Keith Dodd - 55 years in­volve­ment with the Mini

Mini Magazine - - News -

Af­ter 55 years of in­volve­ment with Mini parts Keith Dodd has left the run­ning of the com­pany to his fam­ily and em­ploy­ees who have worked in the busi­ness for many years. Keith was born in April 1947 and on leav­ing school in 1963 he started his ca­reer in the mo­tor trade with H.A Saun­ders at Whet­stone, Lon­don N20 purely as a part time job. H.A Saun­ders was later pur­chased by Mann Eger­ton, who were part of the Inch­cape Group. His in­ter­est started straight away as the 997cc Cooper was be­ing phased out and the 998cc in­tro­duced. Many own­ers and parts sup­pli­ers could not get to grips with the BMC parts lists change points, es­pe­cially when some early 850cc and 997cc en­gines had oil fed pri­mary gears and dif­fer­ent gear sets sub­ject to mod­i­fi­ca­tions by BMC. This is where his skill for recog­nis­ing the defin­ing fea­tures of other parts fit­ted and know­ing the year of man­u­fac­ture to as­cer­tain the cor­rect parts re­quired made him renowned in the Mini world. He also be­came a recog­nised ex­pert on the in­ter­change­abil­ity of parts for up­grad­ing or per­for­mance use. Own­ers of Minis, whether road, race or track, all re­lied on his knowl­edge and he started the first Spe­cial Tun­ing dis­trib­u­tor­ship in Lon­don. He founded Mini Spares in 1975 af­ter Mann Eger­ton said they were not in­ter­ested in open­ing a one-car spe­cial­ist shop or divi­sion solely for the Mini - hav­ing worked for them for 10 years he gave them over a year to change their minds whilst he pre­pared for go­ing alone. At that time Mann Eger­ton were the third largest parts sup­pli­ers of BMC/Ley­land/and Rover parts in the UK, em­ploy­ing a staff of 35-40 peo­ple. To­day Mini Spares em­ploys 50+ staff purely for the Mini! Mini Spares started in Bowes Road, South­gate sell­ing parts, break­ing a few Cooper S dam­aged cars sourced from Ex­change and Mart and build­ing per­for­mance en­gines and gear­boxes to help sub­sidise the new parts busi­ness, be­fore mov­ing just up the road in 1981 to Fri­ern Bar­net Road. The present site at Pot­ters Bar was opened in 1999 and the shop at Fri­ern Bar­net phased out and even­tu­ally sold in 2001. Har­ro­gate was opened in 1995 and it re­lo­cated to larger premises in York July 2015. Mini Spares Mid­lands branch, which is run in con­junc­tion with David Man­ners, opened 1996. Keith Dodd has been in­volved in all the parts de­sign, re­man­u­fac­ture and qual­ity con­trol the com­pany and his knowl­edge has been passed down to his ex­cep­tional staff, cre­at­ing the largest and lead­ing spe­cial­ists in the world for Mini spare parts. The shops are run by trained counter staff as many cus­tomers still col­lect their or­ders in per­son, but to­day Mini Spares is pri­mar­ily a mail or­der com­pany. Of the 190-5 coun­tries in the world Mini Spares have shipped to over 122 at the last count show­ing how far world­wide the Mini has trav­elled.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.