ON THE JOB

Mo­tor­sport fan Ca­tri­ona Bryson got this Mini to start her ral­ly­ing ca­reer, and this rare lim­ited edi­tion De­signer has re­ceived a well-earned re­build.

Mini Magazine - - Contents - Words Martyn Collins Pho­tog­ra­phy Adrian Bran­nan

The story of mo­tor­sport fan Ca­tri­ona Bryson’s lim­ited edi­tion De­signer re­build.

Ca­tri­ona Bryson grew up with her par­ents com­pet­ing in ral­lies so has been into cars from a very young age, in fact she now com­petes in ral­lies too! She had al­ways liked Minis, but only got prop­erly into them when her un­cle bought two of them. One as a road car and the other which he used to rally.

Ca­tri­ona tried to buy the road car from her un­cle be­fore her dad bought her this one – when she was just 13 years old! At the time, her dad was start­ing up ‘Tween Driv­ing Days’ for 12- and 13-year-olds to learn to drive, be­fore go­ing into the J1000 Cham­pi­onship at 14. These events were held at Kames Mo­tor­sport Com­plex in Muirkirk, which is about half an hour away from where Ca­tri­ona lives.

Un­for­tu­nately Ca­tri­ona never made it into the Ju­nior Cham­pi­onship, but she tells me that driv­ing this Mini, even in its pre­vi­ously rusty state, was great fun — even when she was driv­ing along­side more mod­ern and bor­ing Vaux­hall Cor­sas and Nis­san Mi­cras which were ap­par­ently very pop­u­lar. All this makes Ca­tri­ona’s Mini De­signer quite unique.

Since then, Ca­tri­ona’s started nav­i­gat­ing for her dad in off-road ral­ly­ing and her ul­ti­mate goal is to con­tinue nav­i­gat­ing in any type of mo­tor­sport.

Mean­while, seem­ingly like ev­ery other Mini De­signer, Ca­tri­ona’s car, which was rot­ten and an MoT fail­ure, has re­ceived a well-de­served re­build to orig­i­nal spec­i­fi­ca­tion, and once it’s fin­ished she is look­ing for­ward to tak­ing it to shows and en­joy­ing driv­ing it again.

What first at­tracted you to this Mini?

It was bought by my dad for me when I was 13, just so I could do kids’ driv­ing days at Kames Mo­tor­sport Com­plex. I’ve owned it for five-years now.

Can you tell me more about this Mini, do you know much of its his­tory?

It is a De­signer lim­ited edi­tion and had one lady owner from new. It had failed its MoT, so we bought it for the driv­ing days for just £350.

What was it that got you start­ing to re­build it?

I used it for the driv­ing days for a cou­ple of years, then I thought as it was one of the rarer lim­ited edi­tion Minis, it was worth restor­ing.

What’s your progress so far?

Firstly it was stripped, then the bare shell and sub­frames were sand­blasted. Af­ter this, the pan­els that needed at­ten­tion were re­placed. In my De­signer’s case this in­cluded new floor pans, wings, a front panel, boot lid and fi­nally the doors were re­paired. With the body sorted, it was time to get the engine and gearbox stripped and fully re­built. Then we started to re­assem­ble it. It’s since got new brakes, new sus­pen­sion, new lights, new bumpers and in­side we fit­ted a new head­lin­ing. The dis­tinc­tive stripy Mark Quant seats have also been re­paired and cleaned. It has taken four-years to get to this point, but I’m hop­ing it should be fin­ished be­fore the end of this year.

What is the next job?

I’ve got to fin­ish putting in the dash and re­fit­ting the all the win­dows.

Is there any body­work still to do, what was it like at the start?

No, the body­work is com­plete and was all done by Con­nell Mo­tor­sport in Ayr. At the start of the project the body­work was quite badly rusted, how­ever the sub­frames were luck­ily in very good con­di­tion – we think they may well have been re­placed by a pre­vi­ous owner.

Has it been kept in the same colour?

Yes, it has been re­sprayed in the orig­i­nal black colour.

Do you have any wor­ries with this re­build?

No other wor­ries other than the bud­get be­ing well blown — thank good­ness for the bank of dad!

What sort of style are you aim­ing for with this car?

We are keep­ing it to­tally orig­i­nal as it is a Mary Quant lim­ited edi­tion.

What wheels are you go­ing to run?

We had the orig­i­nal steel wheels sand­blasted and painted, plus the plas­tic wheel trims have been pol­ished and ti­died up. But, we also have a set of Minilite-style wheels that we will use for shows.

Have you made any mod­i­fi­ca­tions over stan­dard, or will you be mak­ing any?

Other than the al­loy wheels it is to­tally stan­dard.

Do you think your bud­get is go­ing to dic­tate what you’re go­ing to do with this Mini?

It’s al­ready well over bud­get, but we are de­ter­mined to fin­ish it to the best stan­dard that we can.

Have you got any ideas for any other spe­cial parts that you’ll fit to this Mini?

Nope, con­sid­er­ing how rare the De­signer lim­ited edi­tion is these days, we’ve de­cided that ev­ery­thing is go­ing to re­main stan­dard.

How of­ten do you plan to use this Mini when it’s done?

Just sum­mer use once it’s fin­ished; Sun­day runs and shows.

Want to get featured? project to: Send photos of your

Re­fit­ting the dash and the win­dows is the next job.

The Mini has been given new brakes and new sus­pen­sion.

Orig­i­nal Mark Quant seats were re­paired.

Mark Quant seats sit­ting proudly in place.

Orig­i­nal steer­ing wheel will re­main.

The De­signer has been re­sprayed in the orig­i­nal black.

Minilite-style wheels will be used for shows.

The all-im­por­tant De­signer logo.

Mini is be­ing turned back to orig­i­nal spec.

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