READY, STEADY, CON­COURS!

Dan In­gles was only go­ing to keep this John Cooper LE Mini for the sum­mer, but then the con­cours bug took hold, and he hasn’t stopped since!

Mini Magazine - - Contents -

Orig­i­nally pur­chased ‘ just for the sum­mer’, Dan In­gles caught the con­cours bug and this John Cooper LE is the re­sult!

Dan In­gles was lucky to have had a 1999 Rover Mini Cooper Sport­pack as his first car. “I loved that thing to death, but it was a real bone-shaker. It was as low as I could get it and on short­ened and su­per stiff Gaz shocks,” ex­plains Dan. Un­for­tu­nately, it met an un­timely end as he was hit at 30mph from be­hind whilst sta­tion­ary and then pushed into the back of a BMW X5! “Un­sur­pris­ingly it was writ­ten off, but even at that time val­ues were in­creas­ing and I ended up

be­ing paid out more then I’d bought it for, and I’d done 60,000 of the 85,000 miles it had trav­elled, and had been through three gear­boxes!”

Not put off Clas­sic Mini own­er­ship, but again not re­ally look­ing for an­other at the time, he spot­ted this 1999 Rover Mini John Cooper LE on eBay in April 2016. “Be­ing com­pletely hon­est I wasn’t look­ing to buy a Mini at the time, but I’d seen it on­line and although the pho­tos weren’t great, the price was fan­tas­tic, so I trav­elled from South Le­ices­ter­shire to Somerset to view it.” Dan de­scribes the con­di­tion in the metal of this Mini as “amaz­ing” - it had al­ready been the lucky re­cip­i­ent of some qual­ity restora­tion work in the past. “The fam­ily that owned it had been try­ing to sell it for a while with­out any buy­ers as they were re­lo­cat­ing to France. I picked it up the fol­low­ing week with the in­ten­tion of just keep­ing it for the sum­mer and sell­ing it on. Well, that didn’t hap­pen and I’ve now owned this Mini for over two years and got the bug for con­cours,” laughs Dan.

SOUGHT-AF­TER MINI

For those not in the know about Rover Mini Spe­cial Edi­tions, and it’s not easy as there were quite a num­ber of them, this was an­other of the lim­ited-edi­tion mod­els cre­ated along­side the Mini 40. How­ever, on top of cel­e­brat­ing the Clas­sic Mini’s big birth­day, the Cooper was also built to com­mem­o­rate the 40th an­niver­sary of the Cooper F1 World

“I’ve now owned this Mini for over two years and got the bug for con­cours!”

Cham­pi­onship. The Rover Mini John Cooper LE, as it was called, was only avail­able with Brook­lands Green and Old English White paint on the out­side, with a Grena­dine Red leather in­te­rior. Of­fi­cially, just 300 of these sought-af­ter Minis were pro­duced. Although, the ru­mour is that John Cooper’s wife wanted one af­ter they had all sold out, so Rover built an ad­di­tional Y-plated car for her, push­ing the pro­duc­tion to­tal up to 301!

Com­pletely stan­dard when he bought it, Dan wouldn’t re­ally say that he’s mod­i­fied this Mini now. “I’ve made some choice changes to match my taste in Minis and im­prove­ments to the brakes to make it stop well, drive well, and so I can en­ter it into con­cours com­pe­ti­tions.”

Dan first fo­cused on the out­side of his Cooper LE, swap­ping the stan­dard Sport­pack wheels for these more retrolook­ing 13x7-inch split-rim replica Su­perlights with gold cen­tres. Car­ry­ing on the retro look, he’s fit­ted the Wi­pac stain­less-backed spot­lights and replica Lu­cas P700 head­lamps. Then fin­ished the look with Mini Spares re­place­ment bumpers, over rid­ers and cor­ner bars, a wavy front grille, JB fabri­ca­tion re­place­ment-cen­tred stain­less rear fog lamp, Cooper Car Com­pany re­place­ment filler cap and wipers, blades and washer jets, all fin­ished in stain­less steel.

Af­ter some wins on the show ’n’ shine cir­cuit, Dan fixed his eyes on con­cours suc­cess, and set about im­prov­ing this Mini’s al­ready lux­u­ri­ous in­te­rior. Firstly, with a Cus­tom Con­soles cen­tre con­sole, that has been colour-matched to those gor­geous red leather seats. Plus a Mini­va­tion phone holder, which Dan de­scribes as “an amaz­ing bit of a kit”, as it ac­tu­ally holds his sat nav! He’s also swapped the stan­dard leather gear knob, for one from the Cooper Car Com­pany. Then, stain­less steel door latch cover plates, seat pulls and door jam striker plates, all from Smiffy’s Bits. Fin­ish­ing off the in­te­rior look with a hid­den cig­a­rette lighter (power socket to power up his sat- nav) and chrome air vent sur­rounds.

The boot came next, with a cus­tom boot liner kit made by Martin Wixon, which has been per­fectly matched to the seat colour. “This is my favourite ad­di­tion to the car, it has also been great to get to know Martin and Sarah Wixon,” ex­claims Dan.

MOV­ING TO CON­COURS

Feel­ing that the stan­dard brakes could be im­proved, a Cooper Car Com­pany four­pot brake up­grade with 8.4-inch drilled and grooved discs came next and were fit­ted with braided front brake lines and Mini Sport Su­perfin rear drums.

The move from show ’n’ shine to

“It’s not re­ally a scary move from show ’n’ shine into con­cours”

con­cours saw work on the en­gine com­part­ment next, although first came a K&N fil­ter el­e­ment in the orig­i­nal air box and a Man­i­flow cat back ex­haust to help re­lease a few ex­tra horses from the 1275 MPi en­gine. Fol­lowed by more colour­cod­ing and pol­ished, shiny parts.

Firstly, he had the stan­dard air box painted Brook­lands Green to match the body­work. Then a pol­ished rocker cover and bars from Mini Sport. Then Dan’s en­gine was put on a strict diet of stain­less Smiffy’s Bits parts, with an al­ter­na­tor guard, re­lay cov­ers, ECU cover, head bolt cov­ers, horn bracket, ra­di­a­tor bracket, brake reser­voir cover, HT lead clamps, top coolant hose, ECU bracket, ra­di­a­tor top fin­isher, en­gine fuse box cover, ig­ni­tion bracket, top hose sup­port bracket, head nut cov­ers, al­ter­na­tor ter­mi­nal cover, air fil­ter bracket and the UK map re­lay cover.

“It’s not re­ally a scary move from show ’n’ shine into con­cours,” says Dan. “I’d like to thank Mark Wynn-Smith and Tracey Lip­pett for giv­ing me an en­cour­ag­ing push to do it. Con­cours is re­ally ac­ces­si­ble and to any­one think­ing of do­ing it, speak to the com­peti­tors as they are all re­ally friendly and full of help­ful ad­vice and sup­port. It’s worth speak­ing to the judges too!” Dan’s best ad­vice is find great trades peo­ple who

you can trust, if you strug­gle to do things your­self. “I’d be lost with­out my body­work chap, Jay from JP Tun­ing, and also my mega me­chanic Ja­son Mud­dimer,” Dan says.

PER­FECT RESTORA­TION

The Bri­tish Mini Club has also been a big sup­port for Dan, as he thinks their shows are re­ally great. Him­ley 2017 was the first time he had ever en­tered a show ’n’ shine com­pe­ti­tion and the Mini and Metro Show was the first time he’d en­tered a con­cours com­pe­ti­tion, and came sec­ond! “The high­light so far of own­ing this car, was get­ting a third place in the con­cours last year at the Stan­ford Hall show. It’s my home show, I scored 192/200 and my lit­tle girl col­lected the tro­phy with me.”

By chance, Dan’s also got to know the chap who orig­i­nally did the restora­tion work on this car. “Clive Brookes got in touch with me af­ter see­ing a photo I’d posted on the in­ter­net, and we’ve met up a few times at the Lon­don to Brighton run. I can’t re­ally take any credit for how good the car is, as it’s Clive who built it - he is an ex-Beaulieu Gold Cup win­ner, the most pres­ti­gious con­cours award at the Mini Cooper Reg­is­ter’s Na­tional Day, af­ter all.”

This is ob­vi­ously a very clean and wellkept late Clas­sic Mini, but I asked if Dan’s

“I’ve not had any is­sues, as it was so well put to­gether when it was re­stored”

come up against any prob­lems with this car? “I’ve not re­ally had any is­sues with it, as it was so well put to­gether when it was re­stored,” says Dan, how­ever, when he added those wider wheels, he ad­mits it drove like a dog. “This has been solved by adding ad­justable cam­ber and sort­ing the track­ing. It also needed a re­place­ment wa­ter pump re­cently, which I luck­ily found two days be­fore this year’s Lon­don to Brighton Mini Run.”

Dan’s fu­ture plans mostly re­volve around more con­cours com­pe­ti­tions, but with­out giv­ing too much away, he’d like more power and some new wheels! We look for­ward to see­ing those ex­tra mods to com­ple­ment this late Clas­sic Mini spe­cial edi­tion.

Lux­u­ri­ous Grena­dine Red leather in­te­rior with colour-matched Cus­tom Con­soles cen­tre con­sole.

Gor­geous red leather seats.

Black leather OE steer­ing wheel.

Com­plete with its own lit­tle replica model!

Keep­ing things pe­riod in Brook­lands Green with Old English White roof.

Orig­i­nal and stun­ning!

Dan’s dash in­cludes a hid­den cig­a­rette lighter.

Cooper Car Com­pany gear knob.

Mag­no­lia in­stru­ments shared with Mini 40.

Mini Spares wavy grille and replica Lu­cas P700 head­lamps look fab.

Split-rim replica Su­perlights with gold cen­tres.

More Mini Cooper brand­ing.

Branded by the man him­self!

Orig­i­nal Mini Cooper brand­ing.

Stan­dard 1275 MPi en­gine with the air­box painted in Brook­lands Green and fin­ished with a plethora of Smiffys Bits stain­less steel items.

...fully trimmed and lined in vinyl and colour­matched to the in­te­rior.

The boot is Dan’s favourite mod­i­fi­ca­tion...

Com­plet­ing the look with stain­less steel over rid­ers.

Proud Mini owner, Dan In­gles.

Unique JB Fabri­ca­tion cen­tred rear fog lamp.

More stain­less steel with the ex­huast.

Dan ad­justed the cam­ber to cre­ate the per­fect ride.

We’re not surpised this stun­ning Mini is a con­cours win­ner.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.