Mini Magazine - - News - Jeff Rug­gles Ed­i­tor, Mini Mag­a­zine

You need to pos­sess a fairly deep un­der­stand­ing of Mi­nis to grasp why the Ja­panese scene sur­round­ing our favourite car is so revered. Af­ter all, it’s a very Bri­tish car, and there’s a heck of lot of very spe­cial ones right here on these shores. But the Ja­panese have a long-held af­fec­tion for the Mini, and there’s just some­thing very spe­cial about their ap­proach. It’s only now in the age of so­cial me­dia that many of us have been able to see what the Ja­panese scene has to of­fer, which was pre­vi­ously the plea­sure of spe­cial­ists or hardy trav­ellers.

The lan­guage bar­rier means that buy­ing cars and parts can still be dif­fi­cult, but as James Kelly has proven with this month’s cover star, the ef­fort has been worth it. With lots of search­ing and some clever thought, he’s cre­ated the most con­vinc­ing replica of a Ja­panese-style mod­i­fied Mini we’ve seen. That’s re­mark­able for a car that has never left the Bri­tish Isles. Ev­ery­one else seems to love it too – at the re­cent Bri­tish Mini Fair, the car was noth­ing short of mobbed. By look­ing to an­other cul­ture, James has cre­ated some­thing re­ally re­fresh­ing, and there aren’t too many cars you can do that with.

Else­where in this is­sue, we’ve got a lovely early 1275 GT for you, a dad-and­lad Cooper project, a cool retro 1293 saloon, an Ap­pen­dix K his­toric racer and tales of Monte Carlo from Bill Richards. We’ve also got tech ad­vice from our guru Keith Calver and a guide to fit­ting a Cooper boot board, as well as pics from the afore­men­tioned Mini Fair.

Now, ex­cuse me why I go hunt­ing from ob­scure Mini wheels on Ja­panese auc­tion sites. En­joy the mag...

James Kelly’s cool and in­spi­ra­tional build.

With one of the leg­ends of the Ja­panese Mini scene, Mr Maruyama, at Mini Fair.

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