It’s 1981 – While the Bug was finding a new home, I was busy coveting my next door neighbour’s mk3 Mini. BPC 576H was black, fitted with an MG1100 engine with twin SU’s, Cooper front discs, revolution wheels with flared arches, bucket seats, and a myriad of extra dials in one of those ‘custom’ dashes. Sounds good, right? Apart from the badly-painted flames down the side that is, and the furry dice.
They were the first things to go. Both of them.
Next up was the fitting of a fibreglass flip front. No idea why now, but at the time I’m sure it was a great idea.
As always with Mini’s, it felt faster than it really was. I recently had a lovely mark 3 Cooper S in stock, and it reminded me just how much fun they are, and 50mph feels like 100 in a normal car. Also, nearly 40 years on, I looked at the rear accommodation in the S and wondered how exactly I succeeded in having carnal relations therein. And with a woman! A combination of needs must and the enthusiasm and suppleness of youth I suppose…
Anyway it was the first of what we today regard as the ‘classic’ Mini – a few followed over the years including a white clubman with 1380 engine, roll cage etc, and a Mark 1 850 automatic that was ideal for scooting around London in the mid 90’s.
Not sure what happened to the old girl, but it no longer seems to exist.