“It’s a joy to drive, and I aim to continue using it daily until the winter kicks in...”
The cylinder head gasket wasn’t the only component to start complaining; the gearbox started to leak oil, encouraging Tom to remove the unit before replacing the seals and gaskets. He also took the opportunity to install a new clutch, but that’s where the mechanical updates end.
Subsequent use of the van has been faultfree and has included a trip on the annual London to Brighton run and visits to summer shows including the recent International Mini Meeting in Kent. Overseas adventures to meet with Mini enthusiasts in mainland Europe have also been in plentiful supply, and the van has deservedly bagged show and shine awards at the Yardley Hastings Vintage Vehicle and the Sheffield Mini Club show too.
Re sto plans
As anybody with a retro ride will attest, long journeys can often be difficult to enjoy when you’re forever wondering what’s going on beneath the bonnet of your classic. Thankfully, a smattering of minor interior updates that were applied by one of the Minivan’s previous owners have afforded Tom peace of mind, and he cites the triple dial centre dash and an additional Smiths voltage gauge as particularly helpful.
Similarly, exterior modifications have been kept to a minimum; a new coat of Snowberry White, polished hubcaps, relocated and replaced door mirrors, front overriders and painted rear bumpers are the only evidence of any tinkering ( unless you count a vintage AA badge as modification?!). Yet despite his Minivan’s clean appearance, Tom wants to improve upon its overall condition by subjecting it to a bare shell restoration. “It’s a joy to drive, and I aim to continue using it each day until the winter snap kicks in. At that point, I’ll strip it in advance of a full rebuild before treating it to a fresh lick of paint. I’m
Rather than a single centre dial, this van has extra gauges for peace of mind whilst on the move.