In from the cold

Jeff finds some ex­tra space for his bur­geon­ing fleet of Minis.

Mini Magazine - - Our Minis -

When peo­ple find out how many Minis I own (as high as nine this month, if you in­clude our Equinox MITP prize car), the im­me­di­ate ques­tion is 'where do you put them all?' It used to be eas­ier. I'd rely on friends, fam­ily, and if all else failed, the street. With Mini val­ues on the rise though, I'm no longer con­fi­dent with leav­ing cars parked ran­domly, and most of my friends and fam­ily no longer want my tat in their garage. So I needed to sort some­thing.

With a Mini each at my brother's place, my mum's and my own, plus a rented lock-up else­where, I still needed to house at least four more. And hav­ing moved to deep­est, dark­est Som­er­set re­cently where rent is a lit­tle cheaper, I was able to find a suit­able unit within a sen­si­ble drive of home. Re­ally it's only big enough for two or three cars, es­pe­cially if you want to do any work. How­ever, in the in­ter­ests of get­ting ev­ery­thing away from the el­e­ments, we man­aged to squeeze four in with about a fag packet's worth of space be­tween each. The Ja­panese May­fair is the only road le­gal car in there at the mo­ment, so that's been po­si­tioned for easy re­moval. The oth­ers are all still on the to do list, though some have been on there for far too long...

Be­fore the May­fair was put away, I opted to change the wheel arches. It was pre­vi­ously fit­ted with some Ja­pane­se­made items made from ABS plas­tic rather than the usual fi­bre­glass. Un­for­tu­nately, they were now as old as the hills and hugely out of shape, prob­a­bly due to the hot sun. This meant the near­side one no longer lined up with the holes, and in a rush to fit it be­fore my sum­mer road trip, I'd bro­ken it. I man­aged to find an­other set on a Ja­panese Ya­hoo auc­tion and also had some iden­ti­cal fi­bre­glass items as spares, so I got Ryan Cow­ley to paint them all up for me. The new ones fit­ted much bet­ter and ac­tu­ally fol­low the line of the wheel, though the fronts needed some care­ful fet­tling with the file. I also added a rub­ber seal be­tween the arch and the body, as well as rub­ber trim on the lip. This is much eas­ier to fit than the chrome stuff, al­though I would rec­om­mend re­mov­ing it for reg­u­lar clean­ing as it tends to trap mois­ture.

All that re­mains for the ex­te­rior now is get to my new wheels on – specif­i­cally, a set of tasty Spec­trum-style split-rims from Spe­cial­ist Com­po­nents in 6x10-inch flavour. Th­ese are cur­rently one of only two sets made, with the other be­long­ing to Stephen. I will have to swap to 7.5-inch discs up front to get them on, but it'll be well worth the ef­fort.

With a big pile of old tyres and as­sorted tat to house too, I could only just squeeze four Minis in.

New arches with fresh rub­ber trim.

May­fair will still get used in win­ter.

Tasty new split-rims for the May­fair.

It's se­ri­ously tight in there!

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