A friendly international forum for people interested in the tuning & modification of classic BMC vehicles
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:36 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:21 pm
Posts: 440
In West Philadelphia born and raised, on the playground is where I spent most of my days
Chilling out, maxing, relaxing all cool, shooting some b-ball outside of the school
When a couple of guys who were up to no good, started making trouble in my neighborhood...

Actually, my name is Sean, born and raised in Victoria, BC, Canada. I have been into British cars since I bought my MK2 MG Midget at 15. I am 51 now. I have owned many MGBs, GTs, Midgets and ADO16s over the years. In the 90's I restored my first Mini for my then Sister-in-law. The second mini was restored for a good friend of mine, third was an estate done for a different friend. 4th was a time capsule, rust free mk3 that we did as a partnership and sold on, fifth was the estate I finished last year for my friends father.
Along the way I have acquired 8 Minis of my own, but haven't actually restored any of them yet (been working on them!). 2019 is the year I actually do one for myself. In the mean time, I am building a Mk2 Vintage racer for another friend...

I am part of a team that endurance races a Wolseley Hornet, MG1100, and an Austin 1800. For the most part, this satisfies my Mini requirements, and keeps me poor... :)

62 850
63 997 Cooper
67 Countryman
68 Mk2 SDL
68 Wolseley Hornet Endurance car (BMW Twincam)
68 Van
70 1275GT Vintage Racer
79 1275GT

1962 MG1100
1963 Cortina (Endurance Racer in progess)
1970 BGT
1970 Triumph Bonneville
1992 Lotus Elan
1992 Suzuki Cappuccino
1995 MGF

PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:32 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:45 pm
Posts: 1296
Location: Grantham Lincolnshire
I’m Tim, 50 - just, from leafy Lincolnshire. Been into minis for as long as I can remember as my dad was Manager in a BMC parts department then Leyland then Unipart so I spent most of my childhood messing around in the stores and building cars from new stock! Dad had minis as company cars before moving onto Marinas and later on Princesses.

Career wise I started in a factory in Grantham where I did my 5 year apprenticeship as a Fabricator Welder and then joined the Fire Service where I served in Grantham for 18 years. Complete change of direction then transferring into Residential Care supporting young people. Another 8 years in the Secure Sector saw me then transfer to Special Education before going solo as an Independent Behaviour Management and Engagement Consultant working with teachers, young people and families trying to bring about positive behaviour change. I now specialise in ADHD, Autism and Attachment Disorder.

My first car was an Antique Gold Mini 1000 PJL 835R which I bought when I was 15 and fitted spots, GB alloys and a Paddy Hopkirk steering wheel to. It looked ok from a distance but was crispy underneath! I then had my first Mk1, a 1966 Austin SDL ECT 254D, Almond Green which had been Alexander converted from new and had twin strombergs that evaporated the fuel so you had to start it off the solenoid with the throttle wide open when it got hot! Going to Skeg one day the rear subframe made an appearance inside the car leading to a visit to my dads mate Arthur Allen - a really old school engineer who repaired my floor by using steel from the side panels of scrap Electricity Board mini vans from his yard! The car was given an OEW roof and GBs before being sold to a dealer in Bourne who still owns it. Then followed my French Cooper EDV 32C that I should never have sold but that one is well covered elsewhere! A rotten Piccadilly followed then a 19,000 mile HL Auto then a rotten red Italian Job and then a Solar Red 97 Balmoral before stumbling upon my dream car - AKY 188B now owned by Nev. A 1964 Surf Blue 1071 Morris that was bought new from Applyards Bradford and sold by none other than the great Tony Fall who’s signature is on the logbook! That brings us more or less up to date with my latest car DPU 898B which is currently being transformed into the S I never got to finish but in Tweed Grey!

That’s me!

Thanks for the fantastic forum Mark, long may it continue.

Cheers Tim

1964 Downton Converted DPU 898B

PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 2:22 am 
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Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2017 12:46 am
Posts: 588
Location: Cambridge, MA, USA
My name is Iain. I'm 49 and originally from Cambridge, U.K. but living in Cambridge, MA, USA since 2001 and working as a communications software engineer.

My involvement with minis started in 1988. I was 18 years old and fell off my motorcycle (on L plates), doing a good job of grinding my knees across the tarmac, and coming to rest under the front of an HGV. Bandaged up and shaking, but luckily with no permanent injuries, I passed my car driving test the same afternoon, and bought a 12 year old Blue Leyland Mini 998 "Number 6" for £500. It was a typical 70s rust bucket, so I cut my mechanics teeth keeping it going and patching the bodywork with filler and fiberglass, par for the course back then. That was the first of 17 minis and metros from various friends and family for which I ended up being the de-facto "man with the spanners" at the weekend.

I continued fixing up minis and metros until the early '90s - including bare shell rebuild of a very rusty 1980 white Mini 1000 which got transplanted from another metro 1275, the usual collection of pattern part sills and front panel welded in, 8.4" discs from a 1275 GT and then resprayed British Racing Green in my dads single garage.

An orange mini metal-trim traveller, and the MG Metro eventually got stolen while they were laid up off road (I suspect someone called them in for scrap), and the rebuilt green Mini was my daily driver through university and a few years beyond, including two more engines. I sold that car - my last UK mini - in 1998 and moved to America a few years later, then didn't have another classic mini until 2017 when I took a gamble on eBay and bought a genuine Almond Green Morris 1967 Mk1 1275 S, which I'm now working to get back to original factory spec.

This mini is now a weekend project for me and my 6 year old daughter, we're enjoying taking the car on local drives and to British car shows. I also recently built a towing frame so I can take the car further than I'm comfortable driving it.

PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:38 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 24, 2017 1:05 am
Posts: 77
Location: Detroit area MI USA
Hello I am Tim Sullivan, 57 years old. I live in the Detroit area, and spend time free time at a cottage on a small island in lake Erie, Canada. I work for Hitachi Automotive Systems managing their prototype machine shop. I purchased my first Mustang in 1978, and my current one is a 65 GT fastback purchased in 1983. Got the itch to experience different classics about ten years ago with a MK1 Fiesta, and have now moved on to a mini. The mini I purchased in 2013 was poorly presented as a 63 Cooper S, it did have a 1071 that ran well but there were clutch movement problems, turns out it had .060" end float, found the .080" thrust bearings in the sump. Did a 1275 A+ big block conversion as it was the cheapest/quickest way to have some fun with the car. Turns out by the heritage cert that the car is a April 62 997 Cooper. I am not much on body work, but the car is presentable, and it has been a fun jig saw puzzle mechanically to work on and bring back as much as I can to proper order, a dash restoration is next. This site continues to provide great information, some laughs, and a little better understanding of England.

PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:53 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2010 11:30 am
Posts: 12392
Location: In the Village.
Some great Mini biographies folks!

It really is fascinating to learn a little more about fellow members, thanks to those who have shared their history & if you haven't you are always welcome to do so.

Mark F
I am not a number, but you can get me on 0800-555-555
(John, This is a JOKE Telephone number, it doesn't work)

PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:24 pm 

Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2016 11:30 pm
Posts: 697
Location: South Northants
mk1 wrote:
Some great Mini biographies folks!

It really is fascinating to learn a little more about fellow members, thanks to those who have shared their history & if you haven't you are always welcome to do so.

Can I ask?
Which cars do you still have in your collection mark?

Last edited by kit of bits on Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:43 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2015 8:40 pm
Posts: 332

I’m 50 something and live near Pangbourne in West Berks... like a lot of people my age I learnt to drive in a mini... had a couple of MK3 minis when i started and a 1983 Mini Sprite ... the best Sprite edition not the thing that came later! Then had many years of metro, then a turbo..before succumbing to a Subaru Impreza.. then a Vectra! Dont ask!

Started work in Wellworthy and Hepworth & Grandage , gudgeon pins, pistons, rings and liners (diesel / petrol if anyone remembers their auto parts manufacturers) in the foundry and heat treatment moved to the glamorous world of bearings at Glacier Metal co..... eventually heat treatment became my thing and thats that :)

Bought a last of line MPI Sportpack in 2007, immaculate, as my way back in..stolen from my garage a few years later....then bought MK2 Cooper SCV from Nidge ran it hard for a couple of years then dived in with a full resto and here we are!




PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:22 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2014 5:03 pm
Posts: 766
Location: Warwickshire
I sometimes miss old 'SCV' Kevin!

I'm just about to turn 53, live in Warickshire with the Mrs and two food obsessed cats and work on the railway driving freight trains here, there and everywhere. As well as wondering where all those five decades went I'm wondering if any of my previous Minis which might be roadworthy are still being enjoyed as much as they were when I owned them. I've had thirteen so far over a period of nearly thirty years, far fewer than most of the members on here no doubt, I've tried giving them up at least twice (honest) but can't seem to shake off the Mini bug. We never had a family car when I was growing up but they were everywhere, old banger Mk1s and 2s and new-fangled Mk3s becoming more prominent as the years rolled by. I think I can trace the affliction to our next door neighbours '65 Woodie, it looked rather sad in a way with it's rotting wood, patchy grey paint and tatty red vinyl interior but I loved it when Mrs.Tomes gave me and my Mum a lift up town in it every week, with me in the back playing with the sliding windows in their furred up metal channels. Mrs.T was the receptionist at the local Rover dealer Sam Robins (now a Kwikfit, oh dear) and used to park the Mini round the back amongst the newly arrived P6s and P5B saloons and Coupes, it looked a bit lost even to my young eyes.

My first was a '77 Mini 1000 in BL baked bean orange with a very dodgy looking black vinyl roof, bought from the local Ford dealer for £150, it had been exported to Italy when new and came back just a few years later festooned with a few nice Innocenti bits. The poor thing only lasted four months in my ownership and chucked the towel in one night on the way back from a Motorhead gig in Brum, dumping it's oil all over the A45. It went to the scrappy soon after (it was rotten anyway) still with the Innocenti goodies which looking back I should have rescued and kept. A few months later I bought a '79 Clubbie 1100 which went like the clappers, I was never that keen on the front end but needed a daily hack and soon sold it when a mate of my Dad's was looking to offload his wife's extremely tired but very characterful 1970 Mk2 1000 in old fashioned maroon with tan interior. This did me proud in all weathers for about two years until the floor and sills fell to bits, I remember ringing John Kelly at Mini Machine to ask him how much it would cost to restore, ''about three grand'' he said, which in the early '90s seemed like a fortune so off it went to the scrappie. I've still got a few bits of it in the garage and green log book is knocking about somewhere. The next few Minis were a blur until I went along to a show at Bobbington near Himley Hall where my eyes fell upon UWD 672G, a '69 El Paso & White Mk2 Austin Cooper going begging for a mere £1500. Two days later I was off with a mate to Hereford to pick it up, on the way home the dynamo caught fire but I really didn't care, I had my hands on the wheel of a genuine, proper '60s Mini Cooper and that's all that mattered. Being my only car it was used day in day out in all weathers for almost five years, this took its toll in the usual places and it went into the garage for a few years. I fully intended to get it sorted and for a while it was put in storage down at Southam M&MC. In the meantime I'd also bought DPV 180D, a gorgeous little late '65 Mk1 Morris Cooper S from MCR member Dick Robinson, foolishly I let it go a couple of years later but by then SCV 272G had appeared on the radar and off UWD went to Northern Ireland via ebay where I think it still resides, hopefully restored and back on the road. SCV was foisted, sorry, sold onto the Earl Of Pangbourne a year later when WMU 211G dropped into my lap quite unexpectedly. Also, while all this silly Mini business was going on I got through three Rover P6s, a pair of P5B Coupes and a very early Series 2 SWB XJ6, these were wafty itches I just had to scratch, but they've all gone on to pastures new and it's just WMU and the Jap 1275 auto project filling the garage up now.

Even with two Minis on the go I can't help looking at ebay and almost daily to see what else is out there. I'm constantly daydreaming about 'the perfect Mini' and would love a Radford, W&P or genuine '60s Sprint one day. Daft ain't it..?


1968 Mk2 Morris Cooper S

PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:31 pm 

Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2016 4:23 pm
Posts: 268
Location: Down sarf where no one smiles
Hi I'm Dave and I've been an alcoholic for ............... sorry wrong confession box.

Won't say how old I am as I've lost count, but I started as an apprentice at a Ford main dealer the week the Ford Corsair was launched. First car a knackered A30 with painted over masking tape hiding the holes in the sills. Lousy car but it was transport.

Three years later moved to a BL dealer, drove the 2,000,000th Mini before it went to its first owner. Started doing autotests and a few local rallies with a work colleague (one time owner of the 'ex-works' blue Clubman UWL 744K) and ran a Ford Anglia with a 1500 engine (still waiting for Minisport to deliver its modified head). Got into Minis in '68 with a £100 850. Bog standard and fitted with 4 P700s it beat Escort Twin Cams in the snow on more than one occasion.

Moved house and another BL dealer and swopped the Anglia with a club mate for a rough Corsair. After 12 months I decided to look for a Cooper. Couldn't find one but then in early 1970 came across a very tidy Almond Green 1071s with a sticker price of £325. £100 and the Corsair in px, the S was mine. Like Coopertims, this also originally came from Appleyards of Bradford, was originally an ex-demo car and probably was driven by Tony Fall. I later found out that he used to a borrow a demo car for the weekend to do the odd club rally. Interspersed with a couple of £50 Minivans, the S had a hard life over the next 4 years doing local rallies and providing daily transport.
When the body gave out I sold it to my rally mate who rebuilt it into a Mk3 'insurance job' shell which we still need to pay for (£100 plus 40+ years interest).

Next along was another 850 bought for £50, painted in black bitumen, knackered hydro changed to dry, 1300 engine fitted and painted in the bodyshop for a backhander. Put into use as a spare rally and autotesting car, eventually broke in two and was rebuilt into a Clubman Estate shell and another free paint job. The kids got too big to fit in the back so along came a couple of Metros and a company car.

A Mini-less period, redundancy and a change of job ending up in Elf & Safety, better money and a move down south to North Bedfordshire. Son at the age of 15 has a niggling for a Mini, I told him they were rotboxes and ended up buying a 1275 GT powered Hustler for him to tinker with. He wasn't convinced, bought a £50 Mini shell at Stanford Hall show, a £50 MOT fail from the local garage and with my help got the car running for his 17th birthday. Passed his test 2 weeks later and still has the car despite it being off the road for the last 18 years.

Moving on, I went to a Mini show at Santa Pod in 1996 (before the days of MITP), saw a recently rebuilt '64 Mk1 850 with later 998 running gear in Almond Green/White roof like my old S and which took my fancy. Talked the guy down to £1,000 and paid for it with more redundancy money. Ran the car for about 4 years until the wife reversed it into the son's Cavalier twice in succession! Took it off the road and left it to rot away for the next 14 years. Finally decided to do a quick rebuild which ended up taking 3 years. After a lot of stress, plenty of midnight oil, a trip to A&E and rather more expenditure than I originally paid for it I've decided I'm too old to fart about any more and call this my last project. Oh, my son's talking about me doing up a Clubman estate and we've recently acquired a Stimson Trek as an estate run-around vehicle.

Now retired (I think) spend a bit of time volunteering at Gaydon museum. Can't get petrol out of my veins.

Sorry about the long drivel but I appear to have been around for a long time and I haven't mentioned the totally rot free Austin 1100 that I bought for a fiver in 1981 after it broke down on the A1. Or the stripped 2nd gear on the S which led to me meeting the wife. Or the time I moved house and dumped my S seats and wheels behind the
garage a I couldn't be arsed to move them. Or driving the last Mini off the production line at 80 down the M40 a couple of years ago and not realising it had only 300 miles on the clock. Or the .............

Before joining the forum I thought I knew a lot about Minis. I was wrong :oops: :oops:

'Old Dave'

PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 1:07 am 

Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2014 11:06 pm
Posts: 121

My name is Lee Norman and I'm 49.

Born in Sutton, Surrey but grew up in Chesham, Bucks the one time location of the last incarnation of Speedwell I believe. I emigrated to Auckland, New Zealand in 1996 and have been here ever since. I sold up my car collection at the time which consisted of an Opel Manta GTE, TVR Taimar, 1100 Ford Fiesta......this only left a 1984 mini to flog chance.....the mini was packed up in the boat with my belongings and I still own it today.

My first car was a 1963 850, followed by a 1275GT that I managed to rip the front wheels and sump off after taking a corner rather too enthusiastically and mounting a high kerb. Oops, hard lesson to learn. I had a loan out on the car so that saw me off the road for a wee while.

My background is in the print industry which in the UK was always a busy job. However, here in NZ I could rip through days work in several hours leaving me the rest of the day to day dream and scratch around looking for something to keep me occupied. Eventually the boredom became too much and I went down to four days a week to allow me to time to setup a fledgeling Mini business. This saw me going full time nearly 13 years ago and has been my sole source of income since.

Current minis in the stable are my UK 84 model which is now supercharged. Two SPI minis, one of which is setup for track days etc, the other in on 10" wheels with MK1 tail lamps, grill etc and tartan red with a black roof. I have an Aussie Moke which gets a fair bit of use in the summer months. A 1965 Riley Elf which has all original panels and is pretty much rust free. Really it just needs a cosmetic makeover to get it tidy. I also have a 1974 round nose mini traveller which I did a ground up rebuild on around 5 years ago. 1974 was the last year they sold those here, 5 years after they stopped making them in the UK I believe. I also have a minisprint project that I started around 15 years ago. Did the roof and body chop just for the sake of knowing it could be done, then parked it up from there. Must get that finished one day.

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