Mini Thirty

This lim­ited edi­tion Mini may well be keenly priced, but there are a few bodywork nig­gles that you need to watch out for

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - News - David Simis­ter

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.

BODYWORK CHECK

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.

OUR VER­DICT

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.

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