Quantcast

Owning an (original) mini

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
15,845
943
01776
Has anybody here ever owned a mini cooper? I'm not talking about the new school mini, I'm asking about the old british tin box. I live in the city, and every once in a while I dream about being able to park anywhere. At the same time, I know they're a bit outdated by today's standards.
 

Arkayne

I come bearing GIFs
May 10, 2005
3,745
12
SoCal
I was in a mini phase years ago. I was determined to get an old 70's beater and stuff a Honda motor in it. I still wouldn't mind taking on that project.
 

JohnE

filthy rascist
May 13, 2005
12,644
660
Front Range, dude...
Smarts are coming to the US...they arent that bad, and I cant wait til the clowns start bolting **** on to them and installing fart cans...
 

stinkyboy

Plastic Santa
Jan 6, 2005
15,192
0
¡Phoenix!
Smarts are coming to the US...they arent that bad, and I cant wait til the clowns start bolting **** on to them and installing fart cans...
They're all over town here already. I saw a photo awhile back with a rack on one carrying two downhill bikes.

Edit: Google image search "smart car bike rack", second page. NSFW.
 
Last edited:

RaindogT

Monkey
Dec 22, 2005
186
0
Kansas City
I have--- Used to dabble and tinker with old foreign cars A LOT. As with all old brit cars, they were cool and got many looks.

The downsides? Fluid leaks-- there's an old joke "why don't the brits make computers??? They can't figure out how to make them leak (insert favorite automotive fluid here)..."

You also had to park on a downhill slope far away from other cars to be able to pop the clutch to get the thing going about half of the time. (You look really cool on dates doing this...)

All time favorite cars-- Bug-Eyed Sprite, and an orange Romeo 2600 Sprint Z, and my old stripped down, bored out, short throw 260 ZX, and the funnest of all (IMO) 1984 bored/ported GTI...
Now I have a 1995 Big assed F 250 (long bed and ext. cab), 1991 Jetta GLI, and 1997 4 door golf. Nothing nearly as cool
 

stinkyboy

Plastic Santa
Jan 6, 2005
15,192
0
¡Phoenix!
I miss the hell out of my TR7.



Dual carbs and non stop problems though. I finally turned it over to my older brother who put a 283 (if I remember correctly) in it and beat it to death.

RIP
 

RaindogT

Monkey
Dec 22, 2005
186
0
Kansas City
I miss the hell out of my TR7.

Dual carbs and non stop problems though. I finally turned it over to my older brother who put a 283 (if I remember correctly) in it and beat it to death.

RIP
I feel your pain-- many a car I wish I still had.... I have limited experience with Triumphs, but always liked them-- had a few friends who bought, rebuilt, and tried to sell for profit a few TR7's and TR 8's (I think they were 8's -- is there even such a thing???)
 

stinkyboy

Plastic Santa
Jan 6, 2005
15,192
0
¡Phoenix!
I feel your pain-- many a car I wish I still had.... I have limited experience with Triumphs, but always liked them-- had a few friends who bought, rebuilt, and tried to sell for profit a few TR7's and TR 8's (I think they were 8's -- is there even such a thing???)
The TR8 would have saved Triumph cars, but the damage had already been done to their reputation according to the British mechanic I spent way too much time with.

"Why do the Brits drink warm beer? Because Triumph makes their refrigerators." :biggrin:
 
Oct 21, 2008
8
0
Ottawa Ontario Canada
so I randomly pop onto here to see whats going on...and what do I see...a thread about Mini's?????and not the boring piece of machinery the BMW turns out....well, then, here's my daily driver, and my other ride...now only if I could find a bike rack for the Mini.....



oh and in the garage behind the Austin Mini are more of my favourite cars, an Bug-Eyed Sprite(or sometimes called frogeye), a Morris Minor, and also, a Mini Traveler.
 
Last edited:

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
15,845
943
01776
Nice car (and bike)! How do you like the mini? Is it a terror to drive on the highway? Does it make you wish you were driving something else on extended trips, or is it pretty fun all the time? You ever travel with the bike in tow, if so, how? I know they make trailer hitches and roofracks for minis.

My father and I rebuilt a triumph TR6...it was a great little car, but had its quirks...
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
15,845
943
01776
smarts are expensive, not that efficient, and don't have the space that other cars that get the same mileage have. I'd hate to see the repair bills on them (maybe in a few years). Plus, I bet if you tried to park them sideways in real life, you'd end up with a ticket.
 
Oct 21, 2008
8
0
Ottawa Ontario Canada
I love my Mini, its a blast to drive all the time, especially since it was restored by me to whatever I wanted, so basically, originality didn't come into my mind...but it is built with original Mini parts...its got a nice hopped up 1275cc engine, (bored over to 1340cc) in it with twin SU carbs, so it pumps out in the neighbourhood of 100hp, which for a car that weighs less than 1200lbs, is pretty OK.

about highway driving, its not bad, but its not great either, I put a different final drive on it so it would not be at 6000rpm on the highway all the time, but that sacrifices a fair bit of acceleration in the lower gears...meh...

when I do travel with the bike, 1/30 times Ill take the mini, mainly because in order for any of my bikes to fit, I gotta pop both wheels off and put it in the back seat. the other 29/30 times, Ill take the boring old ford minivan.


now for the pics...in order of closest to being done

heres the bugeye, waiting for bodywork, and then its finished.



here, is the Morris Minor, needs bodywork, brakes, and then its good to go.



under all this crap, is the Mini traveler, its probably a year away from being completed, but its always good to have a few projects... XD




on a complete side note, the mini, bugeye, mini traveler, and morris minor, ALL have powerplants that are nearly identical.
 
Last edited:

Quo Fan

don't make me kick your ass
I had a '62 left hand drive while I was stationed in England. Loved that car. 5 gallon tank, boot just big enough for the tool box, single gauge in the middle of the dash, roomy enough for 4. I keep kicking myself for selling it.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
15,845
943
01776
that would be so cool if it weren't designed and built to spin the tires and go around in circles....
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
15,845
943
01776
Oh, I'm sure it's fast as hell, and it looks crazy fun in that video...but imagine it on a street course vs. doing donuts over and over.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
15,845
943
01776
They're all over town here already. I saw a photo awhile back with a rack on one carrying two downhill bikes.

Edit: Google image search "smart car bike rack", second page. NSFW.
whoa, if that comes with the car, I'm in for 2.
 

jimmydean

The Official Meat of Ridemonkey
Sep 10, 2001
29,210
1,755
Portland, OR
well, it pulls low 13s in the 1/4 mile,so it can do *something* other than spin around in circles...


(this only does a 13.3, but have seen points where it got into the 12s...)
That's actually 2 different cars. The first video is a Smart with a GSXR1000 powerplant, (smartzuki) the second is a Hayabusa (Diablo). The GSXR version is bad ass.
 

JohnBoy

Monkey
Jan 15, 2007
385
0
The guy driving the Ferrari had a weak start, need to learn how to get off the line.
 

stevew

unique white person
Sep 21, 2001
31,459
2,455
If I recall correctly, back in the dawn of RM, BostonBullit had one....at least I think that was his screen name.
 

CRoss

Turbo Monkey
Nov 20, 2006
1,329
1
The Ranch
smarts are expensive, not that efficient, and don't have the space that other cars that get the same mileage have. I'd hate to see the repair bills on them (maybe in a few years). Plus, I bet if you tried to park them sideways in real life, you'd end up with a ticket.
I would hate to see what happens when a smart car meets a F-250 in a not so friendly manor.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
15,845
943
01776
mmmm smart cars have really good crash resistance...the problem is that there's nothing to absorb the force. So while the external structure is very strong on a smart, your head is going to have to absorb the secondary impact that extra sheetmetal will normally.

Smarts would be great cars purely for the city and if everybody drove them...but unfortunately, people are driving f350s in the city...and parking them on the street!!!! WTF
 

CRoss

Turbo Monkey
Nov 20, 2006
1,329
1
The Ranch
Fuel mileage is nice but safety is a factor when buying a car.

I laugh when I see smart cars(there are 2 or 3) on the road here. There is really only one road down the whole valley. It is traveled heavily by construction trucks.
 

JohnE

filthy rascist
May 13, 2005
12,644
660
Front Range, dude...
I always wondered about Smart cars in a crash, and was waiting to see one destroyed on the AutoBahn, but never even saw one in a crash. I guess the rubber band wont wind tight enough to go that fast...
 

CRoss

Turbo Monkey
Nov 20, 2006
1,329
1
The Ranch
I always wondered about Smart cars in a crash, and was waiting to see one destroyed on the AutoBahn, but never even saw one in a crash. I guess the rubber band wont wind tight enough to go that fast...
Maybe if we gave the hamsters EPO the might turn the wheel faster.