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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:43 pm 
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My dad bought and sold secondhand pre-war cars he had repaired after the war years when there was a shortage of new cars available due to the governments export drive. By the 1960's he was running his own garage, car hire and driving school business in south London using mostly nearly new BMC, Ford and Vauxhall cars. Even so my brothers and I would be helping/watching him at weekends fitting clutches and exchange recon goldseal engines to these relatively new cars after only 2 or 3 years of business mileage. When we started to own and drive our own Vespas/Lambrettas/Imps/Minis, etc in the early 1970's it seemed only natural to pull things apart and fix them yourself and to spend many happy hours searching for cheap spares and upgrade parts in the local breakers yard on a Saturday or Sunday morning. (Why were the best bits in the yards always just out of reach on the unstable Mini Cooper or S stacked on top of 3 or 4 basic spec 850's!) :lol: Our local BMC/BL Dealer University Motors in Epsom would also have a long queue in the parts department on a Saturday Morning as people bought spares for their diy home servicing and repairs......times have moved on and later generations have no idea that was a common weekend occupation for many motorists. Like Mark's son my boys have little interest in working on cars (not so easy on a modern Golf GTi and a JCW R53 MINI) but do they like the idea of owning and driving my classic Mini..... :D


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:51 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2015 5:25 pm
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Thank you all for your interesting thoughts much appreciated and nice to hear. I have two daughters and both of them are interested in cars. My son has no interest at all. In my circle of friends we are all interested in BMC front wheel drive cars. That may to some degree say something about our age group :D

Alan


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:45 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2017 5:35 pm
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Location: Abingdon Oxfordshire
Your earlier reply was very interesting Mab. I seem to recall that the UK list price for my RCSport was £10,200 AFTER they'd lopped off the £900. I voted with my feet and bought a UK spec car rom a Belgian dealer in Brugges, with the European extras - high level brakes, fire extinguisher, first aid kit, hi-vis jacket, warning triangle box of Unipart bulbs etc etc - for £6,600 + £1,100 UK duty. You're dead right...... xxxx-up in a brewery seems to sum it up. You could still buy Y and 51 registered new, starting to rust cars 18 months after production ceased.


Last edited by Peter Laidler on Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:06 am 
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..the future :)


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:46 am 
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I think your somewhere near the mark on prices Peter .i bought my first bmw mini one in 2001 with extras the price was £11.000 a new rover cooper was £10.500 .the bmw seemed a bargain at the time had 4 in total including a gp .16 years later no bmw Mini's but 2 extra classic Mini's since then funny how you come back to them .


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:47 am 
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Location: In the Village.
Jono, Great to see your lad is taking an interest!

Having had a while to stew on the subject & having read the comments above, I have had a few more thoughts.

Our golden memories are nothing to do with build quality or indeed the superb natuire of the cars, its simply down to the memories we made in those cars.

Nowadays driving is usually boring, sometimes annoying & rarely if ever fun.

Back when i was driving BMC's offerings daily, every journey was an adventure. You had to pack a tool kit & guess what spares you needed before you set off, you knew that you were going to break down at some point, it was just a case of when & what would give up.

They were usually either too hot or more often too cold, keeping the windscreen clear of fog was a fulltime operation.

The Minis handled better than anything else on the road at the time, but we all know how crap the ride of a Mini s when compared to a modern car.

All the above are just mechanical facts, but add to that a good percentage of the people on here probably had the first feel of a real breast on the back seat of a BMC car & if they were lucky, probably a bit more too. Taking your friends to the pub & driving back absolutely off your skull (I know it's not clever, but it happened in the olden days). Taking the girlfriend to meet your mum & dad for the first time. Or even better, helping the "father in law to be" fix his car that he seemed clueless about, thus proving you were "a real man" not just a long haired liability. Racing with your mates where you shouldn't, running out of breaks, but NOT being killed! Walking back to the pub to tell everyone how your latest steed is now skattered across the local golf club & not having to buy another drink all night. I could go on all day.

The cars we remember with affection are rarely if ever great cars, it's the great times we had in them that we remember & in most cases the cars are just "guilty by association".

M

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:40 am 
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Location: Abingdon Oxfordshire
And he's reading a real mechanical and foolproof DTI, where you've got to do a few sums too!


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:00 am 
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Jono, nice to see young blood in the classic Mini movement. Peter is right reading a real mechanical DTI where a few sums is required is good to see. In the end did you keep the wee engine 1098 standard? As a matter of interest what camshaft have you fitted? Please keep us all posted on the build if you don't mind.

Great synopsis Mark you are so right it is about our youthful memories without doubt. In the sixties when I was at school we ran a breakers yard and BMC cars were always of particular interest to me. At weekends and holiday periods my brothers and I worked in the yard dismantling cars.

When I started to drive in the early seventies the Mini and BMC 1100 / 1300 was the BMC car to own and I’ve had them about me ever since. By the mid seventies when the Leyland cars appeared I was in full time employment and our breakers yard had closed. I had a number of Austin Maxis for towing my race cars and to be fair I viewed them as good workhorses. In saying that the Maxi was designed by BMC in the mid-1960s as the follow-on project from the 1800 Land Crab so not a proper Leyland car you could say :D

Alan


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:04 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2016 1:22 pm
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Mark.. could i add onto your accurate review the "Smell" of Wet Carpets & the Moss in the window runners + mixed up Tyres from the scrapyard..bleed the brakes just before the MOT.. yes happy days .. But today we restore & must keep it "Original" ???


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:12 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 10:47 pm
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I know the late Rover products had a poor rep for build quality but what about 60s Minis? I’m not old enough to have bought one new but anyone here ever do that and what was your experience? I once had a Mk3 S that when I researched it turned out had a replacement engine under warranty! Then again I once had a brand new 1998 Astra company car that had a new engine within 6 months!


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