Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Our Classics -





TJuly 2014

57,000 miles £0

here has been a force in my life for two years now that dons the face of a Labrador puppy but hides the killer in­stinct of a ra­bid badger – how­ever, luck­ily, I don’t share this bur­den alone.

It is here where my sis­ter and her part­ner should take a bow, as with­out them this lit­tle Mini May­fair would never have found a home. Dur­ing a mo­ment of mad­ness where all three of us found the al­lure of a red Mini on eBay too much to ig­nore, we split the cost three ways to save her from the jaws of the crusher.

How could you not fall for the charms of an old Mini? With bags of grip, an ad­dic­tive, freerevving pow­er­train and aes­thet­ics that could melt even the frozen heart of Theresa May, our Mini brought us all to­gether like never be­fore. Chris­tened ‘Au­drey’ by my Hep­burn-ob­sessed sib­ling, those lucky enough to get near her have fallen in love with its cheeky splen­dour. Yet, there is some­thing tragic about Au­drey.

De­spite a de­sign that tugs at the heart strings, we have never man­aged to com­plete any jour­ney with­out some sort of me­chan­i­cal break­down, some­thing catch­ing fi­fire or some­thing cut­ting out. Its fifinest mo­ment was when the lights died on the Dun­bar to Edinburgh by­pass, at 11pm, on the cold­est Novem­ber evening on record. If the Ital­ian Job had been un­der­taken with Minis’ like this one, the car chase would have been very dif­fer­ent in­deed – as it would have lasted only four miles be­fore the head gas­ket ex­ploded.

Sheer ded­i­ca­tion on our be­half has pulled the Mini through var­i­ous re­pairs and we shud­der to think how much money has been ploughed This is such a fa­mil­iar sight that it hurts – and our Calum isn’t ex­pect­ing it to go away any time soon. into her. Sadly, for the past year she has stood in un­der­ground stor­age with more com­plex prob­lems than a Cam­bridge maths exam. The last I spent time with Au­drey, three of her wheels had locked solid and the en­gine was seized, but this isn’t the end of her story.

I mean, how could you ever put a Mini down? That would be like kick­ing Old Yeller in the head. It won’t be an easy job, but Au­drey will grace the tar­mac again – hope­fully be­fore the year is out. The fi­first job is to re­place the muchused fi­fire ex­tin­guisher, be­fore then buy­ing some Val­ium tablets for the re­build process.

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