subframe from Mini Mania, looks way cool. It consists of a beam axle, with anti-sway bars, coil-over dampers and lightweight radius arms with adjustable camber and toe alignment, plus ride height adjustment. No wonder they claim it is the ultimate rear suspension for the classic Mini.

Thermostat Housing Fitting Kit £3.94

Revotec Cooling Fans From £46.95

Burton Power is now stocking Revotec’s cooling fan range, ideal for extra heat dissipation on a hot engine or as a replacement item on models with auxillary electric fans. These universal items are available in either Slim Line (just 52mm thick) or High Power (63mm thick) versions. Brackets and loom connections subject to an additional fee.

As part of a new range of fitting kits, Mini Spares has launched the Thermostat Housing Fitting Kit, suitable for all single tier thermostat housings. As with all the kits in the range, it will include all the fixings, gaskets, bolts, washers and studs needed to carry out the service procedure. In most cases the kits will be made up from genuine Rover components with reproduction parts only used when genuine items are no longer available.





Bits and pieces for your ^Mini Mi1 Wheel/Tyre Package £1369

GAZ adjustable SUSPENSION KIT ww £584.32 +VAT

If you’ve already been toy ing wit h the power out put of you r MIN I, then it’s wor th investing in some uprated suspen sion, and special ists Gaz have just the kit. Suitable for all MIN Is from 2002-on, it has been specifically designed for road use wit h the occasional track day in mind, and d comes wit h adju stable nickel-plate w dampers wit h coilover struts to allo the ride height to be adju sted by between -25 and -65mm. Alternative spr ing rates are ava ilable, as wel l as a ‘Gold’ kit for more serious track use.

Wilko R/C MINI £6.58 While out and about around town, doing non-Mini related activities, I spotted this little box of fun at Wilkinsons. At just under £7 it’s not likely to last forever, but it’s cheap enough to be worth a punt if you’ve not already got an R/C Mini. Or it could be a nice cheap gift!



Looking for a new set of wheels? Well AC Schnitzer have a superb wheel/ tyre set offer available at the moment and you stand to save a massive £553 on a complete wheel and tyre set. Made from lightweight alloy the cool five-spoke 17-inch wheels come with tyres already mounted and balanced and includes theft protection and an emergency tyre inflator kit, where applicable. The Mi1 package is suitable for all R50 and R56 MINIs whether hatchback, convertible or Clubman.

Piper performance exhaust

£385 +VAT The coolest turbocharged MINIs around use these 2.5-inch diameter exhausts in the MINI CHALLENGE, and now you could too. Available from Piper Exhausts, the single and twin systems are completely street legal and will pass MoT emissions tests when used with either a Piper downpipe and SportsCAT or original factory cat. More importantly, you could see a 14 bhp increase as well as looking supercool like those in the MINI CHALLENGE.




Essential equipment

Kamasa Combination Spanner Set £70.42 Kamasa’s Combination Spanners have been on the market for over 30 years and they now thought it time to bring out a new one. Using the same quality of highly polished Chrome Vanadium, the full sizes range from 6mm to 32mm. A hanging blow mould case completes the set.

r Paint Thickness Teste £7.99 Check for paintwork quality and filler.

Save-A-Battery Charger and Maintainer £59.95

Kamasa Handy Socket and Bit Driver Set £12.57 This handy socket and driver set is perfect for keeping in the car for those roadside fixes. With a magnetic quick chuck and a host of Metric and Imperial sizes, plus a number of screw bits, this all-in-one package could be a lifesaver for both classic and MINI owners - and at an excellent price too.

This compact charger from the US claims to be one of the best with intelligent microprocessor tech that will optimise and monitor your car’s battery. With a fast charge time, connectors to 12v fag lighter and domestic plugs, the charger will also tell you if your battery is too dead to be revived.

00 40 mel 9.99 k e r er D £8 Driv From .dreme act p m I ss www ordle aC it k Kit m Ma -ish 0 ctor £8 .makit nne o C al www ctric Ele n o s k Gun .co.u £!5 .gunson w ww

Givin’ it some hard graft CYBER CLEAN

From £4.99 Cyber Clean is a new revolutionary cleaning material for around the car and home. Working in much the same principle as Blu-Tack, it can mould itself into all the nooks and crannies other cleaners cannot. As well as collecting dirt, dust and grime, it features a disinfectant action to kill germs too. AUTOGLYM SURFACE DETAILING CLAY KIT £24.99 The latest kit designed to get the best shine from your car’s paintwork is this clay kit from Autoglym. By using its specially formulated clay bar and Rapid Detailer you can remove that invisible layer of ‘fallout’ from the atmosphere which can build up on paintwork and impair your car’s shine. Comes with polish, two cloths, Rapid Detailer and Clay bar.



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WORKSHOP Showing you how it is really done.

DIY TECH I Objective Bleed all of the air out of the classic Mini’s brake system. Tools • 2x 7/16” AF (11mm) spanners • 5/16” AF (7mm) socket/spanner • Catch tray • Eezibleed kit (or assistant) • Air pressure gauge (footpump) Time 30 minutes Difficulty 2/10 Cost £24.99 website item.aspx?cat=674& item=1818 Alternative method Ask a friend to pump the pedal, but you will need to watch the brake reservior for fluid running out more often.

Bleeding the classic Mini’s brakes by Craig McBeth Disc-braked dual circuit type later Mini. Bleeding the brakes is an essential part of the maintenance required to keep your classic Mini on the road. Usually it would be a two-person job, with one person pumping the brake pedal while the other adjusts the bleed nipple - however, the Eezibleed kit from Gunson is by far the easiest, and PREP: You will need to chock the back wheels of the Mini and jack up the front end and place it on axle stands.

most popular way to do this job on your own. Available for about £25 - or cheaper if you shop around - we recommend every classic owner has such a kit. It will make bleeding the brakes a lot easier, and when it comes to the brakes, you don’t want to be risking anything.

Remove both front wheels, this gives you easy access to both front brake callipers. The rear bleed nipples


are accessible from underneath the rear of the car without the need for jacking if necessary. Open and prop the bonnet up for access to the Brake Master Cylinder.


Unpack the Eezibleed kit. Inside you will find various-sized caps. Find the one that fits your brake fluid reservoir. You will need to detatch the spade connectors fitted to the brake fluid reservoir cap before removing it.


Once you have identified the correct-sized cap from the kit, you need to




2 assemble the kit. The brass union with the clear pipe fits into the hole in the cap lid. Once poking through the hole, fit the washer included in the kit and then the other half of the union. Tighten this moderately with two 7/16� (11mm) spanners/sockets



Run the black air hose from the bottle cap to the air valve on the tyre. The air pressure from the tyre acts in the same way as pressing the brake pedal, applying constant pressure to the brake fluid in the system. This constant pressure helps push any trapped air bubbles through the brake pipes where we will now release it. The Mini we are using uses a dual brake line system. You can identify this because there are two brake lines coming out of the brake master cylinder, just under the brake fluid reservoir. There are also two types of dual line system, this is the later one, from 1985 onwards. When bleeding the brakes you should bleed each wheel in a particular order.



Next you need to fill up the bottle with brake fluid and fit the cap. This acts as an extra reservoir.


Fit the other cap to the brake fluid reservoir and find somewhere to lightly wedge the bottle in. I wedged mine between the brake fluid reservoir and the engine steady, perched on the clutch cover.


Once all the caps are tightly done up you need to get one of the wheels you have removed and place it at the front of the car. Using a foot pump, or pressure gauge, let some air out of the tyre until the pressure reaches 20psi.






For the late dual line system the order should be: passenger rear, driver rear, passenger front, driver front. The general rule of thumb is to start with the wheel furthest away from where the brake fluid begins, and work your way back towards it. For alternative brake systems refer to Haynes manual. You can either jack up the rear and do the rear wheels first and then jack up the front and do the front ones, or place the whole car on axle stands.


Place a drip tray underneath the first wheel, and, using a 5/16� AF or 7mm spanner/socket, slowly undo the bleed nipple. As fluid begins to flow, ensure the drip tray is catching the fluid. Open up the nipple further and watch the fluid as it pours out. Look for any bubbles of air in the fluid. This will be noticible in the flow of the fluid. If it stutters or the flow is not constant, there is air still in the system. Keep the bleed nipple open until the flow of fluid is constant and uninterrupted. Allow the fluid to flow for as long as necessary until you are satisfied the fluid flow is constant. When you see this, nip up the bleed nipple. At this stage, go back to the engine bay and check to see how much fluid is left in the bottle. If it is needing a top-up, remember to disconnect the air pipe from the tyre before unscrewing the bottle cap. Top up the fluid, replace the cap and reconnect the air pipe to the tyre. Repeat step 6 for the other rear wheel.


Once the rear wheels have been bled, again, check the bottle and top up if necessary. Then move the drip tray to the passenger side front wheel. Using a 7/16� AF or 11mm socket/spanner, slowly undo the bleed nipple. Fluid is likely to leak down the calliper here so try and be prepared. Alternatively, we made a funnel from the top of an old bottle to help direct the fluid. You can also use a bit of piping or rubber tube if



you can find the right size. Again, watch the fluid for a consistent and constant flow, and then close the bleed nipple. Repeat this for the driver’s side calliper.


When all the wheels have been bled go and disconnect the Eezibleed kit. Remember to detatch the air pipe from the wheel first. Then unscrew the bottle cap and place the bottle to one side. Then remove the brake fluid reservoir cap. Place the original brake fluid reservoir cap on and go and test the brake pedal. Ideally the brake pedal should feel stiff with little travel. If you find the pedal moves significantly, or you have to pump the pedal to get any pressure in the pedal, you will need to go through the whole process again until the pedal travel is minimal. It is also worth noting that the seals in the brake master cylinder can perish, causing air leaks into the system. This can also make the brakes feel ‘spongy’. Check this by watching for air bubbles in the brake fluid reservoir (with the cap still on) whilst pressing the brake pedal.





Once you are happy with the feel of the brake pedal, check to ensure the bleed nipples are tightened (not too much), and replace the spade connectors on the brake fluid reservoir cap. These connectors will illuminate a button on the switch dashboard if the brake fluid runs too low - but really you should check this every now and again and before long journeys.

Haynes ref: Sec 6.2; 9.2 love:mini


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dIy TecH II Replacing the numberplate by Pete Parmiter light housing This is a very simple job to do and only requires a screwdriver. At Castle Combe I picked up a silver light housing for my silver Equinox to replace my boring black one. Here’s how I fitted it.



Start by unscrewing the four screws holding the lights in place - two on each light. This will make it easier when removing the housing.


Move in to the boot and unscrew the three screws holding the housing in place. Make sure to hold the old housing with your other hand so it doesn’t drop off, taking the lights with it.


Pull away the rubber surround and gently take the lights out, the old housing can now be discarded, the new housing can now be fitted start by re-attaching the lights then the screws in the boot.



And it should look something like this. There we go, a new light housing fitted in the space of five minutes and it looks much better than the old one.




Objective Change the numberplate housing on a later Mini. Tools • Phillips screwdriver • Replacement light housing Time 10 minutes Difficulty 1/10 Cost About £10 new



WORKSHOP Got a job to do on your Mini? Send us some photos and a stepby-step guide to help others. Guides

les subm it your artic

WORKSHOP is really done. Showing you how it

1991 Carb’d Mini


Not wor

Diagnostic Indicator fa ilu re


by Craig McBeth

Subm it your articl es

into the

PROBLEM Indicators have stopped working TOOLs none TiME TO fix 30 minutes DifficuLTy 1/10 cOsT £5-£6 ALTERnATivE METhOD use a multimeter and follow the current with the l indicators on unti you find the fault

d r stal k is switche Shcato th e sItuAtiOrsndon’t activate when the indi owin g edie you dhow it. it is rea

lly done. the Min i’s indicato d the fault and rem e’s how we diag nose hed ‘on’ position. her single bulb not flas e hav ld wou we then ation Ch eCk beg un our investig the there - checking th e fuse 35a mp bulb. and wir ing, socket Upgrade your ear In our case the rs, ly spec fuse for the indicato e MINI door checkhAs An ythI ng and also the brak straps by Andy Simpson lights, had blow n. and Ch Anged? roughly After replacing it rs, cato ently we had indi rec the ng s new models get activati updated with impr n stereo to the fitted aoved components you checkious it blew aga in. A blow strap lys with later ones. might find you wan ptable, ‘old’ model spruced t yourhad obv i, and acce Min is e Removaleof the door onc fuse up with some new som panel is also requ er too. bits lem Here we look at replacing changing door hand ired for been play ing with but twice is a prob les and front spea early was style it kers. ating. In this case wires. door hAzA rd that needs investig if see to ing rs look cato LIght wor th Obje Ing Because the indi ctive rn WA osed use there were any exp Replace early specswitch in and brake llights this You need to remo s flipI ping n we MIN ve the door check vated all wires or con nection acti the same fuse, whe door panel. Hold ing ours case a with later the fuse we strap y. new that were cau sing door panel to the ectl each corr ts ed test item frames are s ning ligh e war ther d foun rs We cato four t. T30 Torx screws shor that all activated the indi and some this esta blished a couple of possibleclips. as either WHY e e wer wer s bulb r and brake lights indicato the covered ther door cau sing Smoo culprits and duly cou ld have been . so the bulbs g wor open Using a sma ll flatingking action and a head them with insu latin the problem. morewer not at fault. had attra e ctive screwdr iver, remo

dIy TecH III




blown. For to see if they have ls Check your fuses had blown, which dea fuse top the el, my mod and brake lights. with the indicators

tOOls that might ut any wiring jobs k abo Thin T30 Torx screw driver insulation Smal l flat-b caused a short. Use haveladed s. wire d screwdriver ose exp to cover any tape Larde flat-b laded screwdriver Dremel-type tool or drill with bits

time 20 minutes

door hand le surround ve the by pryi ng it off where the two circles meet, or in the midd le of the long side of the surr ound.


love:mini is all about getting involved and helping others. So next time you’re out doing a job on your Mini, why not take some pics along the way and send them in with some simple steps. And if you really want to show off your skills and knowledge, why not offer something a little more taxing.

Diagnostic Had trouble diagnosing a niggling issue? We will go through the steps of sourcing the problem and how to rectify it with you.

DifficultY 2/10 AlternAtive metH OD N/A cOst About £20 each side






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Fixxer Got a burning question or technical issue? Send it in and we’ll answer it.


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dIy TecH III


Upgrade your early spec MINI door check straps by Andy Simpson


s new models get updated with improved components you might find you want your ‘old’ model spruced up with some newer bits too. Here we look at replacing early-style door

Objective Replace early spec MINI door check straps with later items WHY Smoother door opening action and more attractive Tools • T30 Torx screwdriver • Small flat-bladed screwdriver • Large flat-bladed screwdriver • Dremel-type tool or drill with bits Time 20 minutes Difficulty 2/10 Cost About £20 each side


check straps with later ones. Removal of the door panel is also required for changing door handles and front speakers if you want to do combine a few jobs.


You need to remove the door panel. Holding the door panel to the frames are four T30 Torx screws and some clips.


Using a small flat-head screwdriver, remove the door handle surround by prying it off where the two circles meet, or in the middle of the long side of the surround.



Next, with the small screwdriver, very carefully pry out the reflector at the other end of the door to reveal a screw. Unscrew this.



Using a larger flat-bladed screwdriver, slide it into the front of the armrest to press a hidden tab and release the bolster, exposing another screw.

5. 6.

Remove the three other Torx screws in the door bezel.

Using the large screwdriver, pry the bottom of the door panel out and lift it away.

8 7


You need to remove the speaker. Four Phillips screws hold it in place.


This will give you access to drop the old checkstrap out and put the new one in.




Undo the two bolts on the door and the one on the A-post.


Now withdraw the checkstrap out of the speaker hole.

11 13


Pop the dustcover over the bolts and clean up. Job done.


The rubber dustcover needs to be lifted off the bolts on the door.


I used a Dremel tool to enlarge the hole in the door, to allow the new checkstrap to fit through. Paint the bare metal so it doesn’t rust. Refit the three bolts, don’t forget to slide the dustcover onto the checkstrap before you bolt it in place.



The new ones look a lot stronger than the old. They are a lot smoother and the door seems to move more like a quality car rather than an old banger.




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Showing you how it is really done.



1991 Carb’d Mini PROBLEM Indicators have stopped working Tools None Time to fix 30 minutes Difficulty 1/10 Cost £5-£6 Alternative method Use a multimeter and follow the current with the indicators on until you find the fault


Not workin

Indicator failure by Craig McBeth


The Mini’s indicators don’t activate when the indicator stalk is switched into the ‘on’ position. Here’s how we diagnosed the fault and remedied it.

Check the fuse

In our case the 35amp fuse for the indicators, and also the brake lights, had blown. After replacing it and activating the indicators, it blew again. A blown fuse once is acceptable, but twice is a problem that needs investigating. Because the indicators and brake lights use the same fuse, when we tested each new fuse we activated the indicators and brake lights as either could have been causing the problem.

Check your fuses to see if they have blown. For my model, the top fuse had blown, which deals with the indicators and brake lights.


single bulb not flashed then we would have begun our investigation there - checking the wiring, socket and bulb.

Has anything changed? Hazard Warning Light Flipping this switch in our case activated all warning lights correctly. This established that all the indicator bulbs were working. So the bulbs were not at fault. Had a

Recently we had roughly fitted a stereo to the Mini, and had obviously been playing with some wires. In this case it was worth looking to see if there were any exposed wires or connections that were causing a short. We found there were a couple of possible culprits and duly covered them with insulating

Think about any wiring jobs that might have caused a short. Use insulation tape to cover any exposed wires.

tape. A new fuse was fitted and tested. The fuse didn’t blow this time, but there were still no lights.

Loom inspection At this stage it is time to look for any physical damage or shorting along the wiring. Looking in the engine bay inspecting the wires and connections from the indicators to the main loom which feeds into the bulkhead, there was no obvious sign of damage or connection issues.

Flasher unit

Following the loom through the bulkhead it feeds into the area behind the dials. Fortunately for me, my Mini didn’t have a dash fitted at the time, so I could easily pull out the dials to inspect behind them. Here the indicators feed into a small silver box (rectangular in this case, but is also circular or black), this is the flasher unit. To check to see if this was the problem we needed to use another flasher unit. Again, fortunately this

Check all along the loom from the steering column through the bulkhead to fusebox, and from fusebox to indicators. Check for any breaks or damage and do a ‘wiggle’ test.

Flasher unit behind the dash in its holder.

sher unit.

Front and back of the fla car uses another flasher unit - for the hazard warning lights - this could explain why the

hazards work, but not the indicators. This second flasher unit is located in the engine bay by the passenger side bulkhead. Removing this, after making note of which wire connects to which connector, I replaced the dashboard flasher unit with this one. After trying the indicators, everything was working as it should - problem solved. And the culprit - a dodgy flasher unit. A quick trip to Somerford Mini and £5 later and the hazards were back wired up and in working order.


r unit flashe


in plac




Back on the road Three years after purchase, Bruce finally hits the roads of the UK.

Craig McBeth


T 1991 Rover Mini Cooper Spec: Carburrettored 1275cc A-Series with Stage 1 kit, Falken Ze912 tyres. Standard mechanicals. Now named Bruce, he has been in my ownership since 2007 and was my first car. Bought for a bargain with tax and MoT he needed serious welding to get through the next test. Friends from Wiltshire Avon Mini Owners (WAMO) helped out and the mechanicals were rebuilt (except the engine) before finally passing a retest in March 2010.


here’s so much to tell it’s hard to know where to start. Anyone who followed my previous diaries in Mini Magazine will have probably got to the point where it was all welded up and i was putting it all back together last year. It was slow progress, as tends to be my way, but I finally got the engine back in, wired up and the car running thanks to some local friends, and in the new year it was just a case of fixing the few bits that would fail the MoT. Come MoT day and I was bricking it. Imagine, three years of hard work, learning as you go along and this would be the culmination of whether you had done it right or not. I was looking to keep costs down so found an online deal at a Kwik Fit station that only cmcbeth

charged £35, rather than £54. The inspector took his time to check it over while I waited nervously in the viewing gallery observing his every move and mentally working out what he is checking and whether I had made sure it was working. All done and it had failed. It wasn’t

thought. Don’t fail me on welding. I took time to calm down a little and politely asked to speak to the tester and we discussed the welding and acceptable standards. He was trying to tell me that the outer sills had to be seam welder, rather than spot welded. Not wanting to be rude or get him

No, no, no, no , no, I thought. Don’t fail me on welding completely unexpected, but disappointing. More worringly though was what he had failed it on. A few little jobs, like high emissions and lightbeam angles, but the one that almost stopped my heart was the one questioning the welding on the sills! No, no, no, no no, I

offside, I explained that the Minis were spotwelded like that originally. He said he’d look in to it and I set off for the minor fixes. The retest was the next day - a Sunday would you believe. The retest went fine, the tester accepted the welding and the Mini has been working hard ever since.

Bruce made it Brighton and back without a hitch. His first long-haul trip. Good boy.

Anyone who says you can’t use a classic Mini as a family car has never tried, as I’m happily fitting in my family of four. Me, my wife, and Holly, 3, and Anekin, 1.

Catching up In a quick round-up to bring you up-to-date the Mini has been excellent, and not broken down once (thank god), but there have been issues - as you would expect. A couple of days before SNAP - the lower damper arm pin lodged in the damper.

London to Brighton I had a bottom damper arm pin snap and had a mission to get that fixed in time, the top engine steady keeps rocking loose so I want to get an Ultimate Steady, now the water pump is leaking so I’m having to top up the water before every trip while I wait for a replacement, and the clutch slave cylinder is knackered. I’ve managed to overcome this temporarily by bleeding the slave cyclinder and topping up on fluid, and that seems to work for a couple of months. More recently though I was experiencing some play in the steering wheel. I thought this was a problem with the rack and possibly a couple of teeth sheering off. I got a reconditioned rack from APB for about £26, plus an

exchange surcharge of about £40, however, once I took the steering column off it was clear that it was the teeth on the column, not the rack that were worn. Well, worn is a bit of an understatement - they were comepletely absent. Looking at the price for a new column I wasn’t too happy, but then as ‘they’ say - eBay is your friend, and I managed to get one for £15 including delivery. Once arrived it took about half an hour to fit and the Mini felt like brand new with its characteristic responsive steering - something I had obviously been fully missing out on since the rebuild. I’ve also been having regular problems with a wheel leaking air, so bought a pair from a local guy, hoping to solve the problem, however one of these fails to hold air too, so I’m considering getting a can of tyre weld and seeing if that does the trick. As the winter has set in I had a little spin whilst exiting a roundabout a little too fast, but no harm, no foul and I’ll note that down as a learning experience. Torbay Minis found space for Bruce at the Bristol Mini Day show.




Norman Nelson

On the railroad run Rolling with the Shasta Minis for a cruise, evening booze and some awesome views.


Pooper & Pynt Syz 2004 MINI Cooper S 1973 Mini Cooper I am 59 years old, retired, living in Shasta in northern California, USA. I am married to Jesse. We are the proud owners of two Minis and we are baby-sitting a 3rd named Kruezr for three years. Pooper is my 2004 MCS (R53) that has been highly modified. I drive it mostly for Mini runs but I also take it on track. Our 1973 Mini Cooper is named “Pynt Syz” and we have stripped it down and removed all rust, and repainted. We added wheel fenders and running boards and a windup key.



his past summer we drove a caravan of MINI/Minis to Penticton BC Canada for Mini Meet West 2010. This was a 2500-mile round trip and our Minis ran great. We are busy each month with runs throughout Northern California. We had our Railroad Park weekend, and this recently we ran the mountain roads outside of Oroville. Once again the Mt Shasta Minis were up to their old tricks. We began our Railroad Park Resort Run by checking into the park on Friday afternoon. This resort has converted Cabooses that were positioned around the grounds and pool and spa. Each of us stayed in one and were able to pull our chairs into the parking lot for evening socials. There is camping available at the resort as norman.nelson1

well, so we reserved one so we could cook our smores and marshmellows over a campfire. Friday night we enjoyed dinner at the Railroad diner in the park. A very good meal! After dinner we headed to our spot in the parking lot and dragged out the chairs and Karaoke machine and sang well into the night. Saturday morning started with a run up to Mt Shasta for breakfast at the Black Bear Diner. That’s where we met up with several other members. We then headed off to Dunsmuir via back roads, stopping for a short hike and visit to Hedge Creek Falls. Then it was off to to the Shasta National Fish Hatchery, and onto Lake Siskiyou for lunch and a visit to the

Our Minis parked in front of our cabooses.

beach. After our run and lunch we returned to the Railroad Park Resort to hang-out at the pool, socialise, and sip a cool beverage. Castle Crag stands directly behind the resort and provides spectacular scenic background views. We all enjoyed the diner so much the night before that we decided to return again to

The beautiful deep blue Siskiyou Lake.

Lunch in D on Fr unsmuir iday w it the ga h ng. Jesse, Bob, and I feeding the fish.

on Saturday night. After dinner we pulled out our chairs and firewood and headed to the campsite to tell spooky stories and roast marshmellows and smores. Sunday we departed the RR Park and stopped at Penny’s Diner for breakfast, then continued on to SR89 and a drive for a stop at Burney Falls. We hiked to the far side of the falls and got some great views. After about an hour we jumped back into our Minis and headed off to Lassen Volcanic National Park with a visit to Subway Cave and dropping down to the Riverside Bar & Grill for dinner in Red Bluff.

Sitting directly along the cool Sacramento River the diner is a favourite spot for MS-REME events. It’s easy to hop on I-5 South for returning to the Sacramento or the bay area. The Subway Cave is not far from the town of Old Station. It’s a 1200ftlong lava tube which formed around something around 30,000 years ago. That ‘something’ then drained away or disappeared, leaving just the hardened lava tube. Inside it is absolutely pitch black, so you’ll need a torch! Finally we stopped at the recently opened Kohm Yahmah-nee visitor centre before setting off for home.

we could cook our smores over a campFIre

Lounging around the pool at the Railroad Park Resort.

Parked up at the Sulfur Works at Lassn Volcanic Park.

Overlooking Burney Falls.

Further links www.waterfall www.ohranger. com/lassenvolcanic/poi/kohmyah-mah-neevisitor-center

At the base of Burney Falls. http://gocalifornia. californiapictures1/ ig/Lassen/SubwayCave.htm

The eerie Subway Cave.

Thanks to O2 Motorsports www.o2motor 7 Enterprises Mini Mania




Donald flies again After seven years off the road the MkII is back.

Mark Gameson

W Donald & Dumbo 1969 MkII Super Deluxe | 1999 Downton Sport Touring I’m 30, from Worcestershire, UK, and have been in to Minis since I was 15/16 when I went to my first Mini meet. Donald is an Island Blue/Snowberry White 1969 Morris MkII Super Deluxe and is my first Mini. I’ve owned him since I was 16. Dumbo is an Almond Green/ Snowberry White 1999 Downton Sport Touring. I have owned him from new and is a genuine Downton - one of two models produced to celebrate the Mini’s 40th birthday.



ell, after seven years off the road - due to Dumbo, my Downton, taking up all my time and money - I have finally got Donald, my MkII, back on the road. It all started back in May at Himley Hall. I had always said that the only alloys I would ever fit to Donald would be a set of Dunlop D1’s. Well, I found a nice set at Himley. They needed refinishing but were nice and clean. Well I couldn’t not buy them could I? This was the initial spark to get me thinking that it was time to get him back on the road. The second spark that finally set the wheels in motion was deciding that we wanted to refresh the club website, this meant I needed to get some decent photos of Donald, so over the May Day bank holiday weekends I dug Donald mark.gameson

out of his corner in my parents garage. After I had given him a bit of a clean and taken the photos I put his battery on charge for a while. To my surprise after turning over a few times he fired up! That was the final push I needed to get Donald ready for his first MoT in some seven years. The spring bank holiday weekend saw me and my brother Paul check all the vital bits for the MoT and give it a bit of service. With the MoT booked for the following Tuesday, at Car Care Services Halesowen next to my works, surprisingly, it didn’t take too long to get


the jobs sorted. While it was light and the roads quiet, we decided to drop Donald off at the factory. As I

The Notts MINI Club were more than welcoming.

Dumbo mixes it up with the big boys.

hadn’t driven him for seven years I was imagining all sorts of trouble on the 10-mile journey, but to my surprise the only issue I had was one front drum was getting hot. This soon cleared and I was able to enjoy driving Donald, who still has his original Hyrdolastic suspension and drums all round. It was quite an experience after driving Dumbo for so long, with front discs and 4-pot callipers; and our everyday car has discs all round so you really do have to think about when you need to stop when driving with drums. To me and most of my friends’ surprise Donald passed! Since passing his MoT I have used him locally when the weather has been

good. He also attended his first show in eight years at Cannon Hill Park. My brother Paul drove him as neither of his Minis were working at the time. Future plans for Donald include getting those Dunlop D1s refurbished and fitting discs upfront. Meanwhile, Dumbo has been enjoying going to shows and the odd weekly shopping run and has been on two excellent Mini runs. The first of these was Nottinghamshire MINI Club’s two-day invasion of Wales. Being the only classic on the run to say I was slightly nervous about the reception I would get was an understatement. Well I had no worries there, everyone was really

friendly. I had a great time with some absolutely fantastic roads and made some good friends too. Two days later saw Dumbo heading down the M5 for his annual trip down to North Devon to take part in The Legendary Grand Tour organised by The North Devon Mini Register. This, for me, is the event of the year - 250 Minis, 100s of drivers and passengers, three days, 1000s of spectators, Minis and drivers/passengers in fancy dress raising money for a worthy cause - Children’s Hospice South West. This year’s event was made even better by the fact we had our own campsite. Both of these events are what Minis and MINIs are made for and thanks go to everyone involved in organising them. Beautiful countryside, beautiful roads, beautiful weather, beautiful Minis.

Above: The closest most of us want our Minis to get to saltwater. Right: It’s for charridee mate - give us your dosh.




love:mini merch Get the hottest new threads.


Over 50 Styles!



text intro


s one of the original models launched in 2001, the budget model MINI One received a facelift like the other MINI Hatches in November 2006. When released for sale in January 2007 the refreshed car featured a new Prince 1.4litre, 16v engine - a joint BMW/ Peugeot development - replacing the Tritec/Chrysler unit. MINI quotes this as producing 95bhp, with fuel economy of 53.3mpg and a top speed of 115mph. The


new engine was also rotated 180 degrees so that the exhaust downpipes exited closer to the front of the car, preventing a heat build-up in the cabin. Available in 11 colours with a matching roof, the budget emphasis on the MINI One means a lot of elements are cost options. However driving assists; Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) (including Hill Assist) and iGR - Brake Energy Regeneration, come as standard. As of 2008

all MINI models are fitted with BMW’s EfficientDynamics fuelsaving technology. Other changes for the MKII models include a racy start/stop button replacing the ignition key, all gearboxes changed to six-speed auto or manual, lengthened front end and restyled ‘half’ grille, indicators moved inside headlights, larger boot capacity.

MINI One (2007-2011) ENGINE: 1.4-litre, 16v Prince GEARBOX: Six-speed Getrag ORIGINAL PRICE: £12,730

POWER: 95bhp @ 6000rpm TORQUE: 140Nm @ 4000rpm TOP SPEED: 115mph FUEL ECONOMY: 53.3mpg FUEL TANK CAPACITY: 40-litres INSURANCE GROUP: 5E LUGGAGE CAPACITY: 160-680 litres OPTION PACKS: ‘Salt’ and ‘Pepper’




‘SALT’ option pack Floor Mats in Velour Passenger Seat Height Adjustment Storage Compartment Pack

Front Fog Lights On-Board Computer Interior Lights Pack


The MINI One comes with 15-inch steel wheels with 175/65 R15 tyres as standard but there are seven alloy options available from the factory: 5-Star Spooler, 15-inch Rotator Spoke, 16-inch 5-Star Blaster,16-inch Bridge Spoke, 17-inch Crown Spoke, 17-inch Flame Spoke, 17-inch Web Spoke.


The MkII MINI grille has been redesigned and on the MINI One comes with a chrome surround and black centre, Below the bumper is a secondary grille. The MkII also has an extended front end to offer extre pedestrian protection.



Along with the restyle, the indicators were moved to sit inside the headlamp. The headlight unit is now also fixed to the body leaving an aperture in the bonnet when opened. The wheel arches are also now fixed in place.

Rear end

The rear light cluster has been enlarged with the new look of the back end. An extra 10-litres of boot capacity has been engineered and a third brake light at the top of the rear window is also added. The MINI One’s exhaust pipe is very low-key and not very fancy.

‘PEPPER’ option pack Leather Steering Wheel Chrome Line Exterior Floor Mats in Velour Passenger Seat Height Adjustment Storage Compartment Pack Front Fog Lights

Heated Mirrors and Windscreen Washer Jets On-Board Computer Interior Lights Pack 15-inch 5 Star Spooler Light Alloy Wheels Basic Bluetooth Function with USB Audio





MINI One’s dashboard is still pretty well equipped despite not being as flash as other models. The leather/wood steering wheel is multifunctional and now adjustable in both rake and reach. A rev counter with digital speedo sits behind the wheel and the radio includes an MP3 compatible CD player. Driver Stability Control (DSC) helps assist with hills by keeping the brake applied for two seconds after being released.


The MINI One is fitted with cloth upholstery as standard, and a black and silver trim finish. The driver’s pedals have been spaced further apart in the MkII and the footwell lights help to find dropped items. Air conditioning, airbags,


ABS, alarm, central locking, electric windows, immobiliser and SPA Switch Point Display all come as standard. The rear window comes fitted with a wiper and washer, and is heated too. Tinted glass helps reduce glare, and a stop/start button replaces the ignition key.

love:mini challenge

No.1 60


Driving fun in the spirit of the Mini 0

10-60mph The challenge No.1 •

Starting at a rolling 10mph, reach 60mph in the quickest time possible.

The rules •

DISCLAIMER Safety is paramount in any of these challenges. Obey the road laws at all times and only attempt a challenge where the laws permit and after a safety assessment. love:mini accepts no responsibility for any eventualities which may occur from attempting a challenge. All challenges are attempted at your own risk and it is up to you to determine whether you have the skill level to attempt it safely.

What is it?


ost of us are a bit competitive, so in the name of good fun and bringing a little more love:mini spirit to the community, we are setting various Mini-related challenges to see who is the best in each test. We haven’t quite worked out a longterm format yet, so for the time being they are individual, one-off challenges. Bragging rights is all that is on offer, but if you’re up for a challenge and reckon you can do

better than your mates, or anyone else in the community - then why not give it a shot and earn yourself a place on our leaderboard something else we’ll sort out later. We’ve started with an easy one, but some future tasks may involve using items such as cones. Put the challenge to your fellow enthusiasts at your next club meeting. If you have any suggestions feel free to get in touch, and remember - Safety First.

Send your entries to us at

• •

Timing must start from when travelling at 10mph Use a witness to time the test and watch the speedo The road used must be flat and straight

Entries Entries need to include the following details to be accepted: • • • • • •

Challenge result Date of challenge Time of challenge Road name/no. Driver name Car spec (engine size, cam, wheels, non-stripped/ stripped interior Name of witness.




Get the look...

Wheels & brakes

...of the MkIII Cooper S

10-inch Minilites £46.82 each View item

The MkIII Cooper S had a very understated look due to the fact the BL didn’t want to draw much attention to it and steal sales away from its more profitable new model — the 1275 GT. As such, the main elements of the MkIII Cooper S look are fairly basic. Here are just some of the parts you can get to help you fashion the look. Other parts, not shown, may also be required.

7.5-inch disc brakes £25.85 each View item Callipers for 7.5-inch discs £111.63 each View item

Interior 130mph speedo £126.18 View item


Water temp gauge £33.95 View item

Bonnet badge £15.43 View item

Oil pressure gauge £48.53 View item

Cooper S boot badge £12.78 View item

Colours Exterior Bumper overriders £15.57 each View item Chrome trim £7.64 View item

Bronze Yellow

Teal Blue

Glacier White




Flame Red


Bootboard £50.55 View item


BL A-panel badge £5.58 View item


Right hand fuel tank £487.63 View item

Boot board brackets £27.37 View item

Pictures courtesy of Mini Spares

Street Spirit


North Gower road One of South Wales’s hidden gems of a road.

Suggested by Phil Jones

Photos courtesy


e all know Minis are at their best when being driven. Sure, it’s fun to rebuild, paint and polish them, but the real thrill comes from sitting behind the wheel on a nice stretch of clear road. Finding those nice sections of road though, is becoming increasingly difficult, so we thought we’d put the question out to you guys to see what roads you like the best. Phil Jones says the B4271 North Gower road in Wales is unbeatable, “with more ups and downs than Jordon’s breasts” — this we’ve got to see, and from the photos you can see how the wide open road beckons with the panoramic views and blue skies. The long stretch of road gives a clear view of the route ahead enabling you to judge each deviation with accuracy and confidence. Littered with a number of rises and falls, it’s a route that’s sure to thrill. Situated just west of Swansea on the Gower Peninsula in Glamorgan, it was the first area in the United Kingdom to be designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1956.

The Route The route along the North Gower road (B4271) starts from the west of Swansea and Upper Killey, just north of Swansea Airport and Fairwood, and leads west to Llanrhdian. The road passes through the village

of Llethryd where there is a Bronze Age burial site named Tooth Cave. The road runs for six miles through arable land and is complemented with a number of rises and falls which add to the pleasure of some spirited driving.


Street Spirit





itie Extra curricular activ

GAMER TAGS Hook up with other Mini friends on your favourite games

FORZA 3 GAMERS Robbie Kenning STIXXXXX Derek ‘Delboy’ Tarrant MiniRG164 Aaron Pike aaronpike007

Forza 3 MINI league


MFer, Craig Jarrett, has thought of a great way for MINI and motorsport fans from all over the world to have fun together - MINI racing on Forza Motorsport 3. Having already run a similar league with Forza 2, Craig is keen to make this league bigger and better than ever before. Anyone with an XBox360 and Xbox Live is welcome to join in, and such is Craig’s dedication to the game that he has spent numerous hours designing a heap of liveries. Craig says he uses his John Cooper Works design for his own car (above right), but has spent time layering graphics to create the Mr Bean car (also above right), a TMF-branded car, which he says took him the longest to do, as well as magazine-branded cars. We wonder whether they



will turn up for the party and go head-to-head. Imagine Stephen Colbran (MW) vs Jeff Ruggles (MM), and no doubt we’d join in just to mix it up and try some Schumacher-esque ramming. Even better, maybe we could get some real MINI Challenge drivers from the various series’ from around the globe to sign up and put the virtual masters up against the real-life racers. It might not be as accurate and precise as the awesome GT Legends, but it sure is accessible to whole host of people who have XBox Live. Craig is just testing the water at the moment to see how much interest there is in the idea, but it sure sounds fun to us and with the cold, dark nights setting in, it could be just the tonic to get your Mini driving fix whilst tucked up in the warm.

LATEST GAMERS Alex ‘Heals’ Healey alexhealey Chris ‘Indy’ Hamilton INDYCWH

Interested? Find it on Facebook Register your interest by joining the group or get in touch with Craig Jarrett.


GAMing OK, who forgot to lock the closet with my Iron Man suits in?

GRAN TURISMO 5 It’s been a long five years since the last full Gran Turismo release, but here it is, exclusively on the PS3 and competing against its Xbox rival Forza 3. GT’s strength has always been its breadth and depth, and this offering is no different with over 1000 cars included and a host of new options. Where Forza has tried to imitate GT with an arcade feel, GT itself has remained focused on the

realism and simulation elements. While the graphics in the new game look a bit dated, and the online multiplayer quickly rushed for the deadline, it’s elements such as the random course configurator that turns rallies into heart-stopping unpredictable drives.


is the season to be jolly, because all the good summer films come out on DVD and a few winter blockbusters are expected at the cinema. Jake Gyllenhaal’s first proper turn at something more action-packed has reaped postiive reviews as the Prince of Persia. Gamers of all ages will be familiar the format, which mixes elements of Aladdin and Tomb Raider together. Plotting relatives and backstabbing in a quest for power pretty much sums it up, and to be honest it was just a tad disappointing, but


SAW 3D You should know what to expect by now from the seventh SAW film, but now it’s in extra scary 3D!!

still a lot better than a lot of the pap on the shelves at the moment. And with the lovely Gemma Arterton on show before retiring from Hollywood, it makes for an enjoyable night in. Iron Man 2 had a hard act to follow, and it puts up an admirable fight to be as good as the original, just falling short. Downey Jr is brilliantly witty and Mickey Rourke puts in a star turn as Iron Man’s nemesis, but despite a great soundtrack from AC/DC you can’t help feeling it’s lost its cutting edge in the plot department.

Yum yum.

JACKASS 3D You laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll hurl again. Yes, the kings of crude are back, and true to form, they are jumping on the 3D bandwagon, meaning those stunts are gonna look even sicker!



Appeal for stolen Minis, information Announce club changes, company special offers, advertise Minirelated jobs, births, deaths and marriages Send birthday, good luck or anonymous personal messages



Births, Deaths & Marriages

Births Millie J Whitfield  08/06/2010 Melody May Woodhouse18/05/2010 Deaths Daryl Turner (aka Taffy1967)  22/05/2010 John Dogza 01/06/2010 Mick Walsh (aka GP Mick)  08/07/2010

Club Announcements

New Leicestershire-based Mini club - 4th Gear Mini Club. www.facebook. com/group.php?gid=138770572808 142&ref=search




My N

u o. k

its and bobs. b r e h ot d n a s e g Your messa



e-m i n i.c lov

d r a o b Notice

ed itor@

On June 2, TMF member - minispaniard had an accident. Read the full thread here. “We were overtaking a lorry on the A12 (near Colchester) when the Audi A6 in front of us slammed on his brakes. I tried to squeeze between the Audi and the central barrier... but hit him on the driver’s side rear corner and with both cars spinning we hit the lorry while going backwards. I’m glad we had bucket seats and harnesses. I can´t fault the strength of the Mini and how it held both impacts.

This is a message for everyone to keep an eye out for this Mini! It belongs to one of the members of Central Mini Owners’ Club and was stolen on the evening to early hours of Monday May 24 - Tuesday 25. It’s a black Mini, vents in the bonnet, Sportpack arches with side skirts, deseamed front, a red checkered roof, red leather interior and rear numberplate under the bumper with the reg F722 POY. Vicky is desperate to get Gert back, and with so many defining features it should be quite easy to spot. If you see it, call the police.

Please keep your eyes peeled for this Mini which was stolen from the Watlington Norfolk area over the weekend 21-23 May, whilst the owners were away in Germany at the IMM. It was seen being towed away on Friday 21 by a white Transit with yellow writing on the side, although it’s believed they had stolen the keys aswell. They presented themselves as plumbers. It’s Salmon Pink with a white roof and rear spoiler, bonnet vent, mTech bodykit, blacked out windows, black wheels. Reg: P837 UBH. Again, it’s pretty distinctive, so if you ever see it, get on the phone and give the police a call asap.

Hottest Mini Owners


now being ta ken

Think much of yourself? Reckon you’re pretty tasty? Expose yourself to the crowd and see how hot you are voted by others.




Just for fun we’ve teamed up with a Facebook group for owners to show off and see how hot others think they are.


To vote click the image below.



ingle? Looking for some fun or something more serious? Finding someone who is willing to accept your obsession with Minis can often be difficult - so why not hook-up with someone who is equally enthralled by our favourite little car...

Hook-up Zone

To appear in these pages email with the details below or visit the Facebook page.

TAGLINE Looking for: Dating, Relationship, Fun? Interests: Minis and... .... Name: Your name Age: Your age Location: Your town

CONTACT DETAILS: Email / Facebook / Mobile

Find love

Send us a photo e, with your name, ag best location, interests, oking bits, worst bits, lo for, contact details love:mini



The weird and wonderful from the web


dicking arou


This may be the best excuse ever to be early for work. Our friend Neil from northern England was the first to his office one morning, and he decided use his MINI Cooper to create a picture in a snowy parking lot. Neil wasn’t trying to send his boss a message or make a statement about global warming, he just saw a patch of virgin snow and got inspired.  COURTESY:

acebook updates DONAGAL MOC www.facebook. com/group.php?gid= 130514716977174 MINI SINGLES /pages/Mini-Singles /125851927433083 ROVER MINI pages/Rover-Mini/ 395853421457?v=desc





Founded by web veterans Anorak and Taffy1967, the Mainstream Cooper Register is a shadow of its former self but still houses a wealth of information for owners of the early 90s model. The site also links in with the Mini Cooper Register forum for access to new information and immediate help.

Web Threads

Taffy’s Tardis

A section on TMF dedicated to the encyclopedic Darryl Turner. afa265819bad076e&showforum=209

Neighbours Mini owners oggling over hot chicks from the Aussie soap. =151210&fr=0

totalParenting totalMINI’s guide to family-friendly products for the MINI.

Big Flippy Richards love:mini sponsored racer Bill Richards had a lucky escape back in April after being involved in heavy crash at Brands Hatch in the closing laps of the second Dunlop Motorsport News Saloon Car Championship. Bill was kept in hospital overnight for observation where he


GP 1636

has three broken ribs and some cuts and bruises. He returned home within a couple of days and, like typical Bill, he has already set about getting a new race Mini back up and running. A new shell has been sourced and sprayed and should be returning to tear up the tarmac soon.

Follow Peter Braun’s exploits with his JCW GP MINI (no.1636).

1977 LEYLAND CARS MINI CLUBMAN AUTO RED Item number: 170499543114 Location: Swindon, UK This uniquely-styled beast caught our eye on eBay. It’s described as a Auto Clubby Estate (red, officially). The bodywork has been sprayed pink before being professionally graffitied with a deathly graveyard, skull-like theme. Included in the auction is a second auto engine, although the seller states that the driver’s floorpan has a four-inch split and corrosion on the rear passenger door. When we last looked the car had reached over £600 with a few days to go. One thing’s for sure, it’ll certainly be headturner for whoever buys it!



Showcase The best Minis on offer



Contact details

Engine details

Owner Your name Tel  Your telephone no. Email Your email address

Info about the car’s engine and any upgrades

Bodywork SHOWCASE your Mini with extended info and pics. Email

Give detailed information about any rust, where it is, how bad, any dinks or leaks and colour information







Detailed info about the car’s interior and any changes/mods made

Use this space to provide history of the car, such as previous owners and any feats of achievement


Changing hands Advertise your stuff for free

WEYMOUTH, UK £12,xxx MINI GP, bonnet scoop, red wing mirrors, white roof, rear spoiler, good condition, fresh mot and tax for 12months. 01275 485XXX

QUEBEC, CANADA $14,875 Tio od ercin henisl inciduisi exer susto commodit vercis ad modolore commy nisPutem nonsequisl delit, conulput alisl ute velit laorperat, sim dolore doleniatue


MIDLANDS, UK £7,9xx 2006 MINI Cooper, Blue WILTSHIRE, UK £1,00xxxx with white roof, sunroof, Amazingly rare classic 74,000miles, taxed and Mini Cooper in Quicksilver. mot’d. Good condition, 6 months tax and mot, custom check interior with needs paintjob and a few new carpets. Engine rolling simple jobs doing. No rust. roaded to 175bhp. New Call 0777834XXX or email tyres and all round it is in good shape. Call 01234 XX XXXXX (6-10pm) or email



TORQUAY, UK £2x Classic Mini top arm, no bushes, rusty, worn, needs refurb. 077XX or email

Want to sell something? Advertise it here for free. Send a picture, details and contact info to





AUCKLAND, NZ $15,655 Tio od ercin henisl inciduisi exer susto commodit vercidunt velenit ating eugiam aliscil iquate vero esequis ad modolore commy nisCOLORADO, USA $19,875 Putem nonsequisl delit, Tio od ercin henisl inciduisi conulput alisl ute velit laorexer susto commodit verci- perat, sim dolore doleniatue KENT, UK £150 dunt velenit ating eugiam Advertise your MELBOURNE, AUS $21,875 998cc A-Series engine. ipis ero ea facincilit inim Mini bits for free. Tio od ercin henisl inciduisi Removed from Mini City. vel euis eraestie dolore min exer susto commodit verci86,955miles, runs well but ulputat prate faccum iliOrepics and info Email dunt velenit ating eugiam could do with rebuild. HIF minim et lam quis autat to editor@lovealiscil iquate vero esequis 44 carb and 3.1 diff includ- aliscil iquate vero esequis ad modolore commy nised, £150. Other parts also ad modolore commy Putem nonsequisl delit, available, enquire within. Putem nonsequisl delit, conulput alisl ute velit laor0779843XX or email paul@ conulput alisl ute velit laorperat, sim dolore doleniatue perat, sim dolore doleniatue


Buying tips for classics •V  iew the car if at all possible •C  heck the bodywork for rust. Bodywork usually costs more to repair in labour costs than anything else. •E  ngines can be replaced cheaply •C  heck the chassis numbers with the logbook/ V5 to ensure the car is genuine.



Coming up...

Mini Fair, January 30

event preview

Date  January 30 Location  Bingley Hall, Staffs,  ST18 0BD Price £9 Highlights  Win a Mini for £1 Website


he British Mini Club’s Mini Fair has become the traditional opening event to the Mini season. Every January, thousands of enthusiasts flock to Staffordshire County Showground to peruse the wares available from a large selection of traders. Over 100 traders turn out for this fair, from new parts retailers to breakers with a heap of dirty and used bits. Whether its a set of old original Cosmics or a some new shiny alloys, they’ll most likely be here. The top names always turn out for this one with Minisport, Huddersfield Spares and Somerford Mini having a dominant presence. While both Mini



Magazine (as sponsors) and MiniWorld generally attend. In recent years the British Mini Club has welcomed MINIs into the fold, and are housed in an annex of the main hall. As punters line up at the entrance there will be Minis for Sale outside as well as a fair amount of them in the car park too. Despite the trade emphasis of the event, Mini clubs tend to go all out with their stands, and it’s no surprise when the BMC is offering £250 for the Best Club Stand. Check the club’s website for more information on 2011’s theme. It’s also a great opportunity to attract new members and show off personal Minis that might

tend to get lost in amongst the crowd. As usual with a British Mini Club event, there will be the highlight of the day, when everyone gathers around The British Mini Club’s stand in eager anticipation to hear the numbers drawn for Win a Mini for £1 raffle. Every show we buy a ticket, but still no luck, although we do know some people who have won twice! With the club regularly spending up to £5k for a pristine and highly desirable car, with low mileage, some people attend just for the raffle! All in all, the MiniFair is a great way to start the new year, bump into old friends and pick up some more goodies for your Mini.

Calendar of events

April 29May 2 Mini Splash Dash

Comprehensive listings from around the globe January 1 New Year’s Day Parade Start the year as you mean to go on by joining in London’s famous New Yea’s Day parade. Some of the bigger London Mini clubs will be getting involved.

January 16 Wirral to Llandudno Pack the Thermos and scarf for this refreshing run from the Wirral along the north coast of Wales to Llandudno seafront. Bookng form

January 13-16 Autosport International See the latest and best motorsport goods and cars on show at the NEC. From £30 Birmingham NEC, B40 1NT

26 January - 2 February Rallye Monte Carlo Historique Take on the famous Col de Turini in winter weather and retrace the trackmarks of rallying legends. php

JANUARY 30 Mini Fair 2011 British Mini Club’s first big outing of the year is more of a trade show to pick up those final bits for projects before the summer. About £8 Bingley Hall, Staffordshire County Showground, ST18 0BD

February 25-27 Race Retro The biggest historic motorsport show in Europe offers fresh goods and plenty of entertainment. Stoneleigh Park, Coventry, CV8 2LZ

Closed-club Mini rallying with the Mini Cooper Register in the Newcastle and Durham area. info@northumberlandbordersrally. www.northumberlandbordersrally.

April 29May 2 Riviera Run

March 27 Brooklands Mini Day

A Mini run to Newquay for a weekend at Trevelgue Holiday Park, Newquay, Cornwall. Caravan hire for 3-days £27.50pp

The first outdoor Mini show of the year and a chance to test your engine on the historic track’s Test Hill. Brooklands Museum, KT13 0SL

May 2 East Midlands Mini Show Trade show and Mini display. About £8 Thoresby Park, Newark, Notts. NG22 9EP

APRIL 8-10 South West Mini Brakes Combe Martin, North Devon. Second weekend in April. Tents - £30. Tents with Electric hook up - £54. Statics and Chalets - £160. Site club house and bar, live entertainment, daily Mini runs.

May 4-8 Dutch Mini Rally Annual Mini run with organised by some Dutch guys. This yeat they’re off to Germany.

April 10 Malvern Mini Show

MAY 22 Mega Mini Meet 2011

Undercover trade fair with Minis on display. Great for any final project purchases. About £7 The Malvern Showground, Worcestershire, WR13 6NW

Charity event organised by the LMR at Lytham Hall, in Lancashire. Entry Fee £5.00 01253 736652

May 30 Knebworth Mini & VW Show

April 17 Suffolk Run

April 24 H2H Run HAMOC’s annual charity run from Huntingdon to Hunstanton gets bigger every year. £5. Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire

Event Listings

Easter weekender taking in a range of activities from watersports to treasure hunts. £15 Cumbria Booking form

March 19 Northumberland Borders Rally

Bury Mini Club’s annual charity jaunt along the north Anglian coast.



Check each event’s Official website for any changes.

Minis and Vee-Dubz share a patch at Knebworth for a retrocool day. Knebworth, Herts. SG3 6PY

June 10-12 IMM 2011 Switzerland Berner Mini Club is hosting 2011’s International Mini Meet in St. Stephan. There is plenty planned and facilities for families. €60



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love:mini magazine - Issue 1  

The first magazine for both classic and new Mini enthusiasts. All completely free.

love:mini magazine - Issue 1  

The first magazine for both classic and new Mini enthusiasts. All completely free.