“I man­aged to rack up 8000 miles in the first few months of own­er­ship...”

Mini Magazine - - Minivan -

friend in­formed Tom that a ‘ for sale’ sign had been taped to the win­dow of the white won­der. “I rock­eted around to the garage and had the keys in my hand within 48 hours!” he says with a laugh. “I’d al­ways wanted a Mini­van to add to my as­sort­ment of Minis, and this one struck me as be­ing the per­fect ad­di­tion to my ever- grow­ing col­lec­tion.”

22- year- old Tom is a Mini fan through and through, and hails from a whole fam­ily of Mini lovers. More­over, a va­ri­ety of spe­cial edi­tion Minis ( not to men­tion the oc­ca­sional trac­tor!) can be seen parked up on and around the Parn­well fam­ily’s drive­way at any given point in time. Tom’s own Mini col­lec­tion in­cludes his very first car – a trea­sured 1983 City E. “I love all va­ri­eties of Mini,” he says, “and I’m re­spon­si­ble for main­tain­ing the wide range of mod­els that fea­ture in the fam­ily fleet. Even so, I felt that a Mini­van was miss­ing in my life and was thrilled to have bought one in such orig­i­nal con­di­tion.”

From the fac­tory

A brief look at the van’s log­book sug­gests that the afore­men­tioned Mrs Gasser held its ti­tle for well over 17 years be­fore pass­ing it on to a chap in the neigh­bour­ing dis­trict of Willes­den. We no­tice that the van was then sold to the sec­ond owner’s next- door neigh­bour in 1992! “It cer­tainly didn’t travel far! And it’s safe to say that in­ner- city liv­ing is re­spon­si­ble for the low mileage, which also goes some way to­wards ex­plain­ing why the van wears so much of its orig­i­nal equip­ment,” Tom rea­sons.

In­deed, you’d be cor­rect in your as­sump­tion that the stock 848cc A- Se­ries en­gine and ‘ Magic Wand’ four- speed man­ual gear­box re­main in place, but you’ll no doubt be as­ton­ished to learn that the van’s fac­tory- spec spark plugs, ignition leads, brake drums and shoes are also sit­ting pretty! Ap­par­ently un­changed since their ini­tial in­stal­la­tion ( and con­tin­u­ing to op­er­ate with­out fault), Tom con­sid­ers them to be his Mini­van’s badge of hon­our.

That said, he does ad­mit that the en­gine it­self re­quired a dose of TLC fol­low­ing some spir­ited driv­ing: “My in­ten­tion is to use the van as much as I can, and I man­aged to rack up 8000 miles in the first few months of own­er­ship. Un­for­tu­nately, the en­gine didn’t cope too well with such a marked change of pace and promptly blew its head gas­ket!

The en­gine has been treated to new gas­kets through­out, but still has its orig­i­nal spark plugs!

Tom has added th­ese pol­ished full- width hub­caps to add a touch of class to the stock steel wheels.

An early 1970 car, Tom’s van would’ve been one of the last to wear sep­a­rate Austin or Mor­ris badg­ing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.