This limited edition Mini may well be keenly priced, but there are a few bodywork niggles that you need to watch out for
WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?
The A-series engine has a healthy buzz. There are no misfires or hesitation to blunt its power delivery, and the car pulls away without any fanbelt whine or worrying rattles. Stick it on full lock and there aren’t any tell-tale clicks from the CV joints, but there is a scrubbing noise when turning and the occasional knock from what sounds like loose trim around the steering column. The clutch and gearbox engage smoothly, while the brakes respond without squealing and don’t pull the car to either side. With the exception of the two steering noises, both of which we reckon are easily sortable, it feels like a Mini that’s been looked after.
There are a couple of blemishes towards the front of the car, including bubbling paint around the bottom of the nearside A-pillar and on the driver’s door surround. A little paint has been chipped off where the rear edge of the bonnet has brushed against the bulkhead. The worst area cosmetically is some flaking paint and surface rust beneath the radiator grille on the offside. The rest of the bodywork is in good condition, with the sills, door bottoms, rear window edges and boot floor free from rot. It’d be worth investing in matching tyres – it currently has Pirelli Cinturatos at the back and Roadstones at the front.
HOW’S THE INTERIOR?
The part-leather seats are showing signs of mild cracking consistent with the car’s age, but are free of scuffs and rips. More importantly, given the Thirty’s interior is one of its big selling points, this is the correct specification and original to the car. The carpets are free of fraying or unsightly marks and the door cards on both sides are intact. There’s no sag in the headlining. The instruments and heater work correctly, as does the aftermarket JVC CD player. There’s no damp getting through in either of the footwells, and beneath the carpets the floorpan is solid.
UNDER THE BONNET
The car has had a replacement clutch and was given a full service during its MoT last August. The 1275cc A-Series engine has a grubby coating of oil and dirt and there’s some surface rust on a few components, so it could benefit from further cleaning. There aren’t any fluid leaks or perished rubber and the bulkhead, inner wings and engine mounts look to be in good condition.
The cosmetic blemishes and those niggling noises mean this Thirty won’t suit a perfectionist, but it’s one of the more desirable Mini variants and it’s keenly priced.