March 29, 2014 7:44 am - Published by

 

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Minis have something of a hero status with car lovers, and non-car lovers alike. Even if you don’t like the classic Mini, and the heritage it carries, you’re sure to appreciate that hero status regardless.

I’ve always been one to appreciate the classic Mini, but i’ve never really been a fan, until a friend got his back on the road – indeed, the very one you see above – after many years being considerably modified and restored. A ride or two in that, and the giggling like a little girl that comes with it has gone quite some way to me being some what drawn to them, although interestingly, it’s had more of an effect on my opinion of the newer R53 Mini, to the point that if I were to swap back to FWD, i’d have trouble deciding between a RenaultSport Megane, or a Mini Cooper S…


 

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Anyway, I digress. The aforementioned friend invited me to take shotgun in his Mini for the 3 hour drive down to Brooklands for the Mini show that was to take place. It meant a relatively early start, and a very noisy drive (due to his straight cut gearbox, and relatively unsilenced exhaust) down the M1. Upon arrival, it was clear just how large this event was, there were hoards of Minis everywhere, from very original, very early models, right through to brand new, factory fresh models. With everything catered for in between.

I’m not going to claim to know anything about any of the models before the R53, however it was clear to see there was a huge range of ages and everything ranging from ground up nut & bolt original restorations, to heavily modified, and engine swapped models too.

 

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The R53 & R56 models were also well represented by everything from base spec models (I believe the One is the lowest spec? Again, my knowledge isn’t all that great) through to the range topping, hardcore hot hatch (and my favourite!) the JCW GP…

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In conclusion then, despite having been in production for almost 55 years now – 55 years in August since it was first announced to the public, if Wikipedia is to be trusted – this show was something of proof that the love and dedication to the Mini brand is still very strong, and has a lot of very devoted individuals in the scene. And for that alone, even if, for whatever reason, you still don’t appreciate them for what they are, you have to understand why they’re still such a strong selling car, despite having grown so much from the original designed by Sir Alec Issigonis all them years ago.


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