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.